Max the voice

Max the voice, blog speaking about standup comedy, was the first to recognise my talent of comedy, while we were giving our end of workshop performance, years ago, she predicted I'll do well. 

Back to her, I was invited to perform end of 2014. Here what she wrote now.

"It was just great to see the alumni from the Max Your Voice training programmes’ past – and enjoy their company and the entertainment on December 5th. A special thank you to the excellent stand up and inspirational coach Tim Dingle, the amazing singer/songwriter Andrea Black and the award winning stand up comedienne, Julie Kertesz.  Especially grateful to Julie for coming to entertain us while she’s still recovering from a fall 6 months ago.  It may have temporarily affected the use of her right leg but it has done nothing to affect her comedy timing which is as brilliant as before.  Julie Kertesz received the silver award for the best comedy newcomer when she was seventy seven. The many friendly faces and the fun we had meant a lot. " 

The only thing I changed is add 7 to the seventy she wrote. Indeed, I begun at 77 not at 70, and won the Award four month later.


So many stories to tell!

As our worries: seeming bigger then realitySo many stores to tell!

A shadow can tell you, inspire you a story.

This one inspired me also courage to go on, often. I was crushed. Felt destroyed. Mid 2013.

In the morning sun, suddenly I see this huge vase on the wall. So much bigger then the real one.

Ah! We make too much, we exaggerate our problems and worries, exactly like this does.

So what if I lost another teeth?

This year, I break my leg, had a cast, was in the hands of carers who helped and the same time made me feel in their power, treated me like I had no mind of my own. Well, it took some time, but I did take back my power and strength and even helped one of them to grow hers.


"Awesome old lady week : julie kertesz"

Awesome Old Lady of the Week: Julie Kertesz

Article by Joanne Lau

Julie Kertesz is 80-year-old grandmother of five, with a PhD in chemistry. She’s a professional storyteller, keeps an active blog and posts photos to her popular Flickr account everyday. Did we mention she’s also an award-winning stand-up comedian?  Joanne Lau spoke to this incredibly cool lady and learned it’s never too late for anything. 
julie with mic
What is your name?
Julie. My actual name’s Judith, but my mother called me Julika after an actress in Hungary she liked with a daughter of the same name.
Where were you born?
I was born in 1934 in Transylvania, a province in Romania surrounded by mountains. I liked growing up there. We lived in the biggest city, but it felt small and quiet. The Second World War was happening all round, but I didn’t know it. Then, suddenly, when I was 10, the war caught up with me. In 1944, we had to leave the city and flee the Nazis. We were a Hungarian-speaking Christian family, but of Jewish origin. We fled to Budapest. The SS were already waiting at the station, but using papers from another family, we managed to live in hiding for a year before having to flee again from the Russians. During that year I began to write a diary because my mother didn’t want me to speak to many people around me. I never stopped.
Where do you currently live?
I’ve been in London for about six years. Before that, I lived in and around Paris for 35 years. When I came to London, I felt very alone. I went to various photography meet-ups, but didn’t connect with anyone. About six months later I joined the Toastmasters clubs. I’d previously been involved with Toastmasters in America, but hadn’t continued when I went back to France. I joined two clubs in London and made a lot of connections and friends. It gave me the courage to go out and tell my stories. I’ve told my stories for Spark London at the Canal Café Theatre. I’ve spoken in front of 500 people in Manchester, where I told my story about how, when I was 10, the war couldn’t break me. The story is told in the voice of my 10-year-old self with no reference to any knowledge I have now.
What is/was your profession?
One story I tell is called Mistaken Identity. It’s about how I completely changed professions at 48 years old. I started as a research chemist. I studied chemistry in high school but wasn’t allowed to go to university under the Communist regime as my father was a director in a factory and thus bourgeois. It wasn’t until I began working that I was allowed to study. I worked as a technician and studied for my degree by correspondence at an open university. In a way, it was a big advantage because I learned to how learn without someone teaching me.
So, I was one week away from finishing my degree, when a woman walked into the laboratory and demanded I give her my desk. I didn’t know who she was so I refused. She became agitated and I dared to tell her: “Don’t be hysterical. I cannot give you my desk because my boss is not here to tell me if this is OK.” She turned out to be the wife of the Romanian dictator.
Within three minutes I’d lost my job, been thrown out of university without graduating and declared an enemy of the people of Communist Romania. The wife became the director of the institute almost immediately after she finished her degree. She then became an academic, though everyone else did her work and she just put her name on it. I couldn’t tell anyone for a long time. Not until after their deaths in 1989.
I was one week away from finishing my degree, when a woman walked into the laboratory and demanded I give her my desk. I didn’t know who she was so I refused. She turned out to be the wife of the Romanian dictator. Within three minutes I’d lost my job, been thrown out of university without graduating and declared an enemy of the people of Communist Romania.
I wanted to leave Romania, but couldn’t. It wasn’t till I was married and pregnant that I finally got my passport. We moved to France and I began work again as a chemist and when the opportunity arose, I restarted my studies. In 1977, I got my PhD. I was working by day in the research institute, had two children, and studied for my PhD on the side. One reason I wanted the diploma was to have closure. The other was I was having problems with my husband and if I didn’t get a job with enough money, I wouldn’t be able to keep my children.
After my PhD and my divorce, I moved to America with my children and worked there for three years as a research chemist. As a non-American citizen, they didn’t want us to prolong our stay after my contract was over, so I returned to France. Finding a research chemist position in France proved near impossible. They told me I was too old, that I was a woman, and that I was not born there. It was very difficult and I needed work because I had my children. At 47 years old, I had to switch careers. I’ve learned you can use the strengths you have from one profession to another. They don’t have to be used do the same thing. In fact, sometimes you discover you can do things you didn’t know you could do. I had an interest in computers and some experience with public speaking through my time with the Toastmasters clubs. When I couldn’t find a job, I began learning and teaching a bit of computer programming – literally learning at night, then teaching it the next day. Then I started a company that imported computer products from America and sold them in France.
I was 60 when I left that job. A friend told me to do something until I knew what to do, so I read my diaries from beginning to end for the first time in my life. I decided to put them on Macintosh to save them for my children, but I realised it could be interesting for others, so I decided to publish them. (http://julie2004.blogspot.co.uk/) That was how I discovered blogging.
My second marriage ended when I was 70 and at that age, I discovered I would rather speak about my life day-by-day without publishing my diaries anymore, so I started a blog called Il y a de la vie après 70 ans (There is Life After 70). I did it to prove to myself and others there is something to do after 70. I also discovered photography. I did documentary photography, joined Flickr, and began to share a collection of my photos around Paris. It became very popular.
Now I have 50-60,000 pictures published in albums and groups and I use them for my blogs. I still photograph and publish every day, and people from around the world look at my photos. I get 15,000-20,000 hits per day
Julie Shaving
What is your secret talent?
One time telling Mistaken Identity, people began to laugh. I decided to try to make them laugh when I wanted rather than by chance. I decided to try some comedy workshops. At the age of 77, I discovered I had funny bones. I got the Silver Comedy best newcomer award and went on to perform in 20 different comedy clubs – I didn’t even know 20 existed before! After 20 gigs, I decided I wanted to do at least 77 because I began at 77. Now I’m past 77 gigs and still going.
Most of the people at stand-up comedy clubs are young and I am like the grandmother talking about personal things. I think one of the reasons people like my act so much is that they realise I’m 80 and I’m not from here and I give them courage. If I can do it, they can too. I hope I inspire people to learn and discover new things.
The most important thing I gained from comedy was that I began to look at my life through a comedy eye. When something bad happens to me now, I look to see how I can make something funny from it. It makes things less heavy and difficult to bear. I laugh about me having to shave and I have a published photo with shaving cream. I can laugh about losing my teeth and breaking my leg.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
That’s hard because I’ve shared so much about myself in so many places! How about that I read erotic romance? I don’t like pornography. It needs to have an emotional story behind it. Books like 50 Shades of Grey are like fairy tales to me. Thank goodness for my Kindle so my grandchildren can’t see my book collection!
Would you like to be a young woman in the 21st century?
Yes! Young people have the web. It’s great to get to know people from other places. Everywhere I go I meet bloggers and photographers I met through the web and they show me their cities and I show them mine. I’ve met a lot of interesting people like that. You know what I do regret most about not being a young woman now? I had beautiful breasts – young women now can show them quite a lot and we never could in my day!
Julie with Judy Carter 2
What is your favourite indulgence?
I treated myself to some comedy workshops in Las Vegas and Los Angeles with Judy Carter. I like to tell stories, do comedy, take photos. Now I want to teach people how to tell their stories.
What are you most proud of?
My children and my five grandchildren. Three of my grandchildren are in America and two live here in London. They’re all wonderful.
What is your daily beauty regime?
Smile a lot. I have beautiful smiley wrinkles. That’s my idea of beauty.
What advice would you give your 30-year-old-self?
Laugh. Even if someone is not nice to you, you can begin again. I meet young people who tell me they’ve been hurt once and will never love again. You can have more than one love, more than one friend, more than one profession! It’s never too late for anything.
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    Joanne Lau is that tired-looking Chinese-Canadian girl on the tube scribbling in her notebook and staring into space a lot.


    Learning how to tell a story...

    Bill Jersay, demonstrates with his short films the power of storytelling.

    "I am interested in helping someone tell their story, and tell them well." he begins.
    Telling a good story is crucial. A story beats arguments.

    It can be an individual story, how we realised some goals, how we got in trouble, how we got out of it: we all have stories to tell.

    Ask yourself "what is my story?"

    You have all a story worth telling! It can be a "big" story or a story about a small event: interesting, giving insight and interpreting information.


    The nature is always there for us

    Sunrise, with a true story of this morning 11 pictures from this morning with a true story

    The sky is always there for us! 

    10 minutes before 8 am, in London.

    This morning, I walked up my legs hurting and had to take, again, my two crutches to go to the kitchen. Six month already passed since I fractured a leg, three month since I strained the other leg knee, and I already believed I can walk with nothing!

    I am 80, true. But will I always walk only with crutches from now on? Is my life finished? My father died, at 80. I have still so much intern energy!

    I put the water to boil, make myself a coffee, then looked out of the window. Almost eight and the sun still rising, in December, the sunrise arrives late. Summertime, I catch it often around five.

    What a beautiful sunrise!

    I have to take it, show it, remember. There is always a joy, even when I remain home.

    Fast, before the sun is all up! I went to my room without crutches, fast and took my camera. Do  not even remember how I come back, went nearer the kitchen window to take these pictures. A few as it was then with zoom to show better the clouds reddened by the rising sun.

    Suddenly my eyes fall on the top of the garages visible from that window. All white, frozen. Well, not a weather for me to go out yet. At least, not in the morning. But after noon, it will be dry again and no more slippery.

    Yes, I will go out, walk to the bus instead of taking a taxi to the hospital appointment.

    There is always the sky & another sunrise or sundown for us!

    I remembered suddenly another day, when I was very down, half lifetime ago.

    Coming home from market, suddenly seeing the beautiful clouds coloured by the sun going down. They gave me back my courage that there is still something in life for me.

    Please, take this 12 images and most importantly, remember: the sky, clouds and the nature are always there for us, even the times when we feel all else failed. The sky is always there for us.          


    Why? Suddenly, in two days...

    Suddenly, a photo I have taken fast, from a moving car, a moving woman stopping the morning traffic to let kids pass, becomes a "bestseller" on the web. In Flickr Explorer, a special place where the days "bests photos of the day" are found, from yesterday.

    31.000 visits 103 photographers chose it like their "favorite" so far.

    It also gave me ten new "followers" and offer to add it to the group called Explore.

    Why this one? Product of a moment I wanted to conserve, product of my need to prove I was outside, just before I had to go up the stairs again and stay home. Hours, days. Often, many days.

    A wonderful surprise, and a great pleasure, any way.

    It also, suddenly gave me a huge number of hits, more then 35 000 yesterday, that I realised only this morning, looking at my "Recent Activity" on Flickr. Thanksgiving day.

    Thanks to my now, more then eight million visitors for my photos, more then 8 million hits, in fact by now, in the last 9 years, since I started publishing my images on the web, under the name "joyoflife" or "julie70" on Flickr.

    For each photo, I give tags, a title, some description most of the time, arrange it in an album that goes in a collection of certain theme. Add the bests of the day to a few groups, with similar themes. That makes a good pass time and a great way to connect also, day by day.

    Yesterday I was preoccupied by a meeting with my division toastmasters leaders team, and did not look A lot, just realised ten more chose me as contact and looked at their photos but without knowing why, so this morning, it was a great surprise. another picture in Explorer!

    Millions of photos are uploaded daily from all over the world on Flickr, and I never understood how and why one photo wind up there, but there are usually stunning ones! Having yet another on it is an honour.


    A Toastmasters Podcasts on public speaking from Helsinki

    Oscar Santolalla, from Peru, now living in Finland. 

    "I joined Toastmasters in 2011.

    I've been listening to podcasts a lot for the past years, in several topics including: economics, Product Management, entrepreneurship, comedy, football, and others. audiobooks. 

    Summer 2014 I started with the idea of creating my own podcast. One day I made the decision to do it, and two months later I was launching (first the 17th October). 

    I chose public speaking as my topic, and I decided that I would interview experienced people who would be willing to share their experience and ideas. 

    I wish to connect public speakers with people who are learning, so everybody can shine. Its time to shine."

    Oscar contacted me first through Facebook, then interviewed me first through email, then through Skype. 

    His interviews of around 20 minutes are very interesting.

    Links to episodes (until now):


    Let's be prepared for the "chance"

    Tulipes au milieu de la route (14)
    2008 April. On the route with my car taking my grand daughter to photographie birds on Seine.

    Suddenly, tulips on the middle of the road.

    "Mamie, stop! I would like to take photos of those!"

    I just offered a camera for her 9th birthday. Stop, in the middle of the road, with four even if small and relatively quiet streets around? Where?

    "OK, I'll stop, I'll stop, as soon as I find where to leave the car."

    A small field, offered a place for the car, and we went careful, hand by hand to the flower arrangement in the middle of the roads. Each of us with our camera. I was first more fascinated with my grand daughter taking careful one flower ofter other and making macro photos of each.

    Then, I move a bit and see this quiet street. Click.
    Tulipes au milieu de la route (3)
    Just a second later a car passed. Click.

    This photo was taken at the "decisive moment", and become one the most favourited on flickr.
    Ensemble près de la Seine (33)
    Of course, I had to stop in the middle of the road, I had to get there, I had to be ready for it. Ready for the unexpected, for the non prepared, ready and flexible.

    In photography, preparing the next speech or story, or meeting the "one" that will count in our life, it is important to be ready and open for what will arrive.


    Back on the saddle

    Standup comedian, me? I can barely stand on my feet...The 7 November, gigging again.

    Yes, I broke my leg and feet in 5 places almost seven month ago and I had to make a pause. The pause was only in delivery not in creating jokes.

    Frustrations, bad situations, mishaps offer the best occasion to jokes, so I do have now a lot of new material in my repertoire.

    Of course, I have to try them out, not only on one or two, which I did, all along, but the audience of comedy clubs.

    In seven month, the only place I gigged was BBC1 The One Show, where I proved I can make laugh and I can remember my lines and take out from the bag of jokes one or another as requested. More, to link it to something I just heard a minute before my tour come. Now, in New Cross, I am on again, and looking forward to it.

    Well, my comeback will be in December, not November - my broken leg and strained knee did not want yet to take me up the stairs yet.


    Wonderful division contest, great audience! very strong competitors

    Julie, as division governor closing the meeting with ~120 participants
    Division K Governor of Toastmasters UK South District, closing the division Contest.

    16 speakers competitors in two categories, 8 humorous speech and 8 spontaneous speech
    120 audience full room very warm appreciative too
    2 1e winners : Malachi and Samir, and also great 2e and 3d winners.

    Julie Kertesz, Division Governor closing the meeting here.


    One leave, many variations

    One leave, many variations! the same can be done with a "fact" or story

    use right arrow to look what a fallen leave can still be used!


    How we put them together

    Pointing to this image, you can go and see others around it, before it.

    How we put them together counts a lot! Still experimenting. Probably I should leave the musician at the end.

    It does count with images, and I am still learning it.
    It does count with a story and facts too.
    It does count within a joke, to put what is funnier at the end!

    "I begun to learn of comedy at 77.
    Everyone was stunned I could make laugh.
    Me too."

    It works better then :
    I discovered I had funny bones, I never believed I had. All those around me where stunned too.


    So many stories to tell!

    So many more stories to tell!

    The year hiding from nazis in Hungary, after leaving all in just an hour.

    Adolescent in the communist Romania.
    1949 : 15 years old

    How a life can crumble in 3 minutes and become 'enemy of people' and loose all created worked for many years again.

    Leaving at 27 stubbornly with a future kid and being finally reunited with loved husband. Then first kid born.
    premier enfant, quelle plaisir

    And migrations, betrayals, jumping up again and again.

    Old things, new things. Not all comedy, even if I can now add comic relief to them for the audience.

    This was at 70, self.
    "Today I celebrate 52 years since..."

    Never too late!

    And now, after ten more rich years, still lot to learn and experience.


    BBC "The One" live: Julie' minute, makes even presenters laugh

    Till Wednesday on IPlayer still. I just observed my name on this photo snap of the screen. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04httj8/the-one-show-01102014

    Not easy to see alas because the text, but till Wednesday still available on:

    my short part, beside the beginning, is from minute 33 on

    But I am proud not that I have been invited, not that I was "in the moment" and relaxed, but that I found a new comic line that made them laugh all, and that I can now incorporate in my material.

    I do not regret, that I am not a "celebrity" easy to put in one hole, to express in a short phrase or interview. And as soon as some could think "Aha, she become a" I am already on to something different. Without leaving all past behind, enriched by all my experiences and full life.


    I have done it! Comedy live on television BBC1's One Show

    BBC1 The ONE show
    Nothing happens or happened as I believed, but one or two went even better.

    I proved to myself that I am not at all intimidated by Television or Cameras and of the million of viewers about which I could not imagine, but we had a few live also around me. I am even more happy to tell whichever part they asked me then another or another. Why not? I felt in the moment and no anxiety at all - live on television.

    Most important, I did link at minute 33 my routine to what was said just before me! I am mostly proud of that, having be able to change on the spot and thus what I said made more sense and seemed more "improvised".

    And perhaps as good for me, I was able to stand up, with mic in the hand and tell my bit like before, without crutches!


    Next One Show BBC live

    Wednesday 1st November two Presenters from BBC1 ONE show will interview me, between others having begin late something, late on their life. But so many take part to make every show. I hope, I will be able to take some photos of those too.

    The One Show, BBC1 begins at 7pm live!

    They asked me to give a few seconds video of my show. I begun looking at stand ups.
    Some have great feedback, lot of laughter but bad light - and my English terrible here and there.
    Others have good light, but how to avoid the use of those two 4 letter words that delight the comedy clubs audience?

    I think I will take parts of Mistaken Identity, story told with Spark London live at Canal Cafee Theatre. (See bellow) I used in it a technique learned looking at Arnoldo in Humorous Speech Contest, at CITI criers toastmasters club in Canary Wharf. From then on, there was so much laughter!

    It was a turning point in my life.

    Another storyteller told me after that show "you are a natural" and gave me the card of the standup workshop, which was, at 77 the first step to discover my funny bone, to learn what does not work first, then what does.

    Tomorrow, 2nd October, I will be listening at another Humorous Toastmasters area contest in Canary Wharf, a whole cycle.

    I am looking forward to be interviewed but, yes, at the same time I begun to be anxious.

    "Look at it as a fun experience" I try to convince myself for the moment not so easy.

    But once I am there I will be in the moment. And I am after all in love with the audience. If there are none  I could imagine them or take all working for the show as audience.


    Some pictures convey strong messages

    Between hundred thousand photographs I have taken 
    and many thousands looking each day to them
    there are some I prefer:

    they convey by themselves powerful messages.

    This three, taken in Paris, London, Marrakech 
    are between them.

    you do not have to add text to them - they speak.


    Tim Minchin, Standup Comedian, Musican comedy writer, his speech: wonderful!

    When you learned all the rules and got great on them, then you can go against many of them and give a great speech!

    For example, have a paper you use or give 9 points - all important! not only three or one.
    I enjoyed a lot his commencement speech and will listen look at it again.
    He does live now in London.


    Speak & Deliver in Kuala Lumpur

    A Public Speaking Blog For the Speaking Public: Speak & Deliver in Kuala Lumpur:

    Rich Hopkins, been there already 7 times, this year will be different for him.

    "91 of us are going to be competing Thursday, and only 9 will advance to the Finals, and out of them, only 1 will crowned World Champion. The rest will be slightly celebrated by their friends and family, and even their local districts - but the overall feeling will be disappointment for most, and a feeling of being a downright 'loser' for others.

    Nevermind that all of them will have won their District Contests, and 8 of the final 9 can say they made it to the Finals, and two of them can even say they finished in the top 3 in the WORLD. They will be branded by some, and perhaps by themselves, as LOSERS."

    NOT ME. Not this year. There's a whole movie out there where I let myself be branded as a 'loser' in this competition - albeit a loser who never gives up. This year, that's just not going to happen."

    Read the original. Most important, this year, he decided to concentrate not on winning but on delivering his message, and having done it feel a winner together with 30 ooo others. As it should be!



    Card from 1977 May

    That was printed as an expression of optimism from me. Just finished my PhD and was between those two works.

    Yes, I have been researcher at CNRS of Gif for 4 years,
    but my contract was not renewed any more.

    Yes, I have been promised a year contract as Visiting Fellow at NIH in Bethesda, but the official paper needed for the visa did not arrive yet.

    Finally, last minute it did arrive, and I did work there for three years, as each year I got yet another year contract.

    It was not easy, as for 7 years, my next year work was not assured and I had to be very optimist to believe it will work out at the end and I will get the next contract.

    Till, 1980, when it did not. I had to go back to France, look for work and, finally, all my life changed and from Research Chemist I become Company Founder and leader and Apple products importer and distributor, in the middle of the most exciting years of the growing personal computer industry.

    It is great to be optimist and not worry too much of the future, even if it is not always easy to do so, when you are head of the family as I was. And, when it does not go as you expect, it can happen, as it did with me that something new wonderful waits for you at the end of one path of the tunnel.


    7,000,000 Seven million hits!

    Thanks for your sept million visits!
    There is joy in life. Today, still in bed with broken leg (now without cast at last) thé number of hits on flickr pictures I added from 2005, reached passed the seven million.

    Toastmasters Leadership Institute, so many skills can be learned!

    By those attending, by those doing such a promotion, by those preparing it, by those participating.


    A gate opened

    Come in! Mme Filipetto, was so welcoming!
    A feel this morning, as a gate opened to a wonderful a bit neglected garden.

    I got yesterday morning elected "Division Governor" of London Toastmasters division K, one of the three in London.

    It is a great opportunity to help more then 750 to grow in an enjoyable environment, in their 20 clubs, serve them through four great Area Governors and with a team around us.

    So much to be done!

    Just not forget, to go slowly and as needed. New ideas that come to me, have to be discussed, and tried out as those interested think of it. I learned in Toastmasters, in the last six years, to listen. At least, I hope I learned. Discussion always better, and teamwork.

    Wonderful team is there in place, or will be from end of June for a year. Even from home, for a while, I can work and do some useful work through them. Just tell some stories, of how I have done and what I learned through it, stories do work. And continue to convince all that it's better to tell using personal stories of mishaps and successes, then any facts.

    More get involved in contributing, more feel as being part of this wonderful Toastmasters journey.


    Together, associating

    Bromley flowers & Gift from Spain

    One thing is interesting, two or three put together a lot more, even more if they do not seem to go together at the beginning. Associate. This works well in photography, but as well in a story, a scene, a workshop.


    Different ways to see a picture, pictures

    Julie70 - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

    "Flickriver" may show my photos on black background in interesting way, even if sometimes, I do not know how they are chosen. And I believe, each time it selects different one's, between the "most interesting" or...

    Of course, one can see there photos of many others too. I like a lot how they display it. One by one, looks better in my opinion that the way one near other that Flickr decided to show them now. True, when you click on one, you can still see one by one and go to the next, and in bigger format even, but still, they are less well showcased.

    How you communicate what you want to arrive to others counts.


    Fireworks of great diverse speakers: Brillant!

    The morning begun with a very persuasive, authentic and funny as well of course informative speech of Freddie Daniells, on the new education changes they will come, beginning with the greatest news, the Educational and Leadership manual merges! 

    And more and more will be on line...

    It finished with Olivia Schofield first time after 2011 in London, not only  was our wonderful touching keynote speaker telling us about her life and it's difficulties, but Monday she will give in London a two hour workshop too. What an inspiration! 

