following on google+

WELCOME, FRIEND!

The Biggest Mac of all...

the burger at ramada interchange
Watching with interest to see what it is going to be when it opens. The choice is limited- yet another mall, yet another hotel, or just maybe the World's Greatest Burger Museum? If not that, why does it look like a super-bloated Big Mac, replete with squelchy gunge (I refuse to call it mayonnaise) already oozing from between the slabs of sludge. (Or do you have a more apposite description of MacDonald's fare?)

Of course, this should come as no surprise, in the city that built the World's biggest condom.

Beware of Almarai's New 'Mixed Apple' Product!

My favourite Almarai brand apple juice has been replaced on the shelves by Almarai's new 'Mixed Apple' formulation. The retired juice had no preservatives, no added sugar, and only two ingredients: purified water and apple juice concentrate. It was good to drink fresh and also could be fermented into a very pleasant cider.
the original (left) and the foul usurper (right)
The new offering contains: purified water, apple concentrate (blend of red delicious, golden delicious, rolls and fuji apple), refined sugar, citric acid, natural and nature-identical apple flavour, malic acid, stabiliser E440, caramel colour, preservative E202. The fruit content is 50%, the other 50% being accounted for by the added sugar, acids, colours, flavours and chemicals.
The worst of it is that most people will simply pick up the familiar Almarai square bottle with the green cap, only thinking they've changed the label. All the incriminating evidence is on the back, in lettering that can't be read without a magnifying glass.
And of course, it doesn't ferment, which is the only reason I knew something was wrong.

Boggs and the Girls - welcome back!

The good news from the front is that the management at Le Club (Doha Sofitel/Mercure) has re-engaged Boggs to provide the nightly entertainment. Or at least the on-stage nightly entertainment, the off-stage floor show being offered free of charge by the familiar parading ladies and dancing drunks. Nothing changes there.
Boggs, you may remember, is a very talented guitarist with a perfectly OK singing voice, accompanied this time by two girl singers, one is his sister or wife, I forget which, and the other is new, at least to Doha.
A three piece band, midi-backed, with a single instrumentalist is never going to rival Alan and the SoundSations for quality and variety. Nevertheless it is great to have options, especially in the old town centre, for the nights when you don't fancy an hour stuck in a taxi to West Bay. For me, that's most nights.

The Buzzards in Rose Bank Gardens

the buzzards in rose bank gardens, malvern, worcestershire

The more sharp-eyed and astute among my vast readership will have recognised, even without reading the caption, that this is not a picture from Doha or Dubai and will have correctly concluded that I escaped the desert, for a time at least. Sadly, all good things come to an end and, having taken the last ten days of Ramadan off, I am now back in Qatar, working through the Eid. Somebody has to man the pumps.

I'd be quite proud of the photo if the buzzards were real, but they are in fact a sculpture designed and made by Walenty Pytel, from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Like everything else in Malvern that can in any way be classified as 'change', the piece has divided public opinion and spawned almost as many column-inches in the local press as the grazing of sheep on the common.

The rainbow, on the other hand, is entirely the work of . . . Nature!  Eid mubarak, everyone!

the leader board