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2012
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George Best's eyes
“A Norwegian once taught me a very simple technique for taking photographs using eye and ...”
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Nepa.li -a Nepali blogger worth reading.
“The Internet is a big place. It's rather like Kathmandu in some respects. While busy ...”
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04
4TH ANNAPURNA ULTRA TRAIL RACE - 27 MARCH 2010
“I am posting this on this blog as this race is upcoming and has no ...”
Feb
27
Kathmandu: the earthquake is coming. I've just realised.
“It's no secret that Kathmandu will be visited by an earthquake sometime soon. But only ...”
21
20
Nepali coffee and how to prepare it
“I've just imported some espresso coffee making things from China. I still don't really know ...”
Ok, I'll bite - Make Money Blogging Free eBook review
“A week or two ago, I visited Gulmarg in Kashmir to snowboard. A few days ...”
Jan
2009
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27
And now the doctors are going on strike...
““My life is under threat now,” says Dr Nil Mani Upadhyaya, registrar of the Nepal ...”
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Die, Nepal Bandh, die
“Pasted from facebook group of people wanting an end to the bandhs... Looking forward to the ...”
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31
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Marathon training.
“This morning, inpired by a book I just finished, stolen from Billi Bierling's tent, called ...”
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28
Earth hour: Vote Earth - your light switch is your vote. Ballot box rigged by Nepal Electricity Authority
“http://www.earthhour.org/home/ What to say? Just heard this on the FM4, an Austrian internet radio station, about ...”
26
Hello moto
“You may be familiar with the term 'Hello Moto' from the soothing default ring tone ...”
23
The Procrastination Killer
“This post is recyculation from here: http://www.problogs.com/Post7.htm It says on the blog that it has only been ...”
21
How clean is your anus right now?
“OK, it is not a question I would like to ask you, and probably not ...”
Violinist in the Metro
“I am just sitting in a cafe (The Factory) in Kathmandu using their free internet. ...”
19
More craziness in Nil'in, Palestine
“ More craziness in Ni'lin. I spent quite a bit of time there last summer. The ...”
Modern toilet restaurant
“http://www.moderntoilet.com.tw/en/about.asp Can anyone work out what this really is? Has anybody been to one?”
2008
“So far so good!”
Dec
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Buy nothing day: 29th November 2008
“http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd So make sure you shop extra hard on the 28th and 30th, right? Suddenly, we ...”
25
'No more reports' - less typing, more doing
“So says the pragmatic ARTHA BEED in the Nepali Times. Nepal has received billions of dollars ...”
Everest trek? Try somewhere different perhaps
“BILLI BIERLING in the Nepali Times. if you have ever tried the trek to Everest base ...”
Oct
31
Prix Pictet photography award
“http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2008/oct/31/climatechange-water?picture=335632135”
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Waste, or extretia, or fertilizer?
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30
Lost passport
“Last week I lost my passport somewhere and it seems not yet to have turned ...”
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Run your car on water
“http://www.runyourcarwithwater.com/?hop=watertt Let me know if you get it working. Our ...”
“From the Guardian today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/07/education Comment by: Piginclover - April 7, 2008 3:36 AMJust a ...”
Mar
15
Morals and markets
“Capitalism sucks - throw rocks at it. http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/robert_skidelsky/2008/03/morals_and_markets.html”
14
The seemingly impossible is possible
“This is fantastic and you should make time to watch it. The seemingly impossible is ...”
Herorat
“This is great. People talk about humankind's ingenuity and how it will come to our ...”
depressing inspiring
“That wonderful french guy responsible for the faces exhibition is now busy with his 28mm ...”
2007
Apr
05
Driver's dilema
“There was a small riot a few days ago after the death of a motorcyclist, ...”
Mar
30
Transcendental Meditation practice in Kathmandu
“Today I tried a Transcendental Meditation (TM) course in Kathmandu. It is a course in ...”
29
The Dust
“Kathmandu is very dusty. Everything in Kathmandu is dusty (apart from the landlord's car outside ...”
26
21
180 Degree project - join in
“Do you have a camera? Can you turn around? Do you live somewhere? More accurately, do ...”
04
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Recent Posts

George Best’s eyes

A Norwegian once taught me a very simple technique for taking photographs using eye and brain. We were awaiting the sunrise at Masada, the ruined cliff-top fortress situated high above the dead sea. The sun, though some 93 million miles away, looked as if it was just about finished toasting Jordan’s capital Amman just over the horizon and would be arriving any minute.

The technique was very simple. Position your head correctly so that your eyes were pointed at the most pleasing view and then close them for a minute or longer. Then briefly open your eyes, soak up the light, and close them again for a while. To the mind of the Norwegian artist, and the person who taught him the technique, this was a sure way for the cameraless to burn the image onto the photographic plate of their memory for ever. I do remember that view from Masada fairly well though this mental ‘photograph’ was taken over 13 years ago. Though it could also be that the landscape was surreal: the warm morning light on this raw, unforgiving landscape; the salt flats below like a frozen desert lake; the expectant waiting at the site of a legendary mass suicide. And it could also be due in part the faulty wiring in this super-charged region where even the rocks we sat on seemed to be connected to the religious mains supply.

Another recipe for burning an image permanently on to your retinas, is to associate it with some prickly negative emotions. A tiny bit of embarrassment tinged with fear is enough.

I met George Best, whose face will live in my head for ever, at Geneva International Airport. I was volunteering at a winter camp for children who’d had organ transplants. Best had a legendary football career behind him that had slowly morphed into a legendary drinking career, which had recently culminated in a liver transplant. The camp organiser invited him and his young, attractive wife, Alex, to the event as they would of course bring attention to the issue of transplantation, that it makes otherwise lost lives livable, and the fact that more donors are always needed.

I drove to the airport in a rented Mercedes limousine and waited a while for them to appear through the arrivals gate. There was no need for a sign, there could be no mistaking the bearded form of this famous and aged-before-time man with an attractive 27 year-old by his side.

I took them to the car. George elected to sit in the back instructing Alex to sit in the passenger seat. We’re ready to go. It’s my first time driving an automatic and I realise I don’t know how to get the damn thing in reverse to get out of the parking space.

Alex assists, finding the hidden button that allows the stick to shift into the R position. I put my hand on her shear-stockinged knee in a reflexive friendly gesture. My eyes feel drawn to the rear-view mirror, and there I see a pair of stunning blue, alpha male eyes staring straight back at me framed by the mirror’s surround. ‘Please take your hand off my wife’s knee,’ they politely but firmly seem to demand. And in the single second it takes to remove my hand, George Best’s eyes join the image of the sunrise over the dead see at Masada in my indelible mental photo album.

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