I got up quite late on Friday 14th January, we were 2 weeks in to the year now and my health kick, and being a bit more sensible on my eating and drinking, hadn’t really started out well. It was weigh-in day and I was expecting a bad result but I had lost 0.75kg and I was happy with that. I was about to have some food when Jamie messaged to say he was at Tez bar and to meet him there. As the sun was shining I decided it was a good idea but was not expecting to see someone wearing shorts – it was warm in the sun but definitely unusual to find a Turkish man wearing shorts in Dalyan at this time of year. After a couple of IPA blondes, and a spot of socialising with friends, Jamie and I left to go to the supermarket, leaving some of the others who were going to Bingo night at Lukka’s. Unfortunately Jamie and I got sidetracked and ended up in Jiks having a couple of wines and a pizza, which was really lovely and I even ate the whole thing. I did go to Migros, as intended though but only for a few bits and bobs. I got home at a reasonable hour, had tea and biscuits and finalised the invites for Sarah’s birthday party tomorrow afternoon.
Saturday 15th January started very well but finished badly; I decided to go for a walk along the river as it was another sunny day and I wanted to see how the water levels were now. Unfortunately they were still extremely high but below the flood line mostly now. I could see the snow on the mountains and the tea garden had been completed demolished.
I’d had no breakfast so decided to have lunch out at Mahir, a local Turkish restaurant in the mosque square – a place I’d been meaning to go to but had never got round to it. I ordered a chicken doner kebab and chips with a coke and it came to 50 lira (£2.74). It was big, fresh and so tasty – definitely a new favourite now. While I was eating, Peter went past and I shouted him over for a chat then we left together to walk back down the river where I went to Lukka bar and Peter carried on walking.
It was Sarah’s birthday celebrations and a few of us were meeting at 3pm at Lukka for drinks and pressie giving. There was quite a turnout, we all sat in the sun having a beverage and I chose a Turkish cider. After 2 drinks, and as planned, we walked over to Sofra bar for the next bit of celebrating and a few more people joined us there. Nanny Kay had some nachos but spilled the sauce down her white jumper and Sarah had one of the delicious bacon sandwiches. Ann and Helen had chicken stir-fry noodles, Debbie (Darling) had a burger and Jamie had a sandwich and cheesy chips. I made the mistake of being too full on kebab and didn’t have any food so it probably comes as no surprise that the night ended messy!
Peter and Selahı were drinking rakı on the next table to us and people at Sarah’s birthday started to leave so we merged the party at Sofra. Even Sarah and Debbie (Darling) had vacated Sofra bar but Jamie, Ann, Peter and Selahı remained to come up with the bright idea of going to Jazz Bar. Jamie and I are dubious about the drinks there and didn’t want to go but, before we knew it, we were watching a very talented musician play a clarinet and had ordered a glass of wine each. The last thing I remember is putting Ann in a taxi home and then having a tequila shot!
I wasn’t feeling too spritely when I woke up on Sunday 16th January and was convinced that the booze in Jazz bar was dodgy. I had 3 swollen, slightly bruised knuckles on my left hand (I had to take my ring off) and my face hurt so I messaged Jamie and Selahı to see if they knew why. They didn’t, but something wasn’t right and we vowed not to go again. We had already booked in to have Sunday lunch at Heybe’s with Ann and when I got there, in my wellies, I stunk of cat pee. What a to do, I leave my wellies outside the door so that is why they stunk from the cat spraying on them on Wednesday night. We were all hung over, cold and drinking soft drinks while waiting quite a while for our dinner. We had tomato soup for starter, beef with Yorkshire puddings for main and apple crumble for dessert. I really struggled to finish mine, due to the hangover, and took half of mine plus a bit of Jamie’s home. We were all begging for mercy and I went home and got straight back in to bed!
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.
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!
