Posted on April 11, 2013
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) south west of Mauritius, the nearest island. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, is part of the Eurozone.
But one comment caught MBs attention (which he put in his brain to tell you later), when a guy mentioned people who post their ‘issues’ and personal problems up for all to see. His comment was: Face your problems – don’t Facebook them! Pretty clever words (for an American) thought MB to himself!
90 Year old husband & 15 Year old wife
Why Edvard Munch is not as great an artist as MB
In 1895 the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch painted what would become the most valuable paintings in the world, called ‘The Scream’. http://www.sothebys.com/en/sales-series/2012/impressionist-modern-art-evening-sale/overview.html He actually painted 4 versions of the painting over a number of years.
This is Munch’s explanation of how he came up with the idea:
I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.
If you believe the above lads, you have the IQ of the mug that contains the tea or coffee you are presently drinking. Munch is talking complete BS!
MB has a different theory. Herewith:
The diarrhea preventing drug Immodium had not been invented in the year 1895. The guy in the picture seems to be in a state of extreme discomfort. I think we can safely add 2+2 and come up with 4 lads. Munch painted a picture of some friend in a state of diarrhea induced stress. I think we will all agree that this is far more plausable explanation than the BS “infinite scream passing through nature” explanation. Thank you & Sukran lads.
- The Man: Edvard Munch
- Nationality: Norwegian (enough said!)
- Trade: Painter (the term is used very loosely in the case of Munch – unless we want to say ‘house painter’ – assuming he gave the occasional lick of emulsion paint to the walls & ceilings of his apartment).
- Work: The Scream
- Clarity: Totally blurry. Possibly painted whilst under the influence of alcohol. Or Munch was extremely short sighted.
- Attempts to get it right: 4. Munch painted this open mouthed buffoon 4 times, as he obviously came to conclusion that each effort was complete crap
- Artistic Merit: Sweet FA (as we say back home in HX)
- Could Homer Simpson have produced it: Definitely – yes. Or even his son Bart. Or even the cretinous neighbour Ned Flanders.
- Similarities to The Mona Lise – You gotta be kidding!
- Profound in any sense: You are having a laugh. Total no.
- Monetary Value: USD 120M, at auction in 2012 (what a joke).
- Will anyone still remember it 100 years from now: Absolutely no f*****g way – assuming increasing IQ levels in the intervening period. If we regress as a people to the level of the chimpanzee, then Munch will be the most popular dead Painter on the planet.
- Nett value to the world of art: Minus 100
- The Man: MB
- Nationality: HX
- Trade: Photo/Scribe Man
- Work: The Yawn Scream
- Clarity: Tack sharp!
- Attempts to get it right: One shot. And he didn’t blow the opportunity! (thanks Eminem!)
- Artistic Merit: Loadz
- Could Homer Simpson have produced it: It would be foolish to underestimate HS. He always seems to find a solution in the end. So we will answer the question initially with a – No (‘La‘ in the Arabic lads). But if Homer could find 5 or 6 Photographers who were on week off from National Geographic, and they pooled their entire photographic brainpower, and spent a week editing it on Photoshop – then maybe, just maybe, Homer & the lads from Nat Geo might come close. But match it – not!
- Similarities to The Mona Lisa: There are many. The Mona Lisa – Was it a happy smile or a sad smile? The Yawn Scream – Is it a yawn or is it a scream? Is she a 3rd World lady screaming against the injustice of the 1st world, in the location of the mega rich in Dubai, on the occasion of the richest horse race in the world? Or is she just tired of working endless hours for a tiny maid’s salary in some wealthy local villa or palace – and it’s a yawn of fatigue? So many questions lads. So few answers.
- Profound: Hugely. See last.
- Monetary Value: Presently zero (but for how much longer?).
- Will anyone still remember it in 100 years from now: It will be revered.
- Nett value to the Artistic World: Beyond infinity.
We actually featured pic of RM few weeks back standing in front of a giant mining truck. And I am lead to believe ladies that this 20 something hunk of Irish manhood is still single and available. And if he can write like this ladies you can just imagine the sweet nothings he might whisper in your ear as he took you to Glynn’s Fish & Chip Shop in Bruff village for the 1st date. Emails of interest please to MB ladies, and MB will pass them on.
This is a project I was asked to go on by the company I currently work for. It appealed to me because this was not your typical mine site job. The job involved providing medical care to a group of environmental scientists who are monitoring a breeding program for flat back turtles offshore on an island approx 30k off the mainland…………
The job itself ran over 10 days and was all night-work. This involved getting on a catamaran style boat and traveling 30km to the island. We would anchor off the island waiting on tidal changes to allow us assess to the island via a small dingy with an outboard motor. While at anchor we would eat our dinner looking out at some of the best sunsets and surrounding I have ever seen, and the odd lighting show far off in the distance out at sea……….
I was unsuccessful in finding any hatchlings until the second last night, when I was digging out a nest, and there about 2 feet down – a little hatchling. It was amazing to see this process. When they come out of the shell they have a food source like the yoke of an egg attached to their tummy. They eat this and get the energy to dig their way out of a nest that is 3 feet down in the sand, make there way down to the beach and swim for the next 24 hours for survival. Truly amazing stuff when you see how small there are………
Jack Warner – From KH
Posted on April 5, 2013
Posted on April 4, 2013
Hope all well with kith & kin. MB arrived back in Saudi on Wednesday after 10 days in Dubai.
Apologies for all the spelling mistakes & typos in last week’s effort lads. Made the corrections in due course but alas after I published. Also had thought might mention a few small things to you this week that might make the blog reading experience more enjoyable. So please note:
- If you click on the blog title at top of the email (the word ‘Style’ this week) you will be automatically redirected to the HX website which gives a better ‘read experience’ than the basic email that you receive.
- Even if you just read the blog from the email (or from the website), you can enlarge any photo for a better look – by double clicking on the particular photo.
- Feel free to leave comment in the comment box at the bottom.
- Also feel free to join anyone else up to follow the blog by using the email/follow system at the end.
This week’s pics are entirely from MBs visit to the Meydan race track in Dubai last Saturday night. Mentioned to you last week was intending to go there, and al hamdallah was able to attend. Took many pics, but this week I give you pics of some of the style on view. Some very tasty, some not. But all very interesting. Hope you enjoy.
Music – Conor Linnie
The idea with the music every week lads is that you click on the link, let the music play, and continue reading the blog. Got it?!
Ok lads – this week’s music suggestion comes from RQ, who has recommended her guitarist friend called Conor Linnie. Looked him up – he comes from Wicklow in SE Ireland. Happy to oblige RQ. Hope you all like lads:
A camera or a wife?
Met an Arab work colleague in recent days lads and remembered that a few months back he informed MB that he was about to buy decent camera. MB offered words of encouragement at the time and wished him well. On inquiring if he had made the purchase when our paths again crossed, he shocked MB with his answer.
“No MB, I did not buy the camera. Instead I am looking for a wife“.
MB was speechless. Dumbfounded. Stuck to the ground, and momentarily dizzy before regaining his composure. “A wife instead of a camera. Are you serious?“ replied MB, calling the teaboy at same time to fetch some camomile to help the brain relax from the shock. “Yes MB, I am serious.” Some moments of quiet reflection between us followed.
