Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chetham Dockyard : 'Minimalism'

I have lots of other pictures, very different from each other, taken at the Chetham Dockyard, where I went all yesterday with my family. But this one, that I wanted to show you, is the result of the Afterclass theme, this month, on Minimalism.

I hope, I did understood finally what it is about, and for sure, I would not have observed that and taken it like this, if it was not all the pictures showed at different threads of the Minimalist class of flickr, all through the month.

I may have my preferences, but I look now more of details and also of some lines and "clean" photos. I like the harmony of this one.

It is always interesting to learn something new, to try it out, to keep something from it.

Meanwhile, the fall is even "redder, browner" darker, on my street.

Chetham is very near, we did arrive in only half an hour, and the harbour was, is, very interesting. It is very far, when, as it happened when we come back, we fall in three different traffic jams. With the first one, an accident, we did stay at a place for more then half hour, with the second and third, just went at 10 miles an hour or less.

But finally we stopped at a Burger King and when we came oout, the traffic was fluid again. It was an eventful interesting agreeable trip, and not at all... minimalistic!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall with music

Yesterday I worked hard to make a "movie" with my automn photographs, and then, to create a calender from November this year to December next. And also a mozaic of fall.
Fall on my street, end October 2009

Here is the "movie" uploaded to, from which one can be downloaded if wanted..

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Automn leaves

My mother used to love the fall leaves, and when I was young, around 20 years old, I did not understand why she was enchanted to walk in a forest surrounded by them.

Now, I do, I do!

Those leaves not only enchant me with their varied warm colours, but somehow remind me, myself. I still have a few hours, a few days, a few years left, then, I'll fall like these leaves.

But meanwhile, rain or wind, I remain firmly there and profit from what the sun and the trunk and the branches can give me, not thinking what will happen later when I'll be on the ground. Or later.

All those warm colours around me!

They seem to me somehow like the warm smiles of people looking at me, encouraging me. Giving me hope.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall impressions

Fall colours in London.

I can know, finally look, relax, after having been, more or less well, the Toastmaster of the evening, yesterday.

So I took my small camera to stroll on the street.

Taking "impressioniste" images mostly, but not only.

Here is another one.
Automne Impressions-95

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dracula was born in Chelsea!

Some, lots of people in fact think even today, that Count Dracula was born and lived in Transylvania.

Oh, no.

I was born there, and I did live there until I was 15, but Dracula was born in London, in Bram Stoker's Chelsea house.

He wrote it sometimes towards end of 1890th but so well that even today, more then hudred years after, it is believed.

Transylvania? Ah, the country of Dracula! people tells me.

The fact that Dracula never existed does not signify, no one believes me anyway, so I no longer try to explain it. Legends live on, take a life of their own.

Drakula's author London's cornerDrakula was born in London!
Here are "us" Simon and me, photographing each other before his house. Not Dracula's also more so then the castle they show now in Transylvania as "this is Dracula castle", that means selling items that can be shown "home" after returning. Truth of course is told inside the castle: it was one of an Austrian Hungarian princess.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oxford cycles

It seemed to me, everyone in London cycles, and so finally, I begun to "pan" try to follow them. As the sky become darker, it was more easy to do so, and I got some pictures I am happy with.

For the panning to work, it has to be at certain light, not too big, so you can blur the background while you try to follow the byke, car or, sometime jogger, speeding from where they come to where they go and find just the right moment to click without stopping the mouvement of following them.

I learned about it, when we studied movement, in 2005 July in Afterclass, one "panning" specialist explained to me. From then on, I tried my hand on it, without a lot of success. Or, if I had, it was more chance then knowledge.

I felt, in Oxford, all came together.

Light, direction, the bikes, their number, the camera, and perhaps, finally, on long range I did learn something.

Oxford trip_0461
This is perhaps my prefered one, but all those others... make up the "idea of Oxford" I remain with.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cake Shop and Cake Decorators

Yes, I have been to Exeter College, and I'll show it tomorrow, but the pictures are already in a set on Flickr. But first, I would like to speak about the great adventure I had in Oxford's covert market: The Cake Shop were one can see the women who decorate those wonderful cakes!

As I see, each is different and each is a work of art in itself!

