Spock and Scotty just came back from their fishing trip in 19th century Scotland. Spock is delighted and now rolls his R’s as a true Scot. All set and ready to explore the time-space continuum. Fasten seat belts. Scotty? Engines running? Spock? Ready to hop? (Above: the day of the Dead, Tlalpan, Mexico, 2017.) JUMP!


Chac, the God of rain, Uxmal, Yucatán, June ’78. Hop!

ka24bb-le car-B

Karachi, Pakistan, 1950. My parents’ second car, a traction avant Citroën. How on earth did they get the car from France to Pakistan?


Praga, 2004. Such baroque architecture can also be found all across Latin America, all the way to Brazil.



Flying saucers in formation, Iceland, last week. According to Spock, those are Klingon warships. Photo (c)ourtesy Gini.


Before, c.1970.


After. With a bonus telephone included. Jump!


L. to r. Julius Caesar, c. 52BC, Neil Armstrong, c.1969AD. Sketch by my mother, Renée.


Yin and Yang, UNAM, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2016. Jump.

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Tower Bridge, London, 2016. (Built in 1894). I thought it was older…


Bouche dorée, a macumba priestess in Salvador da Bahía, Brazil. By Hugo Pratt, a magnificent Italian artist. Some would kill to buy that original… (All rights reserved…)


Tlalpan, Mexico, last week. A genuine Ferrari, just around the corner from our house. Not exactly the kind of car to leave in the street… I took this shot in a hurry. When I came back twenty minutes later, it was gone.


Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, 2016. A Rajahstan nobleman by Jimmy Nelson. There was a fabulous expo at the “La Hune” library, twenty yards to the left. Sorry to say the library burned and has not yet been reopened. Jump!


Venice in Mexico by Dolce and Gabbana. 2017.

2016-08-04 15.31.29

Brexiters rushing to leave the UK, before the inevitable disaster. (I should have cropped that one a wee bit…)

ka26a-oct 51

Karachi, Pakistan, October 1951. The Prime Minister, standing right is (in)discretely tickling my mother’s shoulder at a cocktail. See her face. (“Should I provoke a diplomatic incident?”). My father, in the black tux, looks down, wondering what is going on. Note the very “chic” handbag on my mother’s left forearm. I wonder whether she used it to swing at the Premier? (Some things seem to never change…)

Spock, Scotty, stabilize the vortex engines, please.

To all our passengers: thank you for joining us on Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle. Until next trip, fare thee well.

105 thoughts on “Pot-cinquante-pourri-seven

      • Ah, yes some good , some bad. I have a new primary care and we are getting to know each other. I can walk again. All things considered I am doing pretty good. Thank you. How are you doing. Ron and I are going to Tampa Zoo, about two hours away. As we are Florida residents we can get a great deal on tickets, we buy one day and can use it repeatedly for a year. We love zoo’s and we have not been to this one. I think I will go through internet withdrawal not being on my computer for a day or two. I love the pictures of your travels and the stories you tell of those places. Do you have any trips planned coming up soon. Hugs

      • Walking is great news!
        Enjoy the zoo. I used to love zoos, and don’t know the Tampa zoo.
        It is good to leave the computer for a while. Opens up your mind.
        Glad my travels and stories entertain you. The only trip we have planned for the moment is Colombia end of year. (My wife is Colombian and we always go at Christmas)
        B. Good.

  1. Some things never change. I hope she did use her lovely handbag wisely and let him have it, but alas, I’m sure diplomacy won the day. A beautiful, artistic woman. Her drawings were wonderful. Loved the sketches. The photographs were great. Really enjoyed your post.

  2. How cool is that Citroën?
    The baroque architecture is not for me but I loves to look at it!
    Erm….wowsas re: the flying saucers. Did they shoot at you?

    How cool are the sketches from your mater!

    As for the bridge, it is not falling down as reported by Fox News.

    Re: The Ferrari “When I came back twenty minutes later, it was gone.” Did the owner know this?

    Oh no! Your Ma had her own ‘#MeToo moment!

    • Merci Lumi. 🙂
      Many levels indeed.
      As you may know, I pay particular attention to the first and last picture. And that last one has many embedded levels… 🙂
      (I hope the cold is not too bad yet?)

      • It is. Took it last year during the Day of the Dead celebrations.
        Yes, back in Mexico, with the rainy season dragging on. But it’s like the monsoon. Sunny in the morning, and/or afternoon, rain later in the day or at night. And it’s almost over. Then it doesn’t rain until May.

