Mark Gillett

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Posts Tagged ‘Middle East

Marathon Des Sables Time

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MDS Dunes

The Desert – Somewhere to Enjoy

I am sure there are many of you out there starting to get a little nervous about your last 12 weeks before the start of your MDS. I know exactly where you are at so just keep believing and training up to departure. Remember that tapering is no use, gathering calories does not work, go light, pack light and take the food you need. You have everything else to succeed and no reason to fail. You have water, shelter and food. The rest is in your head! Here is a little piece just published.. Good luck!!

http://www.sidetracked.com/marathon-des-sables/

Mark

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January 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Oman, Truly Raw.

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We are all now back from Oman and the filming project. New Year has passed and the tree will come down this weekend. We also have a puppy to collect! ha…

This last week in Muscat and nearby places has been more beautiful than I could have imagined. The work element was just a privilege and over the next two weeks you will see some of the work released. Other bits you unfortunately will not see but I can assure you it was very special and very beautiful.

But as usual it was not the work or place, alone that made it so special but the people who I was with, met and reunited with that gave me so many memories that photography and filming can never do justice to to. I have always advocated that a photographer does not need a camera or video. Its more about what you “notice” and not what you see or capture.. The camera is just a tool to share that beauty.

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Emily and Becky

My daughter was blown away. A little scared at first when we wandered the souk for the staring eyes unsettled her. But not for long as we talked to shopkeepers and photographed our way with ease. She began to relax until we had a chai in a shop that maybe alone she would not have dreamt of entering…. I chatted to two Bangladeshi men who were delightful and we ordered some bites to eat. More and more Emily and her friend Becky could see the peace and respect that the people had for each other as well as themselves. How friendly everyone is. But also how the staring is merely an inquisitive nature that we all possess when presented with something so different before our eyes…

We met with some old friends who hosted us one evening…… This was one of my most memorable times this last week.

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Royal Race Day – Backstage

Our filming also allowed us many privileges. We filmed horses running in the sea at sunrise, rehearsals of the Royal Cavalry for the Royal Race Day and were permitted access to a different part of Oman. A part equally beautiful, and equally friendly and trusting. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

Cairo Ramblings

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If I were going to LA people would say, “have a good time”, When I told people I was coming to Cairo they said “Stay safe!” however is LA I would fear being out alone after dark, being shot, raped or mugged, and would have a hell of a time at the Airport. Cairo? Read on……

Now I know you cant judge a country on a few hours but I have…I’ve now reached 50, so I can. Ha!

Its all a bit surreal.. tired and back in the Middle East but North Africa this time… I arrived in Cairo by bus from Sharm. The road was fast and the journey so easy. One stop for food and one for a police check, nod off and wake up in Cairo.

On the flight I spoke to two passengers next to me who asked where I was going.. when I told them Cairo, their immediate reaction was “oh? thats off limits. No flights in or out”. I couldn’t believe that they had heard the Foreign Office had stopped flights.. My bus was pretty full and everyone was friendly.. Asked where I was going and helped if they could..I paid my €8.

Read the rest of this entry »

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December 9, 2012 at 11:57 am

More on Freedom

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I was in an interesting thread the other day and the topic moved to freedom. Or perceived freedom.

The protests in Kuwait were at the centre of the topic and I just mentioned how I felt the freedoms they had in Kuwait were greater than they believed and that the life in the West under ‘democracy’ was not as ‘clean and fresh’ as they believed.

The protests were peaceful and for their constitutional rights.

I would just like to point out than Read the rest of this entry »

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June 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

Reconciling Kuwait

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Reconciling Kuwait.

I have changed names in the text.

I have now completed my 3 weeks that turned into 5 in Kuwait.  I find myself on the Qatar Airways flight out to London reflecting on the experience. Freddy asked me last night if I was sad to be leaving. I said no.

But I am not not sad because my time in Kuwait was one I regretted or did not like. Quite the opposite. However, I was so glad to be going home as the power of family is so great in my make up that nothing would be could be better than returning. <–more–>

The sadness I now find myself feeling on the flight is partly induced by the good red wine I had and partly by a good film. But also by the thoughts and memories I have from my time spent in this intriguing country.  The people I met and the values they hold. Values not dissimilar to mine but that seem to have eroded in my own society. Values based on family and faith. Read the rest of this entry »

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June 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm