Dalyan – 5th February

Dalyan – 5th February

It was very cold when I got up at 7.30am on Sunday 5th February. Norman and Edna were still snoozy and Little Ted had slept longer than yesterday. Teddy was a bit overexcited to see me and accidentally caught my lip with his mouth when he was trying to give me kisses. It hurt but it didn’t draw blood so I thought I’d be ok.
While I had my cup of tea, all 3 dogs wanted cuddles and they had to share me, begrudgingly. Norman, Little Ted and I were all squeezed in to the arm chair where the dogs had a nice little nap. I didn’t have chance for any breakfast! Every time Norman snored, Little Ted raised his head in a disapproving manner which was funny.

I decided to try walking all 3 of the dogs together but when I went to get my shoes I’d made a massive error. I’d left them out and at some point, Teddy had chewed them. Luckily I had brought another pair of shoes with me as I had an important lunch date that I didn’t want to miss. The walk with 3 dogs was hilarious and I looked like I was going to get tangled up at one point. I’m sure I heard Edna say to Norman ‘Come back, Charlie’. Little Ted was just happy to be out with his new pals and wanted to jump up a lot. I got back, hoping for a shower but the water was off and I looked a state – I didn’t even have any wet wipes. I used the filter water to clean my teeth and wash my face but that would have to do. The rain was torrential just at the time that I needed to leave, and the water came back on as I was going.

Video of Teddy being a bit friendly with his toy

Lukka bar had reopened this weekend and was doing Sunday lunch today. I’d already asked some friends if they fancied it and I’d remembered that Vanessa’s son, Brad, loved a Sunday dinner as she had mentioned they often go out together for one in the UK. We had all pre ordered our meals and agreed to meet at 2pm at Lukka bar. The Beef Sunday dinner was 255 lira (£11.10), the chicken dinner is only 185 lira (£8.05). The portion size is massive so I took Tupperware for any leftovers (I hate wasting food and money). On arrival, Linda and I decided to splash out on a bottle of red wine between us, Nanny Kay was driving so had a soft drink. Brad arrived extremely apologetic having not been able to find where Vanessa had hidden the house keys, making him a tad late. He ordered a beer and I introduced him to Linda and Nanny Kay. Linda and I had lots of cat talk as she was looking after Kate’s 6 cats for the first time in ages and had taken over from Vinnie. When the food came it looked fantastic, there was no cheese sauce on the cauliflower, as advertised, and I had my gravy on the side so I could do damage limitations on my Slimming World diet. Nanny Kay was short on carrots and the Brussel sprouts could do with a few minutes more cooking as they were too hard, so I let the waiter know for future diners. The Yorkshire puddings are phenomenal and the biggest I’ve ever had, this is a good recommendation to a Turkish chef from a Yorkshire lass, who hasn’t been to England for 13 months. I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and the company, we had a break before dessert where I filled my Tupperware with half of my dinner, plus the others’ spare sprouts and Nanny Kay’s left over Yorkshire pud. I had a smaller Tupperware which I intended the apple crumble to go in, however, when it came I couldn’t resist it. We’d all had a jolly good time but the rain was threatening again so we said our farewells. Nanny Kay drove home, Linda cycled to Mark and Kate’s and, as you may have guessed, Brad and I decided we could probably have another drink!

Brad kindly agreed to a dog walk, to walk off a bit of our Sunday dinner and get some exercise for his recovering knee. I had to call in to Captain Caveman’s apartment briefly on the way. As I pointed out to duck under the rose thorns, Brad snapped the stems with his bare hands and tucked them in to the plant – that was that problem solved!
We went to Jamie’s and collected all 3 dogs who were obviously pleased to be getting out after being left for 3 hours, Little Ted in his crate. When I told them we would have a walk to the Waterfall, Edna was beside herself with excitement at the chance to see Skippy. Little Ted didn’t remember what Waterfall meant but was enthusiastic regardless. After a walk around the block and round by Poo corner we arrived at the Waterfall. All the dogs were made welcome and a fuss made of them but Skippy wasn’t there to see that I’d not shrunk Norman. Brad and I got chatting, the dogs were quite happy and we ended up having a couple more drinks in the Waterfall where it was toasty warm. We were reassuring ourselves that we were quite fortunate not to be on the all inclusive-big-bender weekend for Alp’s birthday. We knew that without our partners there we’d probably have had alcohol poisoning by now, as well as putting on loads of weight from the all you can eat food! We had a good laugh and when it got to the dog’s dinner time we decided to grab more drinks and go back to Jamie’s.

I never thought to offer Brad the WiFi password at Jamie’s villa and we were just so busy chatting that we didn’t check our phones. After more red wine for me and beer for Brad I decided to do us a curry for dinner. I was a bit drunk and had to do the rice in a pan for the first time in years, the curry was a vegetarian Dahl type so I chucked in some leftover cooked chicken from Jamie’s fridge. It was pretty good and we ate it all, as if we’d not already had a big lunch! We didn’t realise the time until Vanessa messaged to check Brad was ok! As no one had heard from him, and he’d only gone out for Sunday lunch with the ‘oldies’ at 2pm, there were concerns from his girlfriend and parents. It was after midnight when Brad left and I told him to message me once he got home. I got in bed and fell asleep before seeing that message.

Dalyan – 19th January

Dalyan – 19th January


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dalyan – 11th January

Dalyan – 11th January

I had reached the ripe old age of 50 and was no longer in my 40s on Wednesday 11th January. When I was younger I always assumed that I’d be doing something wild and exciting on my birthday to celebrate my 50th, or at least with family or my partner, however, that wasn’t quite to be. I’d been awake with all 3 scared dogs until almost 4am as it was blowing a hooley outside Jamie’s villa and the rain was relentless. Even before I’d got up, I knew my birthday night out at Bistro Blue would be cancelled. Captain Caveman called me but forgot to wish me a happy birthday until I mentioned it and we chatted while I was still in bed. Annie from Bistro Blue messaged to say the venue was flooded and could not open today but she would see how things were tomorrow. I agreed to postpone my birthday until then and messaged everyone to let them know. Quite a few people replied to say that even if my birthday went ahead tomorrow they already had other plans, so it looked like a much smaller do, if at all. It was disappointing but these are the issues that happen with a winter birthday so I wasn’t too upset by it. I opened a card from my parents which had some money in, I still had their Christmas money too and thought I’d probably buy something to wear when I got the chance. In 2022 I’d not bought one item of clothing and it showed as I didn’t have many clothes these days. I went downstairs, had a cup of tea and laughed that I’d put Louisa’s leftover vodka and coke from last night in the fridge. I’d got so used to having minimal waste these days that I may have taken it a bit far by saving Louisa’s drink for her to have the next day. I took the dogs out in the heavy rain for a very short walk and dried each one on a towel when we got back in. I’d managed to get the toaster down off the high shelf ready for Louisa coming and I had some sliced bread in ready for toast. When Louisa got up she also forgot to say Happy Birthday at first which was funny. I mentioned Vanessa would be over around lunch time for some birthday action and that we needed a Plan B with my birthday party tonight being cancelled. I think the weather made it feel less like a birthday and I wondered what we were going to do today apart from stay at home.

Video taken by Louisa of me giving treats to Edna, Norman and Charlie in exchange for them sitting and giving a paw

Fat Club was also cancelled so I wasn’t even going to that but Kate and Irena had still managed to go to Art class, and Vanessa went to Line Dancing. Vanessa arrived at Jamie’s around 12.30pm with a card and a present for me which was so kind. The silver bracelet was really lovely and she popped it me on to my wrist between my bracelets from Captain Caveman and Ingrid. I reheated yesterday’s curry and I opened a bottle of fizz (the one I bought for New Year but didn’t drink) for the 3 of us. We did a birthday cheers and Louisa gave me her glass of prosecco as she’s not a fan of it – a decent one is hard to get here so I wasn’t wasting any! Vanessa and I both had second helpings of the chicken and pumpkin curry and Vanessa got quite tiddly. I took the dogs out for a walk in the rain while Vanessa and Louisa carried on chatting and drinking, there was no point all 3 of us going out in the rain getting soaked on my birthday, after all! When I got back Louisa was having a vodka and coke, Vanessa a gin and Sprite while I just had a glass of water and a towel for mine and the dogs’ feet.

Kate messaged to say she was still rained in at Kordon with Irena and that we should get a taxi down there. At the same time, Matt was on the phone to Vanessa arranging to go to Tez bar with Mark. We decided to get the taxi to Kordon just after 3pm and when we got there, a rather drunk Vanessa took Louisa off in the rain. I said hello to Kate, Wolfie and Irena who all wished me happy birthday and had perhaps been on the beers a while. I ordered a beer and joined them next to the indoor fire which was nice and warm. When Vanessa and Louisa came back, wet from the rain, Vanessa announced that they had been to Tez bar to serve Matt and Mark with orders to come to join us immediately. Of course that fell on deaf ears and they remained there until it got too cold for them. In the meantime, Vanessa had also surprised me with a lovely chocolate cake which we all had a piece of, then the waiter gave the rest to a friendly bunch of English people on the next table.

When Mark and Matt arrived they were also quite merry and had forgotten it was my birthday too, so they never did wish me a happy birthday between them. I didn’t feel like getting on it really because I hoped we’d all celebrate my birthday together tomorrow but, as Louisa was ordering her second Malibu and coke, I thought I may as well have another beer. Kate decided we should eat at Kordon, so we looked at the menu, Wolfie and Irena went home in the rain. Kate ordered the orange chicken, Mark chose the lamb, Louisa went for Adana kebab, Vanessa ordered liver, Matt the chicken schnitzel and I a chicken shish. During the dining experience, I got calls and texts because the leak at Charlie’s had become worse due to the heavy rain. The rooftop balcony was flooding and I was asked if I could go over there. I explained I was trying to make the most of a cancelled birthday and was in the middle of eating so I said to phone the landlord – there was nothing I could really do and luckily Charlie was at Jamie’s villa and safe.
The food at Kordon was really nice but I couldn’t eat it all on account of the 2 lunchtime curry portions so I took half of it home. The rain never eased off, rain water was starting to come in above our table and we were encouraged to go to Waterfall bar on our way home. Matt was making sure a very merry Vanessa got home but Mark and Kate were up for more drinks so Louisa and I shared a taxi with them.

Unfortunately, it was past 9pm and Waterfall had already closed so Mark and Kate dropped us off at Jamie’s. When we got out of the taxi the water was ankle deep on the road and the pool had overflowed. Once inside the villa I tried to let the dogs out on the back garden but they took one look at the weather and decided they weren’t going out there. Meanwhile, some friends were on their way from Fethiye in torrential ‘stay at home’ weather as they wanted to see me on my birthday. They arrived at Mark and Kate’s 2 hours late at 10.30pm by which time everyone was ready for bed. They ended up staying at Mark and Kate’s and I declined to venture over there because it was so late and awful weather. Louisa and I had more drinks as we’d only had 2 in the 6 hours at Kordon and stayed up chatting for ages. By the time I got in to bed that night I was begging for mercy as I set my alarm for 8am. It wasn’t the birthday I’d planned but it was still one I’d remember.

Dalyan – 10th January

Dalyan – 10th January

I was up and about early on Tuesday 10th January as Louisa was on her way from Manchester to Dalaman airport. I was really pleased that she was coming out to help me celebrate my 50th birthday. The dogs weren’t happy that I wasn’t back in bed with a cuppa so they had to do their snoozing on the sofa. I popped all the ingredients for a chicken and pumpkin curry in to the slow cooker and let Louisa know that’s what we were eating later. I crammed in as much editing as I could before lunch as I would be taking the next couple of days off for my birthday. Jamie had been gone a week now and he and his partner were enjoying Mauritius. Everyday they showed off their hotel towel art but it wasn’t that good, I decided to make some out of their tea towel and sent them photos of it.
I spent my lunch break walking Charlie, Norman and Edna and even got a photo of them walking together. Back home, I cleaned and tidied in readiness for Louisa arriving. The sky was growing dark and storms were predicted, my birthday tomorrow was booked for quite a lot of us so I hoped it wouldn’t get cancelled.

Louisa arrived and she had brought me a block of Red Leicester cheese, which I’d asked her to and I was so happy. She’d been a bit worried about being able to get dairy through as it’s on the list of produce not to be able to bring in, even though everyone does. It’s my favourite cheese and you can’t get it often here, what they do have is super expensive too.
I’d not seen Louisa for 9 months, the last time was when she’d been over with her nephew and mom in April last year. It was great to see her and she had a funky new haircut which looked great. Louisa didn’t fancy the curry I’d made for dinner so I turned it off and we could perhaps have it tomorrow for lunch. The rain was still holding off so we decided to go out to the bank. As we were walking it was obvious that it was definitely going to rain tonight and the forecast said it would be heavy for a few days. We ended up in Jiks where a glass of red wine was now only 60 lira (£2.64) but a shandy was 80 lira (£3.51). Of course we had to bump in to Madge, who came over to ask about my ‘pregnancy’ again. I really should have been eating that Slimming World friendly curry at home instead of joining Louisa for a pizza. I ordered the Slim pizza (which was incorrectly named but I took off ham and added mushrooms) while Louisa ordered the Happy pizza. They were only 90 lira (£3.95) each and it tasted so good that I ate the whole thing. My diet was, once again, postponed – until after my birthday. The rain started and we walked back to Jamie’s where I opened a bottle of red wine and Louisa had a vodka and coke. She’d not even managed to drink much of it before falling asleep on the sofa around 9.30pm – it had been a long day of travelling for her. As the rain got heavier and heavier I had a feeling my birthday tomorrow would not go as planned.

Dalyan – 3rd & 4th January

Dalyan – 3rd & 4th January

Before I’d walked Charlie on Tuesday 3rd January, I’d already had some photos from Captain Caveman in Phong Nha. He had been out and about meeting friends at familiar haunts and because of the 4 hour time difference had already had lunch. Ganesh, the Indian restaurant, was now open and he was looking forward to trying it in the next few days. I walked Charlie and completed some editing, which Charlie wasn’t impressed about. For lunch I tried to salvage the ruined mushroom risotto by making risotto balls and they weren’t too bad. I also started looking at flights to the UK, hoping to pop back for a week or so. The prices to get to the UK were very cheap but to return to Turkey were not. The temperature felt cold here at 19°C at 5.30pm so I knew I’d struggle with the cold weather in England. My parents and Captain Caveman had left Dalyan a week ago now but it did seem like a lot longer.
While Captain Caveman had been to Bamboo cafe and then was out with Tatas, I moved in to Jamie’s for another pet sitting stint. At 6.30pm I arrived, with Charlie, at Jamie’s villa and we had a glass of wine before he jetted off on his holidays. Dale, who handles residency applications, amongst other things, popped round and he joined us with a tonic water. I would be staying for 16 days to look after Jamie’s dogs, Norman and Edna, but Charlie seemed a little apprehensive of his new sofa buddies. When it came to bedtime he came with me, Norman and Edna slept on the sofa downstairs.

I couldn’t reach the toaster at Jamie’s and I was struggling to open some of the new handle-less kitchen cupboards. On Wednesday 4th January I had to have cereals for breakfast because of this and they’d gone a bit soggy by the time I’d found and got in to the cutlery drawer for a spoon. It was sunny out, although I noticed Jamie had not expected nice weather in Dalyan as all the garden furniture had now been put away. There was washing hung out next door so I wondered if we were expecting neighbours but I think it was just the cleaner popping round to do a spruce up. Charlie was still unsure why he was staying at Jamie’s with Norman and Edna, so he had assumed the guard dog position. He barked at the Cleaner as we had a chat and she said she knew me from Facebook. I managed to get some editing completed on my laptop but working at the breakfast bar on a high stool made my legs a bit numb.
At lunch time I popped back to Charlie’s home to pick up more of his stuff, including his blanket, and he snuck in a cheeky sunbathe on the roof terrace. While I was there, I saw Jamie’s plumber who was on the roof, and it confused both of us at the same time. I was still walking the 3 dogs in 2 separate walks as I couldn’t manage all of them at once, yet.
Fat Club was exciting as Ghislaine had gifts from Atyom, the Russian, for the 5 of us from her birthday bash. We each had a lovely bracelet in a box and gift bag to say thanks – how nice was that!?
It was no surprise that the results of my weigh-in weren’t good and I had put on 0.8kg this week. I’d only left the dogs for 1 hour to pop to Fat Club, when I got back they had all been well behaved but acted like I’d been gone for a week. 
I didn’t eat lunch until 5pm but I had a jacket potato with cheese (no butter) then I fed the dogs. I made sure to feed them in separate sections of the kitchen as Charlie was used to having his food bowl full at all times so he could eat when he wanted. The King Charles Cavaliers will snaffle anything so I couldn’t leave Charlie’s food out and he took his time eating while the other 2 waited for any spare, which never happened.
I spoke to my parents on video call and they were doing well, getting used to the cold back home in Sheffield.
Later in the evening I had some pasta then settled down for dog snuggles. Captain Caveman was settling in to Phong Nha well, he’d been to meet friends in Dong Hoi, had drank wine with Tatas and finished his evening with a Porter party, where all his work friends and colleagues were. 

Photos from Captain Caveman in Vietnam

Photo credit – Captain Caveman and Tatas

Dalyan – 26th December

Dalyan – 26th December

As it was my parents’ and Captain Caveman’s last full day in Dalyan on Monday 26th December, I had organised a last outing. After the copious amount of booze yesterday I was somewhat woolly headed as we walked Charlie and told him he would get to have a day at home. We were off on a boat trip to Köyceğiz and there was 28 of us on Ali Özalp’s boat. To make it simple we had organised it via Kaan, who’s boat was out of the water, to leave from near Kaunos Tea Gardens at 10.30am. We would take our own drinks, have a mooch round Köyceğiz market, have a bite to eat and then return before it got too cold. Josh had agreed last night that he would bring a rucksack full of Efes and we would meet him at the tea gardens. We called for croissants and Sprite at Migros then when we met Josh, he had also bought Sprite and we were all begging for mercy, after last night’s boozy shenanigans.
On board the boat were some of the usual reprobates as well as a few new people; my parents, Captain Caveman & me, Josh, Kaan, Tayfur, Vanessa & Matt, Janet & Kev, Adam & Kath, Mark & Kate, Linda, Julio, Julius & Toni, Peter, Bianca, Sue, Ron & Sarah, Cath & Keith, 007 and Gay Gaz. Of course Gay Gaz had turned up already tiddly and hadn’t got the memo that it was bring your own booze, as he stepped on the boat and asked for a vodka and coke. Kaan and Tay sorted out a quick trip to the shops to get Gaz his required fix and then we were off on the pleasant journey to Köyceğiz. I did my best to be sociable with everyone but I was feeling quite tired and delicate, and it wasn’t my last day in Dalyan, afterall. When we got to Köyceğiz I was keen to go to the fruit and veg market on account of not going on Saturday in Dalyan. There had been some talk of us all meeting up in Tuana restaurant and, if not, back on the boat at 3pm. My parents, Josh, Captain Caveman and I went off in search of fresh produce and left the others to decide what they were doing. After purchasing a rather heavy bag load of groceries I was looking forward to having a sit down and a cold drink. We didn’t get as far as Tuana before I needed to put the bag down and nip to the loo at Avant Garde restaurant. A lovely little place on the waterfront which also had good veggie options on the menu. I got a bit over ambitious and ordered a chicken burger, mom had a seafood pasta dish and the men had various quesadillas/wraps. Only Dad and Captain Caveman could manage a beer, while I hoped I’d make it home in tact.

