Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra – 10th Anniversary Concert


Musical greetings to all from MB.

The 10th-anniversary concert of the Qatar Philharmonic took place last night at the Qatar National Convention Centre. It was attended by Sheika Mousa, mother of the Ruler (Emir) of Qatar, and MB, mother of nobody. Sheika Mousa looked very well in her stylish abiya and posed for some photos at the evening’s end with some orchestral VIPs. But she did not get the pleasure of meeting MB. The humble MB much preferred to remain invisible lest he grab too much of the limelight.

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It’s the weekend


Sun & Sand.

Bad thing about the Arabian Gulf is that the sun is always shining.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Nature


Nature.

Thanks to Patti for this week’s challenge.

MB featured Casa Doina restaurant in a previous post of random shots from Romania, where he travelled in August 2018 with daughter MB2.

The restaurant is a mostly ‘eating outside’ experience, in the midst of a small forest in the centre of Bucharest city. If ever in Bucharest…….!

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Lens-Artists Challenge – Shadows


Thanks to Tina for the ‘Shadows’ challenge.

Don’t you just freak when you appear, ghost-like, in your own shot?!!!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Landscape


Thanks to Amy for this week’s challenge. Last week’s actually – MB comes to it a little late!

The below shot isn’t anything to write home about MB guesses. It would never win any photo prizes. It isn’t nearly as spectacular as the many landscape shots that others have submitted for the challenge, if one cares to click and look. Read More

It’s the weekend


Qatar won the Asian Football Cup tonight, beating Japan 3-1.

Earlier in the week they had beaten UAE by a 4-0 scoreline, a victory made all the sweeter by the fact that UAE is one of the countries imposing an economic and travel blockade on Qatar for last 18 months or so.

So for the weekend and week ahead, the country will be going bananas. The streets are chocka tonight with flag waving local and expats delighting in the victory.

Happy weekend to all.

Yalla Qatar!

Lens-artists Challenge – Unexpected


Unexpected.

Thanks to AC for this week’s challenge.

As MB came around a bend in the road back in HX at Christmas, he met an unexpected sight:

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It’s the weekend


Museum of Islamic Art. Doha, Qatar.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Cityscapes


Thanks to Patti for this weeks photo challenge.

MB took a 3-hour photo tour around Amsterdam some 2 years back in the company of a local professional photographer. He was a tad embarrassed at the end of the tour and somewhat reluctant to take his fat fee, having learnt so much from Irish/Arab shooter MB. In the end, however, he got over his embarrassment, grabbed the cash from the outstretched hand of MB and stuffed it gleefully into his pocket, education and cash at the same time!

More seriously, if you are into photography, and find yourself in unfamiliar territory, it’s well worthwhile to release the purse strings a little and get a local to show you the sights. MB would never have captured some of the shots he took that morning without the knowledge of the local photo lad, whose name now escapes MB.

MB took this one from the rooftop cafe of a tall building close to Amsterdam’s main train station. The sun was still illuminating most of the city but dark clouds were looming. Five minutes later the heavens opened, and the city was drenched.

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It’s the weekend


There are worse ways to spend a weekend than relaxing in a field in HX.

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Lens-Artists Challenge – My Travels


Thanks to Amy for the My Travels challenge.

MB had some memorable trips in 2018.

A trip to Turkey in May to the town of Canakkale on the Dardanelles Straits and the nearby ruins of Troy was one of the most interesting trips ever taken by MB. Trip with daughter MB2 to Romania in August was great and will live long in the memory. A residential week at Lancaster University in UK in September was memorable in the extreme, not least for meeting so many great new people, many of whom have become daily contacts of MB, and in all probability future rest-of-life friends.

The Lancaster trip also threw up the surprise revelation for MB that Lancaster Castle was the venue of the trial of the so-called ‘Birmingham Six’, a very famous legal case in modern UK/Irish history. MB has previously posted on the topic. Most, if not all, of the below pics also featured in the post. Sorry!

So Lancaster Castle, current Court of Lancaster and former prison, is MB’s selected topic for the challenge:

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The Sin Tax


Did you ever hear of a ‘sin tax’ ladies?

It’s a tax on sin.

Seriously.

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The Grange Stone Circle


Stone circles are often considered to be some kind of prehistoric seasonal calendar or places of ancient ceremony. The Grange Stone Circle in MB’s HX locality is the largest circle in Ireland, is some 45M in diameter and comprises 113 contiguous stones. It is supported by an earthen embankment, unlike circles of individual standing stones like the famous Stonehenge in England and others.  It is estimated to be some 4,500 to 5,000 years old.

The earthen embankment is some 1m higher than the inside of the circle, suggesting that the Grange circle was used for some type of public ritual. MB is aware of the visit of an American psychic lady to the circle a number of years back. During a guided tour of the circle, she informed the local guide that she had seen visions of human sacrifice in the circle. This may have happened of course, but no evidence of such activity has even been encountered during any archaeological excavations. Coins belonging to the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell were discovered during one excavation which evidenced the overnight encampment of the soldiers before attacking the city of Limerick, some 12 miles north. Much Beaker pottery has been discovered at the lowest level of the embankment.

The Grange circle sees large numbers of pre-sunrise visitors on summer and winter solstice mornings. However, in the opinion of MB, the circle is not aligned in any way to the point of sunrise on these dates. Despite many theories of locals and others, nobody truly knows why the circle was constructed, or what purpose it served. It is known that the large stones were sourced from two or three nearby locations. The headstone (largest stone) weighs some 40 metric tonnes and is the largest individual stone in any circle in Ireland.

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MB took the following shots today in late afternoon just prior to sunset:

 

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The Cliffs of Moher


In 2011 the world voted for the new seven wonders of the natural world from amongst a list of 28 finalists. The Cliffs of Moher was the single Irish entry but it was not amongst the winners. Read More

Random shots from the homeland


Some random shots from MB’s Chrismas trip to his homeland. More to follow:

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