I woke up at 7am on Monday 2nd November and decided it was too early for me to get up yet so I went back to sleep. I had incredibly odd dreams and eventually woke again at a lazy 9.30am (in Vietnam it is like getting up in the afternoon if you get up at that time). I was still in the shower when the cleaners arrived and as I came out, luckily in my robe, they were already stripping the bed and dusting. Captain Caveman and Veronika were already at the Farmstay and I was meant to follow as soon as I was ready but I couldn’t get changed while the cleaners were busy in my room with the curtains open so I took the opportunity to learn some Vietnamese. When I eventually joined the others I impressed myself by being able to get up the steps and in to the restaurant area, it was busy; the neighbours were all there, Bich, Ben, the kids, staff and deliveries were happening. Building work had started to continue and Ben had got help from Remy, Howie and Thi. Captain Caveman had been waiting for me to arrive to order breakfast and so he went for sausages and scrambled eggs, I had toast and an orange juice. It was quite sunny and I didn’t need my hoodie on, it was hard to believe that last month it had been so deep underwater. It was getting to lunch time and Howie was having a cheesecake which looked amazing so I ordered one – it was definitely impressive. When it was time to leave I managed to get down the 4 steps by myself, even though Bich and Captain Caveman were on standby to help. That was the first time I’d done that many bigger steps in a row, without a handrail and going down them – I was really pleased with more progress! In the afternoon I learned more Vietnamese, watched more of, the now extremely odd, The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Instead of cooking, Captain Caveman and I decided to have a chicken combo delivery from East Hill. The food was great and I really enjoyed my dinner, I didn’t even leave any!! Captain Caveman had a couple of beers and I had a cider with mine. Because the food comes wrapped in banana leaf and in a paper bag there is no washing up to be done and is very good for the environment!! We did save the chicken bones so that Captain Caveman could make a stock for another day. Before bed I did the rest of my exercises and found that I could do most of them except for squats, which hurt my good leg and standing on one leg – I only managed 20 seconds this time.

Video of my first go at walking up steps without a handrail
Cheesecake at Phong Nha Farmstay

There wasn’t much happening on Tuesday 3rd November for me. I had toast with butter for breakfast and for lunch Captain Caveman made hot dogs (no bread) with mustard and ketchup and we had a bit of a treat with some orange juice – we only usually drink water (or alcohol). The weather wasn’t good, it was grey and rainy and so I attempted more languages, blogging and The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix (I was now on the penultimate episode). In the afternoon I ended up eating sweets and crisps but for dinner I did us some fried rice and then was ever so adventurous by springing a dessert on Captain Caveman. He doesn’t like sweet things (unless it’s cheesecake or carrot cake once in a while) so he didn’t look too impressed. However, what I had managed to do was make an amazing rice pudding with the wrong ingredients, the condensed milk I had mistook for evaporated milk and thought I would use it in the rice pudding. I cooked the rice in the cooker as normal and then added some condensed milk and normal milk and cooked it for a few minutes. It was fantastic and reminded me of ambrosia rice pudding from back home and we had it with raisins in. Captain Caveman actually ate all of his and enjoyed it. I messaged Mom to tell her, as it reminded me of Dad who had just got back from an appointment. He now wanted her to make him some rice pudding!!

Wednesday 4th November should have been the day I renewed my residency in Turkey. Unfortunately it can’t be done when not in the country and so it meant I had to lose it, go back as a tourist and hopefully reapply next time I am there. I had toast for breakfast, Captain Caveman had a feast with his toast! I did some Vietnamese and renewed my Turkish health insurance so that it didn’t lapse and I would still be covered for my leg if I needed to claim. Friends in Turkey were on messenger helping me sort it out which was reassuring. We had a picnic lunch and then I finished The Haunting of Bly Manor and although it was quite annoying I did quite like it. Captain Caveman was in charge of dinner and made me gluten free pasta with veg and salami and parmesan cheese – it was very good. I had an apple and we shared a bottle of red wine, I did my exercises before bed but couldn’t stand on one leg or do the squats at all!!

It was an early start on Thursday 5th November! My alarm went off at 6am and Phuong, from the very punctual Phuong’s Transfers, was picking me up to go to Dong Hoi at 6.45am. I was very lucky to get an early physio appointment at 7.30am and I went in to the hot treatment room for the first time in over 2 weeks. Because of the bad weather and me having had a skin infection, then a cold, I had not been able to make the physio sessions. I was glad to get back but was nervous that it might be more painful. I managed just 90 minutes of being pummelled while Captain Caveman and Phuong went for breakfast at Mr Bull’s and the therapy was less painful in parts but more in others – I confirmed for another session the next day. The weather was ok in Dong Hoi and Phong Nha at the moment but further south tropical storm Goni was on it’s way, ‘at risk’ people were being evacuated in large numbers and it didn’t look good for Hue, Danang and Hoi An.
Back home I had tortilla and picnic stuff for my late breakfast, while Captain Caveman headed over to Phong Nha and the Glass House. For lunch I had toast with butter and still had suffered no gluten issues. When Captain Caveman returned he decided it was warm enough for a dip in the pool, it was sunny but still too cold for me to join him. I had started to do some research in to trading currencies and Blockchain because Melissa had started a new investment about a month ago and was raving on about it, I wanted to know more of what it was all about.
We decided it was my turn to cook so when I asked Captain Caveman what he would like he said ‘do something different!’ so I did.
I made an Arabic dish, Mujaddara, which I felt he would have tried before on his extensive travels. It’s a simple dish made with rice, lentils, onions and yoghurt and it turns out that you don’t really need a lot of it to feel full – it’s also very budget friendly and easy to do in the rice cooker. I thought it tasted nice and Captain Caveman, who had never tried it before, would have preferred it as a side dish rather than a main meal. We also had quite a bit spare, even though I adapted the recipe to a smaller quantity and a couple of gins were had to wash it down with. While we watched some house programme on Netflix we shared some dark chocolate for dessert.

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