A few months ago I spent a week in Istanbul. The first few days were shrouded in mist and damp. Mealtimes were announced by the cries of hungry seagulls circling around the building, screaming for the bread thrown out the windows.   Though right in the centre of Istanbul, we were on an island. I could see Fatih Mosque and Suleymaniye and Beyazit Tower. I could look out into hidden parks, and wonder.       We escaped one Click for more

Falling Off the Wagon

It’s not been long. I’ve only been on the wagon (that would be the writing and blogging wagon) for the last month. I can already feel I’m flagging. Now I could say it started last week when I failed to get a post up, but that would be denying the scale of the problem. It probably began before that when I spent a day idling and feeling blue. I did not write the two posts I had planned and I Click for more


We wait… But We have three 19 litre bottles under the stairs, Another 8 litres inside the house. Drinking water is delivered. Wipes can be used for grubby hands and faces, The kettles are all full. We can cope till the water returns.   We wait… But Our heating is an enclosed fireplace, logs stacked since June. The hob works with gas, the spare canister’s full. Torches and radios are tested and working, Phones are charged and spare batteries stockpiled, Click for more

Out of the Doldrums

I really didn’t think it would affect me much. The work would be done outside the house for the most part, I’d be able to sit inside, write, work, clean and of course make the builder-required cups of tea. The Handyman would be around to oversee the work, so I’d be free to continue as usual. I was naive. First there was the pre-work arrangements, involving trips to various workshops, grotty stores and building suppliers. There would be idle chat Click for more

To Do, To Don’t

I wrote last week about television being a distraction, but I feel I should admit that I can be distracted such exciting things as paint drying. The internet is a major danger zone. I start each day with an ambitious To Do List 1 – Write next great Irish/Turkish/expat novel 2 – Blog tremendously witty posts 3 – Post inciteful comments on Twitter and a range of blogs 4 – Arrange and clean house to reflect that domestic goddess resides Click for more

Peace and Quiet

Most satellite dishes around here point two ways. Southeast towards Turksat and all channels Turkish; or south towards Hotbird and all channels, em, hot, plus BBC World. Ours points at the north star. We took it down to do some work on the house and haven’t put it back yet. There’s some debate that we may not put it back at all. We’ve been going to bed earlier and the Handyman’s blood pressure is not being increased by hours of Click for more