Dalyan – 25th December

Dalyan – 25th December

When I woke up on Sunday 25th December, I was slightly regretting agreeing to a Christmas Day walk so early. Our friend, 007, had previously suggested that she would like to join Captain Caveman, my parents and I if we decided to opt out of the usual Christmas Day festivities and go for a walk. We’d been looking after Charlie for 26 days now and I was wanting to make sure that we gave him plenty of exercise before we left him to go out enjoying ourselves.
007 was prompt and outside Waterfall bar at 9.30am and it was just us and Charlie, who wasn’t really wanting to go out for a walk and wanted to stay at home.
We had a lovely walk, chat and 2 stops for a hot beverage at the tea gardens, one of which we couldn’t take the dog to so we had to move on. We had set off in the cold but had ended up taking several layers off and by 1pm, when I headed back ‘home’, it was very sunny. 007 had kindly given me a small Christmas gift which I put in the kitchen for later. Charlie was absolutely done in and had decided he was getting on the sofa and not moving. This was concerning as I’d already told my parents I would go on another walk with them this afternoon. The one this morning had been too early for them but I was also worried I’d even manage it as it I was pretty tired already. Captain Caveman was about to leave to meet Josh and they were heading off to Dalaman to watch Dalyan Spor play football. I was unsure if they would be going at all as they had struggled to find transport to accommodate everyone who wanted to go.
When I contacted my mom about the walk she suggested we went to the tea garden for lunch first and then see about a walk afterwards, which I was pleased about, even though I’d already been to the other two this morning. I didn’t take Charlie with me, much to his delight and we bumped in to Tay (from Rehab) and he joined us. My mom and I had Fanta, Dad had a beer, my parents had a sandwich and I just had chips. It was really warm and we spent a couple of hours there before going back home, ready to meet up again in a couple of hours, once the fellas were back from Dalaman.

By 5pm on Christmas Day, Captain Caveman and I were treating Charlie to a trip to see his friends in Waterfall bar after his walk to Poo Corner. My parents were on their way to meet us and Josh had popped back to Captain Caveman’s apartment to get ready for tonight’s shenanigans. After dropping Charlie back off at home we walked to Bistro Blue where I had booked the 5 of us in for a meal. Captain Caveman was on good form and behaving himself, he even agreed to share starters with me. We chose stuffed mushrooms and garlic mushrooms, Josh had the onion bhajis and I can’t remember what my parents had. I was too busy trying to make sure Captain Caveman didn’t snaffle both starters. For main courses my parents had casserole type dishes, Josh had a veggie stir fry, Captain Caveman had chicken fajitas and I decided to have the steak with peppercorn sauce. My parents ordered a nice wine that they particularly liked, Captain Caveman and I stuck to the cheapest, Buzbağ, and Josh was on Efes. The meal was really lovely and I enjoyed my steak very much, having gone for the big size I had to take some home. Captain Caveman couldn’t eat all his chicken fajitas either so we had that packaged up along with a trifle and a mince pie, courtesy of Annie. We had thought we might pop by Adam and Kath’s for a drink to wish them, as well as Mark and Kate, a Merry Christmas but it was getting late. By 9.45pm Captain Caveman had surprisingly ordered an Irish coffee and was scooping the cream off, Dad was on brandy, Josh on the posh whisky, Mom and I on the Bailey’s. Annie gave us complimentary shots, Ferrero Rocher and After Eight Mints to finish off our meal and we didn’t leave there until almost midnight. I’d really enjoyed my non-festive Christmas Day and it seemed like everyone else had too.

Dalyan – 11th & 12th December

Dalyan – 11th & 12th December

At 5.25am on Sunday 11th December it was only 17°C and I was wide awake and a bit nippy. I decided, as today was likely to be a bit of a right-off, weather-wise, I would start my tasks early. The cats were fed at 7am and the rain was on its way so we were going nowhere. I had a cup of Yorkshire tea and one of Michele’s gorgeously sweet pink grapefruits for breakfast. By 9.30am it was throwing it down. I spent most of the day on my laptop until Casha finally came in for a cuddle. Later on it became quite stormy and the internet went off but the electric was still on. I even got a text from Captain Net to say that there had been an outage and they were trying to fix it. Captain Caveman gave me a call to check on me, as the power was out at Charlie’s with the storm getting worse around bed time. The storm was loud and pretty relentless and I hoped all was ok at our own home.

