Being away from home for a couple of weeks always makes me appreciate the life I have.
I do take it all very much for granted, and I moan about a lot of things. The useless Muhtar, the rubbish, the bad roads, grumpy neighbours, etc. But there's still nothing quite like being back in my familiar surroundings, with Mr A, my lovely dogs, and the beautiful scenery.
I chose a good day to travel back. It was the first day of Kurban Bayram, so most Turks had done their travelling on Monday, and the Turkish Airlines flights were not full, giving me a whole row of 3 seats on each flight, so that I could spread out.
As usual my suitcase was heavy. My brother does my airport runs and even though he has been off work for 3 weeks with severe back pain, he still insisted on driving me to the airport. Of course I wouldn't allow him to lift my suitcase into and out of the car, and that was fine. However, when I was checking in, I lifted it onto the conveyor belt, without moving the trolley. I leaned over at an awkward angle and put my back out, and it's been giving me trouble ever since. I also have a nasty cold, with earache, headache and sore throat, probably picked up on the flight. The confines of an aircraft cabin are brilliant for spreading germs.
But in spite of my ailments it's great to be back home in my own bed.
As I arrived home late afternoon, I managed to miss the slaughter of animals. I do try to avoid it every year. Although we all have differing views on this tradition, I don't object to it. I don't rant and rave on Facebook about how barbaric it is, like so many others do, who usually don't really understand the meaning of it. Yes, it's a religious festival, and I am not religious. But I respect others' beliefs. I also look at the wider picture, and many people, who normally struggle, are fed at this time. I eat meat so I don't see how I have the right to object. And I gratefully received two lots of lamb from friends in the village.
Last night Mr A was on his way to the teahouse and stopped to help a couple of men deliver a calf. He wanted me to experience it, but it was all so hectic and there was no time to call me, but he was so full of joy at seeing the cow clean her calf and welcome it into the world and couldn't stop talking about it.
It seemed rather poignant that after the slaughter of so many animals this week, this tiny animal was born on the last day of Bayram. Life goes on.