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Monthly Archives: October 2008

After months of reading, learning and planning, today was the day!  This morning we walked just under a mile away from our house and released three homers.

The weather is much better these days and we all took part which made it feel like a special event.  Yousef opened the basket and Noor held it in place.  Um Yousef and I watched and I managed to take these three photographs.

The first bird out was a little reluctant (see photo on the right), but all three were soon high in the sky.  I am yet to see them back home.  I think they’ve been and gone again.

Overall I’m happy to announce a success.  We have lunch with the whole family at my father’s every Friday.  My intention is to build up the distance until we reach a release from there (10km away) some time in February. Watch this space.

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I had meetings in Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia.  I usually stay in Bahrain but this time I had no meetings there, so I flew direct to Dammam. It was prayer time when I arrived so we waited twenty minutes before the immigration guys returned.  One by one.  There were four queues by then and they chose to open the windows where no-one was waiting.  I think they enjoy seeing the scramble.  I did.

Unfortunately I didn’t see Al Khobar but I hear from everyone that it’s a beautiful city especially by the Corniche.  

Departing from Dammam airport is also miserable.  It’s a beautiful building with good size halls and check-in desks – but it lacks any life.  Once you go through to the gates, there is one shop (like a large Baqala) and a sign for a restaurant that I couldn’t find.  I thought Kuwait airport was bad until I saw this one.  The photograph is of the aeroplane I took back.  This was the only clean spot I could find on any of the windows.  Compare this with Bangkok!

Meet Mr Brown, Noor’s favorite pigeon.  In this photograph he looks a little evil, but he’s actually a lovely and friendly bird. My camera lens is invading his space, hence the temper.

You see, today he is a proud father of a new chick (if you look carefully, you can just see a bit of baby Brown) and tomorrow the second egg will hatch.

Personally, I only want to keep a few homing pigeons.  I don’t race but I am fascinated by their amazing navigation and flying skills.  The children however have other ideas – and of course I have to listen 🙂  On days like this, I’m glad I do.

 

The weather is finally breaking.  I spend ten minutes now and then feeding our pigeons on the roof.  This was the first sunrise worth photographing.  I took this last Thursday.  Today started off as a lovely morning with some drizzle, but unfortunately it turned into a very dusty day.  Patience Kuwait! A few more days and we will get there.

A few of our pigeons are lazy.  They spend most of their time inside the loft – and only step out for a sun-bath and a stretch.  The homing pigeons on the other hand are like little athletes.  Three of them are on their morning sprint before breakfast. They fly for about ten minutes at lightning speed. They are now getting used to our house and will soon be ready for their first trip! Can’t wait.

It was a clear night and while I always try to get a window seat on the right hand side, I couldn’t check-in online for this KLM flight from Muscat.  I couldn’t choose my seat and this was the result!  I know it’s not the sharpest image, but I had to share this great view.  

Kuwait City’s skyline is changing by the day.  So many projects in a relatively small concentrated area. Many of the new buildings have a little more inspiration behind them than the old usual peach/beige cubes. My favorite is Al Hamra.


Time seems to stand still in this beautiful city.  So much pride is taken in this place by the people in it that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is out of place.  It all sits together wonderfully and the whole country has a very relaxed atmosphere.

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For the second time, I’ve managed to get to Sur and back to Muscat without seeing anything in Sur!  My meeting was at the harbour outside the town and we drove back immediately after.

The journey, on the other hand, was a different story.  Driving this route needs constant attention to the road, conditions, bends, goats, taxi drivers, and sane drivers.  Luckily, I wasn’t driving this time so I enjoyed the scenery.  Unlike Kuwait, Oman really is decentralised.  There were small towns dotted around all the way to Sur.  That’s four hours through the mountains!  The towns are different but they have common factors.  They sit around Wadis – small valleys with water running through it during heavy rain – and there is always a cute (I honestly can’t think of a better word) mosque visible with small houses surrounding it.  It’s such a pretty sight that keeps repeating in a different composition each time.

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My travel agent had told me that the only direct flight to Muscat yesterday was KLM. I arrived at my gate and saw an Oman Air flight parked at the gate next door.  It was bound for Muscat and even taking off a few minutes before the KLM flight!

While waiting for my blood pressure to drop back to 3 and 2 digits, I asked the suit by the gate entrance, and he assured me that I had made a better choice.  The Oman air flight stops at Dubai on the way!

The national carrier of Oman doesn’t have direct flight to Muscat from Kuwait – but the Royal Dutch Airlines does.  Crazy world!

The advice from Blog Action Day is to keep this post related to the blog’s topic.  My blog is about finding an excuse to take an interesting photograph of travel, gardening and more.  I tend to steer away from debating issues and current affairs.  I do enough of that outside this arena.  However, I really wanted to join this wonderful effort and I registered with them early last month.

Whilst we are truly blessed here in Kuwait not to have absolute poverty to speak of, we do have relative poverty – a term I learnt recently.  Monthly salaries for so many people living and working in Kuwait are around 30KD.  That’s 1KD a day!  With many employers, these ridiculously low salaries are not even paid on time, nor in full.  

Please help the Blog Action Day effort by donating here.  The recommendation is a day’s income!  Please give more if you can.

See other bloggers’ contributions here.

I haven’t had a chance to see Abu Dhabi.  This is my second trip here and the photograph sums up my experience of this changing city.  I zoom around from meeting to meeting and back to the hotel in the evening for a flight the next day.

I am so impressed by how much is happening in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  In Kuwait, we have new towns and towers being built.  In these two cities, cities are being built within them.  I am a little concerned about who will fill these buildings? but impressive is too weak a word to describe the progress.

Driving out of Abu Dhabi, I saw Khalifa City.  This is four phases of houses after houses and more.  The other side of the highway has office blocks and apartment buildings.  Malls and leisure facilities are all around.  Huge road bridges connecting the two sides are being constructed.  Reem Island is another massive development with everything that you can imagine (and some that you can’t).  Good luck Abu Dhabi.

My absolute favorite sight today was the Grand Mosque.  The driver was going fast so I couldn’t get a good shot.  It’s definitely on my list of photographs for my next trip. I hope I get more time.

This was taken on my way to the airport yesterday.  Most (if not all) early morning flights were cancelled.  Mine was only delayed by an hour.  I couldn’t believe how low the visibility was – nor how it was concentrated only around the airport.  When I left home, it was almost 100% clear!

Sharq actually means East – so this is a bit of a silly title.  It was taken yesterday from the parking of Souq Sharq.  I have wanted to take this particular photograph for years!  Bad luck with weather coupled with unbelieveable laziness meant I never got round to it.

Intlxpatr‘s sunrise posts are inspiring, and last week she posted about a Sunset Challenge.  This gave me the kick I needed and yesterday was the perfect opportunity.  The weather was a little dusty, but the result was as good as I could get it to be.  Yesterday, this was probably one of the most relaxing places to be in Kuwait.

With the weather conditions finally changing, I have made my biannual change to the front flower beds.  Previous heroes have been marigolds and patunias.  This year I’m trying these beautiful Zenias. 

They come in red and pink but this yellow/orange is, in my opinion, the brightest.  As long as the heat doesn’t return, and we don’t get frost in the winter, these should last until spring. 

  

I love the mini flowers within.