Wednesday, April 18

Ten days - ten things

Inspired by one of my favourite bloggers, Nicole, I’ve decided to share 10 things today to get back into the swing of things after an unexpected long-ish hiatus from the blogging world, which, incidentally, lasted 10 days.

  1. Istanbul is an amazing city, managing the near impossible by being both one of the most beautiful and ugliest cities I have ever visited. I have a full-blown, complex love-hate relationship with it and marvel that it can be both so insanely fast-paced and yet so, at times, frustratingly laid-back and relaxed, all in all leaving me confused and both absolutely invigorated and utterly exhausted
  2. There are more people living in Istanbul than in the whole of Sweden. Being from a hick-village (to quote my best friend K) it's perhaps not so surprising that I sometimes struggled with its enormity
  3. I had promised my man to try the infamous chicken dessert… but in the end I didn’t dare. I watched him eat it, and it looked too weird and gelatinous. I chickened out
  4. But I managed to eat a huge amount of other, absolutely delicious, food while I was there. Most of the food they eat is prepared with olive oil, which makes it intensely fresh and light. One of my favourite dishes is Karnıyarık (or split belly aubergines stuffed with ground meat, onions and tomatoes), which I blogged about here. I can't recommend it highly enough. Try it... It is so delicious
  5. I always though tulips were more or less invented by the Dutch, but I now know better. During our holiday, Istanbul were in the middle of celebrating its annual tulip festival and I found out that not only are the flowers native to this part of the world, they were also so popular with Sultan Ahmed III, that the unusually peaceful period that coincided with his reign became known as the tulip period (1718-1730)
  6. On my birthday we went to Vogue, a rooftop terrace bar/restaurant with a breathtaking view over the Bosphorus, in the achingly trendy area of Nişantaşı. Unfortunately (for my man) my favourite cocktail (Bellini) cost £13 (or $26 or €19) and I happened to be very thirsty
  7. The call to prayer is one of my favourite aspects of Istanbul. Five times a day a cacophony of voices is heard echoing between the buildings, over the water, against the countless hills on which the city is built. In the good old days the imams with the most beautiful voice was selected from each mosque to make the call, but these days pre-recorded voices, not always very beautiful, are turned on at full whack from speakers pointing in every possible direction on the minarets of the cities’ countless mosques
  8. My dad, who has been quite ill following surgery six weeks ago, appears to be at the door of a complete recovery. He’s again spending his time divided between his favourite hobbies of stamp collecting; bridge playing and limerick-writing. When I came back from Istanbul last night there was a hilarious limerick about the short-comings of Tony Blair waiting for me. I couldn't have had a better belated birthday present
  9. Lionel Shriver is coming to town to do a talk during the annual Brighton Festival and so I decided to read We need to talk about Kevin during my holiday. The book played a major role in my not doing any blogging, as any time that wasn’t spent eating or wandering around the city, was spent with my nose glued to the book, which was intensely harrowing and disturbing, yet impossible to put down. It was eerie to return back to the UK to the terrible news of the shooting in Virginia, especially since the exits from the engineering classroom building were locked using chains, just like they were in the book
  10. Next Tuesday I’m starting a ten-week shiatsu course. This is a taster for what I'm hoping could become a major change in the direction of my life. At the end of the introduction I’m planning to enroll in a three-year course, which starts this autumn. It feels that the time has definitely come to lay down the foundations so that I stand a chance of eventually navigating myself out of the marketing world, which I so detest


La Cubana Gringa said...

Welcome back! You've been missed!

Glad to hear your dad's recovering well! Don't we get to hear his Tony Blair Limerick??


Annika said...

A hick-village?!

edvard moonke said...

so nice to have you back, and sounding so refreshed. great to hear that your papa has fully recovered too. like la cubana gringa said, you've been missed :-)

Nicole said...

i am so glad you're back. i've been checking in on you occasionally, but assumed you were off in istanbul having a fabulous time.

and you were.

it sounds like an amazing place to visit. the food, the tulips, the trendy bar, the call to prayer. everything. and a giant happy birthday. i'm sending birthday love across the ocean... xoxo

what great news that your dad is doing better. a limerick writing stamp collector. how fun!

and shiatusu... how eccentric and worldly. i hope you love it!

but, really what i would love to say most is, thank you for your caring words on my blog.

your words sit deep with me also. i do wish we lived closer. muffins, wine, and chocolate-covered almonds sound sublime. i would love to share some with you.

hmmm.... i have been looking for a valid reason to travel to england. :)

well, much love!

daisies said...

welcome back :)

am so glad your dad is doing well, wonderful! sounds like you had a fabulous time ~ happy happy birthday :)


Vanessa said...

welcome back waspy lovely! I missed ya :)
everyone i know has been to Istanbul lately. 'xept me :( ah, some day...
there is NO WAY I could eat a dessert made of chicken (especially if it looked gelatinous... ick!).
So glad to hear you're dad's better :) yay