Dalyan – 28th & 29th October

Dalyan – 28th & 29th October

By 7.10am on Friday 28th October, I was up and ready for a walk, even if Norman and Edna weren’t! They had slept on my bed all night and were still a little snoozy. The view from my bedroom window was wonderful and I thought it would be lovely to be round that pool in summer. After bread and cheese for breakfast I took Daisy, my bicycle, back home to see how Captain Caveman was doing. His foot was still bad but he could walk a bit better now. I left my bike for him to use and I walked back to Jamie’s for more dog fussing. In all the faffing about I forgot to get weighed or do my weekly measurements. I started making a chicken casserole for dinner while Captain Caveman got moved in and fussed the dogs. He had brought lots of stuff for the fridge and freezer which we just about managed to squidge in. For our evening walk, which was easier with 2 people we took the dogs to nearby Waterfall bar. They know Skippy, the Waterfall dog, and we met my parents there. John and Andrea were in with friends but came to say hello and pet the pooches. When Edna and Norman wanted to chase cats it was time to go home for dinner. While Captain Caveman sorted my parents out with a glass of wine, I fed the dogs who ate like they had never been fed. We had a civilised evening, eating chicken casserole with broccoli and roast potatoes. My Mom pointed out that Dad had been given more potatoes than Captain Caveman which then meant Captain Caveman was disappointed to not have as much dinner. I’d not made a dessert but there were some mini-Magnum icecreams in the freezer, taking up unnecessary room, so we polished them off. After another glass of wine and some dog tickles I booked Fikri (the taxi driver) to take my parents home so they didn’t get lost in the dark.

There was a bit of a ‘to do’ on Saturday 29th October; at first I wasn’t sure which of the dogs were ill because they had both left presents in the kitchen but one wasn’t very solid! It turned out that Edna had a bad tummy so I made her scrambled egg and pasta for breakfast. I was meant to be meeting Vanessa for Turkish homework but had to cancel as I didn’t want to leave Edna in the house with the runs. I let Jamie know she wasn’t too well and I stayed home all day with the dogs.
Captain Caveman went to the weekly market where he bought potatoes, onions, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots for less than 100 lira (£5). At Migros supermarket he bought Fairy liquid, apple & cherry juice and white beans for 80 lira (under £4). We had a few walks and Edna managed to have the runs on her own garden path which Captain Caveman washed for us. I mainly stayed outside on the patio where the sun was really hot and I was glad of Jamie’s suncream shelf as I hadn’t thought I’d need to bring any at this time of year. By 5pm I was having a glass of wine and updating my diary while the dogs snoozed.
In the evening we were invited to Deniz’s wedding party at Paradise Hotel but we decided not to leave Edna (or Norman) in case things didn’t improve. I made more scrambled egg and noodles for Edna’s dinner and turned left overs in to a chicken casserole with white beans. It was really good and I would do the same recipe but with sausages next time. Before 10pm it looked like little Edna was on the mend and all but me were enjoying sofa snoozes! We had plans for tomorrow but we had already decided I would stay home if Edna was not 100% and Captain Caveman would go without me.

Dalyan – 26th & 27th October

Dalyan – 26th & 27th October

Captain Caveman woke up in pain on Wednesday 26th October, he was sneezy and his gout had flared up so he couldn’t get out of bed. I went to the bakers for bread and a simit and we had Turkish style breakfast. Captain Caveman struggled to make it to the table and had to dose himself up on painkillers. A friend messaged me to say all had gone well yesterday at the hospital for her husband, which was excellent news. I went to Jamie’s to pop over for a dog related briefing as we were moving in to his place tomorrow, while he and Drew jetted off to a wedding.
In the afternoon I went to my first Fat Club meeting and it was quite funny. The idea is that we follow Slimming World’s philosophy, although Kate is doing her’s as calorie counting instead. I’d already lost 0.8kg by our leader, Carol’s, reckoning but that was only because I had given her my current weight from my scales at home, which weigh heavier. I needed to lose 10kg so we would see if I could manage that given all the temptations in Dalyan. I was hoping to use the group for motivation, inspiration, ideas and obviously the tracking of the weight. Carol had us all discuss when we can do a Christmas knees up (with food and drink) and then went on to plan for us to bring treats to the group in a fortnight’s time. At first I didn’t hear that they were meant to be syn free treats and had visions of me tucking in to a Bounty!
I went home with two borrowed Slimming World cook books, some ideas for soup making and all full of determination. I had an apple for a snack, followed by a home made chicken, potato and spinach curry with steamed rice. I worked out I could have 15 syns each day and thought that would be plenty as I don’t tend to snack or eat much sweet stuff (or so I thought)! Captain Caveman was laid up on the sofa and could barely walk so I had to go out without him. I met my parents at Retro bar and decided to have a glass of white wine and soda so that I had a more sensible drink which would last longer. I don’t like to drink diet drinks because of how the body reacts, plus they don’t taste great. Maureen and Gary arrived and we got on with the quiz, the picture round was quite tricky in parts. We had a good laugh at the quiz and we didn’t do as badly without Captain Caveman as he would have predicted, but we didn’t win. I stuck to just 2 white wine and sodas, which was 17 syns and I’d already had 6 syns at breakfast. Today I had already gone over my daily allowance and would have to keep it in check a bit for the rest of the week.

Captain Caveman was still not well on Thursday 27th October so I had to move in to Jamie’s villa without him. I started the day with a simit, hazelnut and tahini paste mixed together and a cup of Yorkshire tea with milk. Then I said bye to Captain Caveman and cycled over to Jamie’s. It was the first time he had left his 2 King Charles Caveliers in Turkey and he was, understandably, a bit apprehensive and sad. He’d already given them their breakfast and daily treat and then he said his goodbyes. Jamie’s cleaner had made some cake which he had left some for me to finish off as well as 4 bottles of red wine – day 2 of the diet was going well!
Norman and Edna were absolutely fine as soon as Jamie had left and were quite happy being fussed or snoozing. When I took them for a walk they were so cute and comical but very well behaved. For lunch I had a cheese sandwich, I drank lots of water and had noodles for dinner but then I had a small piece of the cake! This meant I had consumed 8 syns today so I was still already over as a running total, so far. The cake was so nice, very moist and the dogs really wanted some. Instead they got their biscuits which they inhaled so quickly I thought they might choke. Norman had scoffed his before I’d even put the lid back on the tub, I was going to have to be careful I didn’t drop anything on the floor when cooking or that would be snaffled up.
When it came to bed time I wasn’t sure if the pooches would go in their bed or stay on the sofa and so I asked them. It was hilarious that the word bedtime had them halfway up the stairs looking at me, as if to say “Well, come on then!”

Dalyan – 24th & 25th October

Dalyan – 24th & 25th October

While I met another clothes buying friend, on Monday 24th October, Captain Caveman made us another breakfast fry up. We had our breakfast as a brunch and it was very nice. I thought, as I had a quiet week, this week, I might join the Fat Club on Wednesday. Some of the Dalyan ladies had already been doing quite well and I did want to lose a bit of weight – my winter clothes were a bit too snug!
For dinner I made chicken with potatoes, onion, carrot, spinach and corn on the cob which was quite tasty (and I love corn on the cob with a bit of Lurpak butter on)! No alcohol was drank by me today, which made a nice change. That night we stayed in and watched more of the Jeffrey Dahmer series on Netflix.

It was a busy and eventful day on Tuesday 25th October. Captain Caveman was at the supermarket while I was getting ready for Turkish class. Here’s what he bought on his first trip;

Migros Supermarket
Tinned tomatoes 18.32
2 Chocolate croissants 21.90
Rice 28.50
2 Orange juice 52.00
2 jars peanut butter 89.80

Total spent 210.52 lira (£10)

While I was at Turkish class, Captain Caveman went back to Migros and bought chocolate spread and tahini for a total of 70.95 lira (£3.38) so that I could have this for breakfast. He also wanted the tahini for his Baba Ganoush making.
At lunchtime I went to Kaunos tea gardens with my parents and Vanessa, Captain Caveman was meant to join us but went to the wrong tea garden and said I told him the wrong one. I had a standard sized Turkish tea which is a bargain 4 lira (19p), Vanessa was sensible and had a large tea for 6 lira (29p) and my parents were on the Efes Malt at 50 lira (£2.38). My parents had a cheese toastie each, I had a cheese gözleme (pancake) and Vanessa had a chocolate one. Each were 35 lira (£1.67) and the food is served quickly with good sized portions. I couldn’t manage half of mine so when Captain Caveman arrived an hour late, he finished mine. He’d already had a beer and his lunch at the other tea garden on his own, out of principle. Mom, Vanessa and I left Captain Caveman and Dad at the hardware store, Vanessa and I pushed our bikes and walked along with Mom.
Our next adventure was singing group where we were also joined by Kate. Gay Gaz had kept threatening to join but he had not appeared as yet. We sang most of the usual ones but this time there was ‘Some Days are Diamonds’.
After singing group, Kate had arranged to meet Mark at Okyanus so I’d messaged Captain Caveman for him and Dad to meet us there. Unfortunately Mark had arrived 20 minutes before Captain Caveman, Dad and the bar man and couldn’t get a beer. He’d left with the face on and gone to Jiks so Kate went home and we went to Okyanus. Captain Caveman and Dad had managed to get served fine, in fact they had managed to get served without delay in all the bars they went in after the hardware store, so we messaged Mark to come join us. He was still sulking and had already decided Okyanus wasn’t for him today. As the sun went behind the trees at Okyanus, we decided to chase the warmth and go to Tez bar. We were only going for one because I had a chicken dish in the slow cooker for dinner. There was a man there, called Big Bob, who decided to corner my (quite tiddly) Dad’s attention and talk at him for about an hour. When I went to the toilet, just before we were leaving there was a bit of an ‘incident’. Captain Caveman had been listening to Big Bob’s bullshit and decided to address this with him. When I emerged from the back of Tez’s, my parents were stood up saying bye and Captain Caveman had left. There was no sign of Big Bob either! My mom was worried I would tell Captain Caveman off because he does have a tendency to be rather blunt, often considered rude to some. When I asked what happened she said Captain Caveman had told Big Bob he was full of shit and no one wanted to listen to it. You can’t take him anywhere! On this occasion he was right, though, as it turned out 2 sets of people we know had already left Tez bar that afternoon because Big Bob was there.
At home we ate the chicken slow cooker dinner with rice and were about to settle down for the night. Jamie messaged to ask if we wanted to meet him at Lukka bar for one so off we went, back out. Norman and Edna, the dogs, were there too so we made a fuss of them and drank a couple more drinks while chatting.
Neighbours and friends of Vanessa’s came past, on their way to Retro bar, and we arranged to see them at the quiz tomorrow night.

