My Google searches in November were definitely a clear sign I was going to be travelling to England next month. Here’s the list in alphabetical order:
1. Advice for travel to UK 2. Bounty calories 3. Cinnamon benefits 4. cm to inches 5. Coral Nike trainers 6. Dermatitis herpetiformis 7. Donkey milk soap benefits 8. English to Turkish 9. English to Vietnamese 10. Flight Radar 11. Frank Zappa 12. Gran Torino 13. Hallelujah lyrics 14. IBS 15. I’m your man – Leonard Cohen 16. League of Gentleman 17. Melen 2019 Merlot 18. Operation London Bridge 19. Orfoz, Akyaka 20. Patak’s Tandoori paste 21. Ron Perlman 22. Start Up TV series 23. UK bra size calculator 24. Weather 25. worldlifeexpectancycoronavirus
Crikey, I was poorly on Sunday 28th November!!! I’d been up a few times in the night with a bad stomach and I woke up so dehydrated and hungover that I had to go back to bed. I had to cancel meeting up with Vanessa and Janet to go to the Christmas fayre and I really did think I had just got a bad hangover but it seemed to get worse as the day went on, no matter what I did I could not recover. Vanessa hadn’t been able to come to Maddie and Onur’s housewarming on account of her being ill so I did wonder if I may have got something similar as there was a bug going around. By the afternoon my shoulders and chest muscles were aching and I felt like death. While the people of Dalyan went out and about, the sun came out and I spent all my day between sofa, toilet and bed – I’d only had a litre of wine over 7.5 hours last night so surely it wasn’t just a hangover! In the Vietnamese news there was a few reports that the international tourism trial was not working and there were a few problems with that. I did have some good news that day though, friends who I had met in Phong Nha had sent me a wedding invitation for 2022. Bryan and Kendra, who will be visiting Dalyan for New year are getting married in Georgia and so I got a save the date, which is great news – I’ve never been to Georgia so it would be a good excuse!
By Monday 29th November I was still not much better but I forced down some cornflakes, I still had a bad stomach, muscle aches, a headache and was a bit clammy so I didn’t do much. In the news there was an official update of the requirements to enter England, effective from 4am on 30th November and to be reviewed in 3 weeks, these would be the rules that would apply to me on my forthcoming visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19 By 3.30pm I decided a bit of fresh air and a trip to the shop might be in order. I could hardly concentrate and felt terrible as I bought the following:
1 plastic bag 0.25 1 pack of polos 2.50 1 Bounty 4.95 Crisps 7.00 1 gold chocolate 7.00 1 litre of cherry juice 7.50 4 Probiotic drinks 12.26 1 pack of chicken breasts 20.85
Total spent 62.04 lira (£3.60)
On the way back from the shop Sara (from River Terrace) brought my order from the Christmas fayre that I missed. When I got in the apartment, I ate the Bounty and some crisps washed down with cherry juice and went back to bed. When I woke up I felt a lot better and decided to make a proper meal for my late dinner. I had beef köfte and homemade chips with BBQ sauce and all seemed fine. Later I had a mince pie and a chocolate orange truffle (from Sara) and my stomach was kind of ok. Unfortunately I had cancelled having a curry at Ann’s tonight as I didn’t know if I still had a hangover or if I had a bug. I hoped I was better for tomorrow as Vanessa and I had a very important trip planned.
I had hardly any sleep and felt like I couldn’t do a bus journey on Tuesday 30th November so I had to cancel Vanessa again – it’s a good job she’s understanding. Instead, I forced buttered toast down and went back to bed, I had cups of tea and lots of water but didn’t really start to recover until almost dinner time. It was a cold day and I had lots of layers on so I decided to have meat and potato pie with carrots, mushrooms and gravy to make me feel better. It was not only delicious but I was almost back to normal by bed time and the pastry didn’t give me a bad stomach.
By Saturday 27th November there were more worrying news articles about Corona and there was an uneasy feeling of whether the new variant would be the next one to cause an increase in restrictions, I was concerned that it may prevent or limit my forthcoming trip to the UK. In Vietnam 4 children suffered anaphylaxis from their vaccines in Bac Mai, here’s the article (it’s not near the cave where Captain Caveman works is): https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211127/four-children-suffer-anaphylaxis-after-covid19-vaccination-in-northern-vietnam/64407.html In other news there were some positive cases, on 2 planes, from South Africa which landed at Amsterdam airport, meaning the new variant was already in Europe, more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59442149 I just had bread and butter for breakfast as I was having a big lunch of saag aloo, chicken tikka and rice. I was invited to a party later so I needed some sustenance in readiness for a bit of a booze up. Because of the bad weather, the Christmas fayre, which should have been today, had been moved to tomorrow but Maddie and Onur were still having their housewarming party from 5pm. It was also Maddie’s 3 year anniversary of moving to Turkey so she was up for giving the ball a right old kick. I took a nice bottle of red wine and a gift of rosé wine for Maddie, when I arrived I was so impressed with their new place as it was big for a 2 bedroom apartment and had lovely views from every window, despite it being so near to the town centre. We had a right laugh and the night involved me becoming a human kerplunk game as each person had to slip forks in to my hair without them falling out. It was more fun than you’d think and the amount of innuendos was shameful. Maddie had made sausage rolls and I had 3, they were bloody gorgeous and the rest of the food was good too. I had a really great time, Ann even made Nick a ponytail so he could fit in with Onur, Özcan and Mark! Kate took loads of photos of different people by the Christmas tree and I met some really lovely people. Ann and I shared a taxi home and of course I had a dodgy stomach when I got in!
