Daughter’s Big Bang Theory

As my regular followers will no doubt recall Daughter has come to blows with the Din Öğretmeni (Religion Teacher) more than once regarding her religious beliefs so this following tale should not surprise many of you.

Yesterday in Din Daughter’s Öğretmen explained to the students that they should not put up “Noel” trees as it allows students to be influenced by consumerism brought into favour by western influences.  During the months of December and January students should concentrate on their scriptures and on learning about Allah.  One of Daughter’s friends piped up and said that Daughter had a Noel tree and Daughter said, “No I have a Christmas tree”.

The conversation went down a little like this:

Öğretmen:          Are you Catholic?

Daughter:            No.

Öğretmen:          Is your father?

Daughter:            No.  He is Muslim.

Öğretmen:          Is your mother?

Daughter:            (plainly being a pain in the ass) No.  She is a practicing Buddhist.

Well at that point the Öğretmen went bright red and Daughter was certain that she was going to have a conniption.  All around Daughter kids were giggling and Daughter was, of course, enjoying the limelight immensely.

Öğretmen:          Well what religion are you?

Daughter:            I don’t believe in one God.

Öğretmen:          (clearly bothered by this statement) What?

Daughter:            I do believe in a higher entity.  I do believe in good versus evil.  I don’t believe that there is one right or wrong God or one right or wrong religion.

Öğretmen:          But who made you?

Daughter:            My Mum and Dad.

At this stage the class were laughing hysterically and the Öğretmen realises that they have moved from a Religious class to a Sex Ed class.

Öğretmen:          But who made the birds and the flowers and the trees?

Daughter:            It all started with the Big Bang – BANG!

big bang

The Turk has been called up to the school this morning.  He is wishing he stayed in Australia right now.  I am glad I am not going as I find the whole thing hilarious!

BANG!

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, love their Daughter’s ideology and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

The Return of the Turk

I had many, MANY comments and remarks regarding this recent post about The Turk.  Most of the comments were very positive but there were a few that, well frankly, scared me out of my socks.  Internet trolling at its very best.

Now I want to start by saying that I don’t make this shit up!  It is just too ridiculous to even contemplate so, after a short drumroll – rat tat tat tat – I give you a new story.

The Turk left Sydney at 6 am on Tuesday morning – so about 9 pm Monday night Turkish time.  He was upgraded – lucky buggar – and spent the first 13 hours of his journey sequestered in business class and enjoying all the luxuries associated with such a class.  After a 4 hour stopover in Dubai he continued his flight onto Istanbul arriving shortly after 5 pm last night.  Yes Australia is a long way from Turkey – and he’s not even home yet.

He gave me a quick call from Istanbul saying he was feeling a bit poorly.  He had a headache and had had a bleeding nose on the second part of his journey.  Well me being me I immediately started to have a freak out but he told me he was fine and was waiting on his connecting flight which was to have him arrive in Adana at 10 pm.

His brother Akan went to Adana to meet him while I stayed home and made lamachun and salads for his arrival.  11 pm came and went.  Midnight came and went. 1 am, 2 am – they both came and went.  His brother’s mobile was turned off.  The Turk’s mobile was not yet connected so that was not working.  Where the feck was he?

Had he had a heart attack and was in hastanesi?  Had the plane gone down?  Had they had an accident driving home through the torrential rainfall that we had over the past 24 hours?  Holy crap!  He hasn’t signed my kimlik documents!  Yes I am sorry to say that that went through my head.

By 3 am I was completely having a meltdown.  We had not had any electricity for most of the day (and all of the evening) so I couldn’t even check on the internet if there was any news that I could integrate into my over active imagination (nightmares of flights over Ukraine come to mind here).

3.35 am and Akan’s truck pulls into the driveway.  Where the feck have you been?

Oh we went for corba!

DSC01112

God give me the strength.

Anyway this morning he hands me a Duty Free bag.  Exciting.  Presents.  I know what you’re thinking.  Jewellery maybe or some French perfume?  Nope.  Three bottles of good Aussie plonk.

I know I might complain about The Turk a lot of the time, alright all of the time, but … he really gets me.

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, sometimes feel the need to kill their husband and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

I (Didn’t) Feel The Earth Move

We have had a few tremors here in Mersin over the past days.  To be completely honest with you I did not feel any of them when they struck despite being at the epicentre of the first quake in Mezitli on Saturday.

