Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TM Comitee Meeting

It was wonderful to have for the first time Guests in my apartment, even if they came to work: it was our first meeting with the new leaders of the Lewisham Speakers Club. We have so much to learn yet!

I am from now on, for a year, Vice President of Membership. My role is large, but in a phrase, I have to insure new members will join and those in the club are happy with what we do and how the Toastmasters program help them.

From "prospective" to Guests. From Guests, new Members. And so on... happily, I am not the only one greeting guests and members and making sure our club operates well. I was happy with the mood yesterday evening, proving to me (as I think back now) that our goals, of each of us, is to make it work better.

Through discussions, sometimes even passionate, the important was "how to be more effective" for each of our members, and not at all any personal agendas. That is very important! Lots and lots of work awaits us from now on, for a year!

I am happy to have chosen to invest more energy in the Toastmasters and Public speaking, and having volunteered, when it was needed, to take a more active role, not only speaking. Of course, when you choose one way, you can not go others: I'll have to go lot less in the different Meetups I used, but I'll not drop all of them, just pace them farther apart, as of course my time and my energy is finite.

Twelve more days, and I'll turn 75!

Yes, I have now to prove myself (more then for others) then "there is life after 70" - and event 75 of course. My new friend, Klara does prove it to me: she is 86 and very active.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lunch in the garden: a warm welcome

A wonderful afternoon (and lunch), and to say that a few weeks ago we did not know each other!

We met in Greenwich park, where she was walking her small dog, Pipa, and I was with my great-daughter anniversary party.

If I would not have asked that interesting lady of certain age and great intelligence for a photo, we would have never met. She was the one who detected my Hungarian accent, as it is also her mother language. Both of us did not speak it for a long time.

And we do have so much to tell each other!

We have sometimes difficulty to find the right words in Hungarian, but what a joy! And what a great hostess she is too! Difficult to describe all she did to make me feel welcome.

Some photos of the garden and her beloved dog

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I love having guests

For the first time, I'll have people not from my immediate familly, and more then one or two visitors from around here, coming to my place.

What a joy to prepare, to imagine, even - to remember.

Remembering other times, far away in my life, when I lived in an apartment were we could dance. It was in Bucarest, I was 23, and for the first time, I finally had a group. In fact, they were the friends of my boyfriend, not mine, but they invited their girlfriends and I invited my friends with their boyfriends or alone.

OK, so it finished with one of my not so good friends taking away my boyfriend. She was probably ready to give him more then me, and I was away on a holiday where my parents send me to be farther from him. But I do remember with joy the excitement of preparation.

We will not dance of course, it is an official meeting, but I'll have different, not yet well known people come and as they go home, I'll know them better. Preparing, expecting, is great anyway!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Going nearer, playing

Trying to capture this morning what I liked in my living room, I took a few different pictures with the Canon, from farther, from nearer.

Then, after uploading them to my computer, I looked at each of them and finally took one and played. Changed, distorted, created something different.

A pleasure to play, even if I am not sure at all of my artistic ability to judge the results.

But here are a few from this morning: if you like any of them, download them to your own computer, play with them!

Friday, June 26, 2009

TM Club festive evening

This is our youngest member in the newly formed group, he did make already stunning progress from the time he joined!

At our festive meeting, he was the first going around with the microphone and warming up the meeting, a role he performed with lots of poise and elegance.

I told him so, before taking this photo, and you can see also his mother in the background really proud of him.

It is a pleasure to meet and speak and I hope his mother will have the courage to come and learn too, if I can do it at 75 (and went as I told her 30 years ago) she can do it too. And she has already wonderful gestures, a very speaking face and body language and a great voice too.

TM Club festive evening-14Another good contact I had with the District Governor Gary Sander responsible of at all the Toastmasters Clubs in United Kingdom , District 71. He was, as usual to really great men, very open and modest, he spoke mostly of his long hours of work and him forgetting even to eat. "One more year. But we are now at the 8th position world wide."

At the pause, he came near my chair and I took a picture looking up, I knew from my experience with the professional photographer who took the best one of me like that for the Magazine I appeared last June.

