Friday, April 30, 2010

My bag with one tea bag in it

Last Wednesday, we went to center of London looking to buy good English tea.

Before that day, I was convinced, that you can buy English tea anywhere, you do not have to go out of your way, out of where you live for it!

But the mother of my daughter in law, after having spend a week in our part of London, a bit far from the centre, with the grand children, wanted to buy tea for her neighbors in a North France village, in a special place.

We where heading towards Victoria Station and its surrounding, but finally I decided to take the heritage bus. The controller from that bus suggested me to go and buy tea at the special shop, open in 1707, the Fortnum & Mason, at a corner of the Regent Street.

What a marvelous place to visit!

Not only we got out with great tea, Bernadette did buy lots of different one's, I just the Qeen's choice tea, yes, a great choice, too, but as we had the right to take photos of everything, we visited and did so in the four different levels. Each, has different offering, and even if one does not buy they do welcome you any place.

That is a place to go back and of course, how could you go out without at least a bag of tea?1

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last Wednesday

Last Wednesday, on the heritage bus.

The controler, at my demand, took this photo of me, by going out of the bus while we were in traffic jam on Oxford Circus.

There are only ten busses like this left in London and not easy to repair them and they are used on a line that goes from a Museum to the other.

He also explained us where to go to shop for tea, good tea, in a more then two hundred old shop. Fortnum & Mason on Regent Street.

I'll have to find a way to put the photos I did there, it was a marvelous place, on the web, and show some of them here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Faith with Spark center London, I heard lots of interesting tales and hope to be able to blog, normally or at least almost, from tomorrow from a Mac,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

For The London Speaker blog

I took some images yesterday at the Division B contest, Internation Speaker contest of Toastmasters, for the blog "TheLnondonSpeaker", some are not so bad at all.

Here is the winner of the Evoluation contest and the winner of the Speech contest.

But they were all great, I had wonderful time!

I learned a lot too in the Masterclass about the Evaluation, and before it in the Debate workshop.

A whole day at the London Underground depot's learning center, they did a great job and we had a great welcome, too.

Now, I'll have to try to poass on what I learned and appliy them.

Slide show Toastmaster Speech Contest DivB

Friday, April 23, 2010


my computer is no more connectiong to the web
soon, I hope

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dawn on open skies

After a week when I could not walk, I had trouble walking, I can again. Miracle! What delight.

It is after we can not do something that was normal before, that we realize its importance, lots of pleasure found to do it.again

Today, I will go to London, accompanying another tourist. During the last week, she was Grandma who arrived from France, the last day before her departure, on train, and the children in school, we can finally visit London's centre.

And my feet are well for that, again.

After a week of crisis in aviation, traffic begun last night all over Europe and in the UK too they decided: the planes could fly again.

Isabelle could not take her fly a week ago, she finally managed to take the train two days later. 17h instead of three hours. My son, was due back on Monday morning, I hope that on Thursday he will be with us, finally.

It seemed so normal to fly, now we will think differently. Also, we will not forget we can do it differently too.

Long time ago, people did travel, but travelling was serious, took weeks, months before returning. It was not "tourist" travel, for a few days, but "traveller's" with all the risk and investment that entailed.

After all who had to sleep on the airports or were confined to their rooms in Moscow for lack of passport and harsh laws, will return with lots of stories and new views on the world, on the goodness of people, the wickedness of others abuse, bureaucrats or less liberal countries, they, and we also will see differently travel, aircraft, transportation.

As I see differently, at least for some time, just the joy of being able to walk. Not something "normal" but something special.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Heathrough Airport Terminal in the evening

I do not know if they are still lighted like this when no one is arriving or going.

What is good from all that days of waiting, staying, worry for all those who could not have their flight and had to wait?

I did wait only a few hours late evening, at the Madrid airport, to know the fatigue, anxiety and all that comes with it.

Yes, sometimes, it can make new friends, as everyone speaks more easy with each other, but in my case it made me loose one. We did not have the same view on how one behaves in troubled times.

