Pot-pourri three times twenty


Painted smile by Ernesto “the Monkey” Cabral (1890-1968). Cabral was one of the greatest Mexican illustrators of the first half of the 20th century. I could well buy – or steal – one of his works. (Expo at the local city hall, Tlalpan, Mexico city, 2018)


“Where did I leave my cel?” Maillol. In the 30’s I guess. One of a series of statues spread across the gardens of the Tuileries.


“And I held my breath”. Paris, 13th arrondissement. 2018. (May have posted it already. My filing system is failing)


Portrait in Linocut. There is a workshop three blocks away. Feel like having a go. Never used that technique before…


Victor Hugo. Paris 2018. This is part of a series of commissioned street art around the Pantheon where the most distinguished French are buried.


My late sister-in-law, Fabienne. C.1968, after she’d lured my brother onto the barricades of May ’68. Photo by my brother. When did our life become “vintage”? πŸ˜‰


Grand-Duc, city square, Tlalpan. In English? Come on! Ok. Eagle-owl. I like the French name better: Great-Duke. I don’t like captive animals much, but this big owl looked in good shape. Well-treated I suppose.


Will Paula survive her night of terror and make it safely back to Wameru compound? I have a special relationship to Daktari. The show started when we arrived in Kenya around ’67 and was one of the highlights of the new independent, single-channel Voice of Kenya TV. When the show was over, we’d grab the car the next day for a safari. Did we live inside the TV? I don’t know Paula’s fate. Bought this little book in Brooklyn at the flea market. 5 bucks. Last 20 pages have been torn out. Damn vendor.


That one is for Harleyte. She’s a big bike fan. I’d seen this particular one often in front of one of Daughter #2’s neighbours. Never a good light or shot opportunity. You can visit Harleyte’s (aka AmΓ©lie)’ blog at:


Witty, sweet and sour, fun reflections on life. Worth the trip. In French, but the translator works all right.


Cathedral at Brasilia, 1973. Built by Oscar Niemeyer from 1959 to 1970, the cathedral represents the fingers of two hands joined in a prayer. The capital of Brasilia was brand new then. We stayed at a plank hotel in the mud on the outskirts of the city. I swear there were rats tiptoeing around. I had my fair share of lousy hotels in Brazil but this was one of the worst.


“Love is the drug”. MΓ©tro Nationale, Paris, 2018.


We’ve been made. MaasaΓ― Mara National Park, Kenya, 1988.


The trap woman, By Bilal. One of the best French Comic artists alive. (And one of the many books and comics I bought on this trip)


Digital photography by Pato GΓ³mez, Mexico city, 2019. (Another expo nearby). Since it is untitled I call it “The Faun’s daughter”. If I may.


MΓ©rida, YucatΓ‘n, 1978. This was my first contact with Mexico, via a summer course in Mayan anthropology given on site by some of the best teachers of the University of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Roll tide!) In those days, most men in YucatΓ‘n wore the traditional white cotton pants and shirt. Found this forgotten slide in boxes I’d left at my brother’s in Paris. Brought back about a thousand slides… Long hours of digitalizing in perspective. πŸ™‚

Thank you for flying Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle. Always a pleasure to have you on board.

112 thoughts on “Pot-pourri three times twenty

  1. ‘Fab’ as usual.
    My sister still uses this oh so English term, no matter how many times I tell her it is passΓ© and grates the hell out of me!

    Vintage, eh?
    Well, it comes to us all eventually.

    • Pleasure “MΓ©lie”. I’ve been wanting to “Post” a Harley for a while, but never found a reasonably good shot of any. They’re not that common here. I have an old friend who’s a member of a Harley club here. But he takes his car when we go for lunch.
      Bonne route.

    • Haha! I know, I know… Things seem to be speeding up. One of our daughters’ old friend just turned 40 last Sunday. I’ve known her since secundary school when I used to pick up a bunch of kids along with my daughters, because we lived near the school, they would have lunch at home and then their parents would pick them up. Saw her at school last week, she picking up her kids, me picking up my grandson. She was in shock! πŸ˜‰
      Don’t worry, good wine gets better with age. πŸ˜‰

  2. Hello Brian. Love the claws on that owl. Dang I would hate to tick it off. I love all the art, but was wondering how all this street art stays unmarked up by graffiti? In the US they would have been tagged and painted on a million times ruining them. Hugs

    • Yes, the talons on the owl were impressive. Now, over-tagging? It depends. Those were taken last year. Some are very high and unreachable. Now this year I have found a lot of over-tagging. Sigh. Aggressivity is on the rise. Cheers

      • Hello Brian. That is a shame. I love the historic feel, the culture of the wall art and the building paintings you share. It seems to give a place life. To just ruin it selfishly is so wrong and defeating. Hugs

    • Maple Park, Ill? That your home town? πŸ™‚
      We also had Bonanza, Star trek, the Prisoner, etc. But Daktari was special because it was shot right where we lived (supposedly) in the “heart of the dark continent”, so the frontier between fiction and reality was quite blurred.

