Posted on October 23, 2019
Thanks to Amy for this week’s layered challenge.
MB’s It’s the Weekend post of a few days back featured a shot of an old train that MB took some years back in Sri Lanka; 2013 to be exact. MB was on an overnight train journey from capital city Colombo to a hilltop village called Haputale in search of Lipton’s Seat; the seat that owner and founder Sir Thomas Lipton had installed at the top of the highest peak on his Lipton’s Tea Plantation, where he would come of an evening to relax and reflect on life and tea-growing. MB managed to find the seat and sat in it and gazed for a long time out over the hills and tea plants that stretched as far as the eye could see one beautiful Sri Lankan August evening. The icing-on-the-cake was drinking top quality Orange Pekoe black Sri Lankan tea from the little tea hut that lies close to the seat, for the benefit of travelers who make the journey. MB wrote a post about that trip to Haputale entitled Time for Tea if followers care to read.
MB had paid some extra shekels for a sleeper carriage on the overnight trip to Haputale, the journey being some ten hours or more. However, the term ‘sleeper carriage’ seems to have a different meaning in Sri Lanka than elsewhere; a wafer-thin foam mattress of no more than 3 or 4cm not affording much sleeper softness from the bone-hard plywood underneath. So upon sight of some sunlight in the very early morning hours, a very tired MB alighted from his bed-coffin, not having had a wink of sleep since boarding the train many hours previously, and meandered out to the train corridor to view the surrounding countryside from the corridor window.
And what a multi-layered early-morning sight to behold:
Time for Tea – next to Lipton’s Seat some 30 to 40 minutes drive by Tuktuk from Haputale:
Posted on April 26, 2019
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:
Posted on March 24, 2017
MB included lots of green Sri Lankan landscapes in his most recent posts. Time for a black & white portrait.
MB had a chat these two characters at a street market in Colombo, before boarding the train to Haputale, that was a story-feature on his two previous posts.
Posted on March 23, 2017
MB was chuffed with the reaction to yesterday’s ‘green’ photo challenge post. So he has decided to give followers some extra ‘green’. Thanks, MB, you’re a lege. Don’t mention guys.
The time is 5.30am. The date is 08 August 2013.
MB could no longer lie on the sheet-of-plywood that constituted a ‘bed’ in the sleeping carriage of the British-rule era train en route to Haputale. Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep in the preceding 24 hours, hungry as hell, and with serious back ache from the previously referred 1/2″ thick plywood ‘bed’, MB arose to face the day.
The rickety train continued to chu chu its way through the high hill country of central Sri Lanka, winding around acute bends, climbing inexorably towards destination Haputale.
The darkness had now lifted, enabling MB to take in the views from the train corridor outside his badly misnamed ‘sleeping carriage’. MB could immediately see that he had entered God’s country, with stunning vistas around every corner. He grabbed his Canon 7D and framed his shots. Click, click, click………..
Some shots from the moving train:
Posted on March 22, 2017
On 08 August 2013, very early morning, MB found himself disembarking an old train at the train station of a small town called Haputale in central Sri Lanka. He had taken a bone-shaking ten-hour journey from Colombo on the islands west coast, travelled inland about as far as one can travel in, in Sri Lanka, before one starts to travel out.
So there was MB, smack bang in the middle of high Sri Lankan hill country, with no advance booking for accommodation, no contacts and no clue how he would solve his immediate and pressing needs of food and sleep. MB wasn’t even sure if this small Sri Lankan town had accommodation or cafés or even a spare bed for a wandering Irishman. But fate would take its course and MB would just see what hand of cards fate would deal him.
MB has previously written about his Haputale adventure so he won’t repeat the story. But if anyone’s interested, click here for the low-down.
As things turn out, Haputale wasn’t half bad, as long as one wasn’t expecting 5-star standards. And if life throws you lemons, MB was thinking, make lemonade! He found ‘lemonade’ in abundance in the people and place in the coming days, and achieved his primary goal of sitting in the famous ‘Lipton’s Seat’ atop one of the highest points in the original Lipton’s Tea Plantation, where the legendary Sir Thomas Lipton had sat to relax of an evening to contemplate life and the universe, some hundred years previously.
Oh ya. And there was lots of green!
Posted on March 8, 2017
“Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai
MB just woke up to see the above quotation from MY, posted by the Facebook website to celebrate International Woman’s Day. Seems Mark Zukerberg has been watching MB’s blog posts and finally caught on!
Malala was the 12-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot on a bus by a very ‘religious’ Taliban man (Sunni Islamic extremist) whose organisation thought (and still think) that girls should not receive education or attend school; and shooting them was/is the correct punishment if they continue to do so. Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize as a 16-year-old in 2014. MB previously wrote a blog post about Malala and her example to others called Who is Malala?
MB’s below shot was taken in a train station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in August 2013. That girl looks a similar enough age to Malala when she was shot on a bus on her way to school.
Posted on March 21, 2015
Fathers & Daughters
It’s the same the world over. Any daughter can wrap her dad around her little finger. Fact! This dad proudly posed with his ‘boss’ for MB on a beach in Sri Lanka. August 2013.
Posted on September 30, 2014
Posted on March 28, 2014
If you have lived for any time in the Middle East you will know that on Fridays, the quite streets are the haunt of workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka. And the name of the game is cricket! Read More
Posted on December 20, 2013
Posted on December 16, 2013
Posted on November 18, 2013
Posted on September 17, 2013
Posted on September 13, 2013
MB mentioned in one of the recent Sri Lanka blogs that he would return to the missing 24 hours of his first day in SL, following the morning walk along the beach, chats with the local fishermen & breakfast. Photos below are random shots on the day from MB’s B&B, travelling in taxi to Colombo train station and others taken whilst waiting for various trains. Read on:
Posted on September 5, 2013
Morning boys & girls
Inshallah you are all hale & hearty, and thriving. MB is taking yet another visa trip back to UAE later today, as you gotta stay legal out these parts or they run you out of town real quick. Read More