Tuesday 14th February was a good day, despite me waking up at 3.40am. It was cold and I obviously went back to sleep. At 8am I got the best message ever from Captain Caveman. We don’t often spend Valentine’s Day together so it was nice to know he loved me. For breakfast I had chocolate and tahini with bread and some cherry juice. I was trying to be good seeing as I had Fat Club tomorrow and I’d gone way over on my syn allowance this week. For lunch I had a simit with cheese spread and in the afternoon I went for a walk, then to the shops and bank. Here’s what I bought and the prices in lira;
I’d planned a non-valentine’s Valentine’s Day at mine that evening and everyone was bringing some food and drink. On the guest list was Ann, Nanny Kay and Jamie. Ann brought a massive salad and some other healthy nibbles, including potatoes, Jamie brought his version of a chicken şakşuka (aubergine and tomato based), I had the rice in the rice cooker and had made vegan Bolognese (using lentils instead of beef mince) which I’d stuffed the green peppers with then roasted. I poured the drinks and we had a good natter. We sat at the table to eat and all the food was delicious, and healthy. However, le pièce de la résistance was Nanny Kay’s dessert; she’d not let us down with her promised Christmas pudding and cream. It was amazing and quite naughty, but a great way to end our Valentine’s evening. As a treat, Nanny Kay had also bought me a bar of chocolate which looked a bit too tempting. It was 1am by the time I got to bed having had a really nice night with close friends.
On Thursday 9th February I woke up feeling cold despite wearing my dressing gown for bed. I had a cup of Yorkshire tea and some cornflakes before getting on with some last minute arrangements for the weekend. For lunch I had a bit of a mixture; 10 olives, 4 gherkins, carrots, pickled onions, and homemade Baba Ganoush with fresh bread. I decided on another no meat day today as I was trying to be extra frugal with the housekeeping. I slipped off the diet somewhat in the afternoon when I ate a small bag of jellies (which I was meant to be packing in my rucksack for the weekend), drank an Efes beer and ate 2 pieces of chocolate orange. I went to Tez bar to say goodbye to Vanessa and Brad. This is why I had the beer, but it was still within my syns and I was under control, honest! I got back on track for dinner with veggie egg fried rice but then ended up having a glass of red wine with some cheese while watching Netflix.
My blog posts were about to get disrupted slightly from today, Friday 10th February. I decided to take a day off from blogging about life. I had a cup of Yorkshire tea and some fresh bread with hazelnut spread, to finish it off. At 9.30am I got picked up to go to Fethiye in the morning but was back within a few hours. I made it back in time for a quick shop, where I bought some probiotic drinks, wine gums and satsumas for a total of 46.12 lira (£2). I ate steamed rice with sweetcorn and egg for lunch, before going to Lukka bar for my Turkish class. In the afternoon I accidentally snaffled some crisps because I was peckish then had a veggie pot noodle for dinner. I had managed my 3rd day of no meat and 2nd day of no alcohol this week but I did know that tomorrow I would definitely be going off plan. I packed my bags, including a Tupperware of emergency snacks such as carrots, walnuts, cake, jellies, a satsuma and the rest of the chocolate orange. I tried to have a nap but didn’t get one. My blog would miss a day tomorrow and start again on Sunday.
