Egyptian Girl

One of the few English language channels we have here is NHK World, the Japanese national broadcaster. It’s a good mix of documentaries, tourist features and news so it’s a popular choice when we can’t find anything on any other channel. This happens quite often… On this particular jump we hit a short musical program Read More …

The Last of Christmas

Today is Little Christmas, or Oiche Nollaig na mBan, the Women’s Christmas. Though of course it’s more commonly known as the Feast of the Epiphany and the day the Orthodox churches celebrate Christ’s birth. In Ireland the idea was that today being the last day of Christmas, the women left the men to fend for Read More …

Sacred Oak Grove

If you spend long enough in Canakkale and are sufficiently observant, you may notice there’s quite a lot of oak trees around. Once you see them, you realise that there are several in little groups dotted around the landscape, apparently lost in a sea of wheat, or with goats grazing the stubby grass around them. There Read More …

Hope and Change

I grew up fed on a diet of Star Trek, both original and Next Generation, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. My science fiction was for the most part idealistic; as humans our ingenuity could solve all problems even the ones we created ourselves. I discovered Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy in university and again Read More …

Against the Clock

Review of ‘Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü’ by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar Dergah 1961 (17th Print 2012) This wonderful book tells the story of Hayri Irdal, a man adrift from the times he lives in. He begins as a successful member of the Time Regulation Institute, but very quickly we learn that it’s all gone wrong and he Read More …

Pinning the Butterfly

I’ve been putting off writing this blogpost. It feels a little like pinning down a butterfly. Flying around it creates wonderful glimpses of colour but I know if I don’t pin it down, it will flutter on its way and the memory of it will fade. I attended a poetry workshop in the local university Read More …