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
Vanessa and I finally got our day trip on Saturday 4th December when we decided to get the bus to Fethiye. We got the bus around 9.30am from Dalyan bus station and it took about 20 minutes for us to arrive at the bus station in Ortaca. There, we waited under shelter as it was very rainy, for our next bus to Fethiye. We had masks on and were wrapped up well so when the driver whacked up the heating we were both feeling a tad too warm and it seemed to take longer than we expected to get there. The bus was fairly busy and we stopped quite a bit to pick up and drop off but we were in Fethiye before 11.30am where it was still raining. We were just glad to get off the hot steamy bus and we decided we would walk in to town, about 2.5km away. It was a good walk and we really enjoyed the fresh air and looking in a couple of shops along the way. Vanessa had been to a place before where they sold pickled onions and chutneys so we decided to have a look for it and we were both also keen to buy some Turkish delight to take back to the UK. Fethiye was busier than our last visit but still not too bustling and we managed to get a few bits and bobs, including a Christmas jumper, before we got slightly lost. When we finally found the Mulberry Tree restaurant, I recalled having been before with Captain Caveman a few years ago. The owner was lovely and welcoming and he and the rest of the staff were working hard in readiness for the Winter Fayre in Çalış tomorrow. We decided to have lunch there and took a seat inside, near the window. Vanessa ordered meatballs, I chose a chicken shish and we got a complimentary lavaş bread starter. The food was excellent and we both bought extra provisions there; pickled onions, mince pies, crumpets and plum jam. We had bought so much stuff that a walk back would have been a bit of a struggle so we got a taxi over to the Erasta shopping centre. We tried to get a wine, I bought a couple of bits and had a new battery put in my watch. Unfortunately we did not find any wine in Fethiye but we did get to practice our Turkish questions of asking establishments if they had wine. We gave up and got the bus back, it had stopped raining but the bus got very busy and went the quick way back to Ortaca. When we arrived it was dark but we decided to go for a drink at a cafe near the bus station. They also didn’t serve alcohol and so we had a lovely hot chocolate and admired the pastries and cakes on offer. In the end we got a taxi back to Dalyan and practised our Turkish directions as the driver didn’t speak English. I was tired when I got home so I reheated a lasagne for dinner and had it with beetroot and some Turkish delight for afters. Tomorrow I needed to get on with sorting out my trip to England but I was starting to wonder if I would go or not. Even in the Vietnamese news there were reports of potential travel bans and I wondered if the UK would be affected: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20211201/who-warns-against-blanket-travel-bans-over-omicron-coronavirus-variant/64471.html
Crikey, I was poorly on Sunday 28th November!!! I’d been up a few times in the night with a bad stomach and I woke up so dehydrated and hungover that I had to go back to bed. I had to cancel meeting up with Vanessa and Janet to go to the Christmas fayre and I really did think I had just got a bad hangover but it seemed to get worse as the day went on, no matter what I did I could not recover. Vanessa hadn’t been able to come to Maddie and Onur’s housewarming on account of her being ill so I did wonder if I may have got something similar as there was a bug going around. By the afternoon my shoulders and chest muscles were aching and I felt like death. While the people of Dalyan went out and about, the sun came out and I spent all my day between sofa, toilet and bed – I’d only had a litre of wine over 7.5 hours last night so surely it wasn’t just a hangover! In the Vietnamese news there was a few reports that the international tourism trial was not working and there were a few problems with that. I did have some good news that day though, friends who I had met in Phong Nha had sent me a wedding invitation for 2022. Bryan and Kendra, who will be visiting Dalyan for New year are getting married in Georgia and so I got a save the date, which is great news – I’ve never been to Georgia so it would be a good excuse!
By Monday 29th November I was still not much better but I forced down some cornflakes, I still had a bad stomach, muscle aches, a headache and was a bit clammy so I didn’t do much. In the news there was an official update of the requirements to enter England, effective from 4am on 30th November and to be reviewed in 3 weeks, these would be the rules that would apply to me on my forthcoming visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19 By 3.30pm I decided a bit of fresh air and a trip to the shop might be in order. I could hardly concentrate and felt terrible as I bought the following:
1 plastic bag 0.25 1 pack of polos 2.50 1 Bounty 4.95 Crisps 7.00 1 gold chocolate 7.00 1 litre of cherry juice 7.50 4 Probiotic drinks 12.26 1 pack of chicken breasts 20.85
Total spent 62.04 lira (£3.60)
On the way back from the shop Sara (from River Terrace) brought my order from the Christmas fayre that I missed. When I got in the apartment, I ate the Bounty and some crisps washed down with cherry juice and went back to bed. When I woke up I felt a lot better and decided to make a proper meal for my late dinner. I had beef köfte and homemade chips with BBQ sauce and all seemed fine. Later I had a mince pie and a chocolate orange truffle (from Sara) and my stomach was kind of ok. Unfortunately I had cancelled having a curry at Ann’s tonight as I didn’t know if I still had a hangover or if I had a bug. I hoped I was better for tomorrow as Vanessa and I had a very important trip planned.
I had hardly any sleep and felt like I couldn’t do a bus journey on Tuesday 30th November so I had to cancel Vanessa again – it’s a good job she’s understanding. Instead, I forced buttered toast down and went back to bed, I had cups of tea and lots of water but didn’t really start to recover until almost dinner time. It was a cold day and I had lots of layers on so I decided to have meat and potato pie with carrots, mushrooms and gravy to make me feel better. It was not only delicious but I was almost back to normal by bed time and the pastry didn’t give me a bad stomach.
I had a busy day at the start of the week on Monday 22nd November. The lira was at 15 to the English pound so my money was now at half the value of when I put it in the bank, which was disconcerting. I was too busy checking all the up to date rules for my forthcoming trip to England that I completely forgot to have any breakfast. I found that I was going to need all of the addresses of where I would be going in the first 10 days of my stay so that I could put them on the PLF, I also needed to decide on at least 1 address to stay at, for the first 2 days – this was going to be tricky as I didn’t really have a plan as yet, but I needed one before I left Turkey. I decided to have a bit of a clear out so that I could donate any bric-a-brac to the white elephant stall at the Christmas fayre this year and I came across a lamp without a working bulb. I had a walk to the Millennium shop to buy a replacement to see if it worked and the weather outside looked like it might rain at any time. The forecast had said to expect a lot of rain this week and so I decided to go to the new A101 supermarket on the high street and Migros to stock up on essentials. Here’s what I purchased, I will let you decide what was actually essential:
A101 Supermarket 1 packet of chicken noodles 2.20 2 bottles of soda water 2.70 1 pack of sigara böreği 6.90 2 packs of crisps 10.40
Total spent 22.20 lira (£1.48)
Migros Supermarket 1 plastic bag 0.25 1 pack of biscuits 2.50 2 simit 4.50 1 Bounty 4.95 1 packet of bechamel sauce mix 6.45 1 toastie loaf 9.95 1 jar of tomato paste 9.95 1 pack mushrooms 11.49 3 probiotic drinks 12.75 1 pack lasagne sheets 13.95 1 can baked beans 17.95 1 jar of pesto 22.95 1 pack of beetroot 24.90 1 bag of chestnuts 24.95
Total spent 167.49 lira (£11.17)
While I was packing my shopping I saw Maria from Askins estate agents and we had a little chat, then I paid and left to go home.
The lamp bulb was replaced, it worked so I decided to keep it and, after dropping off the shopping and eating a simit for a quick lunch, I decided to go for a walk to the doctor’s. I got a message from Maria to say I had left my Migros card at the supermarket but she had it at work and I could stop by to collect it, which I did – it was really kind of her to do that. My app said I could go for my 2nd Pfizer jab now so I thought I’d make sure that I was still booked in, especially as I needed to have 14 days clear before I landed in England. It was a nice walk along the river but the streets where the road was being taken up was a mess. The doctor confirmed I should come at 9.45am on Wednesday for my next Corona vaccine so that was good as it gave me 2 days spare. On my walk around town I bumped in to Viv who had just been to Alp’s Balıkcim for sausages, which made me want some. Alp has a section of English stuff so I made a few purchases as a treat:
Alp’s shop 1 bottle of HP brown sauce 1 can of baked beans 1 jar of tandoori paste 6 pork sausages 1 Cumberland sausage wheel
This came to a total of 150 lira (£10) but the beans were on offer at 12.50 lira so I couldn’t resist buying another for 5 lira cheaper than in the supermarket.
