It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas. Or is it?


Friends of MB are beginning to pop up Christmas decorations. MB can see a small Christmas tree twinkling brightly in the dim dark nights in the apartment block across the street. A few nights back, friends of MB played Michael Buble’s Christmas Songs CD as background hum to the consumption of a nice Chianti. Not a sliver of liver nor a fava bean in sight!

It’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

What a year of experiences. Boldly going where none have gone before. Thoughts to all who’ve struggled, and the many who continue to do so. Financially. Emotionally. Whatever.

MB won’t be home for Christmas. First time ever. Will miss it terribly. Too much logistical hassle with quarantine periods each end, and the mental hassle of spending 7 hours on a flight with a mask and the hustle and bustle of infection-controlling airports. Wondering if any fellow mask-face passenger is infected; praying not. Whilst trying to watch Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory on the inflight entertainment system. To get into the festive mood. Or listening to Shane McGowan. If Qatar Airways have him on the playlist. Doubtful.

Then there are those with real problems.

Few weeks back, MB’s phone pinged. Messenger. Old school friend. Still lives in HX land. Much of his adult life spent looking after kids football teams. Has Stage-3 colon cancer. Went to doctor to have something relatively innocuous checked out. One test later, the big C. Fuck-a-duck. MB wished him well and continues to check in with him. Here’s hoping he’ll have a merry Christmas. Hoping big time.

Time for MB to go look for a Christmas tree. Alas, no tree markets out here. No tree sellers with puffa jackets and scarfs and woolly caps and seeing their exhaled breath in the cold sharp air and asking too much before settling on a lesser sum. Maybe MB can find a small Made-In-China plastic tree, and plank it on his work desk. And another for the living room table. Here’s hoping.

The Doha weather outside is delightful, but having no fire inside is frightful. And the lights are turned way down low. On MB’s essential oils mist lamp.

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow!

Lens-Artist’s photo challenge – Sanctuary


Thanks to Xenia for this week’s ‘Sanctuary’ challenge. Check out her post HERE.

When MB thinks of the word ‘sanctuary’ he immediately thinks of his much-younger-then-her-years mom back in Ireland. COVID days, for the elderly in particular, were and continue to be, tough days. There was a spell some time back when MB’s moms age group were confined to their homes and needed the good deeds of others for daily necessities. Thankfully, MB’s mom received same in abundance.

Her sanctuary has been her garden and the family farm. The land is now rented out for others to farm but the green fields are still available for daily strolls. The house lawn & garden provides a flower and shrub-clad sanctuary to sit and rest, or to plant new additions acquired from a nearby garden centre.

Here’s to you Ma!

The family farmhouse where MB grew up and where mom of MB still resides. MB can’t wait to get home, sooner rather than later he hopes! This pic was taken one cold March 2019 afternoon.