It’s the weekend


Weather – Qatar.

Irish people love to talk weather-talk. ‘Fine day’ or ‘soft day’ are often conversation openers, and are very acceptable replacements for ‘hello’ or ‘howrya’.

The Irish in Qatar sure had a lot to talk about last Saturday.

Saturday last witnessed an entire year’s average rainfall of approx 75mm in a torrential 6 hours, replete with ear-shattering thunder and a most impressive display of forked lightning. And like all countries of the Arabian Gulf where such weather is a rarity, when heavy rains arrive, the roads and road drainage systems of Qatar are unable to cope. Minor roads in particular often have low-lying sections (many of them) with no drainage outlets, or sand-clogged drainage outlets, so deep flooding is the order of the day. Cars regularly get stuck or abandoned.

MB was stuck in almost-static heavy traffic in the midst of it all when his car lost all power for a minute or two, except for the merciful fact that the engine did not cut out and thankfully kept ticking over. Thankfully also, this happened when the traffic was actually static. The same thing happened another five or six times during the 1.5-hour journey, a journey that normally takes 10 minutes. But each time the car lost power, it regained power moments or minutes later, and moved on.

It was real heart-in-the-mouth stuff on MB’s journey back to the office, assuming that the car would konk out at any moment and thousands of cars would start tooting their angry toots at MB, who had already decided that waving and smiling would be his response.

Today, five days later, some minor watery evidence of last Saturday’s biblical event is still evident, and MB’s car engine just doesn’t sound so healthy each morning when it starts. A visit to the car doctor is on the agenda in the coming days.

Have a nice weekend!

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Nepal, India or China? Know your tea!


For the tea lovers amongst you……

Buddha walks into a wine bar ...

So which tea do YOU prefer? Even if it’s “Yorkshire” or “Tetleys” it has to come from somewhere and it’s most likely from one of the big three.
We have experienced tutored tea tastings in Nepal and China which were just like wine tastings in France, but instead of different grapes, regions or vignerons……. it was tea.

Tea tasting, Shanghai

To a couple of tea lovers like ourselves the coffee-shop explosion in the U.K. is a mystery, everywhere you turn there’s a Costa, Starbucks, Nero, Coffee One, Wild Bean, Coffee Republic ……and also places where coffee is “free” such as with your Waitrose card in the supermarket. Every garage has a Coffee takeaway and people fill up with fuel then buy their obligatory coffee in a cardboard cup to go. Whatever happened to pots of tea in Lyons, Kardomah, Ceylon Tea Centre? These were the places where you weren’t just…

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IT’S THE WEEKEND


Doha Corniche

MB’s below shot is a close-up of part of the skyline of Doha’s Corniche (seafront). The view towards the sea at night throws up the outlines and lights of Arabic dhow boats taking tourists out for a short spin on the Arabian sea, which is somewhat flat and a tad boring. But if one turns one’s head, then one catches the below far more exciting – some would say – view.

The 5km corniche circumference is fully pedestrianised and is a haven for joggers and families out for a walk, at weekends in particular once the sun goes down. MB regularly walks and runs its length. FYI – The yellow building is known locally, colloquially, as ‘The Condom’!

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It’s The Weekend


The Holy Trinity Abbey Church, Adare, County Limerick, Ireland

The Holy Trinity Church in Adare is some 800 years old and has a very interesting history. Read More

It’s The Weekend


Ballybunion Beach

Ballybunion village and its adjoining beach are called after the Bunyan family who lived in the castle (in pic) in the early part of the 14th century.

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