Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lapin Agile, Paris

Old pub, transformed in cabaret of old French songs, great singers, fun.

Many people sitting on wooden bancs crammed together, listening for hours: never stopping enjoying themselves.

I used to help the owner and main singer, what a voice! with his Apple Computer, until his son came back from the army and took over to help him.

I met there someone, while visiting with my aunt and uncle who has been there when he was young, yes, already, then it was also a great place! After they went away I went back and... we ended up in a small hotel. Finally, I ended up with him living with me for three years.

He was not at all what I needed, but I did need him and for a while was even very happy and pround to have him.

A few days, month of happiness of togetherness feeling, it is not so bad in a life. Perhaps, he even loved me for a while, I did love him for sure, long time. Too long perhaps. Until I wake up from my dreams.

I looked to him and discovered he hated me. I discovered how much all become one sided. I discovered how much he did not help me, as I did when I could, till I could.

I run away, far away, to get rid of him, from Paris to San Francisco. I remember a morning waking up, still intoxicated by him, wanting to run back. I was shaking like a recovering alcoolic or drog addict. I got addicted to sleeping near, I had to learn to live without addiction. I did, but it was not easy even as my head knew I had to.

I could not stay in San Francisco, my company needed me, my son asked me to come back, I did. I met him: he become a stranger. I did not care any more, what a relief!

Yes, so many memories linked to the cabaret Lapin Agile! or memories of stories that begun for me there!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today's post brought me an old book

A book from past. Brought me from far.

I like to read the original sources, opinions, point of views.

The booklet was written in an age when the founder of the Toastmasters International, still was not convinced that we should call a critic 'evaluator'... but it does have detailed explanation why  critic is needed, how to go about it, how long, what look for, and so on.

I am not sure, but I think it must be written about the age I was born, that is 77 years ago!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One is already enough

South of London_0035
We are many in a club and I do worry all goes well. But yesterday I had a very nice conversation with someone interested to join and she gave me new energy.
South of London_0034
Being able to help one, to meet someone new who could have new confidence and more interesting life because of the Toastmasters, is already worth all the road, time, and, even sometimes, worry.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dacree Arms Pub

For the first meeting of our new committee, we met in a great place - the Dacree Arms.

We will have to return there often.

Quiet, friendly, near our meeting place: a foot street goes directly there.

And nice place to speak between us too.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Memories, nostalgies

Hungarian folk songs touched me this morning
First one: my father liked to sing - oh, yes! I did not forgot how much he did,
every time he was in company they used to sing along

he never got out without a hat and smartly dressed
this song tells about how the time went out and he is not young any more

Agárdy Gábor: Nem vagyok én már az, aki voltam

I am not any more what I was...
from time to time that hurts so much

Well, after 77 I am not either, even if in my heart and soul I did not change so much

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Meredith & Andrew from Autralia

On Butte Montmartre, Paris, photo of a couple in honeymoon. I must have also some for sure who came from Norway!

Today, I think of the young people, with no one to defend them against a single crazy gunman dressed as policeman.

I am not wondering so much of the craziness of the killer, but how come the rescuers come so slow, how come those organizers did not get help faster and had no one on the camp to arrest him or kill him before he killed so many young people!

How much damage one crazy can do!

Friday, July 22, 2011

1st Macintosh Developper's Conference

"Apple, again, embracing what’s cool and progressive, and ruthlessly jettisoning what it considers antiquated. That’s great if you love stuff that’s cool and progressive, and not so great if you hate people moving your cheese."

David Pogue
In Personal Tech, on Mac OS X Lion

I assisted to the First international conference of Mac developers at Apple.

I was there at San Jose
It was long time ago, anyway, in California, I think it was 1983.

I did not change so much with age, still like progress and go for it, but have to learn to be cautios with others cheese.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I do not regret, what I have done, usually I do regret what I have not done.

60 month ago, I begun a group, by myself, then growing slowly to over 2500 of us, it is called Afterclass in Flickr, and each month there is a sort of Masterclass of Photography's different aspect. Each time, someone passionate about a certain theme or way of doing, leads it, and the others, whoever wants, repond by their different old or new photos taken around that theme.

Leading the group was a longterm challenge.

Mostly, I have to find who will lead the next month's workshop, and then help him as necessary. Sometimes add some of my photos thus encouraging others to publish, or, if I know something about the theme adding my grain of salt.

