Archive for December, 2011:


A TURKISH GIFT

  hinking back of gifts given and received and some of the best memories I have are of the unexpected gifts. A meaningful gift arrived in the hands of a Turkish child. Jack and I were on a road trip driving north from the Mediterranean through the Taurus Mountains. We were traveling on a religious holiday (Kurban Bayram) and were uncertain as to whether or not we would find restaurants open midday along the way.  This uncertainty about our lunch destination was reason enough to plan a picnic and the weather was mild and lovely, so inviting for a meal outdoors.  What better way to break up the hours of driving to our final destination in Cappadocia than to plan a picnic en route?   On our way out of Antalya we stopped at the local market.    Fresh cheeses, olives shiny and varied, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers along with seasonal fruit were all piled from the stalls into our basket.  As an after thought we picked a perfect watermelon which we thought we would enjoy

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A KILIM’S JOURNEY FROM ISTANBUL TO CANADA

osephine Powell used to tell me stories of the nomadic tribes of Turkey and their culture and weaving traditions.  Josephine would speak of the life in the summer camps as the people settled in the high mountain pastures for the flocks to graze while the women were weaving both carpets and kilims. A friend asked me the other day after reading my blog ‘what is a kilim?’  I explained that

CARPETS AND KILIMS – FROM THE SHEEP’S BACK TO YOUR FLOOR

    arpets stacked high, kilims by the meter, in Istanbul this wealth of colour, design, texture and tradition share a commonality of being made of wool.  Old and antique weavings or pieces right off of the loom all started out ‘on the hoof’, wool or hair on the backs of sheep or goats. I have a strong image of the first flock of sheep I saw grazing in the distance on a hillside in Cappadocia.  The shepherd was visible at the rear of the flock as they grazed against the surrealistic landscape that defines Cappadocia.  It seemed an ancient image to me.  In fact research would indicate that the practice of animal husbandry spans the past 8000 years in Anatolia. On our travels in Eastern Turkey one day as we were driving across the Mesopotamian plain towards Mardin my colleague Mehmet noticed