Baby’s got blue eyes…
Warning! This isn’t a lol cat. This is a very stern, I-mean-business, very serious kind of feline. Not your average Cheshire cat type thing. I mean it. Very serious indeed…



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I feel bad because David’s challenge was about Wanderlust and you are meant to be travelling like mad, and sure I did a lot of that in the past. But since I became an entrepreneur, the furthest I go is the end of metro line 6 and as it goes round in circle that isn’t even taking me very far. OK, we did the odd trip to the Pacific Northwest and that was very cool but I would hardly call that exotic. Maybe Berlin in May last year was a bit off the beaten track and yet. I would hardly call that wanderlust. More of a pilgrimage to a weird place where people seem to enjoy themselves quite a lot on the ashes of the Jews, many of whom have little plaques fixed on the paved road to mark the location of their former homes and explain where they were born and died. Continue reading “Wanderlust”

I Make a Wish

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I missed my usual Friday night Photo Challenge boat last Friday, I was knee-deep into an invitation to tender and preparing a lecture which lasted all day Saturday. Nonetheless, here I am in catch up mode and the theme today is “Wish”. Hard to match Jen’s wonderful story about Emas in Japan. My wish is more simple and a lot more feeble I believe. It is twofold. 


I took the pictures above in the State of Washington last Summer when the climes were a lot better than today and the political atmosphere a lot more relaxed than it is today. My wish is that we get back to the tranquility we once knew and go enjoying the Peace  we have always known here, both internally and internationally. And that we have once more an opportunity to bask in the sunshine think about nothing but nice things, Art and Jeannette Obstoj’s poetry as well as Rupert Hine’s ancient but still oddly beautiful recordI make a wish

Remember the cornfields
The radio’s dead
How I worried our planes would collide
And we’d never reach
That secret tropical beach
Oh make a wish
And hand me down that clever book
I think I’m falling down…
There’s no light on the road
Oh I waited for hours
I wanted to give her flowers
I’ll make a wish
I stayed up all night for this
I’ve said enough
There’s no catch
It’s take twenty two
Met my match
It’s all happened before
A flash reflected in her eye…
how could we say goodbye…
In the heat of the day…
it could have been the end…
Of more than you and me
And didn’t you love New York
And the sight of natural green
A sad adventure this has been
But now my mind is new and clean
We’ll meet again in another dream
Make a wish for all you’ve seen
Oh make a wish
Don’t hand me down some clever book
There may be time for just one look
We’ll have to say it all
With just one look we’ll have to say it
There’s no light on the road
Oh I waited for hours
I wanted to give her flowers
I’ll make a wish
I stayed up all night for this
Make a wish and give up your thinking
Make a wish her body is shrinking
Make a wish the last eye is blinking
Make a wish for water worth drinking
Make a wish my vision is feeble
Songwriters: Hine, Rupert / Obstoj, Jeanette Therese
Make A Wish lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

A Match Made In Heaven

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A few months back, as I was listening to a local radio station, I heard an announcement about a demonstration of some old locomotives at Paris Gare de Lyon. As it happens, this man above is one of the few French Railways SNCF who decided to organise this gathering. There was no sign posting, the meeting was entirely organised by these people, who welcomed quite a few visitors within their drivers’ compartments. The one above is a 1950s electric locomotive, and it’s still doing the job between Paris and Clermont Ferrand on a regular basis. You can’t see anyone on the photo but the compartment was crammed.


From the same compartment, the locomotive in front was a superb 1930s job, with the great old SNCF art deco logo. Umpteen times nicer than the new one. What was striking about these drivers was their passion and dedication to their job. They weren’t trainspotters but train lovers they surely were and I was impressed with the amount of respect that they have for their passengers and the elders as well, the ones who knew everything about those machines and could repair them on the go. 


I loved that 6549 machine above, squeaky clean and perfectly maintained.


An older locomotive from the 1930s too, with its horns on the rooftop. I thought this would be very apt for the “good match” challenge of today.