10428429_10152553236742947_3004123020450951759_n

One of the many haber sites that subscribe to sent me their news roundup this morning with a few vaguely boring posts which I glanced over but then one post stood out with its heading “City Wiped Off The Map”.

Um excuse me?

It seems that they were not actually talking about Mersin today, they were talking about Mersin or more specifically Soli Pompeipolis which was flattened by earthquake in 527AD.

Soooo not the earthquake that happened on Saturday yeah?

The next post went on to discuss a proposed nuclear power plant and its obvious danger should there be a sizable earthquake.  Now I don’t want to sound like a Negative Nancy but how sensible is it to build a nuclear power plant in a country that has earthquakes, real earthquakes not these little baby things that are currently niggling around.  Did we not learn anything from Japan?  Surely the all mighty dollar (or lira) is not more important that the environmental impact and potential danger to life?

Regardless this is definitely journalistic sensationalism at its very best.  Jeeze you would think it was Fox News or perhaps a Murdoch newspaper the way they were acting!

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, love Mersin in all its glory and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

10 Things I Hate About The Turk

Those of you who follow my blog will know that The Turk has been in Australia for a little over 3 months now.  His original plan of holidays and fun times down in Oz turned into a medical emergency and him being stuck in Australia until the Cardiologist gave him the all clear which, fortunately or unfortunately depending how you look at things, he got last Monday.  This means … yikes … he’s coming back in a few days!

kemal collage

I have enjoyed my single life immensely over the past few months.  I have enjoyed not sharing my bed (and the earth trembling snoring).  I have enjoyed ignoring the housework (as a good Turkish housewife should).  I have enjoyed my nights out without him and I have enjoyed my nights in without him.

I now realise that I will not only have to return to a life shared with him I also get to experience his crazy ass, typically Turkish, male antics again and so, in celebration of The Turk’s forthcoming return, I give you  – 10 things I hate about The Turk:

  • His Big Fat Turkish Ego! I think this one covers everything else on the list but his ego is the largest thing about him *nudge, nudge*.  He knows everything.  He can do anything.  He spends more time in front of the mirror than I ever have and he is the total male package.  I am sooo lucky.  He tells me so every, single day!
  • His Turkish Compass. Being Turkish and a male (or maybe just male) he will never get lost.  It is unheard of.  Impossible!  Rubbish!  And yet despite this unique ability that is akin to a superpower he can never find his kimlik.  Or his mobile.  Or his bloody wallet.  He is like a Tyrannosaurus Rex – can’t see the shit right in front of him!
  • His love of stomach turning Turkish food. Ick!  Eep!  Yikes!  With The Turk returning he will bring with him the insane need to cook sheep’s head or brain or liver or kidney or tripe.  I just vomited into my mouth.
  • His ability to act like a four year old boy. Like all Turkish men when it comes to a confrontation with their wife, The Turk will run away with his tail between his legs. He will disappear for hours on end and turn his telephone off.  All this achieves is that I want to inflict permanent damage on his measly ass!  I blame his mother.
  • His coping mechanism. Due to his recent illness I will probably let this one go but it is still worth a mention.  When The Turk comes down with man-flu his ability to operate heavy machinery or even the television remote becomes non-existent.  The world, quite rightfully, comes to an end.  Full body aching or even a simple sniffle means that he has been struck down with nothing short of Ebola.  During this period of marriage I can usually be found yelling, “Just die already” but I guess I shouldn’t do that one anymore.  I am going to need a new catch phrase.
  • His penis. The Turk loves his ding-a-ling and re-arranges said ding-a-ling at least 500 times an hour. Just leave it alone for Christ’s sake. You don’t see me touching my boobs every few seconds.
  • His penis – take two! The Turk always has sex on his mind.  All the time.  He is so freakishly obsessed with it. Will he never get bored of being horny? And why is everything related to sex?!?!  When he rang to tell me he could fly his actual words were, “The doctor said I can have sex again … oh and I can fly home as well”.  *Sigh*
  • His ability to lie. To my face.  He does it all the time.  “Darling you sing like Madonna”.  “Darling no that does not make you look enormous” or what about the “I’ll be home in 5 minutes”.  The last one is the worst.  A Turkish 5 minutes could be 5 hours, hell it could be 5 days!  Shit just ain’t true!
  • His ability to help … others. It does not matter what needs to be done The Turk is there for you.  Your neighbour’s cousin’s, aunt is moving home?  Of course The Turk will singlehandedly carry her ugly Turkish furniture down 4 flights of stairs!  A problem with your toilet?  Bob the Builder ain’t got nothing on The Turk.  A nuclear reactor in meltdown?  The Turk is all over it but God forbid if I need a light bulb changed in the stairwell!  He is AWOL.  It’s never going to happen.
  • Not only he is always right – did I mention at any stage that he is a genius – his family is also always right. His brother is always right (did you see how I highlighted that?  Can you feel the tension?).  His sister is always right.  Everyone is always right except for me.  Even if I had made the suggestion two minutes earlier it is not right unless it has been said by a family member.  Aarrghhhh!?!?

