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Doha 2006 - Remembering the Music

Doha 2006, but where?
Old timers in Doha will well remember when this was the best live music venue in town. That was before they levelled the dance floor, built the ghastly Qube outside, turned the stage area into a kitchen and decked the walls with screens showing non-stop football. It is, of course, the Sherzhad, in what was the Ramada before Radisson Blu took over. The band on stage looks like Street Noyz, but without Nelson on stage, so probably early in their set. He was always one for the dramatic entrance when the audience was well warmed up.
Speaking of the Radisson/Ramada, last week saw a sudden change in door policy towards the Chinese women. Only those holding Qatar resident's permits are now admitted. Those visiting from Bahrain and UAE (or anywhere else) are not allowed in. While I have no issue with an establishment setting standards of behaviour within its walls and denying return access to known offenders, discriminatory door policies are another matter altogether and would be illegal in most developed countries. But this is Qatar and still developing.


The Pompous Pigeon of Knightsbridge Lane


Like many British expats, something I look forward to on my all too short home visits is a decent real ale. This year, my daughter presented me with a Christmas box of selected bottles. But she didn't stop there. Noticing that our real ales often have quirky names, like 'Bishop's Finger' or 'Old Speckled Hen', she decided to out-do the originals by relabelling them to a new level of quirkiness. I secretly suspect she had some fun in doing it!
don't all buffaloes have waxen knees?

and aren't all porcupines aquatic?

so easy to attract the disapproval of one's peers

who prefers to be in a box today

HSBC Blues

For years, I'd been quite happy with my Internet Banking from HSBC. So I wasn't too worried when they told me my company had to be migrated to the new HSBCnet web portal. The move would take two to three days during which I'd have no Internet access to my account. Stage one went smoothly- they had no trouble at all disabling my old portal. Stage two, enabling the new, was more of a challenge apparently, as it took them forty days (and forty nights no doubt) to re-enable my access and necessitated no fewer than three trips to Dubai (from Doha) to sign various papers and finally collect the new security device.
Then came the real challenge- working out how to use the new portal. There's no doubt that it is more flexible and powerful than its clean and easy predecessor. If I were an accounts manager for a large corporation I'd probably be delighted with it. But for a small company with a single account, its layer upon layer of complexity is overkill with a vengeance. For example, before I could transfer some cash to my personal account (very necessary after forty days in the banking wilderness) I had to:

  • Assign all our accounts (we have only one) to an account group called 'A'
  • Declare a maximum daily transfer limit between all the accounts in group 'A'.
  • Declare a maximum daily transaction limit between accounts in Group 'A' and elsewhere.
  • As System Administrator, assign myself to a user group of one person (me)
  • Authorise my user group to effect payments and transfers on Account Group 'A'
  • Assign my own signing limit within this user group for transfers and payments.
Intuitive, huh?

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