2021/10/22

Shore Wonderland

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Shore Wonderland watercolor of Palette October by Oiseau Distrait




















Palette October is the title of this book, so what should I draw for the center page? A full palette of what I have seen in this season? or, hmm...how about a more precise definition to the title: a journey towards for a better future?!

Scenery above the water of Seine was marvelous and how about underneath, would it be something like this? an entrance to a secret place for the "broken hearts" to build their perfect world? Nobody knows, as I've said, we always have a choice to pursue of happiness, even though we know we need to take the risks that might come along...still worth a try, or at least to dream of!

Drawing has it's magic code that photography cannot achieve, even in writing; Infinite Space of what you can imagine, you can express visually, there is no boundary except sometimes, I shall confess my drawing technique is the only limitation. That's why I am using all of these three elements to create my book, which have their individual "magic code", hopefully you like them all. 

2021/10/21

Autumn Breeze Sale - Jardins Secret

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Autumn Breeze Sale of Oiseau Distrait ebook Jardins Secret



Hi, Hi!

There is always a lot to learn besides writing, but why not?! writer can't write 24/7, we need some rest and space to clear our mind, otherwise it got stuck, for sure :P

A newsletter or at least a Sale/New release notice is what I always wanted, so I spend some time recently to design one for my Final Autumn Sale before entering Winter. This is only a static notice, ha ha! because a lot more technical issue has to be prepared, so, hopefully you don't mind to go to the Oiseau Distrait Page with the bookshops link if you would like to get a discount copy.

Promise, a real subscription page for my books' newsletter will be completed before I forget :D 
Btw, it's time to return my writing desk. Happy reading !
 



2021/10/16

Color of the Pebble"s"

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Walking on the street in the Autumn of Paris, especially for the first time, I was truly impressed by the richness of color wherever I go.  

I’ve remembered some of my friends said, reasons for they didn't like Paris...yes, didn’t...were because of the old & deteriorated surroundings in some arrondissement; pebble roads that were difficult to walk on, some alleys are "dirty", people are "not friendly" with a sense of "pride", not safe after dark, pick pockets around, Paris is small...., etc, etc. (don‘t shout to me if you are an instant Paris lover, like myself :D)

Even though it‘s part of the truth except with reasons behind: history, cultural, multi-racial, interaction, mindset...they are the elements to form this city, bit by bit for us to explore.

By walking almost 90% within these 12 days, my feet did overloaded. I can take bus or train, of course but walking on pebble pave, to me, is enjoyable (without my luggage :P), one of my favorite activity here; they are extra beautiful after the touch of shower - Nostalgia romance I would say. 

Pebble alley after rain with low rise apartment around in Paris









Strolling around the “deteriorating” alleys with ancient buildings, stories behind, the color of memories...whether it’s sad or cheerful, it’s a mark, always. A mark of people who live or died, who gave or took, stay or left...and that’s how I wrote Palette October.


2021/10/09

Coffee break today

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Coffee Break Blog screen shot

Hong Kong is still hoisted in typhoon Signal 8 right now, a whole day long which is not a good time to stay outdoor, so I spend my time to polish my blog. 
 
I always want to install back the widget links of those blogs I loved to follow before, so I try to find them one by one through my previous Coffee Break blog links, a total 17 of them but only two are still valid. 
 
Most of them did start blogging early before in 2009 (also my first year of blogging), and most of them were using Blogger template in those years, they are simple and beautiful, like the one I had chosen. So, it was pretty easy to start writing blog in a good mood, I treasure those memorable days.
 
I am not sure whether I did tell you before, in the very beginning, Blogger didn't offer a custom domain like of what we are having cocoadesign.net, meaning, the only choice was something like coffeebreakbyprotowork.blogspot.com; I was a newbie and misspell "blogspot" to another word (better not say :P), so when I tried to introduce my blog in an e-platform, it was directed to a shopping site, resulting in not only embarrassment but  a really bad feeling to the group. The problem was, I couldn't find out where went wrong until Mr. Wasaweb (a top contributor of the official Google+ help community) pointed out my silly mistake, which was then solved.
 
I shall never forget that night when I was stuck into the mess, and luckily got the help of someone I hadn't met before but save my blog, this is one of the reason that I keep writing today.
 
It's been awhile I was disconnected to wasaweb's blog due to his transformation of the blog structure; but I am so happy that the re-connection is resume today, so I've decided reinstall my link list in this blog, even though I have to restart all over again, it's still worth to rebuild because one of my habit while writing for a new post, a "coffee break" beforehand, to read my favorite blogs. 
 