“And are you looking for any nationality in particular?“ asked MB as the camomile kicked in, and the brain suddenly returned to ‘razor sharp’ mode. “Local perhaps?” enquired MB. “I would love to take a local lady MB” he answered, “but for financial reasons I will now go for Phillipino or other“. “Masha’allah” (Praise the Lord) said MB, not exactly knowing what else to say, but added quickly “can you explain further?“.
“Yes indeed MB. To take a local will involve immediate expenditure of 30,000 Dirhams (Euro 6,000) to her family – just to take permission from them for the marriage. Then I must immediately buy her jewelry to value of minimum 10,000 (Euro 2,000) as is the local custom. And that’s before any marriage costs, good accommodation for her to move into, clothes, and many other things. I cannot afford. So that is my reason MB“.
“Well my friend, life is never simple“ said MB, “and you must do what you must do. But can I suggest that you review your original decision to chose the wife before the camera. For fraction of the cost of a local woman you could acquire top of the range Canon. Might I suggest the ‘5D Mark 3’ model, as it has many advantages:
- will always produce a clear sharp result, unlike a local lady perhaps
- will generally never let you down, if it receives even minimal attention, unlike a local lady for sure
- and will always give a big performance in ‘low light’ conditions, for certain unlike a local lady”
The young Arab lad sat back in his chair and looked to the sky in deep thought. No more words were exchanged between us as he pondered the life advice he had just received. MB stole quietly from the room, and wondered what the coming weeks and months might bring for his young friend. A camera or a wife? Just another of the forks in the road we meet on life’s journey.
Time for another camomile!
Dubai Style (forget Gangnam!)
As I already informed you lads, went to the horse racing at Meydan last Saturday night. Some very fine fillies on view, in addition to the horses. Haha lads!
Will give you some different pics next week, also from same night but with different theme. In the meantime take a look at the Dubai ladies. My personal favourite must admit is the Indian lady in the blue Sari, Nr 65 towards the end. And to make Irish ladies really sick, please note ladies that all the pics were taken between 7pm & 10pm on a beautiful warm Dubai night. No wind, no rain, no sleet nor snow!
Pleased to receive any feedback from female Crossers – what do you like or not like. Have given them numbers for easy reference. To all male Crossers – please keep comments and thoughts to yourselves! Enjoy:
Ok lads. Thats it for another week. Enjoy weekend. Regards to all.
Posted on March 30, 2013
Posted on March 29, 2013
Selling blankets outside the Mosque
Where’s my whip?!
This Week’s Pics
And in new addition to the blog lads I have challenged work colleague and friend OL, who likes taking pics, to give me one pic per week for next four weeks which I will feature. Trying to motivate lazy OL to get off his ass and start using his camera again. And am also featuring great pic from young HX based apprentice Shooter TM. This pic is a real gem. In honour of the two contributors I am calling this section of the blog The Tom & Osama Corner (HX native & Egyptian).
This lad seems to have bought that red blanket
So now throwing this invitation out to all lads – anyone can send pic to MB to include in the HX – until I change my mind – which is a man’s prerogative! But if MB thinks the pic is garbage he will just delete and inform you that (sadly) it did not meet the minimum MB requirements (which are unspecified and ever changing!)
MB receives verbal attack!
So MB, trying to avoid a crowd gathering around and maybe lynching MB, lowered his camera, and said “lau samah, mafi photo” (excuse me, no photo), trying to stop the old lad shouting.
But just as MB raised his camera to take yet another prize winning pic, a large rough hand grabbed MB by the shoulder from behind. The same lad. Lots more shouting ensued into the face of MB, which finished in a question the MB understood fully – “Muslim?”. “La, Christian” (no, Christian) replied MB. The shouting then continued, and MB understood that it roughly translated as ” Please Mr Christian gentleman, would you be so polite as to leave the grounds of the Mosque” – or words to that effect. So MB, still keeping his personal safety foremost in his thoughts, lowered his camera, and his head, walked quickly to his car, and drove off.
Getting Older – Your skin
A cure for ageing?
With life expectancy soaring, we’re desperate for new tricks to stop the outward signs of ageing, but can you turn back the clock without resorting to plastic surgery? Kelly Rose Bradford investigates the cutting-edge – but knife-free – secrets to eternal youth.
Enemy at the Gates
Fire fighter Abdullah Badhan Al Subai had to rescue a young boy from a burning building in Jeddah lads, and there is great pic of him in the below link as he brings the boy out. He has removed his own oxygen mask to place it over the boys head, at risk to himself. “Ara twas nothing” said Abdullah (using Irish English), as the media heaped the praise on the new Saudi hero.
UAE Death Sentence
Dubai: A Pakistani man will be executed for repeatedly slitting a prostitute’s neck and stealing her cash and mobile phones. The 29-year-old murderer A.K. lost his petition on Monday before the Dubai Cassation Court that confirmed the capital punishment against him. Dubai’s highest court rejected his plea to have his capital punishment cancelled or reduced to imprisonment.
Paris: Backlash is growing in France against a court ruling in favour of a Muslim employee of a private nursery school who was fired after she refused to take her headscarf off. A new poll has found that four-fifths of people in France would back a proposal to ban Muslim headscarves and other visible signs of religion in private companies. France’s Interior Minister, who is in charge of religions as well as being the top security official, came out against the ruling last week. In the poll released Monday, 85 per cent of respondents opposed the decision, and more than 80 per cent said they back a ban in private workplaces and schools.
Truck load of spices & seeds
Reluctant Emigrant – DH
MB went through torture to get the ‘shoe shot’
The Tom & Osama Corner
Tom’s Shot from HX. Can you see the fox & the duck lads?
Posted on March 22, 2013
Posted on March 21, 2013
Atlantis On The Palm Hotel, Dubai
MB arrives at the Atlantis
Lots of expensive shops selling top end designer goodies
Wednesday was also International Happiness Day lads, so inshallah you all had big smiles on your faces. UAE featured very high up on the international index of happiest countries lads, which did nor surprise MB. Told you recently that there will be no revolt against the Rulers in UAE, as the locals are very well looked after, have very high incomes generally, have good schools, reasonably good health service and some very good infrastructure. Unlike some Muslim countries there is high level of tolerance of others beliefs and there is also much to do socially. So in short lads the locals are v happy. UAE was 17th overall on the index – ahead of Britain!
Lights mimic sea shells
Ajman: The UAE ranks highest among Gulf countries — as well as and above Britain and Iceland — in the World Happiness Report, it was revealed during the Quality of Life conference in Ajman on Tuesday.
Out of 156 countries ranked, the UAE is 17 — the regional best — beating Saudi Arabia’s 26. A step below the UAE is Britain at 18 while Iceland ranks 20.
Denmark is the world’s happiest country while the least happy is Togo, a small West African state, the report suggests.
The conference, at Kempinski Hotel Ajman, was held a day ahead of the International Day of Happiness (March 20)
This Week’s Pics
Featured Ballyneety Golf Club back home in HX in recent blog. Nice to see the project coming to fruition. A few familiar faces in the pic also, which many from HX will recognise.
I came across an Arab gentleman recently ladies, and he felt the need to tell MB his troubles, no doubt hoping that MB would provide solution. What’s new says you lads! The problem is that he, like most Arab men, wants to produce a son & heir. Think I told you previously lads that when a man (let’s call him Mohammad) has a son (lets call him Abdullah), the man will be happy for all to call him by a new name – Abu Abdullah – father of Abdullah, and he will more or less lose his old name of Mohammad. He will never be referred to as Abu Fatima, if he had a daughter, that is just not the way the system works.
