Last month had been a tough one but I’d managed to get by and I was glad to see April. This would be my last full month in Dalyan as I was planning to go back to Vietnam to see Captain Caveman next month. On Saturday 1st April, Mark rang me to see if I wanted to meet him at Tez bar at noon. I agreed and went round the corner a few minutes before. I ordered a cheese toasty and a cup of tea for my brunch which was 80 lira (£3.37). It came with chips so that was rather naughty of me – so much for being good this month! When Tez brought my tea he put a carnation on the table for me, which was nice. Mark arrived and ordered a coffee before going to meet the pool group at Rehab bar. I finished off my food and drink before getting a lift with Tez to the weekly market. It was busier than usual, lots more tourists were here now and there were more stalls open.
Here’s what I bought at the market this week, I didn’t get the individual prices just the total. Prices were going up but it was still fairly affordable compared to the UK.
6 bananas 1 punnet of strawberries 1 bunch fresh mint 4 big potatoes 8 small potatoes 3 sweet potatoes 3 leeks 1 bunch spring onions 3 onions 1 lettuce 6 carrots 5 green peppers 2 bulbs of garlic 1 bag of pumpkin Mushrooms
Total cost 273 lira (£11.50)
I even got a free snail on my bunch of spring onions and had to take him downstairs in to the garden. I chopped some of the veggies and the strawberries, putting them in to glass jars to keep fresher for longer. I met Jamie for a dog walk and quick soft drink in Waterfall around 5.30pm. On my way back from Waterfall I happened to see Kaan on his building site and he showed me the villa he is building. It’s very nice and I had the full tour. My next stop was at the supermarket and here’s what I bought;
For dinner I made a veggie pizza on a wholemeal wrap and it tasted very nice. I resisted the urge to go out to meet Mark, who had gone from Rehab bar to Rodrigo’s then to Mustang. Instead, I had a no alcohol and a no meat day, for the second time this week. I organised a cheese and wine boat trip for when my parents were here and then I had an early night because it was Amanda and Greg’s last day in Dalyan and we had a big day planned tomorrow.
I met Jamie on Friday 31st March for a dog walk and a bit of a treat. At the bank Halıl, the security guard, let Jamie go in to the branch with Norman and Edna. Edna loved it and went over to the counter for a good nosey. Norman sniffed out the resident cat who was not phased in the slightest. After a walk through town, we went to Ela’s Kitchen for breakfast – I’d missed it there. This time, I just had the small sized English breakfast (without egg or tomato), not the large, as I would usually. Jamie loves the Menemen there so he had that and he ordered an extra sausage for the dogs to share. The food was fantastic and meant I would only need a small lunch. The small set breakfast was 140 lira (£5.90) and Jamie’s menemen with chips was 130 lira (£5.50). The English tea (Yorkshire or Tetley’s) is 40 lira (£1.68) per cup and the freshly squeezed orange juice is 55 lira (£2.31). It’s been 15 months since I was able to go back to England so I like to have an English breakfast from time to time as a treat. I would say Ela’s Kitchen has one of the best breakfasts in town. Norman and Edna can definitely recommend Sev’s sausage and they could hardly wait for it to cool down. I pretended to eat some of it and Edna was cross with me. Back home, I found a ribbon to tie up my bike stand, which meant I could use it again. I ate stuffed vine leaves and 5 walnut halves for lunch then, at 2pm I went to my weekly Turkish class, which was good. In the evening I made myself some veggie steamed rice then went downstairs to call for Amanda and Greg. We ended up going to Sofra bar where we met up with Carol, of Fat Club fame. She was a temporary football widow as her fella and the lads watched the match. Jamie, who was out with his neighbours (Christine and David), came to join us too. The Aussies decided to go home after the one drink, maybe they had heard about my karaoke skills. Not one to be put off having a good time, I carried on without them. Jamie’s neighbours were absolutely lovely and I got myself a third red wine to join them. The red wine is 65 lira (£2.74) a glass in Sofra bar and is a decent one. It again turned in to one of those nights where I sang karaoke; ‘Simply the Best’ definitely wasn’t, as I didn’t know it very well but it’s Jamie’s song and I had to oblige. I murdered Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ then roped Nigel into ‘Islands in the Stream’ which definitely wasn’t our best song. I got in after midnight and accidentally ate some Easter egg chocolate because I’d not had a proper dinner and was hungry. The good thing is, though, I’d only spent 200 lira (£8.25) and was still drunk but under today’s budget. As it was the last day of the month I’d already worked out how I was doing on the March budget goal that I had set for myself. It was a miracle but I was under by 993.18 lira (just over £40) and I was delighted with that. I had survived a whole month spending less than £10 per day average – it had not been easy! My weight loss for March had not been as successful as I had hoped, I was only 1.6kg (3.5lb) lighter than at the start of the month. It was still twice the amount I lost in February but I needed to try harder in April. With the start of the holiday season here now, there was going to be even more temptation and opportunity and I wasn’t sure my willpower was up to it.
