Weekly Photo Challenge – Rare


It’s not often you will see an elderly Muslim gentleman standing beside a Western lady with a low neck-line. The lady has some Arabic influence however, as she is sporting an intricate henna tattoo on her face & neck, almost like a veil, which must please the Muslim gentleman no end!




Weekly Photo Challenge – Fun


The local drama society back in HX puts on 3 or 4 plays per year which are always well attended. The comedies are particularly popular and one normally needs to book tickets in advance to see them.

Can’t remember the name of this one, but like many others in the past, it was great fun!


At the Honey Fitz Theater, Lough Gur, Limerick, Ireland



MB & family visited the ruins at Pompeii during their recent Italy trip. Pompeii is close to the city of Naples in the Campania region of Italy, and as bad luck would have it, lies approximately 8km from Mount Vesuvius. Read More


From the movie GLADIATOR

Marcus Aurelius: Are you ready to do your duty for Rome?

Commodus: Yes, father.

Marcus Aurelius: You will not be emperor.

Commodus: Which wiser, older man is to take my place?

Marcus Aurelius: My powers will pass to Maximus, to hold in trust until the Senate is ready to rule once more. Rome is to be a republic again.

Commodus: Maximus?

Marcus Aurelius: Yes. My decision disappoints you?

Commodus: You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: Wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield, but… there are many forms of courage. Devotion, to my family and to you. But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.

Marcus Aurelius: Oh, Commodus. You go too far.

Commodus: I search the faces of the gods… for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug… where you pressed me to your chest and held me tight. Would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is it in me that you hate so much?

Marcus Aurelius: Shh, Commodus.

Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father.

Marcus Aurelius: [Marcus Aurelius gets down on his knees] Commodus. Your faults as a son is my failure as a father. Come

[Gives Commodus a hug]

Commodus: [Commodus hugs Marcus and cries] Father. I would have butchered the whole world… if you would only love me!

[Commodus begins to asphyxiate Marcus while they hug, Marcus grunts]

MB recently traveled to Italy with family. It was his first visit to the country of pasta and pizza, and much more. And it included a two-day  visit to the eternal city – Rome. Previously, MB would have selected Istanbul as his Nr 1 city on the planet. But Rome now occupies that position.

Rome is described somewhere as the city of a lifetime, as it will take a person a lifetime to understand it all. It is truly an architectural assault on the senses, with some incredible structure around every corner one turns. Huge culture and history abound, from pre-Christian to Roman Empire to Christian to modern. And food………… Such food!

As ever, MB had his gladiatorial weapon of choice in hand – his camera. The following are some of the results:


Weekly Photo Challenge – Morning


HX. Early morning, 21 June 2015. Solstice morning.

Sunrise & jet trails over the Grange Stone Circle; and a short while later, cyclists from a Limerick city club pass by on their way to the annual lakefront solstice breakfast.


Morning Sunrise



Weekly Photo Challenge – Narrow


MB travelled to Italy with family in recent days and was lucky enough to visit the ruins of Pompeii. His shot selection for ‘Narrow’ is a shot through the ruins  towards the dastardly Mount Vesuvius, which exploded in 79 AD, burying Pompei and nearby towns in some 6 to 10m of hot ash and rock. Within a few generations, the locations of the towns were forgotten and it wasn’t until approx 1750 AD that the buried town (ruins) were discovered (by a local farmer trying to drill a well on his land).

Pompeii will feature again shortly in HX Report posts.

Until then:


Pompeii ruins and Mount Vesuvius in the distance

Weekly Photo Challenge – Cherry On Top

Cherry On Top

Many hundreds of people, or even thousands, visit the Grange Stone Circle each year, 1km or so distance from HX. Most feel a sense of energy or awe in the very scenic surroundings.

From the loughgur.com website:

It is the largest standing stone circle in Ireland, 150 feet in diameter and enclosed by 113 standing stones. The largest stone is Rannach Chruim Duibh (Crom Dubh’s Division) and is over 13 feet high and weighs 40 tons. The entrance stones are matched by a pair of equally impressive slabs on the southwest side, whose tops slope down towards each other to form a v-shape.

The placing of hands and forehead on the 40-tonne headstone, to feel the power and energy of the circle, is considered the ‘cherry of top’ of the visit by many.


Grange Stone Circle


The Parting Glass

MB has a friend on fb who regularly posts a simple – “Good morning all. Have a nice day”.

