Lemon – By @luxetmare

By Isik Ulgenalp




In SCA 2.0 there is one thing that gets positively drilled into your head and that’s the importance of saying “YES!”.

But sometimes in all that electrifying enthusiasm, jazz hands and hustling to make Curie-Off a reality – the extreme chemistry spin-off of Bake-Off where contestants experiment with highly volatile substances and try to not blow themselves up in the process- we take one aspect for granted.

YES cannot exist in isolation. It needs company. It needs a Bercow. It needs an opportunity. Because if life doesn’t give you lemons, you can’t make lemonade. And they’re our sole focus today: my first lemon

My life before London lacked lemons if I’m going to be honest with you. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t trying to fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run as Kipling so eloquently put it. I’ve always wanted to make lemonade, but up until London all my attempts to find lemons have been thwarted by the lemon mafia. Yes, they’re real and while their operation isn’t worldwide encompassing, I grew up in one of their precincts so zesty sorbets were hard to come by.

But that changed as soon as I arrived here. In the first year of university I spotted a flyer about a thing called “HOST UK” which was this program where students could stay with a British family somewhere around the UK. And I said “YES”. Couple email exchanges after I was matched to a family and found myself on the train to Norwich to spend the weekend with a British couple called Hugh and Laurie. Imagine my disappointment and sorrow when I later found out that they hadn’t named their kids Stephen, and Fry respectively.

But that was the extend of my disappointment because they were an incredible couple. Completely self-sufficient, they had not only built the house they were living in with their own hands, they were producing everything that they ate. They couldn’t have been a more gracious and lovely hosts, having taken me all across town, never letting me pay for anything and always offering me a cuppa.

Last day of the trip they took me to this beach. I had my new camera with me since I wanted to get better at photography. And while they were walking into the distance, I suddenly saw something come together. The decisive moment that Henry Henri Cartier-Bresson talked so much about. 

I pressed the shutter and the final image landed me my first award at the Monoawards. It was just an honourable mention but I was overjoyed regardless. 


Steve Jobs once said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

And in this case I never could’ve imagined that the lemon would HOST UK, which would lead me to a completely unexpected place but if that lemon didn’t exist, I would’ve had no dots to connect and no lemonade to sip.

I realised that yes cannot exist without lemons. And for that, I’m forever appreciative that the lemon mafia doesn’t seem to exist here.

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