Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taking the baloney out of our sandwiches

Leonard Susskind: My friend Richard Feynman | Video on
It is interesting to listen and see that one does not have to move around to speak and be listened, you can sit down, too, but mostly I love his powerful last phrase toward wich all Susskind's speech leads :

"We can honour him, by taking the baloney out of our sandwiches."

Weather I did write baloney well or not, does not matter really, what does matter is to try to be simple and sincere and not full of importance, speak and try as simple as possible.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meridian president from tonight

Meridian speakers will have a new president, James Green, from tonight. As you see, he always looks to the others, listens.

In fact, he begun to be president a month or two before, as the old let himself be 'shadowed' and even most time did not came any more to the meetings.

James will preside tonight again, as replacement, but from July he will take on, the role for a year.

Tonight, as it happens often in any club, but even more with the lots of new members, someone decided last minute not to speak and I did volunteer to do so.

It is wonderful, even if somehow I regret it already, the last Manual speech for my Toastmaster cycle.

Now, I can of course, begin all anew, but I arrived to the 'top' of one cycle. At least, with the speeches. There have been a wonderful journey and learning, with six different Manuals after the first basic one,

Speaking to inform.
Speciality speeches.
Entertaining speech.
Humorous speech.
Int, Reading..

This last was the most difficult one for me, and I begun it before others to finish it only now, after ten month, and the Humorous one was easy only after having made the Stand Up workshops, before, I fought with it. Did not understand it well.

Now, back to square one, and again the Competent Communicator Manual, the basics that now I understand better.

The Stables Market

Going out at Camden Town Underground toward the Grand Union Canal. After the canal and the bridge, the Camden High Street continues with the name Chalk Farm road. At right, accross an old Esso station, now in repair, is The Stables, or Stables Market, almost like an oriental souk.

A few pictures taken before my Sunday afternoon meeting and during the pause. Lots to see and great place to stroll, but lots of noise too, as you will hear, from time to time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Camden summer dream

Wonderful and meaningful afternoon in Camden with Impro group of Logan Murray at the Stables Market.

Very hight level performers, we were 15, accepted me between them as one of them, even telling me that I have funny bones and comic in me.

Going there and coming back through Camden High Street this rocking chair on the 3rd floor of q building - they sell furniture - stopped me, as also lots of other sights.

Only a few photos of the chair, from different angles; from the 120 others I took yesterday in Camden.
Now, I have to rehearse the last Manual Speech for my Toastmaster Communication Gold. Not easy, read or recite a Monodrama, taken from a book or theatre piece. Read, of course, in my case. I begun this Interpretative Reading 9 and half month ago, the longest it took me to finish one. I have put it aside, took and finished others then, now back to it.

I suddenly regret I finished my forty manual speeches (one educational seminar yet to go - but I can now begin all again! And I will.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Photo Impressions

There are photos we want crisp, others blurred or abstract, and then again, some we want more as painting, impressions.

This is one of them.

Taken fast, it gives just enough blur to show my feelings, what I wanted to take. The next one was even more a shadow, somehow too much of a shadow for me.

Experimenting, weather in storytelling or in photography, what a joy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

CitiCriers Toastmasters

We were not many, but what a great and interesting meeting!

Sony, the President invited me a few days ago to be their General Evaluator. They had a great speech, number 10 and with inspirational Stories, a great evaluator, and very interesting Table Topics that helped to give courage to speak to all the guests too.

I learned again, new methods we could use in our club and even more had a great joy to hear that Nidhi, in this picture near the lights, joined their group because a discussion we had a few month ago.

In all a very memorable meeting, and speaking with so many interesting human beings!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The energy of Peter

Lewisham meeting 20 April

So much energy!

He decided to open a new club in Purley, to create a new club takes lots of energy. Plus he is overtaking other roles too from April.

Yesterday, I got also to Purley, and was stunned by so many familiar faces he succeded to gather.

| told my take, made again people laugh, it begins to get better, even if some tell me I should not use the F word even by ciation of a phrase I told that made people react.

But I got home only after midnight.

Too long the way back and no one to help me and bring me to a station that has better link to London bridge station.

