Weekly Photo Challenge – Collage


Collage.

Back in the HX heartland, there’s a cultural museum on the HX/Meanus road called the Old Irish Ways Museum. It includes a large collection of agricultural implements and multiple other mementoes from an older Ireland; the Ireland of our parents and grandparents. The contents were gathered over many years with huge dedication and effort by HX local Dennis O’Connor who travelled the length & breadth of Ireland in his quest. Many acquisitions needed repair and renovation, and as can be seen from the end result, it was very obviously a large labour of love on the part of DOC. If ever you get to visit HX, then do not miss the Old Irish Ways Museum.

Every room and exhibit within provide a spectacular visual collage for the visitor.

Example:

DSC01952

Foto Friday – Pubs & Castles


There is a castle and pub next to a river bridge on the road between Shannon Airport and Limerick City in the west of Ireland at a village called Bunratty. The castle takes it’s name from the village – Bunratty Castle, where you can book into one of the castle banquets that take place there most nights during the tourist season as far as MB is aware. The pub is one of Ireland’s oldest at almost 400 years old and has the great name of Durty Nelly’s. If you want to check out who Durty Nelly actually was, you can read it on the pub’s website She was certainly a character.

Even amongst natives, the pub is renowned for the quality of the Guinness beer served within. A number of years back, MB and English friend Pete, who liked his Guinness in the pubs of London, stopped off for a tipple having landed at Shannon Airport only a short while before. “Well Pete, how do you like our Irish Guinness served in Durty Nelly’s” enquired MB, Pete having taken a swallow that made almost half the contents of the pint glass disappear on the occasion of his first visit to Ireland. Pete closed his eyes, leaned back on his bar stool and uttered the immortal reply -“It’s like strawberries and cream on a summer’s day MB”. And so it was.

MB took the below shots on his trip home last week on a bright sunny day as he passed through the village:

IMG_0218IMG_0219

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Friend


Friend.

MB remembers the love his two sisters had for horse riding in their younger days. Like most young girls who share that same pastime, MBs sisters always considered their horses a close friend. The horse friend was/is very often treated with far more TLC than, for example, a brother!

MB saw this guy as he drove on the road from Lough Gur lake to HX last week when he was home, and stopped to take the shot.

IMG_9946

Weekly Photo Challenge – Evanescent


Evanescent.

For all the thickos like MB out there who do not understand the meaning of the word ‘evanescent’ – it means: soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing. Ergo, a moment in time, sort of thingy!

MB was around the Lough Derg area of his homeland in recent days and captured a number of shots of the locality. The below, in particular, seems to capture a moment in time for the two individuals in question. A minute or so after taking the shot, the guy at the back of the boat gunned the engine into life and the boat purred off into the distance, the moment in time gone forever.

IMG_0113

Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth


Earth/Nature.

This week Cheri is asking for a scene that honours the outdoors.

Well, in Ireland we have tonnes and tonnes of nature, and tonnes of outdoors, all green and naturey. Is ‘naturey’ a word MB? Did anyone ask that question to James Joyce? MB replies. And quit with the inane questions lads. Pleezze.

Anyway, there is so much nature in Ireland, we can say that nature is second nature to the Irish. That’s clever MB. Yes, MB knows it is lads, now whisht up a while.

Yes indeed, the Irish are boggle eyed from all that emerald greenery. So to liven nature up  a little, and prevent naturey over-familiarisation, the Irish are likely to throw in some music, at a whim, just to help nature out a little.

Here’s an example, from 21 June 2015, at the stone circle in MB’s HX homeland:

IMG_4068

 

 

 

Happy St Patrick’s Day


In Qatar, it’s already St Patrick’s Day as it’s 30 mins past midnight. In Ireland, there’s still a few hours to go.

Best wishes from MB to all on the occasion of the Irish National Holiday, which is also celebrated to a greater or lesser degree in most countries around the globe.

MB has avoided pics of churches and such like in making his celebratory selection. Instead, he has just selected a few shots from his HX homeland from October 2013. The occasion was a charity horse ride around the local lake. MB’s Arab friends, in particular, like to see some greenery!

Happy St Patricks Day to one & all.

IMG_9462IMG_9461IMG_9450IMG_9470IMG_9506IMG_9511

International Women’s Day – Minus 5


A little slice of Ireland in the Middle East.

A ladies Irish Football team poses for a team photo at the Qatar tournament, October 2015.

img_4971

Foto Friday – Sport


The WordPress website has henceforth moved the Weekly Photo Challenge to Wednesdays, so MB has decided to launch his very own Foto Friday – with due regards and acknowledgement to blogger friend J, whose advice and free consultancy on this matter proved inspirational and invaluable, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Foto Friday will have no set theme, other than acting as an exposé of a small fraction of MB’s photo library.

Tuesday coming is a public holiday in Qatar – it’s the National Sports Holiday when all and sundry are encouraged to partake in some sporting activity. This is encouraged partially due to very low sports participation rates amongst native Arabs in Qatar (and more generally in many Middle East countries).

So MB is giving followers a sports theme shot from his HX homeland from June 2015.

SONY DSC

Weekly Photo Challenge – Time of Year


Time of Year.

