Saturday, 30 May 2009

Home Sweet Home

Phew what a week! My feet haven't touched the ground.
I set off on Monday at 4.30am and arrived at my new home at around 5.00pm local time. I just had time to glance at the house, dump my luggage and gaze in amazement at the magnificent scenery, before setting off on a 980km round trip (overnight) with Mr Ayak to collect Beki from our friends in Antalya.
She was very pleased to see us and seems to have had a wonderful holiday.
So at around 5pm on Tuesday I finally had chance to look at my home properly. The house ıs very sweet. It still needs a bit of work but Mr Ayak and his father have been very busy in my absence making sure I had an inside toilet to use (rather than the Turkish squat in the garden) fact we are, I believe, the only people in the village who have a toilet inside. Time, technology and mod cons seem to have passed people by here...but it all adds to the charm. The view from the house is to die just takes my breath away...nothing but fields, trees and mountains. We are up quite high, which gives us an uninterrupted panorama...although the climb up the narrow unsurfaced roads is hard going and will keep me fit...thank goodness I gave up smoking in December or I would never manage it!
The neighbours nearest to us..dotted about in their ramshackle stone houses seem to be elderly widows who keep sheep, cows and chickens. Three of them descended on me a couple of days ago and they were lovely. I know I have mentioned problems with neighbours before, but Turkish village people are almost a different race. They accept people at face value and are completely non-judgmental. Most of the farming land (including ours) is on the outskirts of the village at the bottom of the hillside. We have olive trees (there is an olive pressing factory here),
almonds, walnuts, pomegrantes, peaches, figs, lemons and pears.
On Wednesday Beki went missing for three hours. It was impossible to see where she could have managed to get out of the garden, but she did. I was absolutely distraught because I felt certain she must have either got lost or injured herself and that we'd never see her again. Mr Ayak searched and insisted I stayed at the house in case she returned...which she eventually did. She looked very pleased with herself but smelled very strongly of either sheep or cow excrement and had a few she was immediately dragged into the shower. No harm done!
I'm missing Billy so much, but at least I have plenty to keep myself occupied, so no time to dwell on it. I already have my flight booked for October and hope my daughter manages to get her laptop fixed soon so that we can talk on skype and I can "see" them every day.
I have only just managed to gain access to the internet, but it's a little hit and miss at the moment, so I'm quickly typing this whilst I have the chance. So if you don't see me again for a while it will be due to circumstances beyond my control!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Last few days

Only four more days till I return home. I will be leaving with mixed feelings. I am going to miss my grandson so much, but I am also really homesick and can't wait to get back to Mr Ayak and Beki.

I won't have time to blog again before I leave, and I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait for my internet connection at the new house, so I may be out of touch for a while.

In the meantime, and at the risk of being a "boring grandma" here are a couple more pics of my dear little Billy.

See you soon!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Paranoia? Keep taking the pills!

I talked a little while ago about Depression and the way I manage to recognise symptoms. I also mentioned the fact that about a month before I came to England for my six week visit, I put myself back on medication. It was indeed a sensible decision because by the time I arrived here, my mental state was so much better. I was in control and happy...and therefore those around me seemed to be happier.

One of my symptoms is paranoia. I hate it because I know its irrational but when it strikes it's difficult to control.

I did rather a silly thing. The week before last I felt so good that I decided to come off the medication. Of course this is the worst thing to do. I should really know better by now. I felt good simply because the pills were working. But I also should know from past experience that I need to be on medication considerably longer than just a matter of weeks for it to have any real effect.

I won't go into details about my paranoid episode this week, only to say that it was completely ridiculous and unfounded and quickly sorted out. However it did make me realise that I need to go back on meds for a while and I have started again today.

As there is just over a week to go before I return to my new home which I haven't yet a new area.... I'm feeling quite anxious... so I think it would be wise to keep taking the pills for some time yet!

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Well it's done...he's moved! And if I keep counting slowly to 10, whilst breathing deeply, I am remaining quite calm. Although I do seem to have to do this quite a lot, but it's early days!

He seems very enthusiastic about the house and keeps telling me that "when everything's finished" I will be very comfortable there.
There is no kitchen..well there is a room which is called a kitchen...but it's empty...not to mention the outside toilet (again).

