Qatar Blockade – Update


Way back mid-June, MB published one of the most succinct, informative and entertaining reports on the Qatar/Gulf crisis seen in world media. Peers gasped for breath. Read More

Foto Friday – The bull in the field


For all MB’s Arab friends in particular, who like to see Irish greenery.

IMG_7352

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