By 3pm we were all mostly back on the boat but just waiting for a stray or two. It would be have been easy for any onlooker to think we were in the throws of a murder mystery afternoon but it turned out Kev was feeling rather more delicate than I was and had gone for a lay down on the front of the boat. Sailing back was pleasant and sunny but it was rather fresh as the sun dipped. Gay Gaz was on one of his ‘drunken and don’t care’ missions by leaning on the anchor chain while being precariously close to the switch. A few of us tried to talk him in to moving due to it not being safe and that he could end up decapitated, but it fell on deaf ears. What made him move in the end was that he might get his bright yellow coat dirty.

When we got off the boat most people went home for a good rest while only the foolhardy and inebriated soldiered on for a last drink at Rehab bar. Captain Caveman and I decided we would go get Charlie and walk him back to Rehab. By the time we got there, Kate was doing a superb job of trying to get Gay Gaz in to a taxi where neither them nor the driver knew Gaz’s address. Luckily, I had it marked on my phone and could tell the driver as Kate shouted ‘Get in to the choppa, Gary!’
In Rehab bar, Julius and Peter got their decks out and gave us a few tunes while they waited for their taxi back to Fethiye. Charlie didn’t really care for the music but he certainly was up for meeting more people and chasing a stray dog if he got the chance.
That night we didn’t even all go out as I think we had overdone it. Captain Caveman and I stayed in and he insisted on having some quiet time with Charlie to say goodbye – I think they would miss each other. My parents still went out as they had nothing in for dinner and Josh went out, but separately. Tomorrow we would all meet for breakfast and to say farewell.

Dalyan – 20th to 24th November

Dalyan – 20th to 24th November

On Sunday 20th November I had to rectify my diet quick sharp! I had plums and some bread for breakfast, and a tea with milk. Captain Caveman was in Sheffield but I didn’t speak to him so I wasn’t sure if he was catching up with any of my friends, back home.
For lunch I had pasta bolognese and then the rain came down heavily.
For dinner I had something a bit different, bolognese on a wrap, like a pizza, with some cheese. I had no alcohol because I’d had a week’s worth last night!



My day was very productive on Monday 21st November. I was up bright and early, had cereal for breakfast then I bought an 8GB data package for my phone and generally got prepared for a workshop tomorrow morning. I had red onion soup for lunch and planned to go to bed early so that I would have enough sleep before my 3.30am appointment, tomorrow. Tonight, England was playing Iran in the football world cup but I wanted to be asleep before then. I had a lovely jacket potato with bolognese and was about to settle down for the evening when I got a few last minute updates to deal with. Storms were due so I had charged everything up and got a Plan B in place.


I didn’t get to bed until stupid o’clock on Tuesday 22nd November because of all the last minute faffing about with changes for the workshop. I was awake at 2.30am with more last minute updates and horrendous storms outside.
At 3.30am I logged in to the call and I could hear everyone but by 4am, as we were meant to be starting the workshop, there was a technical hitch. I was distraught as I’d spent so much time and effort preparing for this only for me to miss the first part, due to circumstances beyond my control. By 4.30am I could hear everything and had to sit back, watch and listen. The workshop went well and a great set of speakers, who we learned from. By 8am (which was midday in Vietnam) the workshop was finishing and I had my last Yorkshire tea bag in a cup of hot tea to make me feel better. I ate a cheese sandwich, made chicken stock in the slow cooker and was off back to bed.
When I woke back up it was only an hour later and I probably could have gone to singing group but I was super tired and not in the mood. I had some noodles for lunch and got out a hotpot for dinner then went back to bed again. The sun was now out, I couldn’t sleep and by 5.30pm there were flood warnings for the area. I didn’t stay up long after eating dinner and, as I fell asleep that night, the rain had been coming down heavily again.



Wednesday 23rd November started with a nice sunrise at 07:54 and cheese on toast for breakfast (but without a cup of tea). I’d arranged to meet friends at the tea garden to discuss a dog sitting situation that was coming up soon but we cancelled due to more heavy rain. I was in two minds as to whether I would go to Fat Club in such a downpour but I decided no matter how much I had fell off the wagon or been naughty I would go.
I decided not to have lunch before I went and instead had a couple of cups of winter tea, despite it being 24°C in the apartment. When I got on the scales at Fat Club I was pleased to have lost 0.9kg, so I was doing ok. The rain eased off a little so I decided to walk round to my parents’ place. Halfway there the heavy rain came again and I was a bit damp when I arrived. I saw their new toaster, which Chris and Jackie had ordered for them, and they were pleased that Dad no longer had to stick a knife in to get his toast out each morning. I had a beer with my parents and the rain got worse. I eventually decided to go for it and left before 7.30pm, despite my mom saying to stay as it was too wet out. I borrowed an umbrella and once outside I didn’t think it was too bad. When I got home my trousers, shoes and socks were soaked so came straight off. I put my masaman curry on and jumped in the shower to warm up a bit.



I kept Thursday 24th November I saw a post on Instagram for Bistro Blue saying that they were going to be having a Christmas party at the Winter fayre which looked like a good idea. It was cloudy but not rainy today, I messaged my parents and a few friends to let them know about the Christmas party. I had a pasta bake for lunch and by the afternoon the weather was sunny again. For dinner I had beans on toast and some roasted chestnuts later on.
I’d done better than I expected at cutting down on eating and drinking, Captain Caveman was due back on Tuesday so I just had the weekend to get through.