I am mourning the friendship but do not regret my behaviour, that I learned in the war time, also in the years following them. Today, still too near to speak about all that, but yes, we have to make new friends and yes we have to make what we can to obtain our way out.

I am not for waiting and waiting, and waiting, without any action.

I admire those who took train and air plains, and buses and cars, and got nearer and nearer their destination, and at the end, later on would be able to recount it as an interesting adventure.

Some lessons will be learned.

About to read the small letters of insurance, about the unfriendliness of some states and warmth of some unknown people, about the fragility of planes automatic systems, and the fight with the nature.

Yes, there will be some silver linings too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tulipes on the way

This morning, I succeeded to go to the doctor without my feet hurting, which is now a victory for me.

Plus, there were lots of wonderful flowers (and people going to school or work) on the way and I had my camera.

I know now, also, why I am a bit more tired than usual, and it is not - only - my age. The Thyroid level in my blood is a bit low., so I'll have to take a pill each morning. We'll see then what happens.

But reading the paper from the medicine I was given, so many side effects can happen! I hope, they'll not happen to me...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Round and round

I was told, young, that the circles on a log trunc meant a year each for their lives.

Those were from a small branch going to the Queen Elisabeth Hospital, Friday. My leg hurt, but I stopped and tried to take it with me. I mean, the photo, the image, not the branch.

The logs played an important part in my life, from very early.

My paternal grand-parents lived, and my father too when he was child, in a tiny forest village, the highest village in Hungary then Romania now. Some times, it was a frontier village and soldiers learned their trade there, from that came the name "Commando, or Kommando", but by the time my grand-parents went there, it was a village living around a sawmill.

The sawmill gave a special odour, as do the fresh cut logs to all the village and surroundings.

We used to go up, to visit my paternal grand parents, one month every summer, from the time I was born to 6. After that, they come to the town, the biggest town in Transylvania, where we went to live.

I do not remember very much about that time and those vacations with my mother and a bit less often my father too, but my cousin the same age as me was there too, and we played well together.

I remember very strongly the odours of the forest and the fresh cut logs, the taste of wild strawberries. My father's hand holding mine in the forest. My mother teaching me that I can clean myself with a big leaf. And I have some photos from that period.

The odours, looks, tastes of part of my childhood, remain sweet to me, even if all those around me then, died. My cousin and grand-parents because of the Nazi persecution, and the neighbour needing the apartment, my grand parents lived in the city. They wanted to marry their daughter.

Wednesday, we were given the word "justify" by someone, to make a phrase with it. Each justifies his or her action. They tried to justify it also, after the war when, we came back and they were found out.

I never knew what happened to my cousin, the same age as me, but I did imagine her going towards the gas chamber holding strongly her mother's hand. She was not yet ten.

My own parents died a lot later, my mother at 53, my father at 80. It is difficult to think that soon I'll be also 80 and I already survived my cousin for almost 70 years!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life in London is interesting and varied!

Today I have shopped on line, and will be delivered Sunday noon.

I hope, I will not be disappointed with all I had ordered, because, again, I had really nothing at home, any more.

For two days, I eat frozen fish, which I did buy and it is not good, alas. Also, I popped corn that I bought one day long ago for my grand children. Popped corn as breakfast, instead of bred, is interesting... but only for two or three days.

I have also margarine, but no bread to put it on, and happily some more sterilized milk, too. Not much more. Soon...

As I go to the hospital today for a photography of my skin, I'll buy what I need for tonight and tomorrow, so be able to wait until Sunday.

Do you know this interesting instrument that I discovered in a park Christmas time in 2008 in London?

Some of the people passing were also very interested in it, last Friday when we passed near the London Bridge.

Different parts give different sounds. I recorded just a bit of it, as those I was with wanted to go farther. Sometimes, even a bit of video gives the little bit of "more".

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The clouds count

The sky is there, up and far, and most of the time it does not matter, unless our "heads are in the clouds".

Most of the time we walk with "our feet on the ground."

