Sunday, February 28, 2010

Brighton Seaside in Winter

Photowalk with the University of Third Age, organized, wonderfully by Roger: we were 16 and I enjoyed it a lot.

In the morning with them, and after lunch, when I lost them, alone.

I did walk and took photos as long as my battery did not give up on me, and even then, I discovered new streets and great places, walking more then my legs would have wanted.

So what?

Home, early, I took a neurphen, two, for the pain, and was delighted with my photo harvest.

Of course, each time, I am enchanted with what I do, and it takes time to settle down and make the difference and see what does remain and what not.

Lots of pictures, and here are only those I liked most or could show without almost no change, fast put on flickr yesterday around midnight, part of images while I already slept. I woke up, then closed my camera and this morning played with them rearagning them a lottle.

So good to go out from time to time!

Even in the winter! Even not far from home! It gives me so much pleasure, that I should not wait so much to do it again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dry flowers

Again and again, I need to prove to myself that even old, dry, "ugly" there is beauty.

Of course, at almost 76 (not yet! tells me fast my grand son), and after I look in the mriror, I do feel that need even more.

So, my flowers that were supposed to bring the spring in the house, after yesterday evening slipping in the mud, but succeeding to take myself up, were put on the window. They are dry but they are still interesting and make interesting texture too.

Here is in my photoblog, on a black background.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My speech was not a story

How true, my evaluator said "it has a moral, it is a speech, but it is not a story" - as sad as it was to hear, she was right. Today, I read a story written by my nine year old grand son: a real story! Three characters, adventure, friendship, fear, fight, and all finished well.

It also had a moral: do not judge from the exterior!

I'll have to add here, another day his story about the small boy and the ogre. Ogres.

Coming home today, I fell down because of the mud that I did not see in the dark, but being with my grand son was great and I did not hit myself badly and was able to stand up without too much difficulty, after having seen that the couple near me turned their back instead of coming to my help.

I did not need their help, finally and did not ask for it either. Still it was a bit strange. There are all kind of people. And yes, it was getting a bit dark too. The mud can be washed out, almost did already and the most important: I did stand up on my own!

Also, my next story told will be "more like a story"!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The interview with my answers

From the blog interview I gave, I copy the text and the link to it here.

Going to the blog, you can also see all the images she has chosen, images taken by me of course, of which some gave me a good surprise.

London Art Spot: Julie Kertesz
February 7, 2010 · 4 Comments

Julie Kertesz, 75

Born in Hungary almost 76 years ago, Julie grew up in Transylvania (which, until she was ten, was part of Hungary then Romania). At the age of 30, she arrived in France and moved to London in July 2008. Here, she has been using English – her fourth language – to explore the wonders of the city and meet nearly 1,000 Londoners for impromptu photographs that she collects in her Flickr set, “Londoners“.

“A nice couple in the street”

Julie is more proud of her two children and five grandchildren than of her phD in physics, and more proud that she can tell a story in English in the Canal Café theatre with SPARK - then of the more than 1,000 daily views of her Flickr photographs. She is more proud of her group !afterclass!, a photography masterclass on Flickr which is already in its 45th month and theme, then of having won the 1st prize in a competition called Museums at Night - a gallery curated by Culture24 and the fact that her photos will likely appear as examples for the this year’s event. She is most proud of her blog, her photos and storytelling. These allow her to give courage to those who feel their older age, to remind them that at any age, “even after 70″, they can feel and think in a young way and continue to learn new skills.

“In bus 53 London”

Besides being an avid blogger (including one blog where she has published her first diary from the age of 10), photographer and storyteller, she is learning to improve her public speaking skills with the Toastmaster Club. This was her main activity last year where she won a “competent communicator” diploma. In Argenteuil, France, she was named “Mamie Blogger and Photographer”. Julie is a member of the London Independent Photographers and loves approaching people to photograph them.

