To: Santa Claus, Re: Retirement, Cc: the Elves.

Dear Santa.

Thanks for coming. I think it's about time you and I had this chat.

I'll be blunt: I have gone ahead and bought the iPad. I didn't even wait till Christmas to do it, I didn't wrap it, and I started playing with it straight away. Santa, honey, let's be honest here: I've been asking you for apple goods for years now. And I've been good. Certainly as good as some people who have prettier computers than I do.


Welcome to Bilkent Falls: an advent calendar story

I take a still from my favourite Christmas film: It's a Wonderful Life, and I sketch it. I keep the trees, some cars, the Christmas decorations, and I leave out the shops and the busy street.

Instead, I draw our library and the campus path that leads down to it. In the foreground I draw the children playing in the snow. Max is lassoing the moon, George Bailey style, Charlotte is building a snow man with a zombie-Hermey. I use ink, watercolour, cutting and pasting, glitter glue and white gouache for the snow. For the cars I cut out some of Max's latest pictures.

A day at the mall

'Is this the right direction? Do you recognize it?' 'I'm not sure: I'll ask the driver.' Yes, he says, this is the way to Panora. It's such a long ride: Charlotte is worried she won't meet her friends on time, although it's a good half hour before the start of the film, so it should all-right. We drive through roads we don't know, trusting the driver to get us there. We take a turn to the left and there's a car in front of us, going awfully slowly. Our driver brakes, and I'm thinking I'm glad he wasn't going too fast. Then I hear a bump and everything is in slow motion. We swing back and we swing forward, once, twice, forever. I have time to remember everything I've always heard about car accidents. There's a long silence. The driver turns towards us: Sorry. My hand is holding Charlotte's. She' ok. So am I.
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