On Monday 12th December all the cats were fed and accounted for by 7.50am but it looked like JC had some swelling on her face. She wouldn’t let me look or touch it and I thought it might have been a bee or wasp sting. I let Kate know in case a vet visit might be needed and we decided to see how she was throughout the day. Casha was fed up of being bothered by Bebek and decided she would sleep in the box of crisps. It was raining so all the cats stayed indoors all morning, except for Kylie. When the sun came out later that morning I decided all the cats but Casha, who was now sleeping on Kate’s handbag, could go out as I had an important appointment at noon. I had to walk to Charlie’s as I had no money on me, Captain Caveman had gone on a long walk with Cath and Keith but not taken Charlie on this one as it might be too difficult for him. He had remembered to leave me some cash which I needed as I’d arranged to meet author, Rosie O’Hara, at the Kaunos tea gardens to purchase her new book and have a quick catch up before she went to cookery class.

Captain Caveman sent me photos of his walk around Dalyan with his new walking buddies.

My wellies were falling apart but were necessary to get through all the puddles and mud from Mark and Kate’s place. I ordered a tea and Rosie gave me a yarn bag for Kate, a marvellous invention of which I’d never seen or heard of before. Rosie has written more than one book and, as I was buying her latest work, she very kindly gave me her previous book and even wrote a dedication and signed both books for me. I was also gifted some cards to experiment with and I was looking forward to seeing what effect they may have. Now I just needed to make some time to read them, I still hadn’t finished Mike Tyson’s autobiography which is really good. Rosie also recommended I get some Centaurium drops to help with my allergies/stomach reactions which now seemed to have transferred from stomach issues in to face and neck eczema. We had a short catch up before I walked back to Charlie’s in my broken wellies. If I had not lost weight at Fat Club this week I would be disappointed as I was walking for about an hour per day, minimum.

As Captain Caveman was out, I took Charlie for a walk then I took more Bolognese and some clean clothes from that house back to Mark and Kate’s around sunset. Kate had messaged to say that flights from the UK today had been cancelled due to snow and that their flight tomorrow might also get cancelled – I might need to stay longer. JC definitely had a poorly cheek and, although she still wouldn’t let me touch it, she did let me give her a cuddle.
I got most of my stuff together and did a few tasks in the evening so that I wouldn’t have to do as much tomorrow. Captain Caveman and my parents were both leaving in 2 weeks and I’d not really been out with them much. I was very tired, it’s surprising how the relaxing week at Mark and Kate’s had not really ended up as that and I was starting to miss being in my own home with all my own things.

Dalyan – 4th December

Dalyan – 4th December

We had an exciting day planned on Sunday 4th December. Captain Caveman made me a bacon sandwich for my breakfast in bed and Charlie came in to watch me eat it. Then Captain Caveman popped to Migros supermarket and bought a loaf of bread, some mushrooms and 6 beers at a total of 208.85 lira (£9.21). At 11.30am Captain Caveman, Charlie and I were round at Jamie’s villa and we were joining him, Drew, Norman and Edna for a day at the beach. My parents were going to join us at the beach and were getting the midday bus. We all fitted in to Jamie’s car comfortably and we wondered if it was Charlie’s first time in a car. On the way there, Charlie started to feel travel sick so we had to stop for him to get out. When we did get to the beach, Charlie seemed unsure that he was allowed there, off the lead too (dogs aren’t allowed on the beach in the main season) so he was a bit shy. Norman and Edna were used to it and had already started heading towards the water’s edge. Charlie ended up loving the beach but he didn’t go in the sea like Norman and he wasn’t sure how to play fetch the stick like Edna. It was a lovely sunny day and so sweet to see all 3 dogs having a good walk along the beach. We walked a lot, Charlie got loads of exercise and some bonding with Captain Caveman, as he’s not too fond of men. Around 1pm we grabbed some sunny seats at the cafe and I spotted some sunglasses on the floor which turned out to be a Turkish lady’s on the next table. She was grateful and gave us some treats to eat as a way of thanking me. They were delicious and she even gave us some of her homemade pomegranate jam to go with them.
The cafe was still serving food and we had a mixture of toasties, chicken döner sandwiches, chips and soft drinks. Dad had also brought some snacks in case the cafe was closed. Adam had some of his beers too but I wasn’t fancying a beer today.
We left in the car just before my parents, who got the 4.30pm bus back. We had Slimming World red onion soup for dinner and by 9pm Charlie was snoozing away, tired out from his beach day but very happy.
He’s not normally allowed in our room but by 11.30pm he was fast asleep on our bed with his blankie on.

Dalyan – 27th & 28th November

Dalyan – 27th & 28th November

Having not slept too well, I was treated to breakfast at Mark and Kate’s on Sunday 27th November. Kate seemed in fairly good spirits considering she had gone home for an early night and it had turned out anything but. We said bye to Julius and Toni and then Mark and I went to drop off some lemon grass at Janet and Kevin’s on the way to take me home on the mobility scooter. When I did get home, I went straight back to bed for a couple of hours as my body ached from too much dancing at last night’s Bistro Blue party. I ate the Spice Garden curry for lunch as it was too tempting to save it and I generally pottered about at home. I vaguely recalled saying I’d go to watch Dalyan Spor play football at home but I hate football and can’t think why I would have said yes. I didn’t go and was glad as I managed to get some chores done. I was still busy doing stuff at 1am and had only stopped to have a diet pizza.

I was on the laptop all morning on Monday 28th November, it was cold and raining so I had to put the Air Con on heat mode. The living area was full of wet clothes that I was trying to get dry before Captain Caveman came back tomorrow.
For lunch I had a Slimming World friendly pasta with quark, which Katherine had shared at the Fat Club group, and it was very tasty and filling.
I made arrangements to visit friends tomorrow about house and dog sitting for them while they went to England. That evening I had a quiet night with a pumpkin based curry and no alcohol, for a second day.

Dalyan – 20th to 24th November

Dalyan – 20th to 24th November

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



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


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



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



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

Dalyan – 12th & 13th November

Dalyan – 12th & 13th November

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:

Broccoli
Spinach
4 Onions
3 Potatoes
5 red onions
Grapes
Garlic

Total spent 71.50 lira (£3.33).

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.

Dalyan – 6th November

Dalyan – 6th November

During the night there had been heavy rain but it looked like it was easing off when we woke up on Sunday 6th November. Rob had already been up early for his morning run, where a street dog had accompanied him. He got back to the apartment just as the rain had begun again. Captain Caveman was still in bed rejigging today’s plans. The idea had been for Captain Caveman and Rob to walk it to Iztuzu beach over the hills. They would get the 10am bus part way along and walk the rest. My parents and I would get the bus at noon and see them there. Instead, we ate Turkish breakfast pastries at home with a hot beverage before our afternoon trip out. Just before 10am we thought the whole of Plan A would be stopped due to the heavy rain but, by 10.15am, the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to come out. All 5 of us got the 12 o’clock bus, Captain Caveman was a bit cheesed off as the 10am bus had been moved to 10.30am so they could have still done plan A if they had known.  At the beach it was fairly cold, breezy, but the sun was warming things up a bit. I thought it was too cold to swim and didn’t take my swimmers. Our first stop of the day was to see the amazing work that is being done at the turtle hospital, one of my favourite turtles today was Nessie and she might even be getting released soon.

By 1pm we were on the sand watching Captain Caveman get in to the sea like a modern day Reginald Perrin. Rob wasn’t far behind but my parents and I thought it was a bit too bracing for that kind of madness. We had lunch at the beach cafe where a chicken döner sandwich was 40 lira and chips only 25 lira. Captain Caveman’s and my lunch came to a bargain 105 lira (£5) and was tasty and filling.

We got the 3pm bus back and decided on a drink at Tez bar, where there was a bit of DIY going on. Tez was making new indoor seating arrangements, now that it was getting colder at night. Rob is a cat lover and the new kittens were really sweet, we were joined by Penny and Phil who had a dog treat for Cani, the Tez dog. Jamie and Drew had been for Sunday lunch so they stopped by for a drink on their way home too. Tez had some spare Efes glasses, we don’t have any at home so he gave us some for free which we really appreciated. After a couple of drinks we decided to go for dinner at Kebapçı Yusuf. We had a lovely meal, of which I took no photos whatsoever, we had all enjoyed a great day together and I was glad to be back in my own bed.

