Pot-pourri 65 (who’s counting?)


This is not a virus. It is an alebrije. Mexico City. Around February when one could still go to a restaurant for a family lunch. 🍺


Machu Picchu, 1976. (c) my wife. Before we met. Machu Picchu is still on my bucket list. Found these old slides in a box this summer. Bought a new gadget that digitalizes old slides, negatives, etc. Works easy and with good resolution.


Amboseli National Park, Kenya, 1988. Save the elephants!


Loos of the world series. Mexico city. 2020.


Swan lake. (Ditto). Are we now in a “black swan” situation? (See Nicholas Taleb though he denies it)


Machu Picchu, 1976 (c)ourtesy my wife again. It means “old mountain” in Quechua. Built in the 15th century, it was an Inca city. Abandoned after the Spanish conquest, it was “re-discovered” by Hiram Bingham, a professor at Yale in 1911. Though others may have “found” the site before. (And pilfered it). The construction is quite peculiar with stones carved to fit perfectly without mortar.


My aunt Gaud, on a steamer sailing from the Suez Canal to Africa, c.1939. She had married my Uncle GΓ©rard who was then looking for gold in Rwanda. Aunt Gaud was joining him. Sailing on a steamer from Trieste. She wore a fashionable fur coat. Perfect for Africa. With a Rolleiflex camera in her hand. Ready for adventure.


Snake pants. Mexico city. Acme 8 Art expo, early 2020. Traveller 100. (No idea. Just made the number up)


Churchill, c.1940 by Ernesto “El chango” (Monkey) Cabral. Alas, where have our Churchills gone?


Colours. Tlalpan, Mexico city. 2020.


Paula at Wameru, Kenya, in Daktari. C. 1967.


Breton old man in traditonal 19th century dress and hat. A distant relation perhaps? This box belonged to my mother who was born in Britany and remained a proud Breton all her life. Breizh bepred!

IMG_0455-NB Prasat Sour Prat

Roots, Angkor temple, Cambodia, January 2018. To visit Angkor, one stays at the town of Siem Reap.



Lisbon street, Mexico city. Street art by BuΓ©, a Belgian artist.

lyndon_johnson_martin_luther_king_jr._Rosa Parks_voting_rights_act

Doctor King with Lyndon B. in 1965 after the signature of the voting rights act. Rosa Parks is on the right. I am terrible with sources. You might find it if you look up Rosa Parks. Remember the lady who refused to give her seat on a bus in Selma, “Alabamer”?) Again, where have all those leaders gone?… Please come back. Like now? Urgent?

IMG_6064-A 29

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, by Ernesto Cabral. 1929. This was part of a great expo on Cabral as a political cartoonist, at the Trotsky Museum in Mexico city, last year.


Study in white. Tlalpan, Mexico city. 2019.


Tikal, Guatemala. c.2000. (Or is it Palenque? My filing system sucks)


“Then came the wolf”. A very clever show of “puppets”. Tlalpan city square. 2019.


“And the four horsemen.” I was taking my customary capuccino at the local cafΓ© when those splendid horses came riding out of nowhere. (First of the four horsemen of Apocalypse? I should have read the signs…) πŸ˜‰

40 cmo-aspi04

May 1940, my father, Cyril, training for the war he never had a chance to fight.

Thank you for flying Equinoxio’s Time-Space shuttle, one of the few “airlines” still in the air. Hopefully by the time I post this, some “normality” will have come back to our lives. Meanwhile… Stay safe. 😷

92 thoughts on “Pot-pourri 65 (who’s counting?)

  1. Wow, amazing photos. The Maya temple above is in Tikal. I recognized it from my trip there in 1994. We do need leaders of the caliber of Churchill and Dr. King. We’d be a lot further along in terms of racial justice if Dr. King had been allowed to live his natural life span. -Rebecca

    • I was almost sure it was Tikal. (No time to go back to the original print in an album). Thanks Rebe. Isn’t that place incredible? πŸ‘πŸ»
      Let’s put an Ad in the new York Times classified section. “Leaders wanted. Awful pay, no fringe benefits, more trouble than you can handle and don’t expect any gratitude.”
      (That won’t work much will it?)😩
      Yes, King, and Bobby Kennedy… ’68 was not such a good year…

      • The Tikal temple (number 4, I think) has a unique top profile. I hope new leaders will emerge in the wake of these crises and the pendulum will swing toward justice.

      • According to my notes on my photos…. Yes, yesterday id perfect. πŸ˜‰ We are well thanks, a bit stir crazy since we’re still quarantining, but it’s summer!

      • Good. We are still personally in lockdown, though we took an hour walk this morning. It is crazy, all businesses have reopened, while there are no signs of the virus slowing down at all. it’s the same in the US, right?

