...and a Happy New Year from Istanbul!

A Very Happy New Year, and may this be the best year ever! Fortunately, judging from the number of lights, our local bank, pictured above, doesn't appear to be suffering from the credit crunch.

New Year's Eve was a bit of a wash-out in our street as it was pouring with rain, so everything had to happen indoors. Our spirits were not dampened, however, and we spent a happy evening together and stayed up to welcome in the New Year.

The next day was drier and we were able to walk up and down Bagdad Street taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the lights. It seems as though Turkey has adopted all the trimmings of Christmas and transferred them to New Year's celebrations.

There were Christmas trees and Santas and sparkling lights giving a festive air; there were even hoards of shoppers buying presents - absolutely no sign of a recession here!

Clare, John and Jessica flew out early Saturday morning and we miss them already, but we have lots of memories of their stay. We had such fun while they were here. One day I hope all our far-flung family are able to spend Christmas together.

We finally managed to celebrate my birthday in our favourite restaurant! 
(By the way, Marilyn and Dick, Hakkan says, hi!)

Clare, John and Jessica had a great time at the Fitness Park, despite the cold, gloomy weather!

We were lucky to find a dry day to visit the Market.

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I couldn't resist this one!