Sunday, August 31, 2008

Poster from my window

Suddenly, from my window I see this young woman in huge format: I look out and it is a huge poster on a delivery camion.

Lots of interesting things can be seen in the streets, but this time it was very near, they were delivering some kitchen ware.

I begun to swim early in the morning, but today I run out to catch the fog. Comming back, I found the nearby web open, so I send this fast until it does not close.

Street scene taken from afar.

Street interaction London

Friday, August 29, 2008

New bedroom

I try to make it look less a bedroom and more an office space - the bookshelves arrive monday as the modem too, then I'll have to figure out how to put them together the two but i will have help: my daughter in law is very good in both.

Sorry for the days without note, usually i do write day by day, and also doing it not from home is not the same comes with more strain.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New place and I happy in it

Only so far no Web connection here so I have to wait until the telephone is connected and I receive the modem. And a few days after that the life will be different.

I could blog again early morning from home.

Lots to do until now and a few things to buy, the most important perhaps some bookselves for my books, strange that there are not everywhere and as abundant as any other furniture. Do the Londoners read a lot less? Or they read a lot more from what they find in the libraries?

I already bought a few books even if I am at the library too, in the shop for birds there are 30 and 50 pi and at red cross they go for around 1 pound, in the supermarket they were 2 and half, still affordable. 

So much I have already read and do want to read again but also some I can give away as soon as finished, now I know a few places where I can do that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

She has given me

the first pair of keys, but i do need a second one, I hope I'll get them soon, but I'll have web only at the end of this month. True, it will arrive soon.

I did not have the courage to go center London to the carnival of Notting Hill this year, I hope I'll have next one.

Moving is in is great but I felt quite tired after only bringing a bookshelf and a few of my books up two floors.

.But I feel peaceful and happy to be here.

La maison rose de la Butte Montmartre

Hardly to believe that is was favorited more then 200 times and 23000 people had seen it by 12 800 people already on my Flickr site!

I lived near it for 23 years, also in a small apartment, but it was almost as much light (and even a greater view from it) as now, here.

Will I be able to do it again, in London?

Find something that will be looked at so many times?

The important is finally more to do something I like and make feel some people more happy with themselves too, and that are for me coming from Portraits more then buildings.

For the moment, I have again Internet, another life for me with it, writing from home!

There is a time

There is a moment, a few minutes, after the sun goes down the horizont and until it becomes really dark when one can still see well what is around and the camera sees it also.

Later, our eyes adopt and see lot more then the camera can, at lest unless one does not use a bigger sensibility or opening, more time to let the film or nowdays the sensors be impressed.

That is the time also when there are few things yet at my new home and I feel that I could do anything with it, in it. The possibilities are open, I can choose.

Those times are not long, they go away too fast - as the internet around my appartment went too and now I have to go again to cybercafee or my familly place to be able to write.

Soon, I will be able to do it from home. At lest, I have already a home and I am very happy of my choice of it, it feels so good to be there!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New home's first day

After having rearranged the place of the furniture and having added some pillows and napkins, I feel home at last - and so happy!

The rooms suddenly feel bigger!

Thanks, unknown Lilly, to have left open the connection, so I can send this already from home - I promise, I'll do the same.

Sending this fast, hoping it will be still open for me.

What a wonderful feeling to have a home, mine, again! And, after 7 quite dark years, one with lots of light again!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back through the heath

I got my contract yesterday and soon I'll get my keys. I am happy, but not as much as I could be. Should be?

The worries about moving, establishing household, and so on begin.

At least, I already asked for a phone line yesterday afternoon and of course, also for an Internet connection, so soon I'll be able to blog from home. I hope, before 1st of September arrives.

I am already inscribed at the Weight Watchers, now I have to find a nice place and go to swim regularly. At the beginning of fall, my first volunteer work will begin too probably across the station, at the Heritage centre, teaching coaching computer and internet use.

Later, I'll try to find also some hours to teach or keep a group about photography or/and writing as I did in Paris.

I walked to the Blackheath Fair yesterday at dusk, catching as the sun just got down, took photos of the wonderful lights there (and also some people as usual), then come back through the heath. Not so easy, the grass is grown and there was not really a path but what an adventure!

Friday, August 22, 2008

London Canal stroll

After droping Bernadette at the Eurostar entrance, I went so Little Venice and then along the canal until my camera battery was finished. Not many people, great reflections, quiet and lots of adventures at the same time.