When I woke up on Friday 26th November the news was packed full of articles about Corona; a new variant had been discovered in South Africa, more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59418127 I saw a Facebook post to say that the UK were banning flights from South Africa. France had announced that a 3rd vaccine booster would be required for vaccine passes to be valid. In the Vietnamese news there was reports that a total of 3 people had died after their vaccination in Vietnam, the investigation was ongoing, check it out here: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211126/following-two-deaths-one-more-dies-after-covid19-vaccination-in-vietnam/64368.html Then later it was reported that there was a 4th death from the same batch of vaccines in Vietnam, see below: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211126/vietnam-seals-vero-cell-covid19-vaccine-batch-following-4th-postvaccination-death/64382.html My arm was aching today, 2 days after my vaccine and I felt incredibly tired so I decided that I was going to have a day of chilling out and I was going to have a night in tonight. My delivery of meat pies and sausage rolls from Emma was delivered by her husband, Yusuf, and I put some in the freezer before I was tempted to eat them all – I did have 2 sausage rolls for my breakfast though! For lunch I made a bit of a strange concoction of köfte, rice and mushrooms which tasted really good. I went to meet a friend at the tea gardens in the afternoon and when I got there it was a mess because of the improvements the council were attempting to make. The cafe was now next to the toilets, on the grass, so no longer overlooking the river and the rock tombs. After several Turkish teas and a chat I walked back home, just as the sun was setting and I called in to the stationers to buy a notebook, I spotted they had some good 2022 diaries there too so I purchased a nice one. That night I ordered a takeaway from Spice Garden and got enough for tonight and tomorrow’s lunch. I had poppadoms, chicken tikka masala with chips and nan, I even had a couple of glasses of red wine to wash it down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to bed really tired but I couldn’t get to sleep.
I didn’t wake up until the alarm went off at 8am on Thursday 25th November. I’d gone to bed feeling quite cold, my heartbeat was quite a bit faster than normal too but when I woke up I was dripping in sweat, my quicker heart rate, and all other effects from yesterday’s vaccine, were gone. I had to be over at my parents’ apartment by 9am to let in the workmen who were going to be replacing some bathroom shower screens. I put on 3 layers and my rain jacket plus bagged up some boxes I was taking round to Debbie’s. When I arrived at my parents’ I let the guys in and they said to come back in 2 hours, I tried to see if Debbie (Darling) was up yet so I could help wrap the Christmas boxes for the Christmas fayre. There was no answer so I popped back home and had bread butter and cherry jam for breakfast. When I went back the workmen were about 30 minutes off finishing so I took some photos and sent them to Dad so he could check them before I paid up. They did a good job, it looked much better and they even did a thorough hoovering. As I left I saw they had discarded the old screens and all the new packaging on the floor outside, yet there is a bin less than 50 metres away and there was now a random man smashing out the glass of the old screens, on the road outside my parents’ place so he could take the frames. I shouted at him and told him he was leaving a mess on the road but he didn’t care. I went to Debbie’s but there was no answer and she hadn’t seen my messages so I left the boxes on her doorstep and set off back home. The shower screen smasher had gone so I moved most of the glass off the road and went back to turn off the electric, to this day the rubbish didn’t get cleaned up! I notice a lot that in Turkey people aren’t always so bothered about how they dispose of rubbish too much, or the environment. It may have been the after effects of the jab yesterday, or that the sun had come back out, but I was so hot all of a sudden and fancied a shower and a nap. When I woke up again it was dark, I had been asleep for almost 5 hours and still felt a bit tired! For dinner I had more lasagne and red cabbage which was delicious but because I had slept through lunch I was still peckish. I decided I would have some chestnuts while watching more Selling Sunset on Netflix.