I asked him how Wife Nr 1 would react if he took a wife Nr 2. He said that there would be a small bit of “crying” but it would not last very long he felt. However, he said that as long as the wife Nr 1 is happy to keep trying to produce a son, he is happy to keep trying only with her. And only if she wants to stop will he look at the Nr 2 option. Masha’allah (Praise the Lord).
And then come back for 2nd desert!
Abu Dhabi Week
The above son-less Arab was not the only request for help that MB received during the week lads. Female Crosser COH contacted MB looking for a very ‘specification specific’ Irish female – she wanted to interview an Irish teacher, working in the UAE, who must come only from the Donegal area in the North West of Ireland. MB immediately called on HX Crosser network lads and within 24 hours we had produced the required result. COH seemingly wants to interview the Irish teacher lady for her Magazine in Abu Dhabi and inshallah we will feature the interview in due course when it is published, with COH permission. Anyway, here is link to COH mag called Abu Dhabi Week, which MB was previously unaware of:
Mentioned this case to you a few weeks ago lads where a large group of locals are being accused of trying to form a political grouping, along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to overthrow the Rulers of the UAE. They are facing very long jail sentences if found guilty.
The Reluctant Emigrant (DH)
Ana Taaban lads (I am tired lads!)
The center piece display at the hotel lobby. The 2 ladies give you a sense of scale.
East meets West
Posted on March 15, 2013
Posted on March 14, 2013
Salam to you all.
We have new Pope al hamdallah lads. The German was a non-entity I think. But had impossible act to follow after JP2. All the TV commentators caught wrong footed when the name was announced, as they struggled for info on Francie. Was nice to see!
Washing before prayer. Like the way you caught the sun on her face MB. Don’t mention lads. Take these kind of shots all the time.
Two things struck me about him. He has warm smile and I suspect a very good sense of humour. MB said to himself, after the brief initial words at the window balcony, that MB could easily spend a night in the pub back home in HX with Francie. Talking about the price of cattle Why Mrs Dillon’s chickens are not laying as many eggs as they used to. What local sinners might be up to, or even how the HX football team are doing at the mo. Being from Argentina he might have some useful pointers for us on the football. Yes lads MB could easily shoot the breeze with Francie over a few glasses of Red I think.
Anyway, good luck to him – Habemus Papam!
Ex Catholic lady, now a Muslim married to local Muslim, explains the traditions & Islamic practices
This weeks photos lads….. Come from very interesting recent visit to Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai, and from the back streets of an area called Bur Dubai (in Dubai) which is a haven for tourists seeking fake (or real but cheap) designer bags and such like, plus one or two other pics besides. Hope you like.
Who says a lady in a Burka can not be glamorous?!
The Jumairah mosque just mentioned is one of the venues for the ‘Open Doors/Open Minds’ centres for cultural understanding founded by the legend himself Sheikh Mo. They also run cultural breakfasts & lunches in one of the oldest areas of Dubai (Bastakia area) & also heritage tours of that particular locality.
Inside the Mosque – the dome ceiling
The mosque is open to non-Muslims at 10am every morning and a Muslim lady (a very glamorous one on the morning MB visited with family & friends) separates the fact from the fiction for the visitors. It’s explained that many beliefs that non-Muslims may have about Islam are very often absolutely nothing to do with the religion itself, but more probably geographical cultural traditions from the different areas of the Arab world. Like the Burka for example. Anyway lads, if ever you are lucky enough to come out these part I give a high recommend to visit Jumairah mosque in Dubai.
Picture is the Kabba at Mecca, the holiest shrine of Islam
The Great White Satan
So there I was on Wednesday night lads, watching the Barca game in the hotel lobby, in the company of a work colleague from Sudan – Khartoum, in the Arab Muslim North of that country. He happened to invite 2 fellow Sudanese friends along, one of them was only very recently ‘off the boat’ and just getting to grips with the scene in Saudi.
Mohammad shows us how its done
This guy threw intriguing question at MB……
“Sir, are you treated well in Saudi Arabi or do they treat you like a Great White Satan, as Saudi is very strict Muslim country, and you are kaffir (non-believer)”.
Preparing to pray
Or similar word to that effect lads. My work colleage, his friend, smiled broadly, as he has witnessed many times recently how MB is treated by the average Joe out these parts. Yes indeed lads, the average Saudi Mohammad treats MB (or any Western lad) with extreme politeness and respect, which is often in contradiction to the way he treats his fellow Saudi’s. It is amusing for me at times to take it all in, and thankfully am blessed with GSOH to smile at it all.
A few examples lads:
Was passing through Security going to work last week in company of colleagues from India & Sudan (same Sudan lad as above Barca story). Security Guard made everyone show their ID cards. But when MB moved his hand towards his bag to get his ID, Security Guard immediately indicated that in the case of MB the card was not necessary. On seeing the more favourable treatment received by MB, young Sudanese friend nearly got sick!
I definitely prefer her without the veil!
A few days later I had to leave the project during the working day, and had to pass through exact same Security gate. As I approached the barrier, Security Guard (a different guy) asked me to get out of the car. Most unusual behaviour thought MB, as they never check MBs car boot (trunk) and normally wave him through, unlike the treatment they give to 99% of others.
Anyway, on getting out of car SG asks MB to enter the Security Gatehouse. At this stage there are 2 or 3 vehicles stuck behind MBs car waiting patiently. On entering the gatehouse SG immediately presents MB with glass of cola and slice of cake – it’s his birthday! MB wishes him well in broken Arabic and SG is v pleased to receive the warm MB b/day wishes. MB, feeling guilty about the waiting fellow motorists, wolfed back the cake & cola asap and shook hands with SG wishing him luck for life. SG smiled from ear to ear at his new Irish friend.
Flower box outside the Mosque
On asking for mutton stew at the Afghan cafe last weekend the owner and I watch together as he spooned the warm aromatic meat and sauce into the bowl from the big pot. On seeing a chunk of meat with some fat on it he immediately flicked it back into the pot knowing that this particular piece of meat was not honouring his Irish guest. He flicked his eyes to the rest of the customers and smiled at MB. The clear message was that this piece of meat would be ok for the regulars but he was ensuring the MB only consumed the best cuts. MB said ‘sukran jazilan’ a few times (‘thanks very much’) and owner was very happy & proud man.
A Muslim cat lazes in the morning sun at the Mosque entrance
So lads, I did not give full answer to the question asked by young Sudan lad watching the Barca game. Merely told him that I am treated very well. Too well in fact. Have reported to you a few times in the past that I experienced preferential treatment a number of times in the UAE on account of fact that I am Western expat. The fact that I am not a Muslim is not even a consideration. But in Saudi I must say that the experiences are even more numerous. Maybe its a cultural thing. I have not quite worked it out yet.
So in the meantime lads, I guess I will just keep drinking the cola & eating the cake!