Dalyan – 12th October

Dalyan – 12th October

I woke up on Wednesday 12th October with a bit of a woolly head from trying to keep up drinking with the boys last night. I don’t know why we didn’t just get a taxi home and me come back for my bicycle this morning, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Kate was already up tending to the cats when we saw the news of how bad the floods were in Vietnam. Hoi An was looking particularly bad this year but lots of central areas were affected. We were loaded up with produce from England for the house and cat sitting. Kate had brought us back some treats such as cheese, crumpets, malt loaf and bacon which Captain Caveman and I were very grateful for. I rode my bicycle back while Captain Caveman was going to get a lift on the double seated mobility scooter with Mark. I said bye, Mark and Kate said thank you and off I cycled with my rucksack. At the turtle roundabout, outside the bank, I was overtaken by Mark, Kate and Captain Caveman on the disability scooter and given some abuse for being a ‘slowy’!
At home we had diet pizzas for lunch and then I popped to Maisie Moo. Captain Caveman and I met my parents for a drink at Lukka bar as Captain Caveman had ordered a hire car from Dalaman, which was coming at 5pm. As a treat we had decided to dine a little out of town, in nearby Gokbel. This is where Tay and Angelique’s house was and she had recommended a small cafe called Olabilir. They couldn’t join us as they were busy so the 4 of us decided to try it. The views over the hills and a mosque there were lovely and the menu was definitely interesting. We ordered drinks first and, because they don’t sell alcohol, Mom and I ordered the surprise juice, Dad had a Coke and Captain Caveman a Turkish coffee. We loved the juice which I think contained fresh mulberries and Captain Caveman said the coffee was good. For dinner my parents’ first choice wasn’t available so they had a pasta arrabbiata. Captain Caveman and I chose Mantı, which is a kind of Turkish ravioli. This was the first time Captain Caveman had tried it and he enjoyed it, as did I. The place is really nice and we had a nice time, it was good to try somewhere different and out of town. It was also super cheap as our mantı dish was only 65 lira (£3.10). Unfortunately during our dinner Captain Caveman was involved in the WhatsApp group chat for our apartment complex where the pool and maintenance contact was calling me a liar and saying he hadn’t been able to do the garden because there was no electricity. It had been working in June, July, August and September so I wondered what the excuse was then. I was glad I wasn’t on WhatsApp and wished Captain Caveman could leave his phone alone while we were trying to have a nice meal out.
Out next stop, after Captain Caveman dropped the car back in Dalyan, was Retro bar for Quiz night. We had a good time and, although we didn’t win, we did win the draw for the round of free drinks. How that works is that you get the same as your last round again for up to 4 people for free. How fortuitous of us that Captain Caveman and I had ordered a bottle of red wine plus my parents had an Efes Malt beer each. That made our night and was funny because we had said we were having an easy one tonight. We had to be up bright-eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow, ready for a road trip.

Dalyan – 11th October

Dalyan – 11th October

Kate and Mark were due back later on Tuesday 11th October, I was up early and feeding the cats, watering the plants and generally tidying up ready for their return. I even gave the kitchen cupboard doors a clean, up to where I could reach, as the sun shining on them highlighted some smears. The weather forecast was looking good for my parents’ first day in Dalyan and Ma had messaged me late last night to say they had arrived safely. Captain Caveman and I cycled home for me to pick up my Turkish workbooks and had some breakfast there. We had fresh figs, plums, yoghurt and I had a drizzle of honey on mine. Turkish class at Casablanca hotel went well but it was definitely starting to get harder.
After class I took photos of the electric meters through the overgrown bougainvillea, meaning some photos were tricky to read, to try to sort out the communal electric situation for Captain Caveman.

Next, we met my parents at Okyanus as I had to be at another appointment at 2pm. It was great to see Ma & Pa, they were looking well and pleased to be back in Dalyan. Captain Caveman gave Ma her new phone from Vietnam and she was very giddy, especially with the face recognition unlock function. We had a beer, some lunch and a great laugh before Captain Caveman spotted Ramazan, the owner, had some secateurs. During our meal Captain Caveman had been getting messages on the communal WhatsApp group to ask what was happening with the electric, which was still off. We needed to be able to get in the electric meter cabinet a bit better, so Captain Caveman borrowed Ramazan’s cutters, hurried home to cut the overgrown bougainvillea so we could open the cupboard wider, then returned them.

I had to leave my parents and Captain Caveman at Okyanus while I went to Merhaba Cafe. The weekly singing group at the café in the Mico hotel was starting again for winter. I think I’m one of the youngest there which often means the song choices are ones I don’t know. A book is passed round for each person to write their requests in (from an already established list), most attendees pick their same favourites each week but I didn’t pick any this time. This week we sang quite a collection but there was a definite theme running through most of the lyrics. Here’s a list of the songs we sang today:

The Skye Boat Song
Swinging on a Star
Always on my Mind
Four Strong Winds
The Rose
Only Sixteen
I don’t know why I love you (but I do)
Meet Me on the Corner
You don’t know
Hallelujah
Halfway to Paradise
Annie’s Song
Blanket on the Ground
Wonderful Tonight
The Galway Shawl
Let it be Me
All Alone am I
Twighlight Time

Shiela, the accordion player, introduced us to a new song which we were given the lyrics to ready to give it a go next week. The group members are rather amusing and can say “it’s not a choir” or “it’s not karaoke” and, if you pick a song they don’t like, someone will let you know. Overall though, they are a nice group and I do enjoy a good warble.

After singing, Captain Caveman and I met at Rehab bar for a cheeky beer and then my parents came to join us. We ordered pizzas and a pide from Sosyete, next door, and had a good laugh until we had to get back to Mark and Kate’s for our last cat feed of our stay. The pizzas were lovely and we got a free salad with 2 dips which was appreciated.
Back at the house, all the cats were fed and waiting for their owners to return. We had packed up ready to leave and stay at our apartment tonight but we ended up staying one more night. We had a few welcome back drinks with Mark, Kate hadn’t been too well and was drinking water. Mark got us a cheese board with various nibbles out and we had a good time. We had quite a late night and I hoped Captain Caveman would be ok for tomorrow’s planned excitement.

