Saturday, May 29, 2010

Speaking Olympiad in London

A festival of Public Speaking, a meeting between some of the best speakers of four different public speaking Associations, I spend wonderful hours listening - and taking some photos, too.

We met at 10 : 30 at the pub The George, on Srand, accross the Royal Court of Justice. I arrived home at 17 pm. But how much I learned about how to speak about a subject, weather you prepare it or are given just an instant before!

The Cogers, formed in the 18th Century, the ASC and Speakers Bank and, of course also the Toastmasters were represented, each by three members. They compeated in 4 different kind of speaches.

They were asked as Table Topic, the same question: Winning is everything - tell us your opinion. My view of course is that they were all winners, even if there were only the Toastmasters team, with David Jones, Laura McCracken and Paul Carrol who went away with the winners cup. They were all of them great and wonderful.

The debates, the answers about the Table Topic, etc. short speeches or longer ones, what a great talent and mastery exhibited by all!

I do have now ideas of Table Topics, debate examples, etc. for many of our club meetings.

Weather my pictures are well taken or not is not so relevant, in all case they do remind me of them and all of them and also of lots of things they spoke about.

I was very very impressed!

Bravo to all of you and the Chairmen and the different speech leaders and the organizers, and thanks special to theLondonSpeaker blog for having written about this great event.

David Thomson, Toastmaster from 15 years, was the chief judge, but he had five different judges with him. I do own him my first speech, the Icebreaker way back at the beginning of last year, when he asked me "who wants to give his or her first speech... tomorrow at Croydon?"

Of course, I had to be prepared, and I was.

More then this days with some of my speeches, but from now on...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Steve Job's three stories

There is no better example of good speech and storytelling that this three storeis told 6 years ago by Steve Jobs, and now, he gave a great speech too at the unvailing of I-pad, but this one is not about a thing, it is about his life and his experience and dealing with the problems that came his way

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Competent Communicator: Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on

I just published a great speech to which I listened this morning in my Competent Communicator blog, I will not reproduce it here, but I do believe it is worth listening and pondering to it.

Competent Communicator: Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

I understand now better what Cameron had in mind proposing alternative education for young.

But also, it gave me ideas for my next speech.

From the advanced toastmaster's manual "Speaking to Inform", this next project is a  'Fact finding Report" - and of course, with the intention also to persuade if possible that the facts you found and are showing are pointing to a certain direction. For myself, I do not believe in Objectivity, I think we are all Subjective, and that all speech should at least in part be somewhat persuasive too. More it is subtly done, more it is effective.
Yesterday, I visited the Polish your Polish group, a great toastmaster group, in South Kensington, near the Expos, I'll have to return to see some of the Expos too. They meet twice a month, in Polish, but I participated at one of their three English language meetings by year.

A special theme, Storytelling and Fairytales.

From the first worlds of its president, Lukasz, raised in Philadelfia and a very good speaker, we were plounged in the world of tales. "Once upan the times, long ago, in a far away world, there was a man, called Smilley, who..." How astute beginning, opening of a Toastmaster meeting based on Storytelling!

Our Toastmaster of the evening, Mrs Kramarz, continued by introducing each participant by his or hers favorite fairy tale. And the word of the day was Magic, Magical.

The meeting begun then with Table-topics, the great Table topics Master, Gosia Gorna, asked questions about tales, past or present or new ones, not without first, explaining, that we do not have to answer to the question, can turn it around or inverse it complectly. And all who did not speak in the second part, were asked to do it for 1 minute or 1 minute and half.

Pemma Fox, from the Corinthians Speakers, evaluated fast and well the Table topics. Her club is one where I would return with pleasure, and she as very encouraging me at the end of the meeting, too.

After a short break, the speech part begun, all by telling some tales, the last was me. Followed by all the Evaluation part of course, that makes more sense as this, all together finished by the General Evaluation.

We had a nr 4 speech and one from the storytelling manual and mine, from Speaking to Inform. What was stunning is that there were no big difference of levels between them, all were really good. Only mine, perhaps was too much a tale and not enough giving new information.

It was a great meeting!

My tale was good but then I wanted to explain how we find it, that come out well, how we learn it, that part got forgotten, and how we shape it pondering about 'what is my most important thing, message in this tale now" - that got well, but some or many thought I did not bring enough 'new information' or been enough explicit what it was the new information I did want to convey.

Listening to my speech, which my recorder 'immortalised' I agree with them, I got lost toward the end, and was not enough 'to the point', wanted too much to personalize it too. My ends need a lot more work and care too!

OK, next time.

I hope.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Portrait in the bus

Yes, I like the nature the fog and the buildings, I like the flowers and the colors in spring and the colors in fall.

