Charlie was excited to be going to the beach on Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve. Captain Caveman had packed a bag of goodies for us to take which included a bottle of vodka, full fat and diet cokes, paper cups, fruit cake soaked in brandy, cheddar cheese and Red Leicester cheese. Fikri picked us up in the taxi at 11am and off we went to the beach, having to have a slight stop on the way because Charlie got travel sick. We decided when we arrived at the beach to take Charlie for his walk straight away to make sure he got his exercise first. We dropped our bags next to Bill and Jaxx, who had brought meat pies(!) and off we went. Charlie was much more used to the beach this time and had a lovely run and even a little paddle.

By midday Captain Caveman had poured himself a vodka and coke and was mingling around the various tables of people and their food. I took Charlie and went to find my parents who were sat with Vanessa, Matt, Mark, Kate, Debbie (Darling), Roy and Melanie. Folk were already eating and Charlie was keen to see who would drop food first as my parents ate some chicken in front of him and he snaffled a morsel of chicken breast from Dad. I saw Jamie, Norman and Edna so I took off for another walk with Charlie. He even got introduced to playing fetch the stick but he wasn’t very good at it yet.

By 1pm I was sat having a gin and a sausage roll with Penny while Charlie snaffled a couple of sausage rolls too. At 2pm Charlie and I took another stroll down the beach with Kate and then I decided to find Captain Caveman and give him Charlie for a bit. I managed to see Nanny Kay, 007, Sabine and Ray while I had a vodka and coke. I noticed Captain Caveman was getting down it, Carol from Fat Club and Vanessa joined us and they were very merry – I needed to catch up as I’d been walking and talking too much!
Before 2.30pm I had succumbed to one of Bill’s pies which were bloody lovely. Katherine, also from Fat Club, brought me over some of her goodies and I gave her some of ours. By 3.30pm a few of the Turkish fellas had arrived and I said hello to Tay, from Rehab bar. Captain Caveman introduced me to Cath and Keith, his walking buddies, and we hit it off straight away. Vanessa came in search of more wine because she’d finished hers and I saw my parents were having a good time.

For some reason a lot of our friends left rather abruptly while it was still very sunny and warm but we stayed because Fikri was booked to pick us up at 4pm. Charlie had a great time, he was such a well behaved boy and had made loads of new friends, including seeing his old mate Skippy, from Waterfall bar. Fikri had to come and get us as we were still near the cafe and we went straight back to Lukka bar to meet our friend Josh, of Phong Nha fame! As Captain Caveman, Charlie and I were in Fikri’s taxi going back from the beach, our friend Josh was already in Lukka bar waiting for us. We’d last seen Josh in March 2019 when he had left Phong Nha, Vietnam to move back to England. I was so excited to be seeing him again and that he was going to be staying in Dalyan for a week. We had welcome hugs and Efes and introduced Charlie, the dog. Charlie was not so keen on men but he liked Josh and Josh loves dogs so they were going to get on fine. I’d invited others to come to Lukka to welcome Josh but, for various reasons, it was just us. Most of the other expats were already in Tez bar, or had gone home drunk, after the Christmas Eve Iztuzu Beach shenanigans. We played pool in Lukka so that Josh could be reminded how bad I am at playing it and we caught him up with our very loose itinerary for his stay. He would be staying at our place while we were still at Charlie’s so Captain Caveman took him to drop his bag off and gave him a key.

The 3 of us and Charlie joined my parents, Mark and Kate, plus a few others at Tez bar, which was very busy. Captain Caveman took Charlie home and came back then we all got on with introducing Josh to as many Dalyan expats as possible. We were all pretty merry and by 8pm most people had overdone it. Kate got a taxi home but left Mark with us so we all decided Duble for food would be a good idea.

The 6 of us got a corner table with a heater nearby and it was very cozy. My parents had glasses of white wine while Captain Caveman, Mark and I shared a bottle of Isabey red wine and Josh had a Sprite. A few of us had the lentil soup which was lovely and then we had lamb, chicken, liver and a veggie dish. Josh was the first to go home as he’d had a long day travelling from England. The rest of us were still in Duble at 10.45pm when we insisted on Mark getting a taxi home and the rest of us walked home with arrangements to meet up tomorrow.

Photo credit – various including Captain Caveman, Jamie, Melanie and Facebook

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