But small clouds can be beautiful and make for a great weather, let the sun shine through, give us more light. When the sky is all covered, we do not see any clouds at all, and expect no sun either. When the sky is all blue and no clouds at all, we suspect something is fishy.

Never the life goes on for long, without at least a bit of clouds in the uniformity of blue sky. The English say "there is a silver lining behind the clouds" meaning, something good will come after the sorrow or big problems.

To what good the volcanic ash cloud coming from Iceland may lead? I do not know that when it happens, we see only the problems it causes.

I opened this morning at 7 my television at the news "all airports closed, no planes go up the air" in Scotland, first, then Gatwick airport too, and so on. Isabelle and her daughter, in visit in London were due to take the plane today, there is a direct fly from London to Lyon, near where they live.

Who knows, for the moment, to what it is good?

To be a little bit more with her mother? To look at the great photos she took of London?

The first time in her life in London and she went and visited so many places, used her few days here in full. She will not be able to visit any more place waiting to see when she can go back, but, yes, my grand great-mother was right "something good will come from it".

Even if we do not know for the moment, what.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I will never go sour, but I felt, after my skin was treated, my front with two stitches and burn traces and so on, that this song told some part of it. Somehow, I felt I was less alone with my problems.

I went to YouTube, to and back to YouTube, found nostalgia with Edith Piaf, Jonny Holliday and that song about the Indian Summer on a beach of San Francisco, sung by Dassin a few years back, when I was yet "before" so many things to come. I am now "after" also, if not love, other good things can still come my way even after 75 and my skin as it is now.

"What you want?" I was asked yesterday. I want to be able to tell some of my stories, to be listened. When I smile, the age, the skin, even the accent go away or a lot farther.

I published today on my French blog, some old or nostalgic videos, song in French. How much we do not do for love, true. Go away from friends, at least for the time. We do not betray them, but yes, we leave them for a while. At least, I did, not wanting often to hear the wise voice and advices when I was all in love!

But I heard them, and come back and thanked them, later, they did tell me even what I did not want to hear at the time.

It is not my best day today, but I do know, I will be up and creating a new story or speech, soon. I'll have to repeat also one about Faith I'll tell in a few days. In time, I did believe in many things and a few man too. But friends, they never betrayed me, they are there, they will be: I do not believe any more in everlasting love (or skin) but I do believe in friendship, humanity, warmth.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beach boy by Manimum

I think, this boy arrives to London this closed sky morning, directly from Malasya's island.

I am in a group "The world through your eyes" where you can add one picture in a day, the only thing they ask you is to comment on a picture at the same time, anyone you like.

I did comment on this one.

So many wonderful photographers did I find after I send one of mine's to the group and went there to looking for one I like and comment one.

Not many I blogged also, this appeals to me specially this morning. Thanks for the photographer (teacher) who did allow to blog the image, of course on a click on it, you can go discover her other images.

Today, I have two stiches on my front from yesterday, but it does not hurt, no probem, it will go away, and in a week they will be taken away. Yesterday, I came home a bit tired, after the intervention under local anestezis, but all is behind me now.

Blue skies, clear see is looking to me from somewhare far away, and soon the sun will come up in London too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Listening to Covent Garden music

There is also someone singing or playing music in this side of Covent GArden restaurant, down. But from all around up, we can listen all!

This is one of the couples listening.

I loved his hat and how seriously she was absorbed and enjoyed the music. I did like it also a lot.

Alas, it came to me with a bit of noise, but I recorded it and give it to you here to see how much they did, not only playing music!

What an energy!

After walking from Trafalgar Square to Chinatown, from there to Covent Garden then, looking for an underground station to go to London Bridge, I was exhausted.

As this gentelemnt, resting in the park where every bench reminded of a departed one.
Almost like Lincoln
Quite a difference!

But his face looks so full of character, he must knowx what he likes to do or not for sure!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Never say "no"

I do not know the song, will look it up at the YouTube, but love the words

Lyrics from the Fantasticks


Dog's got to bark, a mule's got to bray.
Soldiers must fight and preachers must pray.
And children, I guess, must get their own way
The minute that you say no.

