Weekly Photo Challenge – Ohh Shiny!


Ohh Shiny!

This week’s photo challenge phrase is one that MB was not previously familiar with. Perhaps because it’s purely an American phrase. Or perhaps, that phrase & MB’s paths just never crossed.

The phrase, according to Andrea who set this week’s challenge, means something that is distracting, like an American bird distracted by a shiny object (Irish birds just don’t get distracted – they are always focused and in ‘the zone’).

Anyway, MB got to thinking, what makes him distracted?

When he travels back to the Emerald Isle he is always distracted by the ruins of an old manor house anytime he drives past, known locally as ‘Croker’s, after the old boss man of the family who lived there. The ruin lies just across the road from the farmhouse where MB grew up.

There is a local saying back in HX-land – “I doubt it, said Croker” – which originates from a deathbed conversation that Coker had with his priest. The priest tried to console Croker in his final dying hours with the soothing words – “At least you will be going to a better place”. To which Croker famously replied – “I doubt it”.

Herewith, a shot of the ruin which MB took from the nearby wooded area along the Grange/HX road during his trip home last May:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Elemental


Elemental.

The photo challenge this week is to explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire.

Difficult to get all the elements in a single shot of course, so MB will give followers a few of the recent shots he took around the square in front of the chateaux in the town of Nyon, Switzerland. The shots contain elements of the elements!


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Some weather thingy on a wall in the square. The inscription below the weather clock reads – He who looks at me loses time – or some such. French attempt at humour or wisdom, MB presumes.SONY DSCSONY DSC

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View from the rear of the castle

Weekly Photo Challenge – Textures


Textures.

A misty Irish HX morn provides a smokey texture to an MB shot:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Unusual


Unusual.

Enough said!

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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:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Bridge


Bridge.

MB is too tired & busy to find some deeper meaning ‘bridge’ photo. Followers will just have to put up & shut up with MB’s quickly selected ‘bridge’ offering.

The same photo appeared in recent weeks in one of MB’s awesome Moscow posts. But as the old MB saying goes, one can never get too much of a good thing!

Enough of your inane ramblings MB. Just give us the photo. Ok, ok, lads. Relax.

Voila or Eureka or whatever. A night shot of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, behind some bridge whose name is unknown to MB.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Transient


Transient/Impermanent.

MB was in his HX homeland last month for ten days or so. One of the events he attended during his trip was the 50th anniversary of the HX Soccer Club, which commenced playing operations in 1967. During the evening, mention was made of many former players who have passed away in the intervening years, and a number of those present on the night actually played with those deceased members back in the flower-power days.

The night reminded many of us of more advanced years that we are all just passing through at the end of the day. In the end, we are all just transients.

MB caught a nice shot of friend, former club player and band member LS on the evening, as he strummed his bass guitar to Lay Down Sally or something similar.

Play it Liam!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus


Focus

All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.

MB caught a reasonably sharp focus on Mr Robin some time back in his HX homeland. Mr Robin was, at the time, focused very much on something else, as viewers can see. MB can assure followers that MB’s Robin is not the unfortunate Cock Robin of nursery rhyme fame:

“Who killed Cock Robin?” “I,” said the Sparrow,
“With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.”
“Who saw him die?” “I,” said the Fly,
“With my little eye, I saw him die.”
“Who caught his blood?” “I,” said the Fish,
“With my little dish, I caught his blood.”
“Who’ll make the shroud?” “I,” said the Beetle,
“With my thread and needle, I’ll make the shroud.”
“Who’ll dig his grave?” “I,” said the Owl,
“With my pick and shovel, I’ll dig his grave.”
“Who’ll be the parson?” “I,” said the Rook,
“With my little book, I’ll be the parson.”
“Who’ll be the clerk?” “I,” said the Lark,
“If it’s not in the dark, I’ll be the clerk.”
“Who’ll carry the link?” “I,” said the Linnet,
“I’ll fetch it in a minute, I’ll carry the link.”
“Who’ll be chief mourner?” “I,” said the Dove,
“I mourn for my love, I’ll be chief mourner.”
“Who’ll carry the coffin?” “I,” said the Kite,
“If it’s not through the night, I’ll carry the coffin.”
“Who’ll bear the pall? “We,” said the Wren,
“Both the cock and the hen, we’ll bear the pall.”
“Who’ll sing a psalm?” “I,” said the Thrush,
“As she sat on a bush, I’ll sing a psalm.”
“Who’ll toll the bell?” “I,” said the bull,
“Because I can pull, I’ll toll the bell.”
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Order


Order.

