Barbara *

“Remember Barbara It rained and rained on Odessa that day And you walked smiling Beaming delighted soaked Under the rain “Remember Barbara It rained and rained on Odessa I saw you on the Potemkin stairs You were smiling And I smiled too “Remember Barbara I didn’t know you You didn’t know me Remember Remember that…

War and peace, a family account, cont’d

Previously on “War and peace”, from my great-grandfather Élie Martin to my great-uncle Philippe Onraët, an account of the family members who went to war, from the Chinese-French war of the 19th century to WWI… This post will deal with WWII onwards. (All images: family archives) 1939, Rwanda-Urundi, East Africa, my uncle Gérard Leclerc was…

War and peace, a family account

Elie Martin (1843-1920), my great-grandfather on my father’s side. A graduate of the École Navale (French Naval Academy), he joined the service in 1862. Family lore says he fought – and defeated – the Black flags pirates in the Bay of Halong in Indochina, during the Chinese-French war (1881-1885). His Biography at the École Navale…

Svoboda. Liberté. Freedom

“Passengers waiting for a train to Poland in Lviv station (Ukraine), on the third day of the attack launched by Russian president Vladimir Putin. February 26.” L’Express. I normally only publish my own material. But since I’m a bit far from Ukraine, and propaganda is going on strong, I thought I would gather a few…

1940, the war lost

It’s a small booklet, bound in faded black cloth. A time-yellowed label bears a name written with a dip pen: Martin Cyril. My father’s name. Surname first as was and still is customary in France. It’s my father’s flight log in 1939-1940 at the beginning of WWII. My father, very dapper in his freshly cut…

Warriors

“We were warriors once. “We lived in the desert, by the Red sea and the Gulf of Aden. Or so the white man calls them. “All the tribes feared us, the Amharinya, the Tigrinya, the Erythreans, the Somali. We were warriors. We were the Danakils. “To marry the young maiden of our choice we had…

Asia: Past and future

My Lord Buddha, Royal Palace, Bangkok, 2018. Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang. I think Phra means holy. I’ve seen it associated with royalty, princes, temples, Buddha. The palace was built in 1782 by King Rama 1st. Note that in a oh-so Buddhist country as Thailand, Kings are called Rama, a Hindu god, the 7th avatar…

Art? Art? Paris is still around.

Boogled “street art Paris.” Came up with a few addresses. “Un Kolor distinto”: A distinct Kolour. Rue de l’Ourcq. In the Northeast of Paris. Near the canal. Light not too good. Cloudy. Paris weather. And backlight. Oh well. Street artist is Da Cruz. (Means ‘Of the Cross’ in Portuguese.) No idea who s/he is. Seen…

Time patrol: all roads lead to Rome

Florence, 1997. “Of the impossibility of photographing the Duomo”. One of the prettiest cathedrals in the world. (Milan’s not bad either.) The Duomo in Florence is a delicate work of white and black marble. A masterpiece really. But houses are so close to it you never really can get a comprehensive view. (Analog photo. One…

Art as a cure

Sacré Coeur, by Maurice Utrillo. Mid-30’s. Musée Montmartre. Utrillo (1883-1955) was Susanne Valadon’s son (see a previous “virtual museum” post). Montmartre, where he lived all his life, was his main source of inspiration. The church in the foreground would be the small Église Saint-Pierre, one of the oldest churches in Paris. Built in 1147, a…