(That, frankly, is worthy of a sub-heading).
We nearly didn’t go because we thought our darling lovely friend Evelyn (who was the babysitter) was having a heart attack. BUT after a day of asthma inhaling and chest infections and heart monitors and a long day of tests at St Mary’s hospital, she was ok, and she looked after the children very well, and no one died. It was all ok. PHEW.
So. Istanbul was wonderful, but we were surrounded by younger-than-me-no-children-thin-upper-arms energetic young people who not only could stay up for two consecutive nights past 12am, they also dressed entirely appropriately for the evening boat cruise along the Bosphorus for the wedding reception we were all there for.
I became sickeningly aware, within minutes of exiting the hotel room and lining up with all of the others waiting for the minicab to take us to the ferry, that I looked completely WRONG. The Youth all understood that they were to look sharp and eveningy and all work cocktail frocks and the men were in stylish suits. The women had their hair all proper and they had high heels and shawls and they had evening bags and they glistened with RIGHTNESS. I was wearing a crepey tea dress that was a bit 40’s and not at all evening and then I forgot my McQueen blazer in which to add a stylish punch and had very little makeup and NO HAIR PRODUCTS and only that morning we had been to the hammam for thorough naked-lady-cleansing and the enormous-breasted Turkish naked lady in parachute knickers had washed my hair in banana shampoo (no conditioner) which had dried in the taxi-ride-wind home like a crinkly wooly lamb. It was all a bit awful. And my upper arms, which have begun to let themselves go, were a bit white and soft and lumpy. I thought it would be too hot for sleeves. HOW WRONG I WAS.
Here are some pictures. (I must add, though, that because the whole uncomfortable thing is still so fresh, that I won’t put those photos in which show the wind pressing my dress very tightly to all of the lumpen parts. You just have to imagine those.)
Here I am, hiding, shamed.
So. Other than that sartorial crisis, and the after-reception nightclubbing which I spectacularly failed at, moaning about my sore feet and the music being too loud, and looking so cranky and miserable that one of the thin and appropriately attired girls came up to me, rubbed my arm, and shouted through the house beats “OHHHHH, ARE YOU MISSING YOUR KIDS?” to which I cackled shrilly and said “NO WAY, JOSE!”, the actual five days in Istanbul sans children was brilliant.
Here are some pomegranates which the man juiced for us so we could drink:
Aaaand there was a turkish delight shop so lovely, I ACTUALLY died for a short while:
It makes me feel a bit sick, because I like to eat about five pieces in one go, and your teeth sting a little bit afterwards. But it is heavenly, all the same.
Coming home was funny, because while we didn’t miss those pesky kids, it was a relief to get back to them. Awful as they are, they are ours, and we have gotten used to the awful. The awful is ok, actually. It might even be quite fun, depending on how you look at it. And the baby was weaned, cold-turkey-like, while we were away, which means that he now screeches at me even more and I feel sorry for him and I carry him around while trying to load the dishwasher/wipe down the weetabix-encrusted table/pay bills online etc. The only consolation is that my upper arms may remember their former youthful tone so that I can wear them exposed the next time we are invited to cruise the Bosphorus on a late summer evening in a glamorous manner. SIGH