While I was out, Ann had messaged to ask if I fancied meeting at Heybe’s for an early dinner so I did. She had wine, I had tea and when she ordered her usual chicken schnitzel I decided to go with the potato skin starter. When it came it had a jacket potato with it and was gorgeous but I couldn’t eat it all so I took the jacket potato part home to have with my leftover Sunday dinner tomorrow. By the time I got home it was dark, had gone quite a bit colder and I saw that the Vietnamese Corona cases were on the rise again.
It was probably the coldest day so far on Tuesday 23rd November and I was wearing a fleece indoors as I ate my simit, cheese and olives for breakfast. I decided I still needed provisions for the massive week of rain that was forecast so I togged up and ventured out to the shops again;
Şok Supermarket 3 red onions 3.22 1 packet of roast chicken bags 4.15 4 carrots 7.16 4 probiotic drinks 19.80
I also picked up a bottle of wine from Tolga’s wine shop for 45 lira (£3), never mind the rain I was ready for a blizzard!
I had a late lunch which consisted of my leftover Sunday dinner and yesterday’s leftover jacket potato (both from Heybe’s) which was absolutely gorgeous. My next mission was to make a lasagne from the bolognese that I had bubbling away in the slow cooker and could use my new glass containers for batch freezing some of it. I got peckish while it was cooking and ate a Bounty and then some chicken pieces with BBQ sauce. When the lasagne was ready I had to taste some so I cut off the ends and ate those, it was really good and I would look forward to more of it in the next couple of days. I’d been watching a series on Netflix called Cuckoo, with comedian Greg Davies in, and was finding it quite entertaining so I watched more before bed and set the alarm so that I didn’t overlay for my important appointment tomorrow.
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.
I was finally going to get tested for food allergies on Tuesday 9th November. I had arranged for Sonuç to accompany Vanessa and I to get the blood tests at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye. My parents were also coming along and we intended on making it a bit of a day trip, with it being about 1 hour away. We left mine at 9.30am, with Sonuç and Engin our driver, in the comfort of the 6 seater. I was confident that I had eaten enough of the gluten and dairy, which I thought I was intolerant to, for the test to pick those out – I’d only eaten pizza so that I could put it to the test. I also had a dodgy stomach that morning as well as on arrival at the hospital. Sonuç was great as when we got to the international department area there was a big queue so we went to the locals section and got sorted there. I was surprised to see that the hospital was not only big but very busy for a Tuesday morning and I was slightly nervous. Even on the way there and before, Vanessa and I had been trying to predict what the results would say. I’m a fainter so obviously I was worried I might faint but they don’t mess about in the blood taking room. Vanessa was in less than a minute and went first as they shouted her first, then I went in. I shouldn’t have looked at one of the other ‘customers’ because then I saw the needle in him and nearly couldn’t stand up. Sonuç and Vanessa were great and got me out of a side exit before I could faint and then we had to come back at 5pm for the results. The cost of the blood test was 550 lira (about £40 at the time) and we weren’t sure exactly what foods they were testing for. I was still feeling woozy when we got dropped off in the town centre of Fethiye and so we went straight to a cafe for a Turkish tea for me and Vanessa, coffees for my parents.
We had a bit of impromptu shopping in the Turkish delight and tea shop where we all got a bit of something. Next we had a wander down the umbrella precinct area and found it to be almost empty everywhere so decided to go down by the harbour area for a drink. I didn’t fancy wine so I had a beer and, of course, I had a bad stomach so when we decided on having lunch at nearby Address I chose a safe option. Everyone else had pides which looked fantastic but I stuck to a chicken shish because I knew I still had to travel back again after we got the results. After lunch we had wine at a bar, Mom nipped in to Migros for some provisions and then we all walked back to the harbour to meet Sonuç and Engin for a short trip back to the hospital for the results. Vanessa and I were nervous but looking forward to finding out exactly what foods we would have to give up, we even joked about how bad it might be.