When I woke up on Wednesday 24th November I was sad to see in the Vietnamese news that there were still not enough Corona vaccines in Vietnam so deaths were higher than they should be, here’s more: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1084598/75-per-cent-of-people-dying-from-covid-over-three-days-in-hcm-city-were-unvaccinated.html Worryingly, there was a report of deaths from a 2nd Verocell vaccine too, see below: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1085284/two-people-in-thanh-hoa-die-after-getting-covid-19-vaccine.html I just had a probiotic drink for breakfast and then got wrapped up for the walk to the doctor’s in quite heavy rain, it had been raining persistently throughout the night and all of the morning so far. When I arrived at the Dalyan Doctor’s I didn’t even have to show ID or give any details as they recognised me, there was an English couple there too and the lady was there for her booster. The nurse giving the vaccines didn’t speak English and the man of the couple had said he wasn’t there for a vaccine but before he could say much he had his jumper off and the nurse gave him it anyway. I had mine sat down, it took seconds and I did feel it this time so was expecting my arm to ache. I’d also tried looking up any experiences of someone who had received 2 Astra Zeneca and 2 Pfizer vaccines to try to anticipate any after effects but I couldn’t find anything useful on the internet. I felt happier knowing that my vaccines from Turkey would definitely be recognised to travel to England and back so I walked home, still in the rain, but feeling good. I had to change my clothes when I got in because I was soaked and then get ready for my Turkish class. This was the 2nd class since starting them last week at Lukka Bar, with Sioned, on a Wednesday lunch time. My last class had consisted of just 7 of us and it was an introductory class to see what we know and practice greetings and such like. This week it was a smaller group as 2 from last week couldn’t make it, unfortunately, and we went on to learn quite a bit and even had practice doing some role plays. Sioned is an excellent teacher and I found it a lot better than trying to just do I on Duolingo, plus I had forgotten a lot from when I had lessons 13 years ago. When I got home I had to change my socks and leggings again then I decided to watch series 3 of Selling Sunset which, for some reason, I love! I had a crisp sandwich and some chicken pieces with BBQ sauce for a not so healthy lunch. I told Vanessa about the Turkish lesson and helped arrange to get her invited to join the next one. That evening I got all cosy and even had to put the heating on in the living area, as the temperature really dropped. I had a wonderful dinner of homemade lasagne with red cabbage while watching the end of series 3 of Cuckoo. As I went to bed my arm was starting to ache a little bit and I had a funny twinge in my good leg just behind the knee, I also had a strange sensation (kind of itchy) where my shoulder cyst was. I took a paracetamol, set the alarm for 8am tomorrow and was asleep before 11pm.
I had a busy day at the start of the week on Monday 22nd November. The lira was at 15 to the English pound so my money was now at half the value of when I put it in the bank, which was disconcerting. I was too busy checking all the up to date rules for my forthcoming trip to England that I completely forgot to have any breakfast. I found that I was going to need all of the addresses of where I would be going in the first 10 days of my stay so that I could put them on the PLF, I also needed to decide on at least 1 address to stay at, for the first 2 days – this was going to be tricky as I didn’t really have a plan as yet, but I needed one before I left Turkey. I decided to have a bit of a clear out so that I could donate any bric-a-brac to the white elephant stall at the Christmas fayre this year and I came across a lamp without a working bulb. I had a walk to the Millennium shop to buy a replacement to see if it worked and the weather outside looked like it might rain at any time. The forecast had said to expect a lot of rain this week and so I decided to go to the new A101 supermarket on the high street and Migros to stock up on essentials. Here’s what I purchased, I will let you decide what was actually essential:
A101 Supermarket 1 packet of chicken noodles 2.20 2 bottles of soda water 2.70 1 pack of sigara böreği 6.90 2 packs of crisps 10.40
Total spent 22.20 lira (£1.48)
Migros Supermarket 1 plastic bag 0.25 1 pack of biscuits 2.50 2 simit 4.50 1 Bounty 4.95 1 packet of bechamel sauce mix 6.45 1 toastie loaf 9.95 1 jar of tomato paste 9.95 1 pack mushrooms 11.49 3 probiotic drinks 12.75 1 pack lasagne sheets 13.95 1 can baked beans 17.95 1 jar of pesto 22.95 1 pack of beetroot 24.90 1 bag of chestnuts 24.95
Total spent 167.49 lira (£11.17)
While I was packing my shopping I saw Maria from Askins estate agents and we had a little chat, then I paid and left to go home.
The lamp bulb was replaced, it worked so I decided to keep it and, after dropping off the shopping and eating a simit for a quick lunch, I decided to go for a walk to the doctor’s. I got a message from Maria to say I had left my Migros card at the supermarket but she had it at work and I could stop by to collect it, which I did – it was really kind of her to do that. My app said I could go for my 2nd Pfizer jab now so I thought I’d make sure that I was still booked in, especially as I needed to have 14 days clear before I landed in England. It was a nice walk along the river but the streets where the road was being taken up was a mess. The doctor confirmed I should come at 9.45am on Wednesday for my next Corona vaccine so that was good as it gave me 2 days spare. On my walk around town I bumped in to Viv who had just been to Alp’s Balıkcim for sausages, which made me want some. Alp has a section of English stuff so I made a few purchases as a treat:
Alp’s shop 1 bottle of HP brown sauce 1 can of baked beans 1 jar of tandoori paste 6 pork sausages 1 Cumberland sausage wheel
This came to a total of 150 lira (£10) but the beans were on offer at 12.50 lira so I couldn’t resist buying another for 5 lira cheaper than in the supermarket.
While I was out, Ann had messaged to ask if I fancied meeting at Heybe’s for an early dinner so I did. She had wine, I had tea and when she ordered her usual chicken schnitzel I decided to go with the potato skin starter. When it came it had a jacket potato with it and was gorgeous but I couldn’t eat it all so I took the jacket potato part home to have with my leftover Sunday dinner tomorrow. By the time I got home it was dark, had gone quite a bit colder and I saw that the Vietnamese Corona cases were on the rise again.
