Friday, October 31, 2008

Time was still on my side

I feel the time is still on my side.

The web is a curious thing, things happen, one after the other.

This morning, opening my mail, I found a commentary from Marie on my French blog, she has linked me to hers. I went to look at it and I found a note about Pont Mirabeau with a video of the poem written "under the bridge Mirabeau, the river flows and goes away as go our loves" - it was probably recited by Moustaki because when I went to The Tube to see, his songs come near also, I listened to one or two but then found, by chance this translation in English of "there was still time" translated and song by MichDonn from Belgium.

His translation in English of "Il est trop tard" of Georges Moustaki

While I have been sleeping
while I have been dreaming
the clock has ticked away
it is too late
my childhood's long ago
and now it's tomorrow
pass the time pass the time
there's not much time left on the line...

While I have been loving
holding you my darling
love has faded away
it is too late
you were so well bred I'm alone in my bed
pass the time pass the time
there's not much time left on the line..

While I have been singing
freedom and liberty
others were in slavery
it is too late
some went off to battle
never was I able
pass the time pass the time
there's not much time left on the line

And yet I'm still alive
and yet I still make love
sometimes I sing and play
on my guitar
for the child that was me
for the child that's from me
pass the time pass the time
there's not much time left on the line

While I was sleeping
while I was dreaming
while I had you darling
time was still on my side...

Now interpretation of all of this is personal: it shows it is never too late!

The translator and singer is old, almost like me, and he did create something new from an old song and also interpreted it and gave it to us all. Thanks!

This morning, listening to him was a balm to my soul.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reflections on Thames

This is a "modern" painting, not a faithful photography.

I learned this morning, at least I think so, that a bit fuzzy image, like one a bit oblique does look weird and deranges, but a lot, that is another matter.

So I have taken some, not this one which was taken moved and I did want it like this, not thinking I'll show it just for exercise, but another one, that was not blurred enough. I did work on it with Photoshop Elements, and finally I was satisfied, the blur and accented movement, gave me the effect I remembered "seeing", the moving reflections on the Thames.

Modern painting?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10 portraits printed

I did print ten portraits, they look very "professionally" printed, yes, true, but they did use all my inks, and now, again, I can't print.

The ten colors pictures (here in black and white) did cost me finally more then printing a book through the web, but I learned from it.

First, I was the only one who did as asked from our Meetup leader, who did not precise "from our meetup" but I believed so. Second, I did find them finally, even in the night in the confusing Covent Garden or Soho small streets and in pouring rain.

It just took me longer time.

Some of the moments I was tempted to abandon, but I did not. I am happy I did not, even if we did not have a proper place to show our pictures as I did believe when preparing them.

I did look at great pictures they did, but most not during our Meetup!
I did take some nice ones, at least one I think afterworlds in a pub.
I did discover how many different things one can do in a pub while slowly drinking a bear or a glass of vine.

Read a book!
Wait for friends.
Laugh. Discuss.

and so much more!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Under bridge graffitis

A bit of courage from me, going this time from the Royal Festival Hall not towards the Westminster bridge but, along the Thames, towards the National theater. but so interesting!

Some part was a lot less illuminated, like these walls with very colorful graffiti on them, I even found two young people, a boy and a girl in different places, trying their hands on them, adding their own marks to it.

And I found a bookshop, with great books, how could I resist? Wonderful reflections on the water again, and also on the building what great colors the night can offer me when, exceptionally I stay late out!

It is not so exceptional now as I go each week to my groups meeting, but still unusual. Only problem was getting colder, not near the watter in the center of the city but coming home and waiting for the bus to arrive. But what I have seen was worth it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Market - where?

"Poivron, tomates, poires, potiron" as if it was in France, but I took the image before a shop, in London, near a market if not in it.

There were clothes on sale in the market, and lots of things.

I'll have to go back at that nice friendly place and take some pictures before Christmass.
I did this one, that come back to me from a lost and found memory card this morning, on main street Argenteuil two years ago taking this offering for the end of year.
Old Christmass time-3

Sunday, October 26, 2008

London Paris London

I could say instead, Blackheath Standard, at three twenty at night. that I left Wednesday. The bus took me to Elephant Castle, where I met two others going to King Cross St Pankreas.

One was going to Italy by Ryan Air to buy shoes, and taking the train until the airline, a man. The other, was going to Paris, this time on train "usually I take the bus Eurolines, from Victoria station, but it takes 7 to 8 hours to arrive", true, it does not cost more then 19 pounds, usually."