Wednesday 8th February was Fat Club day and it wasn’t looking good for any weight loss. I had consumed 376% of the Slimming World weekly syn allowance and almost half of it was in alcohol. There were only 2 days when I didn’t have any booze this week and my measurements were not good either; Bust +3cm, Waist +3cm, Hips stayed the same Right thigh +2cm, Left thigh +3cm, Right calf +1.5cm, Left calf +2cm. Even my legs were fatter! I had toast with a cheese triangle and some winter tea for breakfast, then a ‘diet’ pizza for lunch. I decided that today would be a meat and alcohol free day and I also did a bit of a walk then called at the bank. At Fat Club I made all my excuses as I went over to Carol’s scales; I had put weight on! This was no surprise but it was only 0.2kg (not even half a pound!) which was quite the miracle I needed. I heeded my own advice and had a 1.5 litre bottle of water which I made myself drink during the 1 hour meeting. After Fat Club finished at 4pm, I headed over to Rehab bar. Vanessa had told me that she was bringing some goodies to celebrate Matt’s 60th birthday with the pool group. When I arrived it looked like the ‘party’ was over and, luckily for the diet, I’d missed the cakes! Kate had saved me a cheese and potato ‘sausage’ roll which was superb and I had 2 pieces of Turkish delight. In the interests of damage limitations, I stuck to soda water and was thinking the others would be giving the ball a right kick for Matt’s birthday. Matt didn’t seem in the mood and he, Vanessa and Brad left at around 5pm. It might be the last time I saw them, as Vanessa and Brad were going back to the UK on Friday. I had another soda water with Mark and Kate before going to the shops on my way home for dinner. Here’s what I bought:
Migros Supermarket 1 pot noodle 9.90 Milk 17.50 Walnuts 32.50 Total spent 59.90 lira (£2 60)
Şok Supermarket Fresh bread 5.00 2 packets of jellies 9.00 1 packet of veggie ravioli 11.50 1 packet of meat ravioli 29.90 Total spent 45.50 lira (£1.97)
Back home I noticed that someone had chopped some branches down and they were in the way of the gate. It was bitterly cold so I had some french onion soup, Slimming World style, for dinner with the fresh bread. As I’d resisted alcohol I allowed myself 4 pieces of chocolate orange (only 10 syns).
I was up and about at Mark and Kate’s by 8am, on Thursday 2nd February. Kate made me a cup of tea and then went back to bed while I sat on their lovely new sofa. JC came to see if there was anything we could watch on TV and looked at me while I sipped my tea. I got a lift back in to town on the mobility scooter with Mark and Kate and went to the bank. Kate had recommended a few things in the supermarket that I wanted to try, including the nan bread from last night, so I decided to walk with Kate, who was off for her hair doing, to go to Bim. Here’s what I bought:
1st Bim Supermarket Carrier bag 0.25 Fresh loaf 5.00 Brown sliced loaf 11.50 4 nan breads 15.95 Total spent 32.70 lira (£1.43)
I’d had to go to both Bims because the offers they had on meat had lead to a shortage. At home I had a cheese sandwich for my breakfast before quickly getting ready for my Turkish class at Ela’s Kitchen. I was super thirsty when I got there so I completely forgot my new Frugal February rule, to have a large water, and automatically ordered a cup of tea and an orange juice. These came to 55 lira (£2.42) and the Turkish class itself was only 50 lira (£2.19)! Back home I had a bowl of soup with noodles in for lunch and had a chat to Captain Caveman. For dinner I ate more bread, some gorgonzola cheese, which needed eating up, and some olives. I also started to pack my bags as I was off on another dogsitting stint tomorrow!
Wednesday 1st February marked the day where I aimed to make a few changes. I wanted to be more frugal, find a more suitable part-time job, get paid what I was already owed and lose some weight. I never make new year resolutions for January as I know I will fail, especially as it’s my birthday month. February was a shorter month and would be easier to put some goals in place. The first thing I did when I got up was to get weighed on the home scales and take my measurements. The home scales read heavier than Carol’s at Fat Club but, if they were correct, I had lost a little bit more – I would find out this afternoon at Fat Club. All of my measurements had either decreased of remained the same so it was looking like a promising start. I had cornflakes with skimmed milk and a cup of Yorkshire tea for breakfast then went to the bank and supermarkets, here’s what I bought:
Migros Supermarket Bag of garlic 9.34 835g onions 10.77 M&Ms 10.90 140g plain Quark 14.95 1.7kg potatoes 15.26 Bin bags 18.50 2 pot noodles 19.80 400g Mushrooms 29.90 450g Spinach 34.90 Cream cheese 49.90 Total spent 189.32 lira (£8.30)
Şok Supermarket Wine gums 6.95 2 packet of plain crisps 23.50 Rice 27.50 Total spent 57.95 lira (£2.54)
Mark and Kate were having a curry night at their’s later and Kate had invited me. I said I’d bring a Saag Aloo dish with me too. I hurried along to Fat Club, eager to find out my results. Remarkably, I had lost 0.9kg (almost 2lb) and had now exceeded a total loss of 3.6kg (7.9lb, over half a stone) which was a great start to the month. Spurred on by a good result, I decided not to have a cup of tea which is served with a biscuit and decided to order a large bottle of water. Back at home I set about making my dish for tonight and wolfed down a late lunch of chicken, sweetcorn and egg fried rice using the left over chicken shish from Kordon’s on my birthday, which I’d got out of the freezer earlier. Once I’d made my potato and spinach dish I got a taxi over to Mark and Kate’s as I was running late and the pan was too big to carry. Fikri’s prices had increased by 20% to 60 lira (£2.63) for the 3.3km drive. When I arrived, there was just Kate at home so I wasn’t actually late. Mark and the other guests were all still at Rehab bar after pool had finished. Kate had made a delightful meal of onion bhajis, chicken curry, rice, nan breads, and various salad, chutneys and dips. It was lovely and I really enjoyed it with my bottle of Tılsım red wine I’d allowed myself, using my syns. It was good to see that Mark and Kate now had a cat room where they all had an individual bed and a litter tray, this would make it so much easier to look after them in the winter. I ended up staying over in the upstairs bedroom instead of getting a taxi back as I’d drank a whole bottle of wine to myself.
