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IMG_0870“We’re in the wars,” that’s what my Grandad used to say when life was not going well and family were suffering from ill health. To coin his phrase, my little lot here are currently in the wars what with one thing and another.

For myself, well, I was recently diagnosed with TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) and this I put down to my silly habit of locking my jaw down when I sit on this computer and concentrate (80% of my time I’d say). To assist in the healing process, I spent three days not speaking, only drank soup and ate yogurt and took my tablets like a good girl. However, going out on the third night and consuming wine was perhaps not my best plan ever as the next day I paid with the hangover from hell. I couldn’t bear it and so, I took myself down to see Dr Bulent, a national treasure, and got him to put me on a drip. Try doing that on the NHS!

My husband’s allergy keeps making an appearance and this it does for seemingly no reason. He is allergic to medicine, even the humble pain killer. This is useful to know, should he ever upset me (joke). Of course, all joking aside, this means he can’t even take antihistamines, which is just not funny.

In the village, Sebiha is wandering around with a Freddy Kruger hand; the skin stripped from it by of a splash of cooking oil and Ozlem has a large patch of her face covered by a slimy green infection. It’s not a pretty sight. Baby Melisa has a little cold and keeps sneezing as she bunny hops around the room (too cute) and Dursun has earache and a sore foot.

Of course, these things will pass but sadly, there is one that may not. Yesterday morning, we eat breakfast at Dursun’s. It’s always a lively affair with family chit chat and laughter but I notice that Ozlem is not joining in. I see her cast her dark eyes to her husband often but he does not see. I just assume these young newlyweds have had a bit of a tiff. As Sebiha clears away the remains, Ozlem sits with her back against the fridge, just staring into space. Perhaps its pregnancy hormones, I think.

Not wanting to draw attention to Ozlem, I turn to my right and whisper in Mu’s ear

“Have Ozlem and Hussein had a row?” I ask him

“They have a problem” he says “I’ll tell you about it in the car”

We say our goodbyes and leave and as we are driving down the road Mu says

“Haci Amca has had a heart attack”

“What?”  I say, shocked.

And then I join the dots. Ozlem is Haci Amca’s daughter.

Instead of heading home, we are now parking outside Crazy Uncles house. The cement garden area is bare of people; just brightly coloured rugs and cushions lay about waiting to be sat on. We venture up the stairs, take off our shoes and walk into a full salon. Crazy uncle sits drinking tea in his pyjamas. He spies me, shoos Celal along the minder and gestures for me to sit next to him. As I do, I am greeted with Hos Geldins from two of Haci Amca’s brothers, Nedim (Murat’s dad) and Faik Dayir (Dayir = a Paternal Uncle) and the rest of the room made up of cousins Celal, Deniz and Derya and Crazy Uncles equally crazy wife Şemsir. I say my hellos and sit resisting the urge to reach out and pat down Crazy Uncles bed hair.

Naturally, the conversation is about Haci Amca’s condition and whose turn it is to go to Urfa.

It goes something like this:

Derya: “Why don’t we go by mini bus”

Celal: “Who is going to drive?”

Derya: “You can”

Celal: “Who is going to pay for petrol?”

Şemsir “You can”

At this point, Celal stands and empties his pockets producing two ten lira notes. His mother Şemsir pipes up

“You would have more money if you didn’t spend it on cigarettes and going to bars for drinky drinky”

The room erupts into laughter. Of course I am repeating these conversations to you in English but, they are being held in Turkish with the exception of the words “drinky drinky,” which Şemsir has picked up from God knows where and is now proudly using against her son.

Celal is offended.

“I don’t drink” he says and then drags me into it

“Tell her Kym, you know I don’t drink”

I know nothing of the sort but of course I back him up.

Everyone has now lost interest in “drinky drinky” as Ibrahim Tatlises is on the telly. The volume goes up.

I’m not sure who, if anyone will go to Urfa. We are waiting on Monday’s news from the hospital. They will let us know if it’s a case of “come quick” or “panic over.” I hope it’s the later.

I also hope that this time next week we have gone from “in the wars” to some kind of armistice.

Be well people