Wednesday, March 31, 2010
It does show a me, two years ago, proud of having lost weight.
But I do not win, did not win, all the battles in my life.Alas.
The battle of weight loss and gain, is an ongoing one, that goes, up and down.
It was still very up, meaning I lost a lot, when I arrived to London, and even six month later, doing even better, with around 76 kg and I did pose home here as in this picture, proud of my relatively thin body and weight.
From then on, I stopped to swim, because I boiled by error my suite and it lost its colour, and from that moment on, I begun to gain back, pounds and more pounds, kilos and more kilos.
Any sad event was enough then to eat a bit, only a bit more, a bit. Of course, I gained more. Some time ago, I even stopped weighting: I knew, but did not want to know details...
I did gain some of my fights, in my life. I did gain a diploma, a pHd, even if very late. I did have a daughter and a son, as I dreamed, and grand-children. I did finish last year my Competent Communicator manual, as I decided at the beginning of the year..
And yesterday, I even competed my 5th story from the Storytelling manual. I'll begin again, one time, because that is a skill I want to improve more and more.
But I did not win all my battles, and soon, I'll have to renew my fight with my weight. I am not yet decided how, as the Weight Watchers help me loose but not maintain it for long time.
So many battles one has in life, some we loose, some we gain, but the important is never to give up, never to give up on ourselves!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The rain drops and the almost closed tulips, guarding what they could, hiding as possible from the rain, made them even more beautiful.
I was almost late, finally, it was so difficult to go away from that small spot of lovely flowers.
Monday, March 29, 2010
It was a pleasure to go back, and not a "discovery" like to others.
After only a few yards, I was attracted to that shop with the young man with a sharp beard in it. I went nearer. He made me a sign to come in. Thus began my portraits of Parisian workers "career", documenting their work.
I entered that day also to a colours selling shop, to the post office, to a shop where replacement teeth were made, and finally, in an Arab café.
They made me sign too, come in, and even posed in group at the end of our conversation.
All those people, were no more strangers to me after I left, with all I spoke, they all told me things about themselves or their family or work or all of that.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Home is a "notion", not really a place, I think.
Also, it does exist a "home town", whatever that means. Is the "home-town" the one where you were born and, eventually raised as child, as teenager? The place of your parents, of your family? Is it the one you live now, together or alone?
No, more I think about it, home is not a place, at least not as house or apartment or town or village.
It is were you feel loved, secure and "at home".
As with many "notions" it is more easy to tell and become aware of "home" when you loose it. As I lost it, the first time, when I was ten, towards the end of the second world war. Home, was taken out, like a carpet from my feet.
A morning, very early, my mother waked me up: here is this small luggage, put all you need in it, in an hour we depart to Budapest. I put inside my favourite toys and my doll, with whom I was sleeping every night.
'What did you put in here?' my mother come to me outraged. Not that big doll! You'll have no more place for your clothes! Do I need the clothes? But the doll came out, and I had to separate from it. 'Let's tell Magdi we go to Budapest.' She was my cousin, best friend, and schoolmate. Classmate, too. 'No time.'
We left and were far from "home" for a whole year, hiding in one place then another, with false names.
When we finally came back, to the same city, same apartment, even same furniture, home was a lot less home. My grand-parents and Magdi, my cousin with her mother, have been taken away. I wrote, then, at age eleven, "They burned her, she went into smoke, and they made even soap from her!" I still hoped for same time she did escape.
My neighbour's daughter, after we quarrelled once, told me: "my mother told me you should not have come back!" After that, "home" was less home. But with time, I found some new friends. When I had to go away, to a big town where my father worked now, for almost ten years, I still felt Cluj, "my city" was "home" and not were I lived.
From place to place, city to city, country to country, I learned to make a "home" where I was then for my family, and very fast, make it warm and "homely".
I do feel "home" now here in London, welcomed. In the morning I admire the dawn from my big windows, and the diversity of people is welcoming me, making me feel "home". I found a "home" also with the Toastmasters club, the friendly people I met through it, but even in the streets, just exchanging look and a few words with unknown people.
Home is a feeling, I think.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I do not remember a lot of my early childhood, but as I spend a month each year from 2 to 5 in my grandmother's garden, I do remember all the flowers from there. Not by name, but how they looked.
I am preparing a story about "Home".
What home means for you?
Part of "home" in my childhood was that garden, even if I did not spend so much time in it, but I did go back from 6 to 9 often, even if by that time we did live in the same city as her and went there for shorter time.
A place you feel comfortable, safe, loved ?
Home was never "house" to me, because we always lived in rented apartments, and it meant for long time also "home town" and friends.
Yes, were and until I felt "comfortable, safe and loved".
I do feel so now, here, even if I have not been more then 20 month!
Friday, March 26, 2010
It was worth it!
A great evening. Lot to think about.
And so great also that I could listen, judge, ponder, instead of speaking!
Ola, in first plan here, was the Mystery Speaker, from London's Tube Speaker, those working at the Underground. He told us a tale of the beast coming out of the cave - whenever something happening to us is somehow similar for another that touched us strongly.
Also good defence mechanism, it does deform, exaggerate, disturb the recent reality.He told us with a few stories, great examples and wonderful body language.
The winner of the Speech Contest was Dave Longley, speaking about the importance of good communication, and how much his whole life was affected by the absence of that, with his father.
The winner of the Evaluation Contest (they have to tell what they liked and recommendations for improvement on the Mystery speaker) was Vathani Navasothy, delivering it with lots of enthusiasm, encouragement and grace.
You can see it on the first row of my photo.
I learned a lot, took home a lot to ponder too, to reflect, from all the speakers, all winners because they spoke! As the Chair of the Contest, David Thomson told: they are three time winners: Once because they are Toastmasters, once because they won the contest in their clubs, and the third time, because they are here and speak at the Area 35 contest.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Kolozsvàr is the town of my youth, my birth town too. It has universities, had them from 1200, and also a theatre, an opera-house, a merket, and a park.
The park of my children years did not change a lot.
I met Petru, a retired post office functionary, there. Sitting on a bench, alone.
May I? Yes, he told me, morose. And, as you see from the first image, instantly looking away from me. After telling a few things about myself and my trip, and him a bit about himself, he become more and more animated.
At the end, strangely, he told me a lot about how he thinks I am...
Sometimes, the contact between two people is instantly there, other times it takes an hour of discussions. The important is, to be able to make the bridge, at the end.
Petru's four faces
Monday, March 22, 2010
All depends, on the route taken.
My grand daughter observed and arranged this in the nice place we had lunch. And I took the photo as she requested, of course.
Today, early, listening to the telly, the news arrived that Obama finally had succeeded to pass his Health bill, even if not with all he hoped for. But not one Republican voted for it! Good cohesion of course, but then why they had to renounce to other important points in it?
Personally, other then happy for Obama's victory in it, if it could be called like that, is the fact that the insurance can no more be refused to those who have already certain illnesses. That is why I never subscribed to any personal insurance, not wanting to "tell all" about myself.
Not wanting also, if I do not tell "all" in real need, I risk not to be reimbursed. But of course, there are lots of important points in it, also I do not know which one did survive the discussions, the Senate and Congress and motions.
I still could not understand, all the people against it.
What I also learned looking at Obama's body language, a few days before and the moment after the vote, passed, is this. He had a very confident body language, walk and face, before "we'll win" and was very - how to say it, not victorious at all not showing off at all, after. But, in a few days, he seemed to me aged more then ten years.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
It was so far, I had to go nearer, because my camera could not catch it from the road. I stepped on dried leaves, to approach it and take a picture of it.
Fact and truth.
In fact, it is small, and far away and surounded by dry leaves and branches. Or is it the truth? Or its truth resides in its beauty.
I read today, that truth is more important, when we write fiction, or take photos or create art, then the "fact", but the fact and truth is, that there are many different facts and truth, and each time we "create" weather a story we write or tell, a photo we take and show, and so one, we choose that truth, we feel then.
The fact to show a small blue spot on a huge dry leaves image, is not "our reality" because our eyes see it better then the image can then depict it, and the truth of the flower's surrounding and its effect on us is distorted, when we go closer and take a close up from it.
Each way, we loose from the initial reaction or sentiment, we have to compromise, to choose. What we will convey?
When I take a portrait, nowadays, I try to take one from farther, the background included, then one zooming on the face. Sometimes, possible, but not always.
