Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dad at fifty-one (almost my age)

Happy 75th Birthday, Dad!
Pictured here 24 years ago in the hills above our place at Tontenano in the province of Arezzo in Tuscany. He is wearing his clothes in exactly the same way as his eldest son, which is a little bit spooky!

And now, today, he is 80 years old. Happy Birthday, Dad. A pity we will not be seeing you today but we are all here in Sheffield to celebrate. See you soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Handsome man in Nizwa

Handsome man in Nizwa by CharlesFred
Handsome man in Nizwa, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

My favourite portrait from Nizwa - a beautifully handsome man in such lovely light. He smiled very nicely after I had taken so many photos of him...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The colours of Bo-Kaap

The colours of Bo-Kaap by CharlesFred
The colours of Bo-Kaap, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The big mosque in Nizwa

The big mosque in Nizwa by CharlesFred
The big mosque in Nizwa, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

African penguin

African penguin by CharlesFred
African penguin, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Masked by CharlesFred
Masked, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Green in Oman

Green in Oman by CharlesFred
Green in Oman, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cape Vine

Cape Vine by CharlesFred
Cape Vine, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

Welcome to autumn... at least in the southern hemisphere!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A touching moment

A touching moment by CharlesFred
A touching moment, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

We have seen this lovely chap a couple of times by now, here he is with his little goat chatting nicely to a young boy, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the very busy market.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kauto Star with connections

Happier days for Kauto Star from five years ago when he won the first of his two Cheltenham Gold Cups. He was trying to recapture his crown for the second time today but it was not to be his day, being sensibly pulled up by Ruby Walsh after it was obvious that he was not at his best.

A very sad sight to see but he goes into the record books as one of the very best chasers of the last 50 years.

Now for an honourable retirement, I think.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Omani women at the Nizwa livestock market

It is "Ladies Day" at Cheltenham today, so time for some women from the livestock market in Nizwa from last Friday.

My tips for today are:

Alfie Spinner (5th)
Cotton Mill (ran out when 2nd at second last hurdle)
Cape Dutch (nowhere sighted, in the race won by Son Of Flicka, as below)
Sir Johnson

My brother is on!

In the meantime, there is a horse called Son Of Flicka in the next race at the nice price of 50-1! But I'd rather see Cape Dutch win this... BLIMEY!!! And he won too... Son Of Flicka, not Cape Dutch. Well done Donald McCain (again).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Scenes from the Nizwa livestock market

A nice (not-so-big) bull waiting to go through the ring.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In the scrubland of Oman

In the scrubland of Oman by CharlesFred
In the scrubland of Oman, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.

There was time to stop off and take some photos of the dramatic countryside of Oman when criving back from Nizwa and al-Hamra to Dubai.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Worth making a 980 km round trip for this? (I think so)

Explanation: I had a few days work in Dubai with a free day on the Friday, which is a weekend over there. So, I had the chance to spend a day having a look around Dubai and its many attractions. But, modern cities are not really what I like best and with Nizwa in Oman being a so-called 4 or 5 hour trip from Dubai and having had such a lovely time there back in 2010, I decided to take the company's 'green charger' (a 3 liter Mazda car) over the border to NIzwa.

Well, leaving Dubai at 5 on Thursday and reckoning I would reach Nizwa not long after 10, little was I know that the journey would take a full 8 hours, due mainly to having massive problems crossing the border, For a start, there are no signposts from the UAE to Oman, at the mountain resort of Al Ain, and then it turns out there are a number of different border crossings, all with very long and so queues to get across. When I did finally get across, the Omani border guard told me that I had crossed the wrong one for Nizwa, which entailed another long detour across the mountains to get onto the road to Ibri and then Nizwa.

Pulling into Nizwa at 1 in the morning, I found a bed at a cheap hotel on the outskirts of town and was up at 6 to catch the best of the weekly livestock market, the source of most of the over 1,000 pics I took yesterday.

And now, I am back in Amsterdam, after a couple of very pleasant flights with Turkish Airlines, albeit without my luggage (second time running), back to a dull and damp day and a few days at home with Fred before the next trip...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The seas off Somalia used to be teeming with sharks

Now they are being sold at the Fish Market in Dubai and maybe just for their fins. What a waste and the world only complains about Somali pirates, forgetting what the rest of the world has done to the seas off Somalia.

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