Posted on December 24, 2019
Greetings to all and Happy Christmas & New Year from MB.
To wrap up 2019, MB has decided to give you all an English essay from 18-year-old (as she was then) daughter of MB, namely MB2. MB2 wrote the following essay during the pressure-cooker days of her final secondary school exams of June 2019. Proud dad got hold of a copy yesterday and took MB2’s permission to post it.
From the pen of MB2 – Dawn & Dusk
Dawn & Dusk. Two extraordinarily different events that are too often labeled as such mundane happenings. The sun goes up and the sun goes down. How cruel it is to generalise such magnificent times of the day, to talk down the magic they possess.
Let me start with dawn. The best thing about dawn is that it is a certainty. Regardless of what time the sun goes down, or how long the night lasts, dawn will always be there to bring light back to the world in all its beauty and silence. To watch dawn is to experience life. One moment, the darkness engulfs the world in hues of navy blue and ink black and the next these colours transform into pastel orange and duck egg blue.
Even before the sun comes up, dawn is changing the world, illuminating everything you see and slowly but surely returning to the earth. Dawn also signals the first sounds of the day, cockerels sounding their identifiable call and finches beginning the day with a sweet melody. The first car revs it’s engine as the sleepy owner prepares to make the arduous journey to work. And then, like an apparition, the first glimmer of sun shines over the horizon, casting light into everything in its path. As the rest of the ball of light emerges from its slumber, so does the rest of the world. The sun shines in through bedroom windows gently coaxing young children out of sleep. Animals of all kinds wake up with the glorious light of the sun as their alarm. The most magical moment of the dawn is when the light from the rising sun catches the morning dew on the grass and the entire lawn seems to glimmer like the Indian Ocean. Dawn is the symbol of new beginnings, of getting up and starting or trying again or succeeding or failing, but of doing. Dawn epitomises the phrase, ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’, because it is the light at the end of the tunnel. Even after the darkest night, when it seems as though light will never return to the earth again, the dawn pulls through and the sun shines down on the earth in all its glory like a natural manifestation of God.
As dawn is light and silence, so is dusk intense and loud. Both beautiful enough to make a grown man shed a tear, dusk is a different kind of beauty. A beauty that is so intense, it demands to be looked at, to be taken notice of. As the end of the day draws to a close the pale blue sky is illuminated by a hundred different shades trying to take over the sky. Violent shades of purple, flame orange, blood red, marshmallow pink and stabs of pastel yellow all try to manifest across the sky resulting in what looks like the most beautiful Monet ever to grace the earth. And none of that compares to the sun itself. As it sinks further into the horizon, dusk is the one time where the sun’s true form is actually visible. A flaming mass of gas that looks as though it could set the whole world alight with even the faintest touch. What comes with dusk is the appearance of the moon and the first stars of the night. Their sereness balances out the intense power of the sun as it is consumed by the horizon. That’s when the dark takes over. A comforting darkness that tenderly assures you that it will watch over you as you sleep. That the stars themselves will send you dreams so beautiful they could never be replicated on screen. And the moons light shines down on the earth watching over us all and there as a reminder that the sun is coming once more.
Dawn and dusk. Two extraordinary events that both signify a beautiful beginning and end.
Posted on December 16, 2019
Posted on December 13, 2019
MB decided to kick off his weekend with an early-morning stroll along Doha Corniche this morning. The Corniche is MB’s favourite walk in Doha, being 5km long, give or take. So if one parks one’s car at the Islamic Museum car park at one end, as MB normally does, one gets the full 5km and the same back. 10km. Walk or run. As you wish. Or mix the two. As MB often does. Read More
Posted on December 6, 2019
Posted on December 6, 2019
Thanks to PA for the Abstract challenge.
Voila – MB’s offering:
On first impressions, the above small section of a vaulted church ceiling seems abstract in appearance. On closer inspection, one sees the remains of religious murals, mostly long disappeared by the vigors and passage of time. MB took the above shot in July 2019 during a visit to the Selexyz Dominican Bookstore in Maastricht, Holland, easily the most beautiful bookstore that MB has ever visited.
The church was built by the Dominican Order in 1294. All went swimmingly for exactly 500 years until French Emperor Napolian invaded in 1794 and expelled the Dominicans from the country. Since then, the church has served as a parish church, a warehouse, and an archive. In 2007 some bright spark had the great idea to turn the building into the stunning bookshop that we see today.
One can make out a coffee shop in the area of the former church altar area (if one has a magnifying glass!) in MB’s below pic. MB tasted its wares on his visit and can recommend it highly. What better way to enjoy a freshly-smelling new book than sitting in an old church altar, drinking tasty coffee and munching delicious fresh pastries?! Absolutely none, if MB can answer his own question!