Friday, July 31, 2009

Julie (75) by Rosemary (60)

It was a great pleasure to walk at the Eastern Market and the Fish Market with Rosemary - this is one of our "product" - in fact, I am only the subject in it, Rosemary took it, and she succeeded to make me look in it not so bad for my 75 years.

So long time I said to myself "soon the 75 will come" that I am still surprised that it did arrive, and pass.

And no, I do not look with any pleasure to arrive to the 80 now, unless the pleasure to arrive until there, and then, like now someways, have some young tell me "oh, if ever I arrive there!" as it would be enough for him!

I did succeed also to take one good photo of Rosemary but it was not the one near the flowers, because yes, a photo is a cooperation and you have to look relaxed at least natural on it. Or perhaps, I did not took enough time. But once I did succeed to surprise her.
Eastmarket Washington (49)
This one, done with the Canon portrait mode, but the background because of that is not really visible.

Great memories!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What a face!

He came to buy some fish food, at the fish market near the Harbor, on the Potomac, not so far trom the White House.

What a face!

They were also, as road workers, dressed very bright, but I mostly was in awe of his face.

At least 30 times yesterday, I told myself 'what a face!' and they told me 'Thanks' that I have taken their photo too.

One or two even asked me 'and me?' of course, I did not disappoint them.

Here is a small sample of what I found. The fish market was like a Treasure Chest for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Deer in the city

Not so far from the White House, near Washington DC and in the middle of a suburban city, a deer came to visit us yesterday morning.

First, she stayed in the entrance of the garden: the children had left the door open toward one of our neighbor's. Click, a few photos taken by my camera and hand without my head - it was too much contrast in the sun of the morning falling on part of the deer.

A last one, taken fast when she was coming in, nearer - then as my daughter opened the door of the house to let me take images without separation, the deer afraid run through the garden and through the street to the other house, across.
deer in the city (5)
A short but memorable visit - and a lot to dream about for me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Do you like Homework?

No,I do not really enjoy it when it is imposed. But I usually do it, and then go beyond.

I love research. Discovering new things! Digging deeper, looking here and there, finding snippets of gold as if by chance.

I have to give a speach were I use Research from different sources next for my Toastmasters meeting end August, or mid August. Research filling the gaps - the homework said.

About what?

I finally decided, it will be about my last passion, Public Speaking.

I have done lately a lot of digging here and there, on the Web, The Speaker on BBC2, Speach contests where I listened, books that I read or am reading.

Some books compare Public speaking to Romancing (the Room) the Audience, in fact one by one. Others, compare it to Method Acting and give advice from there. Some advice to never learn by root or write down, others to read it word by word, and give methods to do it well.

All say of course: Know your audience!

So easy said, not easily done. For example, I have no idea who does read this blog...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Magnifique spectacle

The Green Crocodile, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Great decors, great actors, lots of fun. And also some things to learn: different does not mean bad. A compliment can go far. Etc.

I admired all the actors, from a 8 year old who memorized a lot of text and played well to the oldest who begun to tell the tale.

Songs, dance, lots of good momevents, I was in awe of their ability.

We all had a good time, from the tiniest spectator to the oldest grand-pa or grand-ma.

Magnifique spectacle

The Green Crocodile, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Great decors, great actors, lots of fun. And also some things to learn: different does not mean bad. A compliment can go far. Etc.

I admired all the actors, from a 8 year old who memorized a lot of text and played well to the oldest who begun to tell the tale.

Songs, dance, lots of good momevents, I was in awe of their ability.

We all had a good time, from the tiniest spectator to the oldest grand-pa or grand-ma.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Each our ways

Some use them to remember the Saturday is comming, others to remember people who are no more there - or even times when there was no other lights.

How many did write or draw under candle light!

There are many people missing from my life, but I do not usually remember them Friday or all together. And from all of them, I still remember and miss the more the one that I survived with now 65 years, my cousin killed by SS.

We did go to school together for three years, sit one to other in the same bench and played each day. Quarelled often but made up as soon too. I miss her now but I remember even stronger how much I did miss her when I was 11 to 14 years old, because I still wanted to believe then she will come back, that somehow she, even if she was not yet ten years old, escaped.

I did not tell that tale to my grand children, also I begun to tell them some more sunny war tales.

My year and escapes come back to my memory, now I have to ordain them into a story. I did live to tell the tale.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Danse lecons

She is teaching dancing to different groups and different level, near Washington, near the Rockville Library.

Yesterday, I assisted to the entry level lesson, of old dances, 'old' is now Cia-cia-cia, Charleston but also Valse, etc.

