Monday, 28 February 2011

Only when it's sunny....

...do I seem to have energy or the enthusiasm to do practical things.

I had my baking day on Saturday when the weather changed from storms to sunshine.

Yesterday, however, it rained all day and I'm slightly embarassed to admit I didn't get out of my pyjamas.  I spent most of the day on the laptop, just occasionally wandering out to the kitchen to make coffee or get something to eat.

The sun came out today and I was up at the crack of dawn raring to go.   I cleaned the house and then tackled a pile of ironing which has been building up for weeks...I hate ironing!

A few weeks ago Mr A sorted out the old house in the garden (photo here) which we use as a shed and dumping ground for anything that we don't have room for in the house.  It also contains a lot of stuff belonging to FIL, as well as wood, which Mr A used last year to build the fence next to the old house, and which has also been used for the soba in the spare room.   It was an awful mess and it took Mr A several days to sort it out and make tidy.   He is generally a very untidy man and I have to constantly remind him not to just open the door of the old house and throw things inside.

Today I was looking for something....don't ask me what, because for the life of me, I can't remember.  All I do know is that I searched cupboards and drawers in the house, and then started searching in the old house.
I pulled out huge boxes and rummaged.  I took down big plastic bags full of things that were hanging on hooks attached to the rafters.   And this is probably when I forgot what I was looking for, because I get distracted.  I just love rummaging and came across all sorts of things that I had forgotten about, plus some interesting stuff belonging to the in-laws.

I made quite a mess which of course I needed to clear up before Mr A arrived home, because I wouldn't want him to think I'm as untidy as him!

Mr A had an interview on Saturday with one of the carpet centres in Bodrum.  Mr A is good at selling carpets and he knows an awful lot about the history of Turkish carpets.  He had 4 years experience selling carpets in Cappadocia, and a year in Selçuk.  He still has a few contacts in the business, and came across one of them on Facebook...and this is how he managed to secure the interview.  I'm a bit hesitant to talk too much about it because I don't want to tempt fate.   It looks promising.  He has to go back in a week's time to talk further and hopefully get a contract which would mean he could start work around the middle of March.   Naturally I'm keeping fingers and everything else crossed that this works out, but I never count on anything in this country until it actually happens.

.......and I still can't remember what it was I was looking for today!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Baking, Burns, Blisters and Batteries

The sun is shining today after a week of storms, gales and torrential rain.  It's a relief to be able to open all the doors and windows in the hope that the soggy carpet and damp walls will eventually dry out.

Good weather always makes me feel energetic and wanting to do something, so I rummaged in the fridge and cupboards today to see what I could make with leftovers and the dregs at the bottom of jars.

I made mercimek (lentil) soup from stock that I had from cooking a chicken this week, using up the last of the lentils in the jar.  A neighbour gave me a huge bag of spinach this week and also a small amount of brocolli.   I made spinach with eggs yesterday.  All I do is chop and fry onions in olive oil, blanch the spinach in boiling salted water...drain and chop and add to the onions in the pan.  I then make some wells in the spinach and crack an egg into each one, cover with a lid until cooked.  We then eat  it with crusty bread.

Today, I blanched the rest of the spinach and stored in plastic containers in the freezer for future use.

Next, I found some cheese which was slightly stale, but still edible.  I decided to make brocolli and cheese quiche.   I haven't made shortcrust pastry for years and I had a vague recollection that the ingredients were twice the amount of plain flour to margarine, plus water.  Anyway I had a go and made enough to produce two quiches.  I baked them blind (using the last of my dried beans) and then made up a mixture of grated cheese, beaten eggs, milk, mustard and seasoning, added this, along with the cooked brocolli, to the pastry cases and baked in the oven.

At the same time I made one of my "very adaptable" cakes...or "Turkish cake" as it's now well known in Costa Rica (according to Fly).   I had no nuts or dried fruit, so I just used the remainder of the lemon marmalade I recently made.

Lemon cake and brocolli and cheese quiches
At this point I decided to get out the camera and take some photos.  Unfortunately I only managed one before the batteries died.  Here it is...but it's very blurred....