When I got up on Wednesday 29th March I got weighed and took my measurements. Today was weigh-in and Fat Club day but I wanted to know how I was doing. This week I’d had less syns and less alcohol but I’d also done less exercise and ate more meals with meat in. On my home scales I’d done ok but it was Carol’s scales that really counted so I had to wait until 3pm. My measurements were good though; Bust -1cm, Waist -5cm, Hips -2cm. I had cornflakes and Yorkshire tea for breakfast but I didn’t have any lunch. I spent most of the morning working out my finances and checking where I was to the March budget I’d set myself. At Fat Club I was really pleased to have lost 1.4kg (just over 3lb) and I stuck to drinking my 1.5 litres of water for 30 lira (£1.27). The Turkish lira was now at 23.68 to the pound so was the highest it had been for a while and set to keep rising. After Fat Club, I walked to Rehab bar where I treated myself to a beer for 60 lira (£2.54) and then tried a new Turkish wine that Tay had got in. The red wine was now 85 lira (£3.59) per glass or you could get a bottle for 300 lira (£12.69). I messaged Amanda and Greg to come join us at Rehab and they did. We sat chatting with Mark, Kate and Pamela, until Pamela had to go shopping and then home. Our next stop was to Waterfall bar, a glass of red wine was only 60 lira (£2.53) and is just as good for the same measure. While the 5 of us were there we came up with the idea of having kebabs from the new Hatay kebab place, opposite Migros Square. Mark went off on the Mobility wagon to get them and we each had a gorgeous lamb döner for 80 lira (£3.39). It was obviously not Slimming World friendly but I really wanted one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good night and the Aussies were keen to go to Lukka bar for a last drink after we had said bye to Mark and Kate. I called at the bank on the way and we were in Lukka by 9pm. In there, I had another red wine for 85 lira (£3.59) while the others had gins. I’d gone over budget today but I’d not spent anything the previous 2 days so I was doing ok.
My cold had more or less gone by Thursday 30th March but I still felt tired and a bit run down. I had been doing quite well trying to maintain a healthy eating regime, drink less alcohol and stick to a rather tight budget throughout March. As for the weight loss I was doing very well, having lost 6kg in total (13.2lb) and hoped to get more off before swimming costume time, this season! As for the budget, I had enjoyed the challenge, tomorrow I would see if I had achieved my goal for March. For breakfast I had cornflakes, Yorkshire tea and an extra linden tea. I had another picnic style lunch of stuffed vine leaves, walnuts, cheese, pickled onions and falafel. I added a bit of tahini and membrillo which I used syns for. In the afternoon Sara Savaş popped over as I’d been a bit naughty and ordered some Easter Eggs from her. It cost 150 lira (£6.31) per egg which was not frugal but such a treat. One was a Toblerone egg and the other was mint truffles, hand made by Sara. I had pasta for dinner and had a quiet night in with a cup of tea and an early night.
On Sunday 26th March I still had the cold when I got back home so I took myself off to bed until 6.30pm. When I woke up I was so bunged up that I decided I would try something that Mark had been banging on about for some time. He had said that whenever he has a cold he puts a clove of garlic up each nostril to get the sinuses unblocked. Here, in Dalyan, all the cold medicine has pseudoephedrine in it which I can’t take as it makes my heart go weird. I was at the stage where I just wanted to feel better, I was exhausted and I was willing to try anything. I obviously googled it and various doctors advised against it but I was desperate to feel good again. I was meant to leave the garlic in place for up to 20 minutes but after 8 minutes it was doing its trick – it had actually worked! I cooked myself chicken with garlic, onion, mushrooms and Slimming World potato wedges for dinner, using fres pieces of garlic! It didn’t look too good but it tasted really nice with it being the first hot meal I’d had since Friday. Amanda and Greg, The Aussies, had arrived at B1 but I didn’t go to meet them because I needed more sleep and to be ok for tomorrow. My new part-time job started in less than 10 hours and I was really looking forward to it.