      • Oh, no way! Well, I must tell you that when my family moved into the white house on the corner of Church Street and Maple Park, my dad, the rector at St. Matthew’s Church, started a softball game with my brother me, and a few of the neighborhood kids on the park. We’d been playing for a while, and this old woman came storming over to my dad and ordered him to leave the park and take his ball and his bat and his children with him. She told him that her father had deeded the park to the village and the deed stipulated NO BALL PLAYING. My dad wasn’t having any of it, and after a few days of fuming he went to the town clerk’s office and looked up the deed, which had no provision prohibiting the playing of ball games by parish priests or anybody else. And Maple Park became our playground, Mildred Libby be damned!

      • What a great story. Isn’t it amazing how some people believe to be the rulers of their community? (I have a few examples in mind). And how can softball playing and the laughter of children bother anyone? Your Dad did well.

      • Thanks. Hadn’t heard the term. I guess I wasn’t exposed to it. A shame that the word “mΓ©nestrel” (or troubadour) who were the musicians at noble courts in the Middle Ages should have been transformed so.

  3. Got myself stuck in Tuscaloosa on a solo cross country hitch hiking trip. There are better places for that…

    And, thanks.– always wondered what the name of that statue was πŸ˜†

    • I can imagine better places. Depends on the year you were there too. It was the place Gov’nor Wallace “made the stand in the school room door” until Kennedy sent the National Guard. We were there 15 years later, and things had settled. Somewhat I guess. As a college town it was pleasant. Not too many rednecks, but the “Greeks” were insufferable. πŸ™‚ I also learned an additional language. Sudern. Ain’t nothin’ remotely like English. No ma’am!
      Now you know about the statue. πŸ˜‰ Happy to oblige.

      • No. Those are wild animals. many tourists have been killed by lions as they got out of the car to get a better pic. Having said that, in many a “safari”, during the rainy season, we had to get out of the cars to push the cars, stuck in the mud… πŸ™‚ And walk quite a distance. Looking back, there could have been lions nearby.

      • Y’know … I agree with you, but living here in the U.S. where half the people are likely carrying loaded guns everywhere they go and would shoot you for looking at them cross-eyed, or having darker skin, or just … breathing … I tend these days to trust lions and tigers and bears more than humans. Sad statement of our society, isn’t it? But animals, as a rule, kill only for two reasons … for food or if they feel that they or theirs are threatened. They don’t kill because you have black skin or white, nor because of who you love or what your religion. Sigh. I truly believe I’d take my chances with a lion rather than a human with a gun.

  4. Your mention of Daktari sent me on an old movie/series-searching spiral on IMDb which lasted a few hours. I’m too exhausted now to say anything meaningful about the current pot-pourri, other than Fabienne was so pretty et j’adore le Grand-Duc.

  5. found this forgotten slide in boxes…I’ve got many slides from my girlhood…I understand this digitizing piece…it is always fascinating uncovering our stories…enjoyed this collection Brian…thank you for sharing πŸ€“ ~ smiles hedy πŸ™‚πŸ’«πŸ€—

    • U 2. Indian summer must already be around? How were the fires this year? Better?
      I hadn’t seen that photo of Fabienne before, but since my brother has to surrender his workshop by the end of the month many things appeared. πŸ™‚ And the church in Brasilia was and is incredible. The format of the pic (6×6) makes it look smaller than it is. It is quite big.

  6. “When did our life become vintage?” — I’ve recently asked myself the same question. But I’ve always had a love of retro/vintage, so I guess I’m proud to now be in that category. πŸ™‚ Fabienne looks like she was quite a spirit. Gorgeous. And what a magnificent creature that owl is. Birds in captivity always make me a little sad, though. Fabulous tour through the recesses of your memory, as usual, mon ami. Have an excellent weekend. Sois sage. πŸ™‚

    • “Sage”? What is that? πŸ˜‰
      Now vintage? You, my dear, if I recall correctly, have only recently reached the “5th floor”. πŸ˜‰ Plenty of time still.
      “Recesses of my memory”? Yes, it is a nice way to put it. Bonne semaine Julie.