Why did the kids pour jam on the cat?
Raspberry jam all over the cat?
Why should the kids do something like that,
When all that we said was no?

My son was once afraid to swim.
The water made him wince.
Until I said he mustn't swim:
S'been swimmin' ever since!

S'been swimmin' ever since!


Dog's got to bark, a mule's got to bray.
Soldiers must fight and preachers must pray.
And children, I guess, must get their own way
The minute that you say no.

Why did the kids put beans in their ears?
No one can hear with beans in their ears.
After a while the reason appears.
They did it cause we said no.

Your daughter brings a young man in,
Says "Do you like him, Pa?"
Just say that he's a fool and then:
You've got a son-in-law!

You've got a son-in-law!


Sure as the June comes right after May!
Sure as the night comes right after day!
You can be sure the devil's to pay
The minute that you say no.

Make sure you never say...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Internet or not internet

This morning, an emission showed us the first usage of Internet, Web (through mobile telephone) in a village in Nigeria, then how the same week, with difficulty a South Korean family from a city, consented to live without Web at home (not work and school too) without the Web.

The Nigerians spoke about how much more Information they can have through the connection. But the price, if not paid by BBC would have been prohibitive for them. Looking for Information about the World.

The Korean families, use their computers to Social Network, to program, to play, to order food and other things, to so much more then just information!

In 1990, when I first used Internet, it was also to find Information for my job, in my workplace. I seldom posted a comment even.

Five years later, it was already to publish my stories and journal fragments to discussion groups. It was only in 2004 that I discovered the magic world of blogs, and immediately published my first, and the magic world of Flickr to post my images. Very soon, I adhered to groups on Flickr and even formed my own group, which now has more then 2500 members.

Then come the first purchases through the web, and of course emails to friends all over the world. More I go, more usage I find for the Web. Publish videos, sideshows at the beginning, and nowadays also pod-casts, voice only.

It is a joy to interact, but also to see how many have downloaded the stories I have told or looked at the images I published.

The web through me into the world.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blurred or sharp?

Both blurred and sharp has it use, in photography, as has of course the technique to show just part of the image sharp and the rest blurred.

This one is me, quite happy after my performance, the next morning; The original image was to sober and dark, so I lightened it and blurred it, and I quite like want it shows.

Of course, it is a very idealized self, but a portrait has the right, sometimes, to be.

On a complete other side, I took the same time images of my three branches, but there were not the flowers that come out interesting this time, but the leaves of one of them.

This is sharp and textured and has an interesting geometry, symmetry too!
Trois branches nouvelles-9dVd
Plus it speaks to me, reminding me, there are not always those who stand out who are the most interesting!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blue hour at Little Venice

I arrived at Little Venice, and the nearby Canal Cafe Theatre, towards seven. The last repetitions have already begun.

Women and men who told their personal story around "Home" as we were asked, looked the last time to their papers, went on the scene and down again.

Finally, seven thirty arrived.

I had enough medicine in me to be able to speak, and breath, but at before the beginning the deep breathing was really important, my heart beet strongly ,

The theatre was so full that we could not sit at the back as usual, but they put up some chairs for us on the side.

I was the 4th to tell my story.

this is the version recorded at the theatre yesterday evening, with my small dictaphone, I'll put their professionally recorded version here as soon as I get it.

After it finished, we were seven in all, many come to me telling me how much they liked my story and the way I told it.

I was even told, some cried during the speech.

I did hear also some laugh here and there, so I gave also some humorous parts, to relax people.

I got very good feedback. The most important is was someone telling me: "It felt so near, as if have had happened - when you told us. I have seen it before my eyes, heard it as if it was happening."

The war cought up with me when.mp3

It is ten minutes, with the piano, played at the beginning, and some pauses between the scenes. Alas, I can not put here my movements, which I think counted also quite a lot in the telling.

