Saturday, March 31, 2012

From August to April long wait

Again eyeglasses!From the beginning of August to the beginning of April, many long hours spend hoping to be able to read again as before.

Hoping to be able to read again, normally.

Hoping to have again eyeglasses to read and eyeglasses to look at the computer screen.

Yes, I found replacement, could read with Kindle from end December, but I missed my books, and some of them I did buy in June or July to study, and had to look only at the cover.

I had to wait till the cataract operation is over first with one eye and six month later the other, and then again another two month to begin and heal at both eyes, before ordering new eyeglasses.

I do not see any more through mist or yellow colours, even if my eyesight did not improve, but from yesterday, with two pair of new eyeglasses, the word will be different again. Not sad, like in this picture from 2006, when I did not even know my chance to see "normally" with my eyeglasses! Now I see the word more in rose and smiling more also, and I did buy even one of the pair with rose frames! What a joy to recover something you lost, something that once you took for granted:!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Joy of finding her mother

Just out of the kindergarten, the small ones come first out of their "school" in France, Argenteuil.

I made a new set with old photos, all those kids are now far and away, but for sure at least 4 years older.

How fast children change at those ages!

Following this one those who want can follow to the set and the other pictures.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Think what you wish, what you ask!

Yesterday, I got (again) what I wanted.

More time for my the Alchemist comedy club, South West London.

Well, the second time, I realised, my "longer" set is not yet ready.

Yes, five minutes is not enough, six or seven more like it, but my nine or ten minutes material is not yet there, or not yet well prepared. Well, we have to learn a lesson, then we can begin to work again.

Be aware what you ask for!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"London's calling"

I go far from home, well, one and half hour distance with taking one bus after the other, but suddenly, Liverpool street is there, so full with things to take!

And of course, then, after just a few takes, my camera dies. The battery no more working.

Well, it is better then if I died on stage at the Dirty Dicks Comedy show called "Dead comedian's socks". It is called like this because a comedian who does not get laugh, is 'dead' that night. Well, not in this place. If you feel like dying, you touch the socks behind you, and the public cheers! And you feel uplifted again to go on.
Dead Comedian Socks
I did not have to touch yesterday. But the idea is nice, and two comedians, who did not get laugh in some places, did touch and did get cheers.

Blue baloons in London  by Julie70The only one who really died on the stage, from twenty, went on without even realising he did not get laugher or cheers... But they were 5 new comedians at their first appearances, perhaps he was between them.

I'll have to go back one at least, to take more photos in that place, near the station, on the street, so much is going on!
Bykes in London
Tonight, I am way West, even farther, also South of London, at Comedy Bin's Alchemist. 225 St Johns Hill London SW11 1TH

I recharge my battery now, fast!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Violettes, violettes

As far you can see, a bunch of tiny violettes around our appartment houses!

I love them!

24 photos so far, because it is difficult to decide how to render what I see. Even more, what I feel!

Tonight, I am on to the club where I have been for nothing (4 hours) two weeks ago, I hope, this time I will be on. Accross Liverpool station.

In fact, perhaps I will arrive in one hour there, taking a bus after the other, but as I have seen, I have to be there before seven! Afternoon traffic is never sure.

I will try to be there early.

Others travel far away to have a gig, we have so many in London, so we are lucky.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Multiple reflections

Judge, at Citi Criers Toastmasters club, and meeting old pals from there and from other clubs. It was great to be back there.

No group photo this time, but I have some great from the last contest.

I am preparing new stories, that cast new reflections on my life. The themes of Joanna from Spark London inspire me, even when I do not go to tell the tale there. "Back from the Brink"... well, I had a few. I just found the most terrible one. But that one I did not let last long, I did all to go away from it, not to let it happen if fact.

And another story came to me when I forgot to take my sunglasser which I need for the moment, with my eyes that are more sensible to light then usual. "Smile" - yes, that will be my next "persuasive" speech. With a history of why and how in my own life.

Smiles connect us.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Open ???

Strange, it is written open, but it is closed, as you can see too.

Some people are also a bit like this. They say one thing but in fact act the other.

Mixed signals.

My openness is never feigned, but alas one can also read from me what I do not want or resent someone. That does make "authentic" but it did bring me during my 77 years also people hating me.

This days, I am a lot more open then when I was younger. It is more difficult to hurt me, I developed with age a thicker skin. Together with white hair, some plastic teeth, and operated eyes.

Are those eyes that let me see the life more in rose? Or blue in fact. Blue not as "blue mood" but as "blue clear sky" mood.