Catch up with Julie’s daily contributions to her blogs and her Flickr page for a look at London life at the age of 75. If you have an extra 10 minutes, listen to Julie tell her story of how she came to London to an audience at Canal Cafe Theatre: Now or Never, as recorded.mp3

“Portobello People and Sights – 75″

LLO: How does living in London influence your creativity?
JK: First in London I discovered the meetup groups and went to Artist’s Way weekly meetings in Royal Festival Hall, then with different meetup photo groups. Second, I discovered London Independent Photographers satellite in Greenwich. I gave speeches about different aspects of photography there and at King University. Third, I discovered from my arrival for a year, the different festivals of different groups, and was also enchanted by how easy it is in London to take photos of people. Then, I discovered the Toastmasters clubs, refreshed my public speaking ability and begin to tell more and more stories. Now, I intend to weave these all together in a multimedia project combining photography, small video parts and storytelling, directly and on the web. Yes, London helps me a lot with my creativity.

“London Canal Stroll (8)”

LLO: You have nearly 36,000 photos on your Flickr page. Where is your favourite place to take your camera?
JK: If it was only one place, it would be near the Thames and the Royal Festival Hall, but also Deptford Hight Street market and wall arts and the different markets and festivals. Anywhere around me, I find inspiration in London’s rich diversity.

“Angela at Little Venice (16)”

LLO: When and how did you first become interested in photography?
JK: I was told, in 2004, I did not know enough English to register to the Paris writer’s conference, and they proposed me photographic group and classes. But also, a book about writing suggested we go out in our own town with a camera around our neck and “make ourselves tourists in our own town” looking around with new eyes. Going to an almost oriental market in Argenteuil, near Paris, I was stunned at the ease and delight of people when I took photos of them. Going towards people was my first motivation to continue from then on. So I begin really taking photos at age of 70, before I thought I liked more to write.

“Underground 1″

LLO: What type of camera do you use?
JK: I use most of the time a small compact camera that I can (and yes, I do) carry with me all the time. I did buy a few months ago a light reflex, but I did not use it much, in fact. My photography is more documentary then “artistically” oriented, so it is better to have it always ready, and with me.

“Centre Greenwich”

LLO: Not very many 70-somethings are on Flickr or blogging daily the way you do. It’s great to see that. You have video blogs, a blog with your first diary from age 10 translated from the original Hungarian, blogs in French and English. How did you become so interested in photo-sharing and blogging?
JK: I discovered blogging, after having tried without success to publish my French-translated diary (from ago 10 to 70). On the web, the blog gave me instantly an easy-to-use place where I could publish. As it was the same time, almost, as I begin my documentary Paris photo classes, I was delighted to being able to publish, via Flickr, also pictures. That is how I first discovered Flickr, but after that I also discovered the groups and lots of interactions, going on there. I also met, personally, some bloggers and some Flickr photographers from all over the world. They came to Paris, now in London, from New Zealand, Australia, America, Brazil, Spain, etc. And I went to Flickr photograph strolls with them, in Washington, in Palermo, etc.


LLO: I’m very interested in your Flickr set called “Londoners” with 978 images. Can you tell us a bit about this?
JK: I love interaction, even if shortly, with people, and I did feel quit alone. I begun my “Parisians”, then I made a set of people in every place I visited, Moroccans, Sicilians, Romanians, etc. So, it seemed normal to go on to Londoners (now over 1,000) who I met in one and half years. Most of them smiled warmly to me, enchanted to be photographed. More and more often, they are the ones to thank me, feeling well, and like celebrities, after I take the photo, after I show them, after we chat a bit also, whenever possible.

“Early Saturday to Farringdon”

At the beginning, in Paris, for example, in shops and markets, I also gave them their photo a week or two later, then took some new ones. Nowadays, I give the address of Flickr where they can find and download, use the photos I have taken of them, or send them by email. And some of them ask me to take photo of me, or of me together with them, or their friends, too. So, sometimes, it is very reciprocal.


Then, I had a project completed almost in a year of visiting Paris’ different “arrondissements” boroughs one by one and discovering lesser known places, more than often new also for me who had lived there for long years. Then, coming in London, I tried to do the same, but instead of “boroughs”, finally I did festivals and markets.

