Travel Theme: Roads

This week, Ailsa’s travel theme was roads. Her blog Where’s My Backpack is amazing. Do take a look, if you haven’t already and join the challenge! My images are from trips and non-trips over the past 3-4 years. These are either taken with my cell-phone cam or my trusty point & shoot (Warning: My enthusiasm for this particular post went a little over board.)

The first one is of this beautiful little town of Callander in Scotland:

  Callander

Next on the list is Glasgow. The pic was taken from a moving bus, so it might be a little blurred, but I wanted to include a picture of one of my favourite cities:

Glasgow

It’s funny how I don’t have too many pics of Muscat. I need to take more and make the most of my stay here. This one was shot with a cell-phone cam. An ex-colleague of mine had taken me and another colleague out for a spin in the Porche that’s pictured (woot!) – a test drive, of course. Fun day!

Muscat

On a different note, here are a couple taken in Winderemere/Lake District:

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OK, I’m sorry. I couldn’t stick with just two. Here’s one last picture from the Lake District: :)

windermere

This one was shot just outside a pottery factory in Delft:

Delft

The famous Closing Dike, The Netherlands

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Florence! What a beautiful city!

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The streets of Calcutta are never empty. This was taken from a cab on our way to the famous Victoria Memorial

Calcutta

Paris, France:

Paris

And finally, Amsterdam:

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Day 10 of Blogging Challenge

I’ve been a little lazy and not stuck to the challenge. But I guess that’s OK. I don’t want to push myself too much and just take it a day at a time.

So here we are, Day 10. Today’s topic says “Put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play.” Fun! I wish I could do more music based blog challenges. Scratch that, I will try and figure out a blogging challenge which revolves around music. Anyway, back to the topic. I will link each song to a YouTube video as well in case anyone’s interested…

1. Wolfmother – Mind’s Eye : This is a great sign. It used to be one of those I-want-to-listen-to-this-song-on-loop-forever kind of songs. Great stuff!

2. Dream Theater – Afterlife : Not one of my favourite DT songs, but still a great one.

3. Eleni Karaindrou – The Weeping Meadow : OST from the first film (titled The Weeping Meadow) of Theo Angelopoulos’ trilogy. A beautiful, emotionally vivid instrumental piece.

4. Blue Oyster Cult – Flaming Telepaths : A favourite by BOC. Check it out if you haven’t heard it before.

5. sHEAVY – Invasion of The Micronauts : General consensus is that sHeavy sounds very ‘Sabbathy’. At least the vocalist does. Check out Electric Sleep – my favourite track by the band – if you haven’t come across their music before. (Of course, only if you’re into Stoner rock  or Doom metal.)

6. Jaco – Malaysia : Oooh, electronic music! It’s a pretty decent track.

7. Ruth Brown – Looking Back : I actually came across this song while watch My Blueberry Nights. I love Ruth’s voice… she’s divine!

8. The Hot Rats – Crystal Ship : I prefer the original by The Doors. Even Nevermore did an awesome cover. This is decent too.

9. Rich O’Toole – In a Minute or 2 : OK, I have no idea how this song is on my playlist. I have no recollection whatsoever.

10. Pink Floyd – Interstellar Overdrive : No list is complete without a Pink Floyd song. Haha! So there you have mine.

I’m glad no potentially embarrassing songs popped up. Like, say, if someone had a whole playlist of boy band songs. But of course, I’m not that person. So I didn’t need to worry about that. I mean, who listens to 98 Degrees or a1 anymore? Not me, that’s for sure!

Day 5: A Book I Love

Just one? ONE!?! I’m picking 10. And since I haven’t continued with the ‘nostalgia posts’, I have decided to combine both in this post. So top 10 books that I remember reading during the 90s:

1. Killing Mr Griffin by Lois Duncan – A group of teengers plan to kidnap their English teacher and things (as expected) go horribly wrong. I remember desperately wanting to come back home from school just so that I could finish reading the book! (It was exam time and I couldn’t carry it to school with me.)

2. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier – I liked this book better than Rebecca actually. I’m not going to talk about why I love it because, you know, spoilers.

3. Party Summer by R.L. Stine – I admit, this book has no literary value as such. But it was this book that inspired me to go on a collosal writing spree. I spent the whole summer of ’97 writing short stories and discovered I actually enjoyed writing more than anything else.

4. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

5. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – Although I was perhaps a little too young to understand some of the allusive subplots, this book completely blew my mind nonetheless.

7. It by Stephen King

8. Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon – Actually any book by Sidney Sheldon. My friends and I would devour his books.

9. Drop Shot by Harlan Coben – The book that got me hooked. I’ve read almost all his books now.

10. Little Women by Lousia May Alcott

Day 3: My Favourite Television Programme(s)

Woot! I’ve been looking forward to writing this one. (Is it just me or do these challenges remind people of the ‘Slam books’ we used to fill out for our friends back in high school?) Anyway, by the end of this, it might seem I watch a LOT of television but trust me, I don’t. Also, I’m only sticking with shows that are currently being aired; So no Buffy or Lost or Charmed

1. The Walking Dead: Zombies!! Do I even need to talk about how awesome this show is? I love how each of the characters in the show have developed along with the story. I went from completely despising Daryl (played by the uber sexy Norman Reedus) in season 1 to outright falling in love with him by the end of season 2.

2. The Big C: I admit, the only reason I started watching The Big C was because I found out that Laura Linney is in it. I am in love with her and everything she does. She’s just. so. perfect! Anyway, The Big C, as you might have already guessed by now, is about cancer. Laura plays the role of a mid-aged suburban wife called Cathy who’s diagnosed with terminal melanoma. The show basically follows her journey, and how she comes to terms with her illness, etc. Season 1 was brilliant! The next two were OK too and now I’m keenly waiting for the fourth – and sadly the last – season which will be aired in the month of April.

3. Game of Thrones: What can be said about this show that hasn’t been said before? I can’t wait for Season 3 – it airs next month.

4. Girls: Lena Dunham, I hate you for ruining my social life (not that I had much of a social life before). I remember the weekend I finally decided to give the show a shot and ended up staying awake ALL night to watch ALL the episodes. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up with the second season – but that’ll change soon.

5. New Girl: It was just out of a whim that I downloaded the first episode of New Girl and needless to say, completely fell in love with the show, Zooey’s quirky character, Jess – and Nick! Umm.

6. Beauty and The Beast: Yes, yes, please go ahead and judge me. But both, my mom and I totally love the show. Kristin Kreuk is one fine lady! (I was a major Smallville addict as well, but mostly because of Michael Rosenbaum.)

Other honourable mentions: 666 Park Avenue, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.

TV Shows I really should start watching but haven’t gotten around to yet: Boardwalk Empire, Sherlock, Elementary, Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, Community, Six Feet Under, Suits and The Newsroom.

Day 1: Five Ways to Win Your Heart

This blogging thing is addictive! Rekha and I have embarked on another 30-day challenge. And this time it has been directly inspired by Melissa’s blog, A Boles Undertaking. So, five ways to win my heart?

1. Be kind. I’m talking about straight-from-your-heart, unadulterated type of kindness. Kindness that’s reflected in your eyes, smile, and voice. Kindness that isn’t contrived. Kindness without an agenda. Be kind to me, to those around you but most of all, be kind to yourself.

2. Love your life. Every minute of it. Be that person who lives – or at least tries to live – a full life.

3. Amuse me. I am instantly enamoured by people who possess a wry wit. Be punny. Some women like sweet nothings whispered into their ears – I’ll take a double entendre please.

4. Reddit.

5. Don’t support ManU or Chelsea – or even Bayern for that matter. Oh, and don’t be a frickin’ bandwagoner ;)

Travel Theme: Bridges

Alright, this is my first shot at a Travel Theme post and this week it’s bridges. This one was fun! And I had a great time going through all my photos… The first one’s from my trip to Italy in December 2011 with my mom. It was taken at Torcello. It’s called Ponte del Diavolo or Devil’s Bridge:

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Torcello is an island just off the Venetian mainland. And speaking of Venice, how can we not include the famous Rialto Bridge:

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A closer shot:

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The following three are from my trip to Amsterdam in December 2012

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And finally, this one taken during my visit to Kolkata, India in February 2011. This bridge is across the Hoogly as seen from the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple.

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More, more, more

All this talk of growing up in the 90s, boybands, etc. really made me nostalgic. I spent a good hour during the weekend going through my journals and laughing at the stupid things I said, laughing over my high school crushes (not to mention the drama!)… and as much as I’m glad, all that is in the past, it’s always fun to look back and recall the things we used to enjoy. Books that we’d read… Movies that we’d watch… So this week, not only have I decided to take this blogging challenge a notch higher, I’ve also decided to dedicate an entire week to ‘Nostalgia’.

Brace

Today, it’s going to be my favourite cartoon/anime themes from back in the day. Thank goodness for YouTube and the Internet. Otherwise, I’d truly be lost & lonely.

1. Duck Tales

2. Gummi Bears

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

4. Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers

5. The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest

6. Captain Planet (outro)

7. Pink Panther

8. Tom & Jerry Kids

9. Jungle Book/Mowgli

And since I grew up in Oman, I’d watch cartoons dubbed in Arabic as well:

10. Little Princess (We knew it as Sally)

11. Daddy Long Legs (I used to call it Judy)

12. Boumbo

13. I was just going to wrap up this list when I remembered He-Man!! So by the power of grey-skull, I bring to you, the intro :)