Sheffield – 20th to 22nd December

Sheffield – 20th to 22nd December

I slept in until 10am on Monday 20th December and it felt good to have a lay in so late! After we put some washing in I walked with mom as far as the chemist, as she was picking up prescriptions, and I went to get the bus to town. I’d been in England for 9 days now and unfortunately I’d not been able to meet quite a few people who were still getting over the dreaded virus but today, after rescheduling, lots of lateral flow tests and concerns about logistics I would be meeting up with more friends. Poor Vanessa and Matt had been stuck at home longer than they wanted to be, due to a delay with their day 2 PCR test results but were finally free to be let out, Maddie was in Lincolnshire and was no longer coming to Sheffield due to other commitments, and of course my parents were trying to minimise risk by not going out, plus they had a food shop delivery due that afternoon.
I got off the bus and walked to the wrong venue because I’d mixed up where I was planning on going tomorrow night but luckily I was early and had enough time to walk down towards where Debenhams used to be. It was heartbreaking to see so many of the high street shops now closed and, to say it was almost Christmas, it wasn’t nearly as busy in town as usual. I walked past the Christmas markets where quite a few shoppers were and arrived at The Furnace, a new addition since I’d last been back. I was impressed with Becca’s choice of venue as, not only did it look fancy, it was spacious, airy and almost empty. Becca, Caz and Nel were already there but there were to be no hugs which was sad, of course, even the menus were already laid out on the table. All 3 of the girls had suffered with Corona this year and so it was good to see they looked fab, especially Caz’s hair after a trip to the hairdresser’s this morning.
We ordered drinks, and it was different to our past meet ups where we would have shared a bottle of wine. We all ordered food and drinks; I had a pint of lager, another pork belly dish and some poutine, Becca and Caz had fishcakes, while Nel had a Korean chicken burger and chips. All the food was fantastic, with the starters/sides being easily enough for a lunch and I’d definitely go there again – it was the cleanest place I’d been so far too (the toilets were immaculate)!
Our next stop was made in an attempt to be sensible by being outside as we headed to the Christmas bar in the peace gardens. Vanessa had already let me know that it was just her coming in to town but she also had a shopping delivery on it’s way so we said we would go to the Alpine bar and wait for her. Of course, I had no WiFi on my phone so once we had all drank a rather expensive (£4.50) mulled wine in a small polystyrene cup, Becca messaged to check where Vanessa was. There was also another pop up bar at the top of Fargate called the Sleigh bar and she was there so we set off to meet her and bumped in to her on the way. We all had one more drink (£2.50 for half of dark fruits cider) at the Sleigh bar then it was time to say bye. Again, it felt funny to not be hugging, or even touching, each other and also not really knowing when we could all ‘get back to normal’. Vanessa and I had a wander back down Fargate to Marks & Spencer’s and we bought a few treats and some Christmas presents before sacking it off to call for a quick half in the Brown Bear. As I walked in to the half empty pub I had a wave of nostalgia as it was one of those boozers I loved to visit in the winter, with its cosy interior and no nonsense bar staff – there’s not even any WiFi. Vanessa bought us half a cider each and we just had time before I had to tog back up in winter layers to go to the bus station to get the bus home. I only just made it on time and, as arranged, I was home by 6pm. Mom had been busy making another one of my favourite English meals, toad in the hole (sausages in Yorkshire pudding, for the unfamiliar) and Dad was supervising the process. It was bloody lovely but my dad had a face on when it wasn’t up to his expectations and he thought Ma should have left it in the oven longer as it got a bit stuck in the middle. Mom was more worried that the ends would burn and I wasn’t complaining because I think I got the most sausages – I thought it was spot on. Dad seemed happier once we got a red wine on the go and we started watching something a bit odd on BBC1 called The One Before.
After dinner I got a message from my friend I was meeting tomorrow night saying she had to cancel our plans which we had arranged some time ago as she had double booked herself. I had done similar in recent weeks so I was fine about it, I think once it gets in to December it is hard to keep track of everything that’s meant to be going on – I knew it was nothing personal and it was just one of those things. It was a shame I wouldn’t get to see Leanne this time but I hoped I would be able to see her in the summer instead and maybe even help her out with a new project she had taken on recently. I went to bed and, conscious I was falling behind on my Duolingo Turkish practice, tried to do some but ended up watching Lubricant (Russell Howard) in bed – it made me laugh!