It was probably the coldest day so far on Tuesday 23rd November and I was wearing a fleece indoors as I ate my simit, cheese and olives for breakfast. I decided I still needed provisions for the massive week of rain that was forecast so I togged up and ventured out to the shops again;
Şok Supermarket 3 red onions 3.22 1 packet of roast chicken bags 4.15 4 carrots 7.16 4 probiotic drinks 19.80
I also picked up a bottle of wine from Tolga’s wine shop for 45 lira (£3), never mind the rain I was ready for a blizzard!
I had a late lunch which consisted of my leftover Sunday dinner and yesterday’s leftover jacket potato (both from Heybe’s) which was absolutely gorgeous. My next mission was to make a lasagne from the bolognese that I had bubbling away in the slow cooker and could use my new glass containers for batch freezing some of it. I got peckish while it was cooking and ate a Bounty and then some chicken pieces with BBQ sauce. When the lasagne was ready I had to taste some so I cut off the ends and ate those, it was really good and I would look forward to more of it in the next couple of days. I’d been watching a series on Netflix called Cuckoo, with comedian Greg Davies in, and was finding it quite entertaining so I watched more before bed and set the alarm so that I didn’t overlay for my important appointment tomorrow.
When I woke up on Saturday 20th November I had messages from Captain Caveman who had spotted that my mom had been spoofed on Facebook, he (and others) had received a friend request from a profile of the same name and birthday but it wasn’t my mom. He’d let her know and then I messaged friends to let them know to delete the 2nd Anne Williams. I had buttered toast for breakfast and then tackled trying to find the Turkish app where I can view my vaccine status. I was going to need this to go to England so it was important I figured it out and was pleased to get it working. It was a sunny day, there were more leaves on the bougainvillea and I met the lady outside Maizie Moo to bring her to look at my rug (not a euphemism) which she paid me for and took it with her. In the afternoon I popped over to my mom’s, then Vanessa’s to help her with some paper work but ended up having some wine which we had to force our way into when the cork broke! In the evening I had a lovely meal with Ann, Angela, Nick and Maddie – Ann had cooked us two delicious pies with roast potatoes and broccoli and it was so good. I met her dogs, we drank wine, listened to music and ate so well! Amazingly my stomach was absolutely fine and I even managed a nice sized portion of Ann’s homemade cheesecake too – it was such a marvellous Saturday!
Sunday 21st November was also a lovely day in Dalyan and I had both cornflakes and toast for breakfast seeing as my stomach was as normal as it could ever be. The building site villa next door was definitely taking shape and I decided to order some things from Sara and Emma for the Christmas Fayre. Sara was doing chocolate truffles and mincepies, Emma sausage rolls and meat & potato pies. For lunch I had a home made chicken wrap and had arranged to try something new later on. Since I’d been in Dalyan I hadn’t tried a Sunday dinner at Heybe’s yet, mainly because I prefer to eat the Işkender kebab there but when Vanessa suggested it, I was definitely up for it, for a change. I had a beer to start off and we sat at a nice table inside, Vanessa had wine and soda. The soup was a very tasty tomato, we both had beef for our mains and the food was very good and plenty of it. The best bit was the 2 Yorkshire puddings which were definitely as good as I make and you could tell that Donny had mastered them well. I took home leftovers of beef, potato and broccoli so that I had room to try the dessert. The apple crumble came in a margarita glass and was served with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, I don’t like chocolate ice-cream so I took that off but I don’t think it goes with apple anyway. I also had a glass of red wine and we had a good old natter, as usual, including discussing our Christmas plans. We finished the night off with a lovely Turkish tea and then went home for an early night.
I had a bad hangover on Thursday 18th November so decided to go back to bed after my breakfast of buttered toast. On my phone was a photo of the growing bougainvillea bush at Fire Opal, taken at 2.22am, I’d obviously come in a bit drunk and decided to take a photo of the growth (as you do)! In my handbag was a rather large can of fly spray which I had put in there for Debbie (Darling) and forgotten to give it her back. Captain Caveman had sent me a photo of Eric the Bee, who was still visiting him at Elements in Phong Nha, he’s a lovely bee. In the Vietnam news there was a report of one positive case at the Hanoi football stadium but a more concerning article caught my eye. Also in Hanoi, some babies had been vaccinated with Pfizer by mistake, here it is: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211117/mistakenly-injected-with-covid19-vaccine-18-hanoi-infants-in-good-health-2-weeks-on/64202.html In Dalyan there were more Facebook posts and photos of the road being ripped up and how much of a mess they were making was getting people’s goat. I thought of going to the Spice Garden for their curry buffet night later, and was going to see if anyone else fancied joining, but it was no longer on and they were now doing a winter menu which was available every day, plus it was available for delivery too. I shelved that idea and started reading Mike Tyson’s autobiography which I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time. For lunch I just had sandwiches, earl grey tea and some Turkish delight. That night I was tempted to order a takeaway but I decided to use the wraps I bought and make some ‘healthier’ pizzas – it turned out really well. I watched Netflix and started on the Winter Tea that I’d bought in Fethiye – it was a really good recommendation from Vanessa.