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!?
It was the start of my birthday week on Monday 9th January and the plans were coming along nicely. After breakfast I took the dogs out as usual but this time Charlie wanted to check on Milo, the dumped dog, who we had now found out was called Cookie. Apparently the owner of the off-licence, Yaman Bufet, had said he would take it if we could take it to the shop. I was struggling enough to handle the 3 dogs I did have on the lead so I sent the location to people who could help.
While Captain Caveman was on his way back from Son Doong, I was on my way for my first treat of the week. Kate was meeting me at Egehan restaurant, where her birthday gift to me was lunch and drinks. We had a lovely table outside by the pool in glorious sunshine and we were the only lunchtime guests. We had beers and a couple of beef dishes which were absolutely stunning. My meatballs were so tasty and Kate enjoyed her meal too. I was wearing winter clothes and was too hot, even the pool wasn’t that cold.
Next we went to Tez bar where we were later joined by Mark and we were discussing plans for my birthday. On my way back to Jamie’s villa, around 5.30pm, I called at the shop for some essentials, a little bit tipsy. Louisa was arriving tomorrow so I’d asked her what she might want so I could get it in, and I also took some vodka from home as she doesn’t like wine or beer. Here’s what I bought;
Migros Supermarket 1 Twix 13.95 Skimmed milk 15.50 Carrots 16.25 Toastie loaf 17.50 Crisps 18.45 Apple juice 22.00 1 tin of tomatoes 24.90
Total spent 128.55 lira (£5.66)
After shopping and walking Norman and Edna, it was time to take Charlie for his walk. This time we went a different route and ended up in Waterfall where I met up again with Mark and Kate. After a couple of drinks I went back home and sent the Bistro Blue menus out to the potential birthday party attendees so they could preorder. On the whole, prices had an average increase of 20%, which was normal but I expected some cancellations because of it. As my diet was on hold until after the celebrations I treated myself to a couple of pieces of the white Terry’s Chocolate Orange which Josh had brought me over from England.
All 3 dogs came back to bed with me on the morning of Friday 6th January. Even while I waited for the kettle to boil, Norman and Edna were halfway up the stairs and it was still too early for breakfast. They got on the bed together and there was some repositioning as Edna and Charlie both wanted to be nearest to me. In bed, while some of the dogs snored, I made some arrangements for my 50th birthday celebrations next week. It was likely to be bad weather and so I envisaged I might need to have a Plan B, just in case. I’d decided I fancied going for a nice meal and some drinks at Bistro Blue and was having conversations with the owners to arrange. I had to wait for them to reprice the menu as the prices were increasing for 2023, the new menus would be with me on Monday. I was really looking forward to having Louisa come over to celebrate my birthday with me but I did hope she wouldn’t be too bored – Dalyan can be very quiet in the winter time. I’d brought my tape measure with me to Jamie’s so I did my weekly figures; Bust & Hips remained the same, Waist +1cm, Both thighs and Right calf +0.5cm, Left calf still the same. I popped to the shop to get some provisions for a soirée I was hosting that evening. Here’s what I bought at Migros Supermarket: 880g chicken 67.00 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 24.90 1 carton of cream 18.90 Total spent 110.80 lira (£4.89)
I suspected that wasn’t far off the cost of the same things back in England, although I hadn’t been back for over a year. I put the ingredients for a Slimming World friendly curry in the slow cooker and brought my rice cooker over from one house to another. I had a bit of a tidy up then Vanessa popped over to join me on a dog walk.