I learn a lot, learned already and will more, in photography, now, I have to have the same patience and learn in storytelling, too.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
People reading in all positions and all places and at all ages!
Recently, I made a Gallery from other's pictures, some "representing" it.
I have also other galleries, I make from other's pictures, today, I begun one with Children. So much more to do!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
He spoke how much stress even a accomplished speaker, toastmaster can have, and about stress levels, and so on, telling us also examples from his life, from ten years on.
Philip took us to the streets of a taugh London city a friday night, and played the one with the bottle of beer, then himself as street pastor. He does stay most Fridays, now on the streets near pubs until one or two at morning, to help to speak to confort when needed.
Future toastmasters, come to encourage us.
I learned to to change too much a speech that is almost "done" if I do not want to take out the zest from it, as I did last week also with my chicken in the owen. Raw first, overcooked at the end.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The Greenwich part of LIP, London Independent Photographers, together with the Goldsmith College researchers, created Crossing the Lines, to further common projects.
I proposed one about London Workers.
Here is my speech as delivered, and the beginning of discussion about it.
London workers delivered.MP3
Some images from the Working in London, used to show with the speech
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Unknown places, sometime.
Unknown, is scary, most of the time I do not jump! I go only when I am pushed. But once pushed, once in the water, I try all I can to remain afloat and then, take the direction of my own choosing.
Yes, there is destiny, there are others, we do not choose always what to do, but there is also free will, persistence, courage, and on the long range, we can transform lemons into lemonade.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Today, I had a mail about some free space given by Microsoft, to upload files. I registered and tried.
I like to try new things.
First, I had to register to a hotmail account. Then, give informations about me. Then, to download Silverlight, before being able to send files to some Workspace that I can have, and, if I want, share with others.
I found out, that it is limited to under a certain amount of mega, for each file, and that it does upload documents, written, but also voice and video.
So far so good.
When I tried to open, to listen, "not possible"!
Only text or similar is finally available, the rest is not, to use it, view it, you have to download it first. So, it is not as I hoped, a web desktop, from where you can hear voice, see images (that yes), videos (no) and read text.
I am still waiting, for that.
One day, it will come!
Weather it will be Google to offer it, already more can be done there, or others, that is to be seen, and for me is not so important, as the fact that we'll have it.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
A bit sad to be alone, but also liberating.
I did not mind being single, even if I loved more to be part of a happy couple. Until, it can retain the illusion at least of happiness.
After, it becomes two people linked together, neither happy any more, and longing to be alone but not daring it, yet. That part is worse of the cases and worse then being alone, for me.
I did not feel very alone to speak to toastmasters who did not know me, most of them, before I told my personal tale, linked to the Hidden Jobmarket, it was a wonderful group!
It was a pleasure to be with them.
Today, I posted in the Competent Communicator blog, the last three of the Evaluations, about the "Thinking outside the box", which is a better title then "Now what?" was, but still not the best one I can think about. "Finding all you can do" perhaps would be best?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
It was worth, the long and complicated trip, to the market.
Also the market is not far, the underground was "under work", as it is too often the Saturdays. So, take a replacement bus, but it did not go where I wanted, just to the DRL that did not lead directly to Blackwall either, which, I was told is just across the market.
Across, but quite a walk.
It was worth, so I am not complaining, but I did arrive home, tired. But all the sellers were very nice and patient with me. "I'll be famous now," one of them told the other.
Here is all the Odyssey, in images. Not too bad, but I'll have to go once at five in the morning and spend time studying the light, before I take any image, a strange green light, mixed light.
It was worth, the long and complicated trip, to the market. Also the market is not far, the underground was "under work", as it is too often the Saturdays. So, take a replacement bus, but it did not go where I wanted, just to the DRL that did not lead directly to Blackwall either, which, I was told is just across the market.
Across, but quite a walk.
It was worth, so I am not complaining, but I did arrive home, tired.
Here is all the Odyssey, in images. Not too bad, but I'll have to go once at five in the morning and spend time studying the light, before I take any image, a strange green light, mixed light.
Friday, March 12, 2010
They were all great!