Dalyan – 9th & 10th October

Dalyan – 9th & 10th October

I was up and feeding the cats around 7am on Sunday 9th October, the mornings were starting to get a little chilly now. Captain Caveman was still a sneezy mess despite 180mg of fexofenadine each day. The internet was still patchy too so we decided to cycle over to our apartment for breakfast. We left the cats out playing and had a lovely leisurely journey back in to town. We ate fresh bread, various spreads and I had yoghurt with jam.
The issue of the pool and garden maintenance raised it’s head again when we were told of complaints from some neighbour’s guests. The pool and garden was unkempt, the communal electric was off and the rentals in 2 apartments had complained to their Estate Agent. They had asked for a full refund and moved out, we couldn’t understand the issue with the electric though. Captain Caveman took over the communal payment of the electric for our complex, of 10 apartments several years ago. He had also had a notification from the bank that the payment would be taken tomorrow. As far as we were concerned there shouldn’t have been a problem but it was about to turn in to one.
We stayed home for lunch and had the Slimming World style pizzas with a glass of wine. When we got back to Mark and Kate’s house the sun was almost setting and the cats arrived early for feeding.
We had dinner of the leftover chicken and salad picnic, I had a glass or 2 of wine and Captain Caveman had a beer or 2 while stroking JC, the cat!

By 7.30am on Monday 10th October all the cats had been fed and were playing outside. Bebek and Bubble liked to pretend they were modelling for a photo shoot on top of the sex swing. By 9am Captain Caveman (still a sneezy mess) and I were at Migros picking up some breakfast and provisions. We bought 3 croissants and 1400g of chicken for 123.39 lira (£5.74). I took a photo of the prices of taxis in Dalyan and was getting excited at the arrival of my parents later tonight. They were due to land at 10.30pm at Dalaman airport and we were looking forward to spending lots of time with them.
Back home we shared the croissants and Captain Caveman went Dogging at the shelter. I got involved in pool and garden maintenance issues over messages about the contractor and the communal electric. There were complaints via our Aussie friends about the garden not being tended too and questions asked about if anyone had seen a gardener. I’m no Miss Marple but, by my account, no workman had been since about the end of May. My photo of my bicycle this morning showed the hose pipe and Rosemary bush had not been touched since I left for Vietnam on 3rd June. More back and forth comments went on with some owners about the state of the overhanging bushes and trees (including the ones I had cut down a year or so ago and had resulted in Bougainvillea-gate). I got annoyed, took the scissors down to the garden and started snipping away – I knew that failed hairdressing course would come in handy one day!
Once I’d done as much as I could reach, I sent photos to the affected neighbours, informed them it only took me 10 minutes and messaged Captain Caveman to tell him to pick up the spiky cuttings and bin them when he got back. I was getting a bit peeved with the whole situation! When Captain Caveman returned I made suggestions to get another maintenance company lined up for 2023. If he waited much longer to get someone to price for the job we would miss out as all the good ones get snapped up. My thumb remained numb for the rest of the day, from trimming a hedge with kitchen scissors.

I took a photo of the spare bedroom which now had a new bedside table. I’d bought it last year at IKEA and not put it up, so Captain Caveman had done it. We were ready for having guests now and there were a few due.
News of flash flood warnings in central Vietnam came and we were glad that we weren’t there at the moment. Our friends there were preparing for power outages and severe floods. Meanwhile my parents were at Manchester airport ready to come to Dalyan, after 3 months back in Sheffield. When Captain Caveman returned from Dogging he picked up all the sharp cuttings from the pathway, surveyed my handiwork, got annoyed at the garden situation and didn’t even thank me for trying to help.
That evening, after watering the plants, playing and feeding with the cats I got ready for a night out. Jamie came to pick up Captain Caveman and I at 7pm and we went to his villa. Drew had cooked us a lovely lasagne and we had quite a bit of red wine with it. We got to meet (again) Edna and Norman, Jamie’s dogs, who we would be looking after soon.
It was a lovely meal, Jamie dropped us back off and went to pick up his friend from the airport. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day!

Dalyan – 7th October

Dalyan – 7th October

There had been a massive storm during the night so I woke up quite tired on Friday 7th October. There had been 4 out of 6 cats in the house during the early hours. Bubble, Squeak, JC and Bebek had come home to shelter because they were scared. It was only at breakfast feeding that the other 2, Casha and Kylie, showed up looking a tad hungry. We cycled back over to our apartment because I needed to use the internet and the one at Mark and Kate’s wasn’t working very well. I did my weekly weigh in only to find I had lost 0.35kg but my measurements weren’t great;
Bust +1.5cm, Waist +2cm, Hips +2cm, no changes to any leg measurements.
We had pasta for lunch at home and then made our way over to Rehab bar for a quick draft beer in the sun. We had a chat with Angelique and Tay, Angelique invited me over to take a look at their new home in Gokbel. The place was impressive, in a gorgeous spot and I helped her measure up for a fence. She dropped me back at Mark and Kate’s, where Captain Caveman had already arrived, and we played with the cats for a bit. Captain Caveman was so sneezy that he wasn’t going to stay over but in the end he did. I promised to hoover and clean everywhere tomorrow to try to get rid of some of the cat fur, in the hope he would be less affected. It might have been a good idea for him not to pet the cute kitties too!