While we were enjoying our day in Fethiye our blood was being tested for food allergies. Below is a list of all the things that they tested us for (in Turkish and English) so you can do what Vanessa and I were doing – guessing which ones would be the likely culprits!
Yumurta akı – egg white Yumurta sarısı – egg yolk İnek sütü – cow’s milk İnek sütü UHT – UHT milk Kazein – casein (protein in dairy) Buğday unu – wheat flour Gluten – gluten Pirinç – rice Soya fasulyesi – soya bean Susam – sesame Yer fıstığı – peanut Fındık – hazlenut Antep fıstığı – pistachio Ayçekirdegi – sunflower seed Kabak çekirdeği – pumpkin seed Kakao – cocoa Portakal – orange Çilek – strawberry Elma – apple Muz – banana Kivi – kiwi Dut – mulberry İncir – fig Domates – tomatoes Havuç – carrot Patates – potatoes Soğan – onion Şeftali – peach Kiraz – cherries Zeytin – olive Yeşil fasülye – green beans Balık karışımı – fish (mixed) Deniz kabukluları – shellfish Et karışımı – meat (mixed) Tavuk eti – chicken
I thought it would be eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten and perhaps onion, tomatoes or banana that I was intolerant or allergic to. Captain Caveman thought I was allergic to gluten, dairy/lactose, sulphites, eggs and possibly banana. Vanessa knew there were certain fruits and vegetables that set her off, in addition to custard.
While we were still in Fethiye I got a call to tell me that my residency card was in Dalyan, so that was quicker than expected – I was happy with that as the official timeframe was 8 weeks, the Muğla immigration officer said 4 weeks and it had been 2 weeks and 3 days. When we arrived back at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye to collect the results of our food allergy tests it was about 5pm but when Sonuç went in, there was a delay of 10 minutes. Vanessa and I were really nervous but I knew whatever it was that my body was intolerant to, I would have to give it/them up. I was ready to do that (as long as it wasn’t all alcohol) because I was fed up of never knowing when I was going to be ill and I liked going on day trips to places other than a tour of the lavatories. Ever the joker, when Sonuç came out with our results he pretended to give us news that we were allergic to everything on the list, plus a few more besides! But the real results were shocking; as we sat in the back of the taxi, Vanessa’s were revealed first – she was not allergic or intolerant to any of the foods tested! We were taken aback but could understand that due to Vanessa’s recent health issues that perhaps her stomach problems were caused because of her surgery so it could be possible. She also knew she was allergic to apple and had not eaten one for more than 6 weeks so, again, would account for why apple was rated a ‘0’ on the ‘0-5’ scale. I was next and thought I’d at least get a ‘1’ or ‘2’ rating on some things, however we were all flabbergasted to find I had ‘0’ for every single thing on the list, the same as Vanessa. I was so relieved to find I have no food allergies but, of course, this didn’t detract from the fact that there is something wrong with me – or was I just imagining it!? The ride back to Dalyan was easy going and when we got back to mine Vanessa went home but my parents and I decided to ‘celebrate’ in Lukka bar. I had a red wine, they had beers, Mom was too full to eat but Dad and I decided to order food. As I have no allergies to food, I ordered something I have not had in years; Mac & Cheese, Dad chose a garlic pizza bread. My food didn’t look like a classic Mac & Cheese but it tasted very good, after half of it I was stuffed and so took leftovers home and put it in the freezer. I was very pleased to say I had no immediate or short term reaction to the food I’d eaten and so I went to bed thinking I could probably eat whatever I wanted from now on. That would be amazing!!! I messaged Captain Caveman to let him know as he’d not asked how I was getting on (he rarely thinks to ask me) but I got no reply, despite not hearing from him since Sunday. I also messaged my sister, who is Coeliac, she didn’t want to worry me but reminded me that it took her years to get an accurate diagnosis. I had been tested a few years ago and wasn’t Coeliac and I could at least rule that out. So, tomorrow I would be back to the drawing board – writing down every food and every reaction to find out what could be wrong.
We had an amazing day on Monday 8th November; my parents, Vanessa and I met at mine and walked to our meeting point for a boat trip with Captain Boris. Today we were joining Basrı and Rebecca with their guests Nanny Kay, Viv and Paul for a trip to Köyceğiz as Monday is their market day. Also on board were the owners of the Caretta Caretta restaurant in the square which was closed now so they were going to be helping out on the boat, which was great. To be honest I didn’t need to go to the market but I love a boat trip and Captain Boris is one of the best boat trips for food and service so I was in!
I didn’t check the Corona heat map which is an app that tells you how risky an area is but I later found out it had some red (high risk) areas where the market is – great! My Dad needed a pair of socks so, luckily for him, he had Mom, me and Vanessa all ‘helping’ him choose some. Then the parents went off and we said we would find them for a drink later after a look around the market and shops. I bought 3 things and spent just 100 lira (£7.50); a cheap ring to replace the one from Marble Mountain, 6 wine glasses and a pair of trousers for lounging in. We were masked up the whole time, even when we bumped in to Sabine and Ray, Dalyan friends who were at one of the restaurants at the water’s edge. We couldn’t find my parents so we had a glass of wine each at a place not far from the boat and then went back to show off the purchases.
We set back off once we were all back on the boat and went to a stunning place on the lake for our plentiful lunch. The food was so tasty and there was so much choice as well as a good selection of wines, I even went on to a blush which was surprisingly good. There was lots of time for swimming in the lake, taking in the amazing views, sharing stories with each other and drinking a little wine – Nanny Kay tried pomegranate wine! We also sent messages to Jamie to gloat that we (his friends) were all together having fun without him, we were also looking forward to seeing him again for more boat trips in the new year.
After the beautiful boat trip, I went to Jiks for one with Vanessa and my parents and I put my purchases on a chair behind me. Obviously, I forgot them and had to go and collect them later when I realised and then I decided to go to Pizza 48 to let them know about the missing chicken nuggets the last time we ordered from there. I accidentally got chatting to a couple who lived not far from Birmingham, they were eating at one of the tables outside and the lady was drinking a glass of red wine. I had not known we could’ve had wine there so I decided to have one, plus a takeaway pizza and we had a nice chat while it cooked. Back home I ate half of the pizza, watched something on Netflix and then went to bed not realising how much of a shocker tomorrow was going to be!
It was my parents’ last trip to the weekly market on Saturday 6th November and when I arrived at their apartment they had obviously been discussing what they needed to buy. My dad knew we would be making the most of their last week in Dalyan and that my mom isn’t too keen on cooking so he was saying they didn’t need to buy much, if anything. My mom was still keen to go because she thought they would need some salad stuff so that Dad could continue to make their lunch most days. I was out of olives and potatoes so I needed to get more, it was a lovely sunny day as we walked to the market and we bumped in to Onur, the musician. At the market I bought potatoes, mushrooms, olives, dried figs and dates for a total of 69 lira (about £5.50) so I had an eclectic mix for breakfast which was more like lunch time and I sat outside to watch the building work activities for today.
The columns next door were being poured today and a concrete machine was pouring it in from above while the workmen gave instructions and tried to steer the pouring arm in the right direction. Later, I had a trip to Migros supermarket for a few provisions and more Tupperware, here’s what was in my shopping basket;
1 pack of Turkey ham 3.65 1 can of pink grapefruit drink 3.95 1 pack of smoked chicken 5.50 Bin bags 7.90 1 can of chopped tomatoes 8.25 1 pack of cheese slices 8.50 2 probiotic drinks 8.50 1 sliced loaf 9.95 1 hair conditioner 19.25 2 Tupperware boxes 23.66 1 pack of frozen fish fingers 29.60
Total spent 128.71 lira (£9.50)
I had a 2nd lunch/snack of a turkey ham salad sandwich with pickled red cabbage and I opened a bottle of red wine. I only had a couple of small glasses because tonight the 3 of us had a special night planned.
