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In 1995 my job was IT Documentation manager for an international benefit consultancy and used to knock up websites for fun. A lot has changed, not in the least my energy levels and my ability to find solutions that the software that I now have available produces.

So the program of presentations is much later than I had intended.

My Blog allows me to publish pages for dates in the past – not in the future. I should have tested this feature out sooner – but here we go.

Friday 11 September – 18:00 hrs Central European Summer Time
(= 17:00 British Summer Time)
INTRODUCTION and OPENING COMMENTS
Ronald Fontyene & Paul Klaassen

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89721742891?pwd=SGxua0l2Rk9IU21PQTBmODFNY3kzQT09

(SWiS2020 (1) Meeting ID: 831 4751 2741 – Passcode: Welcome

Ronald has collected cacti and other succulents since the early 1970s. His interests in all aspects of the adaptation of succulent plants to arid and semi-arid ecosystems has resulted in a mixed collection of both cacti and other succulent plants. He says: ‘This interest goes hand in hand with my pleasure in photography, which comes in handy when illustrating articles and giving lectures.’ Ronald is a member of the Flemish cactus & succulent societies Grusonia and Lophophora, Succulenta, the BCSS and the DKG (Deutsche Kakteen Gesellschaft). For 15 years he was treasurer of Grusonia. Since 2006 he was involved in the organization of the ELK, first as secretary-treasurer and now as chairman.

After the opening comments, Ronald will entertain us with his presentation From Cederberg to Richtersveld (South Africa).
The wide surroundings along the Atlantic coast of South Africa consist of areas famous for their extreme richness of succulent plants of which many are endemic to this region. Succulent Karoo, Cederberg, Namaqualand, Knersvlakte and Richtersveld are place names that trigger the imagination of a succulent plant lover. Here we are introduced to the great botanical diversity of these regions, from the tiny Conophytum minitum to the tall Aloe pillansii, photographed during a six-day tour through fascinating landscapes.


Friday 11 September – 20:00 hrs Central European Summer Time
(= 19:00 British Summer Time)

by Ian Woolnough: “Some Pediocactus, Sclerocactus and selected associates”.

Ian first joined us on the 2003 Copiapoathon in Chile. Here he is preparing dinner at Secret Valley, south of Taltal. Since then he has travelled to the USA (to avoid language problems), Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Argentina and Peru, often with his wife Sarda. You may recognise them from their plant sales at ELK where Sarda is often seen selling the plants while Ian is sampling Belgian beers.

Tonight he will entertain us with images of the Sclerocacti and Pediocacti plus other flora, fauna and scenery in the USA from multiple visits.

Friday 11 September – 20:00 hrs Central European Summer Time
(= 19:00 British Summer Time)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88675872734?pwd=U2ttYm9HOFh3YjlMN3JsS3NCaEh6UT09

Meeting ID: 886 7587 2734
Passcode: PedioScler


Chez Pauls

Almost there! With (almost) all speakers for the Second Weekend in September 2020 (SWiS2020) having had a chance to test their presentations, this weekend’s session is primarily a chance for the speakers to meet up, exchange any questions and tips for next weekend and a chance to share a few beers.

Topic: Last meeting before SWiSS2020
Time: Sep 6, 2020 07:30 PM London


https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82653110224?pwd=STJoTTg0VkppMklhV044T25oM2o2Zz09

Meeting ID: 826 5311 0224
Passcode: Lasttime

Sunday 30 August 2020

Chez Pauls
SWiS2020 rehearsal

It has become a tradition to leave the speaker of tonight’s rehearsal until the last minute. Tonight is no exception, as Eunice Thompson from Bellflower, CA cancelled her drone flying again, this time stressed by the high number COVID-19 cases and by unrest caused by use of violence against black people in the USA.

So we’re pleased to welcome Alain Buffel from Oostende back to show us a brand new version of his presentation featuring strange plants and animals that he saw in 2018 on his trip to Australia.

Topic: Alain’s Zoom Meeting
Time: Aug 30, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88621634338?pwd=MVBoUHl5dTNLYjd3T2I3N2JFclc5dz09

Meeting ID: 886 2163 4338
Passcode: Australia

Tonight I will also present the program for the Second Weekend in September (SWiS2020) event.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Chez Pauls

SWiS2020 rehearsal

Again, today, Eunice Thompson: ‘Looking for Cacti and Succulents by drone’ was the planned program. Last week she asked to move the presentation to this week to enable her to replace her hard drive. Although she has successfully replaced her hard drive, testing it on her changed set up revealed a few more flaws.

So once again I’ll step into the frame. The last few years the Tephrocactus Study Group have had a slot at ELK. I asked if they would like to propose a speaker and/or subject to fill the slot for 2020. So far I have not had a reply, but have been asked by a BCSS Havering branch to dust down a talk entitled ‘But I don’t like Opuntias!’

