Northern Afghanistan, near the ruins of the ancient city of Balkh, in the region once known as Bactria.
Balkh was once a majestic city, and one with an illustrious history. It was likely a base from which the Aryan civilisation spread through the region. Zoroaster is claimed to have been born here, and it is where Alexander the Great married Roxanne, a local Bactrian. A place once renowned for its Buddhist monasteries and stupas, a place the Arabs called the “Mother of all cities”. But after centuries of war and climate change, those days are long gone.
The remains of probably the oldest mosque in Central Asia can be found here, itself having been built on the ruins of Buddhist and Zorastrian temples. This is where I came across the site’s caretaker (chowkidar). He allowed us access to the ruins and to roam the area.
A trip to the ancient ruins near the village of Indein in Myanmar required a pre-dawn boat ride to ensure we got there early and make the best use of available light. It was cold on that boat ride, and I was wearing layers of clothing to keep warm, but I knew in a few hours it would be stifling hot. You make do. It was already warm by the time we arrived at Indein, and the locals were preparing for the day. This was still just the start of the journey to the ruins, but I made sure that I stocked up on liquids from the local stalls before setting off from the village. Here, a young girl was selling various cloth, happy to interact with us.
Chin State in Myanmar provided much welcome relief from the heat of the plains. Remote, mountainous, and forested, the region has allowed the people to develop and retain their own unique customs. A surprise can be found in every village. Here, in a small hut, an old man enjoys a cup of tea whilst allowing corn to dry over the heat of the fire.
It took a while to get there, but we eventually arrived at a remote Padaung village in Kayah State, Myanmar. Here, a woman who has clearly experienced life, was proudly displaying her coin necklace. She was a real character, and enjoyed the limelight.
The flowers in my garden provide a sweeping swathe of bright colours when the sun comes out. Today, whilst closlely admiring one of my yellow dahlias, I noticed that, with the bright yellows, it was easy to overlook the delicate textures of the flower. Hoping that a black-and-white treatment would bring out the details, I present the result here. Enjoy!
Iraq, not too long ago. I was heading out on foot across the desert, battling through a sandstorm, to reach the ruins of Uruk, that ancient city famous for its part in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Not too far from here, alone and remote, a small village eke out a living. The sandstorm had imparted a reddish-yellow colour to the entire scene but I was recently able to correct for this and, in the process, recover this engaging image of a young girl near the village edge.
This is an update of my blog entry https://www.metalvortex.com/blog/2016/07/24/1903.html where I published a Windows 10 Pro Command Prompt script to reconnect mapped network drives at log on. This was saved as a .CMD batch file and then executed twice using Task Scheduler; one in non-admin and the other in admin mode. This allows mapped drives to be visible to those applications running in non-admin and also to those applications running in admin modes.
I’ve made some minor tweaks to the code so it should be a little more robust against errors.
SETLOCAL ENABLEEXTENSIONS ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION
TITLE Mapping network drives
@ECHO Please wait whilst we reconnect your network drives.
SET /A trueloop=%loopvalue%-1
IF "%counter%" EQU "%loopvalue%" (
ECHO Connection to D:\ drive timed-out
ECHO Attempt %counter% of %trueloop% to D:\ drive
TIMEOUT /t 5 /NOBREAK >NUL
IF EXIST D:\NUL (
ECHO Attempt %counter% successful.
NET USE D: \\192.168.49.69\Data /PERSISTENT:YES
IF "%ERRORLEVEL%" NEQ "0" IF "%ERRORLEVEL%" NEQ "85" (
SET /A counter=%counter%+1
IF "%neterror%" EQU "0" GOTO Endofscript
SET /P userinput="Errors were found. Do you wish to try again [Y/n] "
IF /I "%userinput%" EQU "y" GOTO Start
IF /I "%userinput%" EQU "" GOTO Start
IF /I "%userinput%" EQU "n" GOTO Endofscript
@ECHO Please wait, script is closing.
TIMEOUT /t 5 /NOBREAK >NUL
@EXIT /B 0
A leopard with the remains of an impala in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. Photo taken in May 2017.
Two young men of the El Molo tribe at the Lake Turkana Festival in northern Kenya. The El Molo is the smallest tribe in Kenya with only a few members left. Photo taken in May 2017.
Turkana woman giving some directions to her friends along the windswept shores of Lake Turkana, Kenya.