    We also had wonderful speeches from Mel Kelly, the Laugh and learn in Budapest Laugh & Learn - Toastmasters 2013 District 59 Fall Humorous winner on how to, then from Carsten Wendt, finalist in Budapest, winner of Belgium Humorous Contest, who gave us his magnificent speech about Stereotypes, "I am not a Latin lover" here it is as he told in Budapest, if you missed it in London.

    Also our Polish past Division Governor Jakub Pawłowski, who came back all the way from Zurich, after his marathon, to speak us about "The Traveling Toastmaster".

    And towards the end, the young 15 years old from Jack Petchey's Speakout Challenge, Jaymey Melvor showed us the new generation is ready!

    It was a feast of Celebrate Diversity morning and full of great examples and inspiration well worth being there all the day and getting then inspired by the International Toastmasters Contest speakers.


    Cultural differences

    Tulips between buildingsThose are not what I would think of, when I hear 'tulip' even if once I did plant some like this in my garden in France.

    They are beautiful and colourful and fancy.

    When I think 'tulip' what comes first to my mind are the simple red tulips, that are part of the Hungarian folk art, from my youth.

    I lived in a Hungarian culture, even if it was in the then already Romanian later Hungarian and again Romanian Kolozsvar, now Cluj. The communist regime added to it even Cluj-Napoca, to underscore that very long ago Romans passed by.

    For me, it is still Kolozsvar. In fact it also comes from Klausenbourg, all three names signify in fact a city with walls around. The walls are no more there, Turkish troupes passed by or only time, I do not know, only one bastion remains behind the Kalvinist church where I used to go, near the school.

    Tulips between buildings

    This is it what I imagine when I hear tulips. These kind I have seen, well not even in my childhood, as we did not have 'folk art' home in the city, but seen later.

    I went out yesterday, and discovered ten different tulip species in the garden near the building I live, one more beautiful then the other. Each with different colour and form, characteristic, flavour.

    None is 'better' or more beautiful or more 'tulip' then the other. As none of our culture and costumes characteristics are best. Just different. Vive la difference!

    Saturday morning, at Freemasson's, center London with Toastmaster speakers from different countries and cultures, we will celebrate our differences. Admire, appreciate them


    Division B exceptional event on 12 April

    Book now.

    From The London Speaker blog:

    On Saturday 12 April 2014 London Division B Toastmasters has a very special day for you.

    In the morning we've put together a programme to represent the diversity of Toastmasters. 

    All telling us divers ways the joy of the diversity. 

    The afternoon listen applaud enjoy our Division B contest finals!

    Book now atwww.eventbrite.co.uk

    The morning fun and learning includes:

    Keynote speakerf Olivia Schofield, International Speech Contest World Finalist in Las Vegas 2011° 

    Remarkable speakers from Toastmasters all over Europe :
    Carsten Wendt "I am not a latin lover"
    Mel Kelly, Irish from Munich,  District 59 Europe Humorous contest winner ‘Sealed with a Kiss’

    Carsten Wendt, German, Belgium. Humorous contest winner ‘I am not a latin lover’

    Jakub Pawłowski, Poland. Our smiling dare-devil returning from Zurich ‘Diversity of Clubs’

    ‘Diversity of Goals’ Freddie Daniells, UK. Our ever popular and always active and dedicated toastmaster from King Cross, Past Division B Governor and District Governor, now Renewed Education Program Ambassador. 
    Book now at www.eventbrite.co.uk
    * the 14th evening Olivia will give at the same place an interactive workshop, book also for that!


    Contest at Citi Criers, Area 59 Toastmasters

    60 photos of speakers, toastmasters in action

    60 photos, my hand hurts this morning

    But of course, it was worth. 

    I could say "it was not me, but my camera. it was not me but them, speaking with such wonderful body language and movement" and even add "it was not me, but..." but it was me, too. 

    I was the one who found, finally, the right setting on my tiny Sony, so it could catch the movement in not ideal light, I was the one who snapped at the decisive moments, and of course, it is my hand that hurst this morning. The hand will heal, the memory and the portraits will remain.

    It is important to take video when possible, or like here, yesterday, at least images. As I did not use flash, no one told me not to take and the speakers were not distracted either as my camera is tiny. 

