You are going to hear so much more about my recent trip to Uzbekistan but for now this is about the blacksmiths, the storks and the scissors.
Let us start with the storks. We all recognise these large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills which they use to find and hunt for food. It is also said the that is how babies arrive, carried in a sling carried by the stork! (I have included a picture I took of a stork family whilst in Spain just before the pandemic. This family where high on a tower and were panting in the heat!)
The area of Bukhara in Uzbekistan was a regular home to the stork, but sadly this is no longer the case. There are still stork families seen on the road to Samarkand and the stork is still much the emblem of Bukhara. Some of the most beautiful monuments have stork nests high on the domes but these are replica and models only. You can see a pair on top of a fabulous building, but these are just reminders. The reason that the stork no longer fly above Bukhara is that the swamps around the city were responsible for bringing in malarial mosquitoes as well as the stork. To reduce the human tragedy, the swamps were drained and now the stork hunt elsewhere.
While hunting for treasures, I discovered that there are so many blacksmiths around Samarkand and Bukhara – and they create arrays of stork scissors! Of course, I needed to bring some home. I chose to buy from this excellent Uzbek blacksmith who was fascinated to learn the scissors were coming to the UK.