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What a week!

With the panto performance just a day away, I am in the throes of last minute panic. I know it will be those last minute hiccups that really get to me. Still, ever the optimist with a ‘no problem, we WILL sort it out’ attitude, I am that duck….all calm on the surface while paddling like billy-o underneath.

We have, until now, been rehearsing in the basement of my husband’s office. It’s been a laugh a minute and touch wood, all’s been going well but there’s nothing like a spot lit stage to throw a spanner in the works and bring on the nerves. Arriving at 2pm for the Dress Rehearsal we thought we had plenty of time, but no! What with scenery hanging, ladder finding, knob control, curtain timing, line prompting, dance refining etc.. it was 5pm before we knew it and not so much as a sniff of the hip flask!  Still, after 3 years of doing panto, we know our audience are a forgiving bunch and we all know, when it comes down to it, it’s the kids that matter, both those in the audience and the ones that will benefit from the charity funds we raise.

Aside from the panto, we have also celebrated the wedding of Murat’s youngest sister Remziye to her cousin Zeynel.  We attended the teary affair and I watch Remziye sit there in her finery, face frozen in terror, no doubt thinking about the inevitable outcome at the end of the night. I can only imagine what it feels like to spend your life chaste and the night before your nuptials, being taken to one side by an aunt to have the ‘birds and the bees’ talk.  I spent most of the night with my mother in law Dursun whose face resembled someone on the verge of suicide. Distraught would be the correct description. Not only is she losing her daughter but also, her helper around the house. A house that is full of boys who of course, in this culture, don’t lift a finger. Remziye, the most amazing cleaner I have ever seen, lives to scrub and polish. She is a whiz in the kitchen and the laundry room and performs these chores like the Tasmanian devil while Dursun makes bread or goes out with her axe to chop the wood for the soba. I have to say, the brothers are all working now so at least are contributing in cash which of course is some comfort.  It’s not just the cleaning aspect though with Remziye, she has just always been the favourite. She is a devout girl who studies the Koran and performs Namas and now, she has left the fold for good.

After the wedding we all sit around Dursun’s living room drinking cay and I jokingly try to lighten the mood by saying I will go and stay in the village to take over from Remziye. Lighten the mood it did; they fell about laughing as they know I don’t cook and I certainly don’t spring clean every day!

I also managed to squeeze in a bit of retail therapy yesterday on a shopping trip to Izmir. There were at least 3 passengers with limps or crutches and I did wonder had I accidentally boarded a bus to Lourdes?  Setting off at 9am meant we were in time for a McDonalds stop on the way for sausage and egg Mc Muffin breakfasts which gave us plenty of energy for the girly chit chats on the way.  Once off the bus, myself and the Deli Shelly, methodically browsed every shop in search of Christmas presents for her girls, rooted around the bargain basement in Ikea then made a last minute dash into Kipa for blue cheese and crackers. My purchases were minimal as I am off to the UK next week and plan on taking an empty suitcase so I can do some proper shopping there.  In my solitary bag were a pair of ‘sucky in pants’ (just in case the diet doesn’t work) a cream beret with a bit of a sparkle, a pair of tights and some smelly candles – bit boring I know.

There was a good crowd on the bus and at first we thought it may get a bit raucous when some of the travelers produced cans of beer. Didn’t take long to suss out they had actually bought alcohol free beer by mistake..tee hee (just as well really, didn’t need any more injuries on that bus!)

The journey home flew by and did not turn into a party so it wasn’t long before I was home, showered, in me jimmies and on the sofa with a lovely glass of red and eating crackers and blue cheese…….Sheer bliss