Thorny Brithday

23 Feb, '07

Thorny Brithday

Thorny Brithday, originally uploaded by malyousif.

Birthday Cactii
I planted all the cactii earlier this morning, and took some nice pictures around the garden. They’re uploaded to my flickr account if you want to have a peek. Thanks all for your kind wishes again.

My wife and children are happy that I have taken up gardening. Now, they say, it’s pretty easy to pick up a present for me!

And today, Friday, is my 45th birthday, which is proving to be a very thorny one!

When two of my friends have opted to get motorbikes to deal with their mid-life crisis, I’m opting for gardening and I love it.

Have a wonderful Friday my friends!

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  1. iN the MiDDlE of the MiX | 24 Feb, '07
  1. H. says:

    And many mooooooooooore!!

  2. ammoontie says:

    Would like to wish you a very Happy Birthday. May you be blessed with good health , happiness and have a wonderful year ahead.

  3. Dude says:

    Happy Bday!!!

  4. nurox says:

    Many happy returns of the day Mahmood, and I think gardening was an excellent choice!

  5. amal says:

    Have a wonderful birthday, Mahmood!

  6. mahmood says:

    thanks all! you’re very kind.

  7. Hisham says:

    Motorbikes are so cliche! Keep up the gardening and have a wonderful birthday, Mahmood!

  8. Butterfly says:

    Happy birthday Mahmood and many happy returns.

    Cactus birthday 😉 I love this plant

  9. Anonymous says:

    طول العمر وحسن العمل ان شاء الله

  10. can we talk says:

    you know that forty five is the new twenty??
    stay young and have a great one

  11. Mavis says:

    Happy 46th orbit around the sun. 🙂

  12. Bernie says:

    Happy birthday Mahmood. It’s mine on Monday so best wishes from another Picean and have a wonderful day. :biggrin:

  13. Romster says:

    Why was there an H at the headline? What the hell is thorny anyway?
    Must have been a typo……….lah?
    Happy birthday dude.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Happy birthday, Mahmood 🙂

  15. Ahmed says:

    Oops, that was me. Forgot to put my name ’cause all such info were saved and automatically there on the old machine :unsure:

  16. mahmood says:

    Thanks again all, you’re very kind and I am privileged to have friends like you.

    Romster, the typo was the addition of the “T” in there! :devil:

    And that’s a monster of a Harley you came riding on today, absolutely beautiful beast which I know you will enjoy t the full.. just be careful for goodness’ sake!

    Happy birthday Bernie! I hope you have a wonderful one too.

  17. mahmood says:

    No worries Ahmed, it’s worth doing these things all over again on your brand new MacBook, it’s part of the experience!

  18. knightrider says:

    My daughter Elysse turned 25 on Feb 22nd – so this time of year is very special to me. Now my cyber-friend has a birthday too. May you have MANY more!

    BTW – this weekend I am going to post a photo of “Joe” on FLICKR – it will be dedicated to you – as you currently feel that you are “gagged” so to speak – you will probably appreciate the story and the pic.

    No present – but something little to look forward to 😎

    MANY happy returns,


  19. mahmood says:

    Thanks Mike, and please convey my best wishes to Elysse as well. I look forward to seeing Joe!

  20. maria says:

    May you grow up to be a fine man

  21. maria says:

    it has been a while since I have seen you- thanks for the :kissing: I will take it in good faith since my Birthday was not far back 😉 Are you going to the GP this year?

  22. mahmood says:

    Happy birthday to you too M.

    Not sure about the F1 yet, haven’t decided. I might watch it on TV and relax at home instead…

  23. mahmood says:

    Oh, and now that your boy is out, who are you rooting for? I’m staying red for the moment! :sideways:

  24. Abdulla says:

    kil sinna winta 6ayib ma7mood. looking good for 45! 🙂 allah ee’7aleek lina..

