BRIAN @EQUINOXIO: PRIORHOUSE INTERVIEW 25Sept2022 (Discussing Street Art, People Shots, Best Guitarist, & Favorites)

Hello Readers,

Today’s Priorhouse Interview is with Brian from Equinoxio blog. As always, I invite readers to skim the post or come back later to read (if you have a chance). There are some fun things covered here today so let’s get going. 

Let me start by sharing a link to one of my favorite 2022 posts – HERE because it had me whispering, “I had a house in Africa” for days….

images by Brian @equinoxio blog


PRIORHOUSE: Okay, now let’s start with a little background.

BRIAN: I was born in Pakistan of French parents, a few years after the Partition, which is what the Independence of India and Pakistan is called.

  • My family is French but lived in India for two centuries, since the mid 17th century.
  • I was raised in Asia, Vietnam and Cambodia, briefly, then spent most of my childhood in Africa, West, former French Guinea, and East, Kenya and Ethiopia.
  • I went to College in France, Graduate school in the US of A. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide!) where I got an MBA and learnt ‘ter speak Sudern’…
  • Got married (my wife is Colombian) we lived ten years in France until my “Gipsy” roots started raising their voice and we moved to Mexico, to an Ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather. I later started my own market research agency, and here we still are 30+ years later.

PRIORHOUSE: Can you tell us about your blog name, Equinoxio?

BRIAN: When I started with WordPress, the name Equinoxio came to mind. Why Equinoxio21? Because several Equinoxios were already taken. The nerve some people have. 😉“Equinoxio” comes from my childhood in Africa. We had a house right by the open sea. When the sea rose during the high tides of the Equinox, the waves would come crashing on the terrace. Loads of fun for my little sister and I. Many years later, I wrote a short fiction story based on that. 

PRIOURHOUSE: If anyone wants to check out his short story, here is the starting few lines to give you a sense for the details”

“The Sea covered most of the black rocks in front of the house by the Sea. Far, far away, the grey waves merged with the leaden sky. The Land was bracing, waiting for the final assault. The trees moaned… Read the rest of this short story here.

PRIORHOUSE: What is your first name?

BRIAN: Brian or Brieuc? The latter is a Breton name, which is extremely difficult to pronounce for non-French speakers. Brian is a Welsh name. The Welsh are cousins of ours, so I decided that I would use Brian, which is a translation of my name, and it’s fine with me. Easier for everybody.

PRIORHOUSE: Where are some of the places you have lived?

BRIAN: I mentioned some of it in the opening. Here is some more info:

  •  I’m a French expat brat. Lived in many places. Africa fashioned many of my ways of thinking. When you’re a “Mzungu”, (a white man in Swahili), you are a minority. So, you learn to adapt to any new cultural context. Very useful.
  • While living in Europe I worked for a British market research company, doing many international projects covering Europe and other countries. As a result, I traveled in most Western European countries for business and occasionally for leisure.
  • Latin America? I know Mexico of course, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Belize, Chile.
  • Asia? I went “back” recently: Singapore, which impressed me a great deal. It is possible for an underdeveloped country to become a developed country. Singapore and many Asian countries are good examples. Then we went to Malaysia, the island of Penang, Thailand, Bangkok, and Angkor temples in Cambodia. (I want to go back to Angkor; it is one the World’s 7 Wonders!)

PRIORHOUSE: You sure have traveled the world. Do you have a favorite getaway?

BRIAN: My Favourite getaway? Paris. I sort of need to go back every year. To hear French spoken everywhere. To face both the typical French sense of humour, very dry, and sometimes bad attitude. A bit like New Yorkers. No offense… 

  • Places I’ve been to in the US? ‘Bama of course, “Nawrleens”, New York, (Love that city, I try to go back from time to time), San Francisco of course. I don’t know the North or the Midwest…
  • Going to Grad school in Alabama was quite an experience. First three weeks I couldn’t understand a “thang” – And I thought I spoke English! Then I got used to it. Class formats were very different from the French undergrad I went to. A good complement. I had incredible teachers and classmates. 
  • Football? Crimson Tide obviously. Auburn and Notre-Dame? Eternal enemies… 😉

PRIORHOUSE: Yes, I remember that you are a Crimson Tide fan! And that always reminds me of Bret Favre sending back some flapjacks so he can “stay hungry” for the Crimson Tide: 

PRIORHOUSE: Any destinations on your Bucket List?

BRIAN: Bucket list? Not much really. I’ve seen so many countries already, and I’m getting old. 😉 ‘Back hurts a bit with long travel. Not a major handicap, but still a pain in the… So, I’d rather concentrate. Here are some places: 

  • Paris, always. I’d like to spend a few weeks in England. I know London fairly well but haven’t really gone outside. We are going to London this summer, a week, hopping from Paris and back.
  • Italy. Absolutely love Italy. I mumble enough Italian to get by, I’d like to go back to Florence, spend a few weeks in Tuscany. Go back to Rome. One of my cousins rents a house in Venice every summer. I could copy him, but not in the summer. I’m getting a bit allergic to hordes of tourists. I’m such a snob right? 😉
  • I have thought of Japan and Korea, which I’m sure are incredible jumps in time and space, but the flights are long, and the language barrier could be a concern. 
  • I would definitely go back to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. I
  • I would like to “explore” Indonesia a bit, and of course go back to Cambodia, spending more time at the temples of Angkor. In a different way. Normally the Tuk-tuks (mototaxis) drive you at breakneck speed from one temple to the other in two or three days. I would like to spend one day in one temple. Maybe sit for an hour, look at just one Buddha, then walk a bit. Sit. Meditate, sort of… Take my time anyway. Spend definitely more time there.