I did take a few other pictures, not bad at all, but these two are the best: one of a beginner Toastmaster, the other of the one at almost the top, with lots of experience behind him.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From Flickr to YouTube, new discovery

I love country music and this one is between one of the bests!
Just discovered the song and him this morning

Two tiny mouses

I took this picture last Thursday, at my new friend, Klara's place, on her table set for lunch.

Today she visited me, I am still amazed, also I do not know why I should be, how young she is at eighty-seven! She goes to walk her dog every day, of course, but also goes to College Classes three times a week.

No time is too late to learn about computers, or take joga classes, or buy and learn how to use a digital photo camera! And looking to my photos of people, she even begun to dare to take some of them.

Some so wonderful ones.

What a refreshing exemple she gives me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chain of events

At the first day of summer, in the Flickr group "A day of your life", each of us was supposed to take pictures of the life around him or her and show them (or some of them at least) to the others, living and taking pictures, all around the glob.

Thinking of people living in Japon or India, California or Minesota, South Africa or Russia, I decided to show also some very "British" sights of London. As this red bus with two levels.

And red telephone boots, too.

That gave me the idea this morning to make a set "London, very British" in which, I first added all those "red", "the Royal Post" also, and so on.

Why not show different aspects that caracterise London for me? And some speical events, also very "British" like the Red nose day, etc.

Here they are, from the last few month (the first six month in London images I did not add yet to the set.)

There are many aspects of course to this diverse, great town, but I had to choose some "different" from other cities, other cultures.

And now, I can show them to you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Music day in France

It was a lot of music in London too even if not a night of music as in France the 20 june, here is an instrument I have seen the first time, in Victoria and Albert Museum.

Anyone knows what instrument that was?

Very interesting and I did like what he did with it, it was called in the program "English folk music".

It was the first - but not the last time - I went to that museum. I was told to go there 'lots of bric and brac!" but I found a great museum not at all "bric and brac" diversity. Greatly arranged rooms and aisles. Sculputres, objects, pictures too.

I will go back soon!

Museums in & out-79Museums in & out-131dvd

Monday, June 22, 2009

Long day: first day of the summer 2009!

My morning begun taking photos inside, then of flowers on the road towards St. John's church. People were gathering, just then and I met not only the reverend, who had invited me for the Christmas lunch, but also the first couple I photographed a year ago!

Great joy, not only did they recognize me, but she told me: "I follow your blog, will we be in it tomorrow?"

Of course, with joy!

And then, she demonstrated me that she follows also my images "I love your photos, my preferred were those of fall leaves." I was happy she remembered them!

Around St John's Church-3 Around St John's Church-14
Bus to the station, train to Charing X, I went to Trafalgar Square in for a few shots before taking the underground to the "Music day in Exhibition road" near South Kensington station.

Where is the music?

In the museums, all the museums! a nice girl answered me, giving me a brochure of different international venues.
Museums in & out-30Dancing at the music in the Museum

Finally, I went in the Natural History Museum and at the Victoria & Albert Museum. At the first, I was rewarded with a tiny girl dancing joyously to the guitar music. At the second, with marvelous sculptures. Both places to return to.
Around Charing Cross station-22 Around Charing Cross station-17
Near Charing Cross, I saw my first open red bus, but even more important, I had a great discussion with a street cleaner from Mac Donald "one day I'll be able to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower!"

Near the Victoria Embarkader, I stumbled at an orchestra arrived from Oklohoma and lots of people in reclining chairs listening to them. Even here, I found someone dancing to the music, but instead of a small girl it was a white haired funny nice man.

Between the 420 photos taken, it is difficult to choose which to show, but here are two others I like a lot. The red telephone boots, so much "London" for me, and three beauties, just before they entered St. John's church.
Around Charing Cross station-29 Around St John's Church-8
A very eventful day and lots of photos taken with my new camera - also I have to learn to use it better yet.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Looking deeper, looking in

I am reading a wonderful book, about Personal Storytelling, by Jack Maguire.

Not only reading it validates my personal view on the subject, that it is beneficial for us and also for others, but it does help me to uncover experiences from my past, that were too deep, too far until now.

Somewhere I read, a few years ago "the past change" and my first reaction was "no way!" But the past can change, at least our perception of it as we look at it in different angles and write about it, to ourself, to others, or speak about it. Even, re-thinking some of them, new insight may come, understanding it more or from another angle.