People of all ages decided to learn them - it was a very interesting experience, even if my photo abilities for the occasion were not excellent.

Here are some of the images:

Two of these were taken by one of my grand-son's not me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Washington near Potomac -161

It is this, 161th photograph, of my Sunday stroll that gave me the greatest joy. Not because he did agree for me to take it, not even because he asked for my flickr site to be able to see it, and we begun to spoke for a while, but it offered me a comment.

Merodrama, was helping me for a long time to menage my group People Reading on flickr and knew my pleasure to take photos of people while they read.

He suddenly believed, I think, if only for a moment, that the expo at Viewfinder in London ; Kertesz photos of people reading, was of my photos.

Andre Kertesz, famous photographer, from between the two World Wars, Budapest - Paris - New York, shares more then his name Kertesz with me. Let's say, me with him.

We share our passion for people, heroes of everyday life. How we look at them, and a bit, how they look back to us. How near we find them and show them.

I did not know until now, he did lots of photos, too, of people reading!

The expo will last enough for me to go and see, when I return to London. What a joy, and not only chance to have such good friends on the web, to alert me of it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Washington Jefferson monument

I went to Washington Sunday, but not yet to see my favorite building in it, the Jefferson monument near the lake not far from the Potomac river.

I came up this picture, taken in 2005 (or even before), because it is used in Wikipedia. It is not linked back directly, also a link can been found if someone really would seek it.

I came back to it, because I was asked to let them use farther on, by changing the non-comercial clause on them. As I do use Wikipedia sometimes for information, and get good ones most of the time, I just did that. Of course, that lets it open also to abuse by others.

Between four images used by Wikipedia, this is the only one I really like a lot: it represents the Monuments part of Washington for me. Also, a tranquil serenity.

I was happy when I have taken it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If you do not win

Each of us, can not win every time - and some try to show "I do not mind", others need a hug, like this young girl in the picture.

What a chance when the mother is near and ready to comfort!

In fact, it is not when you loose that you are so upset, but when you have almost gained, and already visualized the won, and then, for a reason or other, it is taken from you the last hour, the last minute, or, in this swimmer case, probably the last second.

It did take 30 years for me to win the second time for a Toastmaster speech.

First time I won with a speech (Memorize and make them remember) of a funny take I made up to learn the names of the first 10 American Presidents, and yes, it was 30 years ago. I won one three days ago. When will arrive the third times?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Teaching how to jump

So young, and already teaching at the swimming pool!

He does teach my grand son and of course, separately also those in the jumping team, here.

I guess, some of his family did arrive here from Ireland.

We have all great time going to the pool, each of us at our rhythm, me sometimes early mornings, the children with teams or taking lessons.

It is a great summer so far!

Friday, July 17, 2009

After 30 years

I'll have to make a long list to ennumarate all the wonderful people (and Toastmasters or future TMs) that I found yesterday evening, going back to my 'mother' club where I have been thirty years ago.

I did go for three years twice a month to the Monument Toastmasters Club, 1978 to 1980 fall, when I had to leave USA.

At this occasion, I remembered the place I sit the first time I spoke, but not what it was about. I did remember how much patience they had with my fledging English - worse then now. I remembered how much courage - and technics - the Toastmasters gave me.

I also told and explained, there is always yet another chance. Expression given to me in English by my grand son.

I was voted the best speech of the evening, my grand son told me " I knew it, your structure was so good! " As much as the riban I won made me happy, those words from my grand son made me even more so.

Thanks Gerard, thanks Janice, thanks Betesea, thank a lot all of you for the wonderful welcome, and thirty years for now, do not forget to go back where you started: it will count\ to them, it will count for you.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Different people

There is almost no closure between one of the neighbors, the the others have lately erected a very high one, as you may see from this picture.

No ball from the children can now go to them by error, nor can anyone see in their courtyard, behind their house. In front of the house there is open ground, nothing hints of the separation.

Looking at the tall wall, I wonder what made them erect it, as not others around here use to do that.

I understand the need to feel private in its own place, but less not to see sometimes the others children enjoying themselves - which one made them erect such a high separation?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still about birthday

This is one of my preferred gifts, from my birthday.

My grand daughter painted it, a real egg, that was made 4 minutes and very good to eat too, later.

I got of course, other great gifts too.