For sunset we walked down to the jetty with an alcoholic beverage and I took lots of photos of the beautiful scenery.
We had the rest of our Sosyete takeaway from last night, for our dinner, and it was still delicious. Captain Caveman was very sneezy, there was no TV and the internet was still not working so we were in bed at just after 9pm.

Dalyan – 3rd October

Dalyan – 3rd October

Monday 3rd October was a bit of shocker! We were both quite hungover and I can’t quite remember the specific time when I realised my wedding faux pas yesterday. I had only been invited to the evening party of Victoria Louise Scott and Bünyamin’s wedding but we had attended the whole thing. I wasn’t even sure I was meant to have taken Captain Caveman as a plus one! I didn’t know what the etiquette was, on realising this mistake, so I decided doing nothing for now would be the best idea.
Feeling a bit delicate, Captain Caveman and I took ourselves out for breakfast. It was our first visit to Ela’s Bar & Kitchen and probably Captain Caveman’s first English breakfast in quite some time. It was already busy with customers when we arrived and there were no tables available in the shade so we waited at the bar, while chatting to Nicola, one of the owners. Once seated, we ordered the large breakfast which was 145 lira (£6.88) and included a hot drink. We were a bit thirsty and also ordered freshly squeezed orange juice which was so good.
The breakfast was amazing and a definite contender for the best in Dalyan, I’d say. Captain Caveman helped the owners by adding the place to Google maps and then we walked home.

Even though it was sunny and hot there were signs of the end of season approaching. Leaves were in the pool now, the pump was off, the garden was even more overgrown and we still hadn’t seen the pool or garden man.
That afternoon it was playing on my mind that we may have accidentally attended too much of the wedding yesterday so I sent a message to Victoria, not expecting an answer but more to apologise for my error. We didn’t need a lunch but we did eat dinner at home before our next adventure. I made us chicken and veg wraps with rice and salad, it tasted very nice. Victoria responded to say not to worry, she saw the funny side and reassuringly let me know all was good – I was relieved and happy about this.

Because I had a bicycle, I rode Daisy while Captain Caveman walked to Mark & Kate’s house. We arrived in time to say bye to them, before their airport taxi arrived. Captain Caveman took a beer from Mark and went to sit in the sex swing outside by the pool. Due to a technical hitch we weren’t staying over at Mark and Kate’s that night, after all, which meant we could go out out. We would be cat sitting while they were in England though.
Gay Gaz messaged to say he was in Jiks so we went to meet him for him to tell us he had a microlight flight booked for tomorrow morning. Since the cable car trip, he was wanting to face his fears and we jokingly said we would look out for him going over our apartment tomorrow morning. He was laughing a lot, coughing a lot and putting the customers on the next table off their food.

Dalyan – 29th September

Dalyan – 29th September

On Thursday 29th September we had a rather lovely day. After I’d finished my morning’s tasks, it was time to go over to view the bicycle that was for sale. Sarah, who works at Hotel Dalyance, was selling an ordinary basket bicycle for 500 lira (£24 approx). Captain Caveman and I walked it to her house in the hot sun and when we got there, he took it for a test cycle. I went in to the house with Sarah and fussed the dogs, who were really sweet. Captain Caveman decided the bicycle was worth the money, he paid for it and then I had a little go to cycle it. I’m not so proficient on a new bicycle and on a busy road but I gave it a try. I had to stop a couple of times to suss out the gears and then I decided we could go to the Kaunos tea gardens on our way home. The Turkish tea is only 4 lira (20p) and is very good so I had that. Captain Caveman had a lemon drink and we shared a spinach and cheese gözleme (square pancake) which were very nice. It was then I realised my bicycle had a name, Daisy Uğur, so I sent a photo of it to Daisy who was highly amused as one of her friends is called Uğur. I agreed to give her the bike as a wedding present should she ever marry Uğur.

On the way back home we went through town and changed some dollars at Aksoy jewellers. I had to be at the hairdresser’s for 4.30pm for my hair doing so Captain Caveman went shopping in Migros.

Here’s what he bought;
1 brown sliced loaf 24.95
1 ice cube tray 49.95
650g chicken 65.13

Total spent 140.03 lira (£6.83)

My hair cost me 450 lira (£22) which was cheap by UK prices but had gone up by 150 lira in 3 months. Emrah always does a fantastic job so I was still pleased with my hair. I usually like to go out after I’ve had my hair done but tonight we were staying home. The overgrown shrubbery and trees on our complex were becoming a menace and I had to bend down to get to our stairs without getting my new hair in the leaves and branches!
To celebrate Thirsty Thursday and my new hair (although Captain Caveman hadn’t commented on my new look) I opened a bottle of Tılsım red wine.
We were sat enjoying a glass on the balcony when Greg brought us over an orange chair which they had decided to replace. The Aussies had been tarting up their apartments and were getting rid of some really nice items.
Captain Caveman loved his new chair and sat in it straight away to check it out. It was super comfy and we both like the colour so we kept it. For dinner Captain Caveman whipped up a chicken and halloumi salad and we polished off the wine!

