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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Zorro is a silver java finch who was born in Kuwait January this year.  You may remember my post about the zebra finches. Well, this little boy also comes from my brother-in-law.  He kindly looked after him in the critical first couple of weeks – after the egg hatched; something only an experienced breeder should attempt.  I picked him up one evening in February, and he’s been at our house ever since.  When we first got him he was one colour.  I explained to the kids that he would soon develop his permenant colour, which would include a ‘mask’ near his eyes.  We were thinking of names at this point, and my wife came up with Zorro… The perfect name!  No-one argued.

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I bought a smaller camera for those work trips when I head straight from the airport to a meeting.  I don’t like the ‘tourist’ look that a big camera would convey.  I’m also very often visiting the same cities: Dubai, Doha, Paris, Sens, London, Muscat, Khobar and Jeddah.  During most trips, I only get an hour or so of photography time, which is mostly during bright daylight and outdoors; perfect conditions and very manageable with a small camera.  The Nikon is therefore now reserved for proper holidays, and for business trips to off-the-beaten-track locations.

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This has to be one of the most fun activities for a family: on horseback through the woods.  The weather was beautiful and so was the place.  The people (and animals) at the Riding Centre were very welcoming, which made the afternoon even more pleasant.  They managed to fit us in on a busy day , which was just as well since I had already promised the kids.

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Lines are not always clearly defined between work and life.  I’m a great believer in mixing the two to a certain degree – but not all the time.  Photography allows me to do this when I’m traveling for work.  On my current business trip, I’m visiting customers in west Wales; the first time I’m this far west on the British Isles.

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Over the past three years, I’ve visited Sens about eight times.  Most of my trips were in winter, which meant it was dark when I left the office in the evening. Other towns have had a better share of my photography time, and I want to change this over my next few visits.

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It’s more flying and less visiting, at least for this week.  I’m tired of Dubai Airport. This is not in any way a criticism, far from it in fact.  I’m just bored of it.  For this trip to France, I chose my old friend British Airways so I stopped at Heathrow – a refreshing change. Our local park is visible in the above photo, the green space behind the five tall buildings.  It was funny being so close to my family and unable to meet them.  I will, God willing, see them on Friday.

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Two men, two meals, and two pastas – hence the silly title.  A few days ago, while shopping for football snacks with one of my brothers, we came across some fantastic king prawns.  We were sick of takeaways and decided to have a home-cooked meal for a change.  We added some fresh pasta to the basket and headed to the check-out.  I picked up some mince meat and penne for the following day.

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This has been sitting in my notebook for almost a year.  Soon after my short experiment with lightwriting,  I watched an episode of Scott Wittenburg’s photography podcast and the subject was ‘physiograms’.  It was the first time I ever heard the term, and as soon as I looked it up on flickr, I was captivated.

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I took this photo last year when we spent the day at an animal park just outside London.  I posted this, and a few other images, on the National Geographic website soon after.  Earlier this week, I received an email from them asking me to add it to their stock website.  It’s a great feeling to get recognition from an organisation that I respect and admire – even if it’s only for one image.  It’s like a pat-on-the-back from a close relative.

I like National Geographic.  I don’t tend to watch much of their channel, but I love their magazine.  I even managed to subscribe electronically earlier this year – which has been fantastic. Recently I saw their advert for their back-issues from 1888 to 2008.  When I mentioned it to my dear father, he kindly offered it to me as a gift. We’ll be ordering it soon.

I know it’s summer when I look around and see an empty house.  It feels strange to have the place to myself.  The garden is not used – even on nice afternoons, there is nothing fresh in the fridge, books are untouched, toys are neatly stacked and the dining table has not seen plates for days.  My brothers have been staying with me occasionally, watching football and movies.

This photo, taken back in May, is what makes a house a home.  One’s loved-ones surrounding one with joy and laughter.  I am truly blessed and I thank God whenever I remember.