Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Evening at Royal Festival Hall

This is across the Royal Festival Hall, with great reflections on the Thames. Plus, going through the bridge, only to take some more night pictures, I got to Cherring Cross Station and from their the train took me very fast to Westcombe Park station, very near home.

Discovered a new way to go and come to London.

Discovered also new people, each week we get to know better each other, and also, each week I understand better what they say. How they say it. Even those speaking very quietly.

So nice people and great meeting!

And here they are three by three.

And the view from the terrace of the Royal Festival Hall.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A story - of my life?

She was lonely, alone with only memories in the huge river of life, only spoke to the shadow of an old haunted house.

Alone, in all that water surrounding her (or him?) and with all those others living in groups, meeting each other, speaking to each other in whatever languages.

So beautiful all around, but no one to communicate with.

Life seemed beautiful but very lonely.
Bath (160)
Suddenly, a boat approaches. She goes happy to meet the people in it.

They look at each other, admire each other. They even seem to speak.
For a short moment.

Then they go there way disapearing under the bridge.

It was not this time.
Newbury (44)
Perhaps, it will be the next?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


This scene could be anywhere in UK, but it was in Bath, after six afternoon. Lots of people of all ages drinking, mainly beer, and having good time.

I did also enjoy myself in Bath, also not by drinking beer, but discovering an old town full of new life, very different from what I dreamed after my regency romances, and in some way a lot older, more interesting.

After having strolled two hours in the centre (yes, there is a parking under the Hilton near the river), assisting at the beautiful colour the sun painted at dawn the old buildings, almost at the last minutes going to take my car, I discovered a bridge with old shops on it, like those so famous in Florence.

The houses, the shops, are still on the bridge!

I came home, this morning after lots of other adventures, lost and found, night and fog, a good night sleep at Days Inn and lost again in fog this morning. But at eight, I was already taking my breakfast home. It is wonderful to go away, to discover, to experiment, it is wonderful to be home, too!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Est Greenwich

Yesterday, after meeting my son, I arrived early at the swimming pool and got out earlier then usual. My Freedom Pass was not yet usable.

So what? I could walk towards home, slowly.

I took an unusual route through East Greenwich main street, passing near the small shops and the huge construction site. The later has a very large image, drawn by youngsters from East London. Here is just a small part of it.

I have taken most, in parts, but the sun was against me, I'll have to go back an afternoon when the sun will shine on it, or a cloudy morning.

How many interesting things one can find when one walks instead of rushing by the bus!
Est Greenwich_0038
Ok, let's admit, an hour later, instead of going up the hill, as it was already nine o'clock, I did take the bus for two stations.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When one looks with more attention

Faringdon A quiet square, not so far from the Farington station, in Islington, London. I was immediately attracted to it. A few benches and trees, bicycles attached and unattended.

On the other corner, a pub and a few tables on the street. Some people drinking beer or coke and discussing with each other, not rushing like the others that I met when I did exit the tube, all rushing towards it. Tube or the train, from the same station!

But on the small quiet place, no one seemed in rush.

That was when I observed a strange high table: what it is for? Then farther, I see two men, with two beers near a similar table.

Not only they drink their beer and chat, but looking with more attention, I observe, but only after I put my picture on the Internet, that they smoke.

Perhaps that is why one can find now more and more outside tables in London, or was it like it before too? To be able to smoke!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dare to share, at the three king's pub

I did believe Farington a far away place, but it was only one train station away from the City and two from London Bridge, plus the train arriving on the same platform: a lot nicer then with the tube.

The small pub we met is near a nice corner of a small square, I liked the mood, just after people got out from work. While some were rushing home in oposite direction from me, others before another pub, on the corner, drank their beer and chatting together.