I decided to wear my poppy dress for our night out, mainly because I didn’t know if Remembrance Sunday was this week or next but also because it is the warmest dress I have and the nights were quite chilly these days. The 3 of us walked up the main street of Dalyan and decided to have a drink at Aşkin’s where we bumped in to a few of the Dalyaners, including Rebecca and Nanny Kay, who I would be seeing on another boat trip next week. We just had the one drink there and then we walked back to Bistro Blue where I had booked a table for the 3 of us. We had a choice of inside or outside but we plumped for inside where it was all cosy with just 3 tables. Annie and Selahı welcomed us as usual and we took our seats ready to peruse the menu. Selahı recommended we have some red wine which he would normally have on the menu at a more expensive price than Tılsım but because this was their last weekend of being open he did us a good deal and only charged us 120 lira (£9) and it was very nice.
Dad and I shared a bottle of it while Mom had a glass (or two) of white wine, Dad ordered liver and onions with bacon but Mom and I had to go for steaks seeing as it would be our last night here this year! Unbelievably, while we were between starters and mains a couple came in and sat down and the man asked Selahı where he gets his meat from, not a usual question but it put the idea in my head that I knew this man from somewhere. It turned out that he was also from Sheffield and had been at a Leo Houlding talk at The Foundry in Sheffield, 8 years ago. He was surprised I remembered but he was a keen climber and we got chatting a bit and they ordered food. Another couple who had quietly been enjoying their meal got chatting too and we were surprised to hear that they had been coming to Dalyan for a long time but this was their first meal at Bistro Blue. The food was incredible, we were really looked after and we ended up having another bottle of wine, then Dad went on to the brandy and lemonades. Işmail, the flower man, came to say hello and Dad asked to buy 2 roses for Mom and I. Mom then had to pay for them as Dad doesn’t have money on him – and they say romance is dead. We had a great night and were pretty drunk when we eventually left Bistro Blue with arrangements made to meet up with Annie and Selahı soon.
I had a day trip planned on Thursday 4th November with Vanessa, Matt and my parents so I had my probiotic drink and then some cornflakes with milk for breakfast. I made sure I had some chicken stroganoff at the ready for when I got back from today’s boat trip out to sea with Yusuf from Amy’s Bar. Yusuf was busy renovating a 6 bedroom villa which he would rent out from next year but he still had time for boat trips while the weather was nice. We all met near Tez bar just before 10am, we were the first on to Yusuf’s boat where Yusuf, Hakan and Murat were preparing for the day ahead. A Turkish mom and her son joined, followed by a well-dressed Polish couple, so 9 customers in total. As we set off down the river and towards the beach there was Turkish tea and homemade cake for everyone, I was conscious that the cake might not suit my stomach so I didn’t have any but I did have 2 cups of Turkish tea. Before we could get to the sea we had to navigate the shallow sandbanks where lots of boats get stuck every day so we were all asked to go to the very front of the boat and sit on the floor. That was easier said than done for quite a few of us and once down I wondered if I would be able to get back up. Hakan is a good boat captain so he got us through without too much fuss and we were on our way along the coastline towards Devil’s Bay. Vanessa and I noticed that there were border patrol boats at sea and these were because of the trouble between Greece and Turkey with migrants trying to get to Europe via Turkey, this was the first time we had seen these and there were quite a few massive boats on the horizon. When we got to our spot at the little Devil’s Bay it was time for swimming. Everyone but me and the Polish couple went in, they were disappointed as they didn’t know the itinerary for the day and thought they were just going on a river trip for an hour or two, so didn’t bring swimwear. I still couldn’t get my healed wound wet so I decided to take photos and then test the beer out, it certainly passed the test for coldness! There was a gorgeous BBQ lunch and we all had a drink before heading back towards Dalyan, where we almost got stuck on a sandbank on the way past the beach. I was sunbathing on the front of the boat and chatting to Vanessa thinking we were finished for the day but then we went to Çandır lake for another stop, we were definitely getting our money’s worth on this trip.