But nothing as much as people and their portraits and different faces and warm expressions.

Finally, I come back to them and in the end of the day they are the great joy of photography finally for me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

London in fog

London in fog_0160v
London, of Sherlock Holmes, was supposed to be men in tweeds and the city in fog, all the time.

In the last 18 month, perhaps three mornings, and even not all the day, wa in fog, and yes, even then not so thick as it was dercribed.

I read, this is because there is almost no more heating with carbon and no factories for sure that 'smoke'

So it is normal, that I run out of the house as soon as I have seen what is lurkng outside: finally a nice "English fog!"

I walked my street and through the heath taking photos, there is a special light in the fog, a special quality of image that comes out, even when you take from far. Then, I wanted to go centre London but instead took the first bus that arrived: Crystal Palace. It beckoned me.

There was not Crystal nor Palace but a small park and lots of busses, there, so after taking some pictures of trees and people, I took another bus, this time towards Oxford Circle, through I got down in Trafalgar Square as soon as I have seen the Elephants.

The battery of my camera refused to function soon after that, so I got a train back, home, but not before I had a great breakfast of Croissants and chocolate at the station, and bought some books.

So difficult to resist books!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Elephants Trafalgar Square

There are elephants everywhere in London, I presume, as I found one near hte market in Greenwich and a whole bunch of them at the Trafalgar Squre.

Today I went out at six, because the fog beconed me to take foggy photos, and I did take until my battery gave out.

From Blackheat and the Heath the bus had taken me to the end of the 202 Cristal Palace, I did not find the Palace there and then I came back with number 3 to the Trafalgar Square.

Interesting journay and discoveries, 250 images on the way from the wals and from the bus too.

Just a few of my foggy images, as today the uploader crashes all the time. enjoy!

So happy the fog asked me to go out!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Morning at my place

How much pleasure a gift can give!

Not only I like it a lot, but each time it does remind me of the generosity, welcome and warmth of those who offered me - was it a year ago?

Merci Rachel! Merci Andrew!

A huge thank you for both of you. And not only for this small nice stuffed animal lurking behind me as I write, but showing me a real English openess and hospitality.

Whoever tries to tell me that the English are cold, I have now many examples of the contrary, but your hospitality was one of the most important one between them. And this decoration in my living room reminds me day by day and even reassures me whenever I would feel alone.

I tiied always to tell myself that Things does not matterm people matters, but behind things there is ofthen people associated with them.

Think, what do You value and why? What memory is linked with it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What a courage!

I met her at 8 in the morning, she was coming back after having bought bred, milk and journal.

"Yes, I am very tired, yesterday I was in hospital for long time", she told me, "but I needed these and I have to get used to go out, too."

She did look better then a week ago, at the burial of her husband, but still, she is only a few weeks from her operation!

I do admire those courageous women!

For myself, I just have to cut my finger, as yesterday, or have my back hurt, and I feel down and without courage to go out...

Unless I have a very strong incentive to do so.

Here are the images from yesterday early morning as I went out and come back: finally my help was not needed, but at least that got me out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paris 2e garnment disctrict- 3 yrs ago

Three years ago, I had an interesting project in mind: visit Paris's all 20 arrondissments, one by one, discover in each one a part that no tourist's go usually and that I do not know yet, myself.

I took a detailed map of Paris, and planned each of the 20 trips ahead, going to the starting point, but then, letting my whim take me wherever I choose or was attracted at the moment.

I begun with the 1st Arrondissment, and could not help not to make a detour by the Louvre, the new Pyramide, but then, fast went farther and discovered the closed passageways of the !st.

At the 2nd arrondissment, I have decided to unravel more of the garment neighbourhood, and discovered lots of great sights and scenes. Not only the prostitutes waiting and young gangs staring at them, but also toward the end, the market near St Eustache cathedral.

One by one, I had 'taken on' Paris, going from Argnetuil to the city by train usually, sometimes by bus and underground. About one hour to go and one hour back, plus two or three hours walking, sometimes longer, interrupted by lunch in a snall place or a bench.

In my Flickr stream I did have a Collection : The 20 Arrondissments of Paris, which I completed in about 8 month, from spring to autumn. Some of the pictures I have taken are still between my favourites, but what I discovered was also that there is such a wonderful diversity in that city that not many know!

For the moment, I am overwhelmed by London's bourough that are each so different and huge, but I did try to go to its festivals and markets, and of course its also toward its very divers people! With time, a more clear project will emerge for this city too.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The first time

There are so many firsts in our lives, and they are all exciting and scary at the same time. Preparing for a personal storytelling event by Spark London in July, I found this four short snippets of some of my Firsts.