Telling it to others, means first thinking and uncovering it more deeply; then analyzing it from different angles to see what was really important about that incident for us and, perhaps, even others. Then thinking at it from farther away to be able to relate it "when, where, who, what" and beginning to dramatize it for the audience. All of it, changes somewhat what we feel about it, so it "changes the past."

Lately, I was discovering how much impact my father had on my education and comportment to others. Longtime, I was convinced that only my mother did. Also, I remembered his talent of telling tales, often even Tall tales and anecdotes and they all had also some moral, even if most of them seemed to be there only to laugh.

With a small story, he told me, one can win over seemingly enemies, and turn a heated discussion to a friendly one from then on.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Art in arrangment" ?

shortest night with texte

I am trying to learn more about how to present my images, perhaps like this they tell "more".

The sortest night

I did not go with the others in London"s center to stay awake all the night, but did take some images of the sky with the sun going down from my window.

And in the morning, waken early, of the sky from the other side of the house and apartment, of the early morning sky.

Thanks to the photographers, who did stay all night up, center town, I thought about the sky and looked at it more attentively.
The first summer morning from window
As my Sony does not work any more as it should, I had to use my Canon: another thing that will go well for me, I'll have to learn more how to use it from now on!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Almost same... under my window

Is it the destiny?

I did not go for blue, I did not look at the other cars under my window, when in the center of our small town (in London there are so many towns or areas) I have stopped reading a note found on a car.

The car was a French model, its color not my preferred one but the note had a real and good English humor: it sold me (with the price too) the car. So now, one of the three blue cars with English side steering wheel is mine.

I just have to learn how to use it!

Not only I did not drive for years not Automatic speed change cars, but I have some difficulty with driving from the other side: to learn and feel the distance at the left of the car!

So, for the moment, I drive very slowly, telling myself that at my age it seems almost "normal", but with time, I'll learn, hoping just that the car will not give up and will last so long.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Helping, when needed

He stopped in the middle of the Thames in the city, near Waterloo bridge, and helped another boat and man who lost contact and was alone.

That is all we could do, from time to time.

"Your best speech so far" - a few Toastmasters told me. "You mix up sometimes present and past" was one of my "recommendations": aie!

"Engaged with the audience. Excellent stance, presentational abilities.", but he would have liked if I'd move more my hips!

"Lovely introduction and movement with hands as mirror. The vocal variety & pauses were excellent. I like the bit at the end where we all join in." (The vocal variety will be my next task, perhaps in August)

"Julie, your vocal variety is amazing. As you gain more focus, in what you are saying, you gain more power."

"Nice story about your past. I could relate to the situation about the benefits of the smile. Once I was always looking angry. I now try to smile all the time." - this one was between the 15 observations I got, that I loved the most." - Really "relating" with what I said! Thanks!

I changed the order of the last two points, did not forget any of them and this time got just over 6 minutes. At the end, all repeated with me the last phrases.

What I did succeed, without thinking about it, is moving more and looking to each even at the end of the rows. Those I do not have to think any more, I do it nowadays more and more automatically.

And I come back with my own car, also very slowly: not everyone behind me was very happy with that, but after ten there were not many on the streets I have taken. And of course, even "slow" the car takes me home very fast!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Body language is important

This is the text, more or less as it will be delivered tonight to the toastmasters meeting.

When I was young, I killed people.

No, I did not kill with a knife, I killed with my eyes. And, for a very long time, I was even not aware to be aggressive. I did not react, I told myself. Did I? Hurt by others words and scorn, I just stared at them with close lips and fists and my eyes and stance told them all.
As a young woman suddenly I was afraid of the wrinkles that will come. As I read in a magazine, how we look the most often determines what the wrinkles on our face will tell about us. I took a mirror and did not like what it did tell me. Then I smiled. Yes! Those were the wrinkles I wanted!

Smile was not me. I had to remember to smile. I did smile and did smile, more and more often and more and more naturally, until the smile become me.
Body language by Gaby-10Body language by Gaby-12

Two weeks ago, I assisted to a Toastmaster meeting where Chris, who founded the Lewisham Toastmasters club gave a speech: "I had a dream". Without listening even, by the dignity of his stance and movements and his voice, one could already tell he did succeed. If not as easy as he hoped at the beginning, his dream come true. Our club was created and his child took his first steps, alone. We could see what he was telling us in our minds eyes too.

