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It was June 2005 that I first set foot on Turkish soil and apart from a week or so here and there, I have been in Turkey ever since. Eight summer seasons and seven years in total.

In those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, I had no idea if I would stay, what I would do or how life would turn out.  On the whole, it’s turned out extremely well. I got married, have a wonderful family, a successful business and some would say the life of riley. Not forgetting that I am also a fully integrated Turkish Citizen.

I am a big city girl; born in the East End where I spent the first 20 years and moving up West after that. The streets of Kensington and Fulham were my home then and there was everything I could want on my doorstep…or at least just tube ride away….Art, culture, history, architecture, language, social activity and any other interest my little heart desired. If I wanted sunshine, then it was easy to just book a fortnight away and indulge myself.

Now here I am, living in what amounts to an expat village and I can’t say I like that aspect of it too much, nor do I understand it. Over the years I have tried my utmost to ‘integrate’, to ‘improve’ or to ‘help’ within the community but I’ve got to say it, I don’t fit.  I’ve taken the bumps, bruises and knives in my back like water off a ducks back knowing that karma will deal her justice like she always does and of course I realise that she already has. These people that try to pull you down are already suffering; they are obviously unhappy or jealous and sadly, have no other way of trying to make themselves feel better or what it takes to put themselves in the position they aspire to.

Lucky for me I have an amazing Turkish family who love unconditionally and their doors are always open; I fit in there very nicely come rain or shine, in fact, I think everyone should get themselves a Turkish family!!

Frequently, I take ‘I need to get out of here’ breaks and escape to other parts of Turkey to visit family or friends.  My latest was a week in Istanbul.  Just being there made me feel better, It’s a big city and I understand it…I know the rules.  A busy, vibrant hum of life on the streets, a multi-coloured melting pot filled with a cultural feast.  Striking up a conversation with a stranger on a bus is like diving into a lucky dip bag, you just never know what you are going to get! It’s exciting and interesting and puts you in a state of mind that ‘anything could happen’.

So with all of this in mind, is it any wonder that I have been feeling the need for London time? For the first time in seven years I am craving a decent slice of original home pie. I know the arm will fall off the rose tinted specs the minute I get there but I intend to stay a few months until they break completely.

Funnily enough, while I’ve been writing this, someone just told me via Facebook that the rumour is I’m going back to the UK for good!   I may get disgruntled here and I may be feeling the seven year bitch (and boy is she on one at the moment) but my husband and family are here and when you have that, the crap that others try to rain down on you becomes incredibly unimportant.

I started this blog frowning but now there is a big smile on my face. I’ll be off to the UK shortly with my son and one of the things we will be doing is viewing houses to buy for him….that means a spare room for me, or indeed us if I can ever convince Murat to visit!!  How lucky am I to be able to do what I do eh 😉

PS: This blog will resume normal service shortly with something far more exciting…..The Orient Express Tour!!