I was excited on Tuesday 21st December to be seeing my aunties, Jill & Rita. They were going to be at my sister’s house around lunch time so, as I got up late, I had an M&S sausage roll for breakfast and read the Vietnamese news. In Vietnam cases were higher again (just over 16,000 in a day), and more deaths (250) in a day than in the UK, more info here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211221/vietnam-records-16325-coronavirus-infections-50191-recoveries-250-fatalities/64844.html
My parents and I walked up the hill in Mosborough to my sister’s house where Jill and Rita had already arrived and the dog, Sumo, was going crackers over Rita while she tried to get her shoes off. There was an offer of a hot beverage or a glass of fizz and it was easy to see how the family split went; Jill was driving and so plumped for a cup of tea with ma & pa while Rita and I decided prosecco was on the cards – we aren’t one to turn down alcohol often.
Gayle doesn’t have a normal kettle, more like a fancy teasmade-come-coffee machine type of appliance and so, while she fannied about with that, I poured the prosecco, not realising the champagne flutes were far bigger than usual. Rita and I had almost a half bottle of prosecco in each glass and it was rather moreish. I had planned on getting a photo of us all but between stories of excrement and Harold Shipman plus a quick quiz on what that name of the doctor my nannan hated was, I got distracted. I genuinely feel that the TV show Gogglebox has nothing on my family and I think cameras in my sister’s house would make for entertainment gold! There were chocolate cupcakes and luxury biscuits to eat and poor old Sumo wanted them all, he picked his moment to wolf down an unattended cupcake wrapper and wouldn’t let me or Gayle get it out of his mouth. When Neil and my nieces returned I found out something that all my English friends had been keeping a secret from me, something that I had said would be a great idea about 20 years ago and is now a thing – you can order a Macdonald’s! April, my youngest niece, wanted to order one and I was amazed that this now existed, even though she was told ‘no’! Neil got some white wine out and we carried on drinking, ma & pa had one and Rita had a whisky. It was good to have everyone together when we finally remembered Dr Paget’s name (crikey, we wouldn’t have slept tonight)!
The walk back home was down hill and easier because I was merry and Dad zoomed ahead so he could put the fire and heating on for us as it was getting dark. My Mom really was pulling out all the aces as she had a beef stew in the slow cooker which was for dinner tonight and she only made her best Yorkshire puddings yet – Dad was happy! I had some stew left over for tomorrow and, instead of a night out in Sheffield as planned, I got to watch the 2nd episode of The One Before in the living room with Ma & Pa – I was a bit late to realise that there were 2 female characters, Emma and Jane, who I thought were the same actress (they weren’t) and wondered why it now was starting to make more sense. I didn’t have any wine with Dad tonight but I did finish off Clare’s blue cheese with Red Leicester mini cheddars for supper and really enjoyed them. We had some more family plans for tomorrow so I was in bed before midnight.

It had been arranged before I left Turkey that my parents and I would go to uncle Gary & aunty Jo’s for lunch on Wednesday 22nd December. They had moved house since I last visited but didn’t live too far from my friend, Sheree. I’d therefore also organised for a sleep over at Sheree’s after visiting my relatives. Unfortunately, due to the Corona virus those plans had to change, my cousin, Liz and her family, were coming back from Scotland and we needed to make sure Gary & Jo didn’t have to cancel due to catching Corona. In an effort for us all to still be able to see each other my Mom and Jo arranged that we would instead go for a walk around the lake(s) at Rother Valley at 11am. I explained this to Sheree and we decided we would come up with a Plan B once I got back from our country walk. To be quite honest I wasn’t looking forward to the cold or the walk, given that my ankle still hurts, my mom has a bad leg, my Dad has bad knees and my uncle Gary had not long since had knee surgery, and it didn’t involve a homemade lasagne or an alcoholic drink – we were more likely to be out of action from exisitng injuries than Corona! On my bottom half I put on my thermal tights underneath my Christmas leggings but only one pair of socks and my new boots, my top half consisted of a t-shirt, a hoody, a scarf, my big coat, a hat, gloves and a face mask – I forgot to put my ankle support bandage on but couldn’t be bothered to address that issue. It was great to see Gary and Jo and instead of cooking me a lovely lunch they had brought me a bottle of red wine, and from one of my favourite regions in Italy – I love a Primitivo from Puglia so I was very happy! We had a good walk around and didn’t go too fast, first I was chatting with Gary and Dad and we were having trouble keeping up with Jo and Mom who were speeding ahead with Henry, the dog. Once we had walked around one of the lakes I thought we might be cutting through but there was no chance of that, it was a 5km total loop around the main and northern lakes so not too far for able-legged people. By this time I was warm and had taken off my mask as there was only me who had kept it on, even though the UK rules don’t say you have to wear one if you’re outdoors.  My feet were the only part of me that were cold but they soon warmed up when we swapped walking formations and I went to the front with Jo and Henry. It was great to see Gary & Jo while I was back and such a shame that we couldn’t go to the pub with them but the walk and chat was rather nice. This was the first time since tearing my ankle and knee ligaments that I have managed to walk 5km without limping or a sit down and I think having a slight heel on my new boots helped.
When we got back home I made new plans with Sheree for tomorrow lunch and cancelled the plans I had for tomorrow daytime with my sister and my parents. This gave us a free evening at my parents tonight and of course we made the most of it. We only had fish and chips again and it was sad knowing this would be the last time until July next year! This time the chippy tea was even better than before as the owner had just cooked fresh fish and we had plenty of chips. Dad put the kettle on and we all had a cup of tea while we watched the last episode of The One Before – which was all a bit confusing. While we watched Live at the Apollo with Jason Manford, Dad fixed us all an alcoholic beverage, mom and I managed 2 sherries, each with 3 cherries, and thoroughly enjoyed our Harvey’s Bristol cream, seeing as it was almost Christmas. There were a couple of disappointments before bed though; today was the 10th anniversary of me meeting Captain Caveman but, because of the 7 hour time difference, I didn’t even get a chance to speak to him. My friend, Louisa, who I was looking forward to seeing tomorrow night, had sent a message to say that she had been in contact with a relative who had tested positive for Corona yesterday, she herself was negative on 3 lateral flow tests, and had already had Corona a while ago, so it was up to me if I still wanted to meet up. It was awful news, as we all knew we could catch the virus anywhere and at any time, but no one wanted to catch it for Christmas or jeopardise my mom’s operation.