Last week, we had elections in another Toastmaster club. For the president next year there were two candidates. They had each three minutes to convince us to vote for them.

Who do you think won?

The one whose body movement, voice and stance said: I am president, the one who already felt as if he were.

Body language should be ours, not imitated from others with different temperament, but even how we feel can be influenced by how we move. So next time you come out to speak, stand right, take a deep breath, hold your head up and smile. You'll feel more confident. Begin then enchanting us with your speech. If you feel confident, delivering it, we'll feel more confident believing in it.

With the help of the body language you'll be able to convince us to do, what you believe we should.
Now, repeat and show after me, each in your own way:
Body language by Gaby-7
How we move our heads,
how we look with our eyes and lips,
Arms and hands speaking
what we do with our arms and hands,
how near we go to others and when we move,
Body language by Gaby-14d
all should go together with what we say
and renforce the message we want to convey.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Preparing my next speech, this time for tomorrow evening, I begun to dig: from where some of the phrases that flow out of me while I wrote it, come.

"I killed, not with a knife, I killed with my look."

First, I did believe it was triggered by an awful story I just read of an adolescent boy killed with 11 knife stabs. Only a few days later, while trying to remember why I looked as if I could kill to the children that I felt menaced me, that I did remember.

I was six and went to the school around the corner from our house. The first time we had a pause and went in the courtyard, while eating my sandwich two big boys, eight or so, come and took it from me. I went home, crying.

My father come from the countryside, in the mountains children did go everywhere with pocket knifes, and learned to use them early. He did buy a small one for me.

"If anyone menaces you again..." he begun.
"No way!" interrupted my mother.

Finally, my father taught me to fight like a street urchin. I loved it, tried it one and from then on, the other children in the school let me be. I thought, that was the reason I was not attacked any more for the next four years.

Only this morning, while trying to understand how and why I learned to look "as if my eyes would kill" I remembered my mother telling me, instead of the knife, if I just look menacing, no one would dare to attack me. I did it first to try out, it worked, then probably did not think any more about it but did it anyway each time someone hurt my feelings.

I did not realize most often I was doing it, I did thought myself submitting to the bullies in my school at 12 or 13, but while they mocked me (it begun the first day in that school because I did not speak well Romanian) my body language, my eyes were not mild at all.

Only ten years later, one of them I met by chance told me : "you used to look at us with lots of aggression, your eyes killed!"

All this come to surface, now, after so many years, because I was preparing my speech for tomorrow evening and trying to understand more about how come those words flow out of me when I begun to write, to tell.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Speach about body language

I recorded this while preparing for the next speach at the Toastmasters in Lewisham, about the importance of the body language.

I only hope, my body language will be also showing indeed what I mean.

When I was young I.mp3

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A stunning speach

An American University rector about "learning all our life" but in fact, telling us stories about Hungarians and their influence and meeting with him.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Colors and smells around me

I got wonderful roses from the garden, each with different esquisite smell!

I got lost of different flowers in the neighborhood gardens to take photo of.

I got a wonderful surrounding around me.

Some of what I have seen, smelled, tasted...

Feel young

Grand mothers tea party at school, the important is to feel (and sometimes even show) that you are not old, too old yet.

The directrice of the school just become grand mother and the other, 66 years old did dress like the young girls do these days, or almost. I loved looking at her!

People did not come towards me, but when I did, they were all very friendly and welcoming. Not only let me take pictures of themselves, but we also found common ground, what to speak about one with the others.

Yes, taking pictures, going toward them is rewarding.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I also publish "videos"

Also often they are more slide show creations, but some of them become quite popular. Here are some of the "most popular" ones from Dailymotion's Julie70 site, some, stunningly, viewed more then 20 000 times! Also of course, others, a lot less.

Anyway, it is great to see my care to do them, sometimes pays. Not one of my individual photos got so much attention!

You may of course to and see one or more of them directly and in a lot bigger size.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Old in new

I love that mix of old and new discovered in London.

In Paris, one wants to preserve what is old, classic, and not mix but I did discover in London to admire how well they can go one near the other, and here, for example even one in the other!

The building could be old, the entrance brand new to the café but the old door is still there put in middle of the new glass wall! It does look stunning!