Dalyan – 27th & 28th September

Dalyan – 27th & 28th September

Our Turkish class was cancelled on the morning of Tuesday 27th September. This meant I could enjoy an unexpected easy day at home. For breakfast I had peaches, figs, yoghurt and honey while Captain Caveman made himself an omelette to have with fresh bread. Our Aussie friends had took themselves off to IKEA in İzmir and Captain Caveman had started to do some small jobs around the apartment.
I got on with pickling some beetroot and onions and then we got an unexpected invite out. Kate messaged to let us know that Daisy would be singing at River Terrace that evening so would we come along to support her. Of course, we said yes but decided we would eat at home first. Captain Caveman had his first go at making the pizzas on wraps and they turned out pretty nice. He also did a Halloumi side salad and we opened a bottle of Tılsım red wine to go with it.
We got to River Terrace before Daisy started singing and she was a bit nervous, she has a lovely singing voice though. By 10pm she was performing a great version of Country Roads, she was pretty good at an Amy Winehouse song too. The customers seemed to enjoy the music, the regular singer and guitarist were also very good but Ali, one of the owners, was totally impressed by Daisy. Kate and I even got up to dance with some other customers from another table so I’d say she had a successful night.

Captain Caveman went to Migros supermarket twice on Wednesday 28th September. The first time he bought 2 chocolate croissants and an onion loaf which cost a total of 40.45 lira (£1.98) and we had a lovely breakfast. On the second visit he bought eggs and bin liners for a total of 54.80 lira (£2.67). For lunch we had the onion bread with hummus, haydari, carrots, gherkins and olives, which was nice.
I spotted a bicycle for sale and enquired about it as it would be great to have some wheels to get about, especially when I’m doing any house or pet sitting for friends. I arranged to go to look at the bike tomorrow and was looking forward to being mobile.
That evening Captain Caveman and I went to the Retro bar quiz with Gay Gaz, Amanda and Greg. Surprisingly we managed to come joint first in the quiz but when we got home Tom, the quizmaster, had put a comment on Facebook that our score was wrong by 10 points so we didn’t actually win. I replied that we hadn’t marked our own so it’s not like we were cheating! I don’t really like quizzes because I’m not very good at them, whereas Captain Caveman loves a quiz. Tom Cree, the man who does the quiz, is very good and makes it more fun. I also like going to Retro bar as it is one of my favourites.

Dalyan – 31st August

Dalyan – 31st August

At 4.20am on Wednesday 31st August Captain Caveman had landed in Istanbul. At 6.50am he was on the plane to Dalaman and I was already up and about. I was excited for his arrival and had arranged for a taxi driver to pick him up from Dalaman airport around 8am. I’d agreed with Mark to have the borrowed bicycle returned to him by the evening but was conscious I would have a busy day. I decided to cycle over there to drop it off before it got too hot. It was just after 7am when I saw Kate feeding the cats, I had a glass of water and admired their new mobility scooter type vehicles which had arrived yesterday. I even took a photo sat on one and then walked home. It had not crossed my mind, until Kate mentioned it, that I now looked like I was doing the walk of shame back from their house, before my fella got home. Crikey – that would get the Dalyan rumour mill started (again)! Kylie and JC, the cats, followed me almost as far as the water spring and were very vocal. When I got home I did a few chores, then got prepared for my Turkish lesson. Captain Caveman arrived around 10am with lots of luggage and was pleased to be back in Dalyan. After all this time he was also surprised to have to push through the ‘born again’ bougainvillea outside of the gate to get in, with all his luggage. Sausage Dick had requested some tobacco so Captain Caveman had managed to get him 500g of Amber Leaf for €53.90 at Dalaman airport. Unfortunately Captain Caveman couldn’t get too comfy as he wasn’t staying long. In 16 hours we would be on our way back to Dalaman airport.

We both walked to the Casablanca Hotel, where my Turkish class was, then Captain Caveman went to the hardware shop to buy some screws for the door handles. My class was challenging because I’d missed 3 months but I wasn’t as badly behind as I would’ve been if Sioned had not been sending me the lessons. Vanessa and I had also been keeping up with a bit of it while away from Turkey so it seemed to be ok. Sioned told us that our Turkish classes were changing and we would have them on Tuesdays at 10am from next week. We also had a fella from another group join our class and the only other original members there today, were Steve and Janice.
After Turkish class, I walked to meet Captain Caveman at Okyanus for lunch, a tradition Vanessa and I had started. We bumped in to Babs and had a bit of a natter, she said she’d come over to join us shortly. Captain Caveman and I had a cold Efes, said hello to Bakı, who works at Okyanus, and ordered wraps each. My chicken wrap was lovely and Captain Caveman enjoyed his meatball wrap, the chips were home cooked and it came with a good salad selection. At 2.50pm I left Captain Caveman and Babs to finish their drinks and went back home.

I was in the middle of doing something on my laptop when I started getting messages and phone calls asking where I was. It was around 4.30pm and I thought it was a bit strange.
It turned out that an event I had created on Facebook, while still in Vietnam, for 7pm tonight, was showing as 3pm today.
It was meant to be at River Terrace tonight for Captain Caveman’s welcome back drinks but Nanny Kay, Leanne, Katrina, Debbie and Sarah were already there. I didn’t realise that Facebook changes the time to the country where your phone says you are located. Captain Caveman went to find people and explain, then ended up having a drink with Katrina at Lukka bar. He briefly saw Sarah and Jamie but the others had gone home. Poor Nanny Kay was a bit cheesed off, especially as she had paid 40 lira (£2) for a can of diet coke while she waited, then we didn’t arrive.
We had a table booked for 5.30pm at Bistro Blue, for just the 2 of us. It was nice to see Annie and Selahı again and we had a table outside in the sunshine. We shared cheese rolls and liver & onion starters then both had salads for mains. Captain Caveman had Halloumi, I had steak and blue cheese, all the food was delicious and the red wine went down rather well.