As expected my weekly weigh-in on Friday 19th November went well, but it wasn’t the miracle I could have done with. I lost 0.5kg which was good to see I hadn’t put anything on and it was probably as a result of staying in more now that my parents had been gone for a week already. Although I missed them, I was definitely making the most of having time to myself again and the first half of my day was pretty healthy; cornflakes for breakfast and a chicken, onion, and red pepper wrap (homemade so no fatty or mystery sauces) for my lunch, but it wouldn’t finish that way. In the news it was announced that from the 1st December in the UK there would be no need for fully vaccinated people to isolate for 10 days if they came in to contact with a Corona positive person, but I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was about that – it did mean I wouldn’t have to isolate in London if it happened to me on the weekend of my arrival, though. I’d advertised a rug on Facebook and I was expecting a woman to come and look at it, she said she would call me after her return from a boat trip, Debbie (Darling) and Sarah had invited me to join them at Sofra bar to try out their new upstairs, winterproof restaurant but, as I was waiting for the rug buyer, I missed out on eating dinner with them. When I got there they were with Sue and they had almost finished their spag bol. I joined their table and had a red wine, the place looked really cosy and nice so Sarah and I decided it would be a great place to ‘work from home’ on a Friday afternoon. By the time that I had got outside with Sarah and Sue, Debbie (Darling) had already left for Lukka bar with Sarah’s dogs. Sue was doing her best to insist on a taxi to go less than a kilometer but I helped carry her bags and got her to walk to Lukka where the music bingo was about to start. We all had a rather random evening, I still had not had dinner so I ordered a BBQ chicken pizza which was amazing and I had leftovers to take home too, the bingo song choices for me were great, but this is the only place I’ve ever been out where I’m considered to be young, some of the older clientele objected to the 90s songs which they didn’t know – not that it matters as Mehmet gives the answer after 30 seconds of playing the song, anyway! Due to some of our contingent being rather too drunk, it was an interesting night ending in Sue accidentally throwing her gin and tonic about. While Debbie (Darling) kindly made sure Sue got a taxi home, I got persuaded to have another glass of wine in Jazz Bar with Sarah. I really don’t like to frequent the Jazz Bar on account of me living nearby and me rarely getting any sleep on a weekend due to their music being so loud – I swear it sounds louder in our apartment than it does when I’m in the actual bar! I managed one glass of wine but then it was time for me to go home to bed, I really struggle to make it past midnight these days and the music had surprisingly finished by midnight!
Wednesday 17th November was a totally surprising day for me; I’d had cornflakes for breakfast and after doing a few chores I thought I’d call at the supermarket for a few bits. On my way to Migros I saw that Debbie (Darling) and her friends were in Jiks having a drink and they waved me over. I gestured that I would be there after I’d been in to the shop. I made my purchases as follows (price in lira);
3 onions 0.59 1 fresh loaf 2.00 2 red peppers 2.99 2 cans of grapefruit drink 6.50 1 pack of hummus 7.95 1 pack of wraps 14.45
Total spend 34.48 lira (£2.38).
I joined Debbie (Darling)’s gang just as Ann was getting off for her nail appointment but the rest were having another drink so I had a beer with Debbie (Darling), Sue, Fiona and then Brian joined us for a quick coke. Brian is a very interesting man and we had a little chat about Coeliac, gluten intolerance and dermatitis herpetiformis. Brian left and, as Debbie (Darling) had to leave to attend a funeral send off, Sue, Fiona, and I decided our next stop off would be Tez bar, I was dressed for summer and still had my shopping, so wasn’t planning on staying long. After 1 glass of wine I went home with my valid excuse ‘to put my shopping away and get dressed’ for my evening out. Of course I didn’t leave the tipsy ladies by themselves and, once the funeral was over and I was dressed in winter-wear, we had one more at Tez bar before we all went to Lukka bar. It had definitely been an interesting day so far and next I joined Angela, Nick and Ann for a meal and wine at Heybe’s where I just had to have the Işkender kebab (again) as I love it and hadn’t had one for a while. Nick goes mad for one of Donny’s chicken curries which did look good, while Angela and Ann had the chicken schnitzel, also a firm favourite. The food was ace, the live music from Onur was fab and the wine flowed – a bit too much, as it happens! By midnight I had murdered some songs and was well on my way to pointing out how much of an overlooked genius Frank Zappa was while Ann was advocating the more refined Leonard Cohen. I felt sorry for the staff having to listen to us waxing lyrical about how much we loved these artists, but I’m sure they secretly loved Doreen, one of Frank’s finest tracks which I made them listen to. As we left, I forced Ann to come to mine where I was trying to force biscuits and earl grey tea down her – she was not impressed with the hot beverage selection!