PRIORHOUSE: Well Brian, you know I enjoy the Street Art from your global travels. I made this little collage to give readers a sample of what your blog offers.

images by Brian &Equinoxio

PRIORHOUSE: So many of us follow the same blogs and I am sure some readers today have enjoyed your posts for years. 

BRIAN: Yes, we all tend to follow the same blogs here and there…  I like so many blogs.  

Regarding the Street Art on my blog:

  • Taking photos of street art is relatively new thing for me on my blog.  I have been sharing street for a few years now, but I did not really pay attention to it until I enjoyed a post from a blogger friend, Paul Bell @NotesfromCamelidCountry.
  • Paul Bell’s work caught my eye. I suddenly understood the difference between tags and graffiti. Now I see street art everywhere. 
  • My tool? My I-phone. I used to do a lot of photography with a fancy 35mm Asahi-Pentax camera. With additional lenses and zoom, it came up to 6-10 pounds of equipment. Got tired of it and stopped taking pictures for more than ten years. Now? I carry my I-phone in my back pocket. I see something, I shoot. I don’t even bother to frame much. (Photoshop is my faithful ally)
  • One or two suggestions for capturing street art: 
    • In some countries I Google “Street Art City X”.  The results give you an idea where to look for some interesting art.
    • Always go to the end of the street, and look around. You never know whether there isn’t a great piece of street art hiding. And turn around often. Sometimes you just passed a fab mural hidden behind a wall. Here in Mexico there is street art everywhere. 
    • Sometimes all you have to do is a sort of “safari”. Get somebody to drive to a well-known street art zone. Hop down from the car. Shoot. Hop back in and drive.

PRIORHOUSE: We both enjoy taking people shots too. 

BRIAN: People Photos, or Street Portraits, I used to be self-conscious about “shooting” people. Privacy, and all that. Then, I noticed people photos on some of the blogs that I follow. I asked them,“How do you do it?” and they told me, “I just go up and ask to take a photo.”  That inspired me.  Now in some cases, I do ask to take people photos. In other cases, I do not. If I decide not to ask, I might pretend I’m texting with the camera on, sound off, and take a candid picture. I know there might some privacy issues. In Europe, I could possibly get sued. Or beat up! But the spontaneity of those “hidden camera” shots is priceless. So, I try to do a bit of both. (I know you like people photos too. And hydrants. Do you ask the hydrants for permission?) LOL.

PRIORHOUSE: I am laughing with the fire hydrants because yes, I had a season of taking those photos. I have stopped my quest for hydrants (or plugs) but I actually have many images waiting in a folder. So I still have posts coming. And NO, I do not wonder about privacy for the hydrants! ha.🔥 I also do not worry about privacy too much with the street shots I take. I sometimes ask the people, but if it is a candid shot, then I do not ask. 

And just FYI – according to Legal Beagle (here), folks can take “people shots” legally. 

“If you stand in a public place, you can usually take a photo of anything you can see. The exception is when the person being photographed is in some particular part of the public space where he has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

BRIAN: At times, I do wonder about privacy, but we must remember that many of the greatest people photos were taken without permission. For example, the photos from Cartier-Bresson and Diane Arbus.

PRIORHOUSE: Great Point. And let me share a few of of those classic mid-century street shots from those pioneers. 

 Henri Cartier-Bresson Street Shots:

Diane Arbus Street Shots: 

BRIAN: #backtothestreet is a good example of photographers asking people for a street photo. In their case, the “subjects” are generally slightly “original”, which makes things easier. It was similar to a shot of a weird dressed up gentleman I took in New York last November. He was delighted.

PRIORHOUSE: Can you tell us a little bit about the way you approach blogging? 

BRIAN: I worked in advertising for many years and one of the rules is: Keep it Short. Think of the whole story you need to tell in a 30 seconds ad. Or even less now. 

  • I believe posts should be short and succinct. I generally structure any given post of mine around 15 images. Can be less, can more. Why 15? LOL. It’s what I see in my finder, 3 rows of 5 pix. All in one screen.
  • The selection of images structures my post. Then I import the images to WP.  Select the first image, write, import the second image, write, etc. I normally write directly on each post… Except if it’s fiction, which I write in Word. I don’t write in the captions. Text is too small for readers’ comfort.
  • Now, with around 15 images, and short text, I try to engage the reader and maintain interest, by shifts, changes in size, topic, colour vs B&W. Obviously, as in Advertising, you need greater impact on the first image/text and on the last one. The rest is your story.
  • We both follow Pacific Paratrooper Blog here
    – he does a good job showing how things were/are with his succinct posts.
  • As an aside, on my “featured image”, the one that leads to the actual post on the main menu of my blog, I often use eyes or faces, which are known to produce more impact on the reader. I also try to change subject from one post to the other.


BRIAN’S Other Blogging Tips: 

Try not to use the captions under the images. The writing is too small and on WordPress the captions are in italics and difficult to read. Write your caption in a block just below the image. Avoid italics as much as you can, research has shown readers tend to skip italics.

Watch the extra spaces with ***  and ….  – Bloggers should try to eliminate the empty spaces or the reader may not scroll down to the end. 

PRIORHOUSE: You sometimes share your memoir snippets on your blog. Any plans for a book? 📚📖

BRIAN: As for creating a book, I doubt it. I am not Churchill, so I don’t think my “Mémoires” are of any literary or historic interest. However, rather than a book, I might create a separate blog devoted exclusively to the Family story. 