Shadows Challenge

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Shadows is today’s challenge. A very popular theme and judging by the number of responses Cheri got on her post at barely 5PM CET today,  I am not the only one who likes his shadows.I have therefore gathered a list of pictures which are somewhat off the beaten track when it comes to dealing with this mixture of light and darkness. Shadows are often associated with B&W. Here I deiced to choose a few colour pictures too.You may or may not like them, some of them may appear very abstract to you, and rightfully so because they are meant to be. Number one picture is a giant leaf from the Auteuil greenhouses. Take a good look at them as the century-old greenhouses are threatened by the ever expanding, sprawling, French tennis championship playground Roland Garros. The greenhouses are being replaced gradually by tennis courts which are used once a year for about a fortnight. Go figure it out.


Photograph number two is me at the gates at Auteuil. Cast shadows in Winter tend to be very long. Here I decided to place my picture in the frame of what would otherwise be a very abstract and almost incomprehensible picture.


Now a series of three pictures taken from the Père Lachaise churchyard at dusk in autumn.



Chamarande - Richard Orlinksi

My last picture for today is Orlinksi’s howling Wolf in Chamarande.


What’s In A City Name?


Today’s photo challenge isn’t an easy one. It’s about “name”. As such I have few photos with names I can show. I therefore turned to brand names. First and foremost, the SNCF French railways logo of the 1930s, a really beautifully crafted logo, which is head and shoulders above its modern counterpart, even if it has been greatly improved. The beautifully designed logo and the intertwined ’S’ mainly is pure marvel. Obviously, in those days, advertisers could draw and not just click on a mouse. I like the way they fit all letters into a round shape and it still looks good in spite of this. It’s creative and elegant (here on a 1950s locomotive)


Then, my friend Hervé’s GetQuanty logo at his fund raising party at the beginning of December last year. Hervé launched his company 8 years ago and built everything by himself. He didn’t receive any money from the proceeds of his business before the 4th year. At the time, I thought he was completely mad. And then I did the same 6 years later. I once was his first customer and I’m proud I helped him with his then budding business. He is doing very nicely now. Behind that name is a true human story.


Vespa means ‘wasp’ in Italian. I found that ancient scooter near Montmartre a few years ago. Not in such a good state.

Grisy Les Plâtres - Vexin - France

Painted advertisements are few and far between nowadays. They are a sign of times when they weren’t plastered against walls but painted by hand on buildings, mostly in villages at a time when drivers could think of enjoying a glass of Dubonnet (an old-fashioned Vermouth-like drink from the beginning of the twentieth century) and live to tell about it. Those days of heavy drinking and mad driving are – thankfully – bygone.

Seattle, Wa USA

Well, at least I was able to spot a couple of names which weren’t brand names. Here in Seattle on this manhole cover, the name and picture of Chief Seattle, he who gave his name to the NW Pacific City.

Seattle, Wa USA

And lastly, this handsome late nineteenth century building (1892) which goes by the name of Maynard, a name mostly reminiscent of John Maynard Keynes as far as I am concerned. This Maynard type however, has nothing to do with the economist. He was an American pioneer and a nice person, much in favour of Native American rights. He is the one who proposed the City be named after an Indian chief. What’s in a City Name?

Chaalis Abbeys And Primaticcio

When you next decide to go to Chaalis, in the North of Paris, you will be granted three Abbeys for the price of one. One twelfth century job (in not such a good state), a 13th century chapel with a superb Francesco Primaticcio mural and an 18th Abbey which was the home of Mrs Jacquemard-André. Definitely worth the trip. From the Abbey you’ll find a footpath that goes into the woods and will lead you to places ridden with memories of great poets and philosophers (Nerval, Jean-Jacques Rousseau etc.)

From top to bottom and left to right: the 13th century chapel and its amazing stone gargoyles, the romantic bridge on the JJ Rousseau footpath, a panorama shot of the Primaticcio mural (restored a few years ago), a panorama shot of the 12th century Abbey, the 18th century abbey from the gates of the rose garden, and finally, the 12th century Abbey is a perfect spot for a Boy Scout picnic. All pictures are clickable. The map to Chaalis Abbey is shown per below.

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