Sunday 14th November was a really good day for me, I’d stopped being ill and managed a probiotic drink and toast for breakfast. I decided I would make a beef stew in the slow cooker and I finished off my parents’ laundry ready to take it over to their’s the next time I was passing. My eczema was really quite bad again, even though I had been remembering to put cream on from Maizie Moo’s and I could only put it down to eating normally for the last few weeks. Captain Caveman had returned from Tu Lan but was too tired for a chat today and I read that Austria had introduced a type of lockdown for all unvaccinated people, more here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59283128 On the building site the concrete floor got poured and the workers clocked off. I had some of the beef stew for lunch and it was so delicious that I hardly wanted to save any. That afternoon I noticed that the number of Corona cases in the province of Balikesir, further north in Turkey, was having a surge, despite 81% of their population being fully vaccinated and I wondered if planning a trip up there might be a bit hasty, so near to us needing to travel back to the UK. For dinner I reheated the Mac & Cheese I had in the freezer and finished off the last of the plums. My finger was hurting and so I left the plaster off of the cut to try to get some air to it, watched Start Up on Netflix, then had an early night.
1 pack of pasta 3.36 1 pack of salami 4.15 1 Bounty 4.95 1 pack of cheese triangles 6.25 1 bag of crisps 8.00 1 litre of milk 8.75 4 probiotic drinks 17.00 1 chicken 19.36 1 bottle of HP BBQ sauce 21.95 3 chicken breasts 26.11
Total spend 115.63 lira (£8.26)
It was a bit expensive for a Bounty but I was really craving a chocolate bar, especially an English one. My absolute favourite is a Double Decker which they don’t have here.
The builders next door were receiving the latest concrete pours for the columns on the next floor of the structure. I had a call from Captain Caveman, he was well but he said he was feeling the cold a bit now as Phong Nha had definitely cooled down. When I checked that the housekeeping staff had put his duvet back on he replied that he only had a sheet so he was cold in bed without me. As soon as we finished talking I had a group chat with the Elements Collection staff, in my terrible Vietnamese, to ask that the duvet be put on. For dinner I had some Lancashire hotpot which I’d made a while ago and put in the freezer – it’s also gluten free because instead of thickening it with flour I used red lentils.
I had another easy going day on Tuesday 16th November and made a big batch of chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker, while catching up on a few things. The Dalyan main bar street and the walk way by the river were about to get a make over which many people on Facebook were taking umbrage over. I saved a couple of the photos and didn’t bother going to see for myself as it looked a bit uneven for someone with a dodgy leg anyway. I had planned to take my parents’ washing back and return Vanessa’s suitcase so I thought I could do them all at the same time, but then I forgot and it got too chilly to venture out. I had a couple of red wines, my first alcohol since Friday, with my gorgeous chicken noodle soup, then finished watching the rest of Start Up on Netflix. Tomorrow I had nothing planned but sometimes Dalyan has a way of changing that!
I’d been having probiotics every morning for just over a week and, although there were some improvements, I definitely wasn’t ‘cured’ as I was well and truly about to find out on Saturday 13th November. Vanessa had very kindly invited me on a trip to İçmeler today and, as this was a road trip, I was conscious that I certainly didn’t need a repeat performance of what happened on the Mediterranean Highlights trip only 3 weeks ago. I made the decision to only have the probiotic drink but no breakfast and then I had no chance of having a dodgy stomach, even though I felt absolutely fine. I knew another 5 of the other trip goers already (Michaela, Janet & Kevin, Martin & Wendy) and the minibus was full so it was only 50 lira each for the return fare. On the way there I started to have the rumblings in my tummy so when we were asked if we would like to stop off at a cafe made from an actual aeroplane I jumped at the chance. I’d been past it many times, although I had never had the chance to visit, but this one wasn’t about to go well!
We’d arrived at the aeroplane cafe and I desperately needed the toilet now but the cafe was closed, fortunately for everyone a man came and opened up for us. The toilets didn’t have the water turned on in the Western style toilets but there were containers of water in the squat ones so I went and was definitely not well. As I opened the door to get out of the cubicle I cut my finger on the lock and then had quite a bit of blood which wouldn’t stop. I joined Vanessa and a couple I had not met before (Andy & Julie), Vanessa had got me a Turkish tea but as I sat down the chair had a puddle of water on it and my top and trousers were soaked. Great! Vanessa and I paid the 10 lira (less than a pound) to go in the plane and it was very strange but interesting so I’d definitely recommend it! I needed the loo again before we left and I felt exactly like I did on the last road trip!
On the bus I found out that when we got to İçmeler we were all booked in for either fish and chips or pie and chips at the Fryer Tuck restaurant which everyone who had been before said was amazing. I was beginning to think I’d have been better off staying at home because of my stomach but when we arrived we had a walk along the beach and the town looked like it was closed, there was nothing going on. A lot of the ladies on the trip had a look around the shops and Vanessa picked up some bargains. I had a soda water while others had beer or wine in the pub and I was feeling really hungry but was worried about eating in case I was ill again, I had already had 3 imodium but they didn’t work at all.
The fish and chips were absolutely fantastic and easily the best I’ve ever tried in Turkey, I didn’t eat most of the batter (which was perfect) even though I wasn’t allergic to it but was trying to avoid what I thought had previously made me ill, just incase. There was also mushy peas and curry sauce available which my fellow diners said were good, but I just don’t like either, some people on the other tables had pie and that also looked really good but I couldn’t chance it. They had one of my favourites, treacle sponge, but I also avoided it because of my stomach and the journey back, while the others really enjoyed it and I drank my pot of tea like a proper Brit abroad. The whole bill for the 4 of us, including all the drinks, came to 500 lira (so less than £9 per person) and it was very good value for money and we were all stuffed!
