My mother, who joined the last Norwegian Blue in pining for the fjords many years ago, had a number of apposite sayings relating to dogs. The country was always ‘going to the dogs!’ and I always looked like a ‘dog’s dinner tied up in the middle!’, a comment on my sartorial inelegance. If the reference to ‘Norwegian Blue’ has you stumped I suggest you join the fans of Monty Python on Facebook – that said, I think I need to refocus . .
‘Bereft of Life’
. . on going to the dogs. J had spotted a couple of exhibitions going on in Istanbul and so we decided it was time for a visit which could be coupled with a re-run of ‘Brief Encounter‘. I had been e-introduced by friends to a couple of likely kindred spirits from the US who were living in Istanbul. I was advised that they blogged and that we had so much in common and were therefore bound to get along – a reassurance I found somewhat unreassuring – until I began reading back through the excellent and thoughtful posts on their Senior Dogs blog. I commented on their blog and they commented on mine – one thing led to another and before we knew it we had agreed to meet up and get to know each other. A trip to Istanbul transmogrified into ‘going to the dogs’!
a Senior Dog and his new Trixie
Neutral ground seemed sensible (you never know with these things!) and there is no place more positively neutral than a local meyhane.
. . and a Boffer and his Trixie – ‘now, did I ever tell you the one about . .’
Food is served but is secondary to a copious supply of rakı (pronounced ‘rakker’) aka ‘Aslan Sütü’ or Lion’s Milk; Turkey’s home-grown pastis.
. . a bottle between four needs more!
Do not underestimate rakı, it has the amazing ability to cement friendship or start regional wars! I have it on good authority that the guy who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo was on the stuff!
rakı can have unexpected and dangerous consequences (Clive Upton)
Anyway, enough of all this history – back to the real world. It was great to share thoughts and stories; to find confirmation that what we had hoped for was a growing reality. That here were indeed two kindred spirits who were delightful and stimulating company. People who would make good companions on the occasions when our roads converged or cross briefly as they did just 24 hours later for an excellent dinner when we were at home with them in their lovely old apartment in Cihangir, Istanbul’s intellectual/arty quarter.
I know that some of you who read this will pop over to the Dog’s blog to see what they say on the subject and then conclude that this is nothing more than four old ‘Boffers’ (Boffer translates into German as ‘er ist ein langweiliger alter Knacker’ or ‘he’s a boring old fart’ for the linguistically challenged) indulging in a bit of puffery. So what! says I – ‘Boffers’ puffing is a symptom of age and a function over which we seem to have less and less control. Having matured beyond embarrassment it is also extremely satisfying!
So, thank you Senior Dogs, Mark and Jolee, for the sampler; J and I are sold on the product and look forward to some serious future consumption! Thank you mutual friends for bringing about the intro. And thank you blogging for the e-introduction, the e-CV and the very real dog’s dinner that resulted!
ps Sorry for the hassles with loading this post – my much loved Ubuntu machine is comatose and I’m reduced to this Windows crap!
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü