My first emotions on Friday 4th February were excitement then disappointment, within the first 5 minutes of waking up. On seeing the Vietnamese news that international travel was going to be a allowed again next month, I hoped it meant I would see Captain Caveman sooner.
Unfortunately, this news was misleading as it didn’t mean general visits for holidays just yet. They would recommence international travel for Vietnamese people coming back from abroad and for people who were married to or related to Vietnamese living in the country already – definitely not me! Tourist visas were not being agreed just yet  so it did mean I may not be able to have a visit to see Captain Caveman in Phong Nha this year, after all.
There was more disappointment as it was weigh day and I had put on 0.5kg – and I’d not drunk any booze for 4 days!
I didn’t have any breakfast but I had got a nice portion of gluten free Lancashire hotpot out of the freezer. I make it with lentils instead of thickening with flour and I had that as my meal before going out for an afternoon tipple. I met friends at Wonky’s after I put the laptop away for the weekend, they were already on their merry way. We’d all been invited to Alp’s birthday at Sofra bar but only Debbie (Darling), Ann and I went, from Wonky’s, and said we would meet some of the others there. Ann and I had said we weren’t staying out long but before it had gone dark I was having a slippery nipple with Debbie (Darling) as a chaser to my glass of cider with ice. Debs left early as Roy had already gone home and we moved upstairs in Sofra bar, where we caught up with some of the usual party goers. I find that the thing I miss most about my friends from back home is sharing the same sense of humour and banter. For most of the night I stood talking (and drinking red wine) with Andy, Kaye and Mark who are all a good laugh and share my quick wit and ready repartee. It probably comes as no surprise that we all ended up giving the ball a right old kick for Alp’s birthday with karaoke, lots of dancing and, for some of us, tequila shots.

I’d arranged to meet Ann and Nanny Kay on Saturday 5th February but when I woke up I couldn’t find my phone. As I was running late, I decided I would just go without it then look for it later. I headed to Maizie Moo, next door to Lukka bar, to meet as arranged, at 12.30pm. Due to a miscommunication and hangovers our original plans didn’t work out and I suggested Nanny Kay and I should go to Sofra bar to look for our phones and get a bacon sandwich. On arrival at Sofra it seemed there were a few people who had left their phones there as the bar man showed us the selection and I retrieved mine and Ann’s! The orange juice went down very well but the fantastic bacon sandwich took much more effort than I expected and I was hoping to get back home for another rest. We rescheduled today’s outing to tomorrow and I walked back home feeling a bit delicate. Captain Caveman had sent me photos of another day of him celebrating Tet holiday, this time in Dong Hoi, and I felt like I was joining in from afar. I was getting in to Wordle now as I do love a word game and a night in was definitely on the cards. The Corona heat map was now showing that I was in the middle of a high risk area and so I needed to be careful not to catch the virus. I cancelled our meal at YOLO on account of at least half of us not being able to attend and hoped to reschedule for later in the month. As I chilled out on the sofa I notice Alp had posted loads of live video of us all enjoying his birthday party last night and I’d definitely had a good dance.

I had a rather interesting day on Sunday 6th February and did something new.
I woke up late and without a hangover, having had a lovely sleep once I’d finally nodded off. The Jazz bar had gone on rather late and I felt like the band were outside my bedroom window at one time.
I met Ann and Nanny Kay at the Kordon tea garden and we walked down the river towards the rowing boats. We had arranged to go across the river to visit their late husbands in the Çandır cemetery. This was my first time getting in and out of the rowing boat since my leg injury, as well as my first visit inside the cemetery. It was a lovely sunny day and the first time I’d not worn boots or wellies this year.
The cemetery was lovely and both husbands’ graves were in a nice peaceful corner spot. After our walk there and the rowing boat back, which I was proud to have managed to do, we headed for lunch.
We had booked in for Sunday dinner at Lukka bar and it was definitely the best one I’d had yet. I had beef which was so soft, broccoli, carrots, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. I didn’t touch the mash potatoes, as I don’t eat them, and the cauliflower came out later as it had been accidentally left in the oven. It really was very good and the Yorkshire pudding was huge. I had just 2 ciders as I was determined to not get carried away with drinking too much. We all left after eating our apple crumble and ice-cream which was really nice. Despite the sun being out all day, and us even having been sat partially outside for our lunch, it was still feeling cold in the evenings and I looked forward to a sensible, early night.
I was quite hungry later on so I whipped up a bit of veggie pasta with melted cheese spread and black pepper for dinner.

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