My first was to meet that lady, I think older then me, coming on bike thought the bridge. "I admire you, I do not any more, can I take a picture?" She answered "Yes, please do. I could not either, if I stopped, that is why I continue."
London Canal stroll (8)

What a wonderful exemple for me!

Even if I do not begin cycling, I'll have to go on swimming. And often.

I also met very young on bike in a special space where they can jump, and had very good contact with them too. Have also heard the young boy encouraging a child who was just there alone to learn more. "I am not so good, the young boy told me" and I explained that I was also just learning to take speed pictures. From then on, we were pals.
Friendly faces, smiling back to me, great reflections and colours, a long walk, what a wonderful day! It will take me a few days to add to flickr my 200 images from which I love most of them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A bench in the heath

This is THE bench at the heath that is waiting for me to sit down, to read, to look around, quietly contemplate life.

I hope, it will arrive a day not so far that I will feel enough tranquil to do it.

For the moment, I begun my "normal" activities and went to Weight Watchers meeting, the first one in England. Two bus stations away from where I stay, it was held in a Baptist church and this august wednesday few attended.

At the begining, I was happy: did not gain from my arrival any kilos our pounds. Sorry, STONES. I was stoned to hear that now I'll have to learn yet another measure, plus the pounds go down easy, relative to the stones.

Afterwords it got worst as I realised that there is a lot of english as one speaks it near here that I do not understand, lots of meaning that I have to learn. As 46 years ago when I arrived in France, it seemed to me people speak too fast to each other so I could not catch all what they said. Long way to go yet... more then I did think until now.

There is a lot to learn even after 70 of course.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poor or rich?

I have seen many couples shopping at IKEA, and many mothers with their children in the Lakeside supermarket but have taken only a few pictures to remind me.

Some pictures that I do not take remain for always or for a long time at least in my memory, for example that beautiful young man and his beautiful wife, sitting across me while I waited for my son. I did not really look at them, preserving their intimacy while they took a cup of tea. It was only when they went away and smiled a good by to me that I was stoned seeing how beautiful as if film actors they were. How well they looked together too. A picture not taken on camera but in my soul. If I ever write something about a couple like them, I'll recall their image in me.

But most of the time, now days, I do ask and most of the time I do get the permission to snap a picture. When I am lucky I can while speaking with them take two or three, nearer or farther and from different positions, often they give a better image then just one.

I am on "old woman" with not much revenue considering the high rent prices around here, but I am a very rich woman: just passed the cap of twenty four thousand photos uploaded and collected on the web!
COLLECTIONS of 24000 photos
24000 photographies about what I have seen would be lost as grains if it was not flickr's Sets, Collections, Tags, Time, Groups, where they can be found with more ease. Sometimes, people comment on my latest images but other times they do find and speak to me about photographies taken long ago - what a joy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Storytelling at the Lakeside shopping center

Great artists playing for children in the centre of the Lakeside shopping mall in Kent where we went yesterday to look for furniture.

I loved most the death that come for a very short time without the actors seemingly seeing him, the children all exlaimed to let her know but until she turned, he disapeared behind the screen.

That young woman actress was so talented!

If only we could escape so easy.

So many things can happen in an instant.
Lakeside Kent (10)
From our trip, the few pictures taken in the middle of the mall with the children enjoying the story was the highlight yesterday.
Bridge toward London (3) f cont
And the beautiful toll bridge we came through when returning from Kent.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blackheath chears

Where did I meet him?

It was towards the end of July in Blackheath, probably at a breackfast place. If I find, I'll give him the picture. I felt welcomed in Blackheath's Royal Standard's place and streets, it is why I begin to look around for a place to stay near here.

All kind of people, that is what I like and in that atmosphere I felt good. Friendly people in the first days, that was important. I just hope, that impression will rest with me and I'll come always with pleasure around here, there.

I put some pictures today that I have taken end of july on flickr, and for the moment, they are in the "last pictures" on the side of this blog. With time, they will be replaced by others, because there are lots of London's pictures I did not added yet to my site.

Lots to do, lots to catch up.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Meridian zero, Greenwich

At Greenwich's Royal Observatory building, I was there with a lot of other tourist's from countries all over the world.

While I was at that place, probably put in for photography, groups of people arrived from Russia, Japon, and one of them took this of me with my telephone's camera.

