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The Heart of the Ocean

How was your valentine’s day? Was it a cosy meal for two, a snuggled up DVD sesh, or, a full on romantic day of Titanic proportions?

For us here in Turkey, 14th February this year happened to fall on the Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday, a Muslim celebration.  For me, being married to a native, this meant there could be dining, but sadly no wine ing!

The Islam faith operates by the Luna calendar, with each festival or celebration brought forward each year by a  month. These days are sacred to Muslims and as such, even the least devout become tea total on that day. I personally am not too much of a romantic, so I was not too disappointed by this turn of events. However, I was not saying no to a present.

I had planned to buy Murat a Saz. He definitely needs a hobby and playing a musical instrument would suit his personality I feel.   As we sat on the sofa discussing this he asked did I want my present then, or, should he wait until later to give it to me?  Well there’s no time like the present is there?

From his pocket he produced a small red box decorated with gold ribbon.  Now forgive me for sounding like a total bitch but I thought ‘oh no’.  I am unfortunately a picky Virgo and hard to please. I don’t mean to be mean but I’d much prefer a gift voucher or money and would hate for him to waste his money on something that would sit in my jewellery box, never to see the light of day.  I smiled and took the box, opened it and found a delightful gold chain on which hung a small green flower. I say ‘delightful’ as it was, I really liked it. There was just one problem…..It was gold.

The only gold coloured gold pieces I wear are my wedding and engagement ring but, they are both shot through with white gold too. I don’t actually like gold as a rule; I don’t think it suits me.

I keep smiling and thank him but I can see on his face that I am not fooling him so I laugh, then he laughs. I explain AGAİN, that I really don’t like gold but I love the necklace and does he have the receipt! Mu can be a bit forgetful so he takes this in good humour and we agree to wander downtown to; a) change my gift and b) buy him his.

First, the music shop, a small hidey hole in Yenihisar that sells instruments, electronic equipment, music tapes and all manner of odds and sods. We head for the Saz section and both agree on an unvarnished base in two tone wood. It’s quite beautiful and at 120tl, not too expensive. We discuss lessons with the shop owner, hand over the cash and make our way to the jewellers.

Unfortunately, they don’t have the same piece in white gold.  I peruse tray after tray of very ornate necklaces, the salesman holding up pieces that would look far better behind glass in the Tower of London than around my neck. I find them gaudy and tacky and ask for something ‘sade’ (plain).  Eventually, we find a small blue heart, surrounded by white gold at the top of which sits an angel. It’s neat and delicate and carries the perfect sentiment for a Valentine’s Day token.

Of course it’s a little more expensive than the original gift but hey, I’m worth it!   We wander out into the sunshine, Mu with his Saz slung over his shoulder and me wearing my heart for all to see.   My very own ‘Le Coeur de la Mer’ , I think…………I just won’t wear it on any boat trips!