Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trip to Waddesdon Manor with Margo

I have taken 110 photographs from our trip, but this one, one of the first, waiting at the North Greenwich station with the train passing in the background is my favourite.

Margo with her new stick sitting alone.

Alone, as we have just missed one while we came down by lift.

Somehow it has so much equilibrium in it and it also tells a story, I do believe.

Today, we went together to shop, before it I have shown her the pictures, she did like even the ones I did not like much, as they tell her a story of what happened that day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trip to Waddesdon Manor

Yesterday a long trip.

Depart at 8 30 from London, we arrived, by bus, underground and train, towards 10 30 to our destination, and at 11 to the Waddesdon Manor's Stables.

We met there the others, and had lunch in the garden - it was nice enough to do it, in our coats, without being cold.

All around us lots of children, it was a Halloween party!
Trip to Waddesdon Manor_0421d
Some of Margo friends. There were all great and very interesting too. The two men here are also veterans of the Second war!

After lunch and discussions, and photos, we were taken up to the Manor, which is like a Chateau and also very nicely furnished - also for me it is a great pity there is not enough light to see what is inside.

At least, for my eyes.

I do understand the fragility of materials - but even in the room of porcelains there was only dim lightening!

After going through interesting landscape and passing by the places Margo lived when child, adolescent, and young woman, we went back to her friend, and there, the old friends reminiscent of people they knew together long time agoi.

It was a pleasure to listen to them - and most of discussions I could follow without problem. After a nice food, too, we departed late and with some adventures, as the train could not take us as it was scheduled, we did arrive home toward ten in the evening.

A very fruitful and long day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Every year is different

This picture was taken last year the same time;

Today, all the same trees are still green, also some have lost already their leaves.

Such a huge difference.

Our lives are also different from year to year, but I did not look to the nature with such open eyes till now.

I can only hope, next year will be not worse to me then this one.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Understanding each other

This was the look that I like perhaps best between so many thousand portraits - it warms me up whenever I look at it. Also, she is not the only one looking to me with such a warm understanding.

I do not remember exactly what I said to her about me and her that she liked so much. Something as I like her hair because I feel I would like also make for myself something like it? Or that she is as daring as I would like to be?

At any way, her instant expression tells me today, after many years, that we did indeed understand each other, profoundly.

As I was at the time not alone, but on stroll with an other photographer, I did not stay to speak more and after a few photos - snapshots they give more often then staged portraits - I went farther on that Parisian market street where she was sitting, alone, to drink a caffee.

But her look towards me is also what I feel you, my readers through me. And we, to each other. And it counts a lot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Aie! they will see you!

Usually, I take self-portraits of myself when I am happy and my hair freshly made up, sometimes, I do also when I want to make 'faces' but this time I took it specifically, in worst conditions.

It turned out so horrible, then I was not ready to show it in colour, so I transformed it in black and white where my freckles showed somewhat less.

In fact, it was also after I have bought a book about famous Auto portraits by Painters and Photographs and most did it showing themselves in a bad mood or angle and not 'nice' or 'beautiful'.

It shows the playful part of me too.

This self-portrait was choosen and voted in 2005 as the Best self on Flickr, and perhaps that is why so many looked at it and commented it.

Now, it was chosen by a student to speak about Brain Damage. But no, I was not brain damaged when I took it nor am I now showing it. It shows some truth - one's hair is not always made up nice and sometimes we are afraid of what we have just done, also this was more or less play acting.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My 8 most viewed images

Less and less between you come to see this blog - should I continue? should I stop it?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sun outside this morning

the sun shines outside this morning, but mysteriously, electricity failed me yesterday evening,

all the light comming from the ceiling went out, none wants to give me light any more

happy the warming system, the fridge and even the electricity for the modem linking me to outside work still

I do not know what is happening but I was not happy yesterday evening

This morning a warm email arraving to me from Montana USA warmed up my heart, thanks Patricia!

It is worth every effort given to show to open up!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No more mystere

This morning I was told more.

It was the owner of the garage and a flat, a 50 year old woman. Depressive.

She probably did it to herself, planned it so. Horrible death! But she choose it. Still it is difficult for me to accept the idea that humain remains also went in the flames I have seen burning that day.

She left a mother and a daugher, both living in other parts of London.

She left a life that she could have had!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Firefighters from my window

Alas, there were not only beautiful autumn leaves to be photographed from my window.

I live in Blackheath and a fire broke out of one of the garages across the building live in, I run back as soon as I have seen the flames coming out and called 999, as I have seen the Firefighters car arrive, we went to shop, as we intended.

Coming back, the fire-fighters were still there. Then, from my window I took this picture and two others.

Then the police arrived too and even visited us, flat by flat.

A 'crime scene' was declared.

What crime?