    Now, with "embed" from flickr, even if I can not send a note directly to the blog, I can embed it here.



    London, Stoke cornerOK. One can not do what I was used to from flickr to blogger from now on, but I can learn how to go around it.

    I hope.

    At least I try. And I will persist.

    On the main street, small shops, at Stoke Newington, one after the other. Colourful, but nothing special.

    I suddenly, see something interesting around the corner.


    Suddenly from this angle, all is more intriguing. More colourful, more... just more.

    It is always worth going nearer, looking longer, finding a new angle. Trying to look at some other aspect. That happened also to my story. The result really is worth the effort.

    The Mistaken Identity story, which is in fact also how I changed my profession after 47 of age, but really "we can use our knowledge and qualities in more then one job descriptions" and "think outside the box" or "we have more in us as we believe", got better. Even shorter, also I think next time I will really try for a bit longer at least ten minutes to make it really rounded.

    It was funny and I believe I acted it out well, again. Of course, in the last three years when I delivered it first, I did learn some more and gained more self confidence too, what counts. Rehearsing it in a toastmasters club just a day before the "main event" was also useful.

    I still could improve on the end. The story was there, the point not made, only hinted. I hesitate between some who tell "not necessary" and others that you even have to suggest "action".  I would have liked at least to involve the audience in what I found. "We" not "you" or "me".


    Freddie Daniells Speaking at Julie Kertesz's workshop at CITI Criers

    The reasons we speak, a great important speech !

    A lot to learn from it, Freddie Daniells, our immediate past District Governor in Toastmasters of UK and Ireland, is a master speaker! He demonstrated it again at my last workshop of "how to make a good speech great". Freddie speaks at the end of Olivia, who will be in London Saturday 12 April at the occasion of Division B Conference and Contest (and the Monday after).

    Other speech and some part of my workshop will follow. For me, it is easier to create a new speech then transform videos and cut and paste them as I would liked.

    Two books, 30 years of distance

    Two books at 30 years distance. 

    I imagined, wrote, created and then cowrote Postscript at your Service, at age 50, at the burgeoning personal computer age. I even produced and added all the pictures and figures, edited it and found the printer. This one was edited by BIP, the company I have founded and lead for ten years. We used to sell it with a disk, with all the code on it, in the shop but it was also sold in bookshops and the biggest supermarkets where computers and software where sold.

    Two books, almost 30 years appart
    Postcript, language of Laserwriter, now in is under most programs also, but you do not have to learn it to use it nowadays. At that time, years ago, it gave its power to hands of many, non programmers.

    The second book, "70 things to do when you get 70", I got in it an essay "Never too late" and I was already 77 when I wrote its first version. 

    Almost 30 years between the two books.

    I love to write, I love people reading my books, my blogs, under my photos. I also love speaking and interacting directly with the audience. And yes, leading when needed others, helping.

    Yes, I did write some other books between them," The Book of Hypercard" become a computer bestseller in its time and was republished three times, it support me for 18 month. I was also asked for more then a year to write each month about the subject in a Computer magazine because of it. 

    Two others I wrote after that, very mild "erotic romances" I did never dare to publish, writing them I learned how far I can stretch myself and dare. Of course, that time, thirty years ago, we never thought how far in a few decades the romances will go expressing...

    Writing those two, not only was a great pleasure, as always is when I create a new book or a new story, but it is then that I learned to write dialog, to put myself into different persons skin, to surprise and to tell some of the truth about myself that I would have never told as a "personal tale" under cover of fiction some things I never dreamed or even remembered come out, and perhaps without knowing preparing myself for speaking before an audience and telling tales. 

    When I wrote "Postscript a votre Service" I was looked in Paris with warmth as the "old lady of computers" in the young computer business, of course, old, almost 50 already!

    At sixty I discovered to be the youngest between those teachers who were pensioned and eager to learn, when I begun to make Creative Writing Workshops, week after week, but also coach older one's "do not be afraid of the mouse" class with a kid painting program.

    At seventy, well, I took up street photography, opened my first three blogs (one about "now", one to publish my diaries from ten to "now", and the third a photo a day). And proved myself and others "there is life after seventy" day by day. 

    Giving confidence to others, is what motivates me most. Always did. Will in the future too.