I gave a presentation of this subject at the AGM of the Tephrocactus Study Group some ten years ago. It was meant to be a one-off talk – no body likes Opuntias, right?! WRONG! Each year I get at least one request for this talk, but I was never been able to find the images again. Once I put together another set of images that did the trick, gave the presentation … and misplaced the images again.

This time I have put together Version 3 (2020) and will make at least three copies of it, specially made for Zoom! With age, I have found my memory lets me down just when I need it, so this time I rely a lot more on information being displayed on-screen. This means that each slide will be displayed a lot longer rather than my usual jam-packed program, so tonight will indicate if I need more or less images.

Could all speakers please contact me with the final title of their talk, a brief biography of themselves and a brief description of their chosen subject.

I look forward to seeing you all tonight!

Topic: But I Don’t Like Opuntias! (V3, 2020)
Time: Aug 23, 2020 07:30 PM London
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88489417596?pwd=TjFyaWI4V1hha2hkZ3RJMitzek1zZz09

Meeting ID: 884 8941 7596
Passcode: Opuntia

Sunday, 16 August 2020

The Plan
It’s good to have a plan! If only to suggest what needs to be done when what is planned does not happen.

Today, Eunice Thompson: ‘Looking for Cacti and Succulents by drone’ was the planned program. Like Jonathan’s ‘Cacti in 3D’, this too has some technical challenges to overcome. The things we like about Webinars is that they allow us to share information with a large audiences (the BCSS Tuesday evening meetings now regularly attract audiences of 300 plus people from all over the world). Brian Bates from Sucre, Bolivia is a regular attendant (has he actually missed any Zoom meetings?) and we’ve enjoyed meetings where the speaker delivers the presentation from his home in Madagascar to our living rooms in Europe (including the UK), the US with clusters in Brazil, in fact anywhere in the world where people with internet access and a computer and a hunger for information about Succulent plants, including cacti, are motivated to switch on their computer at the right time.

We learned that things that work fine on a laptop in a hall with a digital projector and a screen (or sometimes just on a painted wall), can look less impressive when shared with a large audience over a great distance: movement!

This can be a dashcam video of Al driving down Cerro Perales in Chile, through fields of Copiapoa and Eulychnia, or it can be the subtle shift of the camera’s view to create the sensation of movement and depth in Jonathan’s 3D presentation. Eunice and I developed an interest in looking at our plants of interest from a different angle by using footage shot by a camera mounted on a drone. Again, it is the movement that can be tricky to share in a webinar.

Eunice has asked me to postpone her presentation while she installs and tests a new fast hard drive in her computer. Fine! So I’ll fill the gap this week by sharing with you how Jonathan and I opened the box and set up my first drone (in Jonathan’s kitchen) in 2015, flew it through a series of short test flight in the UK and then eventually for real in Chile. Once it got safely back home, my youngest son ‘borrowed’ it to help with his photographic work. It has never been seen again! I have since bought two more drones that had overcome the space and weight issues of my #1 drone. Health issues (my own and now COVID 19) and my location on Salisbury Plain, much of which is MOD owned, which means that much of it is a ‘no fly’ zone.

Fingers crossed that Eunice can show us her footage next week.

Today’s session is on Sunday 16 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST) Just click on the link below at the right time.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82942872588?pwd=SjVTK3Y4L1Rzc3RWMzVHWDFSYkFVQT09
Meeting ID: 829 4287 2588
Password: Bellflower

Next week:
Eunice Thompson: ‘Looking for Cacti and Succulents by drone’
Date and time: Sunday 23 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: DJIdrones

Tephrocactus Study Group – Speaker and subject to be announced
Date and time: Sunday 30 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: WhoTCSG

Alain Buffel:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is voordracht-australia-2020-titelblad5915.jpg

Date and time: Sunday 6 September 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: BuffelRoo

Friday 7 August 2020

Chez Pauls

Dr. Jonathan Clark: ‘Cacti and succulents in 3D’
Date and time: Sunday 9 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88687624737?pwd=VXd6Zlc2WW1JTEVSdmppWHA3ejRXdz09

Meeting ID: 886 8762 4737
Passcode: DrY3D

Jonathan has been taking 3D images and movies on trips in Chile and Mexico. In the old world of meetings-in-halls and digital projectors projecting images on screens, it was necessary for the audiences wear ‘funny looking glasses, to obtain the full benefit of the 3D effect.

Tonight he’ll show us how we can enjoy 3D without the need to wear the funny glasses and explain how the magic is achieved. It should also take a good deal less time to carefully set up the necessary equipment in the hall, but I gather it is quite time assuming for to prepare the material for 3D presentation.

Next week:
Eunice Thompson: ‘Looking for Cacti and Succulents by drone’
Date and time: Sunday 16 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: Bellflower

Tephrocactus Study Group – Speaker and subject to be announced
Date and time: Sunday 23 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: WhoTCSG

Alain Buffel:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is voordracht-australia-2020-titelblad5915.jpg

Date and time: Sunday 30 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: BuffelRoo

Sunday 2 August 2020

Chez Pauls

Today’s meeting is an Open Microphone / Camera meeting.