  25. sheyma says:

    What a coincidence that the first time I go into your sight in a long time, it is you BIRTHDAY! I hope there are many and I hope they are the sign of good luck to come!
    Happy Birthday to you! Have a wonderful 45!

  26. Happy birthday and many happy returns! Stay out of trouble and see you in April 🙂

  27. NewMe says:

    happy birthday
    may your wishes be fulfilled
    you are a great man and you deserve all the best
    & your garden is beautiful because it reflects a beautiful soul

  28. M says:

    45! :w00t: Just a spring chicken. Happy Birthday, Mahmood.

  29. K from Oslo says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood, may your flourish for many, many years to come with you as the gardener.

  30. Hashim says:

    Happy Happy birthday Mahmood 🙂 And many many many more. May all your wishes be fulfilled this coming year, Mr. Pisces. 🙂

  31. docspencer says:

    Wish you a very happy birthday Mahmood!


  32. BuZain says:

    Happy 45th birthday Mahmood. You look older though :tongue:
    And keep it up with your gardening activities. You encouraged me to have a look at mine; something i never thought I’ll be doing :happy:

  33. Seroo says:

    For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow…

    =) Happy Birthday MAHMOOD =)

  34. tooners says:

    Happy Happy Birthday… you’re still a young chicken! hope you have a fabulous bday and the coming year fulfills your every wish!

  35. MoClippa says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood! Wish you all the best!

  36. Gibran says:

    happy birthday big guy! :cheerful:

  37. billT says:

    Happy 45th Mahmood may this year bring you more enlightenment and joy.

  38. Barry says:

    Happy belated birthday, Mahmood! Here’s to many years of good growing. I was going to post a link to the acacias near my home, but I’m at work. I’ll do it later (i’m sure you’ll love it).

  39. Troy Z says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood!

  40. mahmood says:

    Thanks all again!

    Barry, I’m looking forward to the picture!

    BuZain, I’m glad that you’re inspired. I never thought I’d say this, but gardening is a wonderful hobby and you get to learn so much while having pleasure in playing in the sand 😉

  41. Happy Birthday my friend!

  42. Happy Birthday Mahmood!

    -Hani, Gillian, Laura and Dana

  43. Mitmallel says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood!
    3o8bal 1000 sana 🙂

  44. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood. It’s my son’s 11th birthday on the 23rd too.


  45. minus says:

    Happy birthday!

  46. haythoo says:

    Happy birthday Mahmood
    و الله يطول في عمرك و يخليك إلى أولادك إن شاء الله

  47. Sami says:

    Happy Birthday… al 3omor kolloh ya 7aj mahmood 🙂

  48. jayjerome says:

    Happy B-Day, etc.
    Here’s a site you may find interesting in light of your current ‘prickly’ passion:


  49. Pamela says:

    Hyvää syntymäpäivää ( Finnish)

    Happy Birthday Mahmood!

    Next year at this time I will be freezing my patootie off in Lapland, but lots of hockey there.

    The garden looks wonderful. My Grandmother had a cactus plant, when I was 5, I picked it up bare handed. Grandma and my Mom spent the next hour with tweezers picking it out of my hand.

  50. Laurie says:

    Happy Birthday! Which would be better, a motorcycle, or a Segway? Oh, that’s right……. :biggrin:

  51. teena says:

    Happy Birthday

  52. Lujayn says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood (couldnt see the birthday cacti pics – flickr still blocked in the UAE, but will get a chance to see them tomorrow at work).

  53. Cindy says:

    Happy birthday Mahmood. Your little corner of the desert looks nice but may I suggest a little color until the cacti bloom. Maybe a Desert-rose or a Crown of Thorns plant

  54. Happy Birthday Mahmood!! 🙂

  55. Day Dream Believer says:

    Happy Birthday,

    45 is a good age for a mid life crisis, sadly it is downhill all they way from here so join a gym, go jogging, cut out all your bad foods and you will really enjoy the next 45….

  56. mahmood says:

    Thanks all.