Last week I wanted to make some shortbread but I didn't have butter so decided to use margarine instead.  I can't really consider it to be shortbread without butter so I'll refer to them as biscuits.  So that the taste of margarine wouldn't overshadow the biscuits, I added some cocoa powder and they were very good...well at least Mr A says they were and he demolished the lot within a couple of hours.

I made some more today, with margarine again, but I had no cocoa so I added cinnamon.  Of course I can't show you them because of the dead batteries in my camera, but they look and taste really good.

I'm afraid I'm very clumsy when I'm busy in the kitchen.  I burned myself twice on the oven and now have blisters on my hands.  I've also just spent an hour scraping pastry off the floor and vacuuming up flour which got spilt and which Poppy decided to walk through.

With the last bit of energy I have left, I'm now off to tackle a pile of ironing....groan!

But all in all a very satisfying and productive day.

Silly Saturday


STUPİD QUOTES:


"Golden, Ripe, Boneless Bananas, 39 Cents A Pound."
- Ad in the "Missoulian" by Orange Street Food Farm


"Sure there have been injuries and deaths in boxing - but none of them serious." - Alan Minter, Boxer

"I think that the film Clueless was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness." - Alicia Silverstone, Actress

"You guys line up alphabetically by height." - Bill Peterson, Florida State football coach

"Most cars on our roads have only one occupant, usually the driver." - Carol Malia, BBC Anchorwoman

"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese." - Charles De Gaulle, former French President

"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out." - Decca Records Rejecting the Beatles, in 1962

"I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them." - George Bush, former U.S. President

"Solutions are not the answer." - Richard Nixon, former U.S. President

Friday, 25 February 2011

Some Useful Links

Some of you may have seen a recent post of mine about an organisation called MyLetsAdopt.  I did in fact put a picture and link to their website on my sidebar.

Although I commend the good work that is being done by these people, I'm finding some of the recent posts on there quite extreme.  I found  THIS ONE  for example quite disturbing.  I have left a comment, which although showing up appears to be awaiting moderation, even though replies to previous comments have been answered.

So today I have removed the link from my sidebar, and in it's place I've posted some links to Facebook pages of some of the other wonderful groups that I support.  I hope you might find these of interest, and maybe even decide to add your name to their list of supporters.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

...and let's change the subject!


It seems that those of you living in England...well certainly in the area where Billy lives...have been having lovely weather today, whilst we are still experiencing storms and torrential rain.

So here's Billy enjoying the weather today  and having fun in the park.

Dealing with Debt

My current account, into which my meagre pension is paid, is with the same bank that provides my credit card.  A bank that has had my custom for almost 30 years.  

I've never been overdrawn...OK I've cut it a bit fine in the last couple of years and often been down to a couple of pence..but I've never gone into the red.  I have an overdraft facility but I pride myself on never having  used it.   I only have one direct debit which pays my credit card...I've never defaulted..it's always been paid on time.  And as you will see from my last post, this is now the minimum payment which has got me into a vicious circle.   My credit limit is too high. It bears no relation to my income.  Out of necessity I've had to use my credit card each month....the minimum payment increases...most of my pension pays it...so I have to use the card again...and so on and so on.  Like I said...it's a vicious circle.

I've listened to my followers and taken advice.  I emailed the bank asking them to reduce the interest rate.  They said no.  I emailed them again asking why they give such favourable rates to new customers, but fail to help their existing longstanding ones.  They suggested I call their customer service department.  So I did this morning.

So I explain my situation and the guy immediately says they cannot reduce the interest rates.  He asks me if I am in financial difficulties.  I am honest...I say I am because I am determined to continue to pay off my debt each month, but because the minimum payment is so high I have to keep using my credit card to subsidise my outgoings. 

So helpful guy that he is, what does he do?   He says...OK we have now blocked your credit card!   So I ask him "If you cannot reduce the interest rate and you have now blocked my credit card, how do you think this helps me?"   He replies that he has to do this as a "responsible lender" and that there is nothing further that he can do to "help".   So I then tell him that far from this being helpful, it will probably result in my being unable to pay the minimum payment at all in the very near future.   Talk about cutting off noses to spite faces!

Up until this point I had remained pretty calm but then I got angry.   I reminded him of my 30 years custom, of how my accounts have been managed very well until recently, and because I had decided to contact them BEFORE I reached a point where I couldn't pay my monthