Through a Lens, Brightly (Despite the Clouds!).

What a strange week. Wonderful in that it has been the first time in a very long time that I have had my Mum to my self and the new camera has been a real joy, but also tense because of the worsening situation in Turkey.

Being the eldest of nine having Mum come to Istanbul to keep me and the two little ones company while Ville was in Sweden was something of a miracle. She is someone who would remain unflustered in the face of much worse so she was the perfect visitor to alleviate the knots in my stomach, and keep the kids laughing. We spent our time just playing with Anton and Neve or exploring the area close to home. I won't forget opening the windows in the early hours of one morning to watch the crowds streaming past, or that, as I had so hoped, it was into Grandma's arms that Neve landed into after her first steps. I think the tension that I have is largely to do with trying to hold my views in some central position in the face of complete polarization and intense propaganda from both sides. This situation is not a simple one. Right does not lie fully with any group involved.

This morning I listened to a string quartet playing at the summer residence of the German consul. Surrounded by high trees and a rose garden I felt like a film character who calmly sips tea while listening to rising strings as the world, or the waves, crash down. The children played on the mossy floor of this paradise with high walls, beyond which the Bosphorus shimmers. On the road outside the gates we could hear the occasional convoy of the pro-Gezi horn tooters. While waiting for a taxi home we saw a boat with a banner nearly covering one whole side making it's way to the waters near  Kazlıçeşme for the pro-Erdoğan rally.

By the time we got home large, loud groups were making their way past our apartment towards Taksim. I have not denied the kids their chance to bang pots with wooden spoons with the enthusiasm that would bring complaints in any other circumstances, so Anton asked to go on to the street for a moment to make some noise. The passionate anger in the air was so overwhelming I had to drag him inside so I could sob for a moment. And have a stiff whisky. I don't know where this is headed but it doesn't feel like a path to somewhere good, despite some (and of course some not so) worthy intentions.

I have now had my new camera for nearly a week and I am enjoying more than I even thought I would. Waiting for it's arrival I had become a little nervous of how long it would take to use manual settings instinctively but any changes in how setting changes are made are for the better, and intuitive to use. I had a day of feeling daunted before feeling really liberated by how much easier it is to get what I want. Because we really pushed the boat out to afford it I had to buy the cheapest prime lens I could find (it's a 50mm 1.8) so I know that I am right at the beginning of seeing what this camera can do. I have so much to learn and I love it!

So my pictures this week are of relaxed, happy trips to various parks away from the fray. Of Anton banging his pan. Of an idyllic morning at the summer residence of the German consul in Tarabya. And of Anton's expression as he watched the chanting crowds make their way past him towards Taksim Square.

Thanks again to all of you who wrote us lovely comments and messages and held us in your thoughts this week. It has really meant a lot.

Girly girl.

Grass, girl.



Neve and her Grandma.

Funny face.

Me and Neve.

Monkey's picnic.


Leaves for Neve.

Leaves and lashes.

Mysterious journey.

Her eyes.

Bang bang.



Ville and Neve.



Mossy pleasures.


Summer residence of the German consul.

Anton views the chanting crowds making their way to Taksim Square.

Crowds on their way to Taksim.

Crowds on their way to Taksim.

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8 thoughts on “Through a Lens, Brightly (Despite the Clouds!).

  1. Your new camera certainly suits you. I'm glad you're keeping safe. I think of you often and hope that your family is well!

  2. How wonderful that your Mum was able to come and spend time with you during this frightening time! It sounds like things are really intensifying. So good to have an emotional source of strength and not to be facing it alone. Lovely that she was there to witness Neve's first steps - how special!
    I'm glad that you have your new camera. :) hopefully it will prove to be a good distraction at times to all that is going on around you. You are doing a beautiful job with it! I love that first picture of Neve. And the picture of the two of you together is great. I love the sweet expression on her face. She has your eyes - so pretty!
    Stay safe, Julia!

  3. Look at you, rocking f1.8! Loving all those OOF highlights in the foliage. So pretty.

    Sorry to hear that things are still not looking so good there. Let's hope that the near future brings a peaceful settlement, and that you can resume normal family life soon. Take care!

  4. Gorgeous photos of the kids! I especially like the B/W one of the two on on the old garden statue. Keep practicing! ;-)

  5. Beautiful photos, I already love your new camera!!! ;) Also you and your family have been in my thoughts especially when I hear the daily reporting of the situation there on BBC. Such a horrible situation that seemingly has no quick or easy resolution...

  6. Thanks friends. We had our first truly calm night last night. It was great to sleep soundly!

  7. Lovely, lovely post; beautiful photos; love your shots. I am so glad to see happy children faces and the life resides with all going on nearby you; enjoy your new camera - fabulous shots!- and I love seeing more smiles at children; thinking of you, heart at home - take care, Ozlem x

  8. Again, so many gorgeous photos! Top favorites for me are 9 (because I love seeing your beautiful face) 11 (is Anton the Lorax in that one?), 15, 21 and 22. You have a great talent for finding and utilizing light!


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