Dalyan – 30th October

Dalyan – 30th October

Kate, aka Miss Guided Tours or Miss Adventure, had organised another boat trip on Sunday 30th October. I had resigned myself to not going given that Edna, the dog, had not been well yesterday. When we got up and took both dogs out for a walk they were fine and Edna was back to normal, thankfully. I decided I would go on the boat trip, after all, but it did mean we would be leaving the pooches in the villa for about 7 hours and I was a bit concerned. Before the day out to sea on Kaan’s Tequila Boat, we didn’t have time to make breakfast so we grabbed a pain au chocolat from Migros and ate it at the front of the boat. On board today we had some of the same usual suspects but we were missing a couple who couldn’t make it and had added more for good measure. My parents, Captain Caveman and I were joined by Vanessa, Adam & Kath, Jackie & Chris, Trish & Steve, Michaela & Ali, Gay Gaz, Kelly and a lady we call 007. Mark and Kate got picked up from their jetty on our way to Devil’s Bay once again. I was so pleased that Ali was well enough to join us even though he and Michaela were not able to go mad with the drink. Trish was back to her usual self too and could enjoy a white wine (or 2) but Vanessa was now feeling a bit iffy and had to limit her wines to just 2 this time. Kate, who was doing so well being alcohol free but was finding it tricky to not drink. Typically, Kaan and Kate had agreed water would be free on this trip, so if she ordered wisely she still could take advantage of a free bar today! Of course, Gay Gaz, Kelly, Mark and Steve managed to make up for it on the booze. By 2pm Captain Caveman had cleared a beach of lots of litter and was towing it back to the boat using a paddle board as a raft.

Most people went in the sea and it was sunny still, about 26°C, but it did feel cool when I got out of the water. Kaan was so relaxed because this could well be the last boat trip of the season and he knows us all so well. He even joined us in a few drinks at the bar, leaving his two mates to do all the work.

The BBQ lunch was wonderful and with 18 of us on the boat it was cosy while we ate it. Kaan took us for another swim spot at hole island and we had more drinks, I think we may even have ran out of certain refreshments.

It was a lovely day even though I didn’t drink too much on account of looking after Jamie’s dogs and, when everyone suggested going for drinks after the boat trip, we decided to go straight home. I was sure that little Edna may need a walk by now and even half expected for one of the dogs to have had an accident but they had been as good as gold. I didn’t have any WiFi on the boat so I didn’t realise that we had missed Nanny Kay who had popped round to say hello, while we were out. I was sad to have missed her because she does have some of the best stories and always makes me laugh. After a nice walk the dogs were super ravenous and it was good to see Edna was back on her normal dog biscuits.
For dinner that night we had diet pizzas and were trying not to fall asleep on the sofa, while watching Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix, at only 9.30pm.

Photo credit – Michaela, Adam and Kaan

Dalyan – 23rd October

Dalyan – 23rd October

Sunday 23rd October started with Captain Caveman making me a bacon and mushroom muffin for breakfast. He made himself something that resembled a MacDonald’s bacon & egg McMuffin which made me feel a bit queasy. While he and my Dad went off to watch the local team, Dalyan Spor, play football I invited Vanessa and my mom round for the afternoon. I’d also got someone coming to Lukka bar to buy some trousers so I was looking forward to seeing how that might pan out.
Vanessa and I like to get together to do our Turkish homework, usually with wine, but today we were good and just had cups of tea. Mainly as we were all out tonight and didn’t want to get bladdered in the afternoon. We had a good laugh, of course the trouser buyer fell asleep, then turned up late but did buy them. On my way back home I noticed it was getting cooler around 5pm now, even Kitler, the cat, had taken to sleeping in the Aussie’s plant pot to keep warm. Captain Caveman made sausage pasta for dinner which was really tasty and plenty of it.
That night, Captain Caveman and I joined my parents, Matt & Vanessa, Mark & Kate, and Adam & Kath at Sinan’s for the weekly cancer quiz. We haven’t been for years due to the last time we went it was far too smokey. (I’d wrongly assumed the quiz was to raise money to help find a cure for cancer, not give it you while you tried to work out the quiz answers). Of course, Captain Caveman was a knobby-know-all and wrote all the answers to the first section without even showing anyone else the sheet. By the third round I could tell Matt was getting bored and he and I started taking the piss a bit. In the break I had taken a skirt for the lady who went on a bender and forgot to get it, gave it to her friend and went back to the table looking like I was doing dodgy deals. I was pleasantly surprised to see very few smokers this time but it was spoiled by one bloke smoking a massive cigar throughout most of the first half. Obviously, we didn’t win the quiz and Captain Caveman got argumentative over one question that could have had more than one answer.
By the end of the night Mark, Adam and Matt were playing pool and I was regretting not bringing warmer clothing. By 10.40pm I had borrowed Kate’s scarf and gloves but was ready for home. I’d decided I really didn’t enjoy doing quizzes, it just reminds me how much rubbish I don’t know, or even need to know, while Captain Caveman shows off how clever he is.

Dalyan – 16th & 17th October

Dalyan – 16th & 17th October

We woke up on Sunday 16th October after a cracking storm and were looking forward to an easy day. Captain Caveman went to the bakery for a fresh loaf and a simit, which we had for breakfast with cheese and jams. I popped a sausage casserole in to the slow cooker and checked we had enough potatoes and flour to do roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings with it.
A lady who was interested in Amanda and Greg’s table, but had not showed up last night because she had mistakenly gone to Ruby rooms during the storm, was going to try again and come today.
When she arrived with her Turkish boyfriend, who still had his pyjamas on (which were inside out) she had a broken arm and the table was too big. They ended up stood in our kitchen for ages chatting and it transpired that Greg had not put the measurements of the table on the advertising post. Captain Caveman measured it and sent him the details to amend his post to include measurements which should have been included.
During all this, my parents had woken up with no power and were trying to get sorted out. It had turned out that their power supply had been struck by lightning in last night’s storm and they may be without electricity for some time. My mom said they would manage without but I was having none of it and insisted they pack some things and come to stay with us. Luckily the spare room was prepared for guests and they like sausage casserole.
It turned out to be another good night with rather too much wine and they brought rum too. My Yorkshire puddings didn’t rise as much as I wanted them too so I was disappointed but we ate them all. I even saved some mixture in the fridge for tomorrow. As we were in bed, about to go to sleep, I got a message asking about the table and could we sell it for less, I said no and went to sleep.

On Monday 17th October Captain Caveman was pleased as we got to have pancakes for breakfast. My parents were going to go home but they wouldn’t even be able to have a cup of tea with their electric being off. Dad had plain pancakes with honey, the rest of us had savoury pancakes with mushroom, spinach and cheese.
After breakfast, we got all the washing done and pottered about a bit while my parents went home to check what was happening with the power. Someone was coming to replace the transformer today, which was rather prompt and they would have power back on today. For lunch we had dips and veggies with olives in an effort to be a bit healthier.
While I got involved with another potential table buyer, Captain Caveman booked a flight back to the UK for 12th November. I got a message from a random man to tell me he was at Lukka bar, sent by the woman who wanted the table for less money, and was trying to find our apartments. I went to Lukka bar and he wasn’t there but I also got calls from a Turkish man saying he was there too. Appo, at Lukka bar, said no one had been and they definitely weren’t there but when I finally worked it out they were in Çalış, not Dalyan. Really?!!!
Captain Caveman made pasta for dinner and we had a night in front of the TV for the first time since Captain Caveman had got to Dalyan. We started to watcher ‘Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’.

