Friday, 6 November 2015

I've Missed You Pat.

I have a friend. I'll call my friend Pat, mainly because I don't know anyone by that name so we won't get mixed up.
Pat has been by my side for about four years now. Pat helps me with my blog and is always there to tell me if I make a spelling mistake. Pat shares books with me and lets me read them anytime of the day, I only have to ask.
When I'm awake at night with insomnia  Pat is always online for playing  scrabble or patience. I would never find a holiday without Pat's help.
I think I've been taking Pat for granted. I confess I rely on my friend far too much. It is getting like an addiction, I'm addicted to Pat.
You can imagine how I felt when a few days ago Pat stopped communicating with me. First I was angry, I was so mad at Pat. I was asked for something from Pat that I couldn't provide and I had no idea how I was going to sort things out.
These few days without Pat have been a strain. It's a bit like having an itch that you can't scratch. I felt lost, as if part of me was missing.
Nothing I did made any difference. I tried and I tried but Pat would not respond to me. Had I lost Pat forever?

I decided I had to do anything I could to regain Pat's trust. I consulted a relationship guru and he told me it was entirely Pat's fault, I had played no part in this travesty. In fact the only thing I had done was try to improve our relationship. He said if I brought Pat to him he would see what he could do but I would have to pay a fee for his services.
A fee? I would gladly give him gold and silver if he could get this relationship going again.

The day has arrived and Pat and I are going to see the guru. He asks me to leave Pat and call back in an hour. Much as I don't want to leave by myself I feel I can trust this guy as he says he has seen this breakdown in relationships many times before and he knows how to improve things.
I treat myself to a fancy coffee and wait out my time. I return to pick up Pat with trepidation as I know this could be make or break for us.

The guru greets me with a huge smile," There you are, I've fixed your IPad for you, re-set it back to the factory settings, all you have to do is hope everything has been saved in I Cloud."

Yeah! I'm happy again and Pat the IPad and me are back on speaking terms. I can now use twitter and Facebook and blogs and scrabble from the comfort of my armchair. I did so miss my IPad and I swear I will not download the IOS updates that locked me out and ask for passwords that don't exist ever again, because they obviously come from the devil's lair to break up happy relationships. Long live my IPad! Now to tackle ICloud.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Let's Build a House.

This is the first post I've ever written asking for help. This is why......

 One of my fellow bloggers Jo Carroll took early retirement and had a late in life gap year around the world. One of the places she visited was Nepal, and she fell in love with the people and the country.
She returned again a few years later and enjoyed her time there once more. Jo stayed in the houses of local people instead of hotels, she made friends with the guides who took her on jungle treks and to see the many sights of Nepal,she even wrote a book about it.
Imagine how devastated she was when the earthquake struck the country and the people she loved.
About a month ago Jo returned to Nepal at the request of the friends she made there. They wanted her to tell the world through her writing that Nepal needs tourists if it is to survive.
 Thankfully all her friends were safe but when Jo saw the many, many families without homes she wanted to help.
Jo Carroll- As you will usually find her...writing

These are her words,

"I'm going to fund rebuilding one house in Nepal. I've seen the devastation and it would be easy to throw up ones hands in helplessness in the face of such need. How can one person make a difference in the middle of all that? I can't rebuild a town - I can't even rebuild a village.
But I can - and will - raise enough money to rebuild one house.
I happen to know which house this is - but I'm not going to tell you anything about the family who live there, nor post a picture of their temporary home, nor go on about the struggle to keep going in one room under a tin roof. I'll not exploit individual misery like that. You'll simply have to believe that the hope we can give to this family will ripple out to others.
Prayer flags over Katmandu
  To give one family – currently living in the dust and the debris of the earthquake – somewhere safe and dry to live. "

There was a comment on Jo's blog that really touched me..from a lady called Susan....

 "None of us can single-handedly save the world, but it's like the story of the woman who comes across a beach covered with hundreds of stranded starfish, and starts tossing them back into the water, one at a time. Another person scoffs at her, and says she can't save all of those starfish, so why is she wasting her time? "No," she says. "But I can save THIS one... and THIS one..."