How the others did I do not know, until I got out no one was in view any more.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

18e Paris- café Nord Sud

Accross the Townhouse of the 18e of Paris, a cafe restaurant, Nord Sud in the Corner.

Once, when I moved in the 18th it was an old dilapidated restaurant, not many went in. Bought and refurbished, transformed in a fancier restaurant, it had parts that remained still a cafe.

A place to sit, to wait, to read or write, a place to meet and to speak. My favourite meeting place in Paris.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blue skys return, eventually

But a long text I wrote this morning, got lost, in the battle somewhere between flickr from Yahoo and Blogger from Google.
Now, I am afraid to write directly as I did for years.

Will not my text get lost?

Tonight, Unsuspected, Open Mic Upstairs at Ritzy, Brixton. Begins at 8 pm, every one can tell a personal story. I will.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

20 images from Paris 20 arrd 2007


Slide of Paris 10 arrondissements

those are pictures taken from the first 10 arrondissments of paris, those of centre, the other ten arround them a bit farther will be in another set, one by arrondissements for now, revisited, reinforced, from far. When I visited all of them spring and summer 2007, I have taken many in each arrondissment, now I pick up one from each, less looked, at the time I published it, and give it new life.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paris 6e Bookshop Gilbert Jeune

Early 2007 I did not know what to do with my life. I gave then myself a challenge.

Visit all Paris 20 arrondissments, one by one. Not like a tourist, as someone wanting to discover and show her flickr friends parts not so well known of the city.

I took a map, looked at some streets, most time where in my years of stay have not been, and took bus then train and underground - metro - to arrive there.

As I was not so young, but perhaps the young get also tired sometimes, I did go from my point of departure, wherever my eyes and my feelings beaconed. For two hours, rarely three.

Of course, as it took about an hour to arrive there, and go back home, it was almost a day's adventure in all.

Then hours and hours, days, of viewing the pictures taken, snapshots, portraits, slices of life, correct them and decide which I put on Flickr and which I put on front.

Slowly, even if not in the order from 1 to 20, I did visit all of them. Or at least, a few streets and places from all.

Yesterday, I decided to take one, less known picture of each arrondissement sets, improve it, change it a bit with the Picnik software available on Flickr, So far, I arrived at ten, other ten will follow.

So many pictures still waiting to be discovered, rediscovered, savoured.
Paris 4e-037 version Picnik

Friday, June 17, 2011

At the Start line, border

I did not begin yet to be president of the club I am in, but so near the start line, already feel the heaviness of decisions on my shoulder.

Yes, most I can ask advice, find out, delegate even, but I have to decide on some almost alone, by myself.

I hope, I will not loose sleep any more over them as I did this night.

From far, it was easy, great, wonderful. Now suddenly I am tormented. It is so much not me! But I find myself doing it. Having doubts, asking questions.

Yes, I have a learning year before me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

St Margarets Church Crypt Entrance

Tonight, tonight, it will be a different night.

Tonight, I hope we will have our first meeting at his new place.

Today, I have to do everything to make it true. Cross the finger, that nothing come between us and that entrance, and that we will have the keys for it, tonight.
Or even a bit before.

I was very happy with the choice of people, whom I will work from now on, and how helpful they were, yesterday. We will make a great team together. We have to use all enthusiasms. Every idea, also with a "Yes, end..." and not a "No, but..."

I have a feeling it will be a great place, and a magnific year ahead of us.

Of course, I am an ethernal optimist.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yellow poppies?

I have never knew there is such thing as yellow poppies. Me either, but it can be.

For sure, I made one few weeks ago, with the help of a software.

David from Excalibur read us a part of the poem that impressed me, someone saying " ?I will never stop experimenting and learning even at 80."

When he wrote it, he must have been far away still from 89, I have only thrree more years to go.

And yes, I will never stop learning and experimenting and being playful, trying to create and pass on, even long after 80.

I hope.

Monday, June 13, 2011

When we are ready

Spanish Gallien in rain
Chance comes our way when we are ready.

I tried to make some pictures of the Spanish Gallien's Pub, in a cold and rainy weather, from under my open umbrella. Only arriving home did I see what I got! Soooo much more interesting street photo!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Looking out

Looking out of my window, suddenly, I see something strange, in another window.