In recent years, MB has been lucky on a few occasions to be home for the Christmas Carol service in his home Church at Grange. On the nights MB has attended, the services have opened with a traditional Irish air called Innisheer (or Inis Oírr in Gaelic).

So, without further ado, here are Grange girls Noreen O’Sullivan on concert flute, and Jade Dillon on keyboard, playing Inisheer (& apologies for posting a video as MB’s effort for the weekly photo challenge!):

Weekly Photo Challenge – Local


Local.

The view from Ash Point, Lough Gur, Co Limerick, SW Ireland.

SONY DSC

View from Ash Point, Lough Gur

Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest


Quest (noun): A long or arduous search for something.

For MB & daughter MB2 earlier this week, the quest involved a search to locate the various food outlets at the Irish National Ploughing Championships, and avail of the tasty free sample handouts. The 100,000 other attendees on that day each also had their own quests to pursue.

The NPS is Europes largest outdoor exhibition with over 1,700 exhibitors displaying, publicising and selling everything under the sun. Almost 300,000 people visited NPS over the 3 days from 20 to 22 September 2016.

So MB suggests you add the Irish NPS to your bucket list. Even if no interest in ploughing (MB never saw any!) or farming, the NPS is a spectacle on a grand scale that can be enjoyed by all.

SONY DSC

National Ploughing Championship, Tullamore, Ireland. 20 September 2016.

In the misty morning………


First morning home. Top 10:

img_6574

img_6580img_6606img_6615img_6620img_6628img_6636img_6638img_6651img_6685

Weekly Photo Challenge – Frame


Frame.

The ruins of ‘Crokers’ estate house, framed through a whitethorn bush, directly across the road from the farmhouse where MB and siblings grew up in Grange, just north of HX, Limerick, SW Ireland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The ruins of Crokers Estate House at Grange, Limerick, SW Ireland

 

 

The Euros, and all that!


As every lady knows, the Euro football championships are on at present in France and are a footballing joy to behold. Iceland football team, and Republic of Ireland fans, are everybody’s favourites. Iceland’s defeat of the ‘auld enemy’, as we in Ireland sometimes often refer to ‘England’, will be many people’s favourite sporting moment ever, in the whole world, in the whole of sporting history, back as far a the days of the Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble.

It’s a little a lot ironic, that in the middle of the tournament, Britain voted to exit the European community. Northern Ireland, Wales & England (all Brits) are each playing in the competition; but MB isn’t going to get into a deep (or even a shallow) discussion about Brexit, David Cameron, et al. Instead he wants to mention an aspect of it all that friends of MB back home would not have considered.

The beautiful game is, of course, a world sport and the games are watched avidly in MB’s Middle East abode. And as the ME is a melting pot of numerous races and peoples from every continent on the globe (except Antartica), MB found himself having to explain to many, when asked, the difference between the Republic of Ireland (MB’s patch and one of the participating teams) and Northern Ireland (another of the participating teams). “So you’re all British MB?” asked many Pakistanis/Nepalese/Mongolians/Khazaks/Arabs and God only knows who else.

“Grrrrrrr” replied MB to the first one or two such questions. Then MB though – it’s actually a question that Irish people have also asked themselves for approximate 800 years, since date of arrival of first British visitors to Irish shores, who had previously read all sorts of good and juicy things of the Emerald Isle on some early version of tripadviser.com. And arrived en masse to ‘help’ the locals.

Anway, MB tried as best he could to explain the difference between North (British) and South (Republic – not British – definitely not) Ireland to all who asked, and hopefully the people of Outer Mongolia and elsewhere will shortly receive geographical enlightenment from their cousins working under the hot desert sun in the Emirate of Qatar. The world bwill be a better place for it, and MB will receive less such Grrrr questions in the future.

MB also explained to many that Ireland has it’s own language. “You mean English MB?”. “Grrrrrrrrr” replied MB yet again. But in the spirit of imparting knowledge and wisdom, as MB is often given to do, and to put the geographically and culturally challenged imbeciles friends of MB in the right direction, MB pointed many to YouTube links to an Irish college, who have numerous really cool videos of the kids performing uber-cool versions of well-known popular music pieces – in the Irish Gaelic language, or ‘as Gaeilge’ as we say back home. MB regularly watches and listens to the videos of Coláiste Lurgan (Lurgan College), not because of any curtural/Irish reason, but because they are so damn good.

So HX followers, herewith, MB  gives you the kids of Coláiste Lurgan, singing their hearts out in the Irish language – as Gaeilge. Not in English. Grrrrrrr…………….!

Warning – it’s addictive listening. You may find yourself listening to more than one or two!

Really cool. Enjoy.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Spare


Spare

Lots of HX locals are heading to the Lough Gur lakefront at present trying to capture photos of the (allegedly) 5 new cygnets born to the pair of resident swans last week.  MB was in the locality yesterday with canon-in-hand, not exactly at the lakefront area – but nearby, when he spotted a swan swimming slowly by with – not 5 – but 8 cygnets in tow. MB is not sure if this swan is a totally different one from those at the lakefront area (swans are territorial and tend to stay in their own locality), or it is one of the lakefront swans who has managed to pick up a few spares in recent days!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Swan & Cygnets @ Lough Gur. 27 May 2016