PRIORHOUSE: TV shows or Books? 

BRIAN: TV? That’s a hard one. Netflix when it came out was an interesting proposition. New fiction. New approaches. But ultimately there is so much violence in Netflix fiction. Villains are the new heroes. Heroes are villains. If I want so see so much violence, then I can turn the news on, which I have stopped watching a long time ago. I sometimes watch an old Star Trek episode, or the Avengers. But one tires of only watching old stuff. I stick to books.

Books?  ‘Always loved books. I have about 3,000 books in my “library”. (Remember Cluedo? Colonel Mustard killed the victim in the library with a chandelier.)  Lockdown was paradoxically a good thing: I now buy loads of books on Amazon. 99% in English, shipped to Mexico in less than a week! I tend to read mysteries, I like Robert B. Parker with his great sense of humour, Ed Mc Bain, Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block’s Burglar series. Mysteries are very revealing on the local culture. East coast, West coast, the English. 

I also read non-fiction trying to find guys who might have found ways to fix the sorry state of the world. Hehe. And I buy loads of books in France every year form the book-boxes along the Seine. Old editions. I have now rediscovered Pierre Benoît, an old French author whom I read in my early teens. I’ll probably scrutinize my shelves a bit more.

“Out of Africa” of course is one of my favourite books. 

For those that don’t know, here is a little snippet about Out of Africa: 

“Out of Africa is a memoir by the Danish author Karen Blixen. The book, first published in 1937, recounts events of the seventeen years when Blixen made her home in Kenya, then called British East Africa. The book is a lyrical meditation on Blixen’s life on her coffee plantation, as well as a tribute to some of the people who touched her life there.”

PRIORHOUSE: What makes you unique?

BRIAN:  Unique? Er. We’re all unique in each of our own ways, aren’t we? As many other bloggers who have traveled much, I think it’s my international experience that defines me. With the languages I picked along the way. Plus the fact that I have practically no accent in any language. I speak “posh” British English. Ah can do Sudern, Yes Ma’am, praise the Lord. 

And culturally, I can slip into the local culture easily, I understand Americans well. I know what grits are… LOL. That allows me to get into other cultures rather easily. It’s fun. For instance, I noticed in Asia that people hand objects holding them with two hands. To hand out something to anyone with only one hand is “rude”. So I use two hands…And the people on the receiving side notice. And acknowledge. Fun.

BRIAN’s Favs: 

Pets: I’m more a cat person than a dog person. Last cat we had we “inherited” when my father passed away. She had no name. We called her Miaow DseDong. Chairwoman Miaow. Fit her to a T. 

Brian’s sister with their cats (from equinoxio blog)

Interests: Too many I guess. Art, books, history, blogging and the wonderful people we meet.

Music: Clapton is the #1 one guitar player in history, not Jimi Hendrix… LOL. (That will bring me many enemies.)

Quote: I guess there are many quotes, but a quote that has been most critical in my life is one that I read, by chance, in the library of Bidgood Hall, the Business school at the U of Alabama:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference…”

Imagine finding Frost poetry in a Business Library. That poem has been a guiding force in my life.

PRIORHOUSE: That was special to discover Frost poetry in a business school. And as we wind down, is there anything that you would change?

BRIAN:  Too old for much change I think. But I now almost never argue a point, even when I disagree strongly. People just don’t listen to rationality. Ideology – which is the only “discipline” totally devoid of ideas – is taking over the world again. And I do regret that my generation has let the world slip away into something close to horror now. If I could change that I would. But I have no idea how.

PRIORHOUSE:  How do you refresh or relax?

BRIAN: Lots of things. Reading to begin with. Photography. Working on the family history. Walk when I travel. Typically, in Paris, I can walk 5-7 miles a day. Art and museums of course. Family, we have two lovely grandkids we can share things with. Teach them stuff. I bind books. Learnt from my father. I have a press. Which I also use to restore broken or damaged books. I’m teaching my grandson the basics of binding. Friends were a bit “secluded” for two years. We just did a big get-together, the first in two years. And travel of course.

PRIORHOUSE:  And the things that you just mentioned are what readers can find on your blog!

Here are the links to connect more with Brian:

Equinoxio Blog Home Page is here

Detailed About page is here

New York City Post is here

One of Brian’s memoir posts is here

PRIORHOUSE: Thank you so much, Brian. For taking the time to share some of your life with us. I enjoyed getting to know you more. 

BRIAN: Thank you, Yvette, for this interview and for your wonderful blog. It is very varied.  Ye be good naw ye hear?

PRIORHOUSE:  You always bring a smile with your southern verbiage. 

Oh, and here is another example of what you will find on Equinoxio blog – fun signs like this old ad: “The ONLY guaranteed cure for female weakness” – hahaha 

image by Brian @equinoxio blog

With all the art from equinoxio – had to link up with the PPAC @alwayswrite Here or  at Toons Sarah

 Questions for Readers

  • Any thoughts or comments about this interview?

  • Any destinations are on your bucket list? 

  • Brian says that Eric Clapton is the number one guitar player in history. I say Eddie Van Halen was. Who do you say?