The place is not up the hill if you come from the Heath (Blackheath) but looks down toward the Thames, the National Maritime museum and the Canary Warf - the view was beatutiful as the weather, and I did really miss my usual camera.

Of course, as I did not come here as tourist (only this first time and even not now) but as resident around here, I'll have the possibility to return soon. Take photos, show the place to others or just look around and feel "in the middle of the world" as I did when I lived for 22 years on the Butte Montmartre from where you can see Paris and where also many people came from all over.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How will it be with me in it?

I did believe, this evening I'll be already there, but no - it is too early or the fate is perhaps other for me. We'll see.

I liked the place when I got in the first time, but now it seems small and crumpled and I do not know how I'll fit in my things. There is not much place to put and no, I am not used to put my luggage under the bed.

Mostly, I do not see yet where I'll put my books and where I would work, computer and printer wise. It IS quiet and light enough, true, but from yesterday afternoon I have conflicting feelings about it.

I was supposed to come in, I do even understand why it was a bit too early, but I do not understand why it took so long to tell me about it. As it is, it left me happy about the move for a few hours when I imagined already moving in, but as to this morning I am having second thoughts.

I do like people who keep their word, was taught by my father then words and a handshake are as much and more as a paper or a name on a paper. So no one shook my hand, true. But I did believe when someone tells me six month it is so and so on. Changing on their words are not my taste at all and somehow I doubt it is English usage.

I yet have to learn a lot about the culture here to understand. Probably I am too sentimental and showing my sentiments and not reserved enough. Showing, telling, what I feel.

After 74 one can change of course but not so much.

Friday, August 15, 2008

For a brief moment

Yesterday, bad weather was announced but the sun shined and the clouds were not grey, so after going out a few times with my umbrella, I decided I did not need it any more.

After finishing what I had to do, the rain come fast and fall upon me.

Suddenly, not only I understood one has to be careful and not let my French learned 'laisser faire' take care of things, but also why one does speak so much about time in England.

When it rains in France, or Hungary for that matter, it does rain a whole day, but the time does not change so fast and so often. The bad time remains for a long time. Covert sky, gray sky is more often then beautiful clear blue one. Humidity stays, and I was told in august it will continue to stay.

Here, one has to be ready to be prepared for everything - even beautiful blue sky and clouds that suddenly pop out from a grey one.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Black Heath

Blackheath is split in two by the Heath, probably under the green grass (Green wich) there is blacker earth then in other parts. Here I took the picture from the Blackheath village which seems to me more "made" for tourists then a "real" village with its fancy shops and restaurants.

The "Standard" part of it, and you may see some of its border houses in this picture behind them are the others, seems more "real city" like to me, with all kind of people and stores, for poorer and richer people alike.

I have been to one of the small and very friendly restaurant "Familly restaurant" and love to go there: they always give lots of fresh vegetables with whatever I buy and have a friendly smiling cook in front of it. From plastic perhaps, but the "real" cook is a good smiling one too.

The other day, I looked at some older ladies very happy to eat something.

- What it is? did I ask them.
- Shepherds pie, and very good!

Next time I asked for their shepherd pie. It was supposed to come with three vegetables, no, it came with seven different ones, one better then the other. I still do not know for sure what is a shepherds pie, but it was very good and huge too. Still I do not know what exactly is this pie, but it was great.

At the library, recognising me already, they were lot nicer that at the beginning, and I even did not yet give some of my books that I took with me to offer, also I still cant see my flickr images on their screen.

I do not really need it any more, as I have web now at my son's home, but I hope they'll realise that flickr and most of its images are for all public (besides, one can easy choose a safety level that takes out all the others).

In all that seems a really nice neighbourhood! To discover more and also to use as a point to discover more about London.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

London center

Delivering flowers or did he buy for himself?

I smiled at him and pointed the camera fast and he smiled back and nodded ok, amused by it without stopping a second so I had to work fast, a few seconds later he was gone.

At the moment of taking the picture, he was near the church at river level almost and me at street level higher.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8 aug 08 Thames walk

Still pictures from the same walk,

Today, I went out of the door with the intention of continuing from the Embarcadre or Charring Cross towards West to walk near the Thames, or to visit Islington see how is there.

But on the way, I was diverted by an Leting agency near the bus station and a nice young men showed me a flat in Greenwich's main road.

Well located and even silent inside at least with the windows open, almost no one living upstairs, neverless the dump air and smell told me one cannt open often the windows and the light was not very bright either in that place downstairs. The small court was there "but do not come with" it did not seem a friendly gesture from the absent landlord either.

