Tuesday 14 February 2012: Souk Postcard
Valentine's Day.... a day associated with red roses and romance. Or, if you have lived in Bahrain for the past year, a day now more associated with the start of the Protest movement which began in earnest with the occupation of the Pearl Roundabout on Valentine's Day 2011.
I have used up my quota of 'words' for this evening on the BBC News website, I'm afraid. I started reading the reports there about the latest 'anniversary' events in the country, headlined 'Bahrain Activists Hit By Tear Gas' and decided to post a comment in the box titled "Do you live in Bahrain? Do you have friends or family there? Tell us your story in your own words."
This got me thinking about what to blip and I decided to rustle up a quick Bahrain-themed still-life with what I have to hand - a brass tray, a ghutra (man's head cloth), a couple of brass coffee pots and a red rose for good measure. These were photographed on a Persian rug, which means that Iran is, in a sense, underlying the scene - very apt. Anyway, once I downloaded the pics from my camera and started fiddling with them I realised that if all else fails, I could perhaps fall back on a career in producing tacky postcards for sale in the Souk, as that is what I appear to have created here!
In the middle of this, I received a rather unexpected phone call from the BBC in London. Having read the comments I had posted, they wanted to know whether I would be prepared to speak to one of their news programmes and, if so, would I wish to use my own name or have my identity withheld? Having briefly conferred by telephone with Mr L., I said I would be prepared to use my own name.
So now they have asked me to stay up for another hour to give any news programmes that wish to interview me a chance to call before I go to bed. Oh well, life is nothing if not surprising.