I got up early on Thursday 19th January intending to go back to bed but Charlie had cheekily taken my spot in the bed. I let all 3 dogs know that we had to get up anyway as Jamie was on his way home from Mauritius and would be arriving in to Dalaman airport at 9.30am. Norman and Edna were excited but Charlie not so much as I started packing and stripping the bed. By 9.30am Norman was pacing about the lounge and kitchen wondering where Daddy was but Edna was waiting on the sofa knowing there would be luggage to collect. By 10am Norman had drafted Charlie in to keep a look out for Jamie and they were on high alert for the sound of the taxi and gate.

Jamie arrived at 10.30am and after a doggy reunion we decided to go to Ela’s Kitchen for a breakfast. We both had the big one, me without tomatoes and eggs, Jamie without mushrooms, and it was delightful. Jamie surprised me by buying my breakfast as a belated birthday treat which was very good of him. Our next mission was for me to move back to Helen and Abi’s as I had quite a lot of stuff, including all the freezer stuff, to shift. Jamie drove me round and helped me carry everything too – it would have took me about 10 journeys on foot, easily.

As Charlie and I moved back in to the top floor apartment, Helen messaged me with sad news and I decided to give her home a bit of a spruce up. I took the Christmas tree and decorations down, hoovered up and checked with Katrina if it was ok to use the shower, now that the plumber had fixed everything. Jamie had already said I could use his shower if I needed to, which was very kind, but I could go to Captain Caveman’s place quite easily. Katrina confirmed it was ok to use as the leak had been fixed and she wanted me to try it to check all was well anyway. After putting all my stuff away I went to see what Charlie was up to and I found him on Abi’s bed. We went out on to the front roof terrace and I noticed that the hot water tank was spewing out boiling hot water so I let Katrina and Mehmet know. Charlie seemed to be pleased to be home but was a bit out of sync. I think he was either expecting Helen and Abi to be back or for me to be leaving him, because of all the bags. He even laid on what was Captain Caveman’s pillows as if he was hoping to find him back in the apartment. We had quite a long dog walk around the area that Charlie knows well and then went back ‘home’ for a quiet night in.

As we were almost out of dog food I went back to the pet shop and bought just 2kg of dog food for 50 lira (£2.21). Jamie had said if it was different to what Charlie was having, to mix it in with the old so that it didn’t upset his stomach, so I would do that. I went to Migros Supermarket too and bought skimmed milk and 2 lots of quark which came to 47.50 lira (£2.10). As I was coming out of the shop deciding what I would make for dinner, I got called over to Jiks!

Armed with the dog food and Migros shopping at 5pm, I went over to Jiks where Matt, Vanessa, Janet, Kev, Mark and Kate were having a beverage and they invited me to join them. I had a couple of white wine & sodas and, for some reason, all the ladies were trying on each others hats. We had a good laugh with Vanessa who had told us that Madge had been accusing her of talking too much. Nanny Kay and Becky arrived just as everyone was getting ready to leave and  we briefly discussed my belated birthday get together next week. Matt & Vanessa had booked a table at Balıkçım for Thursday night fish and chips. I wasn’t going to go on account of me (supposedly) being back on my diet! I was (so easily) persuaded and, while Matt, Vanessa, Janet & Kev set off across town to the restaurant, Mark and Kate waited to give me a lift on their mobility scooter. This was handy as I could put my shopping on the back and we were there in just a couple of minutes.

At Balıkçım I ordered a glass of white wine to go with my fish and chips and it’s definitely the nicest white wine I’ve drank while out in town. Kate was very good and ordered meze dishes as a main meal while the rest of us ordered the infamous fish and chips. When it came I was very impressed as it was huge, the batter was crispy, the chips were excellent and the fish tasted amazing. Everyone else had either mushy peas or curry sauce (or both) on their’s but I just had the Turkish vinegar. A few splashes of non-brewed condiment would have made it perfect but we were in Dalyan so I couldn’t expect them to have that.
Unsurprisingly, I ate every bit of mine and I even ate the generous serving of fresh rocket on the side. I was glad I’d gone along and was very pleased to have had such a big meal for less than an English £10. While we were there Matt and Vanessa spoke to Alp, the owner, about his forthcoming birthday weekend. He was going to be celebrating his 50th birthday at a 5 star all inclusive hotel in Antalya and Matt was organising a bus for anyone in Dalyan who wanted to go.
After our fish supper someone, I’m not sure who, had an idea to go for one more drink! Janet and Kev headed off home, Matt and Vanessa said we’d meet at Bistro Blue, Kate and I walked there while Mark followed on the mobility scooter, with the shopping.

Inside Bistro Blue was nice and cosy at the bar area and it was only 8pm as we ordered drinks. I switched to red wine as I do like a red in Bistro Blue, Mark went from beer to red, Kate opted for vodka and diet coke while Matt had beer and Vanessa had a white wine and soda. The service was good but the music wasn’t as good without Selahı doing his DJing. We had a good laugh and when Matt and Vanessa paid their bill and left, I thought we would also be leaving. Mark and Kate had already said they would give me a lift back to Helen & Abi’s on the Puff Truck, it was on their way home almost and I was conscious that Charlie was on his own for the first time in just over 2 weeks. By 8.45pm Kate was doing some sort of drunken gymnastics on the stairs with the bannister and I was concerned an accident was waiting to happen. By 10pm Mark was also doing banister balancing which in turn lead to Kate having another go. Fortuitously no injuries were sustained and by 10.30pm I’d ordered the bill. I’d had 3 wines, Mark had 5 (we should have bought a bottle) but Kate had excelled herself with 6 vodka and diet cokes plus an extra diet coke. When the bill came it was a reasonable 80 lira (£3.54) per wine and 100 lira (£4.43) for a generous vodka and small bottle of diet coke. Mark and Kate saw that there was an extra 25 lira (£1.11) on the bill under ‘soda’ and argued they had not had a soda. This was actually for the extra bottle of diet coke Kate had asked for when she thought the vodka was a bit strong. I think Omer, the bar man, was happy to take it off the bill just to get rid of us, as Kate tried to pay on card. I paid mine in cash but Kate was too tipsy to be able to get the card and machine to do it’s thing. Luckily, I had cash on me so I paid the bill and took a photo to remind Kate in the morning.
I got a lift home, almost forgot the shopping on the back, and said goodnight – it had been a really good impromptu night! When I got in, Charlie wanted to know what time I called this, getting in at 10.45pm on a school night smelling of booze!?

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