First honeymoon - I was 25 at the time

and still living home with my parents and still under my strict father's rules.

1 First honeymoon.mp3

First kiss behind Notre Dame, Paris

I was 45 year old when I realised, you did not have to wait five or two years to know someone, to really enjoy being with... and kissing in Paris

3 First kiss in Paris.mp3

Here is a version with images, for the monent those do not much the tale, but I wanted to try the I Movie, how it works. Here is the first try and result.

First visit to London

I was 35 years old when at Easter, I came the first time to London. Surprise1 The English were not at all as I expected them to be.

2 first time in London.mp3

First time at 70 years old

It is scary at 25 or 45 but even more the first time after you get 70 - and it is as magic, again, too.

4 First time after 70.mp3

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Golden Circle

What - How - Why

First know and tell about Why, your purpose, inspiration, communication from inside out.

What "we are different because it is easier to use Mc..." - even if no more
Why "we believe to change the status qua, change the world..." so we etc motivates us more. Do business with people who believe what you believe.

Look and ponder also at the simple presentation.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Photos for a departure

The doctor Samatha, born in India departed to the Crematorium in Lewisham and his wife, Margo had help from lots of people.

She is and was always nice and brave - and we all did what we could each of us. For me it was first to help her write a page about the life of his late husband and their meeting and life together, finally finding a way to print all in a single page with two columns easy to read.

Then it was her request for me to take photos.

That was the task I dreaded most, I have never followed a marriage, and now to follow an cremation did not seem easy to me, but finally I got through it and those hours will be able to be remembered.

Here there are the images from going dawn from her apartment to the three waiting limousines plus all the following cars to the nice park where the Lewisham crematorium is located, some from the ceremony and the flowers after outside.

I did not yet work on the images inside, once home again to her place, once I do it, I will be able to try to make a book from all that, to have a souvenir as she did her last duty by him with whom she lived forty years, and devoted last three years all her hours day - and night.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paris 8e : 39 Bld George - 3 years ago

This surprise was waiting for anyone passing near Champs Elysees in Paris, three years ago: a huge house seeming to melt, as big as all those surrounding it.

It is no more there, it was only a huge decor to hide the construction site and after two years it was finished. The newly renovating building appeared instead, a lot less funny that this one where I came back again and again, fascinated by its windows.

Happy that at least the photographies remained.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Doctor Sushantha Ghosh

The Doctor Sushantha Ghosh, was one of my neighbour's, already very ill when I moved here. This is a rare time when he stood in the street, while waiting for the car to take him to the hospital for treatment.

I have not seen a more devoted wife as Margo, day and night, she was always there to help her.

They met in England, but he was original from India and she from Germany. "I did not like his moustache when we met, and learning that, he cut it, also, it took me a few days in our common workplace to realise it.

She was recently diagnosed with cancer and had to be operated, they had to put him for a time in a care house for older people, but while she was still in the hospital, he fell and died.

They will be a ceremony of remembering and celebrating his life tomorrow and I was asked to go and take photos there. I was happy to find this picture of him, that I took after we spoke a little on the street.

Speaking to the others, makes such a difference!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A small problem

It is not easy to run so many miles in the Marathon, but you can run on problems right at the start.

Here is someone who had to stop almost at the begining, in four pictures.

I even did not realise at the time that my Burst on the camera was on, but it did help, and I could try it out also another time.

It is not so easy to begin my task as VP Education in my speaker's club, before I make the planning of the meetings,

I have to know all members, what they have done so far, find out also who needs more help and what I can ask from each other, how much time they have just now to prepare a new speech and of course, if I give them some other tasks to be sure they will be able to come.

I spend all my Sunday learning, putting data in Excell - that I did not use for a long time either - in different ways, figuring out what I can learn from the data I got so far.

A steep learning curve, but this morning I am more confident that I will be able to do it.

Also, to help the group in whole, I hope I will be able to givem, now that I did receive so much.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Do you believe?

Do you believe?... 123/365 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
This is a borrowed photo, and I admire it a lot.

I am not sure how she shot it, or if it is an image contructed from three images, the background and then two 'objects' put on it, but it does 'speak' to me.

The title was: "do you believe'"?
Under it she wrote: I do not believe in fairy tales but I do in happy endings!

For myself, even if my rational self does not believe in happy endings, my soul still does, and needs it, craves it, reads and reads book where they become real.

In my life, the happy ending mostly was temporary, and by happy endings we mean usually 'ever after' so in fact I should say, I do believe in Happy endings but not in Ever after. In fact, after the Happiness ends, I believe in new beginings, new chances - so it becomes again, happy, even if not as in a Romance novels where it ends at the point of mariage or declaration of love for ever.

