Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Outposts of Beyond

Back at the Tavern trying to sort out my life. It's hard to search new job/ new home/ how to move pets/ how to save yourself from (further) inevitable financial ruin at the local pub but the internet at home just does not seem to want to work with my new computer. I suspect it is something to do with the way I have set up my machine  but until I understand what all those cloudy shapes are at the bottom of my screen, I can see no other solution.

Some good news, I guess. My story 'The Weaverman of Askhan Bazaar' has finally made it to print.  A nice, glossy mag that I can touch. It even garnered a nice blogger review which I found especially touching. When strangers go out of their way not only to read your work but make an effort to comment, I feel such gratitude for their enthusiasm and time.

Here is the review.

The Weaverman of Askhan Bazaar,” by Joanna Galbraith, is a beautiful tale, written in a flowing, lyrical style, all wrapped around an intriguing premise involving words, the colored threads they leave behind, and the lost art of weaving them together. Galbraith also adds a dash of humor to this story of an old man and a young girl learning their true worth from each other, and she merges all of these elements into an exceptionally pleasing read. This is a good one for those who like to ease into the heart of a story, learning a little more about the people and places involved before being immersed in their conflicts. It also delivers on the magazine’s promise of interesting settings. It’s easily my favorite of the issue, and well worth reading — and then reading again.

And you can read it in full here.

But you know what and this is the hard bit. I wrote this story back in Switzerland. Sure it had some heavy editing while I have been in Turkey but I can't really say it represents a breakthrough.

I feel strangely deflated.

But I suspect that is due to much more than this.

Saturday, 22 August 2015


So since arriving back home for my yearly parental pilgrimage I have been hit by the flu-bat followed by the world's most archaic internet link. Finally I am able to walk to the end of the road without wheezing so I have taken refuge in the local tavern in search of internet and good wine. Success on both counts with the most cheerful bunch of locals thrown in for good measure.
Pa and me
I really have not done that much since my return but I did go to The Exhibition (known locally as The EKKA) the other day. As a child this was one of the highlights of my year: fairy floss, dagwood dogs, strawberry sundaes, donuts, cupee dolls, showbags, sideshow alley, the biggest pumpkin, best-in-show dog, cattle, horses, petting zoo, manure underfoot, fireworks, gruesome police exhibits.) I actually hadn't been for over twenty years so it was a bit exciting to return with my dad and sister.


I particularly enjoyed this photographic effort by my dad - just in case you couldn't work out where we were!
I have to say that twenty years on it seems cleaner than I remember but all the staples were still there plus my new found appreciation of the Cattleman's Bar. The fruit and vegetable display was a bit lacking though  I have to confess. A lot of Anzac themed entrants using the brown of onions and potatoes to capture war uniforms. Very apt but  rather drab. The best was probably the Girl Guide's entry which had an explosion of colourful fruit among trenches and a red baron circling overhead with a swastika affixed to it.

Best bit of show though . Racing pigs obviously.

And diving pigs, of course.

And the littlest piggy went WHEEEEEEEEE!!!

Truly, I have to believe that the piggy enjoyed it. I am sure they were smiling and oinking as well.

Afterwards we visited the  animal petting zoo and I have to tell you the little pigs really did smell of bacon which is why I can never ever eat them.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Old Sultanahmet

A bar in Sultanahmet with a view out to the Marmara
Over the past few weeks I have been exploring around the back of Sultanahmet more. Normally people associate this area with tourism which is a wise assumption given the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome etc are all in this area. But there is also a local neighbourhood as well. Filled with tea gardens, childrens' parks, laundromats, hole-in-the-wall bakeries and glorious, green leafy streets that catch the sweet breath of the Lady Boss. The deportation center for foreigners is also in the middle of here. A grand looking building with barred windows where men hang out their arms all day and night, shouting down to loved ones, friends even strangers.  I wonder how many people in there are waiting to be sent back to somewhere far worse. At the end of the building there begins a long line of noisy restaurants. What must it be like to sit behind those bars all day and hear a cacophony of clinking raki classes, tinkling cutlery and Turkish musicians singing ballads about loss.

Life is absurd and often very cruel.

Tomorrow I head to Australia for a month to see my family. I feel anxious about leaving my girls behind but unlike Monsieur Depp I do not have a private jet on which to smuggle them. I am sure they will be fine. And I need to go home. I need somewhere quiet to plot my life.