Waiting for the 63N to arrive, I learned in the middle of night a lot that I could use another time.

Arrived to Paris, Gare de Nord, after 9 in the morning, this is almost the only image I took, I like, because after a nice fast breakfast, we took the metro. Next time, I'll take bus to be able to look around at least.

I spend the rest of my days until yesterday afternoon at Argenteuil, not farther from Paris center then Blackheath is from London's center.

Lots happened there, but that is another story.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wonderful contacts!

As you see, I played on the square, and the nice, friendly policemen, proposed to take a picture of me in their hat.

Here it is!

Then, I wanted to try the other hat also, and they did let me have it and took a photo with that too.

Later, I had good contact with people from the Barkleys, and then with a familly whom you can see between my last images, at first looked strange to me as I was making "candid" pictures, without asking. Then, I did ask, and they also posed to me and for me.

I went from one contact to another, and spoke to many different groups of people, having come home not only with a lot of photos but with joy on my heart. I hope, I gaven some of it also to people met on the Trafalgar square sunday, at Diwali festival.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Joy of life

Young, as him, or younger, or old and older, I found yesterday at Trafalgar Square so many interesting people!

And most of them told me Yes, you may take a photo of me, some were flattered or even happy with it, but a lady with beautiful intelligent eyes and face, inside a photo expo at the Royal Festival Hall even told me: I am flattered!

That never happened before.

I did get "thanks" for remarking and taking them from time to time, but no one felt, let's say better, no one expressed it like that.

I met so many interesting people so far in London! And yesterday was a special day. I decided, this morning to do a book with people of old ages and origins expressing the Joy of Life (my name on flickr photos).

The reunions of Artist's Way and the book too, and all those great people give me the courage to do it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Diwali, to all!

Festival of the lights, new year, here is my contribution so far with the light of sun coming through the fall leaves.

It is a chance that I looked at the groups having "flickr" in their name, but I can't make it to the temple they are visiting in north of London in time, because my Portrait group meetup will be not finished in time.

What I can do, is go to the Trafalgar square and participate there.

That is what I will try.

I am excited to have learned, for the moment reading about it, of the different days around the Hindu new year and looking forward to learn more.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Light and shadows in fall

In fall, as toward the end of our life, there is something even more beautiful that we can see and perceive, so many nuances and colors, so much sun rising after the rains and fog!

I did believe, as in my life, "no more sun on this tree" but there are a few minutes that the shadows are chased by the sun, from time to time, even there, and yes, also in my life.

Just have to use that small opportunity until it is possible.

Today, a bit pessimist words from an optimist woman. Perhaps, we all are allowed to some moments when we feel down, when we fear. I just heard that I have a beginning of cataract, not so big deal I tell myself, without really believing it in my soul.

Sometimes, the reason and the emotions are not working so well together. But the fall IS beautiful, and I took some pictures yesterday that made me happy with myself. They are like a medicine to my soul.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Shadow hunting?

In the group Afterclass we are still at shadow and reflection hunting, very interesting theme, indeed, at it gives, between other things: this.

When the sun is not in the middle of the sky, hight up, we get, early or late in the day long shadows. They make me bigger, longer, thinner.

But with the falling leaves, on the ground, making a wonderful colorful tapistry and the multicolored ones still on the trees, so many colors and shades and so many different arrangments that I never really SEEN until this year, I have already gone farther: hunting the fall.

Big perspective or very near, or in between, up or down, they seem all fascinating to me this year.
As do, the people I meet during my walks.

A father taking care of his child "it is my wife who works, from the day he was born I care for him", he tells me proudly. A contruction worker explaining me that at that side the sun almost never arrives and making me more aware of the luck of orientation of the place I live, and so on.

"Hunting", with my small camera, shadows or fall, leaves and people, taking them home with me in the tiny place and looking at them carefully later, what a great time I had, even the days I am to tired to go farther.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still active!

I admire the people around me, who even older then me (at least as it seems a bit older) are active, are smiling, are there in the life.

She was there to help at the exit of the school near me, helping children and parents pass on the other side, but also giving me courage. There is life after 70, and probably, even 80!

She is not the only one active lady I see here around me, but I do admire each of them!

I also found a nice man, ready to jump start my car that is stuck now for more then a week, and also fast put a new batteries in it, what my daughter in law believes it needs.

On my way, yesterday, I hunted fall. What a great season it could be! By chance, I found just across my place, not far from where I live now, a tree, the same I had near my window for seven years, the only one, home there, giving me a taste of fall.

Here, so many different and marvelous leaves and also green grass with red and yellow leaves!

Fall seems now a wonderful time of the year, but then each period of the year and of our life has its own magic.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Under and on the footbridge

This monday I did not go down but others did.

This man (or woman) is admiring the river's light, just under the footbridge I passed later through, to go from the Royal Festival Hall (near Waterloo) to Embarcadero and Charring Cross station.

Somehow, even if I have taken other pictures too and other people's portraits that evening, this one symbolizes more for me the enchantment of the night illuminations - not only for me!

I have taken three different pictures with different exposure, and here is the darker one that gives better the background.

Then, on the bridge, someone took one of me, after I have taken three of them together with the background on the other side.

Those are more "posed" pictures but sometime candids reflect, I think more, tell more - and that even if they are more "documentary" then "artistic" and more experimental, as they are my night photos for the moment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Different worlds

While the cars pass through the bord of the Thames, near Embarcadere, the river's water sparkles in different colors from its surrounding and the gentle wind.

Yesterday, after our 6th, festive meeting that I adored because it showed our confidence in each other, each bringing to the Artist's way meeting something from him or herself. A broderie, a photo, an object, a cake, a CD with music band in which he begun to play, drawing of childhood, leaves like a hand, poèmes to read, and so on, I took, again, passing the footbridge night photos.

But I took also to very short vidéos. That is something I have still to learn: it speaks sometime better then a single image.

From my window

Sunday, I took this through the closed window!

It seemed to me that she looked there like an impressionist picture and I envied her beautiful white outfit, and big hat that very conveniently hid her face - otherwise I do not think I would have taken this...

As it is, one can more guess then see, but that is what impressionism is about, is not it?

Everything was put exactly as to make a good composition, an equilibrated picture. I took more images, at different exposure, but perhaps this one I like better, also in the others you may see the fall arriving, surrounding her.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brittish museum happenings

So this is what made me stop to speak to the man on the bench, without his shoes, who visits the British Museum almost every three month, and for sure, he must go inside and discover something new every time.

Suddenly, my eyes (and camera) were attracted to the young woman, wanting to leave a trace of her baby having been there. As the baby did not really want to do it, finally, she did.

After, when she turned to enter the museum, I asked if I can take a photo of them and she posed, happy and proud of her child.

Inside, I met them again, at least twice. She let the baby crawl a bit alone, and he or she crawled into my photo as I was taking this - and made it so much more interesting!

But the shadows contribute to it too, I think. Yes, in my group Afterclass it is the shadows and reflections month, so I look more around thinking of them, finding them again and again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Brittish museum inside, outside

So much happened in only a few hours!

For exemple, I spoke to this man resting at the main entrance of the Museum, his very nice shoes under the bench, after having visited the museum, again.

- I come ofthen here!
- Every day?
- No, but at least every three month, he told me.

I got a picture of him also nearer, while we spoke, he did not mind at all, and someone on flickr have just discovered, me photographing him am in his eyeglasses reflection "blow it up" a woman photographer from Colorado asked me.
Brittish museum meetup-35
So here is the blown up image of, only the eyeglasses, one can see not only me but the surounding colomns of the museum too, at farther, other people arriving.

I never got over how wonderful flickr is to meet people from all over the world, but also as advices and observations about each other images.

Inside, there was a strange light that I have seen only home on my computer screen because of the colored ceiling I think or the lightening, all has a slight green cast that finally I like.
Brittish museum meetup-24Brittish museum meetup-75
I did believe first that was a couple, but perhaps there were mother and daughter, and the daugther's husband or friend took the pictures. Later, they took of us together. They were so cute hugging each other on the stairs!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brittish museum meetup

My camera is tiny but his was huge, as was most of the participant's in the London Portrait Meetup group who came to take at the British Museum în a special light, each other and people wanting to do so.

Beside my collegues, I found as ususal others too, an old lady spoke about the University of 3rd age where I could teach, and onother lady modeled me near a black wall. Yet another couples posed and a man who told me he comes very often, three or four times a year, posed while resting at the entrance.

A group from a far away town come in medieval costumes, very funny! and lots of people posed with them.

Even me...

Of course, I did not make those pictures, but I asked another photographer, there were so many beside us there to take one of me.

There is a strange blue light in there, next time I have to take more care and correct it, even if it is not so difficult to correct home, it takes time. And sometimes, left as it is it makes even an interesting effect.

I learned also that every way, each day is not similar and sometimes the one's seemingly simple are the longest and, even do not take you, a Samedy, where it is supposed to go. "Sorry take the next one". And then the next one tells you the same and the third too.

Finally I took the tube to finish and the train to come home.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Off Westcombe Park

I got down a station before the Standard, in Blackheath and went up the hill towards Westcombe Park road, as G. suggested me a while ago. Thanks a lot! I did not forget!

And this was the time for it.

Yes, it was a beautiful sunny fall day, and the houses are beautiful and different for the rest. Are they really old, authentic? Those, they were more then one, looked like houses from Normandy!

I also met some people just delivering, one of them with funny tattoos, he was proud that I want to take a picture of them but did not want one of himself.

I also took picture of the fall leaves near the church, it was a great if short walk, the street was nearer me as I did believe.

I am open to any suggestions about what to see, where to go around here, in London, or even in England, even if I can't do it right away, finally, as yesterday, I do.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shadow hunting

Shadows and reflections, in so many media! Of course, on the ground daytime if there is a bit of sun, but also when it rains in the puddle. The river at the night or here, last year, Andrea was in Inde, visiting the city palace in Jaipur in Rajasthan, and was fascinated by two huge silver urns that the local maharaja had made to bring water from the Ganges with him to drink when he traveled abroad to England.
I can see so many mysterious things in this image. One did not travel so easy and light that days!

Andrea's image is a bit confusing like a Puzzle but so much is in it, and also what magnificent colors! But she is attracted often to reflections.

Here are some of my reflections and shadows, taken this week.

The evening lights on the Thames, the morning shadow of a Lady.
Blackheath village church on the Heathn reflected in a shop window or the shadow of a passing person on a brick wall.

I am learning. One can learn of any age!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lights & reflections in London's center

For a lot of people around the world, as Eiffel Tower represents Paris, Big Ben represents London, and how could they come to the city, without seeing it.

I had Monday evening, descended the stairs, the first time, and gone on the river side from the Waterloo footbridge towards Westminster bridge, admiring the lights and with my small camera and without a place to put it to stand, I tried to catch the lights and reflections magic that I admired.

So many colors, so fast moving, "impressionist" water!

My eyes did see clearly the big Ben and even the hour of the night, and even heard its sound, but the camera showed me more the trembling lights on the water. Finally, not so bad, either.

Plus, I found yet another way to come back from London's center, on the Jubilly line, quiet fast too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Meetup after meetup

Covent Garden Meetup_0132
He has also a meetup group of photography and photoshop, but they meet only once in a month, but comes, from far away to the portrait meetup also whenever he can.

So far, with the Bookcrossing group, the Artist's way, the Portrait group, and the creative writing groupe called Dare to Share. Plus once a week, the Weight Watchers, every morning almost swimming. And this saturday evening, an international meeting organised by St Johns parish, I do have what to do and whom to meet.

And, after a week of not reading, I can read now.

But, can I?

I'll have not much time!

Finally, almost all happens, and I do hava a telephone working and I do have the Broadband working, finally I do use my own wireless - so now I'll have to put all the images I took and did not and write what I postponed so long.

Some day, I'll have more time. Not for the moment. I wanted activities: I have them!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Covent Garden London portrait Meetup

London Portrait Meetup group visited yesterday Covent garden.

For our first meeting, our task was to take candid portraits of people showing the "sens of place".

It was raining outside, but the old market is covered, also there is no more "market" there but was transformed to an amusement place and turist's attraction.

It is realtively easy to take "candid" pictures of people there, they are absorbed in what they are doing. Most of them.

I did ask some, as I did pictures also for myself and I do like talking with people too.

You may see the set Covent Garden Meetup slide show or just go through them one by one. I did come home with more then hundred images but did put on (for the moment) only some thirty of them.

It was a great first meeting and we met again after taking the photos at the Photographers Gallery Café, behind the Leichester Metro.

Next week, we'll go to the British Museum to make portraits in different lightening conditions.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Deptford: "We are closing in"

Deptford main street, market street, is not so far finally from where I live, but somehow, it seems years, miles away. I found there, what I did not, when I went to London's East: how it was before.