      • Yes, it is. Reminds me what they say about denial, it ain’t just a river in Egypt…Businesses open, people wear masks only in grocery stores. Recipe for more people ill I fear.

      • LOL. Didn’t know the phrase. Actually took me a second. Denial? Haha!.
        And yes, curves will soon shoot up again. Walked to a store half an hour away today. one hour’s back and forth! 30% of the people on the street don’t wear masks… “Folly and ignorance…”

  2. There are still too much idiots everywhere shouting that all is okay, just a tiny virus named COVID, not dangerous, one of many, unbelievable ignorance even by normal people I know personally. However, I can’t complain cause things are easing in Berlin but so far no cinema, theatre and all clubs closed. At least seen a nice Monet show in Potsdam, had to reserve 2 weeks in advance due to limited amount of visitors. Should get more and more normal again πŸ™‚ at least a little bit in the time being. Cheers.

  3. Developing old slides and negatives sounds like a fun project. I’ve got plenty of those lying around as with my first camera I was shooting film and boy it was fun. Thanks for sharing and I hope all is well with you and your family. Here in Ireland things are slowly going back to normal and we can almost freely travel within our county. Aiva 😊

    • I’ve remastered a lot of old slides and negatives. A long winding process. But now I found (remembered) I have dozens of slides in boxes in Paris… For when I go back. (And the new apparatus I bought is very practical.
      All well here thank you. Have you been able to see your sister?
      Take care Aiva

      • No, I haven’t had a chance to see my sister yet. We aren’t allowed to travel to other side of the country yet. Hopefully soon, because it’s been way too long

      • Yes, there are still restrictions. Some of the tourist attractions won’t open until 29th of July, kindergartens are closed and there’s no childcare; it’s certainly a very slow process

      • Slow indeed. Feels like we have been jailed for years… 😩 And I don’t see safety in view for a long time especially for people above 60-65. Well. One day at a time.

    • Daktari (which means Doctor in Swahili) was a TV series set in Kenya in the mid 60’s (before your time. And it just happened that we lived in Kenya then and it was fun to watch the series on TV and then go on safari during the week-end. That drawing is from a small book of the adventures of Daktari. See here for more detail:

      • I am afraid to tell you that it is not before my time. I used to watch it on a little black and white Astor TV set after school maybe late sixties. (We never got homework).
        I loved the show and that is really why I asked the question. I remember the jeep with the stripes. I didn’t know there was a cartoon as well.

      • I remember the B&W TV sets. And Bonanza, Star Trek, the Avengers, the Prisoner, Mission impossible. etc. etc.
        The show was also fun because it was full of typicacl studio errors: an Asian elephant in Africa, what have you. But it was fun.
        I didn’t know there were – little – books with illustrations (as the one I posted) until I found and bought one for 5 bucks at a flea market in Brooklyn… Memories of a long-gone era. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜‰

      • I wasn’t a fan of Bonanza although the Moth loves it. But I did watch the Avengers. I also remember lots of LOST in SPACE, the Land of the Giants, and othe American shows of that era that my brother would watch.

      • I know what you mean about the gratuitous violence – those CSI type of show where they forensically examine knife entries wounds by replaying the stabbings in slow mo…. why???

      • Sells. Blood and gore sell. I once asked a book-store owner (after telling her how brave she was to keep a bookstore) books what she sold most. She said: magazines and narc novels. (We live in Mexico, you would think people hear enough about Narcs on the news? But no.

  4. Had a chance some time ago to go to Peru but I chickened out. That was before my adventurous photographer gene kicked in. And I’m not sure that’s Rosa Parks…she always wore glasses but I could be wrong.

  5. A fascinating potpourri, Brian. Love your vintage shots and the enticing images of Machu Picchu. Someday I hope to get there. 😊 Hope all is well with you.

    • Thank you Jane. Those posts are a pleasure to put together. Glad you liked it. And yes, Macchu Pichu is on the list… All well here, thank you. How about you guys? The curves in the US don’t stop climbing… Stay safe

      • We are isolated and fine right now, thanks. The numbers are not stabilizing here. That’s what happens when people disregard guidelines and states open up too quickly. 😦 You, too, stay safe.

      • Not stabilizing eh? Why am I not surprised? Of of the many things this virus has demonstrated is the immense capacity of human kind for sheer stupidity. (But then I am also getting old)πŸ˜‰
        Dropped by your blog. Hadn’t been in a while. You are a fantastic photographer. I bow to you. πŸ™πŸ»

      • It’s terribly frustrating, but not surprising, that the virus has been politicized here instead of it simply being a health issue that we all need to work together to survive. I don’t understand the stupidity either.
        I’m so glad you took a moment to peruse my posts– much appreciated! You’re very kind. ☺️Take care and stay safe, Brian.

