Category Archives: Living

I get by with a little help from my friends



I have had an intense curiosity for astrology for as long as I can remember (since age 11 or 12 I suppose).

I walked around with a very rugged secondhand copy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs book for about a year in my mid-20’s, constantly mesmerized by the accuracy and insight into many of the typical traits of friends, colleagues, adversaries, acquaintances according to their respective star signs as described/prescribed by Linda Goodman in this text.

Moving on a good few years and the curiosity remains. I still have the book, albeit safely packed in a storage container back home, but now I refer to a couple of websites regularly for that extra little bit of guidance/advice based on that thing they call the sun sign.

If you’re at all interested my absolute must visit sites are:

Monthly: Susan Millers, this is also a great site to check your compatibility with other signs (nudge nudge wink wink)… Only if you’re interested…!!!

Monthly, Weekly, Daily:

FYI I’m a Pisces… and I love being a Pisces. Here are some excerpts taken from‘s definition of a typical Pisces that I totally relate to.

“…selfless, spiritual and very focused on their inner journey. They also place great weight on what they are feeling. Yes, feelings define Pisces, and it’s not uncommon for them to feel their own burdens (and joys) as well as those of others… Many people associate Pisces with dreams and secrets, and it’s a fair association, since those born under this sign feel comfortable in an illusory world… The great strength of the Pisces-born is their compassionate and charitable nature.”

Visit the website to check out if their description  of your sun sign matches you. I’m interested to hear your thoughts!

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The Delight of Turkish Kolonya

Turkey is a country with a long history and thus a wonderfully rich culture full of traditions, mystery and great passion.

One of the traditions I have quickly come to love is the use of kolonya. I had noticed an array of glass bottles on my Turkish colleagues desks at the office and often wondered what these bottles contained and what was the intended use.

One day I happened to see the bottle in action; a colleague administered 3-4 quick sharp sprays of the kolonya onto her hands, gave them a good rub and continued on with her work.

This was an entirely new experience for me, never before had I seen such a custom. Obviously I had questions and was delighted to learn that it is common daily practice in both public and private life.

I took to this custom like a duck to water and as per usual set about to find the perfectly scented kolonya for me. After a lot of trial and error (thank goodness it’s inexpensive), I currently have two favourites:

In first place is this Vintage Gardenia kolonya by The Store of Ma. As soon as I smelt it I knew it had to be in my life, there was something about the scent that reminded me of my childhood (my mother’s perfume perhaps) and the packaging is just to die for. Pick this up at The Store of Ma online shop, or if you happen to be in Galata, pop in to gorgeous Lunapark and grab a bottle there. A 200 ml bottle retails at about 28.00 TL.

In second place is Pasabahce’s Cay kolonya. Fresh, clean and super subtle I love this scent when I am hanging out at home and don’t want anything too overpowering. Buy in store or online, a 200 ml bottle will set you back 22.90 TL.

Would love to hear about your favourites!

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Hermes Poker Cards

When the cooler winter months hit there are a few things you always need in the house: a supply of red wine & beer, the Internet, a couple of good books/journals and boardgames. These few items will keep you and any guests occupied for many hours and if you’re lucky eventuate into some very memorial stories, told and retold for years to come.

One of my favourite things to do in the winter is settle in for a few hours of Scrabble with a group of like minded mates. However whilst living in Istanbul, and in the absence of willing and eager English speaking friends, a good game of cards takes the top spot. Whether we are using the cards to play drinking games, snap, poker or Kings & Asses, cards has occupied many a winter hour ever since I can remember.

While the playing of Cards has caused passionate arguments, tears (happy and angry) and riotous giggles they have also played a huge part in the forging of long friendships.

Now that I’m a grown up and don’t lose the 7 of Hearts card, nor have a cheeky brother around to secretly mark the cards in the aid covert of cheating, my standards, as far as the perfect deck of cards is concerned, has taken a bit of a step up. Well if we’re going to be spending so much time inside, why not insert a bit of luxury into the winter landscape!

Thus I introduce the Hermes Poker Cards. Retailing at $85.00 USD they’re slightly over the top, but the orange box and beautiful cards are so worth it. And if you are lucky enough to receive a deck for your birthday/Christmas as I was… All the better! Happy playing!

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