They must suspect the fire was lighted by someone?

Two more policemen visited me asking questions, but I have not seen anyone around and did not look out before I was headed to shop.

Only yesterday noon did I hear that someone was found inside - the body of a woman. How they know 'woman'? Some rumors put her young and expecting, others a woman of 50, as it seems is the owner of the garage.

Terrible to think there were not only things burning when I have seen the flames coming out and coming out! Terrible to imagine what happened and how her last minutes must have been - whoever it is, if indeed she really died then and there.

Only some charred remains of things remain outside the garage, the police is no more there any more, at least not visible, but I can not forget that the horrible flames I have seen, meant more then I did believe at the moment.

My mother burned when she was 50, and my father had to break the bathroom door to save her and she remained with a wound for more then a year on her left breast.

I was with her the first night she asking help and no doctor coming - and when finally I did succeed to wake one up, he told us 'nothing to be done' (anything would 'interfere' he told and went to sleap living me with my mother and her terrible pain) and my mather continued to suffer all night as never before.

I was 16 at the time.

All came back this morning to me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall from window square

From my window, part of the automne in our garden - and then, using a filter from Photoshop Elements, polar chage I obtained an image I like quite well.,

As I do not know to draw, photography, s torytelling and digital play with my photos is wnat I can do.

Sometimes, I do like the result.,

And also, sometimes, it does express samething from what I feal, prhaps the turmoi for exemple about what I heard about the fire accross ,y builind: Yesterday evening, a plicecar still was there waiting for I do not know what:

Fall from window-04 coord polar

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Around Trafalgar Square

Using the early light at my arrival at Charring Cross station and the late light as I departed from centre, Saturday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In a London bus

I feared she will not let me take a photo, but when I dared finally to ask, she was even happy to be photographed, and also seeing the results,

Somehow, not only she had a great rose scarf but a Madonna face too.

I did not ask the Spanish looking older woman sitting there before, I took her profile without asking. Even was happy she turned her face, she looked a lot better from profile. It is her tormented hands, that were the only sign telling me she was not so quiet or happy as she would have wanted to show the world around her.

I can not make every picture I see and would like to, but from now on I see around me a lot more then before. More or better.

Monday, October 18, 2010

From the London Speaker blog

the London Speaker is London Toastmasters Clubs blog, at least that of almost all from London grouped in a Division called B - somehow my two London clubs, from Lewisham and Greenwhich have been put in Division D with South England Toastmasters.

Nevertheless, I do feel being part of London and went to the Humorous and Table Topics Contest held in Camden Square's Irish Center.

From around hundred photos, the London Speaker's correspondent choose a few, all mine, you can see at their site and of course I also put the images in three sets on flickr.

It was a great event, but life goes on, and soon I will put the pictures I have taken on the way, going there and comming back.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

London Toastmasters Humorous Contest

Yesterday, a whole day job!

A whole wonderful day at Camden's Irish Center.

Before the Contests, we had a few interesting workshops. The first I attended was about Non Verbal communication. Indeed, I know its importance already, but I did learn new things from Richard Fallon.

He then took someone, a good Improviser too, who helped to show us how much we read, or presume, from different signals someone emits, involuntarily even. Just by thinking of someone hated or loved.

He also taught us strategies to approach 'cat type' not only 'dog type' people... also there is so much it can be told about that!

Dog like was the open, verbal, communicating type - but they also can be of course very misleading, as the ones cat like closed and seemingly listening a lot less.

And all depends, of course, with whom we are and 'how we present the package'.

Next workshop was about memory, interesting, but as we have different kind we do not remember the same way, I cannot remember by number and English rhyme, but images do stick in my memory, also I have to connect them somewhow in a story.

Then we had seven great and very different humorous tales, speaches.

Adolfo Tunon, from Canary Warf's club had the first price, from the time I have listened to his speech in his club, he did improve - also of course, the impact of surprise was lost to me, and it is an important part of it.

By chance, I met before the competition also his wife and mother-in-law as I was attracted like a magnet by that old beautiful and ladylike face. She speaks only italian, and was in London just to visit, but yes, by non-verbal communication, we did understand each other.
Div.B  Humorous &TTConstest-1
Later, we had the Table Topics competition, and I was stunned how well some could tell such a great speech on a subject about they did not expect or known before.

The winner of that one was David Jones, with a great speech, indeed.
David Jones TT Contesst winner-3
But all others gave interesting and very different speaches about the same subject.

Lot of work now still to go through all the formal and informal pictures I have taken yesterday, from 10 to after 4 afternoon, and then, on the street going home. I arrived as the sun was setting down.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Croydon Communicators

Henrietta is now the President of the club, and they invited me to their meeting and to speak.