Just discovered a soldier, enthousiast of photography who joined our group. He is now far away, and I am in awe. I discovered also today, other ways of doing, from another part of the glob's photographer.

Flickr also gives some less pleasent surprises, someone, tried to make me connection, and she is a very fat woman showing photos of her backside, barely covered. There is a whole word on flickr, as elsewhere but the photos usually speak and disclose of ourself, then it is up to us what we do.

Today, I met through flickr with old friends and animators, who published selfportraits on the class I make, this month is me leading it and Self's different aspects the theme. I also discovered new photographers, who I hope will become friends, and nothing bad will happen to them during their stay there far away, to fight, to wait, and use some of their time to learn.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Painted Hall, Greenwich

So much to see in the Painted Hall, centre Greenwich, do not miss it if you are near it.

Each time I show it ot a visiting guest, I discover also different aspects of it.

Here is a slide show with different new aspects I discovered last Thursday.

Alone, one can feel happy surrounded by all the beauty coming for hundred years back. As one can feel very alone, when phisiquement it is not.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It inspires me

Greenwich Market Thursday-39 picnik
Still from the Greenwich Market visited Thursday. My seller neighbour in the background.

Yesterday, Brixton Open Mic True Storytelling event, at Ritzy with Spark London. I did spoke as so did my friend Steve, also a Toastmaster. We had ten interesting stories, at least seven excellent, and about 35 or 37 people in all assisting sitting around round tables and reacting well.

The theme was lost and found, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always interesting.

Of course, I could have done better, next time. But considering I have a cold and a sore throat and caugh and am tired, it went well even for me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Discussion between generations

Interactions on the street, is one more difficult to photographe yet is speaks the most probably to me.

More then a portrait, more then a thing, more then even very colourful entrances or food,

It is not easy to take them without interupting at all the echange, without they see you and change their reaction to each other - and you. That is why this was taken, by profile, almost back.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Self in Afterclass

In my 59th month of photographic masterclass, on the Afterclass group in Flickr, (more then 2500 members) this month is the SELF photography discussion and showing. So many different ways to show it, directly, near or far, parts as here, in the miror in an interesting background, we also have so many facettes to discover - if we do not take ourself too seriously. Many tales to tell.

Here is one about aging. The hands age first, perhaps. And yes, this is myself - part.
J1 textures

About 750 posts means some classes run twelwe to fifteen different subtopics.

So many different themes covered.

This month, I run the Self, but most of those 59 month I found someone, specialist in some different domain of the photography to run it. For next month too! So many different domains covered during these last years!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Greenwich market, Thursday morning

Greenwich market Bastille day with visitors from France. Then, we went to the Painted Hall, wich the mother of my daughter in law, painting also, did appreciate a lot. About that more, tomorrow.
Collectibles day, Thursday in Centre Greenwich market. I put in a separate set all the nice people who where happy to pose for me, and some even with our guests. I have met two of my nice neighbors who have also a stand on the market some of the days.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Opera, place Bastille, 2005

I was not far from 70 then, just fresh 71.

Bastille day, 2005 I went with my new digital camera to Paris - from Argenteuil - and took lots of photos.

It was the first time I have really 'seen' the new opera. I did not remember this picture at all.

I remembered the ballet of young muscled men in short shirts and bronzed arms, in the middle of the square. They were taking appart the podium of musicians who finished playing. They interested me more then the music, which was gone.
14.7 Bastille, Ballet impropru devant l'Opera
I am old, but my memory is not 'gone' yet. Probably, nor other things. And besides, I was just looking...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

77th Birthday Presents

I did receive a chocolate cake and a cheese cake, the first homemade by my grand daughter and her coulsin, here from France. I did receive from them also flowers. And a great card too.

The two biggest gifts for me are two books.

One small book send and choosen by my daughter, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. What a great read, I savored it almost in one treat, finished it in two days. 120 pages of wit and joy, he makes us believe anything and takes us to a delightful journey in the palace and between books and authors.

The second book, offered by myself, is also a delight. I just begun it. 775 Pages of Anthology of Personal Essay from Seneca to today, with an introduction of Philippe Lopate, who itself is worth all the book. I am now at the 7th page of the introduction, that will help me explain also the charms and exigences of Personal Storytelling, public True Tales. Exactly what I needed now as I prepare a Workshop on Personal Storytelling in Public. Such a depth and humour too1

Of course, I am yet only at the begining of studying his Intro, Essay on Personal Essays, but already undertood so much. What a joy books can bring!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Those two and their inverse

As in life, in the photography too, there is no subjective way or one way to do things.

