While April showers in Blighty were supplemented by an artic snap, I basked in glorious spring warmth. Liam had returned home to deal with family affairs and I received regular dispatches from the cold front. Our Anatolian adventures will end in a few short weeks and we’ll start a new chapter; a whole new edition, in fact. Liam warned me to gird my loins for the onslaught of whinging that is washing over Blighty these days. Times are hard for many (including some in my own family). The recession lumbers on without a light in sight. Many, particularly the young, are unemployed. Those in work fret about losing their jobs. The axe man stalks town hall corridors up and down the realm and many of my old muckers are planning their exits. A little whinging is understandable. The trouble is, Brits whinge even during the good times. It’s a national pastime. Liam also warned that the complaining is liberally sprinkled with barely disguised xenophobia. It’s a toxic mix. People who feel cornered often lash out at the weak, the vulnerable and the different. Others are just racist, cornered or not.
Jack Scott Imagine the absurdity of two openly gay, married, middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country. I chronicled our exploits with the mad, the bad, the sad and the glad in a blog for the whole world to ignore. Then came the book which became a critically acclaimed best seller. Its success opened out a whole new career for me, firstly as an author, and now as a publisher. Who'd have thought it? Certainly not me. In June 2012, we ended our Anatolian affair and paddled back to Britain on the evening tide, washing up in Norwich, a surprising city in eastern England, then to the wilds of Norfolk as the only gays in the village. I’m sometimes nostalgic for our encounters with the hopeless, the hapless and, yes, the happy go lucky. They gave me an unexpected tale to tell and for this I thank them.