Bonus reason:

  • The inevitable reverse culture shock that will hit The Turk as soon as he sets down his suitcase. I lived through it last year, hell I blogged through it last year! He will be grumpy.  He will no doubt sulk.  He will yell it to the world, “Coming back here was a huge mistake and we should move back to Oz as soon as possible”.  This line of behaviour will carry on for a few weeks until, like a puppy, he settles into his new home albeit with a few pee puddles along the way.

He does have his good points too you know.  I don’t know what they are right now but I am sure they will come clear once he has returned home – and tidied the house.

On reflection I realise that my “10 things” would not be limited to my Turk or to Turkish men in general but wow(!) I feel like a huge weight has just been lifted off my shoulder!  Now it’s your turn.  Spill the beans people, it’s cathartic.  What annoys you about your lesser half?

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, sometimes feel the need to kill their husband and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

Songul’s Tepsi Kebab

December has arrived with a bang and I am pulling out my long-johns (I don’t really have long-johns) and turning up the heat here in Mersin.  The skies may be blue right now but there has been a load of snow up in the mountains behind us and enough rain to keep me indoors watching old movies and contemplating cleaning the house.

snow in mersin 2

Along with the cold weather in Mersin the menu changes to suit.  It’s starting to get too cold for a barbeque so our meat dishes need to be cooked indoors (which kind of ruins my fun).  Our garden is overflowing with Swedish chard so no doubt I will be making borek for lunch over the next few weeks.  We also have leeks, which will mean lots of soup, as well as celeriac which is another weird vegetable that I had never heard of before arriving in Mersin.  These days I serve celeriac mashed with garlic which is delicious.  Finally there is Quince everywhere so I can make my father in law’s favourite dessert and every single pomegranate tree is overflowing with ripe fruit right now so Daughter can usually be found with her cousins pilfering the fruit from the neighbour’s trees and leaving their sticky hands everywhere.  Yummo.

Last night my sister-in-law and her family came over for dinner and so I needed to prepare a dish large enough to feed 7.  Answer?  My sister-in-law’s favourite – the Tepsi Kebab or Tray Kebab.

What you need:

2 finely cut soğan (onion)

4 cloves of crushed sarımsak (garlic)

1 bunch of maydanoz (flat leaf parsley)

Cay spoon pul biber (red pepper flakes)

Cay spoon kimyon (cumin)

Tuz (salt) and karabiber (black pepper) for taste

Tereyağı (butter)

1 tbl Kırmızı biber salça (red pepper paste)

½ kilo kıyma (mince meat)

Like most Turkish recipe’s you need to get your hands dirty so mix all the ingredients really well and I mean really mix them together – your hands should be bright red along with your cheeks due to your efforts.

DSC00490

Finally I press the mixture onto my kebab dish (or pizza dish or even a large oven dish) and add a couple of teaspoons of butter to keep the dish moist.  I also cut up pieces of chilli, tomato and onion for presentation.

Cooking time varies.  I prefer a low oven (say 150-160) for 30 minutes so it does not dry out.  Once it is cooked my kebab is placed on the table (in the pan) along with lavaş (flat bread) and salads.

Alright it might not look sensational but it tastes delicious!

DSC01003

Afiyet olsen.

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, love Turkish food and downright just love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

Wankyu Gida … um?

Quick one folks.

I came across this sign today and … well … we all know my Turkish is abysmal but “Wank in food”?  Is that really what it is trying to say?  Makes you wonder what their special sauce might be.

Anyone care to translate?