To join this Zoom Meeting, click on the link below, close to the start time of 19:30 BST
Time: Aug 2, 2020 07:30 PM London
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86561018009?pwd=bGhuajQ0Z0tEQ3l4UUVSbHp3VWxsZz09

Meeting ID: 865 6101 8009
Passcode: toohot

——————————————————————————————–

Future weeks:

Dr. Jonathan Clark: ‘Cacti and succulents in 3D’
Date and time: Sunday 9 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: DoctorY

Eunice Thompson: ‘Looking for Cacti and Succulents by drone’
Date and time: Sunday 16 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: Bellflower

Tephrocactus Study Group – Speaker and subject to be announced
Date and time: Sunday 23 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: WhoTCSG

Alain Buffel:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is voordracht-australia-2020-titelblad5915.jpg

Date and time: Sunday 30 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: BuffelRoo

Friday 24 July 2020

Chez Pauls

Just to confuse you, I thought that I’d announce Sunday’s meeting a few days early. Rikus is back from holiday and would like to entertain us with his trip to Tanzania that ran into a few technical problem a few weeks ago.

Rikus van Veldhuisen presents Magical Tanzania
A presentation about his latest trip to Tanzania last January with a lot of Euphorbias.

Start Time: Jul 26, 2020 07:30 PM London

To join this Zoom Meeting, click on the link below close to the start time.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84070180368?pwd=d3hTYXR4THI4cEZwZUdBL3dmNU5Xdz09

Meeting ID: 840 7018 0368
Passcode: Rikus

——————————————————————————————–

Last minute update

Rikus and I had a success test meeting this morning: his wife had bought a new tablet enabled him to play his presentation so that I could hear and see it: Success!!

But Rikus has another engagement tonight, so will go straight to the SWiS2020 event – now not too far away.

I have been working on another Chile presentation, so unless anyone has anything else to entertain us with, I can show you that.

Future meetings include:

Speaker and title to be announced
Date and time: Sunday 2 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: Who

Dr. Jonathan Clark: ‘Cacti and succulents in 3D’
Date and time: Sunday 9 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: DoctorY

Eunice Thompson: ‘Looking for Cacti and Succulents by drone’
Date and time: Sunday 16 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: Bellflower

Tephrocactus Study Group – Speaker and subject to be announced
Date and time: Sunday 23 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: WhoTCSG

Alain Buffel:

Date and time: Sunday 30 August 2020 at 7:30 pm (BST)
Meeting ID: to be announced
Password: BuffelRoo

Sunday 19 July 2020

Chez Pauls

Yesterday I had been invited to give a BCSS Branch presentation Zoom presentation to the Reading & Basingstoke Branch entitled Brazil 2018.

We experienced a few technical hitches which meant that the planned 45 minute presentation – a travelogue through the Brazilian States of Minas Gerais and Bahia – took closer to two hours. As a result we ran out of time to run Part 2 – Succulent Conservation Issues – including Cacti. Those that lasted the course suggested that we’d run Part 2 tonight.

Brazil 2018 pt 2 – Succulent Conservation Issues (incl. Cacti)
Time: Sunday, Jul 19, 2020 07:30 PM London BST

Click on the link to join the Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82248934019?pwd=YThtdmRJdXVpK3diMTJXRVpGVERUdz09

Meeting ID: 822 4893 4019
Password: conserve

We hope to have some friends from Brazil with us: Marylan and Caio Coelho, Marlon Machado and Gerardus Oltshoorn will comment on he current position on Arrojadoa marylaniae , believed to be the first cactus species to have become extinct since the IUCN started to monitor the status of living organisms in 1964, on the Melocactus conoideus project to which the BCSS Conservation made a financial contribution and to the threat posed by quarrying posed for populations of Coleocephalocereus taxa. To give the presentation a more optimistic note, Marlon took us to some populations of yet undescribed species of cacti.

I will be recording the meeting for learning and training purposes.

Hope to see you there!

Time flies! I seem to have spent most of the past week either at Zoom meetings or preparing for them.

Last week’s (nearly) speaker, Rikus van Veldhuisen is away on holiday and will redo his test presentation next week.

Inviation

Topic: SWiS2020 preparation Zoom Meeting
Time: Sunday July 12, 2020 07:30 PM London

Please Join the Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89786520774?pwd=MVFpcXJJSzAydW45dHpFenZmbzdyZz09

Meeting ID: 897 8652 0774
Password: 728575

I will report on some interesting developments in the past week. Any reports from others are very welcome, Anyone who wants to test something out for their SWiS2020 presentation are very welcome.

I will have my Cuba presentation ready to provide some entertainment and will have my weekly bottle of wine ready to enjoy a relaxed chat with friends.