At 7pm, as intended, I went over to River Terrace to meet anyone who was still coming to Captain Caveman’s ‘not quite 1 night in Dalyan’ event. He was meant to be following close behind but got chatting and was even later. Katrina, couldn’t stay long but Ann, Jax, Debbie (Darling), Rach, Nuri, Mark, Kate, Maddie, Sam and Sarah made it out out. We had a good night and Captain Caveman was happy to be back.
After lots of drinks, Captain Caveman was hungry again so we went to Kebapçı Yusuf where I had the chicken liver wrap and Captain Caveman had some sort of lamb meal. The food and service was very good, as always, and it was still one of my firm favourites to eat at. Captain Caveman managed to fall asleep a couple of times so we went home, just before midnight, to wait for the taxi.

Dalyan – 29th August

Dalyan – 29th August

When I woke up on Monday 29th August Captain Caveman was already about to start his journey, from Vietnam to Turkey. It had been almost 3 years since he had last been to Dalyan, mainly due to the pandemic, and he was looking forward to returning. He had managed to move all of our belongings from Elements Collection back to the Glass House with just a motorbike and had said his goodbyes to Stu and the boys last night. I got up and headed outside where I was met by Kitler, the cat, and some kittens. Someone had now put the cat who looked like Hitler, hence the Kitler name, a bell round it’s neck. One of the rules of our complex is no pets but, for some reason, someone is encouraging the cats by feeding them, and there were empty cat food containers and cardboard littered about the place. I cycled, on my borrowed bicycle, to the Captainnet office to pay for our internet for the next 3 months. It cost 420 lira (£21) in total so, although it had increased, it still wasn’t too bad and the nice lady said it was working immediately.
Back home I still couldn’t find the padlock key for my important cupboard but luckily I managed to find a friend who had some tools to break it for me. As Chris was leaving, there was a couple outside the gate asking which of the apartments in our block were for sale. I didn’t know for certain, there was no ‘For Sale’ sign anywhere. They had friends who wanted to look at it and had been kept waiting by the agent so they were keen on finding out more info. I was running late to meet friends in Tez bar so I left them, waiting inside the complex, in the hot sun. On my way round the corner to another of my locals I saw Jamie and Drew at Lukka bar. They were off shopping so couldn’t come for drinks, we said we would catch up soon though.
I met Mark, Kate, Adam and Kath (another one of my favourite couples) at Tez bar where it was very nice and sunny. It was also good to see Tez and his wife again after being away for a while. I had a couple of white wine and sodas, Debbie joined us for one too, then Sarah arrived. It was nice to relax and chat with everyone, even though I hadn’t missed too much from being in Vietnam. We were all quite sensible for a Monday afternoon; Mark and Kate left to go home in one direction, Adam and Kath in the opposite one. After a couple of drinks which came to 200 lira (£10), we were all going our separate ways but I realised I had no food in at home. I had to drop off Katrina’s lemongrass oil, at Maisie Moo so I decided to go to Lukka Bar, by myself, where I had a large draft Efes beer for 55 lira (£2.75) and I had a delicious sweet and sour chicken for 195 lira (£9.75). It was very nice and I even took a little bit home with me as the portion size was substantial.

Dalyan – 28th August

Dalyan – 28th August

My first day in Dalyan, on Sunday 28th August, was great! I managed to log in to one of the neighbours WiFi and let people know I had arrived. My eczema was terrible from wearing the facemasks and I had to take antihistamines plus slather the cream on. I spotted a message from Kate to say that her and Mark weren’t still out last night when I arrived but I was invited today for lunch. As I had not had the fridge on, I was appreciative of this kind offer and had also agreed prior, to borrow a bicycle from Mark for 4 days. I checked the apartment and all was well except for I couldn’t find my key for the padlocked cupboard, which had everything I needed in it! Downstairs, I noticed that the garden was pretty overgrown and the attacking bushes last night had been some pretty spiky, overgrown bougainvillea. The electric meter cupboard was difficult to open on account of the bougainvillea growing back in the way of the doors. The pool pump was on but the pool itself looked like it needed a good clean before I’d get in for a swim. There was washing at the bottom of our stairs so it looked like I had next door neighbours. In the living area I noticed what looked like coffee on one of the cushions, which was odd because I was the last one in the apartment except for the cleaner, I don’t drink coffee. I booked a taxi for 2pm with Fikri and took a bottle of wine and some sodas to Mark and Kate’s house. It was great to see them again and there was a welcome back beer to be had. The 2 baby cats had grown and they now had a new kitten who was particularly cute. Kate had excelled herself by making a full-on pork Sunday dinner with all the trimmings – it was so good.
I probably should have planned things slightly better but I managed to cycle back in to town from Mark and Kate’s, after 2 beers and half a bottle of wine, on a borrowed bicycle! I thought I was going home for more sleep but I just had to say hello to Katrina and Mehmet at Lukka bar, my local bar. Katrina bought me a welcome back red wine and then phoned Sarah and Debbie (Darling) to see if they were coming over to meet me. They arrived, we had more wine, and Sarah showed me her broken wrist which she was in a bad way with. I saw İsmail, the flower man, and had a little chat and a photo. Roy joined us for one, then we all went to Debbie’s. I was definitely drunk as I was letting Socks and Brinny, their dogs, give me lots of kisses. I was surprised they remembered me as the cats didn’t give a stuff. Debbie (Darling) ordered a curry from Spice Garden but then her and Roy fell asleep while Sarah nattered on, catching me up with the trials and tribulations of her last 3 months.
I cycled home just after midnight, and was glad to get to bed after my first day in Dalyan.