Dalyan – 25th September

Dalyan – 25th September

Captain Caveman went to get bread from the bakery on Sunday 25th September. He chose wholemeal bread which I’m not a fan of but he did bring me back a simit, similar to a bagel with sesame seeds on. I had that for breakfast with olives, cheese, kaymak (Turkish clotted cream) and honey.
That evening there was an event on in Dalyan, live music at the top of bar street, which we decided to go to. There had been 2 previous similar events that we had missed while in Vietnam so we were looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. Kate had booked a table for a few of us at the White House for dinner so Captain Caveman and I decided to go for an early bar on our way to meet up. We had a couple of glasses of wine at Aşkın’s bar which was rather nice and we got nice complimentary snacks.
At the White House we were given the best upstairs table where the other attendees were; Mark, Kate, Daisy, Adam & Kath, Julie & Issy, John & Andrea.
We ordered wine and decided against starters as there was complimentary lavaş (balloon bread). I had meatballs with cheese, Daisy had steak, Kate had popeye chicken, Mark & Captain Caveman both had beef wellington. The food was great even though it did take a while to come out with it being so busy, but we didn’t mind and the staff were very professional. The beef wellington was easily the best meal of the night and I wish I’d ordered it. I sampled that and Kate’s popeye chicken which was also very tasty. The music was ok but after we had eaten such a lovely meal we were not really up for dancing about. Captain Caveman and I left between 10.30pm and 11pm and had a walk back home to bed. It was probably for the best as tomorrow we had another fun day out planned.

Rhodes – 11th & 12th September

Rhodes – 11th & 12th September

I was feeling rather under the weather on Sunday 11th September and I couldn’t get out of bed. We’d left the party shortly after eating some birthday cake as I’d started to feel sick. I put it down to the gluten and dairy in the cake, at first, but as the morning went on I got worse. I got a message from Julio reminding me that I had drank a half bottle of white wine, 2 Proseccos and 2 large wine and sodas between 7pm and 1.30am. This was not that excessive for me, to be this ill, so I thought it was something else.
We were invited to a BBQ and pool afternoon for Steve’s birthday at a villa in the hills but I couldn’t go. Instead, I sent Captain Caveman off to party on with his newly acquired friends and I slept as much as I could. I had a high temperature, cramps and an excessive need to urinate. I kept going from hot to cold and didn’t like the light.
Captain Caveman came back in the evening to check on me and he had been having a great time. We sussed out that I was probably having an allergic reaction to something I’d eaten and we thought it could be whatever was in the sauce of the prawn dish that I shared. It was a similar reaction I had suffered on 2 separate occasions; one was caused by scallops, the other by clams in a lobster bisque.
Captain Caveman went back to the party and they had a lovely time, I went back to sleep hoping to be better tomorrow.

I woke up feeling weak but much better on Monday 12th September, we desperately needed to get some laundry done so we decided we would do that. Summer Memories hotel, where we were staying in Pefkos, didn’t offer a laundry service so we got a bus to nearby Lardos. After walking in the hot sun to the launderette and back, we met Michelle and Steve for lunch. I just had chips, Captain Caveman had a toastie, Michelle and Steve shared Gyros and a spring roll. The food was nice and not too expensive with a nice view of Lardos square. For dessert Captain Caveman and I went to the local bakery and ice-cream shop where I can’t recall seeing a happier Captain Caveman. He had 2 scoops of pistachio ice-cream in a cone, I had an apple sorbet.
We got the bus back and chilled at the hotel with a couple of glasses of our Lidl wine. It was actually really good for €3.50 but meant we didn’t have time to get in the swimming pool.

We went back in to town by bus, only €1.80 for both of us each way. We decided to eat at Valantina’s in Lardos which looked really nice. I got a table and ordered water and wine while Captain Caveman walked to get the laundry (€10 for a big bag full). I was surprised to see that there was a girl with a bikini top on and a guy without a shirt eating dinner behind me – it wasn’t that warm! I had a steak and Captain Caveman had a lamb shank which were both lovely and the pomegranate flavoured ouzo went down well.
Captain Caveman even had another pistachio flavoured ice-cream from the same bakery to finish off the night while I had an amaretto sour at Memories bar. The bar man let Captain Caveman bring his ice-cream in but then he had a beer to finish the night off. We got a taxi back, although it was tricky to flag one down, we were in bed before 11pm as we had a busy day tomorrow!

Brussels to Bruges – 4th September

Brussels to Bruges – 4th September

We’d had a good sleep and a nice lay in on Sunday 4th September. The weather was a lot cooler than we were used to but the sun was shining. After breakfast with Captain Caveman’s family, we went to a place called Wolvendael where there was an event on. Lots of school children, and their parents, from the area had set up stalls in the park. It was a bit like a huge jumble sale but nicer. We strolled around the park and we even got to push Felix in the pram. After spending some time at the playground, we sauntered back home for our last family lunch. The visit to see Simon, Anna, and the 3 children went so quickly but we had loved every minute of it. After saying our goodbyes, Simon walked with Captain Caveman and I to the train station.