Cheeky Charlie, obviously had us call in to Waterfall bar, which ended up being 2 drinks and Charlie getting lots of attention from his friends. When Vanessa and I got back to Jamie’s villa to pick up her bicycle, Ann and Nanny Kay were already on the patio waiting for me.
Once indoors and the dog fussing had been completed, we got the wine out. Ann had brought me a lovely birthday gift; a gift bag with Buzbağ red wine, Dairy Milk chocolate, M&Ms and a lovely purple bobble hat. Nanny Kay gave me a bottle of Tigre wine, which I also thought was a pre birthday gift as she also wasn’t coming to my birthday party on Wednesday. As Jamie would be away for my birthday, and Nanny Kay and Ann weren’t able to make it, we said we would do a night out at the end of January instead. I thought the curry turned out well and the ladies were impressed with my rice cooker rice. Charlie took a real liking to Nanny Kay and was loving being a bit cheeky with both our visitors. We had a lovely evening and I was quite merry by the time they left.
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.
I was feeling much better on Tuesday 20th December but not 100%. I decided to take it easy during the day aside from being the hoover assistant to Captain Caveman. He had finally got the right tools and fixings to mend Abi’s wardrobe with and my role was to offer up the hoover to suck up the dust as he drilled the new holes. I was sceptical it would be fixable but he did a cracking job and Abi could definitely have more weight on the wardrobe rail and shelf now. It did mean she probably wouldn’t be able to find stuff when she got back as he’d taken all the outfits and bags out and not necessarily put them back as they were. In the early evening the weather was still nice as we took Charlie for a walk and had a quick trip to the shop where we bought the following;
When we got back I explained to Charlie that we were off out for dinner and a party. He wasn’t too pleased and decided to show me his bum!
We had been invited to Michele’s 60th birthday party at Temsi restaurant. It started at 7.30pm and, as I was probably still full of germs, even though I was feeling better, I went for a table away from everyone. Adam and Kath had just returned to Dalyan so they joined us and then Bill and Jaxx, from the Dog shelter, came and sat beside us. Michele had very kindly put a bottle of each colour wine on the table for us to drink, had organised a curry dinner and a band. It was one of the best parties I’d been to in a while and the wine seemed to perk me up no end! Before the night was over I had managed to get as many photos as possible, dance to the band and eat a very delicious curry themed buffet. We only stayed until the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ and cake cutting as I didn’t want to overdo it. I’d enjoyed the party and it was the first time I’d been at Temsi’s new venue since it moved in to the old Nazo’s building a while ago. We were impressed and it had been lovely to be invited and see so many people celebrating.
On Friday 16th December I felt ill when I woke up and I knew I had caught the bug that was going round. Captain Caveman walked Charlie then went to Bridge while I muddled through my To Do list. I did my weekly measurements to find I had lost 1cm from my bust, put 3cm on my waist and 2cm on my hips. My leg measurements still differed by 1cm. When Captain Caveman came home neither of us could be bothered to cook so we had bread and leftover mezes from Nil lounge’s Fat Club party on Wednesday. Captain Caveman arranged to do a long walk tomorrow with friends and this time it was suitable to take Charlie as it was flat. He was going to suss out if it would be suitable enough for me to do it and then, if it was, I could perhaps do it with my parents and 007 on Christmas day. I definitely had a flu type bug and by 3pm I was in bed unable to function. I tried to sleep but couldn’t and Katrina, who lives in the apartment below, got in touch to say her water leak downstairs was becoming a bigger problem so she was sending her hubby, Mehmet, round with a plumber, tomorrow. For dinner we had leftover beef stew and I went straight back to bed, feeling terrible. I hoped I didn’t have Covid but the symptoms were starting to feel like it.