I found that in London there were even more people, thirsty of attention. Taking a photo of them fills a bit that gap, I do believe.

“Gout de Vivre”

LLO: Is capturing photographs of Londoners an ongoing project for you?
JK: Yes, of course. Just lately, I asked my way from an elder delivery man in a small car and then asked if I can take his photo, yes, it was yesterday, here it is!

And also I took photos and small videos of the New Year’s Day London parade until the end, not realizing my legs were freezing and too tense. It took me a week to feel better, but yes, it was worth it. I went also out last year to the Museum at Night, and the photo I took has also people. I do not ask aways. Sometimes, one just cannot disturb people interracting with each other. One of my photos from that event won the first prize and I am asked to be “official” photographer for this year’s event.

Late Night at Museums – Portrait Gallery after 9pm

LLO: Londoners are typically a bit sceptical of being approached by strangers, but most of the people in your images seem to have warmed to you. How do you go about asking permission to take someone’s photograph?
JK: I thought a lot about this question as many other photographers asked me. I understand it now even better, after having completed my ten speech projects to become “Competent Communicator” at Toastmasters. The project number 5 was all about body language. I think before and sometimes instead even of speaking, we look at each other’s body language. If it looks friendly, admiring, full with sympathy, the other answers to that with confidence.

“Thames Walk with Klara – 39″

I really do not think my age or sex has to do with people accepting and sympathizing with me. That could be seen in many of my photos, but it is their reaction to how I feel, look, move, and also, sometimes, speak. Making them feel good about themselves, appreciating how they are. As they are.

Here is one example, of a young “punk”-like looking boy, whose photo I took at the end of my photo stroll at the Trafalgar Square Hindu Light Festival, Diwali. He was so proud I chose him and appreciated how he did prepare his hair!

Young boy with “punk” hair at Diwali festival, Trafalgar Square

Of course, all are not saying “yes”, but so what? I am prepared also sometimes to “no” as we should all be when we ask someone something. But in taking photos of people, so far, I had so much more “yes” or “why, me?” than plain “no”.

“Greenwich Park on a Sunday – 83″

LLO: Which image are you most proud of and why?
JK: It is not so easy to choose one image from around 100,000 I have taken from age 70. Those I prefer are not the ones seen 2o,000 times or 6,000 times, or those from “prize” either. They are all pictures with whom I feel sentimental attachment, like my granddaughter and her black friend and schoolmate near each other smiling to me both toothlessly around age eight. Or the man whose soul is somewhat revealed in a photo I took before he knew it, after he “composed”. If I have to give only one of the images, other then the last one that usually like best, it would be this one. Simple, cherries from my garden, in which I recognize “how is familly life”: some alone, some just lost their pairs (as I was just then), some with children, and yet others, their life poisoned with one bad one between them.


LLO: Who are your favourite London-based artists?
JK: I like a lot, some London-based storytellers, and have a great admiration for the professor and photographer John Levitt, not only leading LIP Greenwhich, but also just formed a joint study group with Goldsmith University. Being an excellent, and modest photographer, he is an inspiration to me.

Self-portait – “After Swimming”

Thanks Julie!

For more London Art Spot interview..

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I subscribed to Storytelling in a Box, by Doug Lipman. The first lesson is about listening.

How important it is to have a listener of the tale not only a teller of it. And not only once we learned to tell it but also in the way to learn it, and even in the stages of creating it, sometimes.

We tried it out yesterday, with Richard.

I listened to him telling me about his next speech, and he listened to my tale with morale that I have to tell tonight. Then, I told my tale to my grand son and my grand daughter each in turn and all the three gave me also some very useful advice.

They also gave me confidence and the occasion to practice.

Tonight, I'll tell the tale to my Toastmaster's group in Greenwich, at this occasion, I will try to listen more to my audience's reaction. That 360 degree is what is so enchanting in storytelling. That is from where it came the great pleasure I felt almost a year ago, telling my first tale.