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173 thoughts on “BRIAN @EQUINOXIO: PRIORHOUSE INTERVIEW 25Sept2022 (Discussing Street Art, People Shots, Best Guitarist, & Favorites)

  1. Timely, with the Equinox! What a varied life and background – so interesting. Nice tips on blogging. I agree about the captions – the type is too small and you can’t change it. Why is that? And that sounds about the right number of pictures to me! When I started blogging I was advised to write long posts but unless it’s riveting prose I think people don’t have time for everything. Pictures are easy to take in quickly and enjoy. I like both of course. Lovely interview. The Robert Frost poem is one of the few I know by heart. It’s the right time of year for quoting it too. Thanks, Brian and Yvette!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maria
      Thanks for your thoughtful reply –
      And Ana Linden once made a note on her blog on how she can get three times the linked for a photo only post and then pour a lot into a writing post and get less.
      It really does vary — the type of content we put out – how often and how much – and then I feel like followers and active readers can change over the years and so bottom line? There is no formula!
      ➕➖♾🟰😊
      I am always amazed at how some of my long posts had little comments and liked – yet still get views (like my review of Sneaky zoetrope Season 1- long and little reception until at but continues to be read)🤔

      equinoxio’s posts flow with such a beat! Such a meter – and that is what led to the reply he had on his post length! (In this interview – I edited my questions a bit to keep this flowing so I actually asked him about that)

      Lastly –
      Regarding the captions below an image in italics and small –
      sometimes I like to utilize that to add tidbits or extras for the “deep readers” – like on my recent art museum post – I shared a photo of my spouse and I – and wanted to mention the free book I got that night (I was holding it in the image) but didn’t want it to pull from the post flow – so in that case – only folks who “were reading it all” (and had time to!) would read about the free book that I am giving to my neighbor (because it was so small and most readers would miss it!
      So that is how I use the captions but you and Brian are right – too small!!
      🥺
      people skip that in general and all the more skipping when LIGhT GREY and a size 8 don’t – WTH? Hurts the brain

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you Maria. Indeed Yvette had perfect timing for both the Equinox and Frost. (And like you The road not taken is one of the few poems I know by heart. Best (non) course I took back from my MBA.
      Take care

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi aletta – glad to introduce you to Brian! I think You will love his blog because I know how much you like art!
      Thanks for joining us for the interview today
      🙏😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A fascinating interview with Brian! He is new to me and I will be visiting his blog. I totally agree about keeping blog posts short and succinct, this one being an exception. I don’t see how you could’ve shortened it. Great questions and answers. And, Brian, I agree Clapton over Hendrix! 🙂 Thank you for hosting, Yvette!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jan!
      I almost added that note in the post (keep things short but not for interview posts – hahaha)
      And appreciate how you said “don’t see how I could have shortened it! – I did edit out one part – a small mention of the Pacific Paratooper blog! And it was just because I moved it and forgot to find where he mentioned that blogger!

      But I can mention it now – 😊

      And thanks again for your comment cheers to Clapton and Hendrix – and EDDIE! Hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Jan. Glad you agree on Clapton. Now TBH, we don’t know how Hendrix would have evolved.
      I saw Clapton in concert twice. First time was a the U. He came as a surprise “first part” to a BB King concert. Both amazing of course…
      🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tank you Yvette for the interview. Much honoured.
    Van Halen now? He was good. But I will still stick to Clapton. My Favourite Clapton number? Hard to say. All of them? Maybe a couple from his Cream time: In a white Room and Tales of brave Ulysses.
    Ye be good naw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for doing the interview and for your flexibility with the posting!

      Haha! And as Maria noted a it does work out that the fall equinox is upon us. 😊

      I didn’t realize how many Eric Clapton songs I knew as I was looking for a song to share here!
      my father’s eyes is one of my favs – and when you mentioned “in a white room” 🎵🎶
      🎸🎸🎸

      I went back many years and remember that song had a lot of radio play!

      Okay – thanks again and appreciate you!
      And I fixed a typo just now – so just let me know if you want anything adjusted or edited!

      Peace🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Peace back.
        Clapton – and many others – have made our world. Praise to all those artists.
        (Just sent you a message on my blog)
        Have a lovely week Yvette. And thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well Brian –
          I have absolutely enjoyed chatting about guitar players and might follow up with a post about it!

          There are many things to consider with defining the best- is it electric or acoustic, style etc
          ☀️☀️☀️
          I had to include Randy Rhoads

          And think Vassilis would say Mark Knopfler:

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Randy Rhoads I didn’t know. A good example of the difference between English “Rock” and American. The latter use their guitars more “heavily”. Maybe the English stayed more R&B? Not an expert.
          And of course Knopfler!
          Money for nothin’

          (and the chicks for free…)

          Like

        3. That Money for nothing song was marked as “the song of the decade” for the 80s and
          I remember sitting in a room chatting about it with folks – “why” that song was chosen –
          it was also the culture content as it depicted
          “lyrics are written from the point of view of two working-class men watching music videos and commenting on what they see… with a guest appearance by sting”

          Liked by 1 person

        4. The 80’s were inequal in terms of music. Some good. Some not so.
          And yes, not many people notice the discrete appearance of Sting at the end… Blending very well. Love that bit. And the rest of course.

          Like

    1. Hi Robbie – thanks for joining us with Brian”s interview – and that company, Ogilvy & Mather, seems like a good place!
      Hope your week is off to a great start

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Robbie. 15 years at O&M? Compliments to your sister. Though I don’t know how it is now, it was one of the best Ad agencies in the world. They taught me a lot about writing…
      Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HI Brian, I believe my sister learned a lot there too. She has had some marvelous opportunities and won some awards. In South Africa, the big award is called a Loerie and she’s had a few. One was for my wedding invitations.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Fantastic. O&M was a great agency. David Ogilvy was a gentleman. Not so true about the guy who eventually bought O&M and half the world’s agencies. LOL.
          Your sister was a creative I imagine? South Africa had good creatives.
          Cheers
          Brian

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Hi Brian, my sister and I are both creatives. I work in corporate finance in deal structuring and I write books for adults and children. My sister is a Creative Director at an ad agency (no longer O&M).

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Indeed you both are. My youngest daughter Calls herself “a retired banker”. She spent a few years in New York with Standard Chartered, then switched gears completely. She now works with NGO’s on development and gender…
          Your family reunions must be interesting.
          Au revoir.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Your sister must have some great talent in her field, Robbie
          And Brian – I just heard a second quote from Ogilvy –
          And this long one is worth sharing

          “The creative process requires more than reason. Most original thinking isn’t even verbal. It requires ‘a groping experimentation with ideas, governed by intuitive hunches and inspired by the unconscious.’ The majority of business men are incapable of original thinking because they are unable to escape from the tyranny of reason. Their imaginations are blocked.”

          Liked by 2 people

        5. Hmmm, that is an interesting quote and I think it is true. I would differ in my own thoughts on the matter by saying it is more than just an inability to escape from reason. I don’t think people in business necessarily have the thought processes to make this leap. The minds of creatives work differently to business people, I know this because I can compare my thinking to all the business people and accountants I work with. My thought process is completely different and so I can problem solve a lot quicker and better. Scientific discovery follows the same leaps of creativity with reason coming in second.

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Robbie, your comment really has some great points –
          and this here could be supported with empirical research too!

          “The minds of creatives work differently to business people, I know this because I can compare my thinking to all the business people and accountants I work with. My thought process is completely different and so I can problem solve a lot quicker and better. Scientific discovery follows the same leaps of creativity with reason coming in second”

          Like

  4. What an interesting fella. But I must disagree – Prince, Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison are all more interesting guitariss than Clapton but then I met the man and didn’t like him so there you go!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha
      First – thanks for reading the interview
      And then thanks for the guitar feedback!
      Your comment reminds me of “how we define” best guitarist – like is it style – and even type of guitar
      //
      And you met Clapton? I think that is a very awesome thing because such an icon – my boyfriend took me to see Clapton in 1992 in Tampa Florida – we had floor seats too – but it was so smoky and blah! Bad indoor air bothered me more back then.

      So I have noted your three interesting guitarists:
      Prince, Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison

      Like

    2. Haha! Fine with me JT. 😉
      Hendrix and Harrison were great too. (I even consider Ten years after’s Alvin Lee’s performance in “Coming home” a unique exploit. “you met the man”? Which one was it? Clapton? I suspect he may have his dark side.
      To finish on another style, Santana is great too. (So many of them…)
      Take care 🎶

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Amazing. I discovered SAntana when I saw the movie Woodstock on a cold Paris winter night. ’71? had no idea Woodstock had happened. LOL.
          I didn’t know Vai. But anyone who started with Zappa deserves respect… 😉

          Like

  5. An interesting post Yvette and nice meeting the well-spoken and very diverse Brian. The traveling, the different experiences – it makes my life pale in comparison as it’s been years since I did any serious traveling. I can identify with the Southern speech as I worked in a diner all through college with all Southern folk and many customers who were also from the South and moved North to work in the auto industry. The “twang” and idioms were fun and when I worked all Summer, six days a week, by the time I returned to school in the Fall, I could pass for a Southern gal. Southerners are kind, gentle folk. I like the blogging tips and will take them to heart. I do use italics when quoting – perhaps people skip over this due to the paler font due to italics? I had always thought white space was desirable but then Brian’s posts are shorter (by his own admission) than mine anyway, plus I think some people do not meander to the very end of my posts. Brevity is the soul of wit … yes I know that. I also like Frost poetry and in particular that passage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda
      Thanks
      Brian’s tips were timely
      italics are even more awful with LIGHT GRAY on white.

      And regarding your life compared to Brian’s – well different journeys for sure but you have made such a fun adventure by walking for all these years – and it models other ideas for people who need to “do what they can with what they have for their wellness” 🚶‍♀️

      Thanks for your lovely feedback for Us and on this interview

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yvette – [I was so far behind that your comment disappeared from my comment queue.] Working from home has changed my life for the better as it expanded my horizons to begin walking, writing and even dabbling in photography again. Had I returned to a traditional 9-5 job after I was laid off, I would not have tried those three items. Maybe the walking in retirement. As I near the 10-year anniversary of the blog, I know there are more new things to learn, tweak and/or adapt to – I am always open to improvement. P.S. – I never listened to Van Halen, so I couldn’t make a comparison to be honest.

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    2. Thank you Linda for your comments. Ah see yer know what Ah mean with the accint.
      Glad you like Frost too. (Just made me wonder how the poem would sound with A Bama accint? Not sure it would work.)
      Take care.
      Brian

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome Brian … you are correct; not everything sounds better with a Bama accent. Coincidentally, my manager and his wife who ran the diner were from Alabama. Thinking of the Floridians as Hurricane Ian approaches, the Southern folk would say “it’s comin’ up a storm!”

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        1. They were from Athens, Alabama – the first month or so, I had to concentrate … hard to understand the speech and idioms. I don’t know if I’ve heard a Mississippi accent. I moved to the States from Canada at age 10 – I had a Canadian accent with Oxford English proper pronunciation. Classmates AND my sixth grade teacher were not kind, ridiculing me for my speech. Immature, but made me a tough cookie ultimately.

          I was watching some of Ian’s destruction – Mother Nature has had her way with Florida today.