I did not feel I'd be happy to live there.

At noon, another place to see, will I have force to go in Central London the afternoon? I am not sure, we'll see. With each new visit, I learn more, not only about the places to live and their neighbourhood but also about myself and my likes and dislikes.

Just hope, soon I'll find a place speaking to me, smiling to me: telling me "here is MY place".

PS Perhaps, perhaps - I found it. Bright, one bedroom one living room, a real bath and strong shower and a small kitchen but with a place to eat there and all anemities. Quiet street and not far from the familly - I hope I'll get it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

8 aug 08

Life in London is interesting - but I did loose probably the first flat were I already felt "inside" so I have to begin to look again.

On my way to discover the city I find many nice and friendly people - and portraits to take so I do not have to complain, my days are full, even when I feel impatient to have "my place", that will arrive also.

In the meantime, my two grandchildren organised a great spectacle for us, it was a pleasure to see them intereract so well and we even had a small diner with it that they prepared!

It is a pleasure to see them florish here!

And thanks a lot to the people smiling at me and letting me take their portraits.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

8 8 08

Yesterday, I took the train for the fist time to go center London, from Blackheath Village - it took me do Canon street near the river Thames and then I walked the Thames path until the Embarkment.

But that time, I did not have any more space left on my memory card and my legs told me enough too. I had a lunch and spoke with a young and beautiful server arrived from Spain a month ago: she found imediatly work!

It took me a lot more to come back, one hour, with waiting at Cherring cross for the next train to Lewisham and a bus from there back, but could we say "I have time" ?

Home, it took of course even more to look at the pictures and select them and improve them, I put some in the Thames walk set, and if they are not yet there, will put them soon!

But not yet progress in finding a place to live by myself (or even with others in a flatshare). Some times, it will arrive too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

After dinner outside the pub

It was a great animation at the Blackheath Village pub that evening, but I have seen it only from the car, but after our dinner, at an italian restaurant, I went nearer.

Almost no more there, but the mood still persisted.

Unhappilly, I have to learn yet how to do night pictures, the theme of the Afterclass group in flickr this month. I have to go out more often after dark instead of going to bed at 8 pm as usual (and waiking at 5 am) if I want to learn, I'll have to do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

02 London

Nice and funny at the same time, he was happy with me taking pictures of him, at the entrance hall of O2 near the North Greenwich station.

Two angels were there too for explaining what is where and they did also posed with joy, in all I came away that day with a great portrait collections.

Today I strolled in Blackheath Village, Lee and Lewisham, and when a big sudden rain came out just entered a bus that took me to Greenwich center. From there a car took me to East Greenwich closed library (noon break) and accross the street were there is a great and nice cyber coffee that I recomend to all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

O2 Greenwich

As much as I love the old Victorian houses in London, I do like also the new constructions - so many ideas and creativity in them!

A few days ago I went to the Greenwich Nord metro station (closed in summer on weekends) under the building called strangely O2 - I did not learn yet why.

I met there a few very nice and very different people.

The first was a construction worker, originally from north Ireland, and after taking two photos of him, he told me "please no two without three" only then I observed his tatoos and took a photo that showed them also. We had a nice chat and after we entered the building he went to the young men at entrance and told him "this lady takes photos, she'll take yours too."

And he agreed also, he was the only for me very british looking one. After I have taken the two Angel girls, also for information there, and enchanted to be photographed, and Indian looking lady who after that offered to take one of me and did so very knowedgable, and so on.

I came home not only with some pictures despicting the modern mood of O2 but mostly with a new collection of my loved portraits - also having spoken to them, and feeling less alone in London.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Telling too fast

I was too fast happy about being able to blog from home, whoever had an open web around, closed it and in the weekend even the cyber nearby is closed.

But I used sunday to take my car and try it around and even in London, as there is not taxe to go into it in that day, and at six and seven in the morning there was also very little circulation.

Very good circular way indications and I did not loose my way often, so went from Greenwich in South East to Hamersmith Heath North West, beautiful Heath and Forest, nice people jogging and walking their dogs.

One couple even had a place like for the babies to carry them, and going back through Island of Dogs and the entrance of the foot tunel (which I did not take) I have seen dogs even carried and walked by a lady in automatic wheel chair.

When you go from a place to other, you observe things not seen usually at your place.