Posted on September 23, 2016
Quest (noun): A long or arduous search for something.
For MB & daughter MB2 earlier this week, the quest involved a search to locate the various food outlets at the Irish National Ploughing Championships, and avail of the tasty free sample handouts. The 100,000 other attendees on that day each also had their own quests to pursue.
The NPS is Europes largest outdoor exhibition with over 1,700 exhibitors displaying, publicising and selling everything under the sun. Almost 300,000 people visited NPS over the 3 days from 20 to 22 September 2016.
So MB suggests you add the Irish NPS to your bucket list. Even if no interest in ploughing (MB never saw any!) or farming, the NPS is a spectacle on a grand scale that can be enjoyed by all.
Posted on September 13, 2016
First morning home. Top 10:
Posted on September 2, 2016
Followers of the HX Report will have seen this one before. It’s a shot taken on solstice morning, 21 June 2014, of Knockfennel Hill, which overlooks Lough Gur lake in MB’s HX homeland. MB took the shot in perfect early-morning calm, when there wasn’t a whisper of wind in the air.
The perfectly still lake surface was like clear glass, which provided the perfect mirror for the adjacent hill and the sky overhead. At left of pic, one can see a small white cloud in the sky and its mirror reflection on the surface of the water. The dark tree and its reflection provide some additional contrast to the shot and a point of interest. MBs perfect mirror!
Posted on August 26, 2016
The ruins of ‘Crokers’ estate house, framed through a whitethorn bush, directly across the road from the farmhouse where MB and siblings grew up in Grange, just north of HX, Limerick, SW Ireland.
Posted on August 19, 2016
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!
Posted on August 12, 2016
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!
Posted on August 11, 2016
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
Posted on August 9, 2016
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.
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:
Posted on August 6, 2016
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.
Posted on August 1, 2016
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.
Posted on July 22, 2016
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.
Posted on July 21, 2016
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!
Posted on July 16, 2016
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:
Posted on July 15, 2016
2013 Shot of one of the buildings under construction at a Zaha Hadid-designed project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.