Going To The Dogs

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

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.

Boffer and his Trixie

. . 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.

Alice thro' the raki glass

. . 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

23 thoughts on “Going To The Dogs

  1. Best in breed? It’s great when e-friends become real friends. It doesn’t always work out that way as I have found to my cost!

  2. Four boffers in an Istanbul Meyhane – I’m picturing this now – glad you had a good time, most people do in these establishments. Didn’t break into song after the first bottle of Aniseed Nectar did you? I’d lived to have been a fly sat perched on the condiments!

  3. Aha! So NOW we know who those flies were! But seriously, we almost peed our pants reading this post (another function over which we Boffers have less and less control). So let us puff off to bed laughing all the way. Well, we may be ‘old farts’ but you and J are anything but boring. Let’s hope we have many more times together before we join the pining Norwegian Blue.

    1. Blogging can be so serendipitous – we had so much in common and so much more to discover – raki can be a very nice facilitator.

  4. We’ve always enjoyed meeting up with fellow bloggers. Though I would note that Back to Bodrum has a very, very large (and friendly) dog. Who got us barred from tea in the place we first arranged to meet. Through no fault of his own.

  5. What a riot!! I just got such a laugh over your mother joining the “Norwegian Blue Pining for the Fjords” –gosh Monty Python is so funny. And how lovely that you went to meet the Senior Dogs in Istanbul. Sounds like you all had a blast. I have made so many new blogging buddies since I have started my blog, it has opened up a new world for me. Next time you are in Rome I must twist your arms to come to meet the Mozzarella Mamma!

    1. . . no arm-twisting required Trisha, MM will be well and truly factored in – fjords not notwithstanding 😉

  6. I know I’m late in registering my pleasure at this news – but I am SO glad that it worked out! We felt as though it was the perfect “blind date” and for once, that kind of thing worked out. Wish we could have joined you for the festivities. I’m sure M. could have kept up with you on the raki, me, I’d be under the table after two tek raki. Love, Liz.

    1. . . it was a great delight Liz, and there will be many more for sure. Thanks for the intro. Here’s to a six-some at some time – can you imagine the fireworks?

  7. Hello LV and welcome to Archers – I guess you were drawn by the title and a little disappointed by the breed of ‘Dogs’! Raki is actually good for dog bites too – eases the pain very quickly! 😉

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