Feel free to click for a look,  you may like them, too. 
Happy Blogging :D

"Multi-color" link in October

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multi-color tree leaves  in pink, green, yellow & purple in Paris
I had no idea I will write my ebook when I was in Paris, so the photos I took did not had specific intention besides the “beauty” that attracted me.

Usually we may have an idea of rotten dull or deteriorated shade that reflects in Autumn. When I‘ve returned home to review my photos, a much wider range of colorway were discovered, some are bright & refreshing which reminded my feeling when I was there... plein air (open air/ outdoor in French) and words flow into my head: nature beauty, God‘s creation, freedom, belief, hope, bonding, life cycle, decade & transform....


Roadside trees with Autumn leaves & low rise apartment in Paris
Due to geographic & culture difference, huge blossom tree/ greenery together with low rise buildings are easily found everywhere in Paris, plein air in another word. Hong Kong is quite the opposite, but what is the major core issue that is bounding us, the citizen who live in the city?!

Sometimes, I wonder for those frequent travelers or guru, as we say; after their millions & millions of travelling around the world, will they still prefer to live & stay in their homeland of where they were born at the very end? Even though it may be imperfect, cos’ there is always an invisible link, I guess...

Turning to another country to look for a better or more stable living could be a simple and reasonable act compare with staying to face the reality. But I‘m sure for most of the emigrants, they love their homeland so much & so deep that they just can’t tolerance the unexpected changes, that “hurt” to bleed, the only way out for them is not to face it. 

I've once told myself to leave behind of everything in Hong Kong in these 12 days, no whatsapp, no email, no phone calls, etc...I tried, it‘s difficult because the “link” never breaks no matter where I am ...and where you are!

May God‘s blessing be with you wherever you are!

2021/10/06

Bird Food 雀粟

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Over 90 book cover collage
自從離開校園(遠古時代:p)=離開教科書,反而開始喜歡閲讀,原因離不開是工作需要;設計書藉,月刊,工具書等。由於在專注修讀室內設計之前,花了兩年多的時間初探不同的設計類別,例如:平面設計、服裝設計、攝影、珠寶、舞台、產品、書法、篆刻…等等; 所以也同時會看相關的設計/美術書。在未有電子書的當年,可想而知我花了不少資源在當中,也是每一個設計人都要付出的;所以相對現今可以從不同電子媒體定期接收最新設計資訊,甚至遊走於世界博物館的藏品資料庫中,真是幸福啊!

漸漸地,亦受到 ricketeer 的影響,看不少散文以至後期的小説,fiction  & non-fiction ,而且越看越厚。我想,在消閒之餘,也能得着相當的知識;久而久之便享受到箇中樂趣及完成每一本書的滿足感了。

慢慢閲讀更成為一種"糧食",真的,某些日子因忙碌而沒法看書,心中便有種莫名的飢餓感。當可以重拾書本並完成的一刻,真的彷似飽餐一頓,十分滿足。能夠同時閲讀中英文,這也是作為香港人的幸福,如果可以再學會多一兩國的文字便好了,這樣便能夠看原作,必定更有味道。

一直也很想為看過的書本拍張全家福(至2021年九月),今天在一個閲讀平台內總算整合到一部份(約1/4),看着這些美麗的書面,又"飽餐一頓"。希望在往後的日子,可以有一天完成整幅"虛擬書架"是自己定下的一個長遠目標 ~ 超級大滿足!

2021/10/02

Palette October

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Book cover of Palette October of Petit Paris
click to enlarge
October in Hong Kong is already in mid Autumn, in Paris, the weather is quite cold, usually there will be a 10 degree difference within day, say 2-4 degree Celsius at night & 17-19 in the afternoon.

In addition, you may experience a shower morning, sunny afternoon, windy evening & a star night or thunderstorm mid night…wow! never boring :P

Another eye catching experience is the richness of color palette easily seen along the streets & gardens. In Hong Kong, our space is limited, so even though there are trees but rarely flourish in the heart of the districts unless, we go to a more remote areas. 

The other major problem is pollution, trees are dull and liveliness in Autumn & are not easy to have multi-color species in our neighborhood. We don’t have space for the fallen leaves to lie down to enjoy their sun bath, they will be cleared every hour or so to free up the pedestrian pavement, so you know why I was so excited when walking onto those caramel /golden/ copper pink leave land, especially after rain…the best “perfume” I’ve ever had.

