The other day, living a #Travelife, I was walking through one of the ancient neighbourhoods of Istanbul that have suddenly become very cool, with cutting-edge galleries and artsy boutiques run by indie designers interspersed with old-fashioned bakeries, mom-and-pop eateries and tiny mosques.
In one of the these boutiques, I met a young designer who does everything from furniture to shoes.
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EVERYTHING I DIDN'T NEED,
She had beautiful things, and I ended up buying a whole lot of stuff I didn't need but suddenly wanted. I got a very large tablecloth for one of my dining tables, handprinted with traditional designs in organic cotton.
Then she had a very rare piece of textile, rich and plush, with an Ottoman design.
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A PRECIOUS PIECE OF FABRIC
WITH AN OTTOMAN DESIGN
"You can't find this anymore," she told me, and that kind of marketing remark is music to my ears. So I ended up getting it after she offered to tailor the edges nicely, as I thought I would make it into a runner for a hallway.
"Oh it's much too precious for that," she said. "Use it as a table runner first on a coffee table and then put it on the floor when you've tired of it."
THE BEST OLIVE OIL SOAP
My best buy in her store that day, however, was home-made olive oil soap.
"This is the best olive oil soap in Istanbul," she said to me. "It's wonderful for the skin. And I know, because I give some soap makers in the eastern part of Turkey the olive oil myself. The olive oil comes from my family's own organic olive trees. And there's nothing in that soap but olive oil and something to make the soap bubble."
BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL SOAP
She added: "You won't find this kind of soap anywhere. It moisturises the skin wonderfully."
I had to believe her about her olive oil soap as she had the most amazing skin. So I ended up buying about 10 bars of this olive oil soap, which certainly loaded up my luggage in terms of weight, on this wonderful trip to Turkey, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.