I imagine this is how Jo feels and we can all be part of it too.

She needs to raise just £1,500 to build a house for one family or to be correct, to give one family the bricks,mortar,windows, and all the usual stuff it takes to build a house because they will build their own with the help of friends and family.
Jo has set up a GO FUND ME PAGE and has so far raised £550 and she said that will pay for the foundations, we now need the bricks.
Imagine if we could all together raise enough for this family to have a roof over their head perhaps in time for Christmas, now that really is what the Christmas spirit is all about. Every pound helps,every 10p you find down the back of your sofa, every 5p you can't be bothered with and stick in a jar, it might just buy that bag of nails we need.
The house will look like this but with a tin roof.

This week  many bloggers out there are taking part in this Blog Blitz (with the hashtag #letsbuildahouse #Nepal)  to get Jo's idea out to everyone.

If you are a blogger please join in and either write your own post or feel free to copy and paste mine.
Let's get this house built, just one house at a time.
Jo is also writing the ebook her friends asked her to about Nepal and all profits will go to the fund.
Thank you for reading. Let's Build A House
Here is a link to Jo Carroll's Blog if you want to read more

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015 - The noisy and the delicious.

In my last Turkey Diaries post I spoke about some of the sounds of Turkey. This is one of the sounds  which will forever make me think of Turkey.

It's 2am and I'm woken up by a noise, the kind of noise that gets louder and louder. I suddenly realise that it's the sound of chirping crickets.
I get up and go through the open door onto the balcony expecting to hear it even louder. There is no noise outside, which can only mean one thing, the cricket is in the bedroom.
I couldn't contemplate going back to sleep knowing there is a cricket in the same room just as I couldn't sleep back home if there was a spider weaving a web about the bed (yes it has happened).
What if it jumps on me and burrows into my ear and lays eggs? Don't tell me you've never gave that a thought!
The noise is so loud that it wakes hubby up and he would sleep through an earthquake. He switches the light on as we play hunt the cricket.It doesn't take long for us to find him attached to one of my handbags and he is not as cute as the one called Jiminy from Pinocchio.
Hubby flicks him from the bag onto the balcony and we return to bed.
Jiminy does not go to sleep on the balcony, he does not fly or jump onto nearby trees and plants,he chirps and chirps and chirps until we are forced to close the balcony door and suffer the extreme heat in place of the extreme noise.
This is the first plus sign I have found to being deaf in one ear. I just turned and lay on my good ear and more chirping.
Next morning at breakfast we were telling the hotel owner's wife about our night time noise maker. She is Dutch and very practical and straight talking, she said, " Where you went wrong was throwing it onto the balcony, you should have thrown the noisy creature over the balcony, then you get peace.

So that many friends is the moral of this story, Dutch lady says,"Always through your crickets over the balcony if you want to sleep at night."

This is my last entry to my Turkey Diaries for this year. I hope to return once again next year,fingers crossed and god willing. Until then I'll leave you with some photos of the wonderful food we ate there. This will show hubby there is a purpose to me photographing every thing we eat much to his embarrassment.                                   
Ice cream and something. I liked the plate!
Mixed meze starters at our favourite restaurant The Izela

Cheesecake and ice cream

ooops can't remember but looks good.

My favourite-Stuffed Aubergine

Lasagne served at the pension we stayed at.

Our second last day and we were the only residents in the hotel so the owners invited us to have breakfast at the beach with them and their friends. The spread and the view was amazing. This is the friendliest hotel we have ever stayed at and I really hope we can return again.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

My Surreal Moments

Do you ever find yourself in a surreal situation? It happens now and again to me and I stop and think,"How did this Happen? How did I get here?"

It sometimes happens when I'm on holiday in Turkey. My husband and I will be walking back to our hotel late at night,the sky will be black but heavy with hundreds of bright shinning stars, it is quiet, no one else around and that's when I think, "This is surreal, what am I doing here?

Its the kind of feeling that's hard to explain and I wonder if everyone has these moments from time to time. I'm talking about surreal moments not senior moments,ha ha, we all have them.
 Since moving to the other side of the city to a town where I only know one two other people (daughter and her hubby) I've had a few of those moments. I will be sitting on a bus going along streets I have never seen before and hoping I choose to get off at the right stop and that's when I feel it's a bit surreal, maybe as if I should be somewhere else instead.