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        2. Athens? Near HUntsville. They would have had a North Alabama accent. There’s at least three accents in ‘Bama. Hard to tell for “furners”, but they do.
          So you had a posh accent? LOL. Teachers should not make fun of kids. Not their job.
          I still have a mostly British accent – and writing – in statistics class I would say “zed”, my classmates would ask “what’s he talking about. Teacher – from Austin, Texas – would explain: he means Zee. 😉
          I’ve only seen brief news. Looks like Ian is a bad one. So many folks will lose their homes…
          Sadly.

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        3. I think in the interview, or maybe on your website, which I visited earlier this evening, I was reading about your formative years – you said you had a British accent. I have long since lost my Canadian accent because my classmates and teacher ridiculed me, but they did not break my spirit. I have no siblings, so there was no one to share the elementary school (and even beyond) horrors of ridiculing a classmate for her speech. The teacher made me read passages from books to the class to hear how I spoke … I did not pronounce the word “shone” like everyone else and everyone laughed at my expense. Bullying takes on many forms – it is not just a recent problem, though many people think it is and due to social media. I am still a Canadian citizen, having lived in the States with a green card for 56 years. My mother refused to give up her Canadian idioms and used “toque” for wool hat, “serviette” for napkins, “chesterfield” for couch, among other words and said “zed” as well to her dying day.

          The idea of living in a warm client all year around has always appealed to me but worrying about whether you’d lose your house and possessions would not be worth it. I’ll deal with ice and snow – Michigan in tornado season is enough of a worry.

          I responded with a long comment and included a link to my ad agency post – I mention it in case it goes to SPAM. I don’t filter out internet links, so it’s not a problem for me receiving links.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Accents do fade away. Though I am on your mother’s side. Some words must be maintained… 😉
          My accent? I was bilingual from an early age. Living abroad. Plus my grandmother was English, born in INdia, so my father was bilingual, and I did learn “proper” English. Not ze French Ac-cent… 😉 And I lived in East Africa, so I picked up “Colonial” English accent. Then, after the US, and dealing with many American clients, i sort of grew a “mid-atlantic accent. Hybrid. Depends who I’m talking to. With Americans I slide to American speech. With Brits I “posh” around.
          Thanks for the Ad post. very interesting. I could visualize everything. (Even the crazy colours we wore then)
          Au revoir.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. My father was from Germany and moved to Canada in 1950. He did not teach me to speak German, despite my mother’s requests to do so. You are fortunate to speak multiple languages. Here in SE Michigan, there are many Latinos, so more and more store signs are now in Spanish as well. I like that you can vary your accent to suit your fancy. The dress code was lax in those days – pretty much “anything goes” so when I began working at a stuffy law firm in the same building Y&R had been for years, (before Lincoln-Mercury made them move to the Renaissance Center), the administrative partner said during my interview “Ms. Schaub, I see you worked in the Creative Department at Y&R. I hope you’ll conduct yourself in a respectable manner and with decorum unlike the people you formerly worked with.”

          Au revoir Brian.

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Had to chime in on the German language – I agree about its complexity and it has a strong and tough feel – to go with the tasty food and super smart people – I took German in 8th grade and do not recall much

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        7. It is a difficult language. But rewarding. Quite a unique sound. Holly at House of heart sometimes posts a german version of her poems, with the help of friends. (Though she speaks fluent German). It is quite fun to read both versions.
          Tschüß

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  6. Wow what an interesting and engaging interview! He has seen so much of the world and has some fascinating insights. I appreciate the insights on telling brief stories in blogging. Also thanks for the info that it is legal to take photos of people in public, I was always curious about that and I’ve always tried to be careful about that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tierney. Thanks for your comment. About candid photos. It seems that it is acceptable in the US, in public. Now some people may object… But I just checked, in France, even in public, if the person is isolated and recognizable, you need his/her agreement in writing! So I’m probably liable for a zillion law suits already. I think careful is the proper approach.
      Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ☀️☀️Tierney – thanks for the comment and interesting about what France suggests- and here in the states we cannot share images if there is an expectation of privacy📸📷

        And regarding being careful – I do approach this way and have deleted a handful of photos because they felt wrong – but for the most part – I believe there is some important merit in “people photos” and feel some folks just have a gift at taking them – hmmmm

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Things have changed since Cartier-Bresson or Arbus (Love her photos BTW).
          People photos are important. And must go on. If it means going up and ask or pretend you’re texting with the sound off… Well. To each his/her own.

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  7. Thanks so much for the introduction to Brian, his blog, and his fascinating life. As someone who’s rarely left the US, his world travels and residences on multiple continents sounds entrancing. What a life-enhancing experience. I enjoyed his blogging tips too and browsing the images. I can see why the two of you connected. A wonderful post. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Diana – thanks for your comment and yes! I feel so kindred with Brian – one hand we are opposite and then on another hand – we have similar tastes !
      And thx again Brian for doing this interview
      Good day to all

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Eddie Van Halen and Eric Clapton are great guitarists. For me #1 guitarist in the world is Alexandar Živojinović, professionally known as Alex Lifeson.
    What an amazing interview with Brian. Wow, what an incredible background. Makes my life rather boring…lol.
    So incredible with 3,000 books in his library. And so much respect for your 5-7 mile a day walk, Brian. So important as we get older. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Carl. I had to look up Alex Lifeson. He sounds interesting. Though maybe more “metal” than I like.
      The 3,000 books can be a pain, believe me, when one moves… LOL. It is now a limit. When my shelves are full, I pull books down and donate them at the French Lycée.
      The day walk is important, though I must confess I mostly do it when I travel. I need to do it here too.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Cheers
      Brian

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are very welcome, Brian. There definitely is lots of metal in Alex Lifeson’s music.
        Walking would be such a great way to take in all the sights and sounds while travelling.
        Thank you for the blog follow! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Carl – thanks for bringing some Canadian rock into the guitarist talk!

