I don’t trust my gut anymore. You know that inner voice we know we should listen to. The teller of truths. The wise one. The niggles you should have listened to that whispers too late “I was right all along”.
A few weeks ago I chanced upon a competition for bloggers – the prize a trip to Turkey, not just to enjoy all the thrills that go with a Mark Warner holiday but I’d be getting a commission too. A chance to blog to my heart’s content.
And the entry process couldn’t have been simpler. All I had to do was tweet a picture of me and family on a holiday. Any holiday. No clever caption. No inspired prose required. Names would be put in a bag and 10 winners pulled. The odds were looking good. I fired off my entry. I sent it in twice to be sure it registered and for the three weeks since then I wake up on high alert. Fate has been my bedfellow. Like I’m fulfilling a prophecy that ends in September in Turkey. At Sunday lunch a fortnight ago I get the long half of the wish bone. I’m not so cocky that I offer my daughter the wish though I can clearly see she’s disappointed she ended up with the stubby end. “Please, chicken wish granter, let me go to Turkey”. I get my kids on to the task as they say their night prayers. I didn’t disclose that the prize had a no-kids clause attached. I’ve cut a few deals with myself as I listened to that little voice say “Swim 10 more lengths of the pool and your chances of the Turkish trip will soar”. In the same vein I sponsor that FB pal I have not met in over ten years but who’s asking me to support her efforts to cycle to Paris and back. All done with my eye on the prize, on Turkey. Last Friday week I stayed back to clear tables after the school comedy night, all the time banking my luck.
And the universe seemed to meet me half way. It wasn’t just my yearning, the trip was fulfilling my destiny. Why else would I get an email out of the blue from Ceyla my wonderful pal from Istanbul. Notoriously poor at keeping up contact her newsy epistle pings into my mailbox last week. Admittedly she wrote to me from Riyadh where she now lives but it stirred memories of her Turkish wisdom and ways and of the Turkish evil eye bead she hurled in to my garden to bring me luck before she left for Saudi last year.
A mums class night is in a Turkish eatery in Teddington. It could have been at the Thai BYO we’ve gone to for the past couple of summers. But Turkey is flirting with me again.
Dining out in Bristol on Saturday night we didn’t eat at a Turkish restaurant. However baklava was served with our coffees. My sister and husband arrived unannounced on Sunday night. With a near empty fridge I suggested we get take-away but they wouldn’t hear of it. I was reminded of an episode from Ready steady cook as my brother-in-law reach’s in to our fridge and retrieved a cucumber, a block of vacuum packed Halloumi I’d forgotten was there, some tomatoes and olives. We had houmous – we usually do. The couple work great as a culinary double act. My sister finds couscous in with my baking ingredients. Twenty minutes later we had before us a feast worthy of an Ottoman Empire.
It doesn’t end there. Last night instead of doing their homework my kids are glued to the TV, to the Simpsons… can you guess where I’m going with this….. Bart,Marge and Homer. Homer, the Greek poet, is reputed to have been born in Turkey. Read the signs! And I did.
But this morning when I woke I knew something had changed. I checked twitter and my fears were confirmed, my dreams shattered. I am not to be among the ten after all. My Turkish odyssey shunted before it began. How could I have got it so wrong.