Çalış – 19th May

Çalış – 19th May

I met Ma, Pa, Mark, Kate, Vanessa and Matt at the Dalyan bus station at 10.20am on Thursday 19th May and we were off on another adventure! I’d luckily managed to change my breakfast arrangement to Friday and therefore I had not eaten when we got on the bus to Ortaca. At Ortaca we changed to the bus to Fethiye, as there isn’t a direct bus to Çalış. Mark and Kate were going to Fethiye first and the rest of us were going straight to Çalış where we would meet Steve and Michelle for lunch. When we got off the bus at the Citroen garage, ready to walk a few kilometres in to Çalış, a bus arrived which we got on to. I don’t have a Kent card, which is used for transport, so the regular cost was 14 lira (72p) from Dalyan to Ortaca, 28 lira (£1.44) from Ortaca to near Çalış, then 10 lira (51p) in to Çalış itself. The total journey was just over an hour and a half and was quite pleasant. When we arrived at Summer Breeze, a lovely restaurant and bar on the sea front which Julio recommended, most of us had a soft drink and then decided to order a breakfast. The prices were very reasonable and much cheaper than most places in Dalyan so we were quite happy to stay there until Steve, Michelle, Julio, Serem, Mark and Kate were going to join us later. By that time we were well and truly on it with the drinks and were having a lovely time. A guy in white shorts, and no shirt had skated past us showing off his muscles so we, and another table of ‘Brits abroad’ couldn’t help but show their appreciation. He then came back, stopped his skate board in front of us and thanked us for making his day. I didn’t even get my camera out, I was so surprised – you can’t take us anywhere. The rest of the party arrived and we continued to have more drinks, Steve had received positive news from the hospital that his leg was doing well. He didn’t drink but they did have a breakfast and propped up his leg on a spare chair. About 3.30pm Can, the man who sells sunglasses, came round and we all proceeded to try several pairs on. I treated myself to some fake Ray-Ban’s for 250 lira (£12.82) and a couple of others bought a pair.

At 5.15pm we decided to move locations, Julio and Serem had their car so this was useful to get Steve to Charcoal Palace. The rest of us walked, this time I didn’t get lost, and I was able to enjoy the fish and chips I’d missed out on last time. Steve, Michelle and I even ordered an extra battered sausage and chips to share and I thought the food was amazing. I don’t eat peas, tartar sauce or curry sauce but my friends loved the accompaniments. I tried one of Kate’s onion rings and they were very good too but I was conscious of a batter overload. My Dad had said he had not liked the fish and chips last time so I was surprised to see him order them again. This time he said they were better, but still not as good as Tony’s chip shop, back in Mosborough, Sheffield. My Mom and Vanessa decided to order the chicken fajitas and they looked incredible, as did Julio’s chicken shish which he had eaten there before. I couldn’t finish my small portion of fish and chips so I asked to have a doggy bag, unfortunately they forgot and must have thrown it away. Steve and Michelle of course were sensible and went home at a reasonable hour. It had been so good to have a Deep Blue Leg-Ends reunion and of course there were plans for another one next month. Vanessa, Matt and my parents also decided that getting a taxi back from Çalış to Dalyan for 600 lira (£30.77) would be a good option and for the 4 of them it worked out £15 per couple – well worth it!

I could tell that Kate was on her way to getting merry as she had started to speak more Turkish to Serem, at first we were exchanging idioms but we were slowly getting off track and had to resort to speaking English. Mark had considered going home at a decent time too, but Kate was out out – we were also expecting another couple of their friends to arrive. I decided I would share the taxi back with Mark and Kate as even 200 lira each would be a reasonable amount. I joined Mark, Kate, Julio, Serem, Adam & Damla for a drink in Motto bar which turned in to a few more for some of the contingent. We eventually got a taxi after Kate negotiated the bar man down to an excellent price of 500 lira. The journey back started with Kate being chatty but then she fell asleep, Mark said almost nothing the whole way back and the Fethiye shopping made it back to Dalyan. I got dropped off at home and gave 200 lira to Kate regardless of the taxi price. It was midnight when we got in and it had been a long day with lots of laughter, great food and a fair bit to drink. It was worth it to see Steve and Michelle again but I was a bit sad when it suddenly dawned on me that I wouldn’t be in Turkey for the next Deep Blue Leg-Ends get-togethers!

Dalyan – 25th & 26th April

Dalyan – 25th & 26th April

I had a croissant for breakfast on Monday 25th April and was extra tired from not getting much sleep. I’d still got the winter quilt on so it was a tad warm and I’d slept in the spare room because of the handle coming off the ensuite bathroom in the main bedroom. I was meant to go over to collect my stuff from Mark and Kate’s house today but I couldn’t be bothered, instead I went to get some essentials from the supermarket. I had a simit and cheese spread for lunch and didn’t do much else really. I booked in for Pilates tomorrow and I got news that a friend was arriving in Dalyan on Thursday so I needed a couple of days off, in readiness for more shenanigans which I imagined could get messy. For dinner I had a cup of Yorkshire tea and some pasta with Turkish sausage and pesto sauce, then for afters a Bounty chocolate bar. It was nice to be home where I could relax completely for a couple of days.

It was another easy day on Tuesday 26th April, there was meant to be a power outage in the afternoon but it never happened. My parents were staying in with a slow cooker meal that night too and it was my first time at a new Pilates class. I had Christmas cake with cheese on for breakfast and loved it. In the afternoon I walked over to Mark and Kate’s to collect the rest of my stuff and Bluey2. When I arrived they were eating the leftover Chinese meal which was quite a few days old and asked if I wanted to share it. I declined as I could see it wouldn’t sit well with my stomach and I chatted with them while Kate instructed Mark on how to warm up food in an oven, the correct way! News came that masks for the under 65s in shops and public buildings were no longer compulsory in Turkey so I was slightly concerned that there could be an increased risk of catching the virus.
Before I cycled Bluey2 back home, Mark and I arranged to meet at Okyanus for a beer in the sun before the pilates class at The Room Dalyan. Our friend met us at the class and it was definitely more difficult than I anticipated. My bad leg still wouldn’t allow for certain positions but the sciatic nerve pain I’d had seemed to benefit from the stretches. I was surprised to see how good at pilates Mark was, he was pretty flexible (for a Tuesday)! After the class, Mark went home with indigestion and I met up with Drew, Ann, Sarah, her friend and Katrina at Lukka bar to say bye to Drew. He was off back to the UK and so I had a glass of wine to see him and Sarah’s mate off. After hugging and kissing Drew goodbye I went home to have a mystery meal I’d got out of the freezer earlier, it turned out to be teryaki chicken so I was lucky to have cooked rice with it. Tomorrow’s plan was to attend a big celebration for Dutch King’s Day at Waterfall bar which I’d been invited to by a couple of Dutch friends.

