On Wednesday 19th May Captain Caveman had gone to Phong Nha and I had agreed to chop potatoes and onion so that he could make a Spanish omelette when he got back. Captain Caveman had a shopping list of provisions to collect on his way back and I had dragon fruit for breakfast. I put all my chopped stuff in the fridge and was about to go upstairs when Veronika asked if I was going on the shopping trip at 11am this morning. I didn’t have any money on me so I messaged Captain Caveman to get back in time to give me more or join the shopping trip.
Captain Caveman got back in time but decided not to come to Dong Hoi, Veronika and I got picked up by Ben and he drove us to the Farmstay where there was a switch of driver and we set off to Dong Hoi, just Bich, Veronika and me. Bich decided we would go to 7th Heaven for lunch and I was happy with that choice as the food is lovely there and the menu has lots of choice. Veronika ordered chicken schnitzel, Bich went for bruschetta and Australian beef steak from the specials menu and I ordered a starter of sweet potato fries (they are so good) and then sweet and sour chicken with steamed rice and raw cabbage for my main course. The food was delicious and I was glad I had a spare tuppaware container in the car for mine as I had half left over for dinner later.

Our first shop was the An Nong organic shop where I couldn’t believe my luck – they had cherries!!! I have not had cherries since I was last in Turkey and I love them so much so, despite the very expensive price, I had to have them (and they were the last ones on the shelf)!
Our next stop was off to the Co-op Mart where I got my main supermarket items and then our final shop was at the red supermarket where I found some great mixers for the gin (as I don’t like tonic). I splashed out a bit really but I would later not regret the choices in this shop.

Below is my shopping list, as I know some of you love a nosey at what’s in my shopping basket and a list! £1 is equal to 32,555vnd and the cheapest items are listed first and per shop;

An Nong
Cherries 186,000

Co-op Mart
1 bottle of orange Twister drink 9,800
1 box of freezer bags 22,000
4 bananas 29,332
1 tub of mints 35,000
1 carton of orange juice 38,600
1 bottle of mouthwash 39,000
1 bag of Peanut M&Ms 39,600
1 box of grapes 45,386
6 cans of tonic water 45,600
100g of Edam cheese 47,000
3 cans of Strongbow cider 55,500

Red Supermarket
1 can of ginger ale 32,000
1 bottle of sparkling pink grapefruit 55,000
1 bottle of sparkling peach 55,000
1 bottle of BBQ sauce 125,000
4 apples 140,000
1 packet of blueberries 140,000

The total spend for this week was 1,179,419vnd which is about £36.50 so quite an expensive shop and quite a few treats.
When I got back home Captain Caveman had made the Spanish omelette and had been in the pool so had enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. He was off to work around 5pm at Oxalis Home for his next Son Doong briefing – there may have been a pandemic going on but so far domestic customers were still coming for tours to the biggest cave in the world.
My evening was just getting started as I got prepared for a farewell party with a difference!

The final part of my day on Wednesday 19th May was a massive first in my life – attending a funeral via the internet! I wasn’t sure what to expect and I had the tissues at the ready for what I knew would be heart breaking. I’d only known Graeme since the end of 2019, when I was introduced to him by his husband, Jamie, in Dalyan. I had become good friends with Jamie when I was living in Turkey and we had some really great nights out. When I met Graeme we got on straight away, mainly because he had such a great sense of humour, loved dogs and was brutally honest – things I love in a person! The funeral started at 7pm (my time) and so I got myself a gin and pink grapefruit to drink as we said goodbye to Graeme at his farewell party. I couldn’t believe it when the first song to be played was the famous Lesley Gore hit ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’ – I laughed and cried at the same time and I even composed myself enough to join in on the second chorus. It was only fitting that even in death, Graeme was still making us laugh and I was so proud of Jamie when he delivered such beautiful words with composure and some humour with his beautiful tribute to Graeme, whom he adored. He told us tales of their life together and it was a touching but, again, funny song which followed; McFly’s ‘It’s all about you’ which I laughed and cried at again! I had a bit of a sing along while thinking of the too few drunken nights out at Lukka Bar with Jamie and Graeme. I liked the hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and the 4th song made me smile; Vera Lynne’s ‘We’ll meet again’. The last song though, had me sobbing and laughing in a bit of a mess; Will Young’s ‘I think I’d better leave right now’. Even at the end of Graeme’s life we would all remember the humour and how he liked to be a little mischievous. One of our geckos, Billie, must’ve been a girl because a new baby gecko appeared – I decided to name him Graeme.


I finished another gin and pink grapefruit, sorted out my face and had a little lay down. I was a bit tipsy after 4 gins and forgetting to eat dinner so I warmed up the leftover sweet and sour chicken with sweet potato fries and ate that. Captain Caveman got back from his briefing and was washing out his flask with boiling water while I was washing up. After shaking up the full flask and trying to pour it in to my washing up water I said no and then it shot out over us and burned the back of my hand. I had to put ice on and go to bed with a proper face on after Captain Caveman tried to say it was my fault for not moving out of the way! He only had to wait for me to wash 1 plate, 1 knife and 1 fork, where are his manners and patience!?

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