Sunday, September 11, 2016
Sunday, August 28, 2016
There are some musical instruments and then there are some others.
One of my personal and perennial favourites is the Violin, often truly called the 'King of the Orchestra'. Going back in time and recalling the effect of it's music on my mind, I clearly recall numerous moments, some of them in some of my all time favourite movies, Thorn Birds, Gone with the wind, Love Story, Dr Zhivago and Junoon, where the violin has been magnificently used to convey a 'completeness and range of emotions, love, tenderness, pathos, sorrow, or then quite simply, happiness and joy.
The violin is a bow string instrument with four strings usually tuned in perfect fifths.It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the 'viola' and 'cello'.Usually, however, the strings are not plucked; instead a bow is passed over them to make them 'vibrate'.
|Spotted at a metro station in Paris|
No instrument can do all the violin can do.At different times these are some of the emotions that I have associated with the violin. It has made me feel sad, or then, at other times, warm and good all over.
By playing slowly or fast then faster,it has sometimes made my heart feel a whole host of emotions that are sometimes quite difficult to define. Because there are simply just so many of them.All at the same time, or then, one following the other, in rapid succession
At times like these, I simply let the music flow over me, taking it in, and can't help but marvel at the skill of the player whose music has such a major impact.
I'm sure I'm not the only one and what are the chances that you feel the same way too...?
Monday, August 8, 2016
Let's say that I ordered a cup of coffee at my favourite coffee shop last week. If I know one thing about the coffee at that place, is that it's always spot on and made exactly the way that I like it - hot, very strong and with a nice design drawn on its surface. But this time it was even better, for it had a ‘smiley face’ on it.
So of course the lure of clicking it instantaneously was irresistible, and I succumbed. A few great photographs later, I sat back satisfied, finished the coffee and went on with the rest of the day.
Sometime later that evening, when I looked at it, I remembered that I’d been presented with an iTunes Gift card recently and quickly downloaded a few free photo apps, in addition to purchasing a few. And that was how my journey into the magic world of photo apps commenced. A month lat-er, I must have spent a few hundred hours experimenting with photographs that I’d clicked earlier, with some truly amazing results!
For instance, if I take you back to that original smiley faced cup of coffee, it's now travelled through exotic places such as the Niagara falls, Paris and Australia. Going one step further, I then managed to take that same photograph and put it up on the wall of a conference room where US President Obama and his aides had just settled down to a meeting.
Sounds unreal? Well, let me assure you that all of the above and much, much more is now possible via the magic world of Photo Apps. Try it and once you get a taste of it, I strongly suspect that like me, many of you might get hooked onto it for life! So to help you get started, here are a few of my best ones - iPhoto, Pixlromatic, Pic Collage, Dyptic frames and Adobe PS Express. Of course, there is a whole wide world out there and once you really start with it, you will fine-tune many of your personal favourites. But do remember to write in as I’d love to know more about them too.
Moving onto a subject that I feel very strongly about - the behaviour (or in some cases, the misbehaviour) of service staff on duty at a restaurant. One of the main reasons that we all choose to visit a restaurant is quite simply because we like the ambience, food and the overall feeling of bonhomie around that particular place. But imagine your dismay if you were to visit one of your favourites and find that the atmosphere and, therefore, all the fun that you associated with it earlier has just disappeared because of just one ill-mannered waitress.
What would one do then? Well in my case, it was clear, walk out as soon as possible and make sure that I told everyone I could possibly about keeping away from that place. So here it is all ye managers of restaurants - please do keep a sharp eye on your staff at all times, for you never know what potential sales/customer loss you’d be causing for your outlet just because of that ‘one’ bad apple!
NB- This post was originally written for my column My Take in Muscat Daily