I arrived as usual early, took a humus and pita, not expensive and very good, and was given a big glass of water. I went with the water up the stairs in the room reserved for the "dare to share" creative writing group and waited until the others arrived.
The three kings (7)The three kings (6)
We vere nine towards the end. All having written something, one a song, another a wonderful scene all in monolog, others different kind of fiction that took us in many different places and cultures. It was a great experience.
Dare to Share (8) Listening Dare to Share (11)

The other pictures, taken yesterday, are in a set Dare to Share on flickr, you may see these and the others in bigger size there. So far 15, but more to come, not only of the meeting but the surrounding of the nice place where I walked around before entering the pub were we met later.
Dare to Share (2) Welcome Dare to Share (1)
Next time, I'll have to bring also something seeming more like "writing" not only "presenting myself" as one of them told me before we left, and I'll try to put it in the third person, then I can even change what I intend to write and not stick to my "reality".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

London, Chinatown

This is a candid, he did not know, he will be in the picture, and I did not ask his permission to take a photo, neither one, nor the photographer, nor the man in front.

But I did speak to him, after taking the image.

He did not feel like speaking, so I went to speak with someone else.

I met then the Professor Engin Can, doctor in alternative medicine, who was happy with the photo I have taken about him, and even send me a link to read about him.

I'll do, with pleasure, and I will also write a whole note about him.

But not today.

I am preparing for the future meetups: one today of Creative writing "dare to share" - I just love the title they found for it!

On sunday "candid photography in Covent Garden: a sens of place".

I'll have what to do!

Doors open, as I was told (in the Artist's way book)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Joueurs de carte, inspiration

Yesterday, I stayed home. But still nourished "my artist" by discovering two people's art, one exemple of someone calling himself on the flickr "picassa2" is here.

It also reminds me of the pictures that André Kertesz has taken high in the mountains in a small pub, in 1929 for a book that was never published, then. Recently, a photographer from Savoie, were those pictures were taken, went to the French national pictoteque to whom Kertesz donated his pictures taken in France and the pictures taken in that Savoie mountain village, were published in a great new book.

Another way to publish nowadays, that does not have to wait almost hundred years, are in the groups of flickr for example. I just discovered there a great photographer traveler, going to another far away place each of his holidays from his music teacher job.

In my French blog as well the photo blog, I put some of his pictures, could I put one or two here for example? I'll try. That gave me "fruit for my thoughts." Nourishing, not only the "artist" in me but my humanity too, my soul.

By Emmanuel Snague

Sunday, September 21, 2008

At the British Museum

As the bus left me at the Russel square, yesterday, after a stroll there to evoke 86, Charing Cross Roads heroine, I entered the British Museum, nearby. I'll return!

One of the gardian's of the museum, I think it is what he was, had seen the movie made from it and explained me the way to go towards the Road I wanted to see.

Some very funny expressions on very old statues hold my attention. Even the snake of the fountain held one special one, all of them reminding me my dear friend, sculptress.

How much she would have liked them!

I did not stay long, a few strong impressions are enough for me one time at a museum, but strolled towards Charing Cross. On the way, through Soho and then was attracted by the nearby Chinatown lanterns and shops. And people and vitrines.

Finally I did arrive at Charing Cross, very few bookshops remain there for old books, but I did find some very fine! and also photo books shop, but mostly that is a place now for musical instruments.

From Picadilly with lots of tourists, I went to the information center on Regent street, they did want more to sell me something then give infos and directed me to the bus 12 to take for Westminster.
The bus did not arrive.

There was an anti knifes manifestation in London's center and circulation that way closed, I found out finally. You may ban guns, but knifes? How would we cut our meat or even bred then? Violence, alas, is not fought by banners.

I had lots of very different experiences yesterday in the center, from very quiet streets and parks, to busy streets with lots of cars going very slow, people alone or together on the grass and tourists posing here and there, lots of places I feel like returning soon.

I would like to eat at a Chineese restaurant, then buy some old books, also visit some other rooms in the museum. Meet some other people, too. Or, the same.

Here, a slide show of some of my pictures from yesterday.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Paris 7e arrondissement

The Chamber of Deputies, in french Assemblée Nationale, is across place Concorde, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. I went to visit it last year's "Journée de Patrimoine" similar to the Open Days of this weekend, here.

All, or most, official buildings are open to public that day, one day of the year, and free to visit. Some have lots of visitors and the entry is monitored and searched, but even the president's place and office can be seen that day. Once a year.