The others smile also more to me, or do I smile more to them.

It is nice to be open, without mixed signals.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What is hidden

The books we did buy till now, remained, till we gave them away or, eventually put them in a bin, on our shelves.

For all to see.

Some books we did put on front, for all to see, others in the back or up to the highest selves.

The electronic books we buy by one click, are a lot more hidden. "No one can see them!"

I just read a paper found in underground newspaper that nowadays, more then 50% of some kind of books are those sold for electronic devices like the Kindle. Well, some we do not want on our selves but are curious or eager to read inside a small device.

Same book, hidden "under" cover... With time, they are even more hidden and forgotten then those from behind gathering dust.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Evening at Picadilly

I was hesitating, but Aline called last minute: come! I did.

Bus to train, train to Charing Cross, near Trafalgar Square. A new statue! Of course, they change those, from time to time.

Walked towards Picadilly and found the street, but not the Comedy place. Of course, the name was not Comedy Bin or The Lion's Ben Comedy, it was "rumba" bar for, usually, showing women... dancing around a pol...

It was just the time for putting our name on, for a set. You perform? Yes. OK. They stamped my hand. I was on!

The only one "aged lady" I was interpelled a few time and each time I made them laugh. Well done!

My to comedy pals were around me, bought me Coca Cola, I felt not alone. The place filled out finally, more then thirty and yes, a warm, laughing audience. A good compère. Good mic and lights just so, too.

Aline passed the first, great performance! They draw out the names from a funny hat. Gunny was also in the first half.
The Lion's Den Comedy (3)
A great and funny compère
My time arrived later. I killed! They really enjoyed my set and I loved that audience too.

Mostly young men, from everywhere, but also some couples and a few young women comedians too. They appreciate even more "gram" comic.
The Lion's Den Comedy (6)
It was a memorable night, well worth the 6 hours spend for those 5 minutes! In fact, not only five, because I enjoyed also the comic numbers of the others.
Trafalgar Square-05

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Very proud of my grandson, Eagle

  Today, there will be three Eagle awards, delivered, for arriving at the highest grade in Scouts for my 18 year grandson. He has worked for it,walked and done lot of voluntary work for it!

Here, restoring run down tombs.

Three, as one is for the mother and one is for the father, they did deserve it, having helped him through the years!

I am really proud of my eldest grand son's achievements, who finishes high-school this year, is playing French Horn in orchestra, and soon will go to university.

How the time passes ! I remember how proud I was when I heard "you are grandma now!"

Even from afar, I wish him and the whole family my best, and even from afar, I am with them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baked pleasures

They have been green and sour and too hard to eat apples, they were supposed to be baked.

I looked at them for a week, before, finally, this morning, deciding to put them in the oven!

And then, the pleasure begun.

First, it was the smell! All my apartment is now perfumed with it.

Second, the view, when I have taken them out, just so baked.

Third, was the first apple, tasted then eaten this morning.

Just a few baked apples, but what a joy they have already given me!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Division H Councel Meeting in Reigate

Quint small town, about an hour from South of London. With my two passes, the Free Pass for Greater London and the Senior Travel for the rest, it did not cost me much money.

Of course, it is not the same about my time. I went out of my door a bit after 6 in the morning, to arrive only at 8 25 at Reigate High Street. And we were not yet there yet!

A very interesting meeting, so well prepared and conducted, and with a Skype connection and a far away telephone connection (I was very impressed!) I was mostly very pleased to meet so many familiar, friendly faces!

Then, I had to rush, alas away, take the train in the other direction, to be at my afternoon Workshop of True Storytelling, at Canal Cafee Theatre, conducted with maestria by Joanna Yates.

In three hours, we did understand much better what works well in storytelling, how important is to begin when the crisis is there and to be there actively in the moment with details. At the end, all told stories!

I arrived home 12 hours after going out, a bit tired, of course, but what a great day it was!

Friday, March 16, 2012

There was a time

There was a time in my life, when I have been young, unmarried and in love.

One day, a bouquet of flowers arrived!

There were beautiful!

I had three boys, courting me, and did not know for sure, whom between them send it to me. I was attracted to one of them, but he was not serious. The second, took me to the theatre, but I did not feel anything toward him. The third....

I hoped, it was from him!

Not an hour passed, as I admired my room who become suddenly different, magic, beautiful because of the huge bouquet of flowers, and another bouquet was brought by a young envoy.

A second bouquet, even more beautiful!

Who did send those?

I arranged that too in my room, which now become a garden of flowers almost, magic!

