I admit, I’m a little later than normal with my post this month but I’ve been travelling and seeking inspiration in an exotic foreign land.

When I was younger, so much younger than today… (showing my age there!) I saw a movie called Topkapi. I don’t really remember all that much about it but it was a grand, jewel heist caper centred around stealing an emerald encrusted dagger from Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Peter Ustinov won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in it. The movie plot has been copied and probably my favourite film of the same type is Ocean’s 11, but ever since seeing Topkapi I’ve had this romantic notion of going to Istanbul, and now, mission accomplished!

In addition to the amazing dagger is the Spoonmaker’s Diamond – an 86 carat pear-shaped diamond set in silver, surrounded by a double row of 49 old-mine cut diamonds which is considered the pride of the Imperial Treasury exhibition at the Topkapi Palace Museum and the most valuable single exhibit there. This egg-sized diamond is considered the fourth largest diamond of its kind in the world.

Topkapi Spoonmaker's Diamond
Topkapi Spoonmaker’s Diamond – 86 carats

I love Middle Eastern stuff n’ things, probably from a brief stay in Bahrain as a child; the music, the smells, the exotic food, the heat and particularly the ornamentation and rich, colourful designs. It was an incredible experience to see the beautiful sights in Istanbul and to be able to stand inside Hagia Sophia, the jewel-like domed church turned mosque turned museum built 1,500 years ago is absolutely breathtaking and inspirational.

Now what to do with it all? I have photos and ideas and am working on a series of Turkish inspired treasures featuring Tourmalines (my birthstone) only fitting as this was a Birthday treat!

Where do you dream about travelling to based on an experience from childhood? A safari, Everest or even the moon? Don’t dream about it, make plans and do it! It’s taken me the best part of half a century to turn my dream into reality but it was absolutely worth the wait.