Fethiye – 22nd April

Fethiye – 22nd April

Friday 22nd April was one of those days that we will probably remember for a very long time! A few of us were off on a trip to Fethiye and we were all excited, having booked rooms at the Infinity hotel.
I’d already agreed to go ten pin bowling, even though I’m not really a fan, and I was also hoping there may be an opportunity for a Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is one of the few fast food eateries I really enjoy. 
Mark, Kate and I got a taxi from their’s in to town and went to the tea gardens for a quick beverage before meeting the others at the bus stop at 10.20am. We got the 10.30am bus to Ortaca and then changed at the bus station to the bus to Fethiye. The entire journey took about 1.5 hours and cost less than 50 lira (£2.67) each. We got off the bus at the Erasta shopping centre and headed straight for the food hall section upstairs. The gang went for several different options; İskender kebap at the traditional Turkish food restaurant, a burger stall and pides. Vanessa and I plumped for a 2 piece KFC meal with gravy. I’d last eaten a KFC 5 days before Christmas in 2020 in this exact same location and I was so looking forward to it. I loved it and it was quite a bargain too compared to a UK one and wasn’t as greasy.
At the bowling alley Vanessa took charge of our booking while Mark had a go on a boxing game. It cost less than £5 each for a couple of bowling games and we split the teams in to two. I was the only one to start with a strike but then it went downhill from there. We were all in good spirits, some of us more competitive than others. In our team Matt won and Mark won in the other team. It was a great afternoon and despite me not liking bowling that much I really enjoyed myself. We decided to walk to the hotel which was situated in the centre of Fethiye and would take about 20 minutes. There were road works, we all had bags and after a few minutes we flagged down a taxi. The intention was for some of us to get in while Mark, Kate and Matt walked. The taxi driver was having none of that idea and proceeded to pile all 7 of us, and the bags, in to his taxi. He even pulled alongside a fellow cab driver and joked he could fit 3 more people in as we weaved through the busy streets of Fethiye, some of the passengers on their knees/going backwards/clinging on for their life.

We got out of the taxi a short walk from the Infinity Hotel, feeling lucky to have survived. The taxi driver told me it was 70 lira so I paid it but Kate, who must have been the most relieved to be in one piece, took my 70 and gave him a 100 note!
We gave ourselves half an hour to get ready at the hotel then the plan was to go for a cheeky pint. I heard the instructions to meet in reception at 4pm so we could then have a stroll to the nearby Deep Blue Bar. The room was lovely with a nice (but small) bathroom where I jumped in the shower then put on my frock – I suspected we might end up out out!  Three of us sat in reception waiting for the rest of the gang for a few minutes before realising they had all been chomping at the bit and had already gone to the pub. Luckily, I remembered the way (kind of) and we were there in no time. Mark, Kate and Matt had beer already and Vanessa was having white wine and soda. We got a drinks menu but then I saw a sign which advertised draft Guinness for 50 lira (£2.65) a pint until 9pm so all 3 of us were up for that. The last time the 3 of us had enjoyed a pint of cold Guinness together was 4 years ago in Singapore at a bar called Muddy Murphy’s. Everything was great, we’d had a lovely day and now we were relaxed with our drinks, enjoying each other’s company away from Dalyan, feeling like we were on holiday. A young couple were sat on the next table and obviously we got chatting; they were on holiday from Rhodes but originally from the Midlands and London. Before long we had become a group of 9 and had managed to cheese off the only other customer in Deep Blue bar with our loudness and laughter. Our Guinness went down extremely well and I’d had 3 pints of it before I thought it wise to switch to beer. Luckily someone had the sensible idea that we should probably eat food so we all went to the nearby Duck Pond for dinner and we invited our new friends, Steve & Michelle. We also decided to reserve our table back at Deep Blue bar for 8pm for after our meal. Looking back, most of the Dalyan gang were already on our merry way by the time we ordered food – in less than 4 hours things were about to take a turn for the worst.

The meal at the Duck Pond was pretty good from what I remember, despite the fountain wetting a couple of people who were sat the nearest to it. Some people had starters, others just mains and even an octopus salad was eaten. The service was good and the prices weren’t bad.
Having shared a bottle of red wine with Mark during the meal at Duck Pond, on top of the 3 pints of Guiness and 2 pints of Carlsberg, I was probably drunk. However, that didn’t stop us all going back to Deep Blue bar for more drinks. I decided that sticking to red wine now would be the best bet, our table was reserved and more people joined us, including Mark and Kate’s friends from Fethiye.

Matt was the first to take himself off to bed as he’s not one for drinking too much. Kate was the next one to want to retire for the evening and she told Mark she wanted to go to bed. He was not having any of that suggestion and had now gone on to drinking Guinness. The live band were very good and we all got up to dance, the ladies were treated to a spot of gyrating and twirling from our new mate, Steve, as we twisted and jived about the dancefloor. I had just come back to our table for a drink, leaving Mom, Vanessa and Fethiye’s answer to Ricky Martin, giving it their moves on the dancefloor, when it happened. Our new friend, Steve, and Vanessa were on the floor! It all happened so fast but Steve was in pain and he said to Vanessa that he thought he had broken something. He was instructed to not move, the ambulance was called and we were all in shock.
It felt like ages for the emergency services to get there but it wasn’t really and Fethiye has a good hospital quite near to the bar so he was going to be looked after. They stretchered him out to a standing ovation and his wife went with him to the ambulance.

None of us would have predicted the irony of my Mom telling Steve to be careful because she had a bad hip and ankle as they had danced to ‘Stand by Me’.

The rest of us seemed to have sobered up somewhat so we did the only sensible thing and drank some more. Kate took herself back to the hotel and there was talk of the rest of us leaving at some point. Vanessa had said she didn’t think anyone would be allowed in the hospital due to Corona restrictions and she was correct. Michelle was back, with her husband’s shoe in her hand and upset that they wouldn’t even let her in to the ambulance. I did the only thing I could think of that might help; I ordered the tequila shots!
She and I had a couple of Tequila shots and, as Vanessa, Ma & Pa went back to the hotel we thought it was a good idea to have more drinks. The night finished with Mark, Michelle and I ordering a bottle of red wine which they uncorked for us, and took it back to the hotel to drink – it never occurred to any of us that this might be a bad idea.

Dalyan – 13th April

Dalyan – 13th April

Unfortunately Louisa, Linda and Alex were going home on the evening of Wednesday 13th April. We’d made a plan that we would meet for lunch after my Turkish class and then eat again before they got picked up for the airport at 7.15pm. While they spent the morning doing their packing, or trying to finish the last chapters of their books, I was also packing. We had a friend staying so I was packing my stuff up too, ready to move out for a week. Mark had kindly offered to change a light bulb at Sarah’s which she hadn’t been able to reach. He couldn’t remember where she lived so he called for me and we went over to her house. She was on a work conference call so we went straight to the bathroom where the bulb needed changing. When Mark got up the stepladder and started to take the bulb out from the second step, the light came on. I was washing the light fitting and drying it on kitchen roll laughing to myself. Mark changed the working bulb anyway, using a new one from a cupboard full of boxes of lightbulbs and we left. Neither of us could believe Sarah had been without a bathroom light for such a long time when it was so easily sorted!
I went to Turkish class which went well as we were practicing conversation. When we finished at 1.30pm, the plans to meet for lunch had changed as my friends had already had lahmacun from Kebapçı Yusuf for lunch. I was really hungry and had not had any breakfast so I took up Vanessa’s offer of lunch at Jiks. I had a chicken pizza and it was really nice but rather filling. After, I met Louisa, Linda and Alex who wanted to go to Lukka bar so that Alex could play pool. I played pool first while the ladies read their books then Linda had a game while I drank cherry juice. At 4.30pm my friends were hungry and fancied getting an early dinner. We opted for a last Turkish meal at Çağrı where I was too full for anything other than chicken soup. Louisa had a lamb wrap, Alex a chicken shish and Linda a tuna salad. The food was nice and I really enjoyed my soup.
The car to the airport came at 7.15pm and we all said our goodbyes, hoping they would be able to come visit again. That night, I went over to Mark and Kate’s and I had a relatively early night. JC, the cat, was pleased to see me and was the only cat in when I went to bed.

Dalyan – 10th April

Dalyan – 10th April

I decided I needed to redeem myself somewhat with Linda and Alex on Sunday 10th April. Having ruined yesterday’s plans to enjoy a bit of history, by being hungover, I was on the case today. I’d already found a book to swap with Linda and I took that down to her. She’d already kept herself busy by doing a bit of tidying of the garden borders which were full of weeds and rubbish. We had decided that the 4 of us would get the little rowing boat to the other side of the river and take a walk to Kaunos. Linda had heard a little already about Kaunos so was keen to visit, I have been several times over the years but this would be my first time in over 2 years. It would also be the furthest I had walked since my leg injury which was 4 days less than 2 years ago. The rowing boat was 15 lira for a return trip and we were helped in to the boat. We walked along the path and called in to the cemetery where a family of donkeys were saying hello to the residents. We walked up the hill to Kaunos, by which time it was getting hot and I was glad to have my factor 50 suncream on. It cost 17.50 lira (less than £1) each to go in to the site, which is a bargain. Linda and Alex were very enthusiastic and went off to check out the ruins while Louisa and I took it a bit more steadily. I noticed there were more fences across parts of the ruins which had been accessible before. We bumped in to Maria and Co and I had a nice chat with them before going to the amphitheatre. More info about Kaunos is on this link:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaunos
I sometimes forget that Dalyan is a small town so I was surprised when we got a hello and a comment from other sightseers who had seen us in Lukka on Friday night. After a couple of hours we were ready to go back and grab a bite to eat at one of the pancake cafes. We didn’t bother walking to the tombs on account of the terrain being too rough for my leg and it now being extremely hot. At the cafe it was cooler in the shade, I had a tea and chips but the others had pancakes with sugar. We took the rowing boat back and I went to collect my parents’ keys from Lukka bar. Appo was there to tell me that we hadn’t paid our bill on Friday night and produced a receipt with Mark, Kate and Jo written on it. I was in a rush as the blind man had turned up a day early at my parents’ place and I needed to let him in.

I did my best to explain, without any WiFi access, that they weren’t straight but he was having none of it and they didn’t get put up correctly. He said it was because the windows themselves were wonky, which they were. After the blind man had left I went to join Louisa, Linda and Alex who had found themselves a table outside 2 Charlie’s bar and were having a shandy. I had just poured mine when I got a call from Mehmet to ask me for the keys back because the painter was coming. I left my shandy and went back to my parents’ as Danny had come to let me know some info about the bathroom ceiling. He spoke good English and was explaining about the leak and why the ceiling still looked patchy. It was very hot and I was persuaded to have a lift back to the bar on the back of Danny’s motorbike. Obviously I happened to see lots of people and when asked who the young man who had dropped me off was I replied that I didn’t know his name – I was old enough to be his mom so that would give people something to gossip about! After a couple of shandies we decided to head back home and we would go out for dinner later. Linda had suggested we go somewhere for fish and went back with Alex to get ready while Louisa and I joined some of the gang at Sofra bar for a drink.

Kate and Mark both recommended Balıkcim, also a favourite of my mom’s, so when Linda returned she was without Alex as he was worn out and resting. The 3 of us left everyone and went to Balıkcim where the food was so good that I forgot to take any decent photos. I had şakşuka and beetroot as my meze starters, we got bread and both Louisa and I ordered the prawns in garlic butter. Linda ordered a fish and the food was very good, washed down with a glass of wine for Linda and I. Louisa had a rather strong vodka and coke which lead us two to stay out out after the meal. Linda went back to the apartment to keep an eye on Alex while Louisa and I joined Mark back at Sofra.

Dalyan – 9th April

Dalyan – 9th April

I could easily have stayed in bed all day on Saturday 9th April. I had overdone things yesterday and was begging for mercy but I had arranged to take my visiting friends to the market. I couldn’t stomach any breakfast and Kate had already fed the cats before I got out of bed. What I didn’t realise is that Casha had not been home yet. After helping put the bike together in the kitchen and 2 cups of Yorkshire tea, I got a lift from Mark. He dropped me at Jiks where Louisa and family were waiting in the sunny garden at the back. Jiks is always busy on a Saturday so they had to wait for drinks then we finally set off to the market. On the way there, Louisa filled me in on any gaps in my memory from last night’s shenanigans. It was going to be a long day and my hangover wasn’t helping. At the market I bought some strawberries which had gone down to 35 lira (£1.82) then we had a bit of a wander around the other stalls. My friends tried, and bought, a few sweet treats and had a browse for a sun hat. This was the first week I’d seen the market back to it’s full compliment of stalls, including Musti, one of my favourites.
We both bought a purse as I’ve been after one for ages, mine was a Hermes and Louisa wasn’t sure at first. She went back to get the one she liked after we all had a pancake. The purses were great value for around £20 each and my old purse needed replacing. I knew the pancake would give me a dodgy stomach so I only ate a bit then took the rest as a takeaway. After the market we all walked through town and to Rehab bar where the pool gang were playing. Linda and Louisa were still in pursuit of a lamb shish for dinner so I messaged Donny at Heybe’s to check if they had some available that night. When I arrived everyone was already seated with a drink and I apologised for both my hungover state today and our drunkenness last night. I ordered İskender kebab, Alex chose a pizza, Louisa had the lamb shish but Linda decided to go with a lamb tandır. Before the food came I got a message from Kate to say that her favourite cat, Casha, still hadn’t come home and she was very worried. She’d looked everywhere, had called her but there was no sign. I enjoyed my food but had to take half home and Alex loved his pizza. Linda said her’s was nice too but had expected it might come on skewers, like the lamb shish did. While we were at Heybe’s there was a power cut so our Algerian waitress told us a ghost story of the mountain with no name. It had been a long day and I vowed not to drink that much again! I was so happy to be back home and in my own bed tonight, for a change!