I was still unwell on Saturday 17th December, in fact I felt even worse. Captain Caveman brought me a bacon sandwich in bed and I stayed there all day and night. Captain Caveman let Mehmet and a man in to look at the bathroom, then he took Charlie with him to the market and then on his walk. Despite attempts to fix the leak I wasn’t sure it was fixed yet, but we would see. Captain Caveman was convinced it was something to do with pipes outside but nobody understood that. In the afternoon I did a Covid test as I was getting worse – it was negative. Kate also had similar symptoms, was also in bed and negative. I had soup for lunch and tried to do some Turkish on Duolingo but found the new layout not as good as the original and the free version I use was not as easy to be able to do more than a few minutes at a time. When Captain Caveman returned he had bought me more soup, strepsils and cough medicine. He made us french onion soup for tea and said they had all enjoyed their walk. Charlie was pleased to see me and wasn’t as tired after this walk as he was the first big one he did.
Photo credit – Captain Caveman took the photo of Charlie on his walk
While Captain Caveman was on his way back from London to Dalyan, on Tuesday 29th November, I was doing my best to finish as much stuff as possible so that we could go out and play later. I’d spent the last 2 days at home, had zero alcohol and had not spent anything. I had cereal for breakfast and the remaining pasta for lunch before I headed off for an appointment. Unfortunately, this meant I had to miss singing group in the afternoon and instead I went to see some friends about a house and dog sitting arrangement. My Mom and Vanessa still went to singing group so at least they had each other to get into trouble with. Charlie, the dog, recognised me from before and was very friendly so I knew we would get on fine. Captain Caveman and I would be moving in to his apartment tomorrow and would look after Charlie for a bit. While I was there I got a message from Captain Caveman to say he was home and I headed back to meet him. When I got there, having past a bicycle on a gate and a big black cockerel, the kitchen table had lots of goodies on it and the freezer was being stocked with even more. Captain Caveman had brought back grub screws, cheese, bacon, crumpets, muffins, sausages, a proper Yorkshire pudding tin, freezer bags, a fish slice, silicone pan lids, hoops for poaching eggs in (apparently called poachettes), chopping boards and, best of all, 210 Yorkshire Tea teabags! I was very interested to see how the prices were in the UK as I hadn’t been back for almost a year so I took Captain Caveman’s receipts to check out the details. Here’s a list of what Captain Caveman bought in England and the prices in pounds;
He also bought some meat, galangal and lemongrass back for Kate, as you can never have enough. We really didn’t need those lids from IKEA for £12, nor the new chopping boards when we already had some. I wouldn’t use the rings for poaching eggs either so they would be redundant until at least September 2023. It was amazing how he got all this and his clothes in his hand luggage, but I was very happy that he had.
Seeing the teabags made me actually cry tears of joy and Captain Caveman couldn’t stop laughing at me! To cheer me up even further he suggested drinks with Ma & Pa at Tez bar so I texted Ma to see if they were available. She didn’t answer so we decided to go there anyway and, when we arrived, my parents were already there, sat with some of the usual frequenters. They had taken to having an early bar recently so I should have known they would be there. After a couple of drinks we decided to go to Duble for dinner to celebrate Captain Caveman’s return. I tried to order sensibly to help the diet I was meant to be on, so I had lentil soup and a chicken shish. Of course the main dish comes with chips, rice, salad and flat bread, with oil and butter used in the cooking, but it was better than some of the dishes I could have had. Dad and Captain Caveman had some delicious looking potato croquettes and we had wine with our meal. We had a complimentary hot beverage to finish off our meal and were home before 10.30pm having had a lovely night. Tomorrow we would be taking on another canine responsibility that was just so cute!