No one is the "good" way.

One has to try out, and also to have an open mind for all different cultures.

In my case, I will try to bring back some "old ways" many toastmasters are still following; of course those who never tried them out or seen them, think they those are 'new' ways.
deux bourgeons invrse

And I hope, this note does not disapear through the sending. It did not, today.

Yesterday, it did.

Have the impression now it is my blogger editor who behaves very strangely.

It goes all the way down, it jumps. Blogger, quit misbehaving!

And here is a slide show of my bouquet reveived from my granddaugher for my 77th.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roses and Table Topics

Rose from Manthe Penton Harrap, our Target Speaker in the Evaluation Masterclass

There are so many different ones! As there are Toastmaster clubs, each with their experience. Here is one of them, or rather seven...

Posted by Jean McAllister in the LinkedIn group of Official TM International to my question:

* How many of you have Table Topic before the Manual Speaches? How you work out the time to give so all has time?

I have belonged to seven clubs and they all have done Table Topics before the speeches. They can be shortened by reducing the time that each person speaks.If we have a big crowd, the speakers o not participate, but everyone else does. Table Topics brings the levity to a meeting as George said, so the earlier you have that the better.

If you look at the old TM material, they always suggested TT be early in the meeting. We fit a lot into a meeting - 4 speakers and an education piece and usually end on time for a two hour meeting.

I have received so many interesting, thoughtful, informative answers to my question!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Most viewed

Most viewed on flickr - from my 45 000 pictures just 12

Friday, July 8, 2011

Some of the public

I was so happy to have been able to reassemble Toastmasters with many clubs or our area to one excellent Masterclass.

All present, from seven or more clubs, were also happy and impressed.

Those who did not come, would or should regret it. Some were ill, or even in hospital, but others did not come from different mysterious reason of their own.

I would paraphrase it with something I read somewhere. It is not too big it is not to small it is just the right size. It was.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Score or vote, can be destructive...

Title of this video : Freeman & Barnet Discuss This Destructive Pattern

It is a bit long, but so attractively told! and it is such a true experience and common to all of us.

I loved the discussion, so human, and I think, so true: when you think "how will I score relatif of the others" or "how was I relatif to..." you are no more all in it while telling and do not enjoy so much the experience after it either.

So, should we vote or not for the "best..." ? Unless I am the one who get the award and very proud of it, I think not... and even then, I remain sometime thinking "but he was best". Personally, next time it does not matter so much to me and I analyse what I did not do well, yes, it is true, instead of what I did well.

Anyway, it does not matter so much, but what a nice pair of men telling here that story of theirs!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Paula, short film in True Tales from Grant Whisky

Grants Whiskey True Tales on Facebook

Grants Julie2 from geronimo london on Vimeo.

I was very unhappy about the tale as I told it, here, at the beginning. And it took three hours to do it in a cold windy morning in the park. Again, and again,freezing, but with no public to assist and give back energy to me.

The beginning of the original tale was cut to make shorter, some of the tales of her struggles with the Maire of the small village too, the whole tale becomes thus a lot less dramatic. One can follow and understand less well how, because her sad childhood she got a lot better education then girls in that period mid 18xx and, because her education she knew that barley can make whisky or alcohol and also learned enough to be able to manage an Alcohol Distillery, after she lost her husband early in her life, when my grand mother was just 14 years old.

But the film in itself is beautifully put together by a pro team.

So it has its advantages over the sound track of my original tale. Please also go to the Grants Whisky website on Facebook and vote for me, then perhaps, I get to tell it again before a life audience in Manchester in the fall.

And yes, I got to get paid for the three hours of work, on the spot, and perhaps also for the weeks of preparation before to construct the tale. It is my personal tale about my great grandmother, always an inspiration for me.

Personal storytelling with Spark London

Johanna organizes the Spark London personal storytelling events, finding wonderful stories and people telling them. At least twice a week now. Every 1st Monday of the month at Canal Cafe Theatre, 7 minutes each, with a repetition before the delivery day, and every third at Brixton, Upstairs at Ritzys, what is called "open mic" for 5 minutes where all present can pitch in.