Dalyan – 8th April

Dalyan – 8th April

We had another lovely day planned on Friday 8th April. Vanessa and Matt had arranged a boat trip with their family and asked if I would like to join them. Because my friends were visiting I had added all 4 of us on and it would be a Sheffield boat trip with Turgay. I didn’t bother with breakfast but the cats had all been fed and Casha was having morning snuggles by 8am. Vanessa and family had arranged to pick up Louisa and family on the way, but I would get picked up from Mark and Kate’s jetty. I couldn’t find my sunglasses so I borrowed a pair of Kate’s (after checking it was ok to do so). All the cats were out for the day for the last time as Mark and Kate would be returning later, and I went to wait for Turgay’s boat.
I managed to get some video and photos of the boat arriving before I got on board to greet everyone. It was a sunny day and I hoped the sea would be warm enough for a swim. Not only did we go to Ekincik Bay and the beach but, later in the afternoon, we went to the mud baths where we all got in the thermal swimming pool. Jason let me have a go at twirling his stick which he can do all sorts of tricks with and it took me back to my youth, when I was in the majorettes. The boat trip was a great success, the food was lovely and everyone enjoyed themselves. There’s always someone who has to overdo things and, of course, that would be me.

When we got back I fed the cats but Casha didn’t come to eat her food. I popped the dish in the microwave so that the others didn’t eat it. I waited for Mark and Kate to arrive, they had landed but were not home by the time Louisa, Linda and Alex were in Lukka, ready for the music bingo night. When they got home I was already quite sloshed, Mark had been drinking on the plane but Kate categorically stated that she did not want to go out. With their massive amount of luggage strewn all over the house, we got a taxi and went to Lukka bar. I completely forgot to eat, Louisa and her family had already had their meals, Turgay was there and the bingo had started. The music bingo was a good laugh and Linda even won a prize from Maizie Moo. We preceded to drink too much and, instead of me going home, Kate insisted I go back to their’s for more drinking. She did try to invite Louisa too but she was having none of it.

Dalyan – 14th & 15th March

Dalyan – 14th & 15th March

There was no madness on Monday 14th March, which made a nice change. I got a message from Captain Caveman and some photos as he, and his colleague, had been on a bike ride in Phong Nha. They were both keen to find out what would happen tomorrow, the official day that Vietnam would open to international tourism. I was still sceptical that it would happen but they were more optimistic.
I read an interesting article from Vietnam, just as I was missing pork:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220311/ho-chi-minh-city-police-seize-nearly-16-tonnes-of-rotten-pigs/66118.html
I decided to make a teriyaki chicken in the slow cooker, didn’t eat breakfast but made wedges with cheese for lunch. It hurt when I ate or spoke still but my chin was scabbing over now. The bruises on my legs were coming on nicely too. In the afternoon I firmed up a couple of plans for tomorrow; Mark and Kate invited me to their’s and I was going on a bicycle ride with Vanessa and Matt in the morning. We had also been invited to Andy and Julie’s for a get together. Both of these invitations clashed with the singing group but I intended to go to all of them.
For dinner that night I had some of the teriyaki chicken with steamed rice and a chilled glass of rosé wine. It tasted great and I was glad I had made enough to save some for the rest of the week.

Tuesday 15th March was meant to be the day that Vietnam reopened the country to international tourists after 2 years of the pandemic. As can be the case, these things don’t always go exactly as one would expect and I was glad I hadn’t booked on one of the first flights. Despite the country being open, the visa process was still not ideal, with many nationalities still not able to get a visa, and most people struggling to get more than the 2 week exemption for certain nationalities. There was still no official announcement made as to if a 30 day visa on arrival could be obtained and various sources seemed to think we needed to wait a few more days for further updates. There was concern that tourists to Vietnam would book elsewhere and I read this news article:
https://vietnaminsider.vn/complicated-visa-requirements-may-discourage-foreign-tourists-to-vietnam-heres-why/
It was hot in Phong Nha today and Dalyan also had some sunny weather as I got ready for my day out with Vanessa, Matt and Bluey2. I was about to cycle the furthest I’d been, so far in Dalyan, as we set off to Andy and Julie’s house. I met Vanessa at Migros and we stocked up on goodies and wine to take with us, then we went to pick up Matt.
At first I had my coat on but it soon got warm and I had to stop along the way to take it off.
The route was easy and flat so we got there in about 20 minutes, greeted by Andy, Julie and the 2 cute dogs. We had a cup of tea and an array of pastries, biscuits and cakes which I indulged in. I was meant to be leaving in time for the singing group gathering at 2pm but after mention of a potential positive case and the mention of wine I decided not to go. Instead we proceeded to sit in the sun, by the pool chatting, drinking and generally having a good old laugh with fellow northerners!
We cycled home rather merry that afternoon and I was meant to be at Mark and Kate’s already. I grabbed a few things, including potatoes and wine then got a taxi from mine to their’s.
I met the cats; Casha, Kylie, JC, Bubble & Squeak and was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved they were. Especially as I had agreed to house and cat sit Mark and Kate next go back to England. While Mark made sure I had red wine, Kate was keen to feed me a baked potato with various homemade toppings. I’d also taken over some popcorn and we had a great, but drunken night. As it was so late I stayed over, the temperature had really dropped and Mark had to put hot water bottles in the beds. Once in bed, I stayed awake a while, checking for updates on the Vietnam visa situation and hoping for good news.