By far one of the benefits of living in Turkey with kids is the abundance of childrens playgrounds. Every neighbourhood has a government funded playground, most of which are regularly upkept and daily cleaned – ironically, the worst kept playgrounds I’ve taken my kids to have been in some of the most expensive post-codes in Istanbul! In Iznik within a half hour walk from our home we have five playgrounds, all of which are brand new with double swings and acrobatic slides. Most days though, as if he’s reassuring us that countryside living was exactly the toddlerhood he wanted M chooses not the slides or the swings but the meadow, or rather the flat patch of land opposite our site (gated complex) where local farmers set their cattle to graze and shephards despair of M’s enthusiastic herding skills. Seeing him explore the world this freely, pausing to investigate an ant hill or smell a random flower, hearing T’s gurgles as he grabs out beside him to brush the grass blades up against his own face, feeling his feet kick excitedly as he guides us to chase after his brother, in those moments I feel as free as my children here running. And then when we’re done for the morning and we head home for a cup of tea I get to place flowers in a vase, the most beautiful bouquet in the world every time.