Great bunch of sunflowers, a pot of blue ones that will last and embellish my home as I return, a beautiful small stone from Scotland brought to me by my grand son,

I cherish a lot a personalized card on which Klara printed for me:
Wishing you many happy returns and
many joyful Years of
bloging and
All my activities so well understood!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Personal Storytelleing

what a great book, but so much to learn!

my grand son is very interested too in it, I am sure he'll learn and use it well, he was always a great story teller and inventor!

I have now four grand-sons around me, each marvelous individuals on their own.

My life was a huge success with me leaving such great successors after me, as well them and my great daughter who by this time is already with her other grand mother in France.

Six hours difference between France and Washington! Five with London, I will have to get used to them. But what a joy to see that already two of my grand children are higher then me! And find a real contact with each of them, one by one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not afraid

He was not afraid when I approached, continued to walk and eat quietly.

Why I am afraid that I now passed 75?

Inside, I feel young, and I act not to old either.

A year ago, I was just a week before crossing the Tunnel from France to England, from Paris to London, did not know where I will live, what I'll do here.

I have now a nice place to live, lots interesting things to do, and still, I feel somewhat more scared then last July. Apprehension, without cause. This is just one more year. And it does look an interesting year ahead of me.

So why I am not more excited, today?

I entered my 75th year this morning. So?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Speak out Challege Final

Great and eventful evening, yesterday!

I could assist, with 600 others to the finals of the Speak out, listen to the 18 chosen from almost 50 000 young to demonstrate us, to compete for the final "title".

But as Alan Duncan, MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and a wonderful Speaker indeed, told us at the end, they "all won!" Not only those who got to speak yesterday, but all who did participate.

He recounted, as a great speaker, an event from his youth, when they spoke and did not win - apparently - and then how much all those participating did gain from the event. He also explained us, why and how the young speakers we heard were so great.

Not only they all spoke from the heart, to the audience, but they also learned the art of pause, the importance of it in a great speech. He did even demonstrate, how it is when you do not pause!

I loved also a lot of the content, to take photos of those who did not speak and even of Duncan, Irene and Key Key, who were present, who did speak on BBC2 and had 2 million audience. Great evening in all, and guess who "won"?

Eniola Alonge, is from a school from Lewisham, same place where my main ToastMasters Club is. She spoke about childhood and adulthood and was funny too. Lots of memorable speeches!

Thursday, I'll speak at my first Toastmasters Club, Monument Toastmasters, where I went 30 years ago, for almost 3 years. They already announced my coming, speaking, with "fanfare", great responsibility and great joy too.

Here are the few photos and four video fragments I have taken yesterday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Modern life wonders

I do not remember having observed, until now, the great colors they have painted inside the Covent Garden.

And that is not all!

You can of course, eat or have a drink, buy some souvenirs, or listen to an opera singer, look at a Joggler or a Clown.

But a lot more!

Here, in that corridor, I discovered chairs.

One of the young men was deep into his laptop computer, connected to the world, the other in his pda, listening to music.

So much has changed in our lifes in just a few dozens of years, and it does keep changing!

I did speak with the young with French old like hat: "not only it is small and really portable, my laptop, but I can also edit my pictures in it" he told me. "And it is not expensive, either. Something around 200," he added to me delighted.

Wonders of the modern times, that we did only dream a few years only back.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Change of Guards

I have seen it, finally.

I went to "show London" in a few hours to a familly member who arrived from France, age 15 - a difficult age, the adolescence.

"What you want to see?"
Big Ben.

As when you go to Paris, you want first the Eiffel Tower. Then, you can tell "you have seen Paris."

Of course, there is more to Paris, more to Londong that those, but most tourists want to see those first, more important.

And yes, both are Big, Huge and can be seen from far axway. Ben is Big. Why is called Ben? Eiffel Tower too, is big, bigger then one imagines it.

So much more to Paris, to London!

We went to see also the Horse Guards changing. Slowly. So slowly.

They even waited for something in the pouring rain.

I am sure they were happy to go back finally as we were to go farther when they finished!. But it was a great show, and I can tell now "I have seen it!"

At the end, we went to "Prêt a manger" to eat a sandwitch then to the Covent Garden. Outside it rained, inside was great. For me.
Alexi's 1st time in London_1289
For lots of people who cared to enjoy themselves. I did.

But came home very tired and I am still tired for the moment. Perhaps the rain does not agree with me. There will not be many rain in Washington I presume this summer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

With Jan from Australia, Center Greenwich

We first met in Paris, now in London. It was always good to stroll and take pictures together.

Here are some of my results.

