Malta Miscellany


MB had previously travelled to Malta in November 1989 to watch the (Italia 1990) World Cup football qualifier game between Ireland and the home nation. Ireland needed to win to qualify and did so 0-2, compliments of two John Aldridge goals. Read More

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Street Art


Thanks to Patti for this week’s Street Art challenge.

MB was up at 5am this morning on the island of Malta for a photo tour with a local guide. Amongst the many great locations visited was the colourful fishing village of Marsaxlokk where the local Municipality are doing their bit to add to the local colourful culture.

The below shot Nr 1 shows the public seating along the quay painted in the same colours as the traditional Maltese fishing boats sitting in the adjacent water.

And what exactly are you doing in Malta MB???

Another time lads!

Regards.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Harmony


Thanks to Tina for this week’s Harmony challenge.

MB came across a great group of drummers beating in harmony in Budapest a few weeks back.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Less if More


Thanks to Amy for this weeks Less is More challenge.

MB reverts to his Budapest trip for a shot for this weeks challenge.

The 4m high bronze statue of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus is one of the better-known statues in the city. Its located on the front wall of the elevated Buda Castle, and is facing the Danube River and Pest side of the city below. The fact that the baby is slightly forward from the mother is supposed to signify the virgin birth, as MB has discovered.

MB’s shot is hopefully of the ‘Less is More’ variety, with the majority of the photo taken up by the blank overcast sky overhead. But overall, it seems to work.

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Sri Lanka


The awful events of Easter Sunday just past reminded MB of his trip some years back to stunning Sri Lanka. He met only with huge kindness and smiling friendly faces from all SL natives, regardless of creed.

MB had a particularly great few days in the company of mountain-top Haputale guest-house owner Mr Ali and family (Muslims) and Mr Sanath (Buddhist), a great friend of Mr Ali.

MB has read in recent days of some of the negative repercussion of the Easter Sunday killing of members of the Christian community. It will resonate with many Irish people who, like MB, lived in the UK during ‘the troubles’ of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. It’s relatively easy for a minuscule number of extremists to sow hatred and division and intolerance and fear, and those are ultimately some of the primary goals. But in the end, the vast majority of all people and peoples are decent and good, and evil inevitably looses out one hopes. But in times of grief and strife, the light at the end of the tunnel can be somewhat dim. The recent days killing of lady journalist Lyra McKee in Northern Ireland, following almost 20 years of relative peace and ‘putting all that shit behind us’, is proof that there will always be a few who believe ‘my beliefs uber alles‘.

So MB just hopes and prays that Mr Ali and Mr Sanath and their families are well at this time.

The story of MB & Mr Ali & Mr Sanath, with many SL pics:

https://michealdebarra.com/2013/08/23/sri-lanka-time-for-tea/

Qatar International Dates Festival


See also earlier post of this evening related to the same topic.

Further photos:

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Weathered or Worn


AC has set this week’s challenge with her ‘weathered or worn‘ topic.

For the challenge, MB has selected a shot of Boucher’s Castle from his HX homeland, taken on 01 January just past. Read More

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – History


Thanks to Patti for this weeks photo challenge.

Fox hunting, by means of horses and hounds, started in England some 500 years ago and has continued to the present day in Ireland and in a number of other countries. It was banned in Scotland in 2002 and in England & Wales in 2005. Interestingly, in these days of Brexit/Northern Ireland Backstop etc, fox hunting is still legal in Northern Ireland. Followers of the Brexit story will be aware that Northern Ireland Unionists are opposed to the backstop as they do not want NI to be treated any differently than the rest of the UK. The ‘fox hunting’ irony is obviously lost on them.

MB was out and about earlier today and caught the below shot from his car window. Being late afternoon, the pack of hounds and their Master were returning home after a day on the chase.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Around the Neighbourhood


Thanks to Tina for this week’s ‘neighbourhood‘ challenge. MB certainly has his work cut out to match Tina’s shots from her spectacular Kiawah Island home!

Below are ten shots MB took when he was home a few months ago for Christmas break. The lake, located in MB’s Irish HX neighbourhood and around which the shots were taken, is called Lough Gur. Followers can check out loughgur.com if they are of a mind to do so. MB readily admits that it’s hard to take a bad shot in his neighbourhood, given nature’s spectacular canvas.

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Lens Artists Photo Challenge – Architecture


Architecture. Big thanks to Amy for the challenge.

The Al Shaqab horse arena in Doha, Qatar, is an architecturally-impressive mega-structure situated on the northern outskirts of the city. It features hugely impressive indoor and outdoor arenas of equal scale, which host show jumping, dressage, and other equestrian events.  There is an emphasis on promoting the Arab horse breed. The below shots feature the outdoor arena FYI.

MB attended Al Shaqab for the first time yesterday afternoon to view a Swiss watch company Longines-sponsored international show jumping event, featuring over 40 horses and riders from many countries, including three from MB’s Ireland. Everybody who attended got a free USD 1,000 Longines watch to boot, which was extremely generous of the Qatar/Longines people. Longines company are producing quality watches in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, since 1832. MB just thought he would give them this little plug/mention in thanks for the awesome freebee, which should see sales hit an all-time high in the coming weeks.

MB did not have any super duper camera & zoom lenses with him. All below shots were taken on MBs Sony RX 100 M6 pocket camera.

“You’re a genius MB. How do you keep on doing it?”

“Thank you guys. Nail on the head, MB guesses. Genius.”

“And did you not take any shots with your Huawei Chinese Camera Phone thingy MB?”

“Of course MB did guys. But MB will save those for another post. Too much awesomeness could be just a little too much for followers to handle in one single post.”

“BTW guys. MB was just kidding about the free Longines watch!”

“Ha ha ha, MB. What a kidder you are!”

“Voila guys:”

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It’s the weekend


Sun & Sand.

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

Read More

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 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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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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