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 – H2O


A bunch of people and some elephants messing around in some H2O.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Future


This week’s photo challenge is – Future.

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There are dire warnings for many parts of the MENA region (Middle East/North Africa) in the not-too-distant future in relation to dwindling water resources. Already there is evidence of the future impact on the present politics of certain countries.

It is said that securing future water supplies is at the heart of many decisions the state of Israel makes in relation to the Palestinian terratories. You will read and hear much more in the coming two or three years about a large dam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile River which may starve the countries downstream of desperately needed  water supplies. Sudan & Egypt have indicated they may use military intervention against the Ethiopians should they proceed with the dam in such a way that will greatly restrict water supply to their peoples.

In the coming 50 or so years it is predicted that the rainfall will be so little and temperatures so hot that many Arabian Gulf countries will be unable to support human habitation, due to the impact of global warming. Some scientists say we have already passed the tipping point. Let’s hope not.

MB gives you a shot from his visit of April 2015 to Goa in India, taken at the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park.

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Trip Home – Knockadoon


MB has mentioned the hill of Knockadoon in recent posts. In the below photo, the 16th century Bouchiers Castle is visible left of pic. The ruins of a 13th-century castle, called Black Castle, also lie within the treescape of the hill, but it’s not visible on MB’s shot.

Knockadoon contains one of Ireland’s four secret entrances to the land of everlasting youth, or Tír Na Nóg in the Irish Gaelic language (pronounced – teer-na-noog). Each of the four provinces of Ireland contains one entrance, which are known only to a select few Knights of Nóg. HX blog followers can guess whether or not MB is such a Knight, but MB’s not saying. However, MB’s extremely youthful looks for his age may give followers a pointer.

Other than the above, MB is not at liberty to say much more about the sacred historical hill which contains many secrets.

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Knockadoon, Lough Gur, County Limerick

Weekly Photo Challenge – Vibrant


Vibrant. In B&W.

The bridge at Bruff village. Shot by MB during Christmas break back home.

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Photo Story – 7 of 7


Middle East Living
The modern lifestyle of many Middle East Arabs is far from healthy. Night time can often involve hanging out in cafes or restaurants to watch a televised football match while smoking flavoured shisha. There is a misconception among many that because the smoke is forced through the water pipe that it is somehow less toxic. But research shows that the sweet smelling smoke is even more harmful that normal cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoking itself is also far more extensive than back in MB’s homeland.

The historic activity of nomadic desert migration is long since replaced by the wandering from the Baskin & Robbins oasis to McDonald’s to Dunkin Donut and others in search of the nightly fix. Very often the Arab driver will honk the car horn outside the restaurant of choice and the restaurant workers will rush out to take the order. They will return again minutes later with the high carb food, ensuring that Mohammad didn’t even have to take the short walk from car to counter before he wolfed it down.

The climate of course isn’t conducive to physical activity for much of the year. But there are at least 5 to 6 months when the weather is excellent for an evening stroll or jog, or any other kind of sporting activity you care to mention. There is no historical culture of sport however, so participation levels by locals are very low, as much as MB has observed. The Dubai marathon each year for example, has thousands of participants, but native numbers are lamentably poor, despite the best efforts of the Government to encourage local participation. The present nightly summer temps are in the mid thirties but the only joggers that MB sees on his nightly outings are fellow Westies.

Eating habits are also a cause of concern. The month of fasting from sunrise to sunset that is called Ramadan actually witnesses many Arabs gaining weight, as they gorge themselves at the evening ‘Iftar’ meal and the body is just unable to burn off the calories consumed during the following very shortened working day of that month. Eating to excess is commonplace even throughout the remainder of the year, as the traditional evening meal involves many and varied starters which must each be sampled, followed by large plates of meat and rice with various yoghurts, and a desert course. Then a creamy mocha or cappuccino to wash it all down following by the obligatory puffing of the hooka pipe. The incidence of diabetes, for all the above reasons, has risen dramatically in recent years and regional health authorities speak of a diabetes epidemic in the coming years.

All in all, many similarities with many western countries as you can see!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture


This week’s photo challenge – Texture
The setting sun glistens like a million diamonds on the water at Dubai Creek.

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World Water Day


Far too much of the stuff in Ireland in recent months!
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