Monday, July 6, 2009

slide-show, Race for life

There are so many ways to use the same pictures, perhaps this is better,
it was such a wonderful event for me to be there, look, speak, take pictures

Race for life in London

Race in Blackheath, for Cancer Research: some run, others jogged, some walked or were ported. 11.000 girls and women of all ages. And such a wonderful mood! But also sad, lots had on their back "in memory of dad, or grand dad, or aunt, or mother..." and they did run to remember or, some times to speak of the courage of those who fight it still.

30 years ago, some people I knew were also collecting for Cancer research, although I did not like what they did with the money they collected and the power that gave them over some of us. Thirty years, had the research progressed in all that time, or is it still in its infancy?

But yesterday morning, what enthusiasm and courage from all! Even the old lady whose husband dies a few month ago of cancer! She came with her daughter and grand daughter who did race for "dad and grand dad".

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bus 54 end Etham Green

There are all kind of neighborhoods and houses, in London, I was in awe to see so many on the way to Lewisham townhouse in Etham Green or just before it.

Just realized, the 54 takes from the Greenwhich townhouse in Whoolich, were I was a few month ago to that of the borough of Lewisham.

I also just realized, that my houses, at least in this image, are indeed parallel and the windows rectangular and not pyramidal, but, but it looks as I, or the houses, were drank, inclined a bit.

I'll try to correct that, also the image will lose some of its sharpness.

So, ok, we all have to learn: "think, listen, try out" Trial and error. Then, next time we'll do a bit better. I hope!

Taking a bus not knowing where will lead you was exciting, I'll try it others time too.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

At Mac Hairdresser

I love to make whatever was given to me - this time learn to make better buildings, but finally what I really enjoy are people!

So, I was happy to find some really nice people, sitting out their work place and drink outside, where it was more air.

They let me take their photo, and we did chat for a while.

It was only then that I felt "ok, now I can go home".

Here they are.

But I also liked a lot, strolling through the Heath in the morning and what I can obtain (a very selective blur and net) with my new Canon, who did not seem to heavy to me at all.

I did not really enjoy the rain, but today is a really hot day! At least inside.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why we like or prefer...

This month in the Afterclass, photo masterclass in Flickr, the main theme will be "Perspective".

But is it enough?

These houses on the river Seine in Paris in one of my old photos, I like a lot, and yet, they did not make anyone like them or not much.

Then, I took another picture taken at the same time, but which was less clear from the beginning and deformed it, telling sincerely like I did feel that day
Spleen "I feel today as deformed as those houses" its title "Spleen".

Lots of people liked it!

Strange how we do react to what we see, and what we read, what we listen, what and how we perceive them.

Finally, perhaps we do look more with our emotions then our brain.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I become addicted.

I was already to photographing, reading, and now, I become also addicted to Public Speaking! I am already in two different Toastmasters Clubs, but I consider other places also where I can speak, and Storytelling places.

Listening to others is as much joy as speaking of course.

Delivering a speech is very fulfilling, when I succeed to catch the audience attention, but preparing the speech makes it even more special.

First, the next task from the my communication book, ponder it: what theme would be best with this one. One incident of my life to illustrate it? I go toying with this incident and ideas, for days, weeks. Then something "almost similar" happens and the speak begin to emerge, broader then it seemed before, Fast, I take out my dictaphone and tell it. It flows out of me.

I do stumble from time to time, but do not have to think. Somehow the six minutes come out of me without any pause. Fast, I listen to it. Yes, I did stumble here and there, yes, I have to correct some past and present tenses, but my voice! Exactly as I wanted for the "voice variety task", no, even better!

This is only the first step, I have a few more weeks to correct it, but I'll give you soon the rough, first burst of my "found" creation. Its title is: "The past changes."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Married a first of July, in 1960

I did believe until a few minutes ago, ii is the 50th anniversary, but no, only the 49th of my marriage with him, the father of my two children. At the time, I already liked to do portraits.

Here he is, a very happy satisfied and proud young husband.

It was in July 1960, early morning. A few days after our marriage.

I did capture so much in this image! How could I say that I begun photography only a few years ago? Yes, I did not do many, it was not a great passion yet, but I believe I had already the touch. Bring out something authentic from the others. Catch the expression.

What a joy to see this one after so many years!

Yes, it did not last all our life, yes, it was covered with bad memories, but we did have lots of wonderful moments, days, years, together.

I am preparing a statement for the book on the Greenwich expo, no, I cannot say in it that I begun photography only seven years ago. Here it is the photo from 49 years ago telling me the opposite. Testifying for me, after so many years. And I just discovered it this morning, looked at it really, this morning.

How our perception of the past and ourselves can change!