When we got back to land Dad was sad that the day had ended and wanted to be out out, even though we had said we weren’t going out tonight, I’d got a stroganoff to eat and mom was doing tea for them at home tonight. I called at Şok supermarket for some essentials;
1 plastic bag 0.25 (I had forgotten my bag) Bread 2.00 3 carrots 2.38 1 packet of crisps 4.50 1 pack of ‘lady’ items 14.50 4 probiotic drinks 17.00 1 box of mini magnums 27.50
Total spent 68.58 (£5)
I’d just took my bra off and got comfy when I got a message from Mom to say that Dad had left his swimming shorts tied to the back of the boat, she didn’t want to give Dad an excuse to go back out for more drinking so asked me if I would be able to get them back for him. I messaged Yusuf and Hakan but there was no reply as they were probably settling down for dinner with their families. After eating an ice-cream after dinner, I had a stomach ache and then was ill, this was a good test as I needed to eat more of what I might be allergic to before my testing, although it could be due to the 2 beers I had drank on the boat.
The building work next door woke me up earlier than I would have liked on Tuesday 2nd November, the lovely sound of hardcore being dumped. My hangover was pretty bad as I’d drank 6 large glasses of wine last night, which is the most I’ve drunk in a long while. It was now officially the winter season here in Dalyan so our pool and garden man had drained the pool, he still hadn’t tidied any of the debris and litter left in the garden borders I noticed, when I went out for lunch with my parents. Dad had decided we would go to Yener’s Place who might be closing soon and the sun was shining again so we could sit out with a river view. We sat outside even though the leaves were falling from the trees quite a lot now but we were catching the sunshine while we still could. My parents went for one of their favourite lunchtime meals, tuna sandwiches and I decided to see how an İskender kebab would go down with this hangover I had, especially as quite a few people had recommended I try the one at Yener’s. It was good but gave me a bad stomach after eating only half so I took the rest home then ate the rest of it once I felt better in the afternoon.
Mom and I went to Migros supermarket for some essentials while Dad had already gone home. At the shop I bought the following items, priced in lira:
1 tub of quark 6.90 2 bottles of Activia probiotic drinks 7.50 1 pack of sanitary towels 10.00 24 toilet rolls 29.92 1 box or washing capsules 47.50
Total spent 101.82 lira (£7.60)
Vanessa had mentioned that she has probiotics every morning to try to help with her dodgy tum so I thought I’d have a go too. That evening Vanessa came over with a bottle of wine and we decided to get a Pizza 48 takeaway. We ordered a salami and mushroom one and a beef, onion, and peppers one on the deal that comes with chips and a can of pop. I also decided to try the chicken nuggets and we paid half each for the takeaway. When we got home they hadn’t given us the chicken nuggets we ordered and paid for but I didn’t have any credit on my phone to message them to let them know. The pizza was good but we couldn’t manage it all and I couldn’t manage much wine either as I’d had too much the previous night. Vanessa and I did have a good laugh putting the world to rights and planning to have some fun while both her and her husband, Matt, are in Dalyan.
On Saturday 23rd October I was very hungover, more building work was going on next door and I could have done without the sound of metal bars being cut and hammered into place. I joined my parents for the usual walk to the market where I bought the following items; Radishes Grapes Baby potatoes Plums Dragon fruit
The total spent was 66 lira (£5) of which about 50 lira (£3.80) was for the big dragon fruits – very expensive compared to only 5 lira for a lot of grapes. It was the opposite to Vietnam, where grapes are expensive and dragon fruit is cheap. I needed a hangover breakfast so I suggested we go to Jiks and it was well received by ma & pa. They both had tuna sandwiches, as they had already had breakfast but I had a bacon and mushroom sandwich which was so good! I managed to get on the E-devlet app, which had crashed yesterday, but once in it, I had no idea how to navigate the different sections so I gave up. For lunch I had plums, grapes, cheese, olives and some bread and then I decided to try something new for dinner – mushroom risotto made in the slow cooker and without wine or cheese in it! The risotto turned out pretty well and I enjoyed 2 portions of it! Today had been a nice easy-going day of recovery, ready for tomorrow’s excitement, as we were off on a day trip.
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.