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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sunday in England ( Blog Post No 400)

I love Sundays in England.  A day of relaxation and Sunday roasts.

I always stay at my brother's house when I visit.  I have a cosy room with a double sofa bed and TV.  I used to stay with my daughter years ago but it wasn't really practical.  They've never really had enough space for guests and I'd have to sleep on the sofa.  But also we find that if we spend too much time together then we start to have those silly little mother/daughter spats.  We don't have real arguments but because we spend so much time apart there's always a little tension on both sides when we get together.  It settles down of course by the time I return home, and then we end up wishing I was here for longer.

Last Sunday was my first day here and I spent the day with my daughter, son-in-law and Billy.  They moved house recently, so SIL was busy decorating, and my daughter catching up with paperwork and other things, which left me time to get to know Billy all over again.  Then later my daughter cooked a roast dinner and my Sunday was complete!

I've seen them every day but one since I arrived and it's been great.   We were a little disappointed at the switching-on-the-lights ceremony yesterday.  We missed the Elvis impersonator whilst we were in McDonalds, but apparently he only performed one song then disappeared, then the lights were switched on by someone else.  The lights in the town are a big disappointment...rather pathetic really.  However the firework display following the switch-on was very good.  Billy enjoyed watching the pretty ones, but when there were bangs he hid his head in his Dad's shoulder.

So today I am off to visit a friend for coffee at 10am and then I'm off to my daughter's for the rest of the day.  My son-in-law is out today, so we may go shopping, or if it's too cold we'll just relax in front of the TV.

And checking the temperatures, I somehow think it will be the latter...it's minus 5 here now....and it's 20 degrees back home....the thought of which makes me feel even colder!!

I've just realised that this is my 400th blog post....and I am amazed that I can find so much to write about...a lot of it's drivel of course, but it makes me feel good, and I hope I haven't bored you all to tears!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Silly Saturday

Today is going to be enjoyably silly.

My daughter and I are going to see the Christmas lights being switched on in the town.

There will be lots of activities for children throughout the day, including a visit to see Santa.

What I do find particularly silly...and I can't stop laughing about it...is that they didn't manage to find a "celebrity" to switch on the lights.  So they have the winner of a local talent competition to do the honours.  He is an Elvis impersonator...groan...and will be performing for an hour before he switches on the lights.  We thought we might just pop into McDonalds for a happy meal when this happens!!

This will be followed by a firework display from the roof of the town hall.  So should be a pleasant Saturday.

The snow that's sweeping the country hasn't yet reached us, but it's on it's way...and I'm not looking forward to it at all.  The temperature here is -1 C and have just checked home and it's 22 C!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Meeting a fellow blogger

Tuesday was a great day.  I met up with a fellow blogger for the first time.... Bombshellicious

As a result of following each others blogs for some time, we progressed to talking on Facebook and MSN.  We realised pretty quickly how much we have in common.

We both caught trains on Tuesday and met in Reading.  We spent most of the time talking, drinking coffee, eating a late breakfast (courtesy of some vouchers provided by my lovely brother), and getting to know each other better.  "Bomb" attempted to take photos with her mobile phone.  She took loads..and we fell about laughing at the results.  She sent me two of the snaps of us together  yesterday and this is one of them...I expect she will use the other one when she writes about our meeting.

We both knew when we first started chatting on the internet that we would hit it off...you just have a feeling about some people.  But we both agreed on Tuesday that we felt like we had known each other for years...in fact I wish I had known her for years...I know we would have had such fun together.

She is a lovely person, and such good company and the day flew by very quickly.  We are both hoping that we can manage more opportunities to meet up in the future.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Blogging from the UK

My flights from Bodrum to Sabiha Gökcen Airport, Istanbul, and then on to Stansted, on Saturday were on time, and the service was very good.  This is only the second time I have used Pegasus Airlines and I am very impressed.  Their prices are almost half of those of Turkish Airlines.  I would definitely recommend them.

It is of course an absolute joy to be spending time with my daughter and Billy.  I was again anxious that after 6 months he may not remember me, but I needn't have worried.  We are getting along very well, and he is perfectly comfortable with me.

I seem to be having problems with my camera...well to be honest it's probably me rather than the camera. I'm taking lots of shots of Billy and none are coming out too well.   I was just about to post up one of them but Blogger is playing up so that's put pay to that!

I am keeping up with all my favourite blogs...but I don't always have the time to leave comments.  So apologies for that...normal service will be resumed on my return home.

And yesterday I spent the day with a blogger friend.  We met up for the first time and really hit it off.  More about that tomorrow.

Friday, 19 November 2010

New Blog Title

In case you're wondering why my blog title has been changed slightly, I decided to include my username "Ayak" in the title, because I think there are other blogs out there called Turkish Delight.....after all it's not a particularly original name for a blog by someone living in Turkey.  I never did have much imagination when it comes to choosing such things!