      Rush is a very special band and glad to have Alex get a mention

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1pE558olnPg-
      And your comment instantly reminded me of triumph’s Rik Emmett (who saw play live twice! In 85 and 89)
      And then just so happened to find a video with Emmett and Alex Lifeson

      Cheers to all of these many great musicians

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Suzanne. Books are treasures. And book binding is not so hard as it seems. Actually I use most of it to restore old, broken books. Give them a new life. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for joining us Suzanne – and book binding is a special skill in a world where so many folks prefer e-books
      ….
      And Brian / how nice to be able to restore older books – very important

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  9. Hi Yvette and Brian – what a great interview – I felt like I was in a room with both of you! Brian, you have led such an interesting life. Mine seems so plain compared to yours! I’m heading over to your blog to follow. Thanks for sharing, Yvette!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi book club mom! Thanks for joining us for this interview and Brian’s life seems so perfect for him – and yours for you – and you and Brian both share a life of loving books ! 📚📚📚

      Liked by 2 people

  10. what a great post and interview Yvette.
    I’ve been wondering where you were and presto!
    I love the gypsy in Brian and his rich history in places lived, his great attitude, tips on blogging, how he got his blogging name and humor. Great poem btw Brian❣️
    And I love cats so there’s that. I would beg to differ there is a superb writer in there if you ever are up to the challenge.. we all just witnessed it!
    ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy – thanks for taking the time to join us with Brian’s interview.
      And I agree with you on his “superb” writer side – his succinctness
      really makes him an interesting read

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Whew, lots to learn and read in this amazing post, Yvette. I’m breathless just imagining doing all that travel in one lifetime, let alone picking up all the languages and dialects. I’m so glad you introduced us. You know such interesting people, and again you have delved into Brian’s life and blog. I’m definitely going to check out his blog. Thanks for linking to PPAC. I love the picture of the doughboy hanging over the brick building. Have a great week, my friend, and thanks again for the introduction. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I added your link, :Now Go Cat Go, to my Public Art post that comes out tomorrow. What a great post. Hope you are having a great vacation, Brian. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Marsha. Vacation is over. Just haven’t had much time to blog. Mulling new avenues of blogging. We’ll see if anything comes out of it…
          Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. bran – keep us posted on the “Mulling new avenues of blogging…” and I was actually just mentioning you to Diana – because I told her that I like how you take off months at a time –
          and you seem to do it so naturally (am I right?) – it shows a nice freedom in taking unconventional breaks

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Breaks? LOL. Actually I’m taking advantage to write new stuff, and translate “old” short stories from Spanish to English. Which I’d vowed I’d never do.
          New avenues? Complicated. I now find it a bit difficult to post normally when the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. Young women killed in Iran because they’re done with covering their hair. Civilians massacred by R*ssia in Ukraine. One military coup after the other in Africa. What happened to Burma? We (the West) seem to elect incompetent politicians every day more… etc. etc.
          France is near bankrupt, but little Macron doesn’t understand?
          I don’t know. It’s like I would like to reflect on my experience of so many countries and “look” for solutions. But maybe that’s another blog. (Even another language. French.) I am a bit stalled. I must confess.

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    1. Hi Marsha…. I decided I HAD to connect with PPAC because when Sarah guest hosted she started off by
      mentioning her love for Paris and it was so in line with Brian’s post…. quite serendipitous – (and I am also linking to PPAC this week with some art from Austin, Texas) but I am glad that you got to meet Brian and add another connection to your widely networked blog!
      hope your week is going well

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, he’s fabulous and so is the interview. Lots of fun and now I can find out more about bookbinding. He’s multi-talented, that’s for sure. And I live vicariously through his trips to Paris. Can’t ask for more than that. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – thanks for your comment and I know what you mean
      about joining him virtually with “his trips to Paris” – he sure gives us
      much to enjoy with him.
      🙂

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    2. Hi Gigi. “Multi-talented” LOL. Look who’s talking… 😉 I miss the Chicklets. I hope all are well. (Preparing Halloween, I surmise?)

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  13. I am a long follower of Brian’s blog and it is lovely to see him on here, Y. I really enjoyed this interview. Got to know him a lot more. Brian, hello! I am sure you’ll be reading this comment at some point. So many countries and place to go and see, so little time and somehow, I think many of us go to the places that call to us. I like your approach to photos, keeping it simple with your phone. I also do wonder about privacy when taking photos of others. People might care about their photo taken but as you said, some of the greatest photos are just taken as is right there and then – and every photo is a snapshot of history.

    I like your blogging tip on keeping it short. As someone who loves writing, I find it hard to shut up with my words and try very hard to keep my blog posts short 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mabel – thanks for joining us with Brian’s interview. and I LOVE how you said this
      “many of us go to the places that call to us” – I agree so much!
      and your posts have your flair and seem to connect with your audience so well – and so perhaps length is another thing that “call to us” – 🙂

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      1. Some people and places just speak to you like no other. Thanks, Y. Very kind of you to say. Connection is such a powerful, valuable thing 🙂

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    2. Hi Mabel. How have you been, Peng Yu? Good to see you here.
      Been missing you guys. Hopefully my Blogging break might end soon.
      All well with you?
      (And yes, the shorter the better. Easier to produce, also easier on the reader… Though of course there are exceptions to every rule.
      Cheers.