DSC00142

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, cannot translate Turkish into English for shit but still love Turkey anyway. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

Gender equality in Türkiye

Oh dear.  It seems that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has gone and put his foot in it again while attending at the Women and Justice Summit in Istanbul on Monday.  While addressing this conference he reminded us all that you cannot put men and women on an equal footing as women are not equal.  “It is against nature,” he said.  “They were created differently.  Their nature is different.  Their constitution is different.”  He went on to talk about how you cannot compare a breastfeeding woman to a man as well as attacking feminism and feminists claiming that they “reject the concept of motherhood.”  Jeeze!

erdogan 2

As a woman I can be outraged at the polarising statement made by the Turkish President and when I start to look at women’s rights in Türkiye I realise that Erdoğan’s statement really is only the tip of the iceberg of inequality here. At the conference Erdoğan went on to state that only a small percentage of women actually had legal employment in Türkiye however there was a very large uncounted percentage of women who worked on the land while the men “played cards”.  People (including his daughter Sumeyye) cheered Erdogan at this point.  “Yes it is true!  The women DO do all the work!”  Erdogan nodded smiling at his constituents no doubt believing that he is all goodness and generosity with his words and time.

Sure it is true but let me tell you what else is true for women here in Türkiye.  It is estimated that 40% of women have suffered from domestic violence in Türkiye.  I suspect that this estimate is actually a lot higher but reporting is frowned upon.  It is merely a case of boys being boys.

How about the number of women murdered by family members here in Turkey?  In 2009 the number was 3 women a day (I do not have the 2014 figure).

How about we discuss the number of underage weddings that take place here in Türkiye each year?  Should I mention that Erdoğan’s Presidential predecessor Abdullah Gul married his wife when she was merely 15 years old?

Finally should I remind you that Erdoğan has attempted to outlaw abortion, the morning after pill and limit caesarean sections and at that same speech given in Istanbul on 24 November reminded women that they should have three or more children for the sake of the economy.  Hello?  What about the health, safety and the sanity of the woman giving birth to these children?  And how about the continual welfare of the children who grow up in rural Türkiye when their family cannot support the children that they already have.

I read a statement issued by CHP Women’s Branch on 25 November that sums up the current policies that contribute to violence and behaviour of women in Turkiye.  “As long as women are not free, as long as they are not adequately represented in the decision making mechanism, this society will not move forward”.  Nice one.

Have a read of this piece posted on my Facebook page by fellow blogger Kerry from Earth Laughs in Flowers.  The piece written by Aslihan Agaglu reminds us that women in Türkiye have long had strong women to look up to.  Türkiye was at the forefront of women’s rights under the strong leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  Turkish women have long had the right to vote and, rightly so, the right to voice their opinion.  Someone simply needs to remind Erdoğan of these rights as I think he has forgotten.

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, stand up for the rights of women everywhere and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

Rage against the Latrine

Warning – excessive use of Game of Thrones memes following.  Continue at your own risk.

I am well versed in the art of the squat toilet and it is an art form indeed.  I know that the squat toilet can be grosser than gross.  I know there will be a bucket or a hose and I know what to do with it.  I always BYO my own paper, never trip over the step and always remove my mobile before pulling down my jeans.  Hell I even carry my own sanitizer, as it is highly doubtful that there will be any soap – a nightmare for any self-respecting germ-a-phob such as myself.  Yes sir, I know my way around a squatty.  Nothing is going to phase a squatty pro like me but last night my worst nightmare came to life.  A nightmare so terrifying that you, gentle reader, will run, not walk, from the next squat toilet that you come across.  This story proves that there is no rest in a rest room, no dignity in the long drop and nothing but crap in the crapper.  This is my story.

My most recent post discussed the hava (weather).  It has been cold, not polar vortex cold but cold enough for me to go all nerdy and proclaim “Winter Is Coming” a la Game of Thrones.  See what I did there? Throne?  Toilet?  It will become clearer.

cold 2

Last night and despite having succumbed to Daughter’s sickness I found myself at dinner with some Turkish friends at a lokanta down by the sea.  It was really no hardship as we had been without electricity for most of the day and we also had no running water so cooking dinner was going to be a bit of a trial anway.  By the time we got to the restaurant the downpour had become a monsoon and it was colder than Joffrey’s blackened heart so I did what I always do to fight the cold – ordered a bottle of red.  Dinner was excellent and I enjoyed myself immensely forgetting about my sinus headache and the gale that continued to howl outside.

