Across Continents

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Island life

I’d sought to reassure Tugba (pronounced ’Toooba’) that I really was fond of cats. We’d met for coffee a few days previously in Istanbul and she’d invited me out to her island. Just one thing, she explained. She had seven cats. Not a problem I had said. And it wasn’t. Still, quite a few though. On the ferry out – about an hour and a half sailing – I’d found myself engrossed in a reprint of an old espionage novel set amongst the estuaries and channels of the North Sea. Seemed suitably nautical.

The island was quite beautiful, many of the houses reminiscent of the English Colonial style. It was quiet. Few, if any, tourists, and far to early for the summer residents. Horse drawn carriages the only traffic, except for the odd government vehicle. A welcome change to Istanbul. I’d arrived in time for lunch, met by Tugba at the ferry terminal. We ventured into a nearby cafe for some warm tea and a chance to try her homemade spicy filled bread, a speciality in the Black Sea region where she’d grown up.

A keen amateur photographer, in the evening I’d a chance to have a look at some of her work, shot in South East Asia. She was putting together a small exhibition. A natural eye for people, her other compositions were equally striking, good use of light. Sort of imagery you’d find in National Geographic.

But most intriguing was her interest in astrology. Not the sweeping generalisations you’d find in newspapers, but something much more individual. Whatever the merits of the underlying theory, of which there seemed to be a good deal, Tugba definitely didn’t seem to be the sort of person easily seduced by pseudo-science. This was a confident, intelligent, questioning woman, not someone grasping for answers. Enthralling.


5 responses to “Island life”

  1. Mark says:

    Riddle of the Sands ?

  2. admin says:

    VERY clever – yes – Riddle of the Sands indeed!

  3. Mark says:

    If you don’t already know it, find out what happened to Robert Erskine Childers in Wikipedia (and his son).
    It was made it into film.

  4. admin says:

    Understand he was a passionate advocate of a united Ireland, shot during the troubles / civil war in the 20s? Only knew that from the foreward in the book, but not aware it had been made into a film. Still impressed with your deduction of the book’s title – wondered if you were on the ferry, since only a loose reference to the plot!

  5. Mark says:

    Executed by the British, his son went on to become President of Ireland. Film starred Michael York and Jenny Agutter (1979). Hope you enjoyed the book – keep reading, pedalling and blogging (not at the same time).

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