If a man or woman is sentenced to death out these parts there is possibility under Sharia law that the family of the dead person (assuming the death sentence was imposed for murder) might accept blood money instead of seeing the guilty party executed (by beheading in Saudia Arabia). Recent case is causing some disquiet as the family are asking for millions of dollars to spare the life of the guilty party. Read on lads:
“We need to have a ceiling to avoid the tragedies that are unfolding today,” a blogger posted on the site of Sabq, a news provider. “The victim’s family should pardon the culprit, ask for a sensible amount or refuse to pardon him. The option to ask for incredible amounts of money should be ruled out and the government should step in,” the blogger, I Am Here, wrote.
Outside Dubai Museum
And in a related story lads the Saudi Gov are thinking of switching to Firing Squads from the more traditional ‘beheading by sword’ method. The Swordsman’s Union of the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia (SUKSA) is none too pleased at the moment. Negotiations are ongoing:
Firing squads could replace executioners
Manama: Saudi Arabia could soon replace beheading with a sword by a firing squad when carrying out the death penalty in public.
“A specialised committee made up of representatives from the ministries of interior, justice and health as well as the commissions of investigation and prosecution, the public security and the prison general directorate are looking into a study that replaces beheading by a firing squad,” sources told local Arabic daily Al Youm.
However, the country’s area governors have already been given the right to resort to the firing squad, the sources said.
“They can use their own discretion for the execution if the court does not specify how the capital punishment verdict is to be carried out,” the unidentified sources said. “Using the firing squad is not against Islam.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
How many times have I informed you in the past lads that Sheikh Mo is a total lege? Too many to count lads.
Well this week lads he has gone and done it again. On Facebook. SM stuck up a post few days back informing us that the Government is disolved, some new appointments have taken place, this ministry is no more, some new Ministry is now in place and the Dubai ship sails merrily onwards. First I heard of it lads. And now with one simple posting on Facebook Sheikh Mo gives us the glorious news that that he has disposed of some tyre kickers and introduced some fresh young blood into the scene of Government. Allah u Akbar!
Imaging the scene in Ireland lads if you wanted to do the same. Endless sleep inducing debates in our Parliament, long winded BS speeches from lacky gobshite politicians, election fever (disease actually), loads of TV time taken up at the expense of football & golf, and just general time wasting mayhem. But not in Dubai lads. No Siree lads. Call them in. Hire them. Fire them. And post it all on Facebook following day.
Any brand you like lads!
From Sheikh Mo Facebook page
Brothers and Sisters, The formation of a new Cabinet in the UAE government will be announced soon. It will include new and young faces. We will have four new ministers and a new ministry, in addition to some structural changes. The former team of ministers have performed their duty, serving their country. UAE never forgets the achievements of its loyal citizens. Such amendments are made to accelerate the pace of development in our country and to further achieve the aspirations of our people. There will be young faces with new ideas and energy to keep up with the rapid changes and to deal with our people’s top priorities.
I recently thanked an Australian friend for giving Irish Aussie legend Ned Kelly a decent burial after all these years. Nice to see respect for Ned and his Irish homeland, from the sons and daughters of the criminal classes of Britain from few centuries back. Good on ya sports!
A crowd of up to 200 people gathered at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wangaratta, 252kms north east of Melbourne, Australia, to attend a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the life of Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly (1855-1880). The son of John ‘Red’ Kelly of Moyglass, Co. Tipperary and Ellen Kelly (nee Quinn) of Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Ned Kelly was the last and arguably the most famous outlaw in Australian history. The Kelly Gang – Ned, his younger brother Dan, best friend Joe Byrne and Dan’s friend Steve Hart – were all born in north east Victoria, still known as Kelly Country.
The fame of Ned Kelly today thrives in Australia and abroad, and the story of the Kelly Gang is still a polarising one. Most commonly, Ned Kelly is considered a folk hero, while others decry him as a criminal. Regardless of personal opinion, it remains true that a great Australian compliment is still to say that one is “as game as Ned Kelly”.
Ned Kelly’s wish, for his body to be given to his family so it could be buried in consecrated ground, took a long time to fulfil – 132 years, to be exact. After his execution, the outlaw was interred within prison confines, and it wasn’t until 2011 that the remains of condemned prisoners were uncovered, and subsequent mitochondrial DNA testing through a descendant of Ellen Quinn Kelly positively identified Ned Kelly’s skeleton.
Ned Kelly was buried in a private ceremony at a tiny rural graveyard; where he finally rests in the arms of his family and the heart of Kelly Country.
A purse or wallet of your choice
John Brennan – New CIA Chief
As part of the ongoing Irish take over of Planet Earth and the entire Universe lads, I am pleased to announce the appointment of one John Brennan as new head of the CIA in the good old U S Of A. Non-disclosure agreements prevent me divulging if the HX & Crosser Brotherhood had anything to do with the appointment lads, but let us just say that not much goes on in this world in terms of Irish advancement without the guiding fatherly hand of the the higher echelons of Crosserhood.
Brennan is the son of of Roscommon emigrants to the US and no doubt served his time back home every summer helping the cousins pick potatoes and milk the cows. If any of you fancy private trip around CIA HQ in Langley, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA lads, please drop me discreet email and will see what I can do.
Perfumes & Handbags
Brennan, the son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, was raised in North Bergen, New Jersey. He attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School, and graduated from Saint Joseph of the Palisades High School in West New York, New Jersey before enrolling at Fordham University in New York City.
While riding a bus to class at Fordham, he saw an ad in The New York Times that said the CIA was recruiting, and felt a CIA career would be a good match for his “wanderlust” and his desire to do public service. He received a B.A. in political science from Fordham in 1977. His studies included a junior year abroad learning Arabic and taking Middle Eastern studies courses at the American University in Cairo. He also received a Master of Arts in government with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. He speaks Arabic fluently.
The Oatmeal – At The Gym: Who is looking at whom
Every time I read one of the comics by the Oatmeal I laugh out loud! If you have ever been to the gym you might recognise some of the characters in the following:
A belt for your man ladies
Was The Irish Famine Genocide?
For the history buffs amongst you lads. Recent book on the Irish famine. Case not proven it seems:
Inside a mud oven – for cooking the bread
Happy Iranian/Persian New Year lads
As part of the HX ‘Open Doors/Open Minds’ programme lads, I give you little piece on Persian/Iranian New year which is only few days away:
Nowruz is celebrated and observed by Iranian peoples and the related cultural continent and has spread in many other parts of the world, including parts of Central Asia, Caucasus, South Asia, Northwestern China, the Crimea and some groups in the Balkans.
Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.
Reluctant Emigrant (DH) – Growing Old Gracefully
Thanks yet again to DH for putting smile on the face of MB. This week DH is faced with the potential beauty of Botox!
Afghani man sorts the bread
It has been another bumper rewarding HX lads, am sure you will agree. Thanks MB. Don’t mention lads.
Hope all have nice weekend lads. Be careful out there!
Ladies from the 3rd World arrive at Riyadh airport to work as maids for the locals. From Indonesia or Bangladesh by the looks. Some will be treated well, others will not. Such is the lot of women from the 3rd world who must earn money to support families at home
Posted on March 7, 2013
Am back in the land of the 2 holy Mosques lads – that’s Saudi Arabia to you, or the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia as we often say out here. Spent a very pleasant week in Dubai last week and got in a few photo shoots for you all. Today’s pics come from the Dubai Creek area where a huge amount of boat trade is done with neighbouring countries such as Iran across the Persian Gulf, and even as far away as Somalia on the African east coast. The traditional Arabic timber boats get loaded up with consumer goodies and sold for profit in places where such goodies are hard come by. Hope you like the pics.