At the same time I thought I would change the picture in the header to something more appropriate for the season...although I hasten to add that it's not indicative of the weather here at the moment, which continues to see temperatures in the mid 70s and higher, during the day.  Very unusual for this time of year...I'm not complaining of course, but I have had to frantically search for winter clothes to pack for my trip tomorrow, as I'm still walking around in t-shirts!

Silly Saturdays

Well this is a bit silly anyway...because it's Friday and not Saturday.

But I haven't got time to be silly tomorrow because I will be travelling to England.

So maybe you can all write something silly instead to make up for my not having an opportunity to be silly tomorrow.

I'll blog a bit while I'm in England if I have the chance, even if it's to post up some new pics of Billy.

Have a good weekend everyone xxx

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Royal Engagement

So after goodness knows how many years (the number varies according to which newspaper you read...from 7 to 10 years)...they've finally announced their engagement.

And the newspapers are doing what they do best...whipping everyone up into a frenzy of royal fever, which will reach it's pitch when the wedding takes place in Spring or Summer next year.

Last night, regular programmes were postponed in favour of an interview with the couple, or the story of their romance, etc etc. 

I used to be very patriotic...many years ago...but gradually over time I became quite disillusioned by the whole thing.  When I was younger the royal family were somehow detached from the rest of us mere mortals.   There was a kind of mystery about them, but the subsequent divorces, scandals, and unsavoury antics that were played out in the press for us all to see, showed them to be just the same as the rest of us.  Except of course that they are NOT the same.  They have wealth and privileges that the majority of us will never experience.

Of course the scandals within the royal family have happened for centuries.  We read about them in our history lessons at school.  But because it was "history" it somehow (to me) didn't relate to our current royal family.

I will never to this day understand the outpouring of grief at the death and funeral of Diana.  How is it possible for people to show such distress at the death of someone they didn't know or had never met?  I don't underestimate the good work that she did with the charities she supported.  But that was her job.  The men in the "family" join the services, but are mostly protected from coming to any real harm.  It's what the royals do.  There are no other suitable roles for them are there?  Apart from taking endless holidays..

I do of course hope that William and Kate have a long and happy marriage.  But I wish this for all young couples embarking on a life together.  I feel sad for William that he won't have his mother at his wedding.  It's sad for any young man in that position.

The press and media will continue to do their job over the next few months.   The newspapers will be full of it...it's a distraction from the really important things going on in the world...soldiers dying in pointless wars, acts of terrorism, recession, poverty, etc.   Maybe this is what the public want?  Who knows?

Judging by many comments from readers to online newspaper reports this morning, we no longer want or need a monarchy in Britain.

What do you think?

Monday, 15 November 2010

Update (Mr Ayak's adventures)

I haven't mentioned Mr A much lately.  It's that time of year....winter...when there is no work about and no money coming in.  I usually find it a bit depressing to keep talking about it.  But I'm in a good mood today.

Mr Ayak hasn't wasted time.  He managed to sell almost all of the mesir macunu stock...slowly but surely.  It just about covered petrol and basics, but not enough to pay the bills or buy more stock.  A couple of weeks ago he managed to find some building work.  He was promised 50 lira a day, plus 20 lira petrol money.  The first and second days he waited around on site, along with other men, and the boss didn't show.  On the third day he worked from 7.30am until 8.00pm.  He was paid 30 lira...not 50.  It's a fair distance from here and it costs 25 lira each day for the round trip.  What use is 5 lira (about 2 pounds)?  What's the point?

He has been all over the area looking for work, and during the past week decided to search the internet for jobs instead of wasting petrol.  He found a company who manufacture tracking devices for cars.  I don't know all the details, but they are likely to be used by taxi drivers or haulage companies and such like.  He travelled to Denizli where the company is located and a supply of these devices will be delivered here on Wednesday.  As I understand it, he takes orders...the money is paid into the company bank account and then Mr A will receive commission on the sales.  It's only 15% so he will have to sell a lot to make a living.

In the meantime he has the company's website on his laptop with a demo video, and he set off yesterday with his laptop to see if he could generate some interest.   He has managed to get 5 provisional orders.  If they go ahead the money will be paid and the goods delivered on Friday, then hopefully the commission will be paid into our bank account.  I say "hopefully" because I am sceptical.  This is Turkey and I never believe anything until it happens.

In his spare time, Mr A has managed to completely secure the garden with chicken wire, to prevent Little Miss Houdini  (Poppy) from getting out and  other dogs from getting in.  He has also given the doghouse in the old house a makeover.   A couple of floorboards have been replaced and the front boarded up with some sturdy perspex boards which we found in the old house.  This makes it water and windproof but lets the light through.  The door has been removed so that Poppy and Beki can go in and out when it's raining.  And he has fixed corrugated metal to the ceiling so there are no leaks. They have carpet on the floor so it's very cosy.  So we no longer have to shut Poppy in the house when we are out.  Both dogs have the run of the garden and a nice place to shelter.