Palette October” will be one of the book in Petit Paris as scheduled, but there is some other issues that I would like to address through the cycle of this gorgeous nature phenomenon. I wish you will discover my hidden wishes from the ‘dialogue’ inside. 

May God bless us all on earth!



2021/10/01

異鄉人 L’Étranger

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Cover of L'E'tranger
星期二的中午,終於可以去九龍中央圖書館一趟,每次經過也想入內,但總覺得沒有足夠時間的話,還是下次再去好了。其實,什麼才是足夠時間呢?完全視乎那間圖書館內的藏書有多豐富或是否適合我的口味罷了,今次,大約逗留了兩小時。

事實上在我手機中是有一張"要尋找的書目清單",因為生活空間所限,盡可能戒掉購買書籍的習慣(屢敗屢試:P),而在不想放棄享受紙本書的原則下,還是到圖書館搜索一下,雖然我很清楚,可以在網上訂購實體書,那便不用東奔西走了。而且,我發現在香港圖書館的藏書也頗過時,要到較大的一間才勉強找到一些合用的書本,這也是我不大喜歡用圖書館的原因之一。

好了,話說回來。原本要找的四本全部落空,其中一本找到了卻只有中文翻譯版,就是卡繆 Albert Camus 的異鄉人 L’Étranger。即使是翻譯書(例如:原文是非英語),可以選擇的話,我也會選英文而非中文翻譯,尤其台灣翻譯,看起來有點痛苦。但奈何,世事非盡如人意,每次在圖書館或書局內也只有看到這個中文版實體書,等了又等,今次決定借,即日看完,心中還是有些 50/50 的感覺。

這是一本出名的文學作品,正如你看到書面的介紹~存在主義代表作,諾貝爾文學得獎小説,二十世紀法國文學經典:不簡單的啊!

書中的主角莫梭先生(我想是有點卡繆的影子),由故事開頭,因為住在老人院的母親逝世而要前往守夜,沒有留下半滴眼淚,只想盡快回家倒頭大睡。翌日認識了新女友,還一起看笑片,沉醉愛海;及後的日子還會去安慰失了老狗的隣居,協助一個似乎不算藉得幫忙的雷蒙教訓他那紅杏出牆的女友,以至後來捲入命案,莫梭的"下半生"從此不再一樣!

短短142頁的故事,叫我印象最深刻的是莫梭時常會有的想法"這不是我的錯.…",他那時常遊走於現實與抽離的狀態,隨著他形容眼見與心中所想的種種。他不願意花半點氣力去解釋一些他認為沒有意義的事,甚至和自己性命猶關的事…又或者即使其他人覺得很重要的事;是刻意的自我抽離?還是荒謬的世界令他不得不抽離,只可以陶醉在自已享受的時刻,例如:吹吹海風,在夕陽下觀看區內途人的日常,和女友的快樂時光…。

無疑莫梭的故事隱含了不少可以衝擊我們思考的引子,尤其在末段,他被審訊期間的內心世界及與神父的一席話。但當晚我看完之後,就是那種一半一半的感覺,叫我返到廿一世紀的現實中,這會否也是我們這一代的心態呢?有一點無可無不可,反正我沒興趣明白你所想也沒需要要求你明白我一樣,故事就在這個狀態下終結。

我想…如果找到英文版,我會再看一次~這也是另外一個 50/ 50 的原因。

 

 
(麥田出版)譯者:張一喬 (台灣) 中文翻譯初版2009年9月 
異鄉人Copyright Editions Gallimard, Paris 1942
 
P.s. - Photo is the Chinese version from library.
         Book link is the English e-book version (The Stranger)

 

 

 

 

 

2021/09/25

A Promised Land

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Finally completed the reading of this 700 pages book last night, you can see how it was being "tortured" by me :P even though it's a hardcover version, the book jacket was fragile. I've using almost 6 months to complete because I could only had time to read before bed, which was about 1 to 2 hours at most, sometimes it was really tired but this book is worth to spend time with. 

As far as I could remember when I saw it in a MTR book store, it attracted me by it's thick spine at once; there was only two copies up there on the very top of the shelving,  I grabbed it right away and decided to bring back home after reading the blurb. 