    Cindy I also planted a henna tree, a couple of ixoras, a double hibiscus (red) and the various sunflowers that the parrots leave behind and a flowering bush that I am trying to find the name of, so I think that patch is finally set the way I like it.

    There are always other improvements that could be done though!

    DDB thanks I shall.

    Steve, I should come to your neck of the woods, you seem to have all the fun (especially with employees) at the pub! 😉

    Lujayn download this extension for FireFox, it is designed to:

    Bypasses the filter in Iran, UAE and other banned countries (if any?!).

    Just install the extension and restart your browser. There is no configuration, no menu, no icon… All needed configurations are done automatically!

    After restarting, you can access, without any restriction!

    Pamela, OUCH! I wrapped them with towels, had heavy-duty work gloves on and I still managed to get some thorns in my skin!

    Laurie, how about a wheelbarrow? I think it’s safer than either! :tongue:

    Jay thanks for the link! I am amazed by the amount of gardening enthusiasts I found on the net, some very specialised too. We should change the name “Internet” to “Global Knowledgebase” I think.

    Gabrielle, you have a lucky son, he’ll grow up to be a world leader, I am sure!

    Again, thank you all. I really appreciate your wishes.

  57. Barry says:


    So, I took a walk down the street to where the Acacia in the neighborhood mostly grow. I do have one type growing in the planting strip between the sidewalk and the street, but I need to cut it down, because it will push up the sidewalk.

    Anyway, we have three types common, all from Australia:

    – Acacia melanoxylon – Blackwood. Mature trees have no leaves, instead they carry phyllodes , which are flattened stems that do all the photosynthesis. It’s an adaptation to drought and intense sun (similar to how the leaves of our Arctostaphylos are always held upright and vertically, rather than flat) They look like leaves though. Young plants or cut plants have leaves at the tips of their phyllodes (very odd looking). Their inflorescences resemble bottle brushes: Acacia melanoxylon

    – Acacia dealbata – My favorite of the feather leaved acacias we have here because the leaves tend to be somewhat large and green, compared to the other type we have. A colony of them sprouted up around a percolation lot at the end of my street, and the city has allowed them to grow unimpeded. They are now the height of a two story house. Acacia deabata – surrounding a percolation lot, Acacia dealbata

    – Acacia baileyana – Bailey’s acacia. not my favorite due to their rather small leaves, and ghost gray color. However, I have seen types that have a rather purple cast to their leaves, but still, not my favorite. They have a rather “stuffy” look to me. Acacia baileyana

    All three are in flower, but A. melanoxylon have just started to flower in the past week and are usually the last: A. melanoxylon habit

    Here’s a few more pictures:

    A Senescent A. baileyana in the foreground with a younger A. dealbata behind.. As a kid, I used to play among that old, senescent tree. We never liked climbing them much because the bark was hard, and very rough and difficult to hold on to.

    Carpobrotus underneath Acacia. See? That’s what happens here with Iceplant. We have areas where entire dunes are covered by it, and nothing else!

    A. dealbata at the percolation lot

  58. Redbelt says:

    Happy Birthday.
    Call me when you want to get motor bikes or go bunjee jumping. Everyone will hit that spot eventually.
    Gardening woun’t cut it then. :devil:

  59. Jayne says:

    Happy Birthday Mahmood & may you have many, many more 🙂 I envy you with your garden!

  60. maria says:

    Happy second day after your birthday. I will follow my driver and heart to NASCAR and maybe move to red for the sake of KIMI

  61. River says:

    Happiest of Birthing days to you!!!!

  62. Vilora says:

    :biggrin: Happy Birthday!

  63. mahmood says:

    I don’t care about the Nascar scene myself, but agree with you re Kimi.