Reaction to last week’s HX was very mixed lads. Many enjoyed MBs spin on world events as usual and were in orgasmic rapture about the the mega pics. But MB received almost violent reaction from some Indian followers of the HX lads. And what were they on about you might ask? Well lads, they informed MB that when they read the title last week (reference to ‘Birds’) and then MB started talking about all the stunning leggy Russian girls he saw in Fujairah hotel – the Indian lads were sure MB was going to include many pics of the Russian birds!!!
And they were mightily disappointed that MB was referring pics of the feathery birds, and not pics of long legged Russian ones. What was I to do lads? Most of the husbands/boyfriends of the Ruskie babes were Russian bear types, with no necks from all the military training, and am sure any of them could have snapped MB’s neck with their little finger. So MB left the zoom lens in the camera bag, and for once put his health & welfare before the needs of the Crosser brethern. And MB has lived to tell the tale. Enough said lads.
Hello to ‘The Ms’ who met MB in Dubai last week and are now back in HX eating the non-Muslim bacon, pork, sausages, rashers and all things tasty. Inshallah you will visit Dubai again in the future.
Good Hair Day
There I was in the shower in Dubai last week ladies. The water was perfect temperature as it flowed over the lean muscular body of MB. A little sunlight filtered through the open window and glistened brightly on the bulging MB shoulder muscles. Cool down ladies please – this story is about MB hair and not about MB body.
Anyway ladies, there I was, as naked as the day I was born, whistling a tune, with not a care in the world at that particular moment. Enjoying my ‘man shower‘. And what is a ‘man shower‘ MB? Well ladies a ‘man shower’ is a shower taken by the average man. It lasts approx 3 minutes, which is just enough time to get wet, apply the shampoo, clean off same, turn off water and dry the ‘man body‘. It is the complete opposite to ‘woman shower‘ or ‘girl shower’ or ‘lady shower’ – which are known to take hours in duration and deplete scarce water resources in many regions of the world. But you have caused me to digress ladies. Back to my story……
Thirty seconds into the MB ‘man shower’ ladies, MB reaches for the shampoo. Horror of horrors – no shampoo! Or as I would say if I was an Arab – mafi shampoo! WTF! Sudden panic attack ladies. MB likes his shampoo for the standard 20 second usage. But it was not going to be this time ladies – due to ‘mafi shampoo‘. So MB then eyed some ‘conditioner’ – that must have been left over by a previous female tenant of the property, as we all know that only women use this muck, and no manly man would ever be caught dead using the stuff. But sometimes ladies – needs must – as they say, and in absence of shampoo, MB slapped a little conditioner on his head.
And then ladies, MB had his Eureka moment! MB goes to the young Indian barber lads regularly and gets the Nr 1 blade on the sides and back, with the Nr 4 blade on top. The young Indian barber lads do not even ask MB any more what he wants. They know the spec. It never changes.
So ladies, MB is essentially hairless. Therefore MB has no use for shampoo, or the girlie conditioner. A quick rub of the soap bar on his 6-Pack stomach (max 5 seconds) serves the exact same purpose. And now MB does not need to buy shampoo – ever again! Financial savings will ensue, maybe a little extra can now be set aside for the chocolate budget – for example, and all will be well with the world. Joy of joys!
So ladies. Take a look at your man’s head. Does he really need ‘volumising‘ or the ‘moisturising’ or the ‘for normal hair types‘ that you pick up for him in Tesco each week, or in the Carrafour out this neck of the woods. May I suggest experiment ladies. For one week only, when the shampoo bottle is almost empty, do not buy another bottle, leave small bar of soap in the shower, and wait for the reaction. You may get pleasant surprise!
Saudi Fatwas & The Ladies
Interesting (for some) article on ‘Fatwas‘ lads. Religious pronouncements made by Muslim Imams/Priests normally, sometimes absolutely ridiculous and without any basis other than their own limited view of the world and warped view of their own religion:
Suddenly the net was flooded with all manners of fatwas or edicts. Some seemed sound and rational while others bordered on the ridiculous. There was a fatwa which called for the separation of the genders to prevent the mingling of the sexes at Islam’s holiest worship site in Makkah by adding extra floors around the Kaaba and dedicating one solely for women.
The evolution of women’s role in UAE society has been spurred by the leadership’s recognition of the pivotal role women can play in economic and social development. It is a testament to the government’s strategic vision to enhance their roles in both the public and private spheres and to ensure that all career options are open to them.
The Gay Mormon & Coming OutRead the below story during the week lads about a young Mormon lad who decided to video his coming out to family and friends over the period of a year as he broke the news to them all that he was gay. Amusing to say the least.
GF: I am gay, homo, etc
MB: What’s ‘etc’?
GF: ‘Etc’ was joke MB
MB: I dont care what you or anyone else gets up to in the privacy of your bedrooms GF, or anywhere else for that matter. Or what your ‘orientation’ is. Makes absolutely no difference to me. You are friend but from now on you may call yourself ‘GF’ if you wish.
Reluctant Emigrant – Ping Pong
Thanks to DH for another good one this week.
So expect invite from MB during next few days lads and become a HX Report – FOLLOWER
Take care ladies
That’s it for another week ladies. A pleasure as ever. Take care, and don’t forget – when you receive the email – become a FOLLOWER!
Posted on February 27, 2013
Greetings & Salam to you all lads
Inshallah you are all keeping well lads, the health is good and the chickens are laying. There is surely nothing in life as good a fresh egg. Right on MB, yo!
Have covered many many miles since we last conversed. No joking lads. Think was about to board a plane as I pressed ‘Send’ last week to give you the literary & pictorial goodies, which no doubt amazed and titillated you for few days. I now prepare the next offering from my sunny Dubai deck chair oasis by the pool as I sip yet another long G&T, easy on the ice.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Worlds tallest building, circa 850M high
Yes lads, on Thursday early morning last I jumped on plane in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, instructed the captain to take me to Dubai, where I landed 2 hours later. Got hire car and made my way back to Dubai apartment/swimming pool/servants. Went on Facebook for few hours, as you do, then headed to Oman border crossing, as family needed to extend their ’30 day limit’ UAE visitor visas.
Acacia tree (I think) on the road to Oman. Photo by MB2.
The Sultanate of Oman allows you to get your Passport stamped at the border station without entering further into the country and to immediately turn around to return to UAE/Dubai. Then the UAE border post 2 or 3Km down the road stamps your Passport with new re-entry date, and you are then legal again for another 30 days. We refer to it out these parts as ‘the Oman run’ which you invariably end up doing when you are between jobs, or your employers are slow to sort out your paperwork when you commence employment.
Did you know lads that the wife of a Sultan is known as a ‘Sultana’? True lads. MB continues to spread the knowledge & the wisdom!
Having got the Passports all stamped with the new fresh ink lads, I then took family to Fujairah, one of the 7 Emirates of the UAE, and the only one I had not visited previously. Little Russia as it turned out – full of short fat balding criminal type Ruskie men, with blond super model Goddess type girlfriends / wives / mistresses. Seemingly, with so much trouble in Egypt in last year or so, the Ruskies are avoiding their favourite Sharm Al Sheikh Egyptian resort and heading instead to the 5 Star resorts of the UAE. Stayed overnight and headed back to Dubai, alas without meeting any of the Russian girls, who would no doubt have enjoyed MBs intellectual company.
UAE flag painted on the mountain slope. Maybe by ‘Banksy’. On the approach road into the Emirate of Fujairah. Photo by MB2.
Shattered from the record breaking traveling. Wrecked. Headache for 2 days before eventual recovery. Marco Polo & Ibn Batuta together never covered as much ground in 24 hours lads. Have now contacted the Guinness Book of Records to advise them of my feat (& my sore feet – joke lads!) to see in what category I can claim world record. Am sure there will be more that one category lads. So presently checking the email on hourly basis but nothing yet. The lads at Guinness must be short staffed, or drunk! Haha lads, another joke!
Ok lads, the pics, this week, in which birds feature a lot, are the usual awesome pics taken by MB as he casually walks round the Middle East listening to young lads shouting at him – “Sir, sir, please photo sir, need for Facebook, family want to show photo back home in Delhi /Sanaa/Karachi to family of future bride, Inshallah they will like me Sir. Sir, take very pretty photo sir”.
I normally reply along the following lines lads – “No sweat young lad, the Canon Master has landed & you are in safe hands. I will take 3 or 4 shots for you to make selection. I give you 100% guarantee that the ladies family will beg that you will take the young lassie off their hands, and will give even bigger dowry as result of the awesome photo”.
Rotana Hotel 5 Star resort – Fujeirah. Ruskie heaven.
Needless to say lads this is normally the end result. And you just wouldn’t believe the amount of Hindi/Buddist/Muslim/Yahudi/Other wedding invitations I have turned down in recent years. If I were to attend them all I wouldn’t have a shekel/halalla left for my own kith & kin. You have to draw a line lads. That’s life. Anyway, they normally get over my rejection within a few months and crack on with life, settle down, make a few babies and generally live happily ever after. And all thanks to MB lads. Masha’allah! (Praise the Lord).
A few of the pics are also from the Fujairah area from MB’s trip. Must acknowledge guest photo shooter this week lads – 12 year old MB (MB2) who took 1 or 2 of the shots. A star is born!
MB is Chess Grand Master lads. Very highly ranked.
MB is not converting
Have to make this announcement lads, as has come to my attention that a number of Crosser members are speculating that MB is thinking of jumping ship. To the other side. Seemingly my weekly updating of what my Muslim brothers get up to has lead some to come up with 1+1=3. Not correct lads. No way.
This news will obviously disappoint many of my Saudi Muslim brothers lads, but like the disappointed Indians/Yemenis/Pakastanis whose weddings I do not attend, they too will get over it eventually, crack on with life, and start milking the camels again.
And MB will just continue to do as MB has always done lads. And you will all continue to reap the benefits. Masha’allah!
Mountains, beach & the waters of the Gulf Of Oman at Fujairah, UAE. Never saw that Russian girl until I looked at the pic on the laptop later lads, I swear!
The Dalai Lama
Have always been fascinated by the DL lads. Spoke to one or two people back home who attended one of his appearances/talks when he visited Ireland a few short years ago, maybe 2 or 3 years back. They confirmed that he has incredible presence and tangible spirituality.
Think Pope John Paul was similar in that regard. Even on TV you could get that feeling that he was a special human being with a huge spiritual presence. Met a Polish lady once who met JP when he was still a Bishop in Krakow (I think) and she told me she was so overwhelmed she cried uncontrollably. He just had a magic. Or maybe she had watched episode of ‘Friends’ before the meeting lads. Who knows!
Does anyone know any Muslim leaders or clerics with such aura? I have never seen. Muslim friends of MB – please advise.
Hungry bird on the beach
Anyway lads, saw this DL piece on Fb during the week. Think Crosser MR had posted it up. Typical of the DL, stops you in your tracks and makes you think:
At the end of the talk someone from the audience asked the Dalai Lama, “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?”
The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know “
Jumairah beach, Dubai. Locals frolic in the Arabian Sea.
Meanwhile In Saudi Arabia
The head-rolling festival continues in full swing in Saudi lads. 2013 Head Nr 16 has been removed from Neck Nr 16 in last week, to keep the Kingdom safe and enable us to sleep easy at night. It was Jordanian drug dealer this time who fought the law. But as the old song says lads – ‘the law won’ – resulting in Jordanian’s head rolling in the sand looking up at his torso.
Young lad lifts his leg as he enters the water
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise. Gull swoops over MBs head. MB captures the moment.
Jordanian beheaded for drug trafficking
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday beheaded a Jordanian man convicted of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said.
Faris Salam Salama Al Maghrebi was arrested while attempting to “smuggle a large amount of amphetamine” stimulant capsules into the kingdom, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
He was beheaded in the northern Jawf province, it said.
His execution brings to 16 the number of people beheaded in Saudi Arabia so far this year.
Philosophical gulls look out to sea and ponder life’s good and bad.
Was told a number of times in Saudi that in the more remote areas the women can drive cars without any risk of being jailed. Had not come across it previously but the below story is case in point. If you read the full piece the locals were happy that she was driving, and presumably continues to do so:
Gull says hello to MB, as the evening sunlight catches his wings
Mom and her 2 chicks, who hide their heads under her sari.
Manama: A Saudi woman said that she had to disguise herself as a man to be able to drive a bus and help her needy family.
Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, even though there is no legal text to support the ban.
However, Saliha who lived with her parents and four sisters in a remote area in the south west of the Saudi kingdom, said that she volunteered to take up the job to assist her old father.
“I live with my parents and four sisters and our conditions are very difficult,” Saliha said. “One day, my father thought about launching a bus service to drive female students in our area to their schools. He discussed the idea with the village men and they all agreed since they trusted my father and they were confident that he would be keen on protecting them. They also thought that driving the bus would be an opportunity for him to make some money,” she told local Arabic daily Al Sharq.
However, Saliha thought that she could help her father and do the job instead.
“I looked at his poor health condition and advanced age and I requested him to allow me to replace him, especially that I was a good driver. My father in fact taught me how to drive since I was young. It took some time before he was convinced that I could drive the bus instead of him,” she said.
Gull swoops low over the sand. MB is like speedy Gonzalez with the Canon 7D, and clicks just in time.
So long lads.
That’s it for another week. As the young lads around HX are fond of saying – be talkin tcha!
Man looks at Gulls and thinks….. what if I was born a bird? Birds look at man and think……. WTF!
Take care y’all.
Posted on February 20, 2013
Hope all in good form. MB will be taking break from his Saudi paradise for the next week in good old Dubai, UAE. So looking forward.
Had suggestion for this week’s blog to do something on Chinese New Year lads, which is year of the snake. Did not have clue about the significance of the snake but looked it up this evening and discovered the strengths & weaknesses of people born in the ‘snake’ years.
Birds Nest Olympic Stadium, Beijing
They often have a good temper and a skill at communicating but say little. They possess gracious morality and great wisdom. They are usually financially secure and do not have to worry about money. They have tremendous sympathy for others and would like to take actions to help ther fellow human beings. They are determined to accomplished their goals hate to fail. Although they look calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate. They have a rich source of inspiration and understand themselves well. They are people of great perception. Women under the sign of the snake do well in housework but are irritable.