  3. nah, Mom does not look happy at all…..love the flying saucer clouds….very cool Brian. And Venice in Florida, not Mexico….but I am on the gulf…haha…kidding ❤

  4. The photo of your mother and the prime minister is priceless! Love the flying saucers. And I love the photo on your iPhone. Camera have come a long way have they not? (The news was talking to day about 200+ selfie deaths last year. I wonder how many deaths were caused using a standard film camera last year?)

    • I may still have seen that bag years later. So very “fashion”. You must realize, of course that at the time there was no massive consumption. The bag must have been bought in Paris and air-shipped to Pakistan. (My father being the burra sahib and Air France manager certainly helped.) The cocktail dresses? My mother designed them, bought the silk and had the darzee (darjee?) in the bazaar sew it. 🙂

      • What times they must have been! I am fascinated by this detail, about the darzee thrown into the mix. He must have been a master of sewing.
        Darzee works perfectly. In Bengali we say dorjee. And in Hindi, the word ‘masterji’ is also colloquially used for tailors.

      • Darzee… 🙂 Remember Rikki-Tikki-Tavit and the tailor bird.
        “Dorjee” is clearly the same word, same roots. 🙂 (Love languages).
        Now the crafstmen at the Boree bazaar in Karachi were “burra masters” in whatever trade they were in.
        My mother also designed her own jewels, bought the stones, drew a design, and the jewelers would produce the piece. In 24Karat gold of course. 😉

      • Your mother was a connoisseur, from the sound of it. Would they even consider anything less worthy than gold? 🙂

        Your memory serves you well with the expressions. Burra master. I can almost see the tailor with his goat-like beard and thick glasses, chewing paan alongside as he takes his measurements and rattles it out for his assistant to note down. Both Hindi and Bengali are derived from Sanskrit, Bengali being closer to the parent language, it is said.

        As for Rikki-Tikki-Tavit *grin — fond recollections.

      • Silver was acceptable for a few things. Thing about 24k Gold (also dominant in West Africa) is that you later tend to frown on other “gold”. In Mexico they go down as low as 14K. Tsss.
        You should write fiction. I can see the darzee, dressed in white, squatting the Asian squat, and peering at my mother’s drawing above his half-cut spectacles…
        I suspect “Hindustani” has more Farsi and Arab influences?
        And the jungle book? Hmmm… 🙂
        My fatther would read the Jungle book or Just-so stories to us, at night in Africa. (One of the reasons I say I “lived” inside the book…
        Be good ma’amji.

      • That sounds lovely, your father and Jungle Book intertwining at some point in your memories. And I love the phrase, ‘lived inside the book’. Surprisingly, my father never read me any stories. He just narrated supernatural tales to me with great relish. I do not know till now whether I should believe them (willing suspension of disbelief at work there, I suppose).

        As for gold, I am hardly a connoisseur. I cannot abide too much jewellery, so the wedding jewellery I wore is the most I shall have ever worn. I could not even understand why it all had to be gold for the wedding :-/ If I had my way, I would have opted for costume jewellery (I hope you haven’t fainted with shock).

        I like the way you say Hindustani 🙂 Yes, it derives words from both the Persian and Arabic languages.

      • There were snakes and monkeys and dolphins outside. No mongoose but the occasional genet. So when I closed the book, outside was as inside.
        How nice that your father should tell you stories. Did you write them down? Fiction or non-fiction don’t matter, they’re just two sides of the same coin. The reality of your childhood (or mine) is unreal for most westerners…
        Gold? I think it’s about the Beauty, the way the light shines on it. But costume jewelry is fine. Again, it is all about the Beauty, and Beauty lies in the eye…
        “Hindustani”? An old name for two sibling languages that were almost alike until politicians (Jinnah and Nehru) decide to part their own ways… 😉
        What are your plans for the week-end?
        (Raining miserably every day here)

      • I did not even know about the existence of the genet. Beautiful!

        I have those stories firmly embedded in my mind. And one of them in this blog itself, in a post on a holiday in Wales. I will have to look up the link. Thank you for the interest. 🙂

        Beauty and the beholder. The ultimate truth.

        About your ref to the partition and its terrible consequences, we met a Pakistani cabbie the other day on the way back home from NYC, who chatted so much about it with Adi that I came back with a throbbing headache. But he made a lot of sense and some nonsense (like his views about the Chinese, which was exaggerated). But he was also surprisingly cogent and sensible about his thoughts on the state of affairs between the two countries today.

        Weekend has started for me on a note of meeting an old school friend, getting highlights in my hair for the first time, and then watching a horror show with Adi and indulging in chicken wings. Bliss to come back home always!