  64. Many blessings on your birthday, Mahmood… keep up the good work!!!

  65. larie says:

    I’m too late I know, but I hope that you had a happy birthday en will have many to come and it is my opninion that you will never have a midlife crisis mr Mahmood 🙂

  66. HEZ says:

    Happy ‘Belated’ Birthday.. and many happy returns

    While it seems like you have mastered the skill of planting all sorts of beautiful flora, you have also managed to plant my ass on this chair as I indulged in the great pleasures your archive offer *new reader* :w00t:

    Great work, keep it up. You’ve won yourself a new fan.

  67. Solo says:

    A very happy birthday to ya!! Guess I’ve been in midlife crisis all my life since I’m still riding motorcycles at 51, LOL. Gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies one can have, and everyone can enjoy your work. Beautiful cactus garden!

  68. Redha A says:


    Now there are two things that we have in common.

    (1) One love for Blogging.

    (2) The second, my birthday is also on the 23 February.

    Happy Birthday bro, and many happy returns.

  69. naddooi says:

    Ohh, happy (slightly belated) birthday! and Many Happy returns 😀

    I think those cactii are SLIGHTLY safer than the segway 😉

  70. mahmood says:

    thanks and I completely agree! :silly:

  71. mahmood says:

    Happy birthday Redha!

    You don’t link your blog with your name, care to share?

  72. Happy belated birthday! I turned 30 this year (on the 23rd, like you), so it was kind of a big one. I can certainly respect the garden as you obviously do. I lived in a desert when I was young and really loved the flora and fauna of the Sonora Desert.

  73. Ingrid says:

    Happy (somewhat) belated birthday Mahmoud. I too have gotten into gardening after 40 (am just 2 yrs younger than you ,ahem :whistle: ) anyhow.. one other gardening option you perhaps could explore is lasagna gardening, also called sheet composting. Here in Austin TX we have very calichy, rocky soil, not the nice black soil I was used to in Holland. Hence, making raised beds for everything from growing vegetables to flowers, cacti etc is benefited from soil supplements. Of course, xeriscape works best here even though people insist on their ‘green carpets’ outside. I am going to make a lasagna garden bed in the next few days and will post pics of it. I can highly recommend the book (check out the info online as well) because I think especially for areas where you and I live (as far apart as that is) it is most helpful in creating beautiful ‘black gold’.
    Great cacti btw…
    all the best,

  74. milter says:

    …. and a happy, belated birthday from me.

    Seeing that picture of you in the garden reminds me of one of the things I loved about Bahrain, the weather.

    I’m just back in Denmark after 7 days in Ireland. The temperature there was OK with temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius and a lot of rain. Back here it was -3 and a lot of snow!

  75. Vincent says:

    Happy belated birthday, Mahmood!

    I always look forward to looking at the pictures of your garden — it’s really quite beautiful!

  76. mahmood says:

    Happy birthday to you too Olaf!

    Ingrid thanks for the tip, yet another method of gardening that I want to investigate, at least in theory.

    milter, come back! The weather has become somewhat cooler in Bahrain so you might enjoy it a lot more.

    Thank you Vincent. I appreciate it.

  77. mishmish says:

    A Very belated but hearfelt birthday wish from a fellow Piscean…it’s supposed to be a good year for us !!


  78. mahmood says:

    no kidding! that would be a good change!

  79. juliyya says:

    :pouty: I’m sad. I sent you a belated birthday wish, and a wish for many returns of the day, and my hope that you got some good chocolate cake on your birthday, (which I believe is essential for a happy birthday). I admit to being a lurker and an appreciator who occasionally delurks, but not a spammer or purveyor of inappropriate comments. I don’t know why my wishes have gone missing. I always sign my name, etc. Have I got on your bad list somehow?

  80. mahmood says:

    Thanks love. I didn’t notice your comment but consider it arrived and much appreciated. Spam is the bane of a blogger’s existence as you well know and sometimes if the comments marked spam number over a few hundred I must admit that I couldn’t muster the energy to go through them individually, but quickly scan them then delete all those remaining in the queue.

    So once again, thank you very much for your wishes. They have arrived!

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