There is such a strong communication, human, warm energy going between us!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why I love Ireland

Blue House Drops....Feb.2010 from Southampton, no Ireland, but it could be there. I borrowed this image from my flickr friend, who so often visits my images, and comments them too.

Looking at her images, Ontario seems a lot nearer!

Back to Clare County, in Ireland.

I have read three books by Nora Roberts, Born in Fire, Born in Ice and Born in Shame, the tale of three sisters, and most of it taking place in that part of Ireland. After reading them, I felt I would like to discover also that part of the world, for myself.

For years, I planned.

Finally, I bought myself a trip, for my 70 years anniversary. It was not meant to be. At the last minute, I was announced, there was no place, and proposed some other date.

It took me two other years to get there, this time, with someone other from Flickr, who come from New York. We toured Clare county for ten days in a rented car. I become to love it, also I feel, I did not had the opportunity to discover all I want for there.

Next time.

These days, I listen to the books read by an Irish born man, some of it told with the Irish song like accent by Fiacre Douglas. In how many different accents and voices he can tell the story!

Also, I am resenting that they cut some of the book, and did not give me the whole version, and part of it I do not understand at all why, I am enjoying it a lot, because of Douglas' way of reading it.

Listening to the books I read and read again, I dreamed them and the Ireland it depicts, the small village and the warm inn, the fields and the lights, is a bit like looking at the blue house throught the rained window.

You can see the other pictures of the same blue house from bevcraigwhite, on flickr, who goes there year by year to take a photo of it.While she expressed what she felt, this image expressed best what I felt this morning, after having listened two hours already to the "Born in Shame" the third of the trilogy.

Listening, decided me to go back to Clare, Eniss, and Tulla, etc. by my own, and without someone telling me what is or not interesting. Here is a link of few images I have taken around there last time.

These are the images from one of our last days, when I was chasing to find a village and a pub as in the book. Other images will follow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Audop books

Audio books are almost like these reflections in the puddle.

They are there and they are not.

They give almost the trees and the sky and the clouds and sunny winter day, yet in fact it is a puddle, and they are not the same.

They do give more (and also less), the more is the inflection and prononciation and how words blend together. I listen differently to the story, and I can listen again and again when something catches my ear.

Listening, instead of reading, is a new experience to me. A fascinating experience. A discovery.

Friday, February 19, 2010

London couple

A couple in the Center, he was happy and she not that I have taken this image, but usually I remember people and occasion, I do nothing with this one.

It was for st valentine that I put together pairs of people which always bring a smile to my face and a tender feeling in my heart.

Just a bit of ache.

It can not be always me, but in the long range, I was also part of two for days, month, years.

Even if it did not happen as I hoped, one for all my life.

I still believe it exist, for some that forever, for other for a while. What I know is not true is that a broken couple is bad for children. it is better then a very bad marriage.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From Monday evening to Wednesday morning

I went to the maritime museum Monday, and coming back I found the pocket of my coat all open and no more keys.

All my keys were together: entrance and the car too.

First reaction: they were stolen! Someone will go and take all my important belongings from me, or at least, all he thinks he can sell.

I could not rush home, so I did not go until the evening, opening the door with my son's key to my place and trembling before : what I'll find there.

No one has visited.

Next day, I did not dare to go out.

I called the museum, perhaps I did lose the keys there. "We'll call you back." Agonizing day. They did call back in the evening : ' We found nothing."

Now what?

I drawn myself listening to a book on CD, a book I liked.

Early in the morning I knew that I'll have to go out today. At 5 am I decided to give a last chance to my coat and my keys, before acting on the loose.

I took out all fro; all the many pockets then tried to feel everywhere, inside.

I found my keys almost near the sleeve, of the pocket that I found opened. I did not investigate how it could have gotten there, but I have them, I have them.

All the agony I suffered for nothing - for 38 hours!

All I imagined in my head. All the insecurities in caused.

What was it good for, all that happened to me?

A lecon, said my grand son.

A story made of it, I say>

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spring in the Royal Standard last year

Not now, not yet, I hope, next month.

This will happen soon, but for the moment it seems so long to wait for it!