      • Everything is politicized nowadays. often have to watch your mouth before opening it.
        I love your posts. I do apologize for not visiting more often. Those last months have been too busy. But I will come back.

      • I feel the same. And I find it very challenging to keep up with all the bloggers I admire like you. Nice to catch up a bit today. 😊

      • Thank you. (Admire? Come on!) πŸ˜‰ I haven’t found a practical way. The reader is swamped. I have tried to “trim” it, but still isn’t working. Anyway. Let’s keep in touch. πŸ™πŸ»

  6. Enjoyed the flight. So many sights of sites. Yes the glamorous aunt, the debonair father. I was interested in Pope Francis’ comment last year, that we are not in an era of change we are in a change of era. Tectonic shifts.

    • Thank you kindly. I am fortunate to have a large family archive. My parents kept all or most of their photos, negatives, slides. (Scanning old negatives was a treasure hunt, some had not been developed. One was cautious then.)
      Thank you for your visit and comment.
      Wherever you are, stay safe… πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜·

    • TrΓ¨s chΓ¨re Lumi. A good point. Made me wonder. You’re right. We are totally helpless. Politicians worldwide are totally incompetent. The economy is in shambles. But my family and friends (even E-friends) are fine. So, I’m learning patience. I know this will end. Meanwhile… I read. Weather is good. We take a stroll outside from time to time. I post, blog. Have remasterized a few vintage 8mm movies of my mother’s… (Hell of a lot of work but good results).
      So we’re ok. So far.
      Stay safe. A bientΓ΄t mon amie.

  7. Another interesting potpourri! When I first saw the post come across my email, I thought, Oh, my god, it’s a virus!

    What kind of gadget did you get to digitize old slides and negatives? I found some 620 negatives in my mother’s things that no one in the family has prints for, as well as a few slides.

    • Why would you think a virus? Something in the title?
      I used to have an HP scan years ago where I did most of my slide/negative work. Fried. Gone.
      This little thing is pretty simple. Reasonably good quality. Works on 35mm and Instamatic negatives (if you have the old square 9mm negatives it won’t work.) I bought it on Amazon. Works all right. Of course you do need some kind of photo editor to crop, adjust light but most computers have something if you don’t have Photoshop. Lemme see the reference.

      • Sorry I wasn’t clear. I mean the orange alebrije. It looked like a representation of a virus, and the first sentence of the post is “This is not a virus.” It struck me funny. I have the old square 9 mm negatives. I tried a test with a “throw-away” (mostly sky, roof line, somebody’s hair) on my Epson scanner, and it seemed to come out okay after I used the inverse feature on Photo Shop.

      • Gotcha. When I selected the picture for the post, it did look like a virus. Hence the caption. πŸ˜‰. If your Epson scanner works then use it. P^Lus Photoshop for cropping and editing and balancing. I bought the other one because the new scanner I bought after the other fried is not good quality.
        Good luck with your scanning, besides throwaways you should find a few treasures. πŸ™πŸ»

    • It’s called Digit now film scanner Made by RoHs. In China of course. It’s worth 69 Bucks on Amazon. You will need a memory card. Check it ouit on Amazon. It’s small. Practical. Easy to use, once you get the gist of it. Very recommendable.

  8. Loved the closing lines about the airlines. Eclectic mix of images. Thanks and much appreciated for sharing

    • Thank you Cindy. I am a tad concerned about international flights though. Just had to cancel our annual flight to Paris. 😩😩😩
      Let’s hope the incompetents who pretend to rule us find a solution soon. Have a great week.

    • Not really. The curves here are skyrocketing. We buy everything on-line. Just go out a bit to walk “around the block”. Lunch with the family last Sunday was great, but now we need to “wait” until next Sunday to make sure we’re all right… πŸ˜‰πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜·

      • That sounds aweful. But a bit of normal contact is important to not go completely bonkers. Makes catching up with family seem a bit like Russian Roulette … Stay safe & sane

      • Yes, bonkers is a no-no. In our family case, both our eldest daughter and her husband had tested positive ergo their kids and were not contagious anymore. Daughter #2 has been in isolation for 3 months, so her risk was minimal, and we kept our distance…
        Sanity? I don’t know. I’ve been thinking of buying a garden gnome…

    • He was lucky indeed. When France capitulated, he and another officer stole a car to reach England faster and continue the fight. Problem is the car belonged to the Colonel, they were arrested 2 days later by the MP. Thrown in jail for a week, then demobilized, and he never made it to England. Lucky for us. Several of his friends fought bravely in the Free French Forces and were killed in combat. My bothers and sister and I might never have been born… πŸ˜‰πŸ™πŸ»

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