Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm Back!

Well the ban on Blogger in Turkey has been lifted. Turns out some blogs were being used to broadcast league football matches illegally. Digiturk the owner of the league broadcast rights, complained to Blogger, didn't get the response they wanted so went to court. The ban was lifted after a tremendous outcry.

However there are lots more websites still blocked, the most well known of which is YouTube.

Monday, October 27, 2008


It doesn't happen very often but this weekend I was watching Blogger. I was waiting for a piece I wrote to be published on the Kingdom of the Expat Wives Detective Agency. I checked in a Friday afternoon but couldn't get through to Blogger. Didn't think much about it and checked again on Saturday to find that Blogger has been blocked by Diyarbakir Criminal Court. The whole website and all the blogs it hosts including my own. Why it has been blocked has been rumoured to be illegal activities, slander against creationists and even broadcasting live football matches, but nothing is definite.

I've managed to get around the block. It's a DNS ban enforced by TTNet, the main internet provider here in Turkey. Blogger joins, Youtube, and over a thousand other websites. Wordpress was blocked last year thoug it has been reopened now, so moving the blog is not a solution.

Anyway here's the link to the first part of the mystery I wrote Rear Window - Turkish Style

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Curious Girl

The Brown-eyed Girl asked a question the other evening after her bedtime story. Asking questions is a routine event, most being merely 'Why?' But this one got me thinking.
"How do you know the story's over?" she looked at the picture of the Little Wooden Horse in the book. "How do you know without turning the page?"

'Because it is', was the first response in my mind but I controlled myself.
'Because the baddy's been killed/eaten/banished', didn't seem a positive message.
'Because everyone's happy', only applies to some stories; even fairy tales ended badly for someone.
'Because the crisis has been resolved', seemed a little advanced for a four-year old.
'Because the loose ends are all tied up', would have led to a discussion of what a loose end was.
'Because it can't go on without introducing something else' didn't quite explain what I meant.

"Because the book is called 'Five Minute Stories' and five minutes are up" did quite nicely.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Creepy Crawlies

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled, and lashed the rain against the siding of the little blue house. The heavy black clouds pressed ominously low, illuminated by the flashes of distant lightening. The rumbles of thunder came closer, leaving the children crouching, fingers shoved into their ears.

DH paced the veranda, torch in hand, looking for early signs of a deluge. Occasionally walking to the gate and back he monitored the flow from the drainpipes, the sheetflow across the path and the windblown trees. Inside a semblance of normality was upheld, the dinner eaten and the dishes stacked for washing. And then they noticed it, long, black, many-legged and most probably poisonous, it lay on the floor, still and menacing.

Hastened by the high-pitched calls from the house DH entered the kitchen and followed the pointed fingers to the black creature lurking by the sink. Quickly he put on slippers, an action followed by all members of the family.

"He'll be fast" he said, approaching with caution.

"No, I think he's hurt, he looks squashed" said I.

DH grabbed a rolled newspaper, and slapped it down, catching the tail of the speeding monster. It disappeared under the fridge as a roll of thunder roared closer.

DH pulled the fridge forward, out from under the counter, as I held the children back. Nothing moved, nothing disturbed the thin layer of dust. He pulled the freezer forward, again nothing save the scatter of dropped coffee granules.

"Look under the fridge"

Torch in hand I got on my knees and looked under, dust, plastic and nothing moving any moment expecting a flurry of movement as the creature would launch itself at my eyes from halfway across the room.

DH moved the fridge, again and again until the hideous creature sprang out, moving back under the counter. Newspaper forgotten, DH stamped and stamped, destroying the creature, leaving scattered body parts in his wake. Gingerly he gathered up the bits and took it outside dumping it unceremoniously over the wall.