RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: February 2011

Three Monkeys

Last night BBC4 showed Uç Maymun, Nuri Bilge Ceylans film Three Monkeys. It is an excellent  but dark film. It follows the lives of three people, a husband wife and son and how their life unfolds after the husband agrees to take the rap for his employer’s crime.
 It is a tale of deceit and greed. Like the other two Ceylan’s films, Distance and Climates it is a slow moving film. What struck me most is Ceylan’s cinematography, his close up shots of the characters faces as their emotions shift, and the panoramic shots inside the apartment as well as outside.Again I’m struck by the violence shown to the female character, by her son, husband and lover.
Ceylan won Best Director at Cannes Film Festival 2008 for this film. Well worth the watch


Evenings in Turkey

Evening in Gumuşluk

Evening in Gumuşluk

Sunset at Hieropolis, Pamukkale

Sunset at Hieropolis Pamukkale
Sunset at Hieropolis, Pamukkale


Following yesterday’s post I thought I would add the following post. This is an email that came to me. It brought home to me that sometimes we have to face adversity to appreciate more fully what we have. The bad things in our lives make us experience the good things more intensely. We enjoy our half an hours peace more if it has been preceded by a half an hours noise.

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the

mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough”.

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom”. They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” “I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

“When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough’. May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other
generations. My parents used to say it to everyone”. She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled! even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough’, we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just
enough good things to sustain them.” Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter
how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life
may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to

appreciate them, a day to love them but then an entire life to

forget them

Food for Thought!

Tonight is was Turkish class again. Mercifully, we did not have to struggle again with grammar, but did it in an incidental way through conversation.
The conversation was quite wide ranging from topics such as how our week had been,  when and why we had first come to Turkey, to the status of women in Turkey.
I have found the status of women to be an anomaly. With the coming of Ataturk, women in Turkey were given the right to vote before many of their European counterparts, the veil was outlawed , civil marriage and divorce introduced ( divorce only made legal in Ireland in 1995) and were given  the right to inherit property etc. This was very advanced thinking for the time. Therefore, you would think that in this political climate, women would flourish and have equal status with men.
From the outside looking in, this does not seem to be the case. Many Turkish films I have watched have a theme of violence against women running through them and this seems to be accepted as the norm by many. What happens in the home  seems to be dominated by the male. One of my friends, whose house is divided into two apartments, was forbidden by her husband to go out into the garden when their tenants were at home because the men would be looking at her.
I find it hard to reconcile that in a country where the equal status of women was legally recognised at an early stage, the attitude to women remains very traditional.
Ozge, our teacher made a very interesting statement. In many countries where women gained the right to vote, they won this right after many years of struggling and campaigning.  Turkish women were given the right to vote, they did not work to attain it themselves. Food for thought. Perhaps it is only when we struggle for something we realise how valuable it is.

A Good Day!

Today was a good day.  Today I had the kind of day I look forward to having more of. Today I was one of the ladies who lunch. I met with two college friends, they are each others in laws and have had a recent bereavement. My friends were also my bridesmaids almost thirty years ago. Time and life have got in the way and I  have had only sporadic contact with one of them while the other has remained a close friend. Today we met up and the years melted away.
We immediately slipped back to the old friendship and spent the afternoon filling in the gaps, in addition to drinking copious cups of coffee. I’ve no idea if I’ll sleep tonight from the caffeine high, not to mention the high of old friends chatting and being togother.
Following a very late lunch, I had time to nip to the bookshop. This year my hubbie seems to have lost  his aversion to “Hallmark….sorry… Valentine’s Day and I was the proud possessor of book tokens, a much nicer present than roses! The pleasure lasts a lot longer.
 I spent a happy hour before the shop closed browsing and choosing. Of course, I couldn’t resist temptation and I overindulged and spent a  little more than the tokens covered. I now have the new Richard North Patterson and Denis Lehane novels plus “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” and another book I can’t remember the title now, it’s already stashed beside my bed ready for packing for my holidays.
The day just continued to get better. I rang another school friend who had two lumps removed from her arm two weeks ago.. She had been told it was definitely basal cell carcinoma, the only question was what stage was it at. The good news is it was not a carcinoma, she is clear.
Finally, I booked my summer holiday. School closes on June 30th. I leave home on July 1st and return August 28th the day before I go back to work. There are times I love being a teacher! My sister-in-law is coming out with my hubbie for three weeks and I have also booked tickets to fly to Ankara for 4 days. Safranbolu here we come!
My addiction to Turkey will be well fed in the coming months. I fly out in March for a week “to get the house ready” for my Mum, lol, any excuse! We are bringing her out  for Easter.  This will be only her second visit. She is 84 years young and I told her she could bring a little friend to play with. Someday that poor woman will snap and kill me!!
So I will be on a plane in two and a half weeks time, for a week.
Then I will have a three week wait and we go out for another two weeks.
Then 9 weeks later the summer is mine. 8 whole weeks of blue skies and sunshine, good food, good company……
Yes today was a good day.


From Reflection 
Christina Aguilera

Why is my reflection
Someone I don’t know? 
Must I pretend that I’m
Someone else for all time? 
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside? 
There’s a heart that must
Be free to fly
That burns with a need
To know the reason why
Why must we all conceal
What we think
How we feel
Must there be a secret me
I’m forced to hide? 
I won’t pretend that i’m
Someone else
For all time
When will my reflections show
Who I am inside? 
When will my reflections show
Who I am inside? 

A Perfect Evening at Kylemore
Kylemore Abbey

A winter’s evening at Kylemore


Nightlights on the water looking over at Roundstone

Near Aashleigh Falls

The lake at Johnstown Castle

The Trees at Johnstown Castle

Winter Light at Johnstown Castle

Ducks on a frozen lake St. Stephens Green

Evening in Killarney

At Muckross House Killarney

Lake at Muckross House in the early evening,

430 days but who’s counting?

Some days it seems like a long time to retirement. At the very earliest I will retire in August 2013.. Recently, the Chairperson of  our Board of Management visited my classroom and happened to ask when I hoped to retire. I hope this wasn’t a hint!!!!
I said not  for a while yet  but hopefully in two and a half years time.” Ah, thats not long” he replied “about 430 days”. Well, that made my day, I had not thought of it in terms of actual working days. It suddenly didn’t seem half as long.
Recently, I was asked what will I do when I retire. My friends reckoned that I would not be able to do nothing, in terms of work, anyway. How wrong they are. I will have worked 30 years longer than my original plan and I have a lot of making up of lost time to do!
What I will actually do, will depend on my family situation, if my other half can retire also. Plus of course my poor long suffering mother! She is now well on her way to being 85 but fitter than I am. She is still driving herself everywhere and playing golf twice a week.
I have warned her I have plans for my retirement and they don’t include her. So she has three options, find a toy boy to look after her, enter a nunnery ( there are two beautiful ones, way up on the heights in Meteora, in Greece) or she can pop her clogs.  Needless to say none of these appeal to her. I really thought she’d like the quiet life in the monastery, among the rose gardens, but I heard her muttering something under her breath about a crowd of women living together.
 All things being equal, I would love to spend more time in Turkey, take photography and cookery classes, and read  and travel to my hearts content I dream of a 1st of September when I will go to school at the normal time but stand in the road and wave and nod to everyone going in the gate. Then I will go home, collect my bag and head for the airport.