So MB thought he would give you all a decent Irish ‘good night’ song.

Good night from MB!


Less than 24 hours ago, the bridges over the Bosphorus Straits were closed by Turkish army units who were attempted a coup. The coup failed. For medium-term or longer-term impacts we must wait and see. MB is no fan of Erdogan, but he does not support any coup.

MB has traveled to Istanbul a number of times in recent years and took many shots of the Bosphorus and its bridges. Herewith:



Weekly Photo Challenge – Details


2013 Shot of one of the buildings under construction at a Zaha Hadid-designed project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

IMG_8096 (1)


MB does not profess to have any great insights into the Dallas shootings. No more than anyone else who is remote from it, and remote from the USA. MB watches CNN, Fox News, BBC and reads a host of news websites, so that’s the limit of his Dallas/Black Lives Matter education in most respects.

The HX Report has, however, an avid follower in Dallas, Texas, called TC. MB came across TC a few years back on a walking tour around the HX lake back home. TC was on a quest, chasing his family roots who hailed from the HX locality some 150 or so years back. As good luck would have it, two of TC’s Irish relations were actually present on the night, and MB had the great pleasure of introducing TC to DM and PM, his very distant cousins.

Over the months and years since that initial visit of TC to MB’s home locality, TC has visited again on a number of occasions and found the HX locality very much to his liking. So much so that TC is planning to retire to HX, or some surrounding area, in the coming months. MB wishes TC well.

Back to Dallas, etc.

On waking up this morning, MB turned on his laptop as usual and saw another message from TC. It struck MB as an interesting point, given all the recent goings on; in particularly the huge and emotional debate about gun control in the US of A.

MB gives you TC’s comment verbatim, save for a few minor corrections of little consequence:

Howdy Mike. One thing I have noticed – that after the killing in Dallas, that after the attacks on Paris, the airport in Turkey, the massacre of young school children a year ago, the killings earlier this year in California: These gun nuts were saying all over the internet that if there was a person with a gun – there it would not be all those killings. Now after the Dallas shootings there is not one word about how if there was a person with a gun there, he would have stopped this from happening. Well, I guess the reason why is that there were over 100 armed police officers at the peace rally and only ONE gunman, and they could not stop this tragedy from happening. I always thought those gun nuts were closed minded and full of shit, now they are proving my point. Take care.

MB posted an article last night on facebook about gun deaths in Japan, and gives anyone who is interested, the link to access it below. Japan has a population of approximately 130M. In 2014, the last year MB could find any statistics for, the total gun deaths was 6. The reason is simple, and obvious to even a simpleton – almost nobody has access to guns in Japan, and if they do, there are vigorous checks, balances and controls.

The gun lobby has a catchy phrase – Guns don’t kill people, people do. But MB’s question to the gun lobby is – How does any person shoot another person without a gun? Answers please, in the comment box below. Thank you.

How Japan has almost eliminated gun deaths:

Keep well.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Look Up

Look Up

From a Red Bull Fighters bike night at Dubai a few years back.


See beyond “the police” for change…

MB follows a blog called ‘Don of all trades’ which is written by a policeman called Don from Missouri, USA. He is a decent guy. He has written in the past about police shootings of black people in his country, and life in general as a policeman in USA. This post was written just after the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday just past, and before the shooting of Philando Castile in St Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday; and obviously before the shooting of police officers in Dallas on Thursday night.

The post speaks for itself.

don of all trades

It is absolutely the worst kept secret that police officers are our own worst enemies.

For whatever the reasons are, we not only look agift horse in the mouth, but we question it, frisk it, shake it down, and run it for warrants just in case.


Another black man is dead, and what I’ve been reading all day is that he was killed at the hands of “the police.” This time, it happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It seems we can’t take two or three baby steps forward with rebuilding public trust before we take a giant, grown man step backwards.

All I’ve seen all day online line is that we, “the police,” are awful.

“The police” are racist.

“The police” are blood thirsty.

“The police” are violent.

“The police” are vengeful.

“The police” are acting as judge, jury and executioner on the streets of America.

“The police” killed…

View original post 1,650 more words

A stroll around the souq

Souq Waqif and surrounding streets. Doha, Qatar. 05 July 2016.


Of Camino De Santiago (and Onimac!)

Introduction by MB

The Camino De Santiago is a famous route of Christian pilgrimage that ends at the shrine of St James, in Santiago Cathedral in Galicia, NW Spain.

Read More


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