I had a mystery meal defrosting on Saturday 26th November so that I could eat a sensible lunch before I went out. I was busy all morning until lunch time and then worked out what the mystery meal was. It was a chicken casserole so I added roast potatoes and roasted cauliflower to give it a bit of substance. It was delicious and would sort me out for any beer drinking which might (would!) happen. Captain Caveman had been in touch and he’d given me some money to go to the Christmas Fayre with but it came with strict instructions to not buy anything unnecessary. Neither of us like ornaments or trim up for Christmas so there was no chance of that – it was more likely to be spent on food and drink, unsurprisingly. I’d told friends I would be at Bistro Blue at 2pm and I was already running late so when I arrived some people were there and others not yet. Vanessa and her mother in law were waiting for me and we managed to find a seat, as Diane isn’t too good with her legs. Ann, Jax, Debbie (Darling) and Kate were already there and I briefly said hello. Vanessa ordered a white wine and soda, I had a beer and Diane didn’t order a drink. My parents were running late and when they arrived my mom had a black eye from being drunk lask night. At first she started to tell everyone about her drunken walk in to a door but in the end I said she may as well say Dad hit her (which he didn’t), and no-one seemed to care about that. Kate came over to join us and was keeping an eye out for a tall black guy with dreadlocks, Julius. She did ask a few people if they had seen him and they said they wished they had. Julio (the less tall Welsh man) turned up first and his friends were also joining us later.
I had a little mosey round all the stalls with Kate and there was a lot of stuff for sale. We bought some cheeses and Kate bought a crocheted top. I decided to get some curry from the Spice Garden stall to take home and I also ordered some onion bhajis for us all to share. The afternoon got lively, my parents got tired after overdoing it yesterday and I walked them part way home with the intention of dropping my stuff at home and returning. I got changed and came back out as it was difficult to not get involved with 40 lira Bistro Blue beers and DJs giving it the ‘what for’! Most of the day time people I knew had either gone home or were about to leave but the evening crowd and the hardcore few had arrived already.
There was lots of dancing and I really enjoyed chatting to and dancing with Katrina, Steff, Penny, Eileen, Julio, Toni, Julius and Mark before it got quite messy. Needless to say a few of us ‘accidentally’ ended up back at Mark and Kate’s for some more shenanigans, despite Kate having gone home before it got dark. I slept in the upstairs room in a single bed with a tremendously warm blanket. Not everyone made it back to Fethiye as planned either so tomorrow was bound to have people with sore heads!
The weather forecast for Monday 14th November looked nice with a high of 23°C. I was meant to be going with my parents on a trip to Ortaca but, unfortunately, I had decided not to go. Vanessa had let me know that Matt had tested positive for Covid, after feeling unwell for a couple of days. The best thing to do was to cancel my plans in case Vanessa had caught it and /or passed it on to me without us realising. I finished batching up my various soups and sauces for the fridge and freezer then I got an invite to Kate’s birthday party on Wednesday. Vanessa and I both decided to do Covid tests and we were both negative, which was good because I needed to have more than just soup in the house. I decided to go shopping, in case I started to get poorly. Here’s what I bought at the supermarket:
The exchange rate was now 22 lira to the pound which was the highest I’d known it. I bought a notebook at the stationers for 40 lira, a months worth of contraceptive pills for 115 lira from the pharmacy and a cooked chicken for 80 lira at the butcher’s. My total spend for the day was 509.57 lira (£23.16) and I had so far managed to avoid going to a bar or having any alcohol. When I got home I noticed that my Turkish phone had a text on it from Aydem from this morning saying they had closed the job. I went to check the meter and they had not done anything at all, I was so annoyed with them! It was a good job it was winter and we didn’t need any communal electric on, although I did notice that the roses at B1 and the route between A and B Block was now looking a lot more overgrown and would need more than kitchen scissors. For lunch I had a salad with about a quarter of the roast chicken, without the skin, then put the bones and skin in a tub to make stock. Later my parents were out at Tez bar but I resisted the urge to go out for a drink and stayed in. I wanted to have lost some weight this week and I knew if I went to join them I would definitely find it difficult to resist the booze or eating out. I added some of the chicken to a couple of portions of pumpkin and lentil base for dinner and added spinach and chopped tomatoes for a nice curry with steamed rice. I resisted a beer out of the fridge!
