This and that…

Well, at long last, we have internet again. So, time for the updates.

First of all, we met a new doctor last Friday and she’s great! I’m really excited! She’s very supportive of natural birth and pretty much gave me all the answers to questions I was hoping for. She even had training last year with the author of my favourite ‘birth book’ (that I’ve read so far) called ‘Active Birth’. She has a private practice, which was in a lovely flat in Kadikoy, on the Asian side of the city, and it was so quiet and homey compared to the always-crowded American Hospital where we’ve been going. She likes to work with a hospital, also on the Asian side, who basically let her do her thing, which is great because I guess she’d be considered very unconventional here in Turkey. The only thing to figure out is how we’ll actually get to this hospital on the big day, since it’s pretty far away from where we live. I have no idea really, but we can figure that out later.

This coming Friday, I’m meeting the new doula, an American woman who has lived in Turkey for years. I spoke to her on the phone yesterday to arrange a meeting place/time, and she sounds nice anyway. She said she is available around my due date, so that’s a good start anyway. So, Richie and I will be meeting her in a couple of days to see what she’s like. I feel really happy and relieved that these things are coming together so nicely!

So, I think it is official that my emotions are slaves to the weather. Summer is finally, really here, and my entire mental outlook is so different. I’m sure that ‘morning sickness’ and all the early pregnancy stuff didn’t really help this winter, but still, I seem to get depressed and all that every winter to some degree. Now the sun is shining, the birds are singing and there’s a lovely smell of green and warm air and blossoms about, and I couldn’t be happier. All those happy summer associations have hit me. I keep recalling happy summer memories, relaxing in back gardens, barbecues, our amazing holiday last year, all those sort of festive summer activities that one normally does at this time of year. I feel full of energy and just so so happy that the good weather and sun are finally here to stay!

Hopefully, we’ll be heading off to Ireland this coming Monday. I’m going to the doctor tomorrow and hopefully she’ll give me the go-ahead to travel. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’ll be great to spend lots of time with Richie’s family, plus two of our best friends, Diarmuid and Andrea, are getting married and we’ve been looking forward to this trip for ages. Richie’s the best man, so he’ll definitely be going anyway, but it’ll be really disappointing if I’m not able to go. Anyway, I’m trying not to worry about it too much until I hear what the doctor has to say.

Finally, I’ve been reading some great books lately. A few weeks ago I read a book by Dutch writer Geert Mak, called An Island in Time: The Biography of a Village. Although he is writing from a journalistic perspective, his books read like novels, with such vibrant characters and amazing depictions of time and place. I’ve read two of his other books and they are equally amazing. Basically, he lives in a small village in rural Friesland and documents the huge changes in rural life over the last fifty years. While he focuses on the specifics of this particular village in the Netherlands, the book is illustrative of the rural revolution that took place and continues to take place throughout much of Europe. It’s fascinating and beautifully written. I was sorry when it ended.

Then last week I devoured the Odyssey, by Homer. Last year I read the Iliad, and was blown away by how readable, moving and modern it was, despite being thousands of years old. The Odyssey is a very different type of story, less grave and more fun, but it was definitely enjoyable. Now, sticking with ancient classics, I’ve just started History of the Pelopennesian War by Thucydides. I understand that he and Herodotus are sort of the ‘fathers of history’ as we understand it today. I had so much fun reading Herodotus’s Histories last year, and it’ll be interesting to see the contrast in Thucydides’s style. Herodotus is pretty colourful and full of interesting tales and stories of all varieties. Thucydides seems to be a more serious type of guy, leaving out all the ‘fluff’ such as potential involvement of the gods in human affairs and tries to just stick with the facts. It’s interesting so far, so we’ll see how it goes. I still think that reading these ancient Greek classics is way more fun while living in a place connected geographically to it all. Having seen some ancient Greek/Roman sites and being in a country that figures into stories like the Iliad and Herodotus’s Histories, it all seems a bit more real. I get a better feeling of what it all might have been like and I love having a better frame of reference for all of this stuff.

Well, this is a super long update, so I guess I’ll leave it at that!

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