Full of joy, but also with doubts. Who could have send those bouquets to me? Why two one after other? Where those from different boys? Coincidence? Why no note with any of them?

One more hour have passed and the third arrived, with crisp white shirt, bronzed arms and a big smile.

Of course, he was the one who send the flowers!

Why two bouquets?

Well, I passed in the market and send to you the first one, then, I went a bit farther and had suddenly seen one even more beautiful! So...

Thank you!

I was so impressed! So happy and the flowers lasted long time, changing my room's mood.

I maried him.

He continued to bring me flowers.

One day, he passed near another, girl, and found her more beautiful. Without forgetting me, he went with her. And later, he found another, even more interesting.

After fifteen years together, we parted and no one brought or send me flowers any more.

One day, I discovered, I can buy flowers to myself!

And my room was beautiful again!

I was happy: I did not have to wait for someone buy me beautiful flowers! I was independent! I could bring joy to myself.

Eventually, other man did too, but I never lost the feeling of not depending on them for my joys in life. Yesterday, I bought myself this beautiful tulips, and all the story came back to me, all the feeling of joy came with it.

Mixed with a bit of sorrow, of lost things, too, but only writing it down here, did I understand the significance of the second bouquet.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A chair and its miror image

So, it is only a reversed chair on a mirroring a bit transparent surface.

Not two chairs, one on the other!

The real "me" and the real "what I want" escapes me this morning. I am confused and want my flame back! Want back that flame to do, to make do, to go up on the podium, to help others, to be active.

All I feel for the moment, is going back to my bed and reading the 120th romance novel on my Kindle.

I want back the flame!

The need that pushed me out and pushed me do things and be active! The feeling that made me happy to appear in public and be together with the audience!

The mist of London will disappear by noon, will it also from my soul?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Storyteller from Kosovo in London

You do not have to go up on the podium in a theatre, to be storyteller!

This small coffee's owner, is one very good one!

It was a chance I got inside, Sunday, and discovered him. Alone, he felt like speaking, and we did.

First, he told me he is from Kosovo and then about how her mother had to walk with fear to be killed if she stops. Finally, English soldiers took charge of her and send her to England.

After that tale, he told me an old tale in a way it remained like a film in my mind. "One has to be given the key, even the king can not take it!" he told me at the beginning of this, very old Moslem tale that he related so well and so much in detail and with dialogue and imaginary.

Before we went away, as by chance Steve was also there, eating, he took a picture of the Storyteller with me. Between the two of us, he was the better teller!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Now, what?

Butte Montmartre, a clear afternoon
After you get up, one more level, you feel on the top of the world.

For an hour or a day.

You know, all the work that took you to arrive there. You know, how long and how strong you looked ahead to arrive.

But, now, what?

There is always one more level up, or you go down and begin all again, or you find new paths.

But before all that, you stop, rest, think. Breath.

A few photos from Sunday

And yes, I am on the the next level of Heat of Belushi's!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Aie! they will see you!

This time, I did it!

Well, I put my feet into it. I invited my Toastmasters pals, who live nearby, and some will be there!

I'd better make people laugh!

So I am more anxious as usual. And plus, there is a contest night and a new place near my neighbourhood, and my 20th gig.

As the 4th man I did not count any more, I will not count either from my 21th gig on. How long I will continue, I do not know, because I am a bit tired just now, but I have already booked five more in new places.

There are so many places clubs for Stand Up comedy in London! Yes, some are far away, more then one and half hour distance, with bus and underground, or train and bus, but all in greater London.

I went so far only twice outside it, once to Canterbury, interesting city and good gig a new place created by a Toastmaster comedy pal, and once the second time to Leicester's Dave comedy festival. Where I gained the 1st place for Silver Newcomer and made new mates.

I am not yet really hooked, many who start go out three or six times a week, and for years. I like it, but not really more (is it true?) then the storytelling nights.

Well, they are very different.

I can tell more of my life, more the lessons I learned, give more confidence to others through my stories. On the other hand, the audience reaction is so much more strong in the comedy places.

So far.

I know, I will have to have downs, also as all comedians tell me, and I already had less laughs in some places then in others. But never a place where they did not sympathise or did not laugh. So of course, I still hope in my soul it will continue, as much as I know that all can happen.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

At the beginning, summer 2008

Yes, I have become now Advanced Communicator Gold, in Toastmasters, as "high" as one can go with "speech award" on the "communication track".

Yes, I will have Monday 20 gigs behind me, where they never let me "die", always laughed. A few or a hundred.

