Pot-pourri half a hundred

Another voyage in Space and time. “Half a hundred, Captain? Come on!” “I know, Scotty, I know. Easy copy. Couldn’t resist. Beam us down Scotty please.”


“Here lives a dentist”. Tlalpan, Mexico, 2016. Around the corner. Haven’t tried the dentist. Don’t know why.


Nairobi, Kenya. c. 1970. Minette, our Kenya born tabby cat.


UNAM, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2017. Many buildings of this prestigious university are covered with murals.


Graveyard, Colombia. c. 2008.


Lost seal. 1996, by my sister, Gaëlle.


Tula, Mexico. 1990. Precolombian history is one of the many reasons for our coming to Mexico. The above statue, along with another three stands on the site of Tula, northwest of Mexico city. The city was built by the Toltecs and peaked around 900-1150 AD. Another view of Tula below:


Cacti. 20th century, Tula.

RMO 1 1e

16th century fashion, France. Sketch by my mother Renée.


Tlalpan, Mexico. 2017. Possibly one of the last remaining linocut printing shop in the world. They carve out the sketch in a sheet of linoleum, then spread the ink and print. A fine technique for “A-plats” of black ink. Developed in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. No official grants, this shop seems to survive only with classes, workshops, and possibly selling the art.


“Reflection. To remain or not remain?” Tlalpan, 2017.


Terre des hommes, Land of men, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A 50’s edition bought for 2 Euros on the quays of the Seine. In this second book, “Saint-Ex” describes his crash in the desert, where the idea for the Little Prince came to him. A splendid book by a splendid author. The book ends thus: “Only the Spirit, when it blows on clay, can create Man.”


Lake of Atitlan, Guatemala, 2003. This young Maya girl wears the traditional costume and headdress of her village, near Panajachel. Dozens of villages surround the lake, each with its own costume and headgear design. They say even the dialects are different. So everyone knows where one comes from.


Manatee, Belize, 2003. A member of the Sirenian order, their distant cousins may have given rise to the legend o sirens. A peaceful herbivore, this mammal never leaves the water, but has to come up to the surface to breathe. An endangered species, their world population is estimated at 13,000, with about half in Florida. Though protected, many suffer terrible head injuries from small boat propellers.


Street art, Tepoztlán, Mexico city. (c)ousrtesy Alex.

onraet 4b

A century and thousands of miles separate the little girl above (Daughter #1, born in France, 1981) and the three little girls below:

onraet 4a

Gwalior, India, c.1890. l. to r. the twins, Jeanne Onraët, 1880-1914, Daisy Onraët, 1880-1960. They were born somewhere in UP. (United Provinces then, Uttar Pradesh, now) And my grandmother Julie Onraët, born in Jowra, India in 1882, died in France 1977. She was a century older than her Great-granddaughter… “All our yesterdays…”

Captain and crew thank you for hopping on Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle #50. Until next flight, be safe. (Beam us back up, Scotty!)



81 thoughts on “Pot-pourri half a hundred

  1. Very moving again, Brieuc. I love the seal ! Linocuts are still widely made today. I have one on my board, printed twice, one for me, the other, the better for my greengrocer. And except for the expression, the 4 girls have similar faces. Many thanks, Captain, and enjoy your trip through time, space and emotions.

    • Merci Gilles. I thought Linocuts were gone. Glad it’s not, ‘coz it really allows to draw and print very fine art. (Now the press there is at least a century old). And yes there is an “air de famille”. 😉

    • Absolutely. Actually as a child, daughter #1 looked very much like my aunt, my father’s sister. (I have featured her several times, always the “élégante”)
      Genes are genes…

    • Thank you Jenny. The manatee was quite an experience. And the resemblance is totally there. Amazing isn’t it? after a century. So how much do we look like our ancestors 2-3 centuries back? 🙂

      • It’s interesting how it’s like that sometimes and sometimes not. My brother dad and grandfather are practically identical. I look a lot like my mom but not so much like anyone else. 🙂 We will see about wee Colin.

      • Yes. Totally. Some brothers look like they’ve been adopted. Then I remember as a child, half the adults would say “he looks like his mother!” and the other half “he is the spitting image of his dad!”. We’re all a mix. Daughter #2 looks like my mother. (Or so I say). We shall see about “wee Colin”. Is he walking already or taking his time?

      • He is walking a lot. From one end of the house to the other. Even turning around. He will be running by the weekend probably. It’s fun to watch him grow! It’s happening so fast.

      • And it will keep happening. Do you have stairs in your house? I had to put a bareer just in case. Then it will be language. Gonzalo just said his first French “word” yesterday. “mage” as in fromage (cheese) he loves camembert… (We’re doing good on the cultural thing!) 😉

  2. Oh I love this blog! I see the one twin died quite young.Your daughter looks a lot like Daisy.
    Looks like you have a very artistic family…your mom and sister…and you?
    I love photo of the reflection on the backside of the car.

  3. I so very needed a time travel trip, to gaze at your amazing finds always makes me stop and ponder and dream of other lands ❤ kudos Brian ❤ and manatees, YAY, love those ❤

  4. Lovely collection here for this time trip
    😊 Amazing to think that the little girl in the photo will be a mother, grandmother, and a century later (!) a great-grandmother… There she is, looking so innocent and peaceful, not knowing what lies ahead, good and bad. Like all of us.

  5. Seems somehow cruel, the manatees don’t leave the water and yet are reliant on oxygen. I assume they can hold their breath for some ungodly length? Are they related to walruses?
    Yes I see the family resemblance and aww…little Minette.

    • Manatees are a separate order, but they are distant cousins of seals (and the walrus. tchu tchu ku chu)
      And Minette was a very pretty cat. Though Miao Zedong was too. Need to scavenge some pictures of her.)

      • I did! She was the last of my parents’ cats. And when my father died, we took her in. She had no real name, apart from “the little grey cat that is so nice”. So I thought Miao Zedong was appropriate for the new leader of the house. 😉
        (Do you have cats? Or are you more a dog person?)
        I will post a few shots of Chairwoman Miao.
        And since we’re traveling soon, Joyeux Noël et bonne année, mon amie.

      • I currently ‘have’ all the neighbouring cats! I can’t help slipping them a treat or two and word got out…or is that mieows got out? Some even come and scratch on the window when I have the nerve to be tardy with the treats!

        If you had to push me I’d say dog just that bit more…but you’d have to push me! 😀

        Lol looking forward to pics of Chairwoman Miao! 😀

        Mercy buckets (as we say over here!) and all the best to you and yours dear Guglu!

      • Mercy buckets? lol. Thanks for your wishes dear Edith. Careful with cats. They spread the word quickly. (I’ve also read that cats only really meow with humans…)

  6. Manatees are such graceful beauties. I get so upset when I hear about them getting killed by our stupidity. Your time travels are always so vibrant and eclectic. Like a treasure chest/message in bottle/magic carpet all rolled into one.

    • Thank you for the analogy. Magic carpet! 🙂 I try to mix things or events or places that are very different. Sort of jolt the reader’s attention. Glad it seems to be working) And yes, manatees… And giraffes, and… and…

  7. Although I do have palinca now, inspiration still eludes me. Dunno what to say. Just that looking at Minette’s picture – seen her before in other pictures – I remember a children’s movie “Cats and dogs: The revenge of Kitty Galore” and a (approximate) quote from a scene saying “a cat’s eye reveals the truth”. I tried to look into Minette’s eyes but all I could see was a dark silhouette and the camera flash. And that’s the truth. 🙂

    Enjoy a fine weekend, mon ami! 🙂

      • True about inspiration (and truth is often elusive as well as dark 😉 ). Mood has its own say in this too – these days I’m into technics rather than feelings. 🙂

        Lily’s fine, thank you, just a running nose that may never go away since she insists on going out even on the coldest weather – and (thankfully) winter has not really begun yet here. Actually it’s been quite warm these days (about 10°C at noon) so it’s been a pleasant weekend, thank you for the good wishes. 🙂

      • Shifting of Earth’s poles? Dunno. Thing is, it’s quite warm out here for this time of year. Have a look at the prediction for December, notice the historical averages.

        I may have jinxed Lily saying she was alright, she’n not quite right today. Gonna take her to the vet’s in a couple hours. Hopefully it’s just my imagination but intuition says there may be something wrong with her.

  8. I love the post. Thank you for grand and informative pictures. I melted at the wonderful Kenyan tabby cat. Your sister is a good artist. So many wonderful tidbits to savor. Thanks. Have a great weekend. Hugs

      • i will look on my computer so often on my mobile “notes” or “likes” don’t stick…have a prachtige kersttijd en een vrolijk nieuwjaar Brian and enjoy all your loved ones 😀 smiles hedy

      • Vrolijk nieuwjaar I understand. Prachtige? Practical? Ok. Beautiful. Kersttijd? Kerst? Christ? Not too far. So tijd is time… 🙂
        Smiles back my dear.

  9. Ah Minette, how one can be so beautiful!
    Love the works of your mother and sister. Your beautiful daughter is only a year older than my daughter 🙂
    I can see the resemblance in two photographs. Wouldn’t be surprised if these two shared similar character 🙂

  10. Mexico’s a hotspot for mural paintings. I guess it’s a long tradition that’s being updated. I recall visiting some ministry building many years ago and the whole place seemed to be covered in Diego Rivera murals. Fantastic. I think I’d hesitate to visit a dentist who advertises his trade using people in what looks like medieval clothing. It wasn’t a good era for dentistry.
    Hope your travels are going well and a great New Year to you and family.

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