But What Are They Eating?

But What Are They Eating?

Author Shelley Workinger runs a blog that provides a unique approach to book promotion – food and the consumption thereof. My expanding waistline is evidence enough of my love of all things culinary, so I bit her hand off to get featured.

Turkish cuisine is justifiably famed as one of the world’s greatest. The Sultan’s table overflowed with extravagant bounty from the vast Ottoman domains that once stretched across three continents. The empire may be history, but food – preparing it, eating it, sharing it – is still of enormous cultural importance to all Turks regardless of status and income. So it’s small wonder the simple act of eating plays a starring role in both of my memoirs, Perking the Pansies and its sequel, Turkey Street. Here’s a soupçon…


See the Tree, How Big it’s Grown

See the Tree, How Big it’s Grown

When Liam and I first pitched our yurt in Anatolia, we bought an olive sapling in John’s memory and put it in a patio pot. It did remarkably well and bore fruit in the first year – a lean harvest but a harvest nonetheless. After we decided to wade back to Blighty, I asked Annie of Back to Bodrum fame if she would take care of John’s little twig in her Bodrum garden.  Annie went one better and offered a sunny spot in the olive grove of her fabulous country pile.

From Little Acorns…

Four years on and the wedding of the year presented the perfect opportunity to check on John’s tree. Little more than a twig when it was transplanted to Annie’s field, it now stands tall as a strapping sapling, framed in chicken wire to protect it from nibbling cattle.

The first snap is courtesy of Elaine Akalin.

Thank you, Teo, for planting it. You did all the sweaty work while all I did was pat it down like the Queen at an opening. And thank you, Annie, for taking such good care of it.  I’m not religious at all but a part of me hopes Teo and John popped a cork and shared a bottle on the big day.

Warts and All

WitchI noticed a little growth on my head beneath my slowly receding hairline. An ugly little lumpy bump popped up without warning. I didn’t know what it was. Best get it checked out, I thought. A childhood spent splashing  around in the tropical sun fleeing leeches as an army brat and four years under Anatolian skies squashing mozzies as a lotus eater and I could well be asking for trouble. My fierce (her word) German GP didn’t know what it was either. “Best get it checked out,” she barked and sent me off to a dermatologist. He didn’t know what it was. “Best get it sliced off,” he said. Four blue stitches, a neat little scar and a lab report later, it was just a wart. Not the viral kind of my carefree childhood days but the worry warts of my impending dotage. Wisdom warts Frau Doktor calls them. Witch’s warts I call them. I’ve already got a thicket sprouting from my nose, silver short and curlies and unregulated wind. What next? Gout?

The Show is Over Now

The Show is Over Now

Time to take down the Anatolian display and pack away the posters. The Pride Without Prejudice Show is done and dusted for another year and what a successful run its been. If you’d told me back in the day when I ebbed and flowed along the nose-to-nipple Victoria Line that, a few years on, I’d be showcasing a book I’d written at a bone fide exhibition I would have told you to where to get off (at the next stop and mind the gap). Did I sell any books from it? Your guess is as good as mine. At the very same time I was mounting the posters, I was featured on WordPress’ Blogger Profile site which has over 10 million subscribers. As soon as their interview was published, it all went a bit crazy for a while. If I did flog a few copies off as a result of the show it was icing on the cake.  Will I exhibit again next year with the Sisterhood? Wild goats won’t keep me away.

Summer Madness

For the month of August only, I’m flogging off the ‘Best of Perking the Pansies’ from the Turkish Years at the knock down price of a quid ($1.54) per episode on Amazon (Kindle version). That’s just 100 pennies for Turkey, the Raw Guide (which includes invaluable advice about relocating to Turkey assuming anyone wants to these days) and 100 pennies for Turkey, Surviving the Expats (which includes my Anatolian must sees). Never say I’m not a generous soul.

Best of Mini-Series

If this special offer takes your fancy, click here for more information