Not to bad but it could have been better, they likded my speach better then me, to fast and not enought thought or tried out, lot of work to do until the 1st of November.

But the meeting also demonstrated me that it can be great with also few people!

Great lecon,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meridian speakers

Older and newer Toastmasters from Meridian Speakers Club in discussion.

Pictures I have taken yesterday evening for the Greenwich newspaper or Magazine, thanks to the contact through my pictures of the market.

I hope it is not too late to go to the next number.

I did not give any text, they told me "there is enough information on the website...

Yesterday, I have given my first speech from the series Silver Advanced, next week the second role and then, whenever I can. The important is to prepare for the next speech each time and when the occasion arises, give it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The centre of the city of Manchester is very varied, and no unity in its very old and very modern very tall or cute tiny buildings - and it makes a very interesting visit!
So much to see and so much to discover!

My legs gave up almost the same time as my camera's battery.

Departing the 8 from the foggy London full of traffic, we arrived after 2 to our hotel and 4 30 to the Town Hall and stayed until midnight. It was a wanderful and eventfull day. But here are mostly some of the pictures for the next day around 3 hours stroll;

Some only from so many I took during it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Manchester before telling our tales

Peter from New York and me.

A great day, the 8th of October.

From 9 am going away from the London in fog, to Euston station taking the train at 11 and arriving around 2 pm, then to the Manchester Town-hall, testing sound; taking photos; testing the place - wonderful hall - and then repeating all our tales.

Finally, the time arrived, just before 8 people flowed in, the huge hall was full!

I was the second to tell my story; to my surprise, it was also showed on two giant screens!

Energized by the presence of audience, we were all better then the during the repetition.

A great day, and even greater evening - till after mid-night.

When I was ten, version October 2010

For the True Tales in Manchester, as recorded and amplified by  me

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A beautiful tree

The tree is not so far from where I live so I am able to return to it, whenever I want.

In France, I had a similar tree before my window, I am no more in France, but the tree is no more there either : one day, three years ago, my grandson then aged only 7 decided to cut it and put it in a new place, where he thought it would be good to remember their cat.

It never lived again.

I hoped, it will grow back, one year it almost seemed so, but this summer when I went back it was still absent. It lives in my memory, my old photos of it, and it is here in London through its brother, a similar tree not far for me to go and see and remember.
Fall in my garden-3
photo taken in October 2005 in my garden near Paris
vdFall light exercises_0310_0024
photo taken in October 2010 in the court London

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The road is long

Le chemon - the road
The road towards my fall tree is long and has many fallen automn leaves on the - for the moment still - green grass.

The road seems long toward telling my war story, one day of my life when I was ten,

This morning so many other things come out! but telling all the leaves and roads could make the story less strong, less accessible.

One day, I will have to tell more of it, answer the Whys and Hows too, and add some other episodes. I have to let it grow for now, then I will see. What to put in and what to let out.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In the ear... (Kids in Paris)

Listening, statue near the Saint Eustache church, in Paris near the Halles. A great place for children to go up, a huge head and a hand.

I love it!

It came up to me by chance today, this picture taken March 2008, finally not so long before I got to come to London.

I went to give some books free to a restaurant that was closed that day, but got to take great pictures after all on the way.

The time was not lost.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Playing, tranforming

Finally, loosing for two days a paper, helped me.

Not only I found lots of other papers at the same time, but telling my story, I also found someone to help me out. From now on, I will have to do less paperwork - imagine, there are people liking to do it!

I also found some very knowledgeable to take one two more weeks the light, and so I went out and took 36 pictures of a fall tree.

Here is a transformed version of one of them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Those are not from my eyes

Also I feel like weeping, but mostly furious with myself!

I misplaced a small paper on which I have noted important information, and should have put it into the computer or my notebook as soon as I had them and not on a mere paper.

Yesterday, I spend lot of time looking for it - finding lots of interesting papers, but the one I did need now.

I is really not nice to be furious with oneself!

PS Even if, finally tonight, I found the paper hidden, near my bed. What was it doing there?

Friday, October 1, 2010

After the rain

I learned this month that everything in an image does not have to be seen, sometimes leaving parts in dark the message of the image becomes stronger.

It was mostly demonstrated by portraits, but I tried it on these leaves from a garden near the street along which I passed yesterday.

Our eyes are even more attracted to the details of the leaves.

One never finishes to learn!

But this month, I have to find a new theme to the Afterclass group, and if possible, a new leader. The 1st arrived and I still do not know whom and what. What did I do yesterday?

After the rain (33)v square
Bought some fruits and milk and bread, took some photos as soon as the rain stopped, played and changed some of them and eat some of the fruits. Then, went to sleep the afternoon, each speech takes from me some energy I have to refill.

And at the end, spend a great evening with my grand daughter.

Yes, it was finaly a great day!