All the windows have now been resealed with silicone so no more leaks!  This has been tested by the storm we had early this morning, and it's great that I don't have to put down towels to mop up the rainwater. Lots of other niggly little repair jobs in the house have also been done.

I now feel quite happy that I can set off to England on Saturday, knowing that the house is secure and the dogs are safe.

I had originally booked my flights to stay just one week in England, but managed to change the return flight so that I can now stay two weeks.  I am so looking forward to seeing Stella and Billy.

Only 5 more sleeps...can't wait!!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Silly Saturdays

Silly clothes...awful clothes. Things that we thought looked wonderful when we tried them on in the shop, but once we get them home they get banished to the back of the wardrobe.

Or perhaps items of clothing that have been bought for us by our nearest and dearest, that we then feel obliged to wear.

 Mr Ayak means well...bless him...he used to buy me clothes for my birthday.  Not any more.  I tactfully put a stop to it.  I had to or I would have been forced to wear a paper bag over my head so that I wouldn't be recognised.  Just look at these bright orange dungaree shorts he bought for me when we had only been married a short while:


And because I didn't want to upset him I felt I had to wear them..for a while at least.  I hated them...they are just not me, and at the earliest opportunity I "lost" them.

He bought other clothes for me which I fortunately don't have photos of.  It wouldn't have been so bad if he had taken me with him to choose something...but no...he liked to surprise me!

The last thing he bought was about 3 years ago.  It was a top/blouse/whatever in a silky material in the brightest of colours...lime green, blue, orange..with a huge bow at the neckline. It was just hideous.  I tried it on...and thank goodness it was too small.  "That's OK" says Mr A "I'll take it back to the shop and get a bigger size".  "Maybe I had better come with you so I can try it on"  I suggested, and he agreed.

Well it must have been my lucky day, because they didn't have it in my size so I was actually able to choose something more appropriate.  It was then I explained to him that I really didn't need any more clothes.  I have enough to last me a long time.  So from then on he bought me flowers or chocolates....and this year he bought me a gold chain....which was lovely.

And thinking about the orange dungarees reminds me of my paternal grandmother who used to buy me half a dozen pairs of bright orange stockings (I never wore stockings, just tights) every Christmas.  I think they were called American Tan...does anyone remember that shade?

So tell me about your clothing disasters...whether bought by you or someone else.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Nothing much to say really!

I'm not in the mood for blogging at the moment...can't think of anything to talk about.  We have ongoing internet problems, power cuts, water cuts...but the sun's still shining!

So until I can think of something interesting to blog about, I'll leave you with the latest photo of my darling Billy:

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A Village Wedding

Although our village is remote and very olde worlde Turkish, we actually have our own page on Facebook!
Those people in the village with internet access post up photos, so I thought I would share a few which were taken at a wedding recently held in the village.

The bride arriving at the ceremony.  The formal part of the wedding which usually takes  place in Milas:




Then back to the village and the celebrating begins. 



Let's dance!





Cooking enough rice to feed the entire village takes some brute strength!


At almost all gatherings you will find the men sitting seperately from the women.


The interesting thing about village weddings is that everyone is invited. Even if you happened to be a stranger...just passing...you would be invited in to share in the festivities.

During Mr A's recent travels around villages selling mesir macunu he has been dragged into several weddings and fed very well.  At least it saves me having to cook him a meal on his return!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Silly Saturday No. 3

It's another Silly Saturday.

I was just flicking through channels on my TV website, just as the credits were scrolling on the screen at the end of a programme and noticed that the person with the job title "Audio Mixer" had the name of Denny Mouthon. A name kind of suited to the job!

Do you know anyone who has a name that is appropriate to their job or character? 

I have mentioned before in my blog, when I lived in Goreme we had a man who delivered our gas bottles.  His name was Fahti (pronounced "farty")....Fahti the gasman!

I once worked with a lady called Betty West, who married a Mr East.  Of course she would often say that she didn't so much get married as change direction!

So...come on my dear friends...see if you can come up with some more!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty pleasures...we all have them don't we?  And sometimes we don't actually feel guilty about them...which is even better!

Chocolate is my No 1 guilty pleasure...which I don't really feel guilty about these days.   I have always been very selfish with chocolate...particularly Cadburys or real Belgian chocolates.  I don't like to share them.  I know that makes me sound very mean.  I'm not...I'll give anything I have to anyone in need...just not my chocolate.