It is a strange deformed reflection, even more interesting, as on the Flickr Afterclass, photography Masterclass group, now, Tanakawho teaches us Abstract photography.

What I see in the middle looks like Abstract, bizarre to me.

From my window, those buildings are far away, and I had to take only part of the image the camera has taken to show it like this. One can go even nearer, I did, and show only one window and what is in it, making it really "abstract".

Surrounded by other illuminated parts of other buildings and the tree in foreground, I like this the best.

I just read also, that a 'gag' in itself has not enough, it has to be surrounded with others to make a construction, a monologue, with peaks and valleys. That is how I felt from the beginning, making a monologue where somehow one thing, idea or gag, follows the other in some order that seems logic.

From each new book about comedy, weather about its delivery or writing, I learn something, or at least, understand it better. Deeper.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

4 great books to learn "Humour"

There are others too, this were the first four I studies before and between the two Stand Up Comedy classes  I have taken. First from February to March, second in May.

My son

I always knew that my son is talented.

I always knew that he is hard working, passionate in all he does. And a very good son, too.

When he was a teenager, some doubted he will go far, he had gaps, changed countries, navigated between languages. Looking for his way.

He did find his way, his passion, in Ergonomics. Making things, on the web or programs people needed day by day, easier to use.

He put all his passion and many years, to convince all programmers, menagers, and all the others around him to improve the way the end user will see and feel new developments, making their life easier not more complicated.

Not only could he show and make a prototype to show what he meant, but he followed, cajoled, convinced, as well having a longtime vision as the eye for the small details that count.

Now, after 12 years at the same place, some politics got into his way, probably jealous of his performance.

He has got 36 recommendations on Linkedin, of those who worked with him, in his team, in collaboration or were his leaders at some time.

Reading those recommendations on LinkedIn I am stunned. And really impressed.

Of course, I tell myself: I was right from the begining to believe in him. But as I realise, how much the others value him, I also tell myself, well done, Julie, to have made such a wonderful human being!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Canal Cafe Theatre Entrance

Tale told Recorded by Spark

Once upon a time I was an 18 year old thin girl, living in Communist Romania.

I know, it is difficile to imagine now.

I was as determined then as now.

6 years after 18, before 25, after 6 years of very hard work and study, this is the begining of the story of my meeting,  with the future Tyrrant of Romania's wife, who was also one....

And how that shaped my future life.

Crossroads was the theme of Spark London at Canal Cafe Theatre last Tuesday, and we all told our true tales of our life at an important Crossroad.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Everyone cannot be happy all the time.

Here I tryed to cach more he shadow, and I did many pictures of the window, but once or twice I also took one where more of her is in.

Yesterday, great evening for me.

I delivered a Stand Up routine in one of my prefered clubs in centre London. Teey laughed and laughed, the routines, gags or jokes or comic stories I have written work.

Even if after, somne complained about my use of '4 letter words'. Yes, my stand up will not be "clean'

I enjoy at 77 choauing the audience.

From then on, they understand they can laugh with me and that I feel as 'one of them". One joke or punch is based on the other, linked, and so if I pulled out one, all or almost would collapse.

I was so happy it worked!

Women, who have children, grown children, loved my routine even more. It said something to them, beside the laugher. As all stand up should.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Canal Cafe Theatre

Does it work now?

Surprise, surprise, it does!

It is never too much to try again and again and again, then, suddenly, it works.

I can now, again, send pictures from Flickr to Blogger.

But that works also for telling stories. I tried one way, yesterday, and yes, I succeeded to put some humour in the tale of how 6 year of work was destroyed, suddenly, and how I got out of the depression of it, but that tale can be told in so many ways. Next time, I will try another way, another opening, another spin.

Not less humour, but also more feeling of the dramatic part.

Yes, I succeeded to hurt me less now, by preparing the tale, but now I have to put back the hurt I felt when it happened while I tell. I is always great to have someone present who tells you his opinion, and helps you progress!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Canal Cafe Theatre-14Tomorrow, Crossroads, at 7 30, at the Canal Cafe Theatre, near Little Venice in London. True storytelling theme of Spark London.

Yesterday, the rehersal went well, also only four of us from six were present, I was very impressed by one of the storyteller's emotion as she was telling, and sometimes, even reading. She was able to convey with such a feeling!

And yes, often general things that happened to me, too, also longtime ago. They still echo in me.

It is fascinating to listen to the diversity, and also to see tomorrow the difference. In my experience, when the public is there and react, we all do even a lot better. a

I found during the rehearsal, new movements to show what I will be telling, rendering stronger and, if possible funnier the dramatic moments.

Johanna told me, she liked that I moved less. I did move left and right before, because of the strong light in my eyes bothered me. Stand Up comedy, got me used to light in the eyes, and now, very soon, after I begin telling my story, I forget all about it.

They are for sure other benefits of the Stand Up class, that will come out in the light after a while.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Delivered at AmuseMouse Covent Garden the end of May, the StandUp and Deliver workshop showcase.
A small but nice place and as, you hear, people. I did well, but I had some parts, I could have cut out, also you have to try out before an audience to learn what works and what does not.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pirate's Castle Stand Up

End of March, taken by my son. About 120 in attendance. I got immediatly into it, with less hesitation the end of May. Yes, all small details matter.


To West India Docks AbstractYes, I have always thought of Abstract painting, like something that any child could do, or not. Far from art, just playing with colors, forms and then selling it to whoever wanted to see something from it.

No real idea, what it is.

But as a great photographer lady from Japan was ready to give a month class in my group Afterclass, a Masterclass on Abstract photography, I was all for it.

During the five years, 12 different themes a year, I learned so much trying to learn from the animators of different month!

Yes, I am ready to experiement and try to understand now something new to me, go on adventure, photo adventure. Taking directly "abstract photos" where one can not know what object is on it, or taking parts of non abstract photos, details, playing with filters and transforming, until one think "something" come out of it. Experimenting.

I also experiment in storytelling, but for photography the experimentation seems more easy, as it is mostly visual and does not need the audience confirmation. But perhaps also it has a visual audience, who likes or not somethimes different strange things, pictures.

The important, in fact, is in both cases to feel alive.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A link is broken

Inside Coroners Courtroom-2When a link is broken, between two, each one could be the cause.

At same times, I will find out, weather it is Flickr or Blogger who broke the automatic link I had between them.

I said "for seven years now" but in fact it was automatic only for a few years, before I had to choose, copy and paste the picture from one to other. So what? I went back to do it, again.

This is the courtroom, and the place from where I gave testimony yesterday. It was a useful, if not agreeable time, to reflect and put in perspective my recent problems.

Of course, I believed I had nothing interesting to say, but probably, they were interested in me saying, that I did not see people lingering around, and that helped a bit to establish that the middle aged mentally ill woman - for 25 years living on medicine to help her - did take her own life and no one else made the fire that killed her.

I still find it terrible to think out a death like that, put gas in a garage and put it on fire, being inside with closed door... but apparently, years ago she tried other methods that did not work for her. Listening, I was upset. She had so much she could have done and be happy about;

Afterthought, it did put things in perspective for me.

And here I am full of energy and plans and ideas, again. Yes, there is life after 70! as the title of my french blog says, now for 7 years already. I will not change every year, its title, now to 77 for exemple, perhaps as I arrive at 80, if all goes well.

It could be that my energy and passion is from the knowledge that time shortens for me, now, but in fact, I was always like this.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Competent Communicator

Competent Communicators_0001vd
Both have worked hard to get the Competent Communicator title, with 10 speeches in growing difficulty and now they got there.

Yes, I remember, proud too for a few days, weeks, then on to the next plateau.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Something good

In the Legacy portion of True Tales, my tale of Something good always come from a bad thing, is that in middle.
Look at it, and if you like, vote for it. Of course look also to the other tales, perhaps you like those better, they are taken well and even more in 'movement'. One learns something from every experience.

It is on the Website of Grant Whisky who made movie like videos from our tales. I was the first they took video, a few weeks ago, but it is now that already almost all of them are on the Facebook.

Three catagory: Legacy, Family and Travel, all of us personal storytellers from Canal Cafe Theatre Spark London tellers, as far as I know.