Monday 27th March was my first day of work in over 3 months. I had Yorkshire tea and buttered toast for breakfast, before work then I had my first video meeting with my boss. I was full of cold still as we went through what I needed to do, and how, then the gaffer let me get on with it. I was hungry before lunch so I had a satsuma to put me on then broke for lunch at 1pm. I had more chicken, garlic and mushrooms with rice and then got back on with work. I’d already got some chicken casserole out of the freezer for dinner so I didn’t have to do any cooking once I finished. This was good as it meant I could fit in a phone call to my parents in the evening. It had been Ma’s birthday recently and I’d not yet had chance to speak to her. It was good to catch up with my parents and also it felt nice to be talking to them after a hard day at work! I scoffed down my casserole with more wedges and then even had 2 biscuits with a cup of tea before another meeting. I’d already signed up for a 1 hour master class following the 4 days of challenges I’d done last week. So I dialled in, listened and took notes – it would come in very useful in the future.
I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed for my second day of work on Tuesday 28th March. It was weird waking up to an alarm and having breakfast while it was still chilly. I went for cornflakes and Yorkshire tea, even though I knew I had to syn the cereal. For lunch I had a cold picnic style meal so that I didn’t spend my lunch hour cooking. I had stuffed vine leaves, pickled onions, steamed rice, cheese and walnuts. I’d got a chicken curry out of the freezer to have for dinner. The Aussies, Amanda and Greg had been here 3 days and I’d not seen them yet so I hoped to get to meet up after work. Strangely, we should have been having a lot of rain today but the weather was quite nice. When I finished work I ate my dinner then went downstairs to see Amanda and Greg. They had brought over equipment to get their apartment shipshape for the rental season and had already started on some jobs. After a good catch up until gone 11pm I went home for a much needed sleep. This week I’d done really well on reducing my consumption of alcohol and eating less syns so I hoped my result at Fat Club tomorrow would be favourable.
I woke up on Thursday 23rd March feeling full of flu. I was still cold despite sleeping in pyjamas and my dressing gown under two duvets. I made myself a cup of Yorkshire tea and a fruit salad to force down for breakfast. In my fruit salad were 2 bananas (even though I don’t like them), 1 kiwi fruit, strawberries and some low fat yoghurt (which I also don’t like). As I was eating the fruit, I was finding it more difficult to chew, swallow or breathe and it was getting worse. As I tried to drink the tea, the roof of my mouth was super sensitive and it felt like it was blistering despite the tea not being too hot. I went to the bathroom and got a bit of a shock, half of my face had started to swell up, my lips were tingling and my throat felt tight. Then it dawned on me, the side of my mouth I’d eaten the kiwi fruit on yesterday and today was more sore than the other side. The face swelling, and now tingling, was similar to when I ate a mussel in Belgium – I was having an allergic reaction. I was out of antihistamine tablets and so I had to go to the pharmacy to get some. It turns out allergies to kiwi fruit are more common than I’d thought. Once I’d got the allergic reaction under control, after several cold flannels to the face and head, I felt able to eat and had a Slimming World friendly mushroom pasta for lunch. I did still have a bad cold but I could breathe a bit better and the blistering mouth was recovering. I forced more Strepsils down, had 5 walnut halves, some sugar free lemon drink, a satsuma, lemon tea and linden tea, as well as 3 litres of water, in an afternoon. I was still taking the ibuprofen and paracetamol alternatively every 4 hours in the hope I’d feel better soon. My Mom had been told that some work had been done at her apartment and she asked if I’d mind checking on it from the outside. I got some warm clothes on and took myself round there. The walk was fresh, the work had not even been started and I noticed that our complex was much more pleasant to be walking back in to these days – Elite Maintenance seemed to be doing well so far. For dinner I had more chicken curry with steamed rice and tried for an early night. I was coughing a lot when laying down so I was still awake after midnight.
On Friday 24th March I was starting to improve a bit! I could still have stayed in bed all day but I couldn’t because I had plans. I went to the shop to buy some essentials. Here’s what I bought and the prices in lira;
I had a banana and linden tea for breakfast then got ready for a couple of days out of Dalyan. I had vegan pasta bolognese for lunch, which was healthy and tasty. Unfortunately, I was going to miss Roy’s 60th birthday bash at Tez bar at 4.30pm today. It was disappointing as Roy and Debbie (Darling) are 2 of my favourites, but it had been booked a while for a trip with friends to Fethiye and Hisarönü this afternoon. After a taxi ride with Fikri, from Dalyan to Fethiye and running some errands in the town we got a lift to Hisarönü. We went to Fez bar, and the guy there took a photo of Mark and I at the entrance to the bar so that I could send birthday wishes on. I thought it would be funny to send it to Debbie (Darling) with apologies for going to the ‘wrong’ birthday venue – Fez, not Tez! I couldn’t finish the beer because I was still suffering from the sniffles. That evening, our friend cooked a lovely chicken pasta dish for dinner and I really enjoyed it. I also decided that I would have another break from my blog for a couple of days, by which time I hoped this cold had gone.
