A lesson in spontaneity

I thought this was hilarious! xx Rowena



Spontaneity is the spice of life and Istanbul, located on the old Silk Road, is naturally full spice. When you whip spontaneity and Istanbul together you get an extra spicy life! Or at least that’s what I have learnt.

At the end of my first year here and looking for a job, my Turkish-American friend says, “I have a friend who needs oriental dancers tomorrow morning for the Seda Sayan TV show. There will be other English-speaking dancers. It should be fun. Are you in?”

The quote from Eat Pray Love and my background in oriental dance had something to do with what happened next.

Eat Pray Love

The next morning, giving into this quote and believing this adventure may somehow lead me to my future, I found myself in down-town Balat. Balat is a poor neighbourhood in Istanbul renowned for having a large Roman (gypsy) community. In this community lives a Roman fashion designer.

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The Oak, poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

I love oak trees and remember collecting acorns as a small child. They are used to represent strength and growth. Ironically, we had an oak tree in the backyard of my childhood home and it actually passed away. Oak trees are beautiful in parks but a bit too big for our suburban backyard and was quite incompatible with our swimming pool. I am a tree lover and played no role in its demise but this tree I guess is a part of my personal journey with the oak tree.
More recently, acorns have featured in a few of my poems. I remember finding them as a child and being total spellbound. It was like finding a gold coin. So special.
Anyway, that’s oak trees from me.
xx Rowena

Silver Birch Press



by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Then; and then
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength. 

Photo: “Old Oak Tree” by Sue Bristo, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. His most famous composition is “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (1854), written about a battle during the Crimean War. The poem includes the often-quoted line: “Theirs not to reason why / Theirs but to do and die.” (For more about Tennyson, visit Wikipedia.)

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The Oak and the Rose, Poem by Shel Silverstein

I was stumbling from blog post to blog post tonight and stumbled across this great poem by Shel Silverstein. He wrote a fabulous book called “The Giving Tree”, which is really worth reading. He has an incredible mind and wit. xx Rowena

Silver Birch Press



by Shel Silverstein

An oak tree and a rosebush grew, 
Young and green together, 
Talking the talk of growing things —
Wind and water and weather. 
And while the rosebush sweetly bloomed 
The oak tree grew so high 
That now it spoke of newer things —
Eagles, mountain peaks and sky. 
“I guess you think you’re pretty great,”
The rose was heard to cry, 
Screaming as loud as it possibly could 
To the treetop in the sky. 
“And now you have no time for flower talk, 
Now that you’ve grown so tall.” 
“It’s not so much that I’ve grown,”  said the tree, 
“It’s just that you’ve stayed so small.”

Painting: “Two Gibbons in an Oak Tree” by Yi Yuanji (1000-1064)

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“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.” ― Stephen Fry

Long live the book. xx Rowena


It is fair to say that the population of VHS’s, floppy disks, pagers, and Tamagotchis have dwindled due to their new and improved counterparts – will the same happen to our beloved books?

OR  Readers Edge  ?

Popularity of the e-book has soared over the past year as readers find the sleek appearance and convenience benefits of the product highly appealing. The e-book is light and portable with a virtual database that can contain many more books than one could imagine carrying from the library. With this single surfaces tablet, many books can be read with the swipe of a finger. No slipping bookmarks, heavy loads, risks of paper cuts, or yellowing, stained pages – pretty neat, I must admit.

Already with the advances of technology in all aspects of communication and media, printing industries have suffered losses and are buckling down for the onslaught of superior smartphones and computers…

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Why ballet? My answer in prose.

My daughter has been doing ballet for three years. I had to count the end of year dance concert costumes which are have been filed at the top of my bedroom cupboard. There are three. I enjoyed this ballet post. xx Rowena


Who asked you to train so hard to be able
to stand in turn-out by changing the natural
way our bodies are supposed to function?

Why choose to end up being exhausted,
with sore muscles, and battered up feet
at the end of the day?

How to continue your journey when many
people not part of your world don’t understand what you do
though they think they do, and base their judgment
and words on what they think wrongly

What makes you want to spend years on
the same old thing just to try to perfect
technique that cannot ever be fully perfected?

How to go through all the sweat and
tears, to get to the dream that you know
many other people around the world have

Who came up with the idea to make
something very apparently not easy, seem
effortless in front of the outsiders?


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