My last such moment was only a few days ago and what brought it on was finding myself on the dance floor of the local town hall. Twelve of us were doing a dance routine to Tea For Two while holding and using a cup and saucer as part of the dance. I stopped and thought to myself,"If someone had told me a few years ago I'd be here in this town hall in this part of this city dancing with a cup and saucer I would have told them they were mad."

The beautiful town hall I danced in (minus chairs)

I was taking part in a dance workshop hosted by The Barrowland Ballet
I had joined a stretch and strictly dance class for the over fifties recently and this workshop was advertised as, "Come and join in with the Barrowland Ballet and learn a few steps of our dance."
Most of my class attended but we were expecting to be seated watching part of a dance show then join in later.
No, no, we were wrong. We danced from 10am until 3 pm with a short break for lunch. One young male dancer, Kj, a real cool guy complete with hat was showing us the steps to three contemporary ballet dances. To say we were exhausted at the end is putting it mildly and we also had our usual dance class the following day to which some poor souls were so full of aches and pains that they didn't make it.
I think most people found that day to be surreal as we actually felt we were dancers. One of the women said she expected Anton Du Beck to come waltzing through the door any minute asking us to dance with him, if only...

So those are my surreal moments. I also have a few when I
1) realise I'm not a young girl anymore
2) tell myself I am a grandmother
3) find myself saying things to my daughter that my mother said to me.

Please tell me that you too have surreal moments when you wonder if you're in the right place or are doing something you never thought you'd be doing in a million years.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015- Sounds Like Change is in The Air.

The butterflies are fluttering amongst the flowers doing what butterflies do best. A wood pigeon flies down to drink from the pool. He does this at the same time every morning and I'm convinced it's the same bird. When I mention this to my husband he rolls his eyes at me and shakes his head.

This is breakfast time in Kayakoy.  A donkey brays, not just at breakfast but all day long. Local cockerels are crowing in competition with each other and the sweet sound of dogs barking is never far away. I say this tongue in cheek as we have our own dog at home and barking is part of our lives. Two dogs live here and they guard the property well. No one enters through the gates to the hotel unless the dogs give their okay. We have seen grown women run for their lives when the dogs jump at the gate barking. After you have met them they never bark at you again when you appear at the gate,they just lift their heads as if to say,"Oh it's them again!"
We forgive them for barking because they're very lovable dogs,one even has her own sunbed.

 Last night in Fethiye we passed by a canal and for the first time ever I heard a frog chorus. What a strange noise, I was surprised at how loud it was. I didn't see the frogs but if their size matched their voices I'm glad they stayed hidden.

These are some of the pleasant sounds we welcome everyday. Some are not so welcome.
At 8 am every morning a cavalcade of jeeps pass by noisily. They are tourists from the nearby Hisaronu taking part in a jeep safari. I notice that health and safety has finally reached Kayakoy as all the riders are wearing safety helmets, even if quite a few of them look like German WW2 helmets at least they'll be safe.

Lots of cars and bikes use the road that passes by the hotel, it's the only way to the nearby Gemilar Beach so at times it can be a bit noisy.  The hotel owner said that when he first moved here if he saw two cars pass by in 24 hrs then he knew it must be a holiday.

Nothing ever stays the same. Life moves on,technology gallops along and things change.
In the two years since we have been here 500 new villas have been built in and around the village. Local people are making money selling land that has been in their families for years. In the grounds beside the villa we stayed in last time two new large villas are being built, but as tourists we haven't noticed a big difference.
It is worrying for the owner of the small hotel we are staying at as most of the villas will become holidays rentals and he despairs that there won't be enough visitors to support his business.
One restaurant owner told us that she feels the local government don't want this to be a village but to grow into a town. They have even stopped local farmers walking their goats through the main part of the village. 
The fact that this is a small rural village is what attracts us and the many people who visit here. We respect the locals and feel privileged to share their lives for a short time. We want to see the goats walk through the village and don't mind waiting until they pass.