Sort of!

Shot from a Yemeni jewellery market stall at Global Village Souq Dubai, from a few years back.

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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.

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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.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage


Heritage.

When you grow up in Ireland, your heritage is all about you, and you are immersed in it from the moment you leave the womb. Sport. Music. Dance. Drama. Language. Literature. Castles. Prehistoric monuments. The list is endless.

In the Middle East, it’s a totally different kettle of heritage fish. And a totally different heritage. One similarity in the heritage of both locations, however, is ancient exploring and explorers.

Did you know that it was not Christopher Columbus who ‘discovered’ America.  It was an Irishman who did so – St Brendan the Voyager, hundreds of years before ‘Columbus the Pretender’. Google it guys – discover the truth!

The Arabs have a similarly famous voyager – Ibn Battuta. MB has mentioned in past posts that there is a shopping mall in Dubai called Ibn Battuta Mall – with each section of the mall themed on the different geographical locations explored by IB – China, Persia, North Africa, etc.

MB took this shot of some Arabic boats (dhows) at a heritage market in Qatar, December 2016; miniature models of the real thing.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting


Reflecting.

If ever you wish to turn water to wine, or you require the secret alchemist recipe to turn mercury to gold, or you wish to turn a simple semicircle to a full circle – just ask MB. He will have the answer.

This incredible semicircle to full circle reflection-shot is taken from MB’s photo cave – one of his Amsterdam trip with daughter MB2 shots in November 2016.

Wicked shot MB. Thanks lads!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Danger!


Danger.

If HX followers ever find themselves stuck between a Crusader army and an Ottoman army, MB suggests that you make yourself very scarce, pronto. One doesn’t want to get caught in the carnage.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threw out the Crusader mentality insult last week to those Turks who were suggesting that he had stolen the election; which many Turks suspect, from all that MB has heard from a number of Turkish friends. He won the election by some 1.5M votes, but there were almost 3M (mysteriously) unstamped votes included in the count, which were mostly in Erdogan’s favour. And many districts had allegedly more votes than voters. The old Irish cry of vote early and often seems to have been adopted with gusto!

MB took this shot through a shop window in April 2014, in a market in the historical Istanbul old town, from where many an Ottoman soldier, no doubt, set sail to do battle against the Western Crusaders in the holy land, back in the day. The Crusaders generally came off on the wrong side of those battles, from all that MB has read. Dangerous days in the past for the Crusaders. Dangerous days in the present for many Turks.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Wanderlust


Wanderlust.

Around the end of March each year, many an expat in the Middle East (and beyond) gets that wanderlust feeling and heads to Dubai for the richest horserace in the world; the Dubai World Cup. The DWC is the last race on the last night of the 4-month Dubai horse racing festival which starts in early November. The night must be experienced to be believed, with much on offer besides the racing. The Meydan Racing Stadium itself is a 1.2km mesmerising modern structure which contains a 5-star hotel within, and resembles an invading mega-spaceship of ultra-high luminosity, in the midst of the death-dark desert on the outskirts of Dubai city.

In addition to the attraction of the racing, one can also avail of the sport of ‘people watching’, as it’s also the biggest day of the year for ladies fashion and corporate entertainment. Think ‘ladies day at Ascot’ on steroids. The event overall is an eclectic mixture of multiple nationalities, and income levels from princes to paupers, with various ticket prices to suit. The after-racing concert this year (there’s always one) featured Aussie pop star, Sia.

So here’s  2 x MB shots from DWC night,  29 March 2014:

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“You really are the greatest MB” – Sia