Friday 21st January was weigh-in day and I wasn’t optimistic. It was also 3 months since I had left Vietnam and I had hoped by now to be slimmer and the torn ligaments in my knee and ankle to be back to normal. On the scales I found I had lost another 0.25kg and so I was now only slightly heavier than I had been when I arrived here but, ideally, I needed to lose another 4 or 5kg to be my ideal weight.
I was having trouble buying a couple of items in the supermarket lately and I posted on a Dalyan Residents Facebook group to ask if anyone had seen any chopped tomatoes recently. I also fancied making a sweet and sour chicken dish so I also asked about tinned pineapple. Within minutes I had lots of answers but by the time I read them it was raining heavily again and I couldn’t be bothered to go out in it. I made the beds adding extra throws as I was still finding it a bit cold when I woke up. I had cornflakes for breakfast and watched the TV. I’d not been able to watch English news for some time but now the content was hard to watch so I tended to choose programmes like ‘Homes under the Hammer’ as background watching while on my laptop. In the afternoon I had a glass of red wine and made another batch of Yorkshire puddings with my Mom’s direction (via text) as I wondered if I wasn’t putting enough mixture in for the depth of my new muffin tin. These came out better but I still think it was the milk that isn’t helping. I’d almost forgotten it was Friday Music Bingo at Lukka Bar but this week I’d decided not to go as I fancied a rare Friday night in. The stew and Yorkshires were better today and I really enjoyed them with one more glass of wine and some birthday cake. I lit some candles and got cosy on the sofa while watching TV and thinking I really had better get on with writing my comedy night.

I saw on Facebook that friends were getting in to a game called Wordle on Saturday 22nd January and I wanted to play but couldn’t work out how. Captain Caveman was already posting his answer patterns but I didn’t get it. After having only cornflakes for breakfast I’d started to plan my comedy night for tomorrow when Jamie messaged to see if I fancied meeting at Jiks. It was still fairly bad weather but I needed to buy the tomatoes, pineapple and some baked beans so I nipped to Star Gurme where I bought the following;

4 tins of chopped tomatoes 50 lira
1 big tin of pineapple 70 lira
2 tins of baked beans 30 lira

Total spent 150 lira (£8.30)

This was expensive but the baked beans in Migros now are 27 lira (£1.47) and they didn’t have the other stuff. In Jiks Jamie and I both had Shandies and cheesy chips, we were chatting about our plans for the rest of his stay. When I got home I was going to see if I could have a video call with Captain Caveman but unfortunately for me he was otherwise engaged. He had gone for a mini break to the Vinpearl in Dong Hoi, one of my favourite places. I was jealous that I wouldn’t be there to have a bath and wear the robe that always reminds us of our mate, Josh! I had some more of my birthday cake and started gathering my notes together for tomorrow’s comedy night then remembered I still had an open bottle of wine I needed to drink a glass of. For dinner I had more beef stew and Yorkshire puddings. Captain Caveman had already gone to bed in Vietnam and I was disappointed that he hadn’t wished me well for the Comedy night tomorrow.

When I woke up on Sunday 23rd January I saw the Corona heatmap in Dalyan was showing a red area and I was slightly concerned that it might be a bit quiet at Lukka bar tonight for my comedy night, there was also a chance it could get cancelled if anyone involved got the virus. I decided I needed to write the rest of my act regardless. I also needed to find an outfit to wear but first I made pancakes for breakfast with honey and had Earl Grey tea. It was very cold and my TV had a bit of a blip so I messaged Andy and he fixed it remotely within a couple of minutes which lead me to pop in a joke about the guy in my act.
I spent the rest of the afternoon writing and learning my comedy material, which I probably should have written and learned earlier but I knew I would be fine even if I had to improvise as I had enough material.
I realised about 7pm that I hadn’t had any dinner but thought it would be too late to risk getting a dodgy stomach. Instead, I had a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits!

I arrived at Lukka Bar and there were quite a few people in, to say it was winter, so I was surprised and pleased to see some friendly faces. I had taken a couple of props in with me to use and decided I would wear my dressing gown and a surgical face mask to come on. Carrying what looked like a mug of tea, in which I had already stuck the end of the teabag with sellotape to make it look like a hot beverage. It was really filled with wine. I gave Yasemin, the waitress, my special glass to put my wine in which I intended to drink while I did my act. What I didn’t realise was that I was going to have to stand up and move about for everyone to be able to see and hear me. I made a point of going to say hello to every table beforehand just to get an idea of my type of audience. We were all set to have a laugh, I thought. I took the microphone and started the show!
My comedy night, as Jacqueline de Plonk at Lukka Bar, started with me dressed in my pastel green fluffy dressing gown, a white surgical face mask and holding what looked like a hot mug of tea. The act started with the New Year song by Flo & Joan which I particularly like as I think it sums up what a lot of people have experienced during the pandemic.
You can have a listen from 0.50 to 4.01 here:
As everyone listened, got a drink, finished their food or generally got settled in I stood at the front of the bar blowing on my hot tea (wine) and sipping it with my mask hanging from one ear.
I did a bit of an introduction, then some warm up jokes, followed by some observations about COVID and my experience of being back home for Christmas. I found it tricky to move about the audience with my mug, my mic and use my notes and other props. I had to move about because, if I stayed at the front, I got feedback from the speakers. In the first half people did laugh, people joined in when asked. There wasn’t any heckling which I had actually prepared for with lots of comebacks, so I was a bit disappointed. In the break I had to take off my dressing gown as I was really warm but audience members were cold, including one who put my dressing gown on, while I was getting more wine.
The second half was more about me and I upped the anti a little on the rudeness scale by including a section on Sex Tips – things not to do. I started this bit of the show with another song by Flo & Joan that reflected what my life could be like if I drank too much: (play 0.08 to 5.26 if you want to check it out).
The rest of the show was going well until I was given the nod that some people couldn’t hear because another table were talking amongst themselves. This meant I could go over and pick on them a bit, which I did. After I finished my next joke/story I told everyone I’d finished and if those who think they can be funnier and want to take over they can! I joined my mates’ table and started drinking the wine. The people causing the disruption left and then our table (or most of it) carried on drinking until late. All my friends were supportive and I wasn’t upset or annoyed as I didn’t really care. I was glad I could get on with having a drink with everyone. I don’t remember who else left or when, I vaguely remember drawing rude things on the sequin cushions with Nuri which then led to Mark being told off by Appo the waiter, for starting a pillow fight! My solution, at way past midnight, was to get some takeaway drinks and invite everyone back for a party.

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