In this six months, I ran through a "tough journey" leading by the author, an unusual one, the 44thpresident of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama. A journey of how his “bet” make changes for his people; the barriers of partisan & pressure that had to be overcome; burden of duties deep inside, both his country & family…with strong & true beliefs of democracy, justice, hope, that could bring especially to the African Americans; a better future that could be built & the most important ~ love, that should have as a real human being…

It’s an extraordinary experience to know the routine & tremendous supporting team in White House, the wide scope of issues that he had to consider prior to make any decision that might affect the majority as well as the minority. But behind the scene, there were always had some lonely nights/ moments that Obama was struggled to give & take. 

There was a message I kept receiving throughout the book is , whenever he received a letter or a voice from a citizen/kid, a message of a missing pilot, a visit of an injured soldier or the 911 families…all these will once again reminding himself why to step into the government in his first place, reminding him of being a humble president, as well as a better person.

I have to say I did enjoy very much while reading this book, because it is not only a memoir of a president, or a record of what he did during his presidency. Obama didn’t hide the actual feeling of disappointment, anger or depress whenever he felt; compromise that had to be made most of the time for a bill to pass through, but at least, some achievement that benefit to the country could still be made.

What I do believe “Passion to become better” is the key and only when human don’t pretend themselves as God, “Yes we can!”

p.s.- I'm thinking, what a blessing for a country to have a president like Barack Obama. 

 
還記得在三月的ー個下午, 上完課回程途經美孚港鐵站内的書局, 毎次總會入内尋寳, 當天也不例外. 在書架最高處, 厚厚的書脊吸引着我, 原來是美國總統奥巴馬的 "A Promised Land". 我對政治算不得上有興趣, 但對自傳, 尤其是有視野和胸襟的人卻是例外. 幸好剛剛夠高 :D 於是一手取下先看封面及封底~ 相片拍得很美, 尤其是書背的ー張, 完全捕捉到作者的神緖和情懷,很喜歡. 再翻開書内看簡介, 看罷, 決定買下, 開始了這漫長而又期待的閲讀旅程.

我説是旅程, 真的, 在整整六個月的時日, 我總會在僅餘的睡前一至两小時, 翻開這本長達七百多頁的書本, 讓奥巴馬帶我遊走於他的政治旅途, 既艱辛卻又滿有意義和感恩. 事實上, 有時工作後實在疲倦, 但仍很想看一章, 或至少ー個段落, 因為很値得;在很多個晚上,藉着文章的內容,讓我覺得本來看似很絕望的世界,又再次浮現絲絲美善的盼望,得到不少安慰。

政治世界從來複雜多變,某程度上作者是憑着單純的初心,盼望可以激勵國民(人)去創建一個滿有公義、和平、平等的世界,一個更美好的將來,對非藉美國的公民/青少年的一代意義尤其重要。在龐大的白宮團隊支持之下,奧巴馬仍然必須經歷無數在民主社會下存在的國會投票,才能推動一些議案;即使要作出某些侷部的妥協,只要能對國民有利,他們還是會堅持行下去。在很多議案推行之前,作為總統的他,要考慮的事情及層面甚廣,從他敘述在白宮的日常可得知。其實除了背負著工作(國家)的重擔外,他在書中也不時提及對家人的一點點歉疚(也有對團隊,支持者及家人的無限感激),並自己在得失之下的感受…我想,就是這個第44任美國總統非常人性的一面,沒有刻意隱藏自己的軟弱。

書中提及在不少個無奈的晚上,奧巴馬獨自靜下來的時刻,他還是會因著收過一封市民的感謝信,聽過一個工人的故事,看見過一個非藉小孩的微笑;又或是在探訪傷兵/911 遇難者家屬,為着執行任務失而復得的機師⋯等等,等等而再次回想自己要進入政府工作的初心,為此,明天又會重新出發。

事實上這本書有太多太多內容,並非單單是一本回憶錄或工作報告。當我在閲讀到書本後期的時候,正藉美軍全面撤離阿富汗,塔利班重掌政權之際;有時在政治圈外的平民如我,腦中也會浮現大大小小的"為什麼?"消息傳出的那個晚上,我在書中找到一些事情始末的㾗跡。同時,又令我反思,要批評政府的決定不難,但又有多少次是在我們能夠明白個中的利害取捨才去作出真正公道的批判,甚或指控呢?

要持守創造更美好的世界這份熱誠,讓自己能成為一個更好的人,卻沒有因為掌握大權而扮演上帝,談何容易?

美國公民曾經有奧巴馬這一位總統,我想,是福氣。