After quite a few glasses of wine it was time for me to visit the iron throne and I toddled off in my high heels to locate the bathroom behind the lokanta.  I opened the door and my first reaction is my normal reaction when I see a squat toilet.  “Ewww”.  My second reaction was to hold my breath as I stepped in and locked the door behind me.  I did what I needed to do, made slightly easier in the high heels funnily enough, and turned to flush.  The hole below me began to groan, a strange groan akin perhaps to Hodor fighting against a Lannister – “HODOR” – and I stepped back to make a break for freedom.  As I took that step in my heels I slipped, whether it was from the rain or the urine soaked tiles I will never know, but I found myself on all fours facing, but thankfully not actually in, the squatty.  Phew.

hodor

As I took a moment to regain my composure the toilet gave another groan, this time it was the groan of the dying Oberyn Martell as he took his last breath (I mean honestly his head looked like cantaloupe that had fallen from a horse and cart!).  I stared at the squatty as the groaning intensified and suddenly, to my horror (and taking into account that my head was no more than 30 cm from the gaping hole) my “sacrifice” along with everyone else’s began gurgling up intent on escaping from its excrement stronghold.  It was Mt Etna coming to life!  Dear God in heaven help me!  I scrambled to my feet ignoring the thoughts of the germs that now were embedded in my hands from my fall and I fumbled with the door handle as the slow moving mountain of shit continued to escape from its volcanic dungeon.  Holy shit!  Literally, there was shit everywhere no doubt a casualty of the flooding that was happening outside the lokanta!  The ground became a brown carpet of evil and I threw myself against the door, yelling at the top of my voice “Bok! Bok!”  I ran into the open air gasping for breath and staring at the shit that was now slowly oozing through the doorway and wondered why I never have my camera when I really need it!

game of thrones

The owner came running and it did not take him very long to realise what had happened.  He began to holler at me, at his staff, at Allah and anyone else who would listen.  Not really sure what I could do to help I left him to it and skidded across the courtyard back into the restaurant leaving my shitty foot prints trailing behind me.  I stood in front of my friends completely soaked, freezing cold and partially covered in shit.  Instead of sympathy they reacted in exactly the manner that I would expect all friends to react.  They laughed.

Finally and continuing with the Game of Thrones feel I have going I add one final meme.

cold 3

I thought it was funny.

_________________________________________________________________________

Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, hate the squatty and love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

Today’s weather forecast is … crazy!

Oh my fecking God!  Yes it is a little chilly outside but, please, people, calm the feck down. Let’s not lose our head about this.  What is cold anyway?  To those of you visiting from the UK it is in fact rather pleasant in Mersin at the moment.  Yes there is a chill in the air.  There is a fresh layer of snow on the mountain range behind us and yes it was raining earlier in the week but is it cold?  Ummm, I really don’t think so. 

Right now I am wearing short sleeves although I admit you definitely need a cardigan at night.  Around me though people are dressing as if we were dealing with a polar vortex, discussing whether they need to dissect a Tauntaun (sorry nerdy Star Wars reference) and deciding whether to wait it out in the New York library with Jake Gyllenhaal (well alright if you insist).  Sorry folks it is just cold and it is not really all that cold for that matter.

day after tomorrow

You know once the weather changes here Turkish people literally lose their minds.  They verily believe that if it is not 400 degrees then you need to layer.  Actually even if it is 400 degrees you still need to layer but not with the same intensity. Cover your back!  Cover your neck!  Do you need a scarf?  *Sigh*

Flash back – middle of summer and I take Daughter and her cousin to the park.  Daughter is running around in shorts and a singlet and Tatli is wearing  – a singlet.  A t-shirt.  A long sleeve top.  And she is carry a jacket with her.  A jacket!  She must keep her jacket with her at all times.  OMG!  It is literally – literally – 400 degrees in the park and Tatli has a jacket!  Calm the feck down people!  Daughter is drenched in sweat in her singlet and is throwing water on herself at any opportunity yet she’s the crazy one?

Truthfully though right now Daughter is sick.  I am told by my kardeş (sister) that it is my fault because I have allowed Daughter to go outside in 25 degree heat wearing her short sleeve school shirt and without woollen stockings.  Diagnosed with akut bronşit (bronchitis) she has spent the past few days in bed.  Actually that is not accurate.  She has in fact spent the past few days lying around on the couch, surfing the internet and watching old episodes of Pretty Little Liars.  She has been prescribed a butt load of medicine (which she is, of course, taking reluctantly) although the clinic doctor is well aware of how I feel about enjeksiyonlar (injections) so he refrained from prescribing the Turkish equivalent of a headache tablet – the all secretive aşı (vaccine).  This “vaccine” is suggested every single time I go to the clinic.  What is this secret shot?  God only knows but I can assure you I am not pumping Daughter with some unknown aşı by our neighbour whose official title is “village injector”.  Trust me Doc once the antibiyotik kicks in you certainly don’t need the magical aşı pumped into your ass twice a day for a week!