Sheffield – 13th December

Sheffield – 13th December

When I woke up at 6.30am on Monday 13th December I checked to see if I had my PCR results back yet and I had. The email had been sent at 11.55pm last night, after I had fallen asleep, and was negative so I could now go out. I googled the bus time table and saved screen shots as I wouldn’t have access to a phone, or be able to Google anything, once I left my parents’ internet and I went for the 8.35am bus in to town. As I hurried for the bus I heard my name called and turned around to see Amanda and her daughter off to walk her dog, what a lovely surprise. I was dressed warmly but I did feel the cold on my feet in my Volleys and thin socks as I waited for the bus, which came roughly on time and wasn’t too busy. A single bus journey to town (Sheffield) is £2.10 but a return is £3.60 so I went for that and the bus was occupied with only 50% mask wearers, the windows were open, no heating on and the driver didn’t wear a mask, which I was surprised about as there was a sign to say masks were compulsory. It didn’t take long to get to town and not much had changed along the route during the 3 years and 4 months I had been away. When I got off the bus in Fitzalan Square I did notice they had smartened up the area next to the bingo which lead to Arundel Gate and it looked much safer. I was at the bank by 9.05am but I wasn’t the first in the queue and had to wait a short while to sort out my expired/lost bank cards predicament. By 9.30am I was in a rather empty Marks & Spencer’s looking at winter boots to keep my feet warm and dry. I tried a pair on which fit perfectly and would be ideal in the rain so I bought them along with socks, knickers and bras. A lovely lady who worked there let me put my purchases to one side to pick up later and also I was able to use the free WiFi. My Mom sent me a message to say she was leaving home to go to the optician and, because I didn’t have a key or know if Dad would be in, I looked for an alternative to going straight back to Mosborough. I almost went to meet Gayle, my sister, at Meadowhall shopping centre but I’m not a fan of that place and a friend who worked there had just been commenting on Facebook how she was sick of people there not wearing masks in shops. Instead I decided to find a place for a spot of breakfast and saw that one of my old favourites was still around.

I decided to go to Marmaduke’s for my breakfast, it wasn’t too busy and the place had screens up between each table. I ordered a bacon sandwich with a cup of Yorkshire tea and it was served pretty promptly. The breakfast was excellent, there was free WiFi and I got a message from my Mom that she was back and Dad had been at home anyway. I decided to pay and go to get the next bus home, but I’d not accounted for the fact that, due to Corona, some places don’t accept cash and I had just cancelled all my English cards to get new ones reissued. All I had was my Turkish one which when presenting it to the waiter was told it was useless as it had no chip on it and I was meant to wave it at a tray like device he was holding. I had no idea what he was talking about and he now had to request help from his supervisor because I wasn’t allowed to pay cash. As I was explaining that my card is from a Turkish bank, he said the transaction had already gone through, without the need for a PIN or a signature, and I was shocked. Apparently I have a contactless card which I didn’t realise and so now I was able to get the bus back to Mosborough via Boots where I picked up some imodium, senocalm medication and a new ankle support (at a  cost of £23) as my ankle was still playing up from walking on hills. The bus station in Pond Street was very cold and completely empty, the bus had just 2 other people on. My sister had finished having her nails done and came over to my parents’ house bringing cakes and we all had a cup of tea while I tucked in to a massive piece of Yule log, Dad also had a piece but my Mom had fruit cake and Gayle had gluten free fruit cake. I had an idea that we should go out for a festive drink to the micropub on the Mosborough high street and I booked us a table online for 4.30pm. I’m not saying my Dad was keen to go but by 4.15pm he was at the door waiting to go to the pub. I’d not seen my sister in over 3 years so we decided to give the ball a bit of a kick, I had a gluten free IPA, my parents had a pint of stout each and Gayle had a mulled wine. I’d managed 2 pints of the IPA, 2 Brockman’s gin and ginger ales and possibly a Bailey’s.
It was great to catch up over a few drinks, the small pub was really good but, of course, we overdid it and by the time we’d had 6 rounds it was time to get a takeaway.  Gayle ordered curry from Khushboo and the rest of us ordered pizza but when we went back to get mom she was worse for wear and we had to send for reinforcements. My brother-in-law, Neil, came with the car and took us all the very short distance home and we had an impromptu party, where my niece must have thought we were all mental. This day has now been named Mad Monday by our family and we all burst out laughing every time we talk about it!

Dalyan – 10th December

Dalyan – 10th December

My hangover on Friday 10th December wasn’t as bad as it probably should have been but there was no time for breakfast as I had stuff to do. I was flying to England tomorrow so my To Do list was a bit hefty and it was weigh-in day. I had put on 0.5kg so I was now back to the same weight I was when I left Turkey in January 2020, my starting weight for my 20 months in Vietnam. My measurements weren’t so thrilling either, I still didn’t seem to be able to shift that 1cm difference in my leg measurements and my bad leg still needed to increase – maybe the Sheffield hills would do the trick!
I went to the bank to transfer some Turkish lira in to my current account for my 18 day holiday and the bank also gave me a new card, which they said was my credit card. It was a bit annoying that when I had put the money into the Turkish bank it was worth 3 times as much as it was today, but I had no money in my English bank and no access to use it anyway. Still, I was cheered up by the cat allowed to sleep on the table in the bank without having to show their HES code and social distance!
I got a message from Sarah, who was working from home in Sofra bar, to see if I was coming to join her. I went there, I narrowly avoided falling in to the drainage holes by slipping on some gravel in the road works, then ordered orange juice and a bacon sandwich, they do the best ones in town! I had a bad stomach, no surprise there, and so I went back home to pack. In the afternoon I went to meet Maddie (it was her birthday), Vanessa and Matt at Tez bar and also get my PCR results, in order for me to fly tomorrow.
My test was negative, I had a coke, Maddie had a couple of rosé wines with sprite then Vanessa and Matt arrived for their PCR tests as they were flying from Antalya on Sunday. I still hadn’t been able to complete my PLF required to check-in at Dalaman and entry to UK because I was waiting for my day 2 PCR reference number from Collinson, so that was stressful. When it eventually came through, after numerous emails and my mom trying to call them, it was dark but I was packed. I completed it, went round to Vanessa’s and Matt printed it me off, along with my Turkish vaccine proof. On my way back I called at Heybe’s to say bye to Maddie and the gang, who were all there to celebrate with a chateaubriand which looked beautiful. Even Sarah’s dog, Yaps, was hopefully sniffing at the door and walked home with me – I thought Sarah may have been in Lukka but she wasn’t there and I didn’t get to say bye to the Lukka lot.
I booked my train from London St Pancras to Sheffield when I got home and gave myself 1 hour from the PCR test at the station, then I decided to go to bed. Unfortunately there was a huge storm which kept me awake, then a powercut followed by a few leaks and drips! I set my alarm for 7am and hoped 5 hours sleep would be enough before the journey home I had tomorrow!

Dalyan – 5th December

Dalyan – 5th December

I ate a buttered crumpet (from the Mulberry Tree restaurant in Fethiye) for breakfast on Sunday 5th December and, whilst it was delicious, I did get some stomach pains and was a bit bloated.
In the news, questions were raised about if Corona vaccines will be made mandatory in some countries, here’s the link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59506339
I had some messenger chat with Captain Caveman who was doing well but we discussed that going to England for Christmas might be a bad idea. The number of cases was rising, I had no insurance, my return flight could get cancelled and most of all I might contract Corona between having my Turkish PCR test and getting to my parents. My mom was due to have an operation at the end of December so I was reluctant to put her further at risk than was necessary and, apart from going back to visit people, I needed to sort out my banking situation. Having said that, I wondered if moving my trip to January might be better.
I arranged a video call with my parents to discuss and I aired my concerns about coming back and potentially not being able to go out, if restrictions increased or things got worse with the virus. I’d already changed plans of staying in London or travelling down south to catch up with people as soon as I arrived. My parents said it was up to me but they were happy to take the risk of me still coming to visit and my mom said she would check the rules of when she had to isolate and test negative before her operation. We left the call with me deciding to sleep on it because I had another important meeting to get to. Vanessa was at mine ready for our trip to Tez bar, just round the corner – we were going to confirm the times of our PCR tests, do our Turkish homework and have a glass of wine. I ended up having 3 glasses of red wine and Tez helped us practice our Turkish by introducing us to his daughter who works in Ortaca. Tez also managed to flog us some prawns at 70 lira (£3.79) a portion, they were lovely but we had to order some extra chips to go with them and the sauces were a bit random. That night I was going to stay in but as I went to the shop and then needed the toilet, I had to call in to Jiks, where I had pizza and another glass of wine. Here’s my shopping, from Migros supermarket, prices in lira;
1 pack of biscuits 2.75
1 pack of turkey ham 3.15
1 caramac type chocolate 6.50
2 packs of crisps 8.00
1 pack of wraps 11.25
1 pack of spinach 11.90
1 pack of chicken breast 20.03
Chestnuts 24.95
6 mini magnums 27.50

Total spent 124.03 lira (£6.70)

Dalyan – 28th – 30th November

Dalyan – 28th – 30th November

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:

Migros Supermarket

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.

Dalyan – 22nd & 23rd November

Dalyan – 22nd & 23rd November

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

Total spent 34.33 lira (£2.29)

Migros Supermarket
Bread 2.00
Flour 6.35
Quark 6.90
2 cans of grapefruit drink 7.90
Milk 8.75
Eggs 9.95
Chicken pieces 12.95
Cornflakes 12.95
Cheese slices 16.70
2 Glass containers 19.74
Red cheddar 37.95

Total spent 142.14 lira (£9.48)

Selçuk Market
Washing powder 21.50
4 Efes beers 56.00

Total spent 77.50 lira (£5.17)

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.

İçmeler and Dalyan – 13th November

İçmeler and Dalyan – 13th November


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.

Photo credit at Fryer Tuck’s – Michaela Murray

Dalyan – 12th November

Dalyan – 12th November

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!

Dalyan – 21st October

Dalyan – 21st October

Thankfully, Thursday 21st October turned out to be a lot calmer and I was starting to feel better from the cyst, even though I still couldn’t wear a bra. I didn’t bother with breakfast because I’d eaten so late last night and was still full. The building work next door was now at the stage where the shuttering was going up and I noticed that the remaining bougainvillea was sprouting some leaves on one of the trees. I decided to take a few books round for my dad because they don’t have a TV or internet at their place and he spends his free time reading, he was already getting through the books he had. I made a list for shopping as I planned to go on the way back to grab something to go with lunch. Tonight I had arranged for us to go out with Maddie and her family but my parents had organised a night out with their friends and Maddie’s parents were still in Kaş, so we weren’t sure if it might end up being just me and Maddie.
When I arrived at my parents’ apartment my Dad had decided he was going to go for a shave and a hair cut at the barbers and my Mom gave him some spending money to go with. She and I went to Migros supermarket together to get some shopping and then went back home.