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      1. It has been alright over here. Busy. Like you, I’ve been on bit of a blogging break. Or as you could also put it, taking my time in between blogging. It really is good seeing you here and reading about all of your experiences – enough for quite a few short books 😄

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Breaks are good. Makes you reevaluate. Still not sure about books. My “stuff” is split between two languages (English and Spanish) and I would like to write at least two stories in French. But I might be moving slowly in the book(s) direction…
          Take care Peng Yu.

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        2. Sounds like you got a lot of writing there, much to work with for many books. Good on you and take your time. Slow and steady wins the race. Maybe at some point I will be asking for an autographed book from you 😊

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        3. Slow and steady does win the race. There is an old Fable in French about that. I’d never heard the English expression.
          I’ll be delighted to sign the book if it comes out.
          Be good.

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    1. Hi Snow, thank for joining us for Brian’s interview and I was just thinking about you
      when I was at Amanda’s blog last month – hope you are doing well and hope the family is well.
      Have a great day
      oh and cheers to Brian’s “cultural skills and street smarts” -:)

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      1. Thanks for the warm thoughts – been blogging less, but it’s always so nice to see familiar bloggers still around. Feels like ages since I visited your blog, or any others for that matter! Take care + hope you have a lovely weekend!

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    2. Hi Lumi. Nice to see you here. I’ve been thinking about you often, (like every time I read about the war in Ukraine. That SOB is really dangerous. And so many people in western Europe don’t understand what’s at stake.
      Regardless I hope you had a pleasant summer with your family… (One day at a time. Winter is coming…)
      Hugs. A bientôt

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      1. Nice to have you back from your break, Brieuc. Fear is our new normal and we’re being invaded by fleeing Russians now. Winter will bring power cuts, and who knows what else. Our PM seems quite fed up with the SOB and she’s issuing viral comments now (look it up!) Been missing chatting with you!

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        1. Missed that too. You seem to be one of the few people on this planet who realizes what’s at stake. Sadly. I indeed have read about the R*ussians fleeing conscription. Let’s hope this will the SOB’s Vietnam… I’ll look your PM over. (What’s her name again).
          I will try to start posting again on a regular basis and visit my friends’ blogs. (You’re bien sûr en haut de la liste…)
          Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Hi Lumi. Thanks for the link. That is a tough lady. “The way out of the conflict is for Russia to leave Ukraine.”
          Do you think she might consider the Prime minister/President job in France? I’ll vote for her…
          Bravo. We need more people like that… 👍🏻

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        3. Impressive young woman. She didn’t think twice to answer the question did she?
          Meanwhile, the bastard is bombing civilians. If I recall it’s what he did in Tchetchenia.

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  14. I greatly enjoyed this engaging interview with Brian. Found out a lot I didn’t know about him, including his given name! I’ve gotten quite an education from his blog.

    To answer your bucket list question, I’d like to go back to Nova Scotia, where my maternal grandmother grew up. (But not in the winter.)

    As far as the guitar question, I think Clapton beats out Hendrix, and Knopfler beats out Clapton. Clapton has the technicalvirtuosity, but Knophler transports me to the place I want to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Liz, thanks for joining us with this interview.
      And I think Brian will enjoy your take on guitarist.. I know I sure did!
      and “technicalvirtuosity” is such a great word.

      I have heard Clapton a half dozen times this month (weird because I can go a year without hearing a clapton song) and I smiled when Clapton came on so much because it connected with this post!

      appreciate your visit and comment
      🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep. Virtuosity vs transporting. That is a very interesting approach. Clapton does transport me back in time and place. I remember exactly when and where I bought the Live Cream album, at the Indian records shop in Parklands, Nairobi, Kenya. So all those songs in the album do transport me too.
        But Knopfler does too… Ah! Music! 🎶

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    2. Hi Liz. Nice to see you here. Given name? LOL. Unpronounceable by 90’% of the planet. Brian is actually a Welsh translation. Practical.
      Interesting point about Knopfler. You have come up with a very good definition. I will go back to him and listen closely.
      Take care…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Brieuc! No worries. Petit train va loin… One last room (mine) for the tiles. I went to pick up what was short yesterday… Ooof! 1,248 livres de tuiles que je transportées de ma voiture à mon garage…

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  15. A fab interview. Thank you Yvette and Brian!
    JIMI HENDRIX…. but no, not making an enemy of me. Lol!
    Actually, my husband is one sweet guitar player. He’s my real fave!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Resa – cheers to your reply about your husband being a top guitar player for you!
      I bet you get to enjoy lots of his music. My spouse and son also play and so I am blessed to
      be around lots of “guitaring” – lol
      thanks for joining us with Brian’s interview and have a nice day

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      1. Thank you! You have a great rest of week and weekend!
        Guitar is my fave instrument! My N has jam sessions, and it’s so great to hear live music without going out. I just sit back and draw!

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        1. He answered! Still Hendrix, with Jeff Beck on the coat tails.
          I asked him about contemporary guitarists… wish you could have seen his face!
          Understandable, as guitar was bigger than the singer (except Led Zeppelin) back then.

          Guitar lost is place as the god, to singers.
          Me… guitar rules!

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        2. Jeff Beck now? He is a man of taste. I still remember seeing Blowup a few years back and thinking: “Jeff Beck? OMG”.
          And I can relate to “contemporary” in more or less the same way…
          Though I learned the piano a century ago and always sucked at guitar, I agree. Guitar rules…
          🎸

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