Tuesday 21st March wasn’t such a good day as I woke up feeling like I had a cold/flu/Corona type illness coming on. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was still awake and a bit merry at 2am! I had 2 cups of Yorkshire tea and more masaman curry with steamed rice for breakfast. By lunchtime I was sipping linden tea and sucking Himalayan salt and lemon sweets because my throat felt like razor blades. I had my leftover sweet and sour chicken with chicken fried rice from China Town for lunch and it was so good, but foolish as I would definitely have put weight back on this week. In the afternoon I paid the 5,000 lira (£213) to the pool and maintenance company, which Captain Caveman had sent over. It felt difficult because it was a lot for me to pay out upfront when I wasn’t yet working. In addition to that I also had been told that the Communal electric was being reconnected but we all needed to pay 1382 lira (£59) to have it reconnected. I didn’t understand how it could possibly cost almost £600 (between 10 properties) to have the issue sorted when it was not our fault and the electric company had told me they were sorting it. I was annoyed and upset about this because I just didn’t have it in the budget plus we now had to put extra in to a kitty for any future bills. Of course, Captain Caveman was in the cave so I had to go along with what was asked. He had paid the communal electric for 3 years prior to all this too with no intention of him asking for the money from anyone. In the afternoon I logged on to the 2nd day of the course I was doing, which I enjoyed, but I started to feel more ill. I found some Strepsils in the medicine box so I had some of those and 2 slices of wholemeal toast for dinner. I went to bed feeling sickly, tired and disappointed that my Fat Club weigh-in tomorrow would not be a good one. This week I’d consumed twice the syns of the week before, had more alcohol and 3 times as much sweet stuff.
My health was much worse on Wednesday 22nd March and I could barely speak or swallow. I didn’t want to get out of bed but I knew I needed to feel better for this afternoon’s Fat Club. I did my weekly measurements and got on the scales at home, the results weren’t ideal. According to the home scales I was 0.85kg heavier this week, my bust and hips remained the same but I had put 4cm on my waist. As I knew the scales would show heavier at Fat Club, I decided to attempt to treat my symptoms. I had ice-cream, cream crackers and some Gouda cheese for breakfast. I could hardly manage to drink a cup of tea as my mouth felt weird. I went back to bed for a nap but was restless. By 1.30pm I was convinced I had Covid as all my symptoms pointed towards it so I took a test. It was negative. Before Fat Club, I ate strawberries, Quark and some cheese spread on wholemeal bread. On my way out of the complex I noticed that the maintenance guy had moved both benches back to outside B1, I’d only asked for 1 to be moved back to where it used to be. I went to get my bike and saw that the string Captain Caveman had tied my faulty kick stand up with, had been removed and the stand was down. I wasn’t very happy because the stand rubs on the wheel when it’s up, hence why it’s tied up and the bike leans against something. I checked my basket to see if the string was in there but it was gone and so I had to walk to Fat Club, feeling crap and late. I went in, got on Carol’s scales to find I’d only actually put on 0.6kg (1.3lb) so I was a bit happier at that. Carol could see I was quite sickly and suggested I dose up on Vitamin C and get back to bed. She’d noticed that Migros had some kiwi fruit on offer so I decided to pop and get some, as well as a few other items;
Migros Supermarket Plastic bag 0.25 4 kiwi fruit 10.58 Bananas 17.72 2 Quark 29.90 646g chicken 58.08 Total spent 116.53 lira (£4.96)
When I got home, I had 1 kiwi fruit but it took me a long time to eat it. I forced a bit of bread and cheese down while I waited for my dinner to cook. I’d gone for chicken curry with a hot pot style potato top and it looked pretty good. I’m not quite sure what happened after starting to eat the kiwi fruit at 4.50pm. It took me until almost 9pm to eat dinner. I’d started to feel like my throat was getting smaller, I couldn’t breath as easily and I thought I’d started to lose my sense of smell. I was coughing a lot too, my eyes seemed to want to close and my face and head hurt. I took paracetamol and ibuprofen and went to bed sucking on a Strepsil.
I’d like to have been writing that I had stuck to the diet a little more on Monday 20th March. I’d consumed 86 syns in one day yesterday but today was definitely no better. For breakfast I had strawberries and then a second breakfast of homemade masaman curry with steamed rice. At 1pm I joined a free course which was about setting up an online business. It was interesting and I quite enjoyed it, although timing-wise it wasn’t going to be something I could pursue immediately. I noticed the gardening company had made a big difference and I even took photos and video so that I could show Captain Caveman and The Aussies. Just after 3pm, I got a message from Kate to say her and Mark were having a beer at Okyanos with Jamie and Drew if I fancied it. Drew had been to collect some seeds from Kate and, as it was sunny, they’d decided on a cheeky beer in the sun. This was my last Monday of not being at work so I think subconsciously I’d decided to go mad!