Phong Nha – 22nd August

Phong Nha – 22nd August

I made Captain Caveman and I some chicken fried rice for breakfast on the morning of Monday 22nd August. We discussed where I would stay in Saigon and I decided The Common Inn, Thao Dien, because we had stayed before and really like the place. I finished all my packing and we got the cases very full. I was quite concerned that I would not be able to lift the big case and I would definitely struggle to get all my luggage out of a taxi or up any steps, should I need to. The cleaners came to make up the bed in the spare room and they also returned the pillows but we didn’t need them for much longer. They even put a full complement of towels in the spare bathroom too.
Floating in the pool we found a glow in the dark ladybird and we rescued it from drowning. That afternoon Captain Caveman had to go to Oxalis for something important and left me to plan my journey to return Bluey to the Glass House. I was not relishing the 13.5km cycle and, predictably, the sun was now shining. Captain Caveman had advised me to wait until 5pm when the sun might be starting to go in and we deduced that it might take me an hour. He was booked in for a haircut and shave at 5pm so we agreed I would head towards the hairdresser’s for 6pm, as he would have the keys.
I left the house at 5pm and it was almost five past by the time I cycled on to the road beside Elements. I’d drank lots of water and was ready to endure the heat. I cycled past René’s Greenfield Homestay within 7 minutes and by 5.15pm I was as far along as the old Bomb Crater bar. The next section was harder than I remembered and I missed the shortcut turn off to go via Sy’s Homestay. At 5.25pm I had reached Magic Fingers massage place and was feeling very hot and saddle sore. As I turned on to the main Phong Nha road I was tempted to stop for a sugar cane juice on the roadside but decided to go to Coffee Station. I got there at dead on 5.30pm, which was impressive, but they were closing. Bluey was not phased and I got back on after a swig of water, which was now the temperature of how I drink my hot tea. Bluey continued to be super whizzy and I decided, as I was earlier than expected, to stop for a smoothie at The Villas. I must’ve looked a sight for sore eyes because all of the staff, who were eating dinner, stopped and looked at me. Hong came to serve me and I had a mango lassi, which was great and it didn’t touch the sides!
Back on the bicycle I made it to the hairdresser’s, via a quick chat with Phuong at Little Leaf. There was now a huge Catholic church being built next to the hairdresser’s. Captain Caveman was in the chair getting a shave so I sat down and waited. He was impressed that I had got there before 6pm and, quite frankly, I was too! This was definitely a sign that my bad leg was back to normal again, after 2 years and 4 months!
I cycled on to the Glass House, Captain Caveman drove Trigger and we popped Bluey inside. Captain Caveman put her up on the first floor ready for any winter floods which might come while we were gone.
We had hoped to hear from Tatas to possibly meet to go to the Jungle Boss Pub. Captain Caveman had messaged her but she already had plans to go out with her customers instead. We went anyway as it was going to be my last chance before I left Phong Nha in 2 days time. Tatas said she would see us both tomorrow and Captain Caveman suggested we invite Stu and the boys round to say bye too.
We really enjoyed the Jungle Boss Pub, I had 3 beers and we shared some of the stringy cheese and 2 portions of pork scratchings. We didn’t really want to leave but Captain Caveman was driving so we had to go.
We were home before 7.30pm, had a beer and went to bed early. Tomorrow was my last day in Phong Nha and we hoped to make the best of it.

Phong Nha – 19th August

Phong Nha – 19th August

My weekly measurements on Friday 19th August were:
Bust -1cm,
Waist +2cm,
Hips -2cm,
Thighs no change
Right calf -0.5cm,
Left calf -1cm. Eating and drinking whatever I liked was definitely not helping the waistline.
I had passion fruit, mango and strawberries for breakfast and pottered about a bit. Caroline had left early for Hoi An and Tatas had gone on a 2 day tour so they were both going to miss out on the fun tonight.
I had the remaining chicken fried rice for lunch and watched the rain as it came down quite heavily. I then got on with organising how I was going to get to Phong Nha later, I certainly wouldn’t be cycling Bluey in the rain, despite it still being warm. The new Jungle Boss Pub was having their grand opening tonight from 6pm and, of course, I was keen to go. Everyone was invited and I hoped to see a few friends there. Trang was in Dong Hoi, from Saigon, but was going to be there with Trinh, the owner of Buffalo Home and Chill bar in Dong Hoi. I was cheeky and asked if I could get a lift with them and Trinh, who was driving, very kindly agreed. The rain stopped but I still decided to wear jeans and my jungle inspired top – I even had my hair down.

After my chaperones got a bit lost in Khuong Ha, we were on our way and we were even bang on time for the party. As we arrived there were masses of flowers to wish Jungle Boss luck for the opening. We were met by Dung, the owner of Jungle Boss, and said hello and congratulations for opening the much needed Phong Nha bar.

When I walked inside, I was impressed – the place looked amazing! It was very modern and different, with some great soft furnishings. The seats were very comfortable and we chose a table next to the stage. We ordered drinks from some familiar faces, it was nice to see Quan and Nga working as bartenders again. Food was ordered from the snack menu and it was great to see a mix of Vietnamese and western style choices. I was particularly excited to see they had pork scratchings on the menu too, Captain Caveman would love them.

We had a few drinks and listened to some amazing live music, there were more and more familiar faces and I got to catch up with lots of old friends, mainly from Jungle Boss. I managed to get up dancing and joined in on some singing, it was a superb opening night and I hoped the Jungle Boss pub would continue to flourish after I’d left Phong Nha. Trinh kindly dropped me back off and when I got in I decided to make myself a hotdog to finish off the night.

Photo credit – some photos from Jungle Boss Pub, Trang & Trinh