Hi there!Mark Whitworth I am Mark Whitworth -
writer, educator, traveller
and all round good guy.
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Horizons: Turkey 2011


Medusa, Basilica Cisterns, IstanbulCold Turkey and Sparrow Droppings

Qatar is hot; hotter than the sump of an old Ford Anglia after a journey from Croydon to Edgware, and about as attractive! It doesn’t stop the fun and games however, although we had to escape to cooler climes last weekend, Istanbul being our chosen destination. Medusa here, pictured left, bathes in permanently cool water in one of the Roman cisterns under the ground of that fair city, and it has to be said that her abode is a damn site more attractive than Doha at present.

With four weeks and one day remaining at work the old feet are becoming itchier and itchier. Already students are leaving for their holidays reducing class sizes to more manageable proportions but playing havoc with group work. I find the inevitable slow down quite irritating, especially when there seems to be an excuse every week to cancel normal lessons at a moment’s notice.

Most of the reminder of this piece concerns itself with our visit to Turkey but the first couple of paragraphs dwell on life in the fast lane at Umm Salal Mohammad Mansions!


Mark Whitworth, Doha, Qatar, dartsApart from the solo scorpion invasion of the backyard we also had some even dodgier characters around for a couple of dart’s matches in the last few weeks; the planter really sets off the venue, doesn’t it?

This doesn’t mean to say my darts abilities have improved; in fact I’ve been in dire form.  I am, however, able to wield an electric drill with reasonable precision; hence the boards are set at the perfect height, which is a lot more than be said for my arrows.

Umm Salal Mohammad VillasOur local road is not normally lit, contrary to the expectations that may be generated by this photo. However, our neighbours, members of the Al Thani family, have had two weddings in the last week and thus installed temporary lighting so their guests could find their way to the events. If it seems a little over the top to provide temporary lighting for two kilometres of road, for two days, but you really needed to see the multi-sectioned marquee, in which FIFA could have Andrea Kidd, carrots, Doha, Qatarheld a World Cup play off if they had the desire to do so.

I know that cucumbers are in vogue as regards the news right now, but this is Andrea’s crop of carrots. They were quite horrible; far too woody and with little taste. It has to be suspected that the climate is not really conducive to such a root crop and with her water melons doing considerably better I suspect we’ll have a go at cucumbers next year in an attempt to capture a slice of the German market!