I turned up looking very tired from last night’s antics and had to have a shandy to drink. We decided to go to Aşkın’s bar as Kate thought it was open, but we were a bit premature. Mark and Kate went to Tez’s instead but I needed to pop back home and change my top. By 5.30pm Jamie, Drew and I were sat outside at Waterfall bar having another beer or 2 in the sun. Drew went to get Norman and Edna because Skippy was in and Edna would be mad if she didn’t get to see him. Mark and Kate rejoined us for one but they weren’t staying out much longer on account of them wearing summer wear and it turning a bit nippy once the sun was in. Janet and Kev came to join us and there was quite a crowd sat outside. Instead of being good and sticking to my diet and my budget, I decided to join the boys for a treat. Because I’d finally got some more money I’d been owed for a while, I agreed to tag along for a meal at China Town with them.
I ended up having 90 syns in total today because I shared Jamie’s bottle of white wine, ate prawn crackers, a spring roll, a piece of prawn toast, a chicken wing and half of my sweet and sour chicken with chicken fried rice. It was so lovely but I knew it would mean a bad result at weigh-in this week. The meal with drinks had cost me 600 lira (just over £25) so it was rather pricey for my tight budget, but it tasted amazing!!!
I arrived back in Dalyan on Sunday 19th March before midday, in need of a shower, sleep and food. While I’d been away I had booked a cleaner to give the place a spruce up, it’s not expensive and she does the 3 bathrooms far better than I can. When I checked the rooms it looked fresh again. Oddly, in the biggest bedroom, there was a pink/purple stain on the bed which wasn’t there before. When I went out to collect in the washing, I noticed that the door handle on the outside fly screen had a newly broken handle too. Everything else seemed to be in order though, which was lucky as Jamie and Drew were about to pop by, just to see how I was, on their way out. I’d luckily snaffled down some fried rice and a peach flavoured quark but then I got persuaded to join them at Sofra bar.
Jamie and Drew had been in Sofra bar over the weekend and had some red wine left to finish, hence why they were only going for the one. I’d not slept much in the last 48 hours but Jamie had missed me, so I decided to go. The night turned in to one of those nights, with a few random people, but it was so much fun! There was drinking, karaoke and dancing including props such as a white curly wig and a Fire sign. Needless to say there was more red wine had by the three of us and I’m sure some cheeky whiskeys for Drew and Şükrü! There was a couple of tourists out that night who certainly got more than they bargained for and we haven’t seen them since. It was very late when we left Sofra bar and we had all had such a good time with no dramas. I’d still only spent about the equivalent of a English tenner as I’m more of a lightweight these days.
On Thursday 16th March I had 1 slice of buttered wholemeal toast, and a linden tea for breakfast. Outside, there were signs of a gardener here, Elite Maintenance had started work on our communal garden! I had decided to be extravagant and treat myself to a very much needed hairdresser appointment as I’d not been since September. Because it’s a luxury and I’m on a tight budget, I didn’t want to spend money on my hair but it really needed sorting out. Some of the ladies at Fat Club had been talking yesterday that prices were due to go up again in April so it was urgent that I got in. Emrah’s very busy but he’d got me an appointment for noon and I could see he couldn’t wait to tackle my grey roots! I had a full hair dye, a cut, and curls (even though I said there was no need for the curls). It cost 600 lira (£25.53) which is very good value but had gone up by 34% in 6 months. Once home, I packed and got ready for my pick up from Lukka bar as I was leaving Dalyan for a couple of days or so. I’d arranged to meet Mark at Lukka bar for a quick drink. I was just drinking water but my lift was running late so I decided to have a beer. Of course the driver turned up before I’d had much of it so I gave my beer to Mark and said my goodbyes. I would be away until Sunday so my blog posts would have a little rest for the next 2 days.