My shopping, for all of you who love a nosey at my shopping trolley. Prices in lira, as usual;

Bread 2.00
Tomato puree 3.95
Small bin bags 6.50
Quark 6.90
Mushroom soup 7.95
Crisps 8.00
Big bin bags 8.95
2 tins of sweetcorn 10.52
1 bottle of white wine 56.90

Total spent 111.57 lira (£9.46)

I didnt realise sweetcorn can be pricey in Turkey, especially compared to Vietnam, and there was even 25% discount! On the other hand, can you believe that’s including a bottle of nice wine, too!?

I ate a very late picnic style lunch then managed to squeeze in a bit of blogging and another episode of You on Netflix. By the time I was leaving to meet Sarah for a drink at Tez bar the building work next door was in full swing with the metal grid work already being laid ready for the concrete pour. Sarah was already there when I arrived, a little late, she ordered an Efes and a cheese toastie while I treated myself to a blonde ale at 38 lira (£3.22) but it was really nice and I enjoyed it as Sarah chatted on and then Süleyman turned up and joined us. I didn’t stay long as the sun had gone in, I was cold in my shorts and I needed to get ready for tonight. In the end we decided we would postpone going to Egehan until the parents could join us, I’ve been wanting to try it for a while so it was a good idea to wait until we could all enjoy it together. I was also quite happy to have a dinner at home – a good portion of Lancashire hotpot, done in the oven with a sprinkling of cheese. Ma & pa chose to eat at Kebapçı Yusuf for a second time and stayed out having a lovely time with their friends for a lot longer than I could’ve managed – I dont know how they do it! Before bed I read some rather concerning news that the UK daily Corona cases were 52,000 (this time last week they were 45,000) and this started to worry me about it impacting my visit in 2 month’s time. I could not afford to catch it or be stuck in a lockdown in England and I hoped they would be able to get it back under control before it got too risky again.

Dalyan – 18th October

Dalyan – 18th October

Finally it was my last full day on antibiotics on Monday 18th October, I had bread, cheese and olives for breakfast. I watched more of You on Netflix and was glad I had persevered after the 1st episode of Series 3. I managed to wash my hair without my cyst hurting, it was now healing and just needed antibiotic cream and a plaster, which was great news. I decided to have a mish mash of a lunch because I could; 2 nectarines, 2 plums, toast and a couple of biscuits. That night I had arranged for the 3 of us to meet up with Maddie at River Terrace where they had live music from 6pm. My parents had agreed to come over to mine and arrived at 6.15pm then we walked the short distance to River Terrace. This would be the last time I would have to sit and watch everyone else enjoy a beer or a wine so I had a cherry juice and soda – almost a new cocktail. Onur was playing some really good music including a lot my Dad likes and it was a lovely evening with quite a few laughs. We’d not decided where to eat yet so we asked Maddie to choose and she fancied a pizza. River Terrace didn’t have their pizza oven on but Sara, one of the owners, said we could order one in if we wanted to, which was very accommodating. In the end we decided to go to Pizza 48 to eat there, ma & pa had not been before, I’d tried one of their pizzas at a bar a few weeks ago and had enjoyed it so it would be a nice treat. When we got there I don’t think my Dad looked too impressed and he can get a bit tetchy when he goes somewhere new. He went and stood outside the front of the shop while I read out what they had to my Mom from the sign above the counter and Maddie was telling us about the deals you can have, which were great value. Mom went outside to tell Dad what the options were as best as she could remember and Dad didn’t want anything with meat on so he just ordered a Margherita pizza deal but didn’t want the soft drink so ordered beer. Mom (obviously) went for tuna and onion pizza deal, also with a beer while I decided on a mushroom pizza deal with a coke. Maddie ordered Margherita too but her friend, Simone, went off piste by ordering a double cheeseburger. We sat at the back of the restaurant in the cosy seating area which is next to Bistro Blue. When the chips came they had a garlicky coating and were really tasty, and very hot, the pizzas came out pretty quickly and were excellent – even Dad was impressed. My pizza, chips and coke came to just 30 lira (£2.54) which was amazing, the bill for Ma & Pa was just 110 lira (£9.32) for 2 pizzas, 2 chips and 2 Efes beers. I got a free fridge magnet and took the rest of the bottles of coke home so I got quite the bargain and the takeaway menu would come in handy for rainy/winter nights at home.
When we had done we decided to go for one more drink at Lukka bar. It was a good day and I’d really enjoyed a (sober) week of being with my parents after all this time of not being able to see them, but I was a bit peeved that it had been a few days since Captain Caveman had bothered to ask how I was, even though he knew I’d been feeling quite ill recently.

Dalyan – 13th October

Dalyan – 13th October

Wednesday 13th October was my parents’ first full day in Dalyan and my second day of taking antibiotics. We’d all stayed at Captain Caveman’s apartment last night, ma and pa wanted to nip over to their apartment to drop their bags off and get changed this morning, so we agreed to meet at Jiks for breakfast at 10am. I went to the bank and got some cash out in readiness for whatever activities we would do today, with it being my parents’ holiday I wanted them to be able to choose want they wanted to do, I know they will have missed Dalyan as they hadn’t been for nearly 2 years. When I got to Jiks pub at 10am it was still closed so I decided to pop in to Migros to pick up a bit of shopping that I couldn’t get yesterday (they had ran out of milk).