The windows, closed, were taken from the Assemblée Square, in the month of August when most of Parisians are off somewhere. It was a very quiet stroll, and it was then that I decided to try and come back a month later.

As I was one of the first in place, too early, as usual, I was also between the first group to be admitted and greeted by the President of the Assembly himself. He did stay with us a bit and gave a short speech and made photos with some of the visitors (for the press probably more then for them.)

My strongest memory from last years visit are three. At the begining, as we waited in the garden for the doors to open, two young girls, less then ten years old, both with cameras, posed their younger brother near decorative vases and took photos of whatever they seen. Beginning early!
Visite Assemblée Nationale-068

Visite Assemblée Nationale-089dvInside, the space where the speeches are made and the laws voted, two women in "monokini" showing their breast "Greek style" while writing the law, of course of stone. Or was it painting? Looked as in relief to me.

I am not against women showing more or less of their breasts, but at that place, immortalizing them, did not seem to me of good taste.

The third souvenir were the humorous portraits, sculptures of heads of some of the big old speakers of the House realized with great talent.

I went home, exhausted, but richer with dozens of photos and some strong souvenirs.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Open building days

There is a "journée de Patrimoine" in Paris, in France too. I do believe it must be the same day as in London. Lots of public spaces open that day to the public.

One of those days I went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, place Charles de Gaulle, near Champs Elysee. This is the view opposite to the Champs with the Defense far away.

Vieille centre Argenteuil-16Another year, I went to Argenteuil's museum and took a chesnut on the ground. It became one of my favorite pictures. Yet another time, I went to the Assemblé National, the French congress. As I was there some time before the opening, I got to meet also its president, who spoke to us while we were in the Chamber of the Congress.

But what I liked even more was the small kiosk selling journals, near it and the windows, closed the summer a few month before on the place. Somehow, small things hit me more then bigger ones. Remain stronger in my memory, on my photos.

What will be this year as I'll go to visit some places open this weekend in London?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Some of my pictures, the teachers of the Afterclass group choose as my prefered, wishing me happy 74th birthday. Indeed, they are also some I like even if not all of them.

The tulips, from a trip with my grand-daughter. We stopped near this roundabout and went together to take photos of the multicolored flowers. Another one, from the same day, was a short video, I can't publish, with her, dancing near the Seine and throwing a wild small flower in it with grace.

The corridor was under a hospital and frightening to me as I went to be put in a tube, alone, to examine if I do not have a cancer.

They did not find and the exam went more easy then I feared, but in the picture are somehow my feelings of the moment.

Back from the airport Charles de Gaulle, I found myself blocked, car after car we almost did not advance, only the motos spead between us, this picture taken through an open window gives also what I felt.

Discovered a beatiful woman's poster all through my town and tried to show it in the best light, when my eyes fell on that old woman with white tumbling hair, the contrast was irresistible. This picture was published in the local regional newspaper, I blurred the old's face.

The six pictures down the poster are from my walks in different arrondissements (borough?) of Paris, things that suprised me, enchanted me. the small ones, that I do love a lot, one from Transylvian roads and one from Paris, were not good resolution enough, alas. The first, because my camera then had only 3 m and the second because it is only a detail, wonderful looking on the web but not printed.

Oh, yes, so much difference between printing and screen, I forget to fast, but from now on I'll have to take care of it.

Anyway, those are some from my now almost 25 000 pictures on the web in my flickr site. If you go there, you may see one by one those I spoke here (and some others)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Look around

Look around with more attention, this weeks goal. And of course, all the time from now on from Artist's Way.

Yesterday, I walked to the Village through the Heath in diagonal, it took me only ten minutes from my door to the small pond. I arrived thirty minutes before, so, for the first time I stopped at the pond to observe and of course, photography the ducks;

So funny to see them step out of the pond, slowly, one after the other, almost ten of them step by step traverse the path and go to the heath's grass. I'll try to make a short video with it and add it here.