It would probably come as no surprise to any of you that I found myself in somewhat of a fragile state on Wednesday 15th March. I was so glad that I’d said no to the Köyceğiz boat trip with Mark, Kate, Daisy, Phoebe and others today as I would not have made it. I was still lolling about in my dressing gown on the sofa at mid-day! I’d barely got my act together by the time I needed to go to Fat Club. Today we were doing another tasting session where we all had to take something to eat that was syn free. I stupidly decided to make a red and green pepper tortilla without thinking about transporting it there. I ended up being late and having to take it on the chopping board with foil over it. I was so hungover as I stepped on the scales, fully expecting to have put weight on this week. I was surprised to see I had lost 0.4kg (again), I would have to be careful I didn’t put it on next week, though. The taster session was marvellous and, as there wasn’t many of us there, it was just the right amount of food to try. The other ladies’ contributions were fab and I enjoyed all of the dishes, which is rare for me as I’m so fussy with food. There were juicy strawberries, a delicious vegetarian ‘meatloaf’, moreish savoury biscuits, and crunchy crudites with scrumptious hummus. I loved all of it and was happy to get the recipes to try them myself another day. I didn’t have the big bottle of water this time as I was too busy scoffing the healthy treats down but 2 soda waters cost me 50 lira (£2.13), so I won’t be doing that again! I took it easy for the rest of the day and at dinner time I just had a vegetable pasta dish. I then got peckish and ate 3 ginger nut biscuits not realising they were 4 syns each! I’d had an alcohol and meat free day with exercise too so it was a good day overall. This weekend would be tricky, though, as I was planning on being away for a few days.
The one thing about being apart from your partner on Tuesday 14th March is that you don’t have to partake in Steak & Blow Job day – Google it, it’s a thing now! Lucky for me, because I’m rubbish at cooking steak! By the time I’d woke up Captain Caveman had gone back in to the cave but had messaged me at 4.30am (while my phone was on silent) to ask for me to sort out the payment to our new Pool and Garden maintenance company. Finally the other people on the complex had agreed to let Mehmet Kör at Elite take on the task. It was going to cost 50,000 lira (£2,128) for the year plus there was still the matter of getting the communal electric put back on. On another note, my ‘missing’ parents, who had failed to fly home from their holiday had managed to get in touch. They were in a hotel the other side of the world, somewhere, but the suitcases which were elsewhere had Mom’s phone charger in. Luckily it wasn’t much to worry about but it hadn’t stopped my sister and I having a slight panic on! We didn’t even know which hotel they were at, or even which country for definite. Luckily Ma & Pa managed to reassure me a little, while they sipped on the All Inclusive rum punch, that they would be coming home tomorrow. My food choices started out sensible and, as planned, with wholemeal toast, a cheese triangle and a cup of Yorkshire tea for breakfast. I did a 30 minute walk then popped in to Migros where I bought;
Lunch was the remaining chicken casserole and jacket potato (no butter), then some quark with satsumas. I had a red apple with cheese as a snack and, as I had plans for later, I warmed up a piece of nan bread to prepare me. I had to miss Singing Group in the afternoon but I did pop along to meet Mark and Kate at Tez bar where I decided I would pace myself with just a soda water for 20 lira (85p). I dropped off some old clothes and some cushions for Kaye, who was having a sale for the Earthquake charity this weekend. Daisy’s friend, Phoebe, had arrived and, after Daisy had finished work, we were all going to meet her for a night out. With it being winter, there were still only a few bars open but we decided to meet at Mustang bar. Mark and Kate agreed to come for one but then were going home as Mark was fancying a bit of scampi for dinner. The owner, Salih, let me try the wine, as I’d not been a fan of it last time but it was good tonight. Well, it must have been pretty good as I managed to have 5 red wines, a tequila, some of Daisy’s chips and the free popcorn! There was a cute resident cat who liked to get some attention. Mark and Kate ended up staying for a couple and left around 9.30pm, I got a lift with Mark on the mobility wagon to the bank so we could get more cash out. We had a right old laugh, but once Daisy had split her pants dancing, and Phoebe had started doing some sort of sexy dance, it was time for me to go home! I was home around midnight which wasn’t bad for someone who’s meant to be on a diet! Tomorrow’s weigh-in at Fat Club could be interesting; I’d had more alcohol this week but overall less total syns and a 5th of the sweet stuff compared to the previous week. I’d had exercise on all 7 days and 3 no meat days but would it be enough to still get a loss on Carol’s scales!?