Our next stay was in Bruges, the train was just €14.70 each and didn’t take very long. We sat upstairs on the train and when we arrived at Bruges station our hotel was very close. Captain Caveman had chosen to stay at the Ibis hotel, right next to the train station on account of us needing somewhere convenient for exploring and not too expensive.
When we arrived my first impressions were good, the hotel was basic but had everything we needed. We didn’t even unpack before we were walking to a place for dinner and beers.

It was about a 30 minute walk to Pizzeria Aguila, but it was worth it. We drank 2 Hoegaarden beers and 1 Jupiler beer each, shared a caprese salad and ordered a pizza each. Captain Caveman had read that it was the 7th best pizza restaurant in Bruges so I had to wonder how good the others could possibly be. The bill came to €73.30 which was just less than £65 so I didn’t think it was too bad for Bruges. I got a bit of a surprise in the toilet with a strange doll staring at me and we took half of my pizza back to the hotel.
In the hotel room we decided to open the bottle of Havana Club rum we had bought at duty free, we had it with a coke and the rest of the pizza.
The room was surprisingly comfy and cosy, which was lucky as we would be here for 3 nights.

Dalyan – 28th August

Dalyan – 28th August

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

Phong Nha – 14th August

Phong Nha – 14th August

I spent most of Sunday 14th August hungover, wishing we didn’t have our own 100th birthday party to attend at 4pm! Captain Caveman had worked out that, because I would be in Dalyan, Turkey, on my actual 50th birthday, and his 50th had been last month, that we should have a joint party in Phong Nha, Vietnam. This would be our first celebration of 100 years but the intention was to have at least one more in Turkey and possibly something in England if we got the chance to go back there this winter. Captain Caveman had arranged for our party today to be at Karst Villas, where Hung (the owner) would have cold beers and nibbles ready for everyone. All our friends in Vietnam had been invited and Captain Caveman had chosen a Sunday so that it gave Oxalis staff the best chance of being able to come. Throughout the day we got various messages from people who were unable to attend and, quite frankly, I fancied declining the invite too! There was no way I could drink after last night’s (and this morning’s) antics.
As we set off, on Trigger, it looked like it might rain. We passed the Elements staff (including Duyet) who said they would see us at the party. We had got a few minutes down the road when a huge storm came and we had to take shelter at a stranger’s house. The lady got out her spare chairs and gave them to us to have a seat, we thought it would pass quickly but I think she knew it would be a while.
We arrived at our 100th birthday party at least half an hour late but luckily there was only Harry and Linh there that I instantly recognised. Captain Caveman’s friend Dat and her family were there and we were presented with the most gorgeous bunch of flowers. Cuong and his family was also there before us and we were introduced. Harry and Linh introduced us to their colleague, Chuc, and we had our first beer, to be sociable. Some of Captain Caveman’s Oxalis colleagues arrived and we had to have more beer to do cheers with. Stu, Max and Jack arrived and Stu was absolutely wasted so he didn’t stay long. René stopped by for a few beers and then had to get home, while Caroline had still not surfaced from her room (at the Karst Villas). Andrew, Trang and their son came and people started to ask what we had done with Caroline. Bom and Quet arrived looking dapper and drinking only water (lucky them) and joined Mr Tu, Minh and his 2 young sons, who were so well behaved and polite. Last, but certainly not least, to arrive was Kat who had come from Hanoi. She came with a gift of the gluten free tiramisu sweet treats, which I love!
Unfortunately Tatas, Chung, Uy, Phuong (all of them), had to work and one friend had the Corona virus so didn’t come. I also think the rain earlier had put a few people off coming.
I’d planned on not drinking but it was proving impossible, Captain Caveman sure was taking the cold beers for the team by the time Benjamin and his caving budding, Carolina, arrived. He updated us that he had left yesterday’s pool party at midnight. He knew he had to be ready this morning for his trip but he’d had to come back this morning to get his shoes! Eventually Caroline surfaced with Vee but was unable to stomach a beer and we were ready to say goodbye by that time.
After a few celebratory shots (thanks to Kat), we got a taxi home with Benjamin and dropped Carolina off on the way. This time we all went home to our own villas – I was desperate for my bed!