Here are the hands of one of those miracle workers:

The Cake shop Oxford  Mains

And a slide show of others and some of their decorated cakes.

I had so many different adventures in Oxford, while strolling through it with Simon for a few hours! People met, music heard, students and profs comming out for lunch, the mood, the bicycles, the market, the Exeter College, the Boldonian library (even if we did not get inside this time), a lot more then I expected and also different.

I have been to Oxford only in summer, without students, quiet, magestic, all different, now it was all life, another wonder. I'll have to go back, soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oxford with Simon

Yesterday, Simon came to pick me up with his car, and alas, in the traffic jam, we made three hours to arrive there, so at the return, he let me take the Underground at Heathrough, a good idea!

We come to know each other from the Flickr, he is an Artist and Designer by profession, and he is as a passionate photographer as me. Through the trip, we had occasion to "know" a lot better each other.

I am convinced, we succeeded to learn in Oxford from each other, and observe what and how the other sees and takes photos of.

Here is a slide show of some of my Oxford pictures, beginning from London and ending back near home. What a great day it was!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Was I better?

Was I better when I was taking pictures in Paris, or are people more interested in Paris then in London?

I have more then three hundred who did look at my picture of two lonely looking people on Paris's metro and only a few of the people from the London's metro. Or are people more expressive there, more letting go their emotions then here?

I do not really think so.

The last created Toastmasters Club in London's name is not First London Toastmasters club. Strange, not? I went yesterday, and realized they do need help, and it give me incentive to go more often, to pitch in, and even, eventually, join.

The problem of course it that Monday is also, once a week, the Canal Theatre Café's Personal Storytelling day, and that I do intend to help and to listen, to participate there.

We'll see. But it is good to think of new things I could do, now as soon I'll be Competent Toastmaster, CTM, as in two weeks I'll be giving my 10th Manual speech.

From then on, the "Advanced" speeches, from 15 different manuals to choose, most of them I have from long time ago, three of them will be new one's, but the old manuals almost did not change either.

I love a lot more beginnings then ends, but the transition is not always easy. Of course, having succeeded, is more an achievement as an end, but it does feel a bit scary, nerveless.

I had a goal, and going soon to the end of it, I do have that nagging question I can not put far enough "now what?"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not always what we want

After a time that all goes to better, there arrives some times when it does not.

We do want some things and that all goes better and better, of course, but we are a lot less happy when then stops. And afraid, it will continue, too.

I eat something not fresh, I still have difficulty to through away things after so many years after the war ended. I should have.

Anyway, it is better now.

Just hope in was an interlude and not a change of the curve.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Afternoon sun through leaves 2005

This is "my" french branch, taken from my open window in the afternoon sun shining through the leaves, a few years back.

That in the fall. The cherries early summer. The daffodils in the spring. And sometimes, rare snow in the garden. I had not much but lived very near the ground. For the first time in my life, having a small garden of my own and some of the shared ones on which was the cherry tree.

In my childhood, it was my grand-mother's garden we went and were I played all summer long, at least a month, until we went to the second grand mother in the mountains. From there, I remember the forest and the wild fruits and their smell and taste.

Yesterday, someone held my hand warmly for a minute, in compassion, I still feel it. I realized just then, no one touches me, no one other then my grand children when I visit them. They do! They do!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall near home

Yesterday, I strolled with my camera in hand, going to buy salt and bred, that I did not have any more at home. You would not believe perhaps, but the salt was missing a lot more then the bred.

Without salt, things were missing... salt.

Around the house, the fall is more and more beautiful, even the colder weather did not bother me, or let us say, finally, I went in to a Cat's shop, and bought myself a second hand warm coat with lots of pockets!

I came home with it but also more then a hundred images of the fall around me. This is not the most "artistic" one's, but one of my favorite's symbolising what I have seen around me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snow or mild fall?

At 9 October, there was already snow, in Utah's mountains!

How different from our mild London weather and great fall leaves!

"And this was just the beginning" she tells us!

Go and look at her other pictures, snow, snow and more snow.

And we do complain here sometimes about the "London" weather!

Here is a slide-show of my stroll in the woods, nearby.

Quite a difference!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Now or Never at Canal Cafe Theatre

Here is As registered, professionally - what a difference!