Despite the weather forecasting that we were going to encounter quite a few days of rain, it seemed to be quite the opposite on Monday 13th March. Captain Caveman and my friend, Kat, sent me a photo of them in Coffee Station, Phong Nha, and they both looked like they were wearing warmer clothes than I needed in Dalyan. I got some Yorkshire puddings out of the freezer so that I could have them for dinner later then I had a nice walk around Dalyan, including a trip to the supermarket. I saw Gay Gaz and Roy having a beer at Ela’s Kitchen and politely declined joining them. It was tempting to give in to sitting in the sun with a cold one, and then end up having more than one and a possibility of ordering a sausage sandwich or something similarly synful. I excused myself that I needed to keep walking to get my steps in and buy fruit. As I’d not been to the weekly market on Saturday, I was short of a few things, here’s what I bought:
Bim Supermarket 2 red apples 4.79 2 grapefruits 7.55 2 onions 9.92 400g wholemeal bread 10.00 Sugar Free lemon drink 16.75 1 bag frozen green beans 19.75 2 fruit flavoured Quark 23.00
Total spent 91.76 lira (£3.90)
I was feeling quite pleased with myself for still being within my budget and not buying anything over £1 per item. After walking for almost 2 hours, I went home and had to get some less wintery clothes on after sitting on the balcony for the first time this year. I had something different for my breakfast today; a red apple and some Turkish cheese, with a Yorkshire tea, of course. Lunch was a generous portion of the chicken, aubergine, cauliflower and lentil curry which I had with steamed veggie rice to give me extra vegetables. I sat on the balcony a bit more and had to get the Factor 50 Aussie sun cream out as it was a real suntrap. I joined Jamie for a short dog walk but we resisted going for an alcoholic beverage. Once the sun went in, I put my winter clothes back on and reheated the chicken casserole and Yorkshire puddings. I chopped up the left over jacket potato in to chunks and recooked them in the oven, without oil. It was a really nice dinner and I enjoyed the healthy ‘roast’ potatoes. I made it my 2nd day of not drinking any alcohol this week as I’d only got until Wednesday to make a difference on the weight loss. Tomorrow, though, I had exciting plans!
I was starting to really like feeling fresh on a weekend after not having boozy nights out. Saturday 11th March was one of those times, which was lucky as I was off for a bit of house and dog sitting for Jamie. He and Drew were off for a cheeky night away in Fethiye. I had a banana and a linden tea then popped over to Jamie’s with my overnight bag. Norman and Edna were of course pleased to see me but they were both still a bit snoozy. The weather wasn’t good and the dogs weren’t too bothered about going out in the rain. This was good news because we were waiting for a delivery to arrive any time from 10am. I had taken over some chicken, aubergine, cauliflower and lentil curry to have for lunch and I had a treat of some nan bread to go with it. It tasted really nice and was very healthy too. I took all the ingredients to make a chicken casserole, which I did ready for dinner, with jacket potatoes. I made enough to have some another day while I had the oven on. My dinner was nice, I resisted any wine but did have cheese on toast for a snack before bed. I still had 3 days left until Fat Club but had already consumed my weekly syn allowance – I hoped a bit of dog walking would help.
There was no chance of sleeping in on Sunday 12th March. Norman and Edna were awake at 7.20am and Norman was particularly wriggly. We went downstairs for pees and poos (the dogs, not me) then I made a cup of tea. It was raining out so I didn’t take it back to bed on account of the dogs now being a little damp. The weather forecast showed it was due to rain for the next 5 days. I had strawberries, banana, fat free yoghurt and honey for breakfast with a linden tea. Norman and Edna got lots of sofa cuddles while watching TV and I didn’t even get dressed until gone 11am. The dogs looked tired and were reluctant to go for their walkies because of the rain. When we did go walking we found ourselves caught in a heavy rain shower. Norman wasn’t too bothered by it but I could sense Edna was all ready to complain to Jamie about the state of her curly ears! I got towels and dried them both but Edna did look kind of bedraggled. I gave them a treat for being good in the rain and we watched a bit of TV. I’d just warmed up a jacket potato for my lunch when Jamie and Drew arrived back. They had really enjoyed their break away too and they filled me in on their evening shenanigans. I ate my lunch while Jamie told me they had found a lovely Gay Bar in Fethiye and when I asked where it was they told me it was the Deep Blue Bar! Well, this was our favourite haunt in Fethiye where the Deep Blue Leg-ends group was formed. I was looking forward to letting fellow members Steve, Michelle, Vanessa, Matt, Mark, Kate, Ma & Pa know about it now being a Gay Bar! I packed up all my stuff and went back home, the rain wasn’t too bad and I noticed there was going to be a new fish market in the square, opposite the shoe man. It was a bit chilly back at our apartment as I started making a vegan lasagne with the left over vegan bolognese – it’s surprising how far lentils go! I also put the leftover chicken casserole in the fridge and would have it another day. The lasagne looked shoddy but it tasted really good and was filling. I was really pleased to have had a super healthy weekend and today I’d only used 1 syn for honey. Before bed, I decided to do a quick recky of where I was with my March budget so far this month. I was feeling proud of myself for having a whole weekend where I had not spent any money whatsoever. In these 12 days I’d set myself a tough target but I was so chuffed to be 297.29 lira (£12.65) under budget. I just hoped I could maintain this level of frugality and still enjoy the challenge, as I had been doing. For doing so well, I decided I was going to allow myself to spend money on something I really wanted next week, a luxury! I was so wrapped up in my frugal and healthy goings on that I almost didn’t notice that my parents had not returned from their holiday, as they should have, today!