So yes it is a little chilly here. Will Daughter wear a jacket next week?  Probably.  Is there a Snowpocalypse forecast?  No, but if you are coming to Mersin in November, bring a cardigan alright?

Rant over.

My Favourite Things

I came across a blog by an expat recently who talked about bringing enough personal items to your new homeland to make yourself feel really comfortable in your surrounds and it struck me as I looked around my home just how many of my favourite things I was lucky enough to have with me.  I have made these walls mine with photos or paintings purchased throughout the years.  Each room has a little something, a knick-knack that says this is Janey’s or this is The Turk’s or even Daughter’s.  Seriously you should see her room.  It is a plethora of colour, sound and motion.  A little of everything but very much screams her name as soon as you walk through the door.  So what are my favourite things?

“Juicy” by Cel Pallas-Hones.

juicy

I loved this piece of art the first time I laid eyes on it while at a gallery opening in Sydney.  I watched people circle around it knowing that I could not afford it at that time but wishing that it was mine.  When my circumstances changed the one luxury item I allowed myself was this piece of art and it is one of my prized possessions.  It is funny to watch the reaction of Turkish people when they enter my home.  They notice the piece.  It’s hard not to.  The best reaction was by my teyzer (aunt) who examined it closer, tilted her head to the side and turned to me and whispered, “All female parts are sweet like portakal (orange)”.  I nearly fell of my chair!

“Mum and Dad”

DSC01041

I love this photograph which was given to me by my sister in law a couple of years ago.  I am not sure but I think this is the night that Mum and Dad got engaged or maybe at their engagement party.  Young love.  Happy.  Dreaming.  Ready to start a life together.  Looking at this photograph I do it with a tinge of sadness.  Of course it is because I have lost them both but also because this was before the health issues, before the miscarriages, the news that my mum could not have children and before my mum’s diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy.  This photo shows their pure happiness and I love it.  This photo has always sat on my dressing table in my bedroom and this is where it is today along with a very special photo of my father with Daughter on her first day of school.

“Le Restaurant La Colombe”

DSC01038

This print was originally owned by my favourite Aunt Joyce.  As a child I would revere in her stories as she travelled the world visiting all its four corners from Paris and New York (where she lived for many years), to Cairo, Russia, the South Pacific and all over Asia.  She had the most romantic and exciting life and I wanted desperately to be just like her.  This print lived on my Aunt’s kitchen wall for many years, and then it moved to my Dad’s kitchen wall.  Now it resides on my kitchen wall where I hope it for many years before being passed onto Daughter to brighten up her kitchen wall and to remind her of her family.

“Buddha”

DSC01040

I brought this dusty old Buddha when I was backpacking around India in 1999.  I was unbelievably sick in India and all I wanted to do was to go home and die in the comfort of my own home but before I left Varanasi I tramped down to the gnats through some markets and I saw this little Buddha.  Not too big that it was burdensome to a backpacker (even if I was a backpacker who was desperate to go home) he was purchased from a little shop in Varanasi by a man who swears he carved it himself.  I tended to believe him too as he was missing a finger on his left hand.  After some bartering (and discussions about his family, his business and his life) I walked away with my Buddha and he was left with a smile.  No doubt I should have bartered some more.

“My Mum’s Pavlova Plate”

DSC01039

Who doesn’t love Pavlova?  Well actually Daughter does not love Pavolva but every other true blue, dinky di Aussie in existence loves the famous Pav.  Named after Russian Ballet Dancer Anna Pavolva the Pav was standard fare on Christmas Day in our household.  I know we do not celebrate Christmas over here in Turkey but I made a big ass Pav on Christmas Day for the family to enjoy.  To be honest they didn’t love it.  Perhaps like Vegemite, it is an acquired taste but damn it I love a Pav and I love my Mum’s Pav Plate (and its terribly handy with the instructions on it).

So these five items are only small but each holds a special meaning to me.  Each item reminds me of someone or something, a special time or moment in my life, and without them my home would merely be a house but with them they are my home.