It is finally 12 minutes long (instead of 7 requested) but Johanna, the producer told me "never mind - it gave courage for those of 40 ! it was great."

Julie Kertesz Spark Storytelling.mp3
Yesterday, I busy day, I'll speak about tomorrow.

In the morning Fall Woods with the University of third age group, lead by Robert,
great people come along, it was a wonderful walk.

Evening, I had a new role in the Greenwich Toastmaster's club, other great people there...

My alter ego, a TM speech

Here is a winning speech, an example of what we can do and how we could tell, express our stories. How we could add meaning and move and tell by our movements, too.

From theLondonSpeaker blog and YouTube

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Un rencontre

One unexpected encounter; in the train. "Rencontre" in French.

She was changing from her everyday shoe basket, to black short boots, new ones, just bought, with the etiquette still on them.

"I do not get to go out often, now that I have an one year old boy!" she told me towards the beginning, showing me on her small camera the boy. "It is not a great picture, but that is the only one I can show, where I go."

"May I take a picture of you, with your camera?"

That is how it begun.

We did talk almost half an hour, also not all the time, from Farnham to Clapham, when she got down. She was beautiful in a way my mother was hundred year ago, in a mild melancholic way of being and even dressing and a bit shy but interesting tales, half told.

Trip to Farnham-100d
The rest, I could more or less guess, but mystery remains and intrigues me. If I wrote a novel, she could be my heroine. I would imagine her history, and her problems and, hopefully find a very happy solution for them.

So much sadness deep in her, but she still smiles!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Storytelling a Farnham

One of 14 storytellers, we had a great and varied group.

Telling a story, under some imposed conditions, always bring out something new, and I also learned a lot listening to the others stories and telling.

Great day and my back is better not worse, the trip from London Center to Farnham only one hour. It is a charming small town, as far as I could see it. I lost my way, the evening, that lead me to more interesting photos.

Here are some of today's trip.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Train for me tomorrow

Yesterday, I could hardly move, and today I woke up hurting, even with two pain killers taken just a few hours ago.

I should have taken the provision I did buy, in small bags, one by one, up the stairs to the second floor where I live.

I was so happy Monday, that I forgot the most elementary precautions that I knew before. Yes, I live in a bright, light, quiet apartment, but on the second floor without elevator. Yes, I am young in spirit, but my body does not follow always the same schedule as my mind does.

And, anyway, were was my mind when I told myself "I can do it" - meaning not telling a story in a theatre in London, but coming up with two heavy bags from the supermarket!

Will I never learn?

My good friend, Stephania, told me once when I told her "everything is so great!" take care, if you feel too much in the clouds! She was alas right then, and she is telling me the same from the heaven were she should be, if I did believe in heaven. She did.

Anyway, tomorrow, no car for me, and if I can travel with train, if I can go down the stairs here tomorrow, with absolutely nothing in my hands of course, it will already be wonderful.

Of course, all the problems an old woman could have, as hurting my back like yesterday, was not in the speech, where "all finishes well" as in any good tale.

Now or never, end.mp3

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Middle of "now or never" Paris to London

Moving from Paris to London adventures at age 74 (middle of my delivery, at the Canal Cafe Theatre of London

Now or never middle.mp3
The text of "now or never" (whole) below, as I wrote it, not as I delivered it...