Yesterday, I did not tell any story, I listened.

It was a wonderful program with different, varied tales. Most important to me, two of my collegue Toastmasters from my club, whom I introduced to the Canal Cafe Theatre storytelling event, presented their tales. I was so proud of them! Interesting tales and so well told too!

Great feeling, to see and listen to them speak, tell the tale a lot better then I heard before, communicating really with the audience. Great audience too, laughing, cheering, reacting.

As I listened to the audience too, this time a bit more relaxed then when I was speaking, I have heard them laught and enjoy themselfs in, for me a bit weird places. Weird? Not complectly, but let us say, interesting.

After the event finished, with glasses from the bar downstairs in their hand, a few of those in audience came to me, telling me how they enjoyed my storytelling. "But I did not speak today!" They remembered other times when I did, they remembered phrases I said that they particularly enjoyed.

"When you spoke about that Elena and the table, you know" - I almost forgot that telling... "I loved when after what happened you told us 'and then I decided and went all the way with my boyfriend.'" That phrase was remembered the most from my sad tale, that was that made all laugh and feel releaf, and in all enjoy my tale.

Yesterday also, there were small details and phrases that made the audience laugh!

So it is up to us to find them, cherrish them, add them so the rest of the serious content and message is remembered, linked to them.

Yesterday evening I was so proud and happy to have my two collegues on the scene and making the audience react!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Impro Workshop level 1

Impro workshop-22The place we met for 2 daysImpro workshop Our teacher Philippa WallerImpro workshop the groupImpro workshop-07Impro workshop building
Impro workshop the placeEarly morning Carol stretImpro - before going inImpro workshop-19Impro workshop-11Impro workshop-10
Impro workshop-06Impro workshop-08Impro workshop-17Impro workshop-12Impro workshop-12sqImpro workshop-13
Impro workshop-18Impro workshop-20Impro workshop-24Impro workshop-21Impro workshop-14 Impro candidImpro workshop Our group
Impro Workshop, a set on Flickr.

Learning, understanding the basics of Improvisation, was our goal, as well as going out and meeting new people and methods.

Two very long days.

In centre London, or rather north, qt 10 and home almost at eight pm. Not always so easy for an - almost - 77 year old. But I made it quite well, thank you. And doing so, gave courage to those younger then me, who at the same time accepted me easily as one of them.

How all that will be used of applied is to be seen, thought, tried out, but already I observe differently the others attitudes on the train.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


One never knows for sure, what can learn from a workshop, where can lead something in which one's enters.

Two days of Impro class the whole weekend, from ten to six, long time but very useful and most interesting. Looking at others, trying out what is suggested to us, we learned so much already the first day! And so many ideas that I can bring back to my club and its members. Help them, develop, sometimes the attitude we show or play can give very strong messages, even without listening.

She made us say the same words, twice, with two different attitudes, all changes!

What a great lesson!

I am looking forward to today's long day, yes, even if I am tired from time to time, it is really worth it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What is your story?

Having a story to tell is important.

The story does not have to be long, but has to grab the listener and imagine himself there. The story of the lady accidented with her two legs broken and her mouth closed in the hospital, near a young mother who told her about the problems to find for her children the right clothes, that gave her the idea of opening a website with children clothes, is compelling. It brings imedeate sympathy to her and her clothes. (Stories from this morning TV about Web.)

Yes, it is important to have a story.

That is why, instead of the usual blabla about the importance of our guest and his titles, I will tell a few short stories about our first, and some subsequent encounters. I have to find the right words now to transmit the strong image I have in mind to the minds of the audience to whom I tell it. The stories in my mind, from the time they suddenly came to me yesterday afternoon, energized me, again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Who I see? Who others see?

what the mirror gives back, what the reflection on floor gives and how others see me?

in fact, all see me differently

to some I am reliable and warm, always ready to suggest, to help, for others I am an impossible person wanting to change everything, persistent and annoying

So who am I?

probably all of those... depending of whom sees me or gets nearby

persistent, going with determination in a direction, sometimes "impossible" as seen by some others is the character of many creative people and of many leaders

we lead and not follow...

we help and learn and never stop

yes, I understand that can annoy some who have other ways from which they do not want to go away, who are in a bubble of their own,

Can I go in other directions? Often

Do I find solutions that seem to far fetched to some? But most of the time they do work