When my children were small they had enough chocolate and sweets..perhaps more than they should have...so when I had chocolate for myself I didn't feel it necessary to share it.  My guilty pleasure at that time was, having put the children to bed, to have an early night snuggled up in bed with a good book and a big bar of chocolate.   Sometimes, one of the children would wake up and wander into my room, just as my mouth was full of chocolate.  They would say "what are you eating Mum?"...I would swallow quickly and reply "nothing darling".   My daughter actually remembers this and we laugh about it now.

I have decided at my age that I no longer have to feel guilty about it.  I hardly ever have chocolate..and almost never Cadburys.  Except that I have a lovely friend in England who has occasionally sent me parcels of it.   She knows how much I love it.  She has just informed me that she posted some to me on Wednesday...so I have a parcel to look forward to next week.

Another pleasure which I do still feel guilty about is going shopping to buy things for myself.  We have had such lean times here that I've just got used to not feeling that I should treat myself too often.  In England I loved shopping for clothes.  Since living here,  I really don't need lots of clothes.  I only ever buy what's necessary.  The weather has been very mild and I had not really looked through my winter clothes until a few days ago, when I realised that I didn't actually have any warm jumpers.  It will get colder here, and my two week trip to England will require warm clothes.  So yesterday I set off to Milas and out came the credit card.  I bought two lovely jumpers and a cardigan.  They weren't expensive but I did have pangs of guilt as I bought them.  Although I did also buy something for my daughter which I hope will fit her growing bump, so that made me feel a lot better.

By the time I arrived home and gazed at my purchases...the guilt had completely disappeared!   Maybe this post should have been entitled "Not Guilty Pleasures"

So tell me...do you have any guilty pleasures that you want to share?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Poppy's haircut

This is my dear little Poppy at her best.  Her coat is beautiful.  Until you get up close that is.   She hates being brushed and it's essential to do this every day otherwise she ends up with knots and tangles in her hair.

Unfortunately over the past couple of weeks her hair has become quite matted...in spite of my best efforts at de-tangling it every day.

So I decided to give her a trim.  Easier said than done.  She wriggles like a worm at the sight of scissors, and I've been trying to snip off the tangled bits each day for the past week without much success.

Yesterday Mr Ayak decided that there was only one thing for it...it would have to be done with proper hair-cutting shears.   He has a friend who is a barber in Milas who gave him a hair-cutting kit a couple of days ago.  It's not a particularly good quality kit, and not a professional one of course, but the barber sells them in his shop.  It comes with all sorts of attachments which Mr A decided were suitable for Poppy's haircut.

So he shut himself in the bathroom with Poppy and there they remained for 3 hours.  There was no squealing from Poppy...not a sound...just Mr A making soothing noises to calm her ...and at one point actually singing to her!

When they emerged, Poppy was completely shorn from head to toe.  It was a bit of a shock but I'm sure it will grow thicker now, and hopefully we can keep on top of the tangles day by day.  Although the weather is still warm during the day (mid 70sF) it gets very chilly at night...and will no doubt get colder soon, so I was a bit worried about Poppy being cold, so last night I made her a little jumper out of one of Mr A's old ones.  I'm useless at doing this sort of thing...and although it looks OK now I'm pretty certain it will fall apart quite soon.  So here she is:

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

No time to blog!!

I mentioned in my last post that the Turkish government had at last lifted the ban on Youtube.

To be honest I had never even looked at Youtube before the ban, so apart from seeing that other people had uploaded videos on Facebook and blogs, I never gave it another thought.  After all I couldn't watch any of these uploaded videos...all I could see was a blank white square.

So I started browsing Youtube this week and was pleasantly surprised to find that Youtubers upload TV programmes, including all the soaps that I normally watch on my UK TV website.  If I missed any of these previously I could never find a website where I could watch them.  iplayer for example doesn't work here.

I am still experiencing problems with my TV website.  I have been emailing the website who don't seem to be able to tell me what the problem is.  I've also been in touch several times with TTNet because we are also having connection problems.  So all in all I don't really know who is responsible...but I have at least been able to catch up on Youtube with the programmes I've missed.

There are also a couple of series on UK TV that I have really enjoyed, and I have been gradually building up a collection of DVDs which I buy from Amazon....not when they are first released as they are quite expensive...I just wait until the prices come down.  This means of course that I am several series behind.  But I have now discovered them on Youtube...so I had been looking forward to spending the winter catching up with them, and saving myself the cost of buying the DVDs.

However, it seems that my happiness at being able to access Youtube will be shortlived...as this article explains.  Youtube is likely to be banned again any time now.  It's all so bloody silly isn't it?

The reason I have had no time to blog over the past couple of days is simply that I am frantically watching as much as I can of my favourite programmes on Youtube while I still have the chance.

So no doubt I will be back to my daily blogging again quite soon