So many wonderful ideas and sights from that stroll along Thames from Royal Festival Hall (coming from Waterloo) towards the London Bridge! I still did not digest all my photos taken that morning, each day discover new ones and remember some new feelings. So many in just three hours!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Head in the air?

Sometimes, I feel as if my feet are not enough on the ground. Do I fly to high toward the sky?

That is what this image reminds me.

The footbridge across the river, from Saint Paul cathedral to Tate modern, early morning. Taken from under the bridge, looking up.

That morning, at the beginning of June when I got up very early to be at the Waterloo station at seven, was very productive: more then 500 photos and so many of them talk to me, one by one!

That man with a Tibetian face turned back so I could take his portrait. The cleaner, so happy I appreciated his work of street cleaning. The... so many!

It is gray now but I can live with the blue sky of that day and all what happened in three hours, for weeks!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hands talking, video

Long time, I did not realise, my hands talk too
here, my grand daughter takes a small video of one part of my speech preparation.
As you can see, mostly hear, it is not yet "there"!
more to learn and better to express!

It is not enough, alas, to know what you want to say,
it is not enough to know it in your mind,
even not to show it with your body...

you have to find the right words to go with it too.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Body language by grand daughter

Already 11 people following what I write in this blog: waw!

Does it mean you all are also reading what I write? What a responsibility I'll have to be present then, day by day, as in my French blog!

Preparing my next Toastmasters speech, I went yesterday to my grand children's place, and asked my grand daughter, age ten, to take some videos of my different movements (and voice) while I delivered the speech.

First observation: I am not yet enough prepared!

But we did have good time together! And after the video parts were finished, she wanted to take also some pictures. She was right. The pictures she had taken illustrate so well what I was telling!

For the moment, a lot better then the small video parts: I have to write down and if not learn by heart but at least learn better what I do know I want to express. Saying it in your mind and being able to express it before someone is not the same.

How wonderful to have a receptive audience, and also someone helping me out! Not only her mother, but even the children! They are already great photographers: all this pictures were taken by her. There is already the next generation, continuity, what a great feeling!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Photographing IS allowed!

It is good to know.

We begin to make portraits at the Waterloo Main station, after this one, asking people to pose for us, they were happy to do so, (most whom we asked).

When I did ask two policemen, one of them told me "you are not allowed to take here photos!" then added, a bit trubled "because insurance problems" and also "if you want to take photos here, go ask a permission at the main office"

"Where is the main office"?

He did indicate us.

I proposed to go there, see what they tell us.

After waiting and waiting for the boss to speak to us, we explained what happened and asked for the badge to be able to take photos at the station.

"You do not need one, you may take photos at the station!" he told us. And if any policeman tells you again "no" tell Them to come here and speak with us, here.

So, it seems, if you do not take the photo of a policeman (that is another matter probably) then you do have the right to take photos in London's train stations.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The three beauties

It can not be contest, each of them is beautiful differently.

They sell beauty products at the King Cross train station, in a shop, counseling clients what to buy.

I will not become beautiful, neither young again, but at least, cover a bit some of the redness on my skin, I hope. Also, each time I'll put on a creme, I bought there, I'll remember them and their nice smile.

How many different personalities, how many different beauties there are in life!

I asked my vendor to take her photo and she asked: "could you take also my colleague?" And then, the third came in "and also her?" I took a few of them in a less lightened place and then asked to them to move. "Yes, of course."

Now, I just have to find the email address they gave me to send them too. Meanwhile, here they are.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I had a dream, speech

Yesterday I went to Bromley Toastmasters Club, listened and recorded the speech of Chris, founder of Lewisham Toastmasters Club, about the ups and downs of the club: "I had a dream" he begun.

This morning, this speech my own "I had a dream" poped out of me, as you here it here, in my mind first, on the dictaphone then.

Sometimes, one has to work a lot for a speech to gel, but it happens also other time they come all "made" for you, without thinking almost.

Probably, from the heart.

I had a dream JK louder.mp3

It does take six minutes to listen to my speech, I'll add the beginning of Chris video "I had a dream" if he gives me the permission, here. Thank you, Chris for inspiring me this one.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Great photo walk yesterday morning!

Here are the first public photos of our walk with Daniel, from Waterloo to London bridge stations (and along the river Thames)