Firstly, I have to apologise for such a long time since I last posted but I have had a very hectic few months! I had planned to go over to England to visit my sons, family and friends for four weeks to include Christmas.
I arrived at the end of November, spent a few days with my mum and brothers and then went up to Suffolk where I had a great couple of weeks with my sons, James and Richard, as well as catching up with many of my girlfriends in the same county.
Then I had a call from my brother, Vincent, to say my mum had fallen over in the street and was in Casualty. I immediately went back down to Essex to find out mum had broken her wrist and shoulder. She had slipped over on a piece of tomato that had been discarded in the street! Of course, when you fall, you always put out your strongest hand, which of course, was her right hand and of course, she is right handed.
So, home she came with her wrist in a plaster but they can only strap your shoulder. She was in a lot of pain and really frustrated, as she was looking forward to me being there for Christmas and we had a lot planned. But she was happy because I changed my return flight to Turkey to be able to stay for another three weeks.
I was the good daughter, doing as much as I could for mum. The big problem was that mum had no internet in her home (Being 81 years old and not comfortable with that sort of technology). So every few days, when I could leave her for a couple of hours, I would rush over to my brother’s Mark to get on line. Mind you, I did read a lot of books!!
By the time I left, Mum was feeling much better and my nephew was between homes so he moved in with mum for a few weeks. Not only will she enjoy the company, it is also an extra pair of strong hands!
One amazing thing did happen while I was in England and that was that I had my first piece of editorial as Jo Tempest, so exciting. A double page centre spread in the weekend edition of the county newspaper (am trying to get a link to post on my blog soon).
I am sure lots of people who have not seen me for a long time were surprised to catch up on my life for the last few years. It was not going to be published before I came back to Turkey but due to my delay in leaving, I actually saw the article and it was so nicely written. Thank you Steven Russell. xx
What the trip back to England did confirm to me was that the support of family and friends is so precious and any time spent with them is equally as precious.
I just want to take this opportunity to wish all you lovely readers a fantastic New year and I hope that 2015 brings you all that you wish for.
May your dreams become reality and you have a fabulous year.
To all my lovely readers, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas wherever you are around the world. Enjoy your time with family and friends, have fun and stay safe.
Have you ever noticed that some people stride when they are walking and some seem to shuffle?
It seems to be that the striders are happy with their lives and the shufflers are not sure of their direction.
Personal Changes To Be Happy In 2014
I have a few ideas that may help you have a better life in 2014. Even if you follow a few of them, you will be a happier person.
- Try and surround yourself with positive people. Negative people drain your energy and if you have to drop a few of them, it will be better for you.
- Resilience, not happiness, is actually the opposite of depression. There is a wonderful Japanese Proverb that proves it. ‘Fall seven times, stand up eight times’.
- Get enough sleep; if your mind will not switch off, then read a good book before you sleep to empty your mind.
- Don’t always have serious conversations. Of course they are good, but sometimes you need to give your brain a rest.
- Meditate regularly if you enjoy it, but if that is not your thing, then at least just sit and let your mind empty occasionally.
- Take time to appreciate simple pleasures, not always big ones. You know what I mean, the colours of the flowers in your garden or the sound of a child laughing.
- Smile, but not in a forced way. Even if times are intense and you think you have nothing to smile about, you do! Dig in to your memories of a lovely memory that will make you smile. Smiling activates part of your brain that is so important for your well-being.
- Don’t always talk, take time to listen. That is why you have two ears and one mouth, so that you can do twice as much listening.
- Keep in touch with friends. It is not easy, but you will feel better for it.
- Give. It does not have to be in a big way, but it makes you feel better, apart from the person you are giving to.
- Listen to music; it is great relaxation or even a driving force.
- Be an optimist, not a pessimist; in other words, your glass is always half full, not half empty.
- Make sure you get outside your home into the fresh air every day, even if it is only for a short while. Even better, take some regular exercise; your body will love you for it.
- And last, but not least, LAUGH. It is the best medicine for a better you!
So, there you have it. Not difficult rules of life but I promise you will feel better even if you only follow a few of them.
Have a wonderful New Year and I hope 2014 is everything you wish for.
Hi all my wonderful readers,
I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I hope you can all look back on 2013 and feel that it has been a good year for you and that you are looking forward to an even better year in 2014. If you have had a tough year then remember….
‘Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent’.
So see the New Year in on a positive view and you will achieve all that you want in the coming year.
Catch up with you in 2014.
A New Year is almost upon us and I wish you all a wonderful New Year and that all you wish for comes your way in 2013.
I will be back in the New Year with lots of new stories. Until then, have fun.
I know you are all going to be busy over the next few days, so I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you all, and hope that you all have a fun holiday.
Enjoy your time with your family and friends, relax and be happy!
Jo Tempest. xxxx
As I have said before, I now live in Turkey, in a small village called Selimiye. I live very close to the retired Muhtar (this is the village mayor). His family are regular visitors to his home and I am often invited for tea; it gives me a chance to practice my Turkish.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, his seven year old grandson was circumcised. The next day, he was sitting outside on his grandfathers patio wearing a very baggy shirt and little else. Hot doughnuts were offered to all the visitors who came to visit little Aydin. This is a very important time in a family with sons, and in villages, it is still done when the boys are around seven. In the cities, the boys are more often than not circumcised in the hospital when they are born, but they all get to have a party when they reach seven or so.
There is a big field near our homes and the first sign that a party was going to be held a couple of weeks later was when every available person was in the field, leveling and clearing all the big stones. An access was created to the field and then the tables and chairs were delivered. This was the first sign of how big the party was going to be! I made a rough count and near a thousand, I gave up.
Two days before the party, village women appeared en masse to help start preparing the food. I suppose that every generation has seen this sort of party and just knows what to do. Fires were created to use with the huge pots that will cook the food on the day. No one seemed stressed, in fact, the atmosphere was really fun. Lots of tasting, talking and laughing.
The day before the party, the local bread was made on site. It’s a flat huge round bread cooked on a flat stone. Again, lots of ladies working together to produce a few hundred loaves. It’s wonderful to watch such an amazing community spirit.
Very early, on the day of the party, the fires were lit under the pots slowly cooking beef, chicken, rice and more. People from all around the village started arriving around noon for lunch and kept coming until around 3pm. They sat down and a helper appeared with a bowl of spicy chicken, beef, salad, chips in a yogurt sauce ( sounds strange but tastes wonderful) beans, rice and of course, the flat bread. Coke,Fanta and water were added to the tables. It was wonderful to see every generation from little babies to the very old sitting together and enjoying each others company.
Believe it or not, this was just the warm up to the real party in the evening. People drifted off and there was a short lull before the action really started. Around 7pm, the musicians arrived. A key board player, a violinist, hand held drums and a clarinet player. They set themselves up and after having something to eat, the music began. It was incredibly loud, but heck, everyone in the village was coming, so no one complains about the volume.
Many people really dress for these parties, even if it is in a field! Aydins family all looked wonderful and Aydin wore the traditional boys outfit for this occasion. A white silk suit with an embroidered cape and a little white hat. He was the most important person at the party and if he was not presented with gold coins by the guests, money was pinned on to his suit.
The dancing was wonderful with much traditional style Turkish dancing. The men love to dance in the old Ottaman style. It took me a while to understand why the same pieces of music seemed to be repeated. That was because the men kept wanting to dance with the drummer in their midst and throw money on the floor for the musicians, so of course, the musicians didn’t mind playing the same music.
Food was still being supplied all through the evening along with copious amounts of alcohol, especially Raki. Around midnight, the music ended and people drifted off to their homes fed, watered and happy. It was a wonderful evening and really made me realize how lucky I am to be able to live in this village and share these events. The weddings are treated in the same way and everyone participates, no one is left out. There are probably only a few places left in the world where this still happens and I’m living in one of them!