I bought the following from Migros:
Milk 5.90
Cherry juice 7.95
Cherry jam 8.76
Cornflakes 9.90
Turkey ham 12.90
Cheese 24.95

Total spent 70.61 lira (£6)

By 10.25am I was tottering on the very wet floor at Jiks as Adem, the bar man, was watering down the gardens and floors. I waited for my parents for a bit and they arrived about 11am, they were probably still on English time but I was getting peckish. Mom had a huge bacon and mushroom sandwich, Dad had a full English breakfast, and I had a full English without eggs or tomatoes. The portions at Jiks are good value and the food there was really good, as we scoffed we decided what we would do for the rest of the day and tonight. My parents would spend the day sorting stuff at their apartment, getting some shopping in and I was going to try to make myself feel better, I was in pain and the tablets made me feel so drowsy and a bit seasick. The cyst had started to get bigger and definitely more painful so I spent most of the day putting hot towels on it to try to ease it a bit. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, Captain Caveman was going to get a typhoon and everyone was prepared for floods in Phong Nha, here’s more info:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211012/typhoon-kompasu-heads-to-northcentral-vietnam/63546.html

Because we ate breakfast late I didn’t bother with lunch, Ma & Pa came to mine for 6pm, as agreed earlier, and we took a walk in to town to go for a drink. Before going out I decided to put a blister plaster on my infected cyst, hoping it would draw out the badness or help it to heal quicker. We had drinks (no alcohol for me) at Aşkin’s bar and Işmail, the flower seller, came by, as he does every evening to say hello, my Dad bought 2 roses, one each for us. We bumped in to a friend, Gültekin, at his barbers and he had got married and was expecting a baby, since we last saw him. For dinner Dad suggested we go to one of our favourite restaurants in Dalyan, Bistro Blue, which we were lucky enough to get the last table at. It was great to see the owners, Annie and Selahı, and the 2 waiters were still there, it was a shame I couldn’t join in on drinking wine but my parents had a bottle of red, even though mom had wanted white. I had courgette fritters to start which were more like a courgette bhaji and came with a mango chutney, mom ordered garlic prawns and dad had cheese rolls but they shared. They opted for liver mains and I ordered a pepper steak which was so delicious that I forgot to take a photo of it, which means I will have to go again.
The food was gorgeous and my water very refreshing but I didn’t feel well because of the cyst and just wanted to take my top off as it was irritating the soreness. After the food we sat out in the bar area, me with a Turkish tea, mom with a coffee and dad with a rather large brandy and Sprite – we even got posh after dinner chocolates too. We reminisced about the last time we had all been together with friends (Claire, Clare and Kelly) and had danced the night away here. Bistro Blue had made some improvements to the toilets and furniture since we were last here and, as always, it was still one of the best places to go in Dalyan – we love it there!

Dalyan – 11th October

Dalyan – 11th October

At 9am on Monday 11th October, after not being able to go to sleep until after 4am, I was at the ATM getting out more money for the residency application and tax, which I was giving to Sonuç for him to go to Ortaca with today. It was already quite warm with a forecast of 32°C for this afternoon, as I walked to the King Emlak office. When I arrived both Sonuç and Leanne agreed I needed to see a doctor straight away and I went to see the local Dalyan one. Sonuç wasn’t leaving for Ortaca for another 30 minutes and would perhaps take me to hospital if needed. At the local clinic I waited to see the doctor and had to show my (expired) residency card to get past the receptionist, we all had to wear masks and wait outside until a doctor called us. When the doctor called my name we were allowed in the waiting room inside the building, where I showed her the cyst and she looked alarmed and told me I needed to go to hospital immediately, there was an ambulance outside that could take me but I messaged Sonuç to ask him to take me.
Meanwhile my parents were on their way to Manchester airport and wouldn’t have WiFi until they checked in to the Radisson Blu hotel so I was unable to let them know what was going on, or that the weather forecast looked very wet for when they arrived.
We went to the Devlet hospital in Ortaca which is the one the locals use and has a good reputation. Unfortunately my appointment wasn’t until 2.50pm and Sonuç had work to do (including my residency work) so he agreed to drop me at a nice cafe where I would spend a few hours, then he would pick me back up to go back to the hospital. He dropped me at the well-known Pier Gusto, which a lot of my friends had recommended to me before but I’d never been, and as I walked in I saw Gürkan, my taxi driver friend, sat outside having coffee.
As I was going to be here for the next 4 hours I chose a comfy seat inside and ordered the Turkish breakfast, which comes with 2 Turkish teas and I ordered extra water. I wasn’t feeling too well and, obviously, was a little worried about going to hospital for potential minor surgery – I should have washed my hair while I could still move my arm! I was also quite relieved that this wasn’t happening in Vietnam where I would have been far more concerned about a hospital visit.
The Turkish breakfast at Pier Gusto was only 55 lira (£4.66) and was full on, there was no way I could finish it and afterwards I was so tired I thought I’d fall asleep. Luckily a family with 2 small kids sat at the next table and made sure I wouldn’t nod off by having some annoying kids cartoon on loud for the daughter who was barely watching it. I spent the rest of the time writing and editing blogs as best I could concentrate on and the time went by quite quickly. At 2.30pm Sonuç picked me back up and we were on our way to the Devlet hospital once again. There is a lot of walking in the hospital from one desk to pay for the appointment, to see the doctor and I was lucky that Sonuç was able to be there as I think I’d have been there so much longer trying to figure it all out. He also managed to get me the resident price of only 55 lira (£4.66) to see the doctor, instead of 200 lira or more.
Once back upstairs the waiting room was crowded and we expected to have to wait a while, but I was called within minutes. The doctor looked at the cyst, poked it (which hurt) and then was done. He spoke only Turkish and Sonuç acted as translator to say that the cyst was infected and if he was to remove it now it could be a problem, it needed antibiotics and painkillers for 1 week and I should come back if it got any worse, or after it had gone down. He wrote out the prescription and we were done by 3pm and off back to Dalyan.
The medications I got from my favourite pharmacy in Dalyan were Stafine and Etol Fort. The Stafine 500mg tablet was to be taken every 12 hours and the English equivalent is called Fucidin which can make you drowsy and I should avoid alcohol with it. The Etol Fort 400mg is an equivalent to Diclofenac and is an anti inflammatory painkiller to be taken twice a day with food. I was of course glad to get the medication but I was gutted to have to give up alcohol for 7 days, just as my parents were due to arrive too!
When we got back Sonuç and I went to Lukka bar so we could sort out the money situation and, because I had not started the medication yet, we decided to have a beer – just the one! The night got messy as we laughed at Sonuç with his funny stories and him taking the piss out of me for having a dinosaur egg growing on my shoulder, while we had just one more beer. Jackie and David from next door came back off a boat trip and stopped for a drink and the night got messier as David added beers to the round, more banter and laughs were had and I hardly remembered having the pizza for dinner!
We turned what was initially a stressful day in to a good old impromptu drinking session with good friends and I had to message my sister to ask her to text my mom to let her know I was fine and I would be at home when ma & pa arrived tomorrow. My Turkish phone, for some strange reason, has data and calls but I cannot text anyone (Turkish or English numbers) and my mom didn’t seem to have her WiFi on yet.
Tomorrow I would see my parents again after 1 year, 11 months and 17 days and I was so excited.