  7. I love your memories – and your drawings (of women on horseback in an earlier post, loved the way you gave us the progression from a basic sketch through to full colour illustration). You have lived a very full life, travelled the world and developed many talents.

      • Perfect. That’s my rationale. I think if you can keep the reader on his/her toes all the time, never knowing what the H**l is coming next, you give them more. (I also like lateral thinking as you can imagine). Thanks for taking the time to “explain”, Resa.

  8. Daktari! We are vintage indeed πŸ™‚
    Your sister-in-law was a beauty.
    The owls are so sweet. They fly like a big dust ball, making no sound πŸ™‚

  9. Can’t wait for the digitising to take place, I bet there are some real gems amongst those 1,000 slides! Love And I held my breath”, beautiful piece. Need to do a bit of research on Ernesto Cabral, not come across him before. Hope all well, Brian?

    • Don’t hold your breath on the digitising. I’ve barely started and it does take forever.
      That street art is part of a large series painted on buildings around metro Nationale. South-East of Paris. Worth a stop, even if it’s a bit out-of-the-way. Also close to Butte-aux-cailles where there’s a lot of street art.
      I didn’t know Cabral either. He was a fine sketcher.
      All well, facing a massive taxi strike against Uber… tsss.

  10. This is the only way I could think of to respond to your comment, since my computer won’t let me find you in my Reader. LOL Anyway, I’m reading 25 years of interviews of Edward Gorey, and I started a book on Sherlock’s daughter but I don’t think I can finish it because they make Dr. Watson look like an idiot, so she can look smarter. I also just started MEMOIRS OF MONTPARNASSE. I’m still reading a couple of others, as well. I can’t stop buying books and I don’t have enough time left in my entire life to read the ones I already have. That will not stop me from buying more, however, because I am addicted to them and I’m okay with that. LOL I have four more art books on my kitchen table waiting for their turn. There are stacks everywhere. I always have kitchen books and other books in every room so I can pick on up in every room. I will probably never move, unless it’s into a very tiny house with a GIGANTIC library. LOLOL What are you reading?

    • It is difficult to write Holmes sequels. Nicholas Meyer wrote one or two good ones, a while ago. Watson has often been diminished, particularly in Basil Rathbone movies. πŸ™‚
      I see you are as addict as I am. I have managed to set up a library in our new house with all the books that before were in one room or the other. I just need to buy a deep leather armchair and read with a glass of cognac. No pipe, though. Stopped years ago.
      Currently rearranging the books to make space. I will donate a bunch to the French LycΓ©e, though I think the majority are in English.
      Currently? Finishing a book by Jean Ray, a Belgian author: the adventures of Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes. Very pleasant. I was reading a 19th century book on the History of France. Stopped around the year 1000. Too many wars, massacres, treason. Also alternate with a book by Watson on Chinese civilisation. Need to learn more about China. And I have an Agatha Christie waiting in line. πŸ˜‰
      Did you post chapter 3?
      Going there to check. Have a great Sunday.

      • I just started another book, EXILE’S RETURN, by Malcolm Cowley. Tomorrow I’m going to have to make room, or just start making more piles. I literally have walls full of books, and shelves. I’m so happy about that. I did read a couple of books on Sherlock by another author, years ago. It was good. This one isn’t. The books you’re reading sound interesting and who doesn’t love Agatha Christie, right Actually, I loved the series, with all the different actors, on PBS. Fabulous programs. I’ll have to check out Harry Dickson, when I get a chance. Thank you.

      • You’re welcome Gigi. I doubt whether Harry Dickson has been translated into English tough.
        The way you “paint” it, it seems to me you ARE living inside a library. πŸ˜‰

  11. That is the absolute truth. I spent the entire day reorganizing the books in only ONE room. It takes awhile because I want to look at everything and start reading. LOL I can’t help myself. At least it’s a good addiction.

    • Ok, ok. You put all your books in one room? In that case you have a library. Or did you just reorganize one room? Many more to go? Hmmm. I understand. It’s taken me 3 weeks to reorganize my bookshelves from Z to D. (I have a look at every book I move…) πŸ˜‰
      Going to check on Anderson.

  12. Pingback: Tallinn’s Time Zones and Warps | The Snow Melts Somewhere

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