Friday, 31 December 2010

Muscat Moments 4 - # 118/10

"Trading Off-Souk"............a tricky shot with extremes of light to cope with.  Looking out from the main covered Souk (naturally cool and shaded from the sun) we glimpse little alleys leading away, absolutely drenched in brilliant sunshine. I tried several shots and this seemed to work best for the blog.  Photography is often a bargaining trade-off, just like haggling with a long-experienced market trader. I was won over by an expert who knew his cricket and told me the latest news about England absolutely thrashing the s*** out of Australia to secure the Ashes. Having hooked me he gracefully let me beat him down on his price, but I most likely still paid way too much...."stoopid white-man",

We are in the Souk in the old, original harbour area of the original trading port of Muscat, home of the legendary Sindbad the Sailor who was, according to tradition and legend, an Omani seafaring man.   

Right now I say......."If you can manage to travel to Muscat, then DO. You won't regret it, and the Sultanate of Oman will welcome you warmly".

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Muscat Moments 3 - # 117/10

I get the feeling that Oman might be a bird watcher's delight.  I don't know the name of this bird, but there are lots around.  They have an attractive song and flocks congregate where cafe terraces and hotel buffets provide plenty of scraps from the tables. This is a lively, good looking, attractive bird. Its feathers subtley change colour as they move across the body and this makes them very pleasant, welcome neighbours that please the eye, and a good subject for the wild life photographer - which I am not.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Muscat Moments 2 - # 116/10

The Omani camel.  This is definitely the preferred way to travel. Don't you just love their little "teddy bear style" ears and curly coats?  Giant 4x4 cars might get agressive with a Nissan Sunny from Thrifty rentals, but they won't mess with a camel.

It's now noon and hot, so having been out since 08.30 I'm back indoors and going to sleep till 15.30. The Indian workmen laying paving stones and building things will toil on regardless.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Muscat Moments 1 - # 115/10

Greetings from Muscat, Capitol City of the Sultanate of Oman.  Please excuse the mosque being a bit skew-whiff, but I don't have the correction software at hand.

The temperature is 19 - 23 degrees C (in Summer it will go up to 56!), there's barely a cloud in the sky and it's delightful! Even more delightful; the electric plug points are all British Standard, so I don't have to use those silly travel adapters.

The overall backdrop is the rugged and dramatically shaped mountains you can see in the background.  They are never out of sight, and the roads frequently cut through the mountains, or curve around the troughs in between the peaks.  Oman occupies a narrow strip of land between the sea and the mountains. Behind the mountains is the desert of Saudi Arabia. Do have a look at the atlas to see what I mean.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Converging lines - # 114/10

Blizards and closed airports and out-of-position airliners permitting, I'm off to stay for a while in the Sultanate of Oman.

So, I'll leave you with this puzzling abstract taken in the old "meat cellar" in Ham House.  It seems that they did need a lot of meat.

Depending how things go I may treat you to a few "Muscat Moments" while I'm away.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Likenesses - # 113/10

......and look at us, for we were once like you.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Ham House shadows - # 112/10

Another one of those "Ham House moments" when the play of shadows catches your eye.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Burst mains - # 110/10

The icey weather caused the water main outside my house to crack open.  Water flowed across the road bubbling up through the cracked tarmac.

What a horrible job, having to fix a burst main in freezing cold weather.

To Kate and Jack, who enquired yesterday: I'm fine thank you, but as I said/indicated, clearing up after someone passes away takes some effort - not least the "admin". The injuries sustained 11 months ago, falling on the ice, are still evident, but the recovery is well on track.  Muscles get weakened and a lot of effort is needed to rebuild.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Bar Fly chooses a chair- # 109/10

No postings for a week. Not so much busy as totally preoccupied by "things"....home admin, bitter weather that does not encourage outings, and just general "stuff".  So the bar fly was pleased when his friend, known mysteriously as "The Railwayman" called him out for a drink and a chat.  Waiting quietly in a very cosy, welcoming but totally empty inn (cold weather is bad for business) the Bar Fly started snapping.  Just sit quietly and enjoy the things you see.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Diligent woodpecker - # 108/10

Our personal, locally based woodpecker has found out that he can also access the seeds in the feeder for the smaller birds.  The squirrels cannot get in, and it drives them crazy!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Standing figures - # 107/10

Another shot from my "very cold day out" on Friday 26th Nov: looking at Big Ben from the South Bank near the London Eye.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Listening to His Master's Voice - # 106/10

Menton Daily Photo has today kindly made a reference to Nipper, HMV, and this blog.

Here is a painting of Nipper, listening intently, in the Toilet Gallery (art gallery) sited in a converted toilet in Nipper Alley, Kingston upon Thames.