I loved the old and some very small houses, the mix of people and shops from different places, the lot less cheaper fruits and clothes, the many places open for people to come in.

One specifically for women, other for those with immigration problems, (24H/24 after the, closed, window), other in an old train, to have a cup of tea, so many different places for people to go if in need.

Then, also this, posted towards to bus end of the market against those abusing the helps. I do not think it would not provoke a strong answer against them, even if president Sarkozi does want or did pass a law against them. A false indignation comes each time as something as this is proposed or spoken about, even if, lots of people have seen those working without declaring it, while "not having work" and collecting also help.

I do not know anyone here, but I did in France. No, I would not have phoned to declare them, but I did not like it. At least, I love the artwork in the different posters, also those seen in a whole page in the Times: I cut it from the paper and put it in my apartment to remember how different one culture can be from another, but also liking photo and how it looked. It was, it is, a very strong message;

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Cybergabi from my Afterclass group, opened a thread by:

Julie has asked me to open a thread on Shadow Hunting, because that's what I've been doing for a while. So, here it goes...

In the beginning, it was really "hunting", like, going out on a sunny afternoon with the intention to capture shadows. In the meantime, it seems they just come to me, whether in sunlight or artificial light. I don't have to go looking for them, they come looking for my camera ;-)

What a wonderful idea!

Cybergaby is living now in Rotterdam, but most of her pictures were taken in England until now, she is publishing a book with her great examples.

I am just a beginner in it.

With her idea of "hunting" Tanakawho from Japan is opening a thread about Reflection hunting, in the water. Hunting, means going out looking for it, at least, until it comes to you, or, as in this image, happens by chance.

I feel that what can be seen from the background window, behind the man I met near the bridge going above the highway completes the information on the weather on the surrounding too. Other times, it gives a supplementary dimension.

Writing at the same time from Greenwich to a woman in Japan, Takawho and another Nancy from California with whom we go reflection hunting in the windows, what a wonderful adventure the web and flickr offers us!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall is here

Cold weather arrived, I'll have to find, were I have hidden all my warm clothes. Very happy that my heating, that I started yesterday, is functioning well and keeping me warm during the night.

I even had to put it a bit lower in the middle of it. But waking up to a nicely heated apartment, what a pleasure; I did not have the luxury of deciding the temperature I want and central heating in every room, for the last thirty years!

Last seven years, I had a gaz heating in one room and the rest of warm come through open doors in the others. Before, the house I was living in Paris was warm enough, when the administrators decided it is time to heat. Until then, I had to wait.

Now, it is me who decide! And also about the temperature I want, also I do not understand yet well, in can be automatic or even programmed. I feel living in luxe!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Meeting at St John's

Of course, this was a meeting with the local MP, Nick Raynsford but also a panel of experts involved in day to day work of Social Issues or Refugees, but the best orator was finally a very intelligent and sympatic refugee from Uganda, who arrived almost broken from a prison here.

Here, speaking to St. John's church clergyman, after the meeting.

I was happy that I did understand all the speeches and most of the questions, more precisions too. And that is a more difficult problem that it seemed after the meeting, organized very well by the church's Social Justice group, because no one was on the panel who said "we do not want any more strangers, there are already enough" but I did hear people speaking before, who said something similar.

That problem of who to admit and who not, how and how fast, is a more difficult one than we with our human hearts would like to think, tragedy for some, new lifestyle for others, worry for some others.

Only the local MP (in French we call them Deputy) Nick Raynsfond, told sincerely: nowadays, with the new financial problems, it will be even more difficult as more will think "we are enough already" in the next elections.

I am lucky to arrive here from France, a country of the European Community, and in 1963, when I arrived to France, it was enough to find work to get a work permit, then stay 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, and after that I got 3 years permits. After five year, we could apply for citizenship.

Our doctor, the one helped my son to the life helped me through the childbirth, was an MP, and did help us to get it when our papers got lost in the multitude. So it is easy for me to tell, so many more people from everywhere are in London then in Paris!

Even me, arriving as a senior, after my 74 years, and being so well received. I am a lucky woman! In lots of ways.

It was a good, interesting meeting and it gave to all of us, I think, lots to think about. Speak about. I loved what M. said at the end: do not give us money, do not give us tea, let us do it for you: serve the tea. Do not come after us, before us, come near us. Let us care for ourself. Just be there.