I had marked in my diary that the restaurant Duble was reopening on Tuesday 15th November, but it didn’t. This was good news for my diet and reducing the amount of booze I drank. I didn’t have any breakfast and I noticed we were running low on freezer bags so I messaged Captain Caveman to add them to his list of things to bring back. He’s bad at keeping in touch when we are apart but I got a thumbs up. I went to Turkish lessons, Vanessa was unable to come so I messaged her with the homework later. For lunch I had the curry but with a warmed up wrap instead of rice. I ate yoghurt with figs and honey as a dessert and then went to call for mom to go to singing. Vanessa and Kate couldn’t come and there was still no sign of Gay Gaz joining the group. I’m not quite sure what had got in to the singing crowd today but there were a few more choices of different, more lively, songs; I have a Dream, Wonderful Tonight, When you say Nothing at all, The Boxer, Moon River, I’d Like to Teach the World to sing, Will you Still Love me Tomorrow and there was a request for The House of the Rising Sun. Peter and I had added it to the request book but some people at the other end of the table decided we weren’t singing it, for some reason. I readded it to the list and we did sing it but I noticed a few members of the group not joining in. After singing, Mom and I went to buy Kate’s birthday present ready for tomorrow then we each went home. For dinner I had chicken and vegetables with noodles then some popcorn while watching a selling houses series on Netflix. It was a nice cosy evening until I went to bed and decided I needed a winter quilt on the bed. Captain Caveman had moved all of our 6 quilts around so it ended up taking me quite some time to get the right bedding out and reorganise the linen cupboard. It was my 3rd night without alcohol so I was hoping it would have made a difference at Fat Club tomorrow.
Captain Caveman was packed and ready for an 18 day trip to the UK on Saturday 12th November. He made his own breakfast and I had cereal a bit later on. The electric meter issue was still not resolved so I called Aydem again and this time I felt like they were listening, understood and were going to fix it. They agreed to send someone out, gave me a job reference via text and Captain Caveman could leave, happy it would all get sorted – I still wasn’t holding my breath! Captain Caveman’s taxi with Fikri was booked for 11.30am so we still had some time to go to the bank and the chemist. Kate had messaged to ask if I could pick her up some more dressings and some veg, Captain Caveman was still suffering with a cold so he bought some flu medicine to take with him. He’d not seen his parents for quite some time so he was looking forward to seeing them, as well as attending the screening of A Crack in the Mountain, the Phong Nha film at the Kendal Film Festival.
After saying goodbye to Captain Caveman, I went to the weekly market with my parents and here’s what I bought:
I was meant to have bought a cauliflower too but, because I didn’t put it in to one of the plastic bags, the stall holder didn’t think I wanted to buy it and put it back, rather than in my shopping bag. While Captain Caveman flew from Dalaman to Luton I walked over to Kate’s. Mark was at Rehab bar for pool afternoon with the lads so I was taking her some dressings, spinach and tuna. We had a good natter and Kate gave me a couple of pairs of jeans, they were a bit snug but with all the weight I’d be losing I felt sure they’d soon fit better. I just drank water while there and on the way back I called in for 1 drink at Rehab bar. John was meant to be in Mark’s team at pool but Andrea had turned up so he was leaving. He asked me to play his game and I was surprised to see Tay and Wolfie beat Mark and I so easily. Mark and Wolfie were still playing pool at 7pm when I went home to cook up a nice dinner made from leftovers, pleased I’d managed to go to a bar ‘just for one’. I used the half portion of beef casserole, which I’d had in the freezer from Duble. I had it with steamed rice and it was delicious.
When I woke up on Sunday 13th November, there had been an earthquake in Rhodes at 5.30am this morning but our friends Steve and Michelle, who live there, were fine – in fact they hadn’t even noticed. I decided to have a bit of a soup making day, I tried the Slimming World slow cooker red onion soup which is super easy to make and smells amazing. I also roasted some pumpkin to make a base for soup, or curry which I would add lentils and Kate’s curry paste to. Vanessa came over in the afternoon and we did our Turkish homework together. She’d also brought me a piece of writing she had done from after her operation, which we’d been talking about. When I read it, I cried, it was well written, interesting and so emotional. At 5.15pm Vanessa had to get off because she had a family call. I was still batch cooking up more soup, after having a delicious bowl of the red onion one, then made a diet friendly pizza. While Captain Caveman was away I was going to use the time to my advantage to try to lose weight by not drinking, eating things I shouldn’t and spending too much money. I was on a mission and, although yesterday I had 1 beer and spent 122 lira (£5.68), today I had drank no alcohol and spent nothing. I stayed up until after midnight watching some murder series on Netflix, tomorrow I had a busy day planned.