Ten minutes on a dolmus takes you to the brash Hisaronu with its British and Irish bars and restaurants. Half and hour and you can visit the large harbour town of Fetiye. So there is something for all tastes. We love Fethiye but love even more returning to the peace and quiet that is Kayakoy. I hope the local council don't succeed in their masterplan.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015 Boats and Brollies

One of the activities we enjoy in Turkey is a day out on a boat. I say activity but that just means lying on the boat soaking up the rays or reading. There are frequent stops at little hidden coves and that's when we go for a swim usually while newly caught fish are being barbecued for lunch.

This year we only did one boat trip. It was a private trip with another two couples from the hotel arranged by the owner. The boat was smaller than we have sailed on in the past but because we only had a few people on board it was ideal.

We had a lovely day and a filling lunch and all was well until the Turkish captain sat round the table with us asking us in broken English about our lives. Some were asked if they had children or what job they did. It was my turn to be questioned and to his wife's horror he asked me my age. The other two couples were much the same age as me but I was determined I was not going to divulge mine to him.
 I said "I'm not telling you" he said, "I will guess" and proceeded to make me four years older than I was. Oh the hilarity from everyone as my face reddened.  I stupidly replied, No! I'm 37! " and to make everyone laugh that little bit more he said,
"Well  you've had a stressful life!" All this in broken English with his wife trying to throttle him. I didn't live it down for the rest of our stay.

Fethiye is a large town with a lovely harbour. This is where the boat trips leave from and there are plenty.  I like to walk along looking at all the different boats but you can't make eye contact with anyone near them or you will end up in a long conversation about why their boat is the one you should choose.
Just up from the harbour is the Paspatur, a mixture of shops,restaurants and bars. Leather,pottery, clothes, spices, you can buy anything here as well as having a Turkish bath and massage.
We love the outside bars here where we sit and watch the world go by.
You eyes are drawn upwards as you stroll along the Paspatur at the pretty colours of the umbrellas on the roof.  I have no idea why they choose umbrellas as you very rarely need one here but they are very pretty and colourful and made me feel happy ever time I saw them which is a good enough reason.

Plenty of boats for everyone

Pirate ships

and sunken ships

A bar in the paspatur

Another bar,The Car Cemetry.

colourful brollies

Waiting in anticipation.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015 - We're Back!

When I finished writing Turkey Diaries after our holiday in 2013 little did I know that the following 14 months were going to be so stressful. You will understand if you have read my Moving Diaries. We also had a family bereavement with was so unexpected and threw us all off kilter.
 Once we were settled in our new house and hubby had resigned from his very stressful job we felt we could breathe again and think about a break.
With no holiday for well over a year we  realised we could not wait until our usual holiday time of September (when noisy children have returned to school) so decided to go somewhere in July.
Our thoughts of going to Italy went by the wayside as we decided on a purely relaxing holiday with no sight seeing or driving involved, so Turkey it was.

Kayakoy seemed the most relaxing place to go to. It's outwith the big resorts and in a small village. We have stayed there twice before and both times we rented villas but this time we decided on a small hotel or pension with just sixteen rooms. It had great reviews on Trip Advisor so we thought we would give it a try.

Main street in Kayakoy,peaceful.

In previous diaries I have moaned about flights but this time everything went smoothly. Jet 2 had got their act together at Glasgow Airport and opened about ten check in desks, although why we have to check -in online and at the airport is beyond my understanding. Large queues at security but again lots of gates opened and we went through fast. We were upgraded to seats with extra legroom as they had a family to seat and children couldn't sit in those seats. Our flight arrived at 11pm and we were met by our taxi driver and one hour later we arrived at or hotel.
Midnight and the stars were brightly twinkling for us as we stood on the balcony sipping our welcome drinks looking out into the garden. Although there wasn't much to see in the dark we could smell Turkey. That hot,sweet earthy smell of the place we love. Straightaway and probably because of our lovely welcome we knew we would love it here.
Straight to bed I think.
Entrance to the pension,nearly hidden from the road



Some of my arty photos

Beautiful gardens. Morning view from balcony.