It is not snowing for the moment, as it was last year this time, but it can still come, even if the snow is not more then in Paris in London. But it is cold, and I had enough of cold.

I just hope all in my family will fare well - it does seem my grand daughter will, she just received a letter about a scholarship she got because of her success in exam in one of the schools.

It was such a pleasure to see her face bloom;ing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentin day's couples

Some images from my "couples" new set I created today for Valentine day (111 images)

Baiser (caché) près de place Bastille
First couple, near Bastille in a park, one of the first photos (non digital camera)

Amoureux à Paris

One of my favorites still, near Notre Dame Paris. They were all in it!
Then supprise, a couple kissing
At any age, love, kisses, they were near Seine, in Paris, "hidden" by the willowtree
Paris 5e arrondissement -40
A couple arrived in Paris for far away and a great love! (also flickr fellows we strolled with)
Notting Hill Gate couple
A couple attending a baby, in Nothing Hill, London
Depford photo stroll-25
A couple met through blogs & flickr, so much in love with each other, a great pleasure to be with them
Bonheur detail: "We are in London!"
A couple in London metro just arriving from Russia: so happy!
Crown Woods_couple
A stroll with photographers from "university of third age": a happy older couple.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chinatown, London Today and in a week

In fact, the new year begins today and the festivities too 

"Chinese New Year at National Maritime Museum is free to attend, and runs from Monday 15th February - Friday 19th February 2010. A full day on Thursday 18th February from 11.30am - 4pm."

Chinese New Year 2010  Sunday 21 February, 12 to 6pm

Tigers, by Ma Yun (detail)
Artist: Ma Yun

On Sunday 21 February 2010 central London will be transformed so visitors to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and London Chinatown can welcome in the Year of the Tiger in spectacular style – with Chinese arts and entertainment from international and home-grown artists, and food, firecrackers and fireworks.

In Trafalgar Square, two groups from China will perform world-class dance, music and acrobatics after an official opening ceremony. There will also be firecrackers, Chinese dragons, lions and Chinese acrobatics.

Meanwhile, in a specially decorated Chinatown there will be cultural stalls, food and lion dance displays. Shaftesbury Avenue will become ‘Hong Kong in London Chinatown’ with a stage featuring performances by local Chinese artists.

A colourful fireworks display in Leicester Square will close the celebrations.

Information, from Major of London

I'll try to be there and take some photos, like last year, hope it will be a bit warmer this time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The impossible dream

Man of la mancha, "the impossible dream song" with the Lyrics

the impossible dream, from the Man of La Mancha studio cast recording, sung by Ron Raines.  

Found on, theses two remind me of the great spectacle I have assisted in Maryland USA, by an amator but extremly professional actors, singers. Most of all, that song got to me, enterred my heart, soul and mind, and never left me.

So many times, I have been told "impossible, only in your dream could you achieve this!" and so many times, by standing my ground, persisting, working through it anyway, I did achieve what I put before me.

Non always, it is true, but most of time. And sometimes, I had to wait very long to achieve it. But I knew that I could, and that was the most important.

Did it change something in the world? I am not sure at all, but most of the time it gives courage also to others to put out "impossible" seeming goals and go for it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Speak to me about love

From blog to blog, from video to video, I found some very old interpretations of that very romantic song: "parlez-moi d'amour".

In my opinion, a song like that is more "Valentine" then a diner in the restaurant, or a trip abroad, or a gift, as I heard yesterday tell. Declaring love, giving a flower. Listening to this music together - and even, dancing slowly to it.

Humming it. 

"Speak to me about love, tell me you love me,
Even if I do not believe in it any more, I still want to hear you say it" of course, there is a lot more, lot more romantic too.

Lucienne Boyer: parlez-moi d'amour 1930

vous savez bien qu'au fond je n'y crois rien, pourtant...
mais malgré moi je veux y croire

"you know that in fact I do not believe in it, but,
despite myself, I still do want to believe in it

And that was song, before me, also already almost 76 was born.

