I’d stayed up late watching Netflix the previous night so I didn’t wake up in time for a chat with Captain Caveman on Monday 14th February. It was Valentine’s day but, obviously, we wouldn’t be celebrating it together. I got a message from Tatas wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day though, which was nice. I didn’t bother with breakfast and was making pasta bolognese when Captain Caveman called, it was already early evening in Vietnam. We talked about the possibility of me going back to Vietnam for a visit this summer, if the visa and tourism opportunity allows, but it looked likely that the visa would be 30 days maximum. There was also no way that Captain Caveman could take any time off and would probably be working 22 days out of 30, no matter when I went. After my lunch I walked to my parents’ to take more photos of what needed to be painted and look for a missing patio door key. I found it in a box of freezer bags in one of several drawers I searched through. I started the word game Quordle which is more difficult than Wordle but good and I’m now getting better at Wordle. In the afternoon Sara, from River Terrace, popped round with some Valentine’s Day treats; chocolate truffles, chocolate brownies, chocolate covered strawberries and a slice of carrot cake. As I wouldn’t be seeing my partner to celebrate Valentine’s Day I had an exciting evening planned with the girls instead.
Finally we were getting the chance to go to Yolo, a restaurant near to the petrol station on Atatürk Boulevard. I’d arranged for us to go on a ‘Galentine’s’ night out, with the intention of spending Valentine’s Day with the ‘gals’ instead of ‘absent’ men. Ann came over to mine just as Sara was leaving and she had one of the chocolate truffles with me – they were very good. We went to Jiks to meet Debbie (Darling) before we met Nanny Kay, Sarah and her friend, Rachel, at the restaurant. Yolo was busy and we hadn’t booked, I’d niavely thought there was no need to book but we managed to get a table for the 6 of us. The wine was a whopping 240 lira (£12.95) a bottle and the first white that was tried wasn’t good but we got lots of free mezes. Nanny Kay and I splashed out and shared a bottle of red wine and, I ate my pepper steak with jacket potato and salad. My steak at Yolo was excellent but it’s definitely not the cheapest place to eat. After we finished eating, the musician put the volume up and Yasemin, the waitress from Lukka bar, came over to get everyone up dancing. It was a great night but we left relatively early as Nanny Kay’s taxi had arrived and Ann was cycling home.

I woke up early on Tuesday 15th February to news that my Zumba class was cancelled this week. Three people had tested positive for Corona so we were unable to meet and anyone with symptoms was asked to do a lateral flow test.
I read in the news an article pondering if Vietnam will open up for tourists, more here:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1155051/viet-nam-could-fully-reopen-international-tourism-from-mid-march.html
For breakfast I had chocolate covered strawberries, I took out a mystery frozen meal for tonight, then got ready for my lunch appointment with a new friend. We decided to meet at what used to be called Iz cafe and has now changed to Velvet cafe after it was Moto Lee for a while. We spent several hours there and ate a tasty lunch at a very reasonable cost. I had chicken shish, my friend had meatballs, both with chips, rice and side salad plus drinks for a total of 176 lira (£9.50). We only left as I needed to pick up my macaroons from Lukka bar, which Louise had left there. When I arrived I sat with Debbie (Darling) and Sue who were enjoying an afternoon beverage or two. I picked up my macaroons and Louise had given me a piece of home made cheesecake to try. I dropped them off home and rejoined Debbie (Darling), Sue, Sarah and Fiona at Tez bar. A little later Mark and Kate joined us and we ended up all having a good laugh. When I got home it was gone 8pm and I’d had 3 beers, I didn’t really fancy the mystery freezer food so I had the cheesecake for my dinner – it was very nice. Later I had a macaroon, which was delightful then some roasted chestnuts and I had an early night.

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