Monday, October 25, 2010


Princess Milou and I are in Istanbul visiting my family.  Milou qualifies as a lap child so purchasing one ticket we took a straight flight from Sarajevo. Milou kept climbing up the seatback to show her blowing rasperries to the rest of the passengers all the flight long. One of the flight attendants even reminded us once more to keep the seatbelt fastened with all her politeness. Her eyes, though, were telling me that she could see how impossible it was to do so. A lovely couple from Katar was particularly interested in Milou and  she did all her best to attrack their attention while they were having their snacks. Well, she didn't take a nap during the flight but since it took only 1 hour and 20 minutes there isn't much else to report. 

Her super dad doesn't complain about it when we leave but I feel as though I stole all his joy away. So I'm describing the truely priceless happiness in my parent's eyes when they hug Milou at every opportunity- to make things easier. Anyway, Milou obviously has forgot everyone in the family since our last visit that’s why she's been spending that warming up time with the grandparents and 15-year- old uncle Furkan. I felt totally disappointed to find Milou crying whenever I leave the room or having a lot of difficulty falling asleep. I had made a long list of things to do and imagined my little Princess would spend all those hours while I'm out peacefully with her grandparents at home as she did last time we came three months ago. However, it seems unlikely for me to leave her alone with her grandparents to enjoy Autumn İstanbul.   So I still feel disappointed to see that warming up time is getting longer and longer. Perhaps I am a bit impatient to expect things too soon to happen - they say so.  

'Disappointment' by Furkan Ozer

Here is a picture drawn by Milou's uncle Furkan at the age of 4.  I've kept it all those years because it has always reminded me the exact expression hung on my face when I graduated from university as the top scoring student. I had been expecting life would  turn into  something different or turn me into someone different and realizing I’m no different the next morning was just frustrating – an unfiltered disappointment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Wooww!! I am lucky! I am lucky to have such amazing friends who mailed me two more gifts from London which immediately made me think I am closer to what I have been dreaming about for years - visiting London and having my high tea with H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. The sender of this card later wrote me that he picked it among all others just because Her Majesty the Queen has a queenly smile only on this one. There is no doubt she maintained her queenliness on many hundreds of other postcards as well but she smiled like a queen on this card only to my friend at that very moment. It's a witty explanation to buy a postcard, isn't it?
H.M. Queen Elizabeth II
 He was kind enough to e-mail me a photograph of the postcard store with all those cards with Her Majesty the Queen on them.

Here is another gift I started using right away -a  cute coin purse embroidered with glass beads. Lovely, isn't it? Don't blame me for puffing them this much but I do not know what else to do after realizing that I have friends who make me feel closer to what's been my dream since I was a child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Worry Beads

Have you got worries? I have. I know some friends also have. Mine sometimes seem as large as a mammoth. That's for sure but I have no approved prescription to give them a sweep away. So I've always tried to replace them with opportunities to discuss my concerns or feelings in my own way like making cards. I do it for my friends as well. It sometimes sounds witless to do so for them but I cannot help showing friends that I have always a place where they may feel valued, safe and secure, away from their worries, if they wish. I heard a friend of mine overseas has been having difficulty falling asleep and wondered what things she thinks about when she cannot sleep. So I decided to send her some worry beads with my favourite poem by Emily Dickinson and Princess Milou added a few lines with her puffy stickers. Today we received a short message from Brooklyn which says for a couple of moments there were no worries on Earth when she received the card - I humbly imagined it happened so at least.
Worry beads (Kombolói)

Milou's puffy stickers

Milou's letter

I'm nobody by Emily Dickinson


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reyyan's Dream

Dreaming of Bosnia by Emir Isovic

I feel blessed to have good friends all over the world who have dreams. Reyyan is one of those precious friends in Istanbul. She has just started lecturing on Cultural Studies at Istanbul Sehir University after working here for a couple of years at International University of Sarajevo. One of Emir's  fabulous illustrations happened to be one of her dreams - Bosnia. When we realised this happy coincidence, Princess Milou inspired me to paint the original drawing with fibre-tip pens and after a long painting session we mailed it to Reyyan. I told you before that I'm no good at drawing or painting but knowing that I was colouring one of my friend's dream was of great worth - although the result was not satisfactory as it was with Emir's. We waited until Reyyan received her dream to post the photographs. Enjoy them.
Dreaming of Bosnia

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dreaming of Drawing

Have I told you about Princess Milou's super dad? Well, he draws and paints for children. Milou hasn't started calling him an illustrator but many other people do so. She's definitely a lucky child to have such a talented daddy at home, honestly. I would name dozens of friends  who used to ask their dads to draw a simple cat for their art project but had to be contented with the dispiriting answer "Sorry, honey.  You know daddy can't draw a single straight line." or "Forgive me pumpkin. Daddy is terrible at drawing, you know." Whenever I witness him drawing, the lines and colours on the paper look incredibly admiring to me and I cannot hide my mounting envy.

Dreaming of Tibet by Emir Isovic

Dreaming of Istanbul by Emir Isovic

He mailed yesterday a few pictures to an  international cartoon competition held in Portugal. The theme is world heritage - world famous tourist spots in each country. Here are some of my favourites that he sent.  They are amazing, aren't they? You can have a look at many more of  his illustrations at
Dreaming of China by Emir Isovic
Dreaming of France by Emir Isovic

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn SA

Whatever you call it, fall or autumn, it's out there and winds have been whirling falling leaves all around the streets here in Sarajevo. The Sun has been playing hide and seek for weeks, skies will definitely turn grey soon but flowers have been showing off with a last vigorous effort before winter arrives in contrast to all melancholy associations of the season. 

Personification of Autumn
(Currier&Ives lithograph,1871)
Yesterday Princess Milou and I went out to pay another daily visit to birds, ants and bees in the neighborhood. I was telling her how distressing it is to see Sarajevo people turn inward both physically and mentally just because days of summer have ended as if they had to. The flowers in their gardens, though, with their showy and attractive colours keep telling them the opposite the livelong day. If they look around a bit more carefully they won't miss all those inspirational colours.

I was thinking out loud and Milou was  blowing "raspberries" while she was reaching out to a purple flower and so we decided to make a small autumn bouquet for the coffee table in our living room.  The bouquet in the photograph above worked indeed, the colours made me remember that  "Autumn" story I loved by Sterling North. I told you, autumn flowers are another source of free daily inspiration. 

An Autumn Princess by Sophie Anderson