Half and Half – Through the Stone and Wood

A panorama from the waterside of Gamla, Stockholm.

Gamla Panorama, Stockholm

Gamla Panorama, Stockholm

If you’re struggling to pinpoint what inspired the title look here. Although with the trees and buildings, sky and water perhaps I have my fractions a little wrong.

And you can see more half and half inspiration here.

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Faith and Continuity

Suleimani Aqeeq Ring

Suleimani Aqeeq Ring

In Islam we differentiate between Muslims (those who submit to the will of Allah) and Momins (those who believe). Believers have attained a higher state of faith than those who submit. One of the five signs of a believer is that they wear a ring on their right hand, typically a carnelian, and this is mine.

My maternal grandmother bought this in Iraq as a gift for my father, her son-in-law. My brother inherited our father’s utterly gorgeous Omega watch, and I got the ring. That’s pretty much all he had, and as all my grandparents were poor as church mice the gift is probably as much as my grandmother could afford.

I also inherited my father’s mannerisms, but alas not his elegant fingers; the ring has been widened twice since I have owned it.

This is my symbol, of the things I believe, who I am and where I came from.

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More symbols here

Rain Stops Play

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It is supposedly the cricket season, but with the unpredictable British weather, it is pretty much always the off season for summer sports.

This was taken on Friday June 12th 2015 – the 2nd One Day International between England and New Zealand at the Kia Oval. A close game won by the Black Caps, and interrupted by what could have been a match swinging lightning storm. Here play is about to resume and the covers are coming off.

It is against the law (probably) to go the Oval and not take a picture of the gasworks:

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More cricketing snaps here from last season.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Razavi Mosque

The topic of the day is churches or religious buildings. Churches have featured quite often in my posts, sometimes melancholy, sometimes haunting or downright scarey, sometimes abandoned or as part of the skyscape. So for this challenge I have picked the Razavi Mosque in Mashad, Iran and limited myself to snaps off my HTC One M8, rather than a proper camera.

Thanks as ever to Cee, and I hope you enjoy seeing something a little different:

First up we have the distinctive blue dome of the Goharshad Mosque, which was originally separate but has now been incorporated into the main mosque complex. It dates from the early 15th century and was commissioned by the Empress Goharshad, wife of the Timurid ruler Shah Rukh.

Blue dome of the Goharshad Mosque

Blue dome of the Goharshad Mosque

Next a picture where everything is wrong, but I like the overall effect. It was cold, my hands weren’t steady, the lighting was poor, but despite that I liked the way the reflections work and the slightly ghostly quality to the woman in the foreground. This is looking across the main courtyard and the blue dome from above is just peeking over the building to the left.

Razavi Mosque at dawn

Razavi Mosque at dawn

Google tried to do something clever with the picture below. It decided the image would work better in black and white, and I tend to agree. This is looking into complex from the Bab-e-Jawad (one of the gates).

Razavi Mosque from Bab-e-Jawad

Razavi Mosque from Bab-e-Jawad

Finally, here’s the view of the main entrance to the mosque proper, my poor phone struggled somewhat with the reflections off the gold bricks, but I think you get the idea of how imposing it is.

Razavi Mosque, entrance from Azadi courtyard.

Razavi Mosque, entrance from Azadi courtyard.

One day I’ll get round to writing up the travelogue from this journey, in the meantime if you are interested in my thoughts on religious travel you can check out extracts from my Hajj diary.

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