I came hope, satisfied that I told this tale in London and it was really well received. "There was no problem to understand you," they told me when I asked.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Internet's impact

Yesterday, the election in UK have officially begun. 

Very interesting speeches, from a point of view of someone learning public speeches!

I listened at them on the TV, then found them back on the web and added a link to them to my Competent Communicator blog.  I also send the link to my Facebook page. I did not, yet, find a way to embed them here or there, but will do! 

On the television, after the second speech, a TV commentator said: "the Internet will not be important for the elections, not really, only the Television and the Newspapers.

I know different.

You know different.

Obama knows different.

I found this morning a video, here it is, on The Raisin Chronicles, "No you can't" - very effective communication video. 

While one is saying No! all the other people say Yes. 
Looking at it, I learned from it. Go to see what else she said in her blog, too! And also her other notes.

Then, I stumbled on another video, Obama's humorous speech after his first 100 days.

Barack Obama  is a firm believer of using Internet, and all modern communication devices for sending his message directly to as many as possible. 

He has a account and publishes images, and uses all social networks available nowadays to get across his points. Why should not us do so also? Why should not UK politicians do it too? The people, ordinary people, no teli  journalists or newspaper journalists only, will have more and more say and spread wider and wider the news!

Our voice will be heard more and more and count.

Yes, it will do!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Still down

Yes, I have still not got enough distance between myself and my cold, but at least, I found my old medicine, pills against cough, helping to feel a bit better, and drops to help me respire a bit.

They do not last as long, their effect I mean, as I would like to, but they release some of my misery.

I was always a bad ill, so I know that this is not a big deal, just make me feel miserable for the moment.

I am looking forward for it, to pass!

When it will, I'll be able to tell "at least I got past my cold! what a joy!"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nasty cold

Should I write when I am down, and cold and warm?

I am too much in the "first circle to day that I have difficulty to do it,

but I will be back tomorrow!

I will remain, probably as long as I live, an eternal optimist!

And, perhaps, a day I'll even realise "for what it was good" to become ill and pass all the Easter in bed or home.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eggs for easter

There are real, not of chocolate!

Eggs of all colours, I do not know from where that tradition comes.

There are many traditions, old and new!

I heard, but did not see it yet, one does look to discovers where the eggs are hidden in UK and, even in France!

Spring arrives, I hope for all of you with peace and more happiness as the warmer days come nearer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter eggs

Easter eggs, from Bucarest, in 2006.

Those are just a few off all the eggs my neighbor made hat year, when I was to Bucarest to arrange my some paperwork for my son.

It seems so long ago!

But only a few years passed, since.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Be there, connect: the "second circle"

I get the new videos from, and this morning, I listened to the actress and voice coach Patshy Rodenburg's speech, about the importance of acting - true. You can listen and look to it in my Communication blog.

From there, I got to her second part, found it on the YouTube. It's title is The Second Circle. Being there in the moment, being connected. Instead of going in ourselves or occupying someone others space.

It is also interesting to look, in this and the first video to her body language. Strong, but nothing threatening. She is always in the what she calls "the second circle"!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Net vs blurred

All does not have to be net, on a photo or in our life.

Today, a new month begins, and a new theme in my photography Masterclass.

Net versus blurred.

We'll discuss, when it is important all to be net or blurred, some of it, and which part, and why and how to obtain it, too.

I am not very good from technical point of view, so I'll rely more on other's imput for that, but I did learn a few things here and there on the Flickrs divers groups, but mostly, in the Afterclass.

By blurring part of an image, the net part stands out, like above. Other times, we blur to show movement. Sometimes, to hide.

As in life.

But when we reveal some parts of us, profoundly inside us, others recognize it and we can connect a lot better then with a superficial smile or words.

Yesterday, we heard three interesting speeches, and it was not the best delivered that gained, but the one who revealed most about himself and his dad. Who dared to expose, to open to the listeners, viewers.

He was nervous, he stumbled, he looked once in his papers, drank water another time, stopped a third time. Yet, he was the one who touched us more profoundly.

He opened to us.