Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Duck Handbook has arrived

Cate has called me a couple of times from Istanbul on those rare moments when she is not in meetings. I really don’t know how she does it. She is up at 7:30 every morning, has meetings all day and usually works until at least midnight.

I just hope she can keep it up because I really like my lifestyle.

I enquire regularly about her health and make sure I feed her nutritious meals with lots of roughage.

She moved rooms in her hotel. She had a ‘garden’ room but wanted a view of the Bosphorus. She cannot see the Blue Mosque but it is not far away.

She has confirmed my worst fears that Istanbul is heaving with ancient buildings – all of which she will want to explore from top to bottom. Me? I am happy to sit in a café and watch the people passing by.

(Of course – it matters not to me where I am as long as I am with my darling Cate).

I will take lots of photos – or perhaps I will ask Merisi for some of hers. I am sure she has been to Istanbul and her photos will be a lot better than mine.

What I like about Merisi’s Blog is that it is as pure as the driven snow. There is no clutter and no screen real estate. Just her photos and commentary. No reference to other Blogs (this would be beneath her) as she is an artist and I respect that.

It would be better if she didn’t eat my ducks – but what the hell – even artists have to eat.

‘The Duck Handbook’ has finally arrived from Amazon. This is chock full of amazing facts about ducks including that (I bet most of you didn’t know this) the incubation period for Mallards is 26 -29 days.

I have not yet mentioned to Cate that I am starting a Duck breeding program on the terrace and that there will be a need for some grass and a large wading pool. However I have worked out how this will fit around the new outdoor furniture which will in fact provide much needed shade in summer.

On really hot days they will have to come inside but they can go in the guest bedroom – or – if we have guests – in my study. Cate can close her door so that the quacking doesn’t stop her from doing whatever it is she does to keep me in luxury.

Did I mention the disastrous adventure on Saturday when we didn’t buy outdoor furniture?

We went to three different places where Cate sneered at the furniture on offer. It seemed perfectly acceptable to me but it was apparently either ‘pitiful, ‘awful’ or ‘disgusting’. Makes you wonder why they bothered making it really.

I mentioned this to the man on the way out of Dehner but he lacked my sense of humour and he gave me one of those looks that says ‘get out of my sight you ghastly snivelling worm like creature’ which is learned by all shop assistants in Wien for dealing with unruly customers.

So I guess we will do what we normally do and at the last possible moment we will buy something that Cate hates and every time she sees it (which will be about hourly) she will say ‘I hate that outdoor furniture’ and I will say ‘Do you dear – that’s so sad’.

This happens at the moment with almost every piece of furniture we have bought – not just here – but EVER.


  1. I thought you ordered that book ages ago!

  2. I thought I had but I just put it on my wish list.

  3. The rat handbook has arrived too! More details soon.

  4. I only travel to sit in cafes. There are sights to see? All I want to see is an ever-changing panorama of wine labels.

  5. We should have fun when you arrive!

  6. Many years ago Jim bred ducks so he can tell you when they're ready to ... perhaps I'd better not offend your sensibilities!

    I'm with you and Steph - people watching + cafe or wine bar seems an ideal way to absorb a city's culture. Enjoy another place I haven't been, sadly.

  7. I am sitting here, blushing,
    you are too kind!

    When are we leaving for Istanbul? ;-)

    Please note, I only eat Muscovy ducks: their brests are bigger! :-)

    Have you ever tried the smoked duck breast tartine with oranges, honey and cumin, over at Le Bol? Addictive.