        Shoo to the rain. May it go away for the weekend, at least. We have had too much of it in the last three weeks too. Empathies.

      • Genets are delicate, elegant killers.
        Do write the stories, before they are forgotten. Do you remember the post’s name so I can look it up if you can’t find the link.
        Only India and Pakistan use the word Partition in lieu of Independence. A telltale word. (With my family roots, I tend to say “India” to include both!) 😉
        Highlights! My! My! 🙂 Look forward to photos.
        Hope you enjoyed the chicken wings. And a rest at home is always good.
        (Rain is slowing down. Let’s see if we can send some sun up North.) 🙂

      • https://thetravellingdiaryofadippydottygirl.com/the-uncanny-welsh-story/
        That is the link above to the post which contains one of the stories of my father. Now you judge how real or unreal it is.
        The chicken wings are making me dream for some more the upcoming weekend. Greedy one that I am.
        We have finally got the sun today and it has turned cold without any autumnal colours showing up yet. I am feeling mutinous. Now just to let the weather gods know.

      • No chimney shimney. We live in a condo. Chicken wings from the mall 🙂 I fear I am not that good at deep frying (without letting my heart plop out).

        Over to read yours. Cheers Brianji.

      • There is also enough memories of my parents about the partition. They were from East Bengal, you see. Another upsetting topic. Human beings are led by passion and ‘faith’ too easily.

      • Yes. Dark passions. The preferred instrument of politicians…
        But surely your parents were either born after the partition or very small. (Even worse to cross that border as babies…) I have “Train to Pakistan” on my shelves. Need to read it again…

      • My parents were born after the partition alright but my mother experienced the partition of Bengal which happened in 1947. She was young but she remembers things. Like how her father had to swim a river to escape a mob, yet look at the irony of things, his life was the gift of a Muslim woman who warned him. My father does not have particular memories but they were dispossessed of their lands. It is entirely a too disturbing period.

      • Too disturbing indeed. Also your family’s memories tend to “pass on” to you. I have “memories” of WWII from stories my parents told me. Even memories of the British Raj from stories passed on and on from generation to generation.
        Like I told a French blogger friend: “Always remember where you come from.”
        Be good ma’amji.

      • Those stories seem to acquire a haunting touch, indeed. I cannot get enough of stories from both the WWII and Raj. There is enough there for reams and reams.

        Your advice is sound. May we never do.

      • Amen to that. My father had a whole section of books on the Raj. Only read a handful. Will start picking up a few. (I have also managed to scan his typewritten history of the family including the – almost -two centuries we were in India. Scan. No way I was going to retype it in a doc file. Now I have to edit it a bit and translate from French to English… 😉

      • That sounds like a great project. Working on the family tree and history. I am sure you came upon many stories along the way. I have a handwritten copy by my father of our family tree (which he has traced back to several generations, when the family lived in East Bengal) which is precious to me, not only for the content but because he has such a calligraphic style of writing.
        A library of books on the Raj gives me envy. To dip into it from time to time must be grand.

      • Many stories indeed.
        Calligraphic? Oh, he must be using the… sanskrit alphabet or whatever you call it? 🙂 (Make sure you digitalize it…)
        I call my library “the India room”. 🙂 When we moved here I managed to put all bookshelves in one large room, with my desk too, and many memorabilia from India. I’ll post a photo one day. 🙂

      • He wrote it for me in English 🙂 Good idea to keep a scanned copy of it.

        The India Room. Has a ring about it. I cannot wait to have a library room of my own, when I can have all the books from my childhood library room and those lying at my in-laws’ place under one roof. It would be my haven.

        Would love to read the post!

      • Colonel Mustard killed Miss Scarlet with a chandelier in the India room. 😉
        You will have a library soon. When you start hunting for a house I’m sure you will keep it in mind. (And do scan the genealogy)
        Not sure it warrants a post but a couple of pictures should do.
        Bon week-end, ma’amji.

      • Haha! 🙂 makes total sense now. Enjoy the week ma’amji. Not too cold yet? One forgets here in the “South”, though the days and nights can be fresh, noting compared to “up North”. 🙂

  5. What a grand selection! Gini’s Lenticular clouds are gorgeous. I don’t think they are common anywhere. It was just a pure luck to see them.
    Your mother’s sketches are so very special, with a great taste in detail. The cocktail party image is exquisite. Think the photographer was aware and enjoyed recording the scene? 😉
    I wouldn’t recognize Hugo Pratt hand in this sketch. What is the story? It is amazing to own his work.

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