So much more can we see when we take the time to look! So much more I feel being in middle of the nature, here, in London, then I was in Paris or even its suburb!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Royal Festival Hall, near Waterloo

The Artist's Way is not always clear, I would even say, it is normal that it is fuzzy, what would be interesting if we knew all and seen all in advance! So I think this picture, takin at night does illustrate it well.

- How many pictures did you take tonight?
- I took 50.

Between my fifly pictures I like some I found intesting others, some express a feeling I had at the moment even more then a scene.

I arrived at the Royal Festival Hall, more then an hour before the Meeting of Artits's Way and went near the bridge, looked down. After the meeting, the night lights gave me the occasion to practice night photos: I have yet a long way to go but progress is made by practicing, not?

Also, of course, reading again the Dusk to Dawn class advices from the Afterclass group in Flickr, but at the end of this month, or end of the next, I'll be able to post some of mine taken "after the class". We can do that every end of month, toward the end of the current classes.

From now on, ten more monday evening out in London! Wanderful!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Greenwich park Sunday

Went to show the deers to my grand children, but they went far away, afraid of the Sunday strollers. We did enjoy the squirrels, they were delighted for the food people gave them.

After that, at the pond inside the flower garden, very young and very old, all of us enjoyed the different kinds of ducks and birds fighting for, that day at least, abundant food they got.

As I decided to look all around the pond, I did arrive to him, reading and took a candid picture first for my People Reading group on flickr.

Greenwich park a Sunday-83Going nearer, I begun to speak with him and ask if I may take a picture: yes.

Then suddenly a squirrel approached him ASKING, yes asking for nuts he had prepared for them, or him?

The squirrel eat from his hand!

Then disappeared with his catch.

Greenwich park a Sunday-80

Towards the end, he offered me also a few nuts to attract squirrels: they do like that a lot! I had less luck with it, but did take the one waiting behind him, before going farther and leaving him to his lecture.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Only ten minutes from my place

The Greenwich park is an oasis of tranquility, or at least, it was that Saturday afternoon. A fex people, far away from each other, squirrels and ducks, children chasing them.

No deer where the sign for them was but people hoping in vain to see them.

It was my two hours for "meeting the Artist" inside me, recommended weekly activity alone from the book the Artist's Way. I could not visit the Ranger's House and its paintings, it was closed to visitors.

He lives on the Isle of Dogs
Coming back, I sit down on the bench near the Deers sign. A lonely man begun to speak to me. "From where you are? I meet more people from elsewhere then London, here, I come often, like this place a lot. But today I am tired, my new neighbor, on Isle of Dogs, made noise and sung until three in the morning. Putting the pillow on my ears did not help."

We had a nice discussion, and toward the end, he told me the deers are on the other end, I can see them going in the forest part on the small path. After we parted, I went there, looked at them.

There were a lot, together. But they seemed to me like in a zoo more then in a forest and my camera's 5 times zoom was not enough to take a decent photo of them.
Cerfs dans Greenwich parc
Out of the park, now what?

I could take the street, be home in seven minutes, but I can also traverse by the heath, the part of the heath which is left more 'natural'.

There I met "my Artist" there I felt really something special, and took the photo I prefer for the moment from my yesterday's stroll.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A bench with view towards Kent

On the top of the Shooters Hill road, the Shooters came probably to the Hill to shoot, some time ago, there is a prairie and a bench. From this picture, you may of course not see it, but the view, on an open day goes very far, some say even to the see there, far away.

Hills, small cities, forests, you can see a lot.

Probably, even better with a long view, a big zoom, but the rest, you can imagine.

I will have to go and sit and try it out in the morning, in the evening, to see what is the best to see, to make my camera show also the great scenery from there.

In this photo, I rather took the small yellow flowers enchanting me, behind the bench. In the photo of the scenery, there is fog, one cannt see as much, even less than my eyes have seen.

But I will persist.

Oh, the red is showing on horizon through my window: the day is comming. I hope, today we will have a great weather.
Great skattering clouds
That was taken a few days before, no clouds on horizon today, only the sky becomming more and more red from blue. What does that suggest? I'll have to discover yet.