Ever of not, we remain to deal with what happens and being delighted as much and as long as possible.

60 years ago... peace begins in Europe

Schoumam presented a proposal the 9 Mai, 60 years ago, to create a Union a Comunity in Europe, no more wars between us! Do not forget, Europe is more then just the Polish plombers, the Hungarians in the hotel lobby to serve you, or the possibliity to you to travel free and work in many other countries. It is more then the Euros, it is a solidarity, and hopefully more and more knowing of each other too.

And peace.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Charming men

There are charming men of any age, and I love to meet them.

My father was such a charming man too, and very bad finally to my mother. The charming men like usually to charm anyone, all women but also succeed to make easy friends with men.

I am not saying this one who came to the restaurant with a lady, 'now only her best friend but going away soon, how I will do without him' is such, and would harm, for sure, as others can also give lots of joy.

Pleasure, friendship.

Excuse me if I used this picture looking to me for a few instants with charming eyes, as I tried to take a picture of him in candlelight of the Chocolate Bar restaurant, before I told my story there. But so many different memories of my own life come up suddenly just looking at his smiling portrait.

I do not regret finally to been charmed from time to time, I had joy from it, even if it did not last. A sour sweet memory, they left after.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I did vote in UK

All the television, no one said, until the 5th of May, that one will vote, in some places not only for the Parlement.

As my daughter in law received an invitation to vote I decided to go with her and take some photographies there. And once there, I decided to ask ' why I did not receive also invitation?' 'You ARE on the list, you can vote for the local elections.'

I did.

What is very strange for me, coming from France, when three people verifies who you are before letting you vote, was that no ONE asked to show my papers, to prove who I am. Plus, then we do not have closed place to vote and instead of choosing a list, we had to put cross near the three names we choose, then just fold and put in the paper.

'It is the British way' people have confidence, I was told later.

What would happen if someone came later telling it was the real me?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Julie at candelight

It was not originally my idea - my first husband took a photo at candlelight of each of our children - more then 35 years ago. I have them on my walls.

From then on, I experiment from time to time with photos in candlelight, this small candles in the Chocolat Bar where specially good for it.

We held there the HOME theme storytelling event with three of us and Johanna telling a story about it - from the original seven people telling at Cafe Canal Theatre.

Now, I could finally read my memory card and look at the pictures, today I will have to look one by one. In fact, even if I was the one begining to take portraits at candlelight there, last week, or was it farther away? this is of me is taken by Johanna, the organizer of all Spark London events.

Not too bad, it is a really good candlelight image - of me.

I become Vice President of Education in my Toastmaster Club, I do hope that I will be able to do the task well, and yes, I'll have lots to do.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I was stunned

I was stunned to listen to the TV programs to too many people saying "we do not need any more immigrants" and also "what we will do with those already here?"

Of course, it was also natural for Brittish to go in the colonies or anywhere else and buy, live, work or tell others what to do, the commerce with other countries seems normal and going elsewhere for holliday buying homes there too.

I do not know how many think so, because the TV can show those and not the others, but suddenly I feel more foreigner here then before.

I learned good things and bad things in this electoral campaign, tomorrow the vote in UK and tonight we vote for the next years club officers at my Toastmaster club. I woke up telling a funny story about how I messed it up at first trying to make the program for the meeting, a role that was given to me suddenly with two month in advance.

Of course, there is always one thing in our dreams and another in the reality. But finally I found the way and did it in time even if almost at the last minute and for sure the new government will be able to do so also - whoever they will be.

Monday, May 3, 2010

When I was 10 the war caught up with me

as performed at the Canal Cafe Theatre ( I repeated it later in the Chocolat Restaurant of Soho) both in London.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cleaning lady, what a warm smile!

She was cleaning outside the shop, in the street paralel to Regent Street, a shop selling fancy man's clothes, there where quiete a few around the Brummell statue.

She seemed shy at the begining and I had to took pictures in movement, but after we spoke she even posed with a huge smile towards me, a warm face, like I told her.

I could then take with me not only a documentary photo of her working, but something mrore, and even more then the photo here shows of her, something warm in my heart.

I think I left her the same warm, appreciative feeling.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I sing it now with wwe

Journal entry begining - I was 14 years old

begin journal entry.MP3

End diary entry 1949

I was 14 years old, when I wrote this in my diary after having seen a film = this is the continuation

end journal entry.MP3

seven years later

1957 august, diary entry, translated to English and read

"how much I would like to still believe!"

seven years later.MP3

Images from a walk

"in the search of English tea"