And a man did sing it also, those old old times ago, sometimes 80 years ago, and it arrives to us from a very old kind of disc I believe.

Carlos Gardel "Parlez moi d'Amour"

Speak to me of love, song in English by Barbra Streisand

in English, but I do not like much this interpretation

After the second war, by Juliette Greco on scene

Here is a fairly recent one, as this romantic song will never go "out of date".
Dayna Kurtz: parlez-moi d'amour

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yellow daffodils

I wanted the spring to arrive faster and brought home yellow daffodils, studied their opening.

They do open to fast.

And as they opened, it begun to snow outside.

No, the spring is not yet here, as much as I wanted to bring it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Littlelondonobservationist interview

Stephanie arrived in London from New York, not much before me, and she is a journalist and artist.

She interviewed me for her "A London Artist" Sunday note, and chose photos, some of them I almost forgot, from my "Londoners" set on flickr. Of course, now there are more then 1000!

This one she did not choose, but it is also one I like, a young student I met at Saint Pankras train station, going home to Xmas in 2008. Technically, she would not be "Londoner" or is she? So many of us are here, having arrived from somewhere else!

For me, "Londoner" is anyone I do meet in London, as "Parisian" were all the people, met in Paris, etc.

Read here, the Interview in the Little London Obervationist, and look at the photos chosen by her. I would not have chosen the same but I love her choices, they give me a new look at my photography!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Study of flowers

Yesterday I bought a bouquet, all were closed, deciding to take photos of how they open slowly.

Thus, the spring arrived in my appartment, before the fields around us are full of them/ The spring will arrive, soon.

Already it is warmer.

In Washington, still big snow, here it must be around seven or more, anyway, no more freezing or icy.

Of course, everything can happen.

Often, when one thinks "all is wonderful", it does. But let us not give up hope.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Spark London podcasting my tale

This month, the website of Spark London is featuring my tale, the personal story I told in October before a live London audience:

Now or never was the theme of the evening.

In the story, I recounted how I started from Paris, in fact Argenteuil, near Paris, and my first days, months in London.

Spark London is a personal storytelling event held in a theatre, for the moment "Canal Café theatre" but they are looking for a bigger place, as there are always more then 60 people who wants to buy tickets, and no more place towards the end.
Listening to it again, from October comes back to me my performance and the audience's reaction: what a joy! Having taken the courage to go out there and tell my tale, a tale, with the reflectors on me and the public in shadow and dark, was my real "accomplishment" for last year.*

They edited it better, but you can listen to it also from here!

Spark London - personal storytelling (true stories told from the stage)
1 March - lost and found
7 April - Home
28 April Faith (I'll participate there)
5 May Under cover
18 May Workshop, your stories

They have also a youtube presence and a story on video here/
What a charming story and storyteller!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Red, and Valentine day

There is of course, the museum and spectacle of "horror": enter here on your peril it says the door. Red, of course.

And a woman in red skirt passes near it, here already farther away.

These days, until Valentine day, lots of things are red, it seems it is assimilated with "heart" and love.

Is the love red?

I found that of lot of people invent "red" things to sell everywhere, and I am amazed of their inventive thoughts and work.

Around Bond Street-19
What is this? I asked. Ah, one can put warm water in it. And put it, where? I am not sure, but it warm you up.

Do we need warm up when we love? It would be a very lukewarm love then, which I do not call love at all. Can we warm up love?

It is true also that sometimes there are crisis in a couple's life, interaction, but would that present warm it up? Ok, perhaps, at least, it would make the other one laugh.

'I have no Valentine' I told the young seller girl. "Me neither' she answered me, sadly. "You have more chance to get one," I told her, but she was not convinced.

So many people without couple, the Valentine day fever makes ache more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Choices, choices

I went to Green park, the 22 November 2008, to see how it is when one takes photos of Models. I did take some models, looked at other photographers taking them, and at strangers staring at them.

Tired, i set down in the grass, looking at the fallen grass.

Here come a squirrel, not at all afraid and staring at us. It is my best "squirrel" photo, looking at it, I could feel the texture of its queue!