It was proving somewhat difficult to stick to the budget, more so than the diet it seemed. On Thursday 9th March I had a healthy breakfast of strawberries, banana and pineapple with a Yorkshire tea. I’d been invited on a walking tour with a friend and it did sound lovely but at 350 lira (£15.20) for a morning, I couldn’t justify it. Instead, I agreed to meet her at Ela’s Kitchen around 1pm when she got back from the trip. I usually have a full English breakfast there because it is so good but I’d decided to be good. I’d already asked for advice in our Fat Club group for ideas of what I could eat for lunch that would be within plan. When my friend arrived we ordered the same; jacket potato with cheese and beans. It was massive, came with a huge salad and, because I’m fussy, I had my beans on the side and no butter. A lunch that was Slimming World friendly and so good too but I could hardly eat it all. After a long and lovely catch up I went back home to meet a new friend. It was perching on to the gate and I wasn’t sure what species he was but he wasn’t wanting to move. Later that afternoon, I joined Jamie and Drew for a couple of glasses of wine at Lukka bar, and I had 1 glass at home. For dinner I had more vegan bolognese and some fruit then an early night. I’d spent over budget but I knew I’d be staying in over the next couple of days.
There was snow in England on Friday 10th March so I woke up to see a few photos on Facebook of the weather. Here, in Dalyan, the weather was fine and I had a quiet weekend planned. I had a banana and some Linden tea for breakfast, the 2 together seem to prevent stomach issues. For lunch I had one of my favourites, beans on toast and thoroughly enjoyed it. In the afternoon I’d agreed to help Kate set up her art at Heybe’s, ready for tomorrow’s event. When I got there the smell of cat pee was very overpowering and some of the artists seemed tense. I just set up some stuff on a table, made price tags and wrote all the items and prices on a list. I was getting a headache from the strong smell so I was glad to be finished. For dinner I made a lovely Slimming World creamy leek chicken with parmesan and it turned out so tasty. I had strawberries, pineapple, low fat yoghurt and half a teaspoon of honey for a dessert. I was pleased to have stuck to plan, I’d spent no money today and treated myself to 2 glasses of red wine at home.
Weigh-in day and Fat Club seems to come round rather fast. Wednesday 8th March had me on the home scales as soon as I woke up and I was 0.4kg lighter than last week. I had been awake most of the night, had a dodgy stomach and my eczema had flared up again. Of course, Carol’s scales are slightly different and I still had to get to 3pm. I took my measurements to find that my bust had remained the same but my waist and hips were 1cm less. I just had strawberries for breakfast with a cup of Yorkshire tea. It was John’s birthday today and Andrea had organised a surprise trip to Fethiye to go bowling. I’d said I was going and we were getting the bus at 10.30am, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go as my stomach was still a bit iffy. Coincidentally, I got a message from Leanne at King Emlak who needed the Aussie’s keys from me and was popping over. I’d already had lunch by the time she arrived, later than planned. I’d added mushrooms to the vegan bolognese which I had with pasta. I found out 2 bras that were now too big for me to give to someone who had said they needed them. I wrapped them up and popped them in a gift bag, then dropped them at Tez bar, so they could be picked up later. At Fat Club I had actually lost another 0.4kg (0.8lb) and although it’s not very much, it was still another loss. This meant I’d now lost a total of 4.8kg (almost 11lb). I was pleased with that but I really needed to do better if I was going to be skinny in time for boat trips this season! It was also less than 10 weeks until I was due back in Vietnam and I wanted to be the same weight I was when I left there. On the way home, I popped to the shops. Here’s what I bought which took me over today’s budget;
Migros Supermarket Plastic bag 0.25 Pasta (macaroni) 7.90 Pasta (rigatoni) 10.90 Cotton buds 11.00 Pineapple Quark 14.95 Blackcurrant Quark 14.95 Paprika 16.73 Skimmed milk 17.50 Linden Tea 19.50 3 Plain Quark 44.85 1.1kg chicken 105.26 Total spent 263.79 lira (£11.23)
I had a snack of beans on toast when I got in because I was peckish and didn’t want to eat anything naughty. Andrea had messaged to say they would be in Waterfall after getting back from Fethiye but I still wasn’t feeling like going out. I was doing so well on the diet, not too bad on the budget and I knew I’d regret it if I blew both. I decided to stay in and have more vegan bolognese, with cheese. I treated myself to 15 syns worth of birthday red wine and had more cheese with pickled onions and some lemon drizzle cake. My stomach was back to normal now but I still felt really tired and lethargic.