I loved a lot Mike's speech, who told us a story about a 85 year old woman regretting all she did not do, in her life, when it was too late for her. I would have liked even more, if he had made her 95... as 85 seems now too near me. I will remember, and I think I live it: to use our time, to do. To dare.
After the pause, with a speech "Thinking outside the box" there was a mystery speaker, evaluated then but six others, competing about who will do best. What great examples for me!
Evans, in the first photo (with me) was the best of them, but all gave great evaluations. All loved my speech and story (I was the Mystery Speaker yesterday) and all found as they should what I could have done differently, too.
Pemma was a great Chair, conducting it all, and in the background, Ewan had the difficult role of Chief Judge. At the end, they gave the awards and certificate to the winner.
I was in clouds, until at home, I listened to what I have said. Aie! It was a lot less great as I believed and they made me believe. Although, it had its moments, and the audience loved it. I really had great contact with them.
What was even more important, at the end, two young men came and asked me about the book "Hidden job market" and its authors, and told me "I am happy I came, so I could listen to what you told."
That was the best of all! They needed my message.
Here is the speech as delivered yesterday in public.
As delivered: Outside the box.MP3
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Do we "take" or do we "give"?
I am convinced that we give as much as we take, when we speak to them, and make them see important, give them the attention they thirst for.
Look at this photo of a granola seller at the Market, with whom Whitney (it is her photo) spoke. The joy of the meeting can be seen from it!
And, I have to tell you, that the more we met and spoke to sellers and some buyers too, the more Whitney was happy too. So it was a mutual joy and communication. Understanding, between human beings and appreciating each other.
And, as my speech of Tuesday was appreciated, I was invited to give it again. What a joy, too.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I just crossed a new one, participating in the International Competition at Toastmasters for the first time. I crossed it, without tumbling and falling off the bridge, this time.
Yes, I did not win the first price, will not represent that club to the next, area contest, but got to touch with it, more then three people. I really got the public held their breath and then laugh, pause at the right moment, move well and use my voice effectively.
More important, are those who felt the need to know more about the book Hidden Job market, so they can use it also, analyse themselves and discover their strength. My goal was reached. And also, I was invited to another club to tell my tale there too. "That is an important message and it got across well. And, at the same time, you made us laugh!"
I feel better this morning, having crossed the bridge, well this time, and not falling down.
So, I got only the second place, but I delivered well my message.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
But he did not look at me or said "no" so I waited to catch the right moment, the profile I needed for my Afterclass group. Here is is.
I could not choose the background, but I got the profile.
Tomorrow, we'll be only two competing at the Meridiam Club, the president of the club, who won last year, and me. I do not understand why, because there are lots of Competent Communicators in that club.
I told my story, but still only in my mind, twice today. Later on, I'll have to tell it with voice and movement, again, at least twice. I found a better beginning, but now, I have to stick with it, and not change it again.
And I like my finding about how I realised I am good in listening with empathy and connecting, I think that will stick to people's mind, weather I win or not, a lot less important.
To learn use the skills from the accomplishments we were proud of, is. To gain self confidence, and go for a work we love and we are good at, is.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Even Whitney, opened up, begun to take photos, then go towards others herself and feel better then at the beginning. We also succeeded to leave men and women, young and less young, happy about themselves.
Giving them the attention they needed, the confidence they lacked a bit, going away as they felt better about themselves.
This was my favourite in the market. As I took photos of him, his face also showed him more and more happy about it. I hope, he'll remember his Saturday proposing Granola, and meeting that old woman taking photos of him, and telling him "you made my day!"
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Today, the weather seems nice, the sun rises and the sky accross my window became suddenly redish. So wonderful, for the first time in my life perhaps to have an orientation and a window that lets me enjoy the dawn!
No, I will not jump now to take a picture, it changes every second and it enchants me, but the fire of the sky is for you to experience. If not through a window, get out to enjoy it one day!
Soon, center London, Chering Cross and all what is arround there, I'll take photo, anyway....
Thursday, March 4, 2010
In the last 20 month, I did not need it, but now, they had to take blood from me for a test. I was stunned!
First, it is so huge, there are two bus stations from one entrance to the other. Second I was the 239th! Any-time my tour will arrive?
Not more then an hour! I was told.
One more hour, without eating?