They are likely to be jealous and suspicious. They should be cautious about what they discuss with others, as it might cause them to lose friendship and opportunities. They tend to overdo things. They prefer to rely on themselves and have doubts about other people’s judgment. They are courteous with polite manners, but they can be headstrong. They are fickle and usually have problems in relationships or marriage problems.
So lads, it appears you can have great wisdom and at same time be jealous and suspicious. Bit confused by the Snake people must admit.
And the below are the most recent Snake years in question lads:
23/01/1917 – 10/02/1918
10/02/1029 – 29/01/1930
27/01/1941 – 14/02/1942
14/02/1953 – 02/02/1954
02/02/1965 – 20/01/1966
18/02/1977 – 06/02/1978
06/02/1990 – 26/01/1990
24/01/2001 – 11/02/2002
Just to confirm lads – MB is not a snake.
This weeks pics lads are from random places. And I love random places! In honour of the Snake Year lads I give you a few pics I took when was in China about 3 years back. Ya, China lads – MB gets around. Did not have decent camera back then but the attached are decent enough. Plus a few shots of jewelry & other stuff from Global Village Market, one of my favourite places in Dubai. And other random places that I can’t remember at the mo.
You need fit body like MB to climb the wall lads
Valentines Day – by The Oatmeal
Should have included this last week of course lads. But did not see it in time. Gave you another from The Oatmeal few weeks back lads and had a giggle at this one during the week when I read:
Non-religious and Pagan weddings are to finally become law in Ireland under proposed new legislation.
The Irish government is expected to back legislation giving humanists the same status as organised religions and civil registrars in conducting marriage ceremonies.
One you won’t see in Ireland!
“When he came in he asked me who he was and I said ‘Shaikh Mohammad’. He said ‘bravo’ and shook my hand and left,” she said.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, surprised Mira when he granted her wish by visiting her in her school on Sunday. Mira had asked Shaikh Mohammad, in a video message, when he would visit her school.
Dragon Mart – Dubai
Soaps to ‘restore’ virginity at Dragon Mart
Dubai Now you can get curves like Jennifer Lopez for less than Dh60, or so certain products sold at Dragon Mart would have you believe.
From a Dh25 virginity soap that promises to tighten muscles, to a Dh60 gel that claims to push your ‘hip up’, dozens of dubious products are selling like hotcakes at various outlets in Dragon Mart.
“Our virginity soap has honey extracts and is very effective,” said a salesperson suggesting it be used at least twice a day to get its benefits in about two weeks.
Firmer buttocks, he claimed, could take a bit longer, as one needs to apply the gel for about a month. None of these products conforms to health stipulations.
But retailers swear by them. Ask them if the products have any side effects and the standard response is: “No. It’s all herbal.”
Honey trader, Global Village, Dubai
Anyone for colour?
Pendants, all natural stones, no chinese plastic fakes.
Like our pre-marriage courses in the West lads some Saudi cleric has come up with similar idea. Assume he had look at the Irish model:
Manama: A leading Saudi religious figure has called for holding compulsory special workshops on matrimony for all young men and women about to get married.
“The justice ministry should ensure that the marriage contract is not endorsed by a court of law unless the two spouses prove that they have gone through the mandatory workshop,” Saeed Al Qah’tani said.
The scholar attributed his call to the high rise in divorce rates in the Saudi kingdom.
“The rate has exceeded 50 per cent in some regions in the country and this is alarming,” he said. “This clearly indicates that there is a serious and grave issue about understanding and appreciating the responsibilities of spouses towards each other,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Okaz on Sunday.
Typical Yemeni style necklaces
Ring & henna
Gotta go lads
Sorry bit rushed this week lads. Not one of the better efforts I’m afraid. Just under bit of time pressure. Have nice weekend lads. Be careful out there.
Posted on February 14, 2013
It’s Valentine’s Day ladies and am only thinking of my female Crossers of course. So big Middle East greetings and affection to you all, where ever you are sunning yourselves.
Am sure your man gave you the traditional flowers or chocolate, but MB is far more adventurous than that ladies and now has much Arabic influence on his brain to expand the possibilities. So ladies – just for you – I give you the following – as special gifts for the day that’s in it:
Forget the blue tablets ladies. We have natural solution for you man’s problem. But its a honey mixture only for the ‘married’. Any ‘singles’ caught in possession are immediately jailed, as we know what they are up to – totally and utterly haram.
This weeks photos have no consistent theme ladies, and are a mish/mash of few shots I took in last week or two. Am revisiting some places that I showed you previously, plus a few new locations.
We Saudis are sadly starting to turn away from the traditional arranged marriages ladies, where some local Biddy will receive contact from family elders seeking partner for some lad or lass that has come of age and needs to be married off. She will take fat fee, and guarantee everlasting love and happiness, resulting from the suitable partner she will unearth from under some desert rock or where ever.
But no lads, that is not good enough for some of us any more. We are turning to on-line match makers, where we can take a look at some pics and actually see what we are marrying. Fast disappearing is the thrill of your first night of marriage with a partner that you maybe have never seen previously, or seen briefly only once or twice. This can not be progress lads. I fear we are losing our way. Absolutely no good can come of it. Um Sami is also none pleased!
The cooking pot at the Afghani cafe where MB has been eating the mutton stew & arabic bread of late. Masha’allah! The chef tends to put in lots of raw sugar with many (all) of his mixtures. MB told him to cop himself on with the sugar, and just trust the food to speak for itself. Think he really appreciated the astute culinary advise of Irish Michelin 3 Star chef MB.
Riyadh: In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.
More than 200 Twitter users and dozens of other forums on the internet offer services for Saudi men and women seeking spouses, angering matchmakers like Um Sami who sees it as “organised prostitution.”
“Social networks undermine our work and everything they offer is virtual: they use nicknames and they are not reliable,” said Um Sami, an elderly woman and well-established matchmaker from the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
For her, many of these websites are “fraudulent” and some are even an organised form of prostitution.
“Marriage via online platforms is one hundred per cent doomed to failure,” she said, stressing that only her traditional matchmaking method can lead to a successful marriage.
For matchmakers like Um Sami the business has flourished by word of mouth…………..
And did you know ladies that St Valentine himself is buried in Dublin? If you are struggling to find that amusing rugged handsome stinking rich type ladies, you only need to run down to Whitefriar St, touch the coffin or alter with your hand, and within 24 hours, hey presto, your new man will appear. Unlike the on-line matches mentioned above ladies, this is 100% certain to produce the results. Best of luck!—
JUST about everybody knows that St Valentine is the patron saint of lovers. You may have known that he was a priest in Rome in the third century, and if you’re really on top of your game, you may even have been aware that he died in jail, but you probably didn’t know that his final resting place is Dublin.
In fact the good priests of the Carmelite Order have been looking after his remains in their priory in Whitefriar St, just off Aungier St in Dublin, for over 160 years.
We have a good deal of information about St Valentine, but separating the fact from the legend is a bit like trying to separate a teenage couple at a school disco.
It seems he was martyred in 269, supposedly for marrying couples against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II who felt that single men made better soldiers. Legend would have it that he died for his faith on February 14th of that year, and that this is why we celebrate him on that day. However, it’s likely that the fact that we celebrate St Valentine at this time of year is more to do with the ancient Roman spring fertility festival of Lupercalia, which like many other pagan holidays was christianised when in 498 Pope Gelasius decreed that February 14th would be St Valentine’s Day.
