There was some excitement on Sunday 31st October as I was about to meet up with a good friend from Sheffield, who I’d not seen for almost 2 years. I woke up and was looking a bit better for having slept in and I had my cornflakes for breakfast without any issues. I spoke to Captain Caveman who was doing well in Phong Nha and didn’t really seem to be missing me too much. I was missing him but I played it cool and pretended I’d been too busy to notice even though I was missing his cooking and foot tickles a lot! It was a bit cooler today but it wasn’t raining yet, as predicted, although I did get my warm slippers and the old raincoat out. Vanessa and I had arranged to meet for a Lukka bar Sunday dinner at 2.30pm and when I got there she was already there with a white wine and soda – we were so pleased to see each other and we did have a hug! Mehmet could see that I might need more than a glass of wine and so I got a bottle of red wine while we caught up on quite a few things; family, health issues, Dalyan plans and lots of digressing in-between. We both had the roast beef Sunday dinner and it was really good, this time I managed to eat almost all of it and still have room (after a good rest) for the apple crumble and ice-cream. We both have similar stomach issues and both think we have food allergies/intolerances so when I told Vanessa my plans to get tested after being here 6 weeks, she was also up for joining me. The gravy, cauliflower cheese and Yorkshire pudding are usually a no-go for me but I was pretty good after eating it all.
My parents joined us for a drink, by which time we were merry, Sarah and Katrina had also sat down next to us and I couldn’t finish my wine. We decided to leave Lukka with my wine being saved behind the bar with my name on, Vanessa went home and I said I’d join ma & pa for dinner, even though I was still quite full from lunch.

They had chosen to go to Kebapçı Yusuf again and it’s always excellent service with great food at very reasonable prices. I had a mixed pide but had to take more than half of it home, my mom had a chicken shish and dad had meatballs, we shared some chips and they gave us a complimentary salad which I took half of home too. My parents, who hadn’t been drinking in the afternoon decided to continue their night but I just couldn’t carry on so I took my leftovers and went home. Instead of being out doing anything Halloween related (which I don’t celebrate anyway) I was in bed by 8.30pm reading a post on Facebook that reminded me that, although I wouldn’t have to automatically self isolate in England when I land, if anyone tests positive who have been on any of the same planes, I would have to – that was a bit rubbish as I could see in various Facebook groups that it seemed to be quite a common occurrence!

The end of October had definitely come round very quickly and it was hard to believe that I had been in Turkey for almost 6 weeks. I had been living an almost normal life with less walking than I’d have liked and more alcohol than probably wise. Having said that, I was 0.5kg lighter on the last day of October than I was at the beginning. I’d been lucky enough to meet up with friends and was organising more of that right through to the end of the year. I’d visited more new places and revisited old favourites with the highlight of the month being getting to see my parents again for the first time since 25th October 2019! Of course I wished Captain Caveman was able to be here in Dalyan with me, enjoying all the trips and good times but I also understood that it would not be that easy for him to return to Vietnam and we could not put his job at risk, I just hoped we were lucky enough not to have to wait a whole year to see each other again. There were still things I missed about being in Phong Nha that I had to keep putting to the back of my mind, knowing that coming to Turkey was the right thing to do and had ultimately meant I could become a resident here, in Dalyan. This blog was doing well and had 353% more views this month than the previous one, I was now looking in to ways I could monetise it without compromising it too much, ready for next year. In October the top countries for viewers were UK, Turkey, Vietnam, Netherlands, Australia and USA and it was good to see a couple of new countries popping up on the stats, including a couple of views from Azerbaijan.

People I knew seemed not to be following the Corona numbers any longer, due to various reasons, but I couldn’t shake that habit off and checked daily. Here’s a Corona data October summary for the 3 countries that have an impact on me and the people close to me:

October Cases 130,367
October Deaths 2,782
October Recoveries 211,503
October mortality rate 2.13%
Total Cases 921,122
Total Deaths 22,083
Total Recoveries 820,334
Total mortality rate 2.4%
Population 98 million

October Cases 850,000
October Deaths 6,557
October Recoveries 880,000
October mortality rate 0.8%
Total Cases 8 million
Total Deaths 70,611
Total Recoveries 7.5m
Total mortality rate 0.9%
Population 85 million

October Cases 1,200,000
October Deaths 3,970
October Recoveries 1,040,000
October mortality rate 0.33%
Total Cases 9 million
Total Deaths 140,632
Total Recoveries 7.36 million
Total mortality rate 1.56%
Population 68 million

In Vietnam the number of Corona cases in October were a third of the number in September which was good news that the strict lockdowns were definitely reducing the number of cases, it was reassuring to see that the number of deaths in October were only a quarter of the number of deaths in September. The number of recoveries were less in October to the previous month and the mortality rate had reduced too. A good news story but would it be short lived as the number of people with 2 doses of vaccine were still very low and now most of the lockdowns had ended people were free to move from infected areas to go back home, would this mean an increase and another wave for Vietnam?
In Turkey, although the number of cases and deaths were still high, there was some good news; the number of cases and recoveries for October were 1,000 more than in September but the number of deaths were 1,000 less. The mortality rate had decreased too and hopefully as the winter months followed things would continue to improve. I still didn’t like not knowing how many cases there were where I lived but I guess it was still better than being told there were cases nearby when there wasn’t, like we were in Phong Nha.
In the UK the number of cases in October were a 20% increase on September cases, the recoveries had increased too and the number of deaths were slightly less in October than September with the mortality rate showing a decrease. I just hoped it didn’t get any worse or result in lockdowns or travel limitations before I could visit.
The world data was showing improvement with the number of cases and deaths dropping but the total number of deaths in the world attributed to Corona had now passed the 5 million mark.

My November was looking promising; I had another 12 days with ma & pa, I was finally going to find out what foods I was allergic or intolerant to, there would be more day trips, nights out, nights in and even my 2nd Pfizer vaccine so I had a lot to look forward to while Captain Caveman looked forward to getting on with his job at Oxalis!

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