After lunch I found that there were no pharmacies open in the area to buy more plasters as mine was letting the blood through still and was too big for a little finger. We did find a shoe shop which had some bargains and I bought a pair of sheepskin slippers and a pair of trainers for a total of just less than £15. On the way home I was still ill and we had to stop off for me to use the services again – I was beginning to wonder if my allergy was actually travel sickness! Back home I had a quiet night between sofa and toilet but by 8pm I was so hungry that I had to make myself some beans on toast. As I went to bed I saw that there was a post on Facebook showing that Thailand was now back to normal, with lots of people out drinking on the Khao San road, in Bangkok.
We were going to have a last breakfast together on Friday 12th November but my parents had a surprise visit from the door fitting workmen who were back with doors that were the right length this time. The plan was for my parents to come to mine and then we would go for food but my mom messaged to say they were waiting for the workmen to finish and then they would leave. With my parents leaving Dalyan were my updates over the next few weeks were unlikely to contain as much going out and Bailey’s in them! Eventually my parents arrived at my place, we were surprisingly not hungover and we marked the end of their holiday with a visit to Jiks for our last lunch together. I had the prawn skewers with chips, mom had a sandwich and chips and Dad had chicken shish with with chips. It was all really tasty and, because of too much booze last night, only Dad had a beer. This time when we said our goodbyes I wasn’t too emotional as I would be going back to the UK next month for a short visit. We were so lucky that we had all been able to go to Turkey which had been a risk we had been willing to take and it had paid off for us.
My parents had some of their left over washing that they brought to mine so I’d already got the first lot on because bad weather was meant to be due soon. As a treat I had a takeaway afternoon tea from Sara at River Terrace which I divided up and put some in the fridge for the rest of the weekend. I did have the sandwiches and a jam and cream scone with a cup of earl grey tea about 5pm which was so good and I thought that would be enough for the rest of the day. It wasn’t, so before I went out that night I had fish fingers and beans – I had really missed eating fish fingers! It was music bingo night at Lukka bar so I joined Debbie (Darling) and Sarah who didn’t seem to mind that this fairweather friend hadn’t been sitting with them for the last 4 weeks – and Sarah’s canine companions seemed pleased to see me, too. Even though the nights were colder now there was the awning up to shelter us so it didn’t feel cold where we were sat. Katrina also joined us and I thought that her chicken casserole dinner looked and smelled fantastic, I must try that dish. I had a good time, I didn’t win but a couple of us were sweating, and it is a bonus that the wine is only 20 lira a glass on special for Friday nights. I did need to cut back on the spending, especially with the lira to pound rate almost halving my money, but at that discount it was totally worth having 3 glasses of red!
On Thursday 11th November it was already time for my parents to submit their PLF, a requirement to return to the UK, and from what we had been reading online it might be a bit of a chore. As none of us have a printer our initial plan was to complete it and then go to the stationers, who would print everything for a very small fee, but it would still mean Mom having access to her emails, which she didn’t always have. Our Plan B was even better, Vanessa and Matt had a printer and offered to help us which also meant if we did anything wrong we could easily rectify the situation. I went over to my parents’ so that I could do the 2 PLFs on my phone and Mom had already got all the required documents to hand. Dad was putting me off slightly by pacing up and down next to where we were sitting and my Mom had to tell him to find something to do. The only information needed on the forms are as follows; Name, uk address, email address, UK phone number, flight number, flight date, flight seat number, flight landing time, passport number and expiry date, vaccine status, dates arrived abroad and PCR test reference number (for day 2). I’d worked in insurance and Mom had worked in accounts so we weren’t bad at form filling in, I’d also had experience of completing the Turkish one when I came here, however, the UK one was pretty badly laid out and was over 4 pages when it could have been 1. It was in an illogical order with lots of repetition and took far longer than it should have, but we managed it. We checked each one 3 times before submission and then sent it to our friends ready for them to print later and bring it when we met them for drinks later on. My Mom already had all her other documents printed as we had heard that the check-in queues were sometimes long because of passengers trying to find missing docs on their phone. With that all done, I was hungry as I hadn’t had any breakfast and I suggested somewhere we hadn’t tried this visit yet, somewhere I had avoided eating in the past because of my ‘food allergies’. We took the long walk via the river and walked all the way along to Kaunos tea gardens near the turtle statue. It was lovely and sunny, Dad had coffee and we had Turkish tea which was very nice. It was already 12.45pm so we ordered food, they weren’t doing pancakes so Mom ordered calamari, Dad had a cheese, tomato and sausage toasted sandwich and I had the cheese and sausage one. It’s Turkish sausage so more like a salami but is made from beef and is delicious in a toastie. The food was great and the waitress was super keen and quite good with her English, I tried a little bit of Turkish too. The prices were really good value and Dad noted the beer was about the cheapest in Dalyan (for next time). We were meant to be meeting friends in the afternoon but I got a message from them to say they were unable to make it today. It might have been a good thing as by the time we had walked back in to town, having tried to find a shop that was open to get some Turkish Delight for my sister, I needed the toilet so urgently that I had to leave my parents and get home quickly.