“Now or never” - Julie Kertesz - London October 2009
When I was 45 years old and my life was in turmoil, again. Just in time, I found this in a paper:
“You will have your second chance, but catch it when it arrives. Do not let it fly away!”
I needed it! I did get my second chance. 
I found my way to a Toastmasters Club where I learned to have the courage to stand up, to speak in public. I still remember, how afraid I was the first time! It also gave me lot more self confidence. 
From there, the rest followed.
Later in my life, I found out that one can have also a 3rd 4th even 5th chance! But the cookie was right when it passes near us, we need to have the guts to jump on it, take it and hold it… as long as possible.
Almost 30 years later, I was way past 70 by then, I was living in a small dark house near Paris, alone already for seven years. I felt more and more lonely.
Yes, I had the streets of Paris to stroll and its people to photograph. I also had some wonderful but short encounters with the strangers I photographed.  Yes, through the Internet, I had contact with other bloggers, but I hungered for more: live human contact.
So, when my son told me: “My company sends me for three years to London”,  I decided I’ll go too, I will not remain in Paris alone!
I felt, I could change my life, again.
Now or never.
 “Yes,” they told me, “you can stay with us - for a while. Send some of your things with ours, but not too many!”
For weeks and weeks, I sorted by books, my most dear possessions. Which to take with me? Which to sell? Which just leave behind? After 27 years in Paris from which 7 in that house, it was not easy to make up my mind.
Once I decided to take the huge leap through the Chanel, I began to tremble. Suddenly Paris to London, not far in miles, seemed a huge step to take. Another language, another culture, another world: attractive, but scaring.
After age of 70, change yet another time my life?
Now or never!
18 july 2008, 5 in the morning, I stuffed my Peugeot, with my diaries, my small computer, my camera, family photos and some clothes. One last pillow - and off I went.
In the Eurotunnel, to give myself courage, I put on the window-shell of my car the photo of me at age 5, age when I still believed that the entire world is there for me.
I arrived in London early, but then, I found out, they did not have, yet, a spare bed for me. My grandson gave up his bed and slept on the floor that night.
Next morning, I left there all my belongings, bar my small camera, and for ten days, I took a cheap room near Earl’s Curt. The bed was bumpy, the public shower leaked, but I was in center London.
I begun looking for a room to share: a rent I could afford.
Who wants to share a flat with an old woman?
The rooms where “already taken” or “no more available” or even:  “send the money first…”
Finally, I had to move in with my family for a while.
I went to an Agency near them ‘An apartment at that price?’  They showed me a flat near a smelly garbage disposal, another dark one behind a noisy bus station.
Finally, they found for me a quiet sunny place I loved at first sight.   
Home again! 
Now, what?
Through my old web contacts I found out, that there exist thousands of Meetup groups in London: Portrait Meetup, Booksharing Meetup, and many others. (Here it was longer, but the producer of Spark, suggested I cut the details, not really important.) I went to as much as my energy let me. I also took photos at divers festivals, it was wonderful to discover the diversity of places and people in London: I felt less a stranger between all those cultures.
But in December, six month after I arrived, I took a break, and realized that with all my feverish activity, I felt still lonely.
In January this year, in a slippery cold winter day, I found my way back, after 30 years, to a Toastmaster’s club in Lewisham. Toastmasters brings out the speaker from us in a supportive environment. Connecting! Really listening to each other’s stories.
Yes! That was what I needed!
With my first speech, I fell in love: I fell in love - with the audience. And, as when you are in love, I dropped everything else and put all my energy into discovering all I could about speaking in public.
While studying different aspects of the public speaking, I discovered the importance of Personal Storytelling.
Storytelling how? Storytelling where?   
Storytelling, lead me here, storytelling lead me to you.
We do not know exactly where a path leads, but when the occasion arrives, we have to take it. One can get yet another chance, at any age!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

London Canal stroll

That was more then a year ago, and the light was just right for great reflections.

I strolled with my camera along the Canal, without aim, discovering a new aspect of London. I did not imagine, a year later, I will be able to tell a story about how I arrived and what I did from then on, just a year later, in a Cafe Theatre near the canal, in 13 month!

I would not have believed it if someone told me then.

It is great to have flickr where people can find some of your old photos and put them in their gallery, like it happened yesterday with this one. It brings back so many memories!

Also it mesures, for me, all that happened from then on, and also how I felt that time. Each time has its own enjoyments.

I like to share, and sharing this picture, gives me today a new view of it and all the period: I was not yet, as I remember, even in my appartment then and that day, I got a call: "you got it", as I remember. Yes, I looked it up, it was August 2008. I moved in, a week later here. It was a great walk along the Canal a month after I got in London!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now or never at Canal Cafe Theatre

Yesterday, the seven personal stories were a success at the theatre, with 60 persons it was full, and they do enjoy it.

I was the second to tell my story and the only one who did not read it, just told it. Finally, I had no problem with the lights coming to me and the audience in dark, I did look at them as if I have seen them and "owned the stage" too. Used props, a chair at the beginning, my small camera and a photo of me at age five.