But how did a Roman Martyr, who had never even set foot in what was later to become an island of saints and scholars, end up in a Dublin church.
In the 1820′ and 30’s, a Carmelite priest by the name of John Spratt had earned a reputation for his work with the destitute citizens of Dublin’s Liberties. A man of apparently boundless energy, Spratt started the building process of the Carmelite church in nearby Whitefriar St in 1825.
Ten years later, he was invited to speak at the Jesuit Church in Rome, the Gesu. The elite of Rome came to hear him, including representatives of Pope Gregory XVI. As a token of recognition of the work of Spratt, the Pope ordered the exhumation of the remains of St Valentine from St Hippolytus cemetery near Rome to be shipped to Whitefriar St Church, in Dublin.
In November 1836, the remains were received with great pomp and ceremony, but with the death of Spratt some years later, the remains ceased to be of major public interest.
Some 40 years ago however, they were restored to the public eye having gathered dust for decades in the nether regions of the priory, and are now featured in a purpose-built shrine in the church itself.
This year on February 14th, at 11am and 3.15pm, as has become customary, there will be a special celebration of St Valentine in the place where he now rests, Whitefriar St Church. Carmelite priest, Fr Tony McKenny will celebrate mass and conduct a ring blessing ceremony for engaged and married couples.
It would appear that neither cohabiting couples nor teenagers need apply!
The Alter Tomb
Want to mention writer and Guinness drinker MQ from the HX heartland back in Ireland lads, who published mini novel at tail end of last year. It’s fictional account of a tomb he discovered in a local graveyard dating from 1618. The story also features a character we featured in this blog long time back – one John Murphy who is buried in grave in same place, also discovered by MQ, and has inscription on his gravestone that he was 219 years old when he died (I gave you all pic of this headstone previously lads).The novel, and that piece of the story in particular, got front page publicity in the local LL newspaper at home recently, about one year after the HX report on same!
That’s it for another week. Regards to all. Enjoy your weekend.
Posted on February 7, 2013
Salam to all lads.
We are blessed with favourable weather in the Middle East at present, albeit still a tad cool to be jumping into the swimming pool – before noon at least! But even in our short sleeve shirts the gentle breeze in the winter sunshine is refreshingly welcome. Inshallah we will have another 3 months or so of same before the temps start to get to the uncomfortable levels again.
Beer sellers enjoy MBs joke!
Europe’s best golfers were swinging their clubs in Dubai last weekend at the Emirates GC lads, across the road from Dubai Marina. MB managed to get down for few hours on Sunday to mix with the great and the good, and most of this week’s photos are from same. Big thanks to Crosser PMc for getting the entry tickets (with Clubhouse Pass) for MB. May your own clubs provide you with a bounty of birdies in the years to come Mr P – a sort of a Golfer’s prayer lads in thanks.
Silence is Golden
Was having a chat with a friend at work today lads when his phone rang. He immediately launched into a frenzied conversation in Arabic which went on for some time, with much hand movement as is the practice out here. Upon completion of the conversation he clicked the ‘End’ button, and a little red faced from the stressful call he had taken, he turned to MB and said:
“Arabs, why do they have to talk so much? That guy called me to make a very small point, but of course he felt the need to give me his entire life history at the same time. There is a reason Mr Mike that God gave us all 2 ears and only 1 mouth – he wants us to listen more and talk less”
Now I must explain lads that my colleague & friend is 100% Arab himself, born & bred, so his comments were not what you might sometimes hear from some donkey expat with zero brain cells. No lads, this was coming from the horses mouth, and he was also making the profound point about listening more than talking. I assured him it is the Irish way. He smiled, happy in new knowledge that there is one place on the planet that is oasis of listening. If only he knew the truth!
This couple caught my eye lads (hehe!) Dubai is a fashion & style fest all year round. There are really no restrictions on how you dress as long as its reasonably modest and does not give offence, bearing in mind local sensibilities, religion and customs. The neighbouring Emirate of Sharjah passed a rule in recent weeks preventing tight clothes that emphasis body shape or reveal too much flesh. Presumable this young lady has Dubai address
Dubai News – Sheikh Mo
Sheikh Mo has done it yet again lads, God bless every royal & regal inch of him.
The Palm Jumeirah Island is one of the most exclusive residential addresses on the Planet lads, but is short of a decent shopping mall. The world renowned Mall Of The Emirates (with real ski slope) is 15 mins away, but you really don’t want to be wasting your time shopping with poor people.
So what does Sheikh Mo go and do lads? Yes lads, he simply issues royal instruction to the Palm developers (Nakheel) to crack on immediately with a new mega mall plus hotels plus other stuff, and have it ready by 2016 for a bit of shopping for the locals. When complete lads they will be able to cut 12 mins off their shopping trip as they make the 3 minute trip down to the new local. Masha’allah!
That is how it’s done lads, Dubai style, Sheikh Mo style. Let it be a lesson to you all lads. Long live our hero Sheikh Mo!
Quote from Sheikh Mo earlier this week (tear in my eye as I read):
“Before evaluating the future, we have to take a quick look at the past, for it is the foundation of tomorrow” – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
My blog received a follower a few weeks back lads and I noticed that the guy in question was also a follower of another blogger called ‘The Oatmeal’. The name intrigued me so I looked up The Oatmeal. What a laugh. Brilliant intelligent comics of the ‘laugh out loud’ variety. To MB’s sense of humour at least. Giving you one of his comics this week called:
‘When your house is burning down you should wash your teeth’
Hats off to The Oatmeal.
UAE Visa Amnesty
Mentioned the UAE visa amnesty last week lads. Is throwing up some hardship cases for the authorities to deal with. Friend of mine did a deal with the authorities in recent weeks. Got a reduced penalty, which was still a substantial sum, and paid it off. Now he is free to exit and enter the UAE as he pleases. He visited him family in England last week for first time in twelve months.
Fans follow the ball flight
Crossing the fairway
The Saudi Arabian Labour Ministry will now allow the Saudi women to work in Pharmacies lads. They will issue some rules shortly and the ladies are good to go. Allah u akbar.
Training & Weight Loss
Giving you all 5 unusual tips to aid your fitness & weight loss training ladies. All with scientific basis, but you will not have heard previously!
Rest area out on the course
Wearing the Burqa
Firm wrists, swing it like a pendulum!
Swinger Nr 2
Posted on February 1, 2013
DH – The Reluctant Emigrant
Giving pride of place this weekend lads to fellow blogger, writer (presently some way through her first book) and general raconteur DH. Met DH today for coffee in Ibn Batuta Mall in Dubai.
Was expecting some kind words for the HX blog lads, but some 10 seconds into the conversation DH informs MB – “You are not using your blog in correct way MB, I will give you 2 hour instruction session in due course and show you how its done“. And like all men everywhere lads, I just took the beating, nodded my submissive head a few times thanked DH for the constructive criticism, for her benevolence and kind heart.
So lads, expect some amazing things in next few weeks when DH puts MB on the righteous path. Allah u akbar!
Another Dubai video doing the rounds at the mo is of an English Parkour activist doing his stuff in some of the older areas of the Emirate. First section of the short movie is in the Spice or Gold Market area along Dubai Creek, and second section is from the Bastakia area (Bur Dubai). Both great places to visit if you are ever out this neck of the woods
- Provide work for the construction industry
- Prevent any funny business going on in the public areas of the shops between the male and female staff.