My father-in-law has promised to pay for two-thirds of the cost of the work if we come up with the other third first. We have two alternatives here. We can wait for a while until Mr Ayak is earning enough to pay our third. Or I could take money on my credit card and send it now so that I will have a kitchen when I return on the 25th. So...the credit card option won...the money has already been sent and I am now relaxing considerably. could be worse couldn't it? Mr Ayak might have offered to instal the kitchen himself...and that doesn't bear thinking about, as his solution to fixing things or in fact any kind of DIY is simply to take a hammer to it. He doesn't seem to realise that there are other tools available.

So I now have two weeks remaining to enjoy my grandson and to wonder what will face me when I return home.

Life's just one big adventure isn't it?

Thursday, 7 May 2009


So...Mr Ayak is back in Selcuk and is at this moment packing up the contents of our home to move to the house near Bodrum. He has been to see the new house and tells me it's "fantastic" which I will interpret as "not as bad as I thought it would be".

If he wants to tell me something he thinks I won't like he sounds me out first. If he thinks I'm in a good mood he'll take a chance on telling me. Like he did a couple of days ago when he decided I should know that the toilet is outside...and it's a Turkish "squat" toilet. Deep breath...count to to 10...remain calm. I'm fine with it...yes honestly! I really don't mind having to rough it a bit for a while because I believe the end result will be worth it.

I'm really more concerned about the packing up and moving but there's really nothing I can do about it. I keep telling myself that if anything gets damaged or lost, it doesn't matter. They are only material things and not important. But somehow the feeling of anxiety just won't go away.

So I am trying to distract myself. Of course spending time with Billy helps...yes that's him on the right (gorgeous isn't he?).

My son-in-law's parents and I have been invited to dinner tomorrow night and my son-in-law is cooking. He is proving to be a wonderful husband and father and I am very impressed.

My daughter and son-in-law have been invited out for dinner on the 16th and have asked me to babysit. My daughter says there is no-one that she would be prepared to leave Billy with at this time, except me. So of course I am deeply honoured ...and delighted!

I've been using the time here to catch up with friends which is great. The friend I house-sat for a couple of weeks ago has asked me to go to shopping with her today, along with her sisters. This should be quite an experience. She has 4 older sisters....and 3 of them are looking for outfits to wear at my friend's son's wedding in July. I think my role will be to give my friend some moral support. I haven't seen any of her sisters since I moved to Turkey nearly 11 years ago so I'm quite looking forward to meeting up with them but I think the shopping itself could be quite exhausting.

I am naturally spending far too much money during my stay here...or should I say...using my credit card much more than I should. In this respect I can't wait to return home and my simple, inexpensive, non-materialistic life!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Three down...three to go

.....weeks that is. Six weeks is a long time. I wasn't really sure I could cope with being here for so long. Although I really love catching up with my family, after a few days I am desperate to be home again.

I used to stay with my Aunty Gwen on my visits, but sadly she died just before Christmas..a week before I was due to arrive. I felt very comfortable staying with her. She was more like a mother to me than my mother ever was, and her home was my home. I miss her dreadfully.

Now I stay with my youngest brother and his family. They are lovely and are very welcoming but it's a hectic household and I feel like I'm a nuisance. I'm reassured by them that I'm not but it makes little difference to how I feel.

I have tried staying with my daughter in the past but we bring the worst out in each other when we are under the same roof (I'm sure this is a common mother/daughter thing) so we decided that it would be better for us to stick to spending quality time together whilst I stayed elsewhere. And it works perfectly.

I always like to be in control and being away from home for so long leaves me feeling anxious because I have no control over what's happening there. Mr Ayak is continuing with his latest adventure. He hasn't actually made any money yet...apart from enough to keep the car filled with petrol and his stomach filled with food. So I don't know if this is going to be successful as a long term project, but for the moment if nothing else, it's keeping Mr Ayak occupied.

Our next rent payment is due on the 20th and Mr Ayak wants to avoid this by moving all our belongings to the new house before then. Part of me thinks this is an excellent idea because for once I won't have to do all the packing and unpacking as I won't be back until the 25th. However the other part of me (the control-freak part) is panicking because I won't be there to make sure the move goes smoothly.

I could try to get an earlier flight back but I am so enjoying spending time with my new grandson that I am for once not so keen to leave. It's quite a dilemma.

So I want to learn how to stop trying to be in control of everything. I want to rid myself of the extreme anxiety I feel when I'm not in control. Any ideas how I can achieve this?