Got a few laughters, also it was not a funny story, and a huge spontaneous long applause at the end. It was a great joy, only 15 month after my arrival to London to be able to give a live spectacle in English!

My English, of course, but they told me they did understand everything. Here is the beginning...

Now or never Beginning.mp3
I did not post yet the middle, also it can be listened to at the, but the end is in my photoblog already.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Preparing for tonight

Preparing for tonight, I was helped by Stark's founder Johanna, and also by one of my Toastmasters mentor Dave and by Philip, the president of our Lewisham Club. I did not realise someone can not have heard about Toastmasters clubs!

That means to know to whom you address!

"The toastmasters brings us the speaker from us in a supportive environment." Yes! I'll put that at the begining, because they did help me at age 45 to have my second chance, indeed!

And at the end, I'll add something more.

A bit afraid of the strong lights on me and the dark in the audience, but one more thing to get used to. Listening to the young woman afraid to tell her tale even in the repetition, even to read what was written, I realized even more how long way I made from my first Table Topics, where I was trembling like her.

Here, some images from yesterday, I'll add tomorrow, more.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

To Little Venice & back

I had to wait for twenty minutes in the Station until the train arrived - that was my luck!

She was so interesting, this young woman all in black lace.

What a beauty and beautiful smile, too!

Not only did we speak to each other very well, for the twenty minutes, but she had also time to read my text!

The text, I spoke later at the café theâtre near Little Venice, without problem, without looking. And my voice went well all to the end of the room, my accent was not so bad as not to be understood, so all went well. Tomorrow, the "real" thing, with spectators.

I listened to three other personal tales, different, interesting, funny, and one girl's hesitations, but I am sure she'll be great tomorrow. She has such graceful movements and smile!

In all we will be seven to tell a personal story with the title "now or never" at 7:30pm. Some slight modifications, to my text, and I am ready for tomorrow.
To Little Venice & back-206
Canal café theatre, were we will be tomorrow, with this two who are so funny and tell so well their stories!

And yes, I love to speak in public, tell personal tales, and be there up, even with the light on me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Symetry in nature

There are so many marvels in the nature that before I would have passed by without even stopping, observing, marvelling at them!

From the time I took my camera in my hand to stroll, I see so much more, all around me, and not only in the nature.

People, interactions, sadness or happiness, all the people reading in the Tube, and not just journals, but lots of them also books.

Today, I feel I have been fullish to decide to speak in public, tell about my life, storytelling is wonderful, but I am not sure I am yet, well prepared for it. But no more backing out from it.

I'll do it.

Tomorrow, repetitions, I am looking forward to hear the other nine, personal stories. Reading, or telling. I would prefer to tell. But I'll do how most of them do? I'll really know, tomorrow evening, after we all got together.

I'll for sure learn something from this adventure.

Friday, October 2, 2009

From 222 photos

The images go so fast, one after the other!

A rose, I received, the geraniums with no more flowers, then outside, flowers from very near and the house entrance with flowers and a green watering can.

The church entrance from outside, inside, and a Saint teaching her daughter to read. Here is a link to 50 of those 222 images.

Then suddenly, outside, a mother arrives, with a scarf holding near her the baby and a incredible happy smile on her face, communicating with the child while she walks.

That is why I make photos!

That is what I really like!

May I? Yes, of course, she told me, smiling towards me, too. The radiance remaining on her face. But the baby felt, not being the centre of the whole attention of his (her) mother, and was less happy. Here is the picture.
Street 1st October-40
That is life. That is why I went out, even if I thought it was to take some "minimalist" pictures.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Telling a story

Storytelling is very important, "I was already convinced" some wrote me. Wonderful! For me it is almost a new great discovery.

Monday, I will tell the story of my last change of life, from Paris to London, from the different Meetup Groups to Public speaking. If any of you can come to the theater near Little Venice, the public personal storytelling event organised by Spark, welcome.

Those who can not, I'll put here, Tuesday, the text of my story - but it is not the same thing: perhaps, I'll just add the sounds (without video) I will register at the delivery or, at rehearsal.

After that, I go to Farnham, to assist to a Storytelling workshop, where we will be guided to tell a story, better. When I do believe in something, I do put all I can into it.

I do hope, it will help me, at long, to write also better stories.