Looking at the crowd waiting, I was sceptic about the hour, too.
But when my number was called in room number three, from the eight, in a few seconds and without the pain I feared, to receptacles were full of the required blood. Thank you!
Now, wait for the bus, buy some fruits and bred near home, I arrived back near noon. Tired. Full of adventures that, now, I could see as "interesting".
And near home, just stop, and take photo of some of the multitude of wonderful flowers.
Yes, take time to smell the roses! And, before, to look to what is around us - so many great are.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Also it was given at the Humorous Contest, this one had a very serious message.
At the time, I have given six speeches, now I did complete the Competent Toastmaster manual. But my message does not vary.
Dare to Fail.
I did fail in some things at each task from the manual.
1. Did not have time to finish my Ice-Breaker speech (but had good contact with the audience and got hooked on continuing to give others.)
2. My transitions were not clear enough for the Organize well task.
3. My point got across well, but my ending was not strong enough at 3rd
4. I did speak with short words and phrases, but "what was your point, I was asked" after the speech, and yes, we have to use each time all we have learned before. But too much concentrated on "how" I forgot the "what" that got diluted somehow.
5. Body language usage is the main point of the 5th speech and at the end I was told my Voice Variety was great, implying, but the body...
6. Voice variety not so good but great body language, I was told at the 6th, but because of the content, I won this time the "best speaker of the evening" award.
7. Do research, made me going to read great books, other then the Competent Communicator manual, but I overwhelmed my audience with too many points. Or, we do learn at the 2nd speech not to do that...
8. Using visual aids, was a flap from the point of view of visual aids but many remember it as the speech that showed them the importance of the Pause. And I did stick to one main point. So it was a mixed bag.
9. Persuade. This was a speech when I spoke of the importance of Storytelling in a good Speech, and demonstrated it. I still think it was a great one, but my evaluator told "but I was persuaded of its importance before already". I also learned through my speeches to take what I want from the Evaluator, and to leave and not worry about the rest.
10. Inspire. How to inspire an audience? That was a question that I dreaded to answer. It took me a lot of time to find my individual answer, and for doing it I went back to my early childhood's events. I did ok, but some told me "could have done it with less body language". Possible.
So, you see, you do not have to fear the tasks from the Manual.
We do it each time as we can best, and we do learn each time and progress slowly. I can not see myself, but I am told, in a year, as I did go through the Manual, I did make a lot of progress, even if I failed so many times.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I admired this speaker and his confidence in speaking, moving, gesticulating. I have even not given yet my Ice breaker, my first speech. And soon, I'll be, in two weeks, giving a speech for the International Speech Contest!
At the same club, of course, not on "higher" levels!
Preparing that speech, opened to me, as often a walk to memory line when preparing a new speech or story gives me, a whole new view to a part, more then a part of my life;
Not only that part, I wanted to speak about, when due to necessity, I had to change all in all my "carrier" my job, my profession, but also lead me to understand two important things.
First, even before having read that book, The Hidden Job market, about which I want to speak, the book that helped me, as others, understand more about all the skills I had, far broader then I did believe before, but also that before reading it, I already knew, that everyone works best when he or she finds the work more adopted to her or his own skills and job condition pleasures.
When I was chief of chemist lab, in north of France, that is what I found out and given to those working under my supervision. Each girl had the work she was the best to work in. And her best environment to do it.
I also found out, this morning, while pondering the speech, that in my childhood, I wanted to become a writer. Being obliged to change, from chemist, to business woman, company creator, buyer, seller, teacher, I not only distributed hardware and software related to Apple and Macintosh products, but also wrote a book.
I closed somewhat the circle and found back the way to my childhood dream that came true.
All that, because, a day, someone, when I looked for a job in my usual work told me "You are too old. You are woman. You are not born here."
Monday, March 1, 2010
Somehow, for me, this represents a "postcard from Brighton" but unlike the young girl with the fur coat sun bathing on one of them, it is "all seasons".
It is still winter?
For me today the spring has begun, as the first flowers came out invading the small square nearby. Blue, yellow, white, colourful. But the pictures I have taken so far are more "impressionist" images as they are not clear. I'll go back, and take more, but not today.
Or, I'll ask my grand children, back from school, to take some with less shaky hands.