Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Change in Perspective - Blackout

On the 31st of March 2015 Turkey had the most extensive black out I have ever seen. 81 provinces were affected, including the largest city Istanbul. Ankara, the capital had a flicker but soon restored it's power. The only place untouched was Van (in the East of Turkey) because it imports it's electricity from Iran.

It cut out at 10am, coming on briefly at 4pm before going off again at 7:30pm. The power is now back and looking like it might stay, just in time for us all to go to bed.

The Metros and trains were at standstill under and over ground across Istanbul and the rest of Turkey. Many people were trapped in lifts for over 5 hours. No traffic lights, no ATM, no card machines to pay for anything. Hospitals, and airports kicked in with emergency generators. But with no warning when the power might be off or on, apparently the city was in a muddle all day. 

People in town mostly have new electric kitchens and cookers because it is more reliable. With many people dependent on central heating, this grey and chilly spring day must have been particularly glum.

We are all feeling quite chipper here, almost smug. With two wood stoves to warm the house, insulated walls and double curtains it was quite warm inside. I lit the fires at about 2pm and then went out into the garden to warm up. I sawed up wood to dry for next year's fires and brought in some logs from the wood pile (heavy and hot work). Then I mixed up a batch of Banana muffins and put them in the oven. There is always plenty to do.

Meanwhile the cockerel I killed on Friday has been slowly processed and made into soup which has bubbled away on the stove all day.

When Mummy came home I had candles lit, supper ready, with hot water for tea.

If this was a cyber attack/sabotage it barely touched us up in the mountains. Everyone has a soba (wood stove) in at least one room of the house. When we all thought the world might end in 2012 many thought a technological failure would be how our civilisation would fail, plunging us back into the dark ages.

Much of our work is dependent on the wifi, so clever Alan has rigged a car battery to power the router if it's a real emergency. There is a real argument for living in the sustainable way that we live here.

It often takes a change of scenes or shift in circumstances to see things clearly. With the moon nearly full tonight and all the stars coming out I thought: "you don't know what you've got, till the lights have gone out."

Friday, 27 March 2015


I'm away from London at the moment, at my mum's house in the mountains in Turkey. My days are so different from what they are in London.

I play with dogs and chickens and cats and cook and make build fires. I'm still working. Because I can work from home, I really can work from anywhere with Wifi so I decided to work from this gorgeous and idilic place.

The fact that I'm in a different country has reminded me of something I wrote. So here is my poem.


I’ll dance at night through the market
And pluck up jade from the stalls.
I’m summer burnt and sand blasted,
My skin peeling off my neon back
In sheets.

I’ll trip tip toe on the coastal rocks
And dip my fingers into white crab houses.
Their blinking eyes pop through the windows
And the old ones twitch their curtains.

I’ll be full of native lingo
And I’ll teach you how to sing. 
I’ll be barefoot and black soled
Hearing lady-talk and
Knotting orange feathers to my ear.

Wet bodies thump their scales against my toes
While I dangle a foot in the sea.
I’ll tickle the bellies of sharks
And they’ll smile at me with their goofy
overbite grins.

Thursday, 12 March 2015


Dear Georgia,

Well, it doesn't work out with X. I can tell you that, but you do still end up friends, so that's really good news. You take each other out for lunch every year to catch up.

What advice can I give you... Everyone who you do fall in love with is worth it. Except XXX, he's not worth it, but is still lovely.

You break two hearts. You b*tch. They both break yours too.

Make your mistakes, you're going to have the best gap year you can imagine. You will travel, but not too much. Make the most out of London, it's the best place in the whole world.

Experiment as much as you can in that year. It's going to be incredible and you can enjoy every thing at the time. You'll regret some of it, but the experience will change you forever and for the better, don't be scared to try everything you want to. I know you'll be sensible with what you choose to try and what you politely decline.

Listen to your sister, she's always right and she cares about you, she doesn't mean to hurt your feelings. Yes it still hurts when she says things to you, even now. Try to listen without being offended.

Hang on to dancing. Get good, really good. Compete if you can.

You are in the best shape of your life right now, and the next few years, remember how good it feels to be this strong and keep it up. Dancing will help with that, but it's an expensive gym so you might as well stay in as good shape as you can. Stop being lazy.

Spend your time READING you can't imagine how much time you have right now, stop day dreaming and trying to impress your best friend. You will impress everyone much more if you have actually read all the books you want to. Book people are sexy, really sexy.

Try to get jobs that involve books, every little helps for your CV and you'll appreciate the experience later.

I can't really remember what you were into back then...So I guess it's not that important.

Read. Dance. Love

In that order.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

My Dog Buddy

Since January I've been doing something which I've really been enjoying. I've joined MyDogBuddy. Since my office closed and I've been working from home I've discovered a new freedom. My hours now vary depending on what I am up to, and as long as I am on top of things I'm allowed to do what ever I want.

Another thing about working from home is that it can get a little lonely at times in the house all by my self. The constant pull of the fridge and my recipe books are making it increasingly difficult to keep up my 'New Year New Me' resolution. It is surprising how easily you can call just biting a chunk off of a lump of cheddar "Lunch"

I've hit two birds with one stone and joined MyDogBuddy.

How it works

If you have a dog, but worry that it spends a lot of time alone in the house while you and your family are at work you can find a dog sitter in your local area.

If you're like me and you have the room and the time to look after and walk a dog, you can sign up to MyDogBuddy and create a profile.

Why I love it

I have the joy of keeping a dog during the day, feeding them and taking them for a walk or two while they are with me.

I can set my own rates, which means depending on the dog and the amount of care/how long I have them I can charge accordingly.

I've got a regular dog who I look after during the day and make sure she has all the walks she needs and she is an absolute dream.

If you have the time to do it I cannot recommend enough. Join MyDogBuddy.