My Love Of Writing

I Love Writing

I Love Writing

Do you remember how great it was to receive a letter in the post? How you would sit down with a cup of coffee and read the contents, and later re-read it? My grandmother used to write to me, pages long, and it was wonderful! The other great thing about letters is that you could store them away and they became treasures in later years.

I also have a love of stationery and could spend ages in the shops choosing writing materials, still do in fact, but they do not get as much use as they should. Mind you, they look pretty and I am a great list maker so they get to be used!

I used to love writing letters to friends and family, sometimes they would be written over the space of days and would be a running commentary on my life at the time. I know a couple of my friends who used to receive my letters and read them out to friends, as they were so entertaining! Their words!!

One friend in particular always told me I should write for a living and actually, now I do and love it.

Computers are wonderful but there is no anticipation for letters dropping through your letter box, just opening your email and you feel that you have to respond immediately. This is the future and it has so many benefits, but good things do disappear. Mind you, I have to say that spell check is useful at times!

When my son James was traveling around the world, he would send me the most amazing descriptive emails of his adventures. Guess what I did! I would print them out and sit with my cup of coffee to read them. Crazy woman!! But they felt more real to me rather than reading them from a screen.

Anyway, over the years I have discovered I really love to write. Now, I write articles, create e- books and have even started writing a novel. When I started to write, I felt happier writing by hand and then typing it up later. This was mainly because I’m not very confident using my lap top, but I soon learned this was very time consuming. So, lap top it is!! It took me quite a while to get over not feeling so creative sitting in front of a screen rather than holding a pen in my hand. Thankfully, people love reading my articles so I must have overcome that problem and hopefully will continue to write useful entertaining articles.

Books are my other great passion and now we have Kindles ( is that how you spell it?). I haven’t succumbed to one of those yet but many of my friends are singing their praises. Maybe that’s another article in the making.

Bye for now…

JOx

Girlfriends

Girfriends Are The Best!

Girfriends Are The Best!

I am sure all you girls out there will agree with me how important our girlfriends are!

I have girlfriends from when I started High School, my first job, when I had my sons, in fact, through all the important stages of my life. We have grown up together, shared all the problems and the joys that have been thrown at us throughout our lives. And yet,we can still sit down together with a glass of wine and remember the first times we spent together when we met.

Programs like Friends and Sex in the City, try and show the closeness that can exist between girlfriends and they do a fairly good job, but there is nothing like the real thing. I think the difference between male friendships and girlie friendships is that women will talk! We understand that if we talk about what is happening in our lives, then there is amazing support when we need it, and, let’s face it, we have all needed that some time or other.

I have had had wonderful girlie lunches, shopping days, weekend breaks, beach holidays or even just an evening in with wine and a good film. Equally, my girlfriends have been there for me in every crisis in my life. Thankfully, not too many but enough to need their company and advice.

It’s important when we have a new man in our life to not forget our girlfriends and still make time for them. Let’s face it, men can come and go, but our girlfriends will always be there if we want them to be.

I have sensible girlfriends, clever girlfriends and completely scatty girlfriends and I love them all for their diversity and loyalty. So, I give a toast to all my girlfriends and say thank you so much for being my friends and I have loved every minute I have spent in your company over many years.

I think this sums it up perfectly.-

I look at my girlfriends, then I look at me.

Without them ,where would I be?

My sisters, my shadows, my world.

Where would I be without my girls.

Giggles and tears, smiles and laughter,

late night texts and photos.

We’ll be there together until our last day,

Best friends for ever just won’t fade away!

I just look forward to many more shared moments with all of you.

Joxxxx

 

What a Party!

What A Party!

What A Party!

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.

Food For Aydin's Party

Food For Aydin's Party

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.

Flowers For Aydin

Flowers For Aydin

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!

 

 

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