Dalyan – 6th October

Dalyan – 6th October

After buttered toast for breakfast on Wednesday 6th October I went to meet Hüseyin, the translator, at Lukka bar at 10.30am, as organised by Sonuç yesterday. Hüseyin did all the work at the notary office in Ortaca, then we were on our way back to Dalyan. The cost of the notary was 331 lira (£28) and the cost of Hüseyin and his services was 350 lira (£30) but it was simple and fairly quick.
Back in Dalyan I had a 2nd breakfast, with Ann at Lukka bar, she had a full English, I had a breakfast wrap (without egg) for the first time and it was really good!
Back home I got an update from Captain Caveman; his foot was hurting again and Duyet had been to get him some medication because he was having trouble walking, I got him to agree to see a doctor, Max (Stu’s eldest) had delivered pork and homemade BBQ sauce to him so he was happy with that.

I’d got the rest of the Bolognese out of the freezer and was hoping to have that for dinner before going out, I still had half the bottle of wine left from yesterday too so I sat on the balcony with some nice wine and olives. Unfortunately the Bolognese didn’t defrost in time so after a nibble of cheese and toast I headed over to Heybe’s for dinner. On my way I walked past Lukka bar where I saw Sarah and Katrina and they invited me to join them for a drink so I had a quick glass of wine and a good look at their food (the BBQ chicken pizza looked great) before toddling off to meet the others – I did say I’d call in for a nightcap on my way home.

When I arrived at Heybe’s already there were Maddie, Angela and Nick and a few of their friends, and the place was quite busy. I met a nice elderly Turkish gentleman, Ibo, and I recommended the işkender to him. We all ordered and I couldn’t resist having the işkender for the 2nd time in the 2 weeks since I’d arrived – it really is so tasty.
Onur was playing and it was an open mic night so I ended up singing a few old favourites with him. He picked out Valerie by the Zutons/Amy Winehouse, I picked out What’s up by Four Non Blondes, then we managed to get away with Hey Jude by The Beatles. All of us were having a great time and I managed to persuade Nick to sing Mad World by Tears for Fears/Gary Jules with me. I didn’t realise that Donny, the owner and chef at Heybe’s, was doing a live video update to Facebook for all to see, Nick and I agreed a bit of practice wouldn’t have gone a miss but we didn’t care and we were enjoying ourselves. We met a nice couple who were here on holiday and they were singing along to all the songs. If you can bare to watch/listen, here’s Donny’s video:
https://www.facebook.com/636029992/posts/10159931815054993/
After that it was time to ‘get my coat’, walk the short journey home via Lukka to see if Sarah and Katrina were still there – they weren’t so I went straight home. Before bed I checked my shoulder and the cyst was no bother at all, which was reassuring.