After having an immediate reaction to my cheese and Turkish sausage sandwich, from the tea garden, I was at home resting up when I got a message from Selahı, asking where I was as he was at Bistro Blue and would be there until 4pm for me to go and purchase some of the lovely wine he had. I went as soon as I could as I really loved the Leona Cabernet Sauvignon which I was going to buy at a reduced price and hoped to buy a bottle of prosecco too. When I got there I was immediately offered a drink, a nice glass of red wine as I joined 3 others plus Selahı. We had a bit of a chat and then as I had almost finished my wine the Turkish men left to go to the barbers and left me with the English chap who’d come to collect some cushions. When Selahı returned he insisted on a top up and then I was almost late to meet the evening gang but had enjoyed the surprise Sunday club. After dropping off my 4 bottles of wine at home, I arrived at the 2 Charlies bar where my parents, Vanessa and Matt were already drinking and I ordered a wine. I was a bit put out that the print outs had the wrong passport expiry date on for my Mom, even though I read it back to her 3 times, and couldn’t understand how that had even happened but she didn’t seem too worried and said she would chance it. We had another drink then my parents and I said our farewells to Vanessa, Matt and Alan (who had now joined us) as we were heading off for my last Turkish meal with my parents before they left Dalyan. Dad was up for trying a place that had been one of my favourites the last time that Captain Caveman and I were here in winter, River House. There was an outdoor fire so we sat at a table near to that and ordered glasses of wine. The menu is extensive but I found it easy to decide on the chicken casserole, Dad ordered liver and onions, while Mom went with the most unexpected dish from the menu – Singapore noodles! I should have realised she was acting out of sorts at this point but it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that we noticed Mom was acting out of character. Throughout all of their month here Mom had been keeping an eye on Dad and telling him he couldn’t go mad on the drinking and he often wanted to stay out longer but tonight Mom was the one to suggest we go on for a nightcap somewhere else. We ended the night in Lukka bar giving the proverbial ball a right old kick, we even made the bar staff join in with our private party until another couple joined in. We knew we were drunk as I had 3 Bailey’s but my Dad was in utter disbelief as my Mom had twice that amount and kept complaining her’s had evaporated. At one point she started to complain it must not be real Bailey’s, but it was, and she didn’t even care when we got the rather large bill at the end of the night. It was an unexpected end to their month long holiday but it was such a laugh – I suspected both Mom and I would suffer from hangovers and leg twinges from all the dancing when we got up tomorrow!
It was the first day after being told I had no food allergies on Wednesday 10th November and I was about to take full advantage of eating and drinking whatever I fancied without thinking about it. Of course I decided to keep on with the probiotic drinks every morning as that can only be a good thing. I also had 2 slices of buttered toast for my breakfast and I knew we would be out for lunch and dinner today. Captain Caveman had replied while I had been asleep to say he still thinks I’m allergic to chillies, gluten and eggs and that I should probably try ruling them out to see what happens. The building site next door was particularly noisy this morning as the acro poles were being put up for support and the concrete staircase was going in. The lira had gone past 13.5 lira to the pound which was great for tourists but not so good for the Turks or people who lived here and had money in the bank here. I went over to my parents’ place and gave my Mom a letter for my English bank to request a new card, as it had expired during the pandemic and I couldn’t do anything about it from Vietnam. Mom was booked in for her hair cutting with my hairdresser, Emrah, who is fantastic, at 1.30pm so we walked round together while Dad waited in for the workmen to come, who didn’t arrive. I’d decided I needed another pedicure so popped to Mimi’s but unfortunately they were not available for a walk-in appointment (I should have booked). Instead, I went in to a shop on the main road and found some sunglasses for 90 lira (£6.65) as I’d inadvertently left mine in Phong Nha. I’d just got home when Mom messaged to say they were off for lunch in Jiks so to meet there in 5 minutes. I had a beer while I waited for them and then when they got there Dad was off the booze because he’d not felt so great. Mom ordered a tuna sandwich and chips, Dad had an omelette and I decided to go for it with a chicken burger. It was really good and came with 2 pieces of chicken breast on my bread, served with chips and salad too. As it was a nice, sunny day we decided to have a walk to a place by the river, Okyanus, where we had a beer and I got to put my new sunglasses on. My stomach started to swell right up like I was about to give birth but I had no other stomach issues. In the evening we decided to go to an old favourite that we hadn’t been to yet, Kordon. Mom ordered a spring roll and some fresh fish, Dad went for cheese rolls and a casserole and I decided to have prawns then risk the steak with gorgonzola cheese sauce. We all had wine and it was a lovely warm night, sat by the indoor fire, as the temperatures outside were quite cold now. The meal was lovely, we all enjoyed what we chose to eat and I had no noticeable reaction to the cheese sauce. As we left to walk home the temperature outside was quite cold and it was nice to get home and under the duvet that night.