Yes, I told now tales in the Theatre, or even been paid for it, and in English!

But in August 2008, I had no idea yet what I will do here. I had no plan, other then find a place to live.

This is the Blackheath Agency who found me my current apartment in which I still live. Then, I could begin to see around, and think of what I'd rather do.

First was the photography groups to discover London, and all the festive events to attend, the markets to stroll.

Then, was the Artist's Way Meetup, once a week at the Royal Festival Hall. At the time, I did not understand how much good influence it had on me.It showed me that there is more then one way to be creative. And we do not have to have a title to do them.

My goal was to publish a small book, with photos I have taken and text. I still did not do that. Sometimes...

More then anything, I wanted to connect with people, and then I have discovered Toasmasters clubs, again, in London. I found a family. I found like minded people. Goals.

My goals were short. One step at a time.

So now, many steps later, I got my 'educational" goal. Of course there is always more to do in London and in the life, even at 77.

Next? Beside Storytelling, Stand-up Comedy, coaching, I have to learn to lead better and better Workshops.

All begun for me in London, that day, when finally they found me a place for me to live.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Toastmasters, pass the toarch slowly

York, Dublin, Glasgow, I have been there, done that.

Three Toastmasters conference from our District. And I am not speaking even of the Las Vegas International Conference.

At each one, I learned something else. Understood better TMs and how it is organized, how it works.

No organization works by itself. Toastmasters does by the effort of a lot of people who do believe in its importance to open Public Speaking more widely. To give courage, to teach each other Speaking, listening and organizational skills.

I did believe, I do not need that last one. But did I learn different, this year! And yes, as time goes by, the learning and collaboration continues.

Finally, more we give, more we learn. And then, others take the torch from us as we move farther on. My team strengthened as we begun preparing for the next to take over! Officialy, it is end of June, but the work has to begin early if we want the passage take place smoothly.

Friday, March 9, 2012

How to be an alien

A Hungarian humorist writer. That was his best book, his best seller. Ever.

He made fun of himself and the English, seen with his alien eyes. And to his huge surprise, the Brit's loved it.

I did too.

He wrote other books, "how to be" but no one arrived at this level.

Still remember, his mother, asking in Hungarian the London policeman, in which direction is the street she needed to go home.

Erre? pointing Arra? pointing

Finally, the policeman gave up and told her, pointing : "Arra!" and the author's mother came home "Everyone speaks Hungarian!"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Change, in my 77e year (With Spark True Tales, live from the theatre)

I wanted to discover, a year ago, what made the public laugh at same points of my tales. And make them laugh, where I wanted. A year after, in the life performance at the Canal Café Theatre, London, I begun to be able to combine, drama with humour.

Yes!!! One can learn at any age. This was my 77e year.

Of course, so much more would have to be told, but we had each of us 7 minutes. Not so bad after all telling in 7 minutes about how I changed at age 77.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yesterday, 2000 views exactly!

Yesterday, looking to my Flickr statistics, I discovered, suddenly, that the 5th March, exactly 2000 looked at my photos. I can still hardly believe. In a single day!!! Of course, this is with 1389 photos, 382 went to see my photostream, more then one photo probably it means, 239 opened a photoset, 3 a photo collection, that are now more hidden as I show sets on my stream, and 7 even visited my photo galeries, photos I have chosen from others.

That made yesterday a round 2000 views or visits.

I can still understand, 2000, even if it seems so much, but I can not believe almost 4 million in seven years! But that stat, says it. In any way, showing pictures I have taken, the world around me with my eyes and my camera, on Flickr, is a wonderful way to "expose"!

Instead of letting them rest on my hard drive or hid in an album rarely opened. Or show them in a gallery framed - and the frame costs still a lot - where only from time to time, someone wanders in, and even then, it should be put somewhere that it makes it easy to reach and see...

At that moment, I have looked, yesterday noon, "only" around 800 visited my photos! or, perhaps it means looked at 800 of my photos? I imagine a hall with 800 people, looking at what I have done, waw! It feels good, indeed. A great exposure given through the web! Because of the web.

We should unearth all the slides hidden in museums, photos taken by great masters, and show them!

It is great to be with live audience, as I have been yesterday at the storytelling event I opened, with my story, 60 people listening in live! They gave me so much back at the instant, it was really a two way communication. But when I will have, if I will the video, or when I will have the sound track, that is sure at least, I could put it also on the web, in my blog with links and much more can participate to it. I am still amazed of all the new things that can be done more and more, all the people we reach with anything we want to spread.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Storytelling at Spark London

Yesterday, all those and more performed at Canal Café Theatre, at Spark, London personal storytelling events. I also told the tale of my 77th year.

Here, David, Windy, Flavia, Richard, and Joanna the producer who helped us all so much to become better, tell more specifics and more natural.

I also added some details, and also some jokes that all worked!

I was so happy that 5 Toastmasters from Lewisham Speakers club were telling their very different and interesting personal stories of change, at the same time!

Our workshop, begun end October, worked! Other, even better workshops to come, soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The T-Bird Comedy Bin

The T-Bird Comedy Bin at T-Bird - Comedy Friday!

That will be my 19th Standup, one more to go next week, and the 20 is behind me.

New places, new faces, new venues for March and April, already 6 more booked.

Each one is a new experience, and joy to meet new audience, too.

But before that, is the Storytelling event, tonight, and, a short workshop on Teamwork, Wednesday, for once it will be every two days, not one after the other!

Why I am so active? I was asked. Well, I have to live fully, as much as possible. There are no more infinit number of years before me. Make the most of what I still have. Besides, more I enjoy it, more I experiment and learn, it seems, after Jane Fonda's book, more I will live.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I stripped

That is "after" I stripped, taken off my tea shirt and of course, under it was this one, another one.

At Canal Cafe Theatre, tomorrow, I will begin speaking of that event.

It was the beginning of laughter and the spark that pushed me towards the Standup Comedy circuit at the end of last year.

I like this!

The Spark that incognited at Spark London!

While writing this note, a new phrase just jumped out for me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Together again, learning from each other

In September and October, eight nights of learning together Stand-up Comedy, 12 Toastmasters from the class of PhD David Jones.

We meet from time to time.

I was in Canterbury, with Chris, and yesterday Steve was there with him. Thursday, "Pierre la Poule" and Sonia were performing at the Comedy in Tooting.

The mood was gloom, it was the last time. Instead of a pub, soon it will be a supermarket!

Too many of the audience has already been there and heard one another jokes and comedy.

It was still an interesting night. And of all one can learn.

Here are the observations of Sonia answering of my auto critic.
"Anyway my giggin’ friends – yes last night was a tough one – energy levels in general were really low and Ed did his best but he could not really keep them up. Also – there too many comedians and not enough audience members new to the material. I heard two people that played on the night I was on (about 3 weeks ago) and of course did not find funny.

No excuses – continues Sonia - this is the exiting thing about this journey. To be able to play to the best of abilities no matter WHAT the audience is like – as David T Jones (PHD) said: anything can be funny as long as your truly believe in it.
Julie – you were great I think you have tightened up the gig and made in leaner. Good stuff. I did not notice you messed your lines at all. Thanks for your feedback on my holding the mike hiding my face..

Pierre la Poule – good good that you got back into the game (trust me it takes a lot of effort) you had the audience in the palm of your hand (at first) – but it was not a happy crowd."
Reading her lines, I feel better. He is from France, she is from Spain. Me? I play the Hungarian, as it is too complicated to explain having lived in France for 40 years, my accent is still heavy Hungarian!

Yes, we still have a long way to go, and let us take whatever it comes in our way and learn to deal with it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ed Compère in Tooting for last time

Comedy in Tooting, gave his last performance, with Ed, compère without compare and Kirk wonderful host.

We will miss them!

We will find them back in new places.

I fumbled yesterday, felt too much, told too little. There is so much more work behind the scenes to make good comedy night happen.

To have a good place, background. Great mic in working order and good music system. To adapt the mic to how each is using it! To make a warm welcoming mood. The host.

To choose who will be on, and it what order each time. To make a great intro so they feel confident and the audience open to laugh and ready to be noisy. The organizer, compère.

I wanted to remind of all that yesterday, but finaly the emotion made the words remain in me. And me, fumble even with my set. Leave my photos behind at the end.

Well, I did arrive home after 1 at night, and I had my keys, and my memories of great place and wonderful organisers. To whom I did not thank as I could have, would have, wanted.

I have other pictures and I hope, other occasions to tell all how wonderful they are.

How much I undersand, that good mic, good mood, good audience and comics, do not appear out of the air, but it is the work of lot of choices, intelligence and soul.

I went there, hoping to have a photo with both of them, together with me, and came home exhausted, even did not stay for a drink that was offered. When I want, I use the excuse "I am already 77", but in fact I am "only 77"

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Spring arrived to London!

Flowers all around my building, my street, spring is here, they say.

Today, I went out early, and it was already warmer, a lot warmer, too.

Nature reborn again!