Dalyan – 5th October

Dalyan – 5th October

When the social media issue was fixed on Tuesday 5th October it was a relief and I had a message from Melissa to say she had some ice-cream left to give me, as I was sending her a message to say I had a dress which was too big for me and perhaps it would be suitable as a maternity dress for her. I went over to her place and we said goodbyes again as they headed off to see more of Turkey, it felt a little strange that almost a year ago we had spent a few days together during the floods of Phong Nha 2020, watching Harry Potter together at Elements Collection, it was also pretty cool that the first people to come to visit me in Dalyan were friends we had met in Vietnam! My next stop was the bank where I transferred quite a bit of money to Captain Caveman’s Turkish bank account to be able to pay for the bills here, I did this a bit prematurely it would turn out, as I didn’t realise there was a limit to how much I could get my hands on before my account maturity in about 3 weeks time. I finally got my internet banking set up for my Turkish accounts, which felt good and I decided to treat myself to an English breakfast at Lukka bar, I’d been here almost 2 weeks and not had one yet – I do miss a good breakfast and wouldn’t be able to resist or wait until I got to England again, after just over 3 years of being away. The breakfast consisted of bacon, sausage, beans, toast, butter, and mushrooms for me, as I don’t eat egg or tomato on my breakfast, I had 2 orange juices and 2 teas and it was really good. I met a friend of Katrina’s, who was hilarious and he gave me some good physiotherapist recommendations, he also was a fan of shockwave therapy which had cured his leg after a bad accident. Sonuç arrived for more paperwork and preparation for the forthcoming residency application and he made a phone call to Hüseyin, the translator, and the notary office. Before I knew it, we were booked to go to Ortaca notary tomorrow, which would be another step closer to the process of being able to stay here longer than 90 days, if they agree.
My lunch with Leanne and my neighbours got cancelled as Leanne wasn’t well and I decided to get some much needed products from Katrina’s shop, Maizie Moo, instead.
The shop is really lovely and the products are all made with natural ingredients where I picked out whipped body butter, a hair mask, a sponge which is like magic, mosquito spray and I also got a few more free samples of foot balm, face scrub and a shower/bath bomb type of product. All of it smells like you could eat it and the products I had already tried had really done wonders for my eczema, so much so that I had now stopped using the steroid cream from the pharmacy and was using only the Maizie Moo butter. I spent a total of 300 lira (£25) and got a handmade bag which looked like someone had bought me a gift, it felt wonderful being able to get something nice for myself as a treat.

At 2pm I went for my 60 minute full body massage at BC Spa which was so lovely, the guy who did my massage, Ramazan, was very careful around my injuries too, which I was pleased about. Interestingly, when he touched the left shoulder where the scar from my cyst was it felt sore and it was obvious that there was a bit more of a problem with the cyst regrowing than I realised.
Back home I felt very sleepy after the massage and I watched more Line of Duty, then made my leftover Sunday roast dinner and had some of the rather lovely red wine with it. I polished off the ice-cream from the Wiringi family and as I was washing up I realised that the origami bird, which Aaliyah had made for me in Hoi An, Vietnam, was on the shelf next to me. I’d had it in my purse all this time and taken it out to put on display, then forgot to let Aaliyah know it had travelled with me to Turkey. Before bed I got an invite for tomorrow night which I would find difficult to turn down and it was, quite literally, right up my street.

Dalyan – 4th October

Dalyan – 4th October

On Monday 4th October I woke up early and Captain Caveman had sent me a photo of Eric, the bee, who had stayed over at Elements last night. I didn’t bother with any breakfast because I’d arranged to meet Melissa and her family at 11.30am for an early lunch at River Terrace. It’s a lovely location right by the river and is a family oriented place with a small playground. It was nice to see the owners, Sara and Ali, who (like many business owners in Dalyan) had experienced a very hard year or 2 because of the pandemic and lack of tourism. They were still so happy and welcoming and the restaurant has had a toilet refurb since I last went there which has definitely made a massive difference. I decided to have a cider with ice, the sun was shining and I waited for the Wiringi family to arrive. Melissa had a big surprise; she was pregnant, they are expecting their 4th child in February. They all looked well and while mom and dad ordered food the 2 older kids, Noah and Aaliyah, had smoothies. Elijah, the youngest ordered a chicken wrap and wouldn’t eat it because it had peppers in. Rimaha and I ordered chicken wraps too and they were really tasty, Melissa had the nachos and then, the highlight of the day, we ordered 6 brownies. Sara is an excellent baker and her warm brownies with ice-cream went down a treat with everyone as they were so delicious.

As the family were only staying in Dalyan for 1 night it was difficult to fit anything in for them to do, they didn’t have the time for the boat trip to the beach or lake so were happy to have a simple stroll along the river where we looked out for turtles. The plan for the Wiringi family was to go to Akyaka tomorrow, then they were off to Ephesus, Pammukale and Cappadocia, they couldn’t fit all their luggage and 3 kids in the car so they had to go back to Kaş next week to pick up a suitcase then they were leaving Turkey – their 90 day stay was almost at an end already. It was unfortunate that they didn’t have longer to explore Dalyan but it was already time to say our goodbyes, they were going to stay in tonight as they had plans to leave early the next morning.

After running a couple of errands I went to Jiks, I was thirsty and desperately needed the toilet so I got a fanta and then could smell food. My favourite chef in Dalyan, the lady at Jiks, was cooking so I was very tempted to have dinner. I ordered the shrimp skewer and a white wine and soda, the food was so delicious and for just 65 lira (£5.50) for 3 skewers with chips and salad it was a new favourite. My total bill was 105 lira, which is less than an English ten pounds and I was really full, I’d definitely be coming here again. I had completely forgot that I had leftover Sunday dinner in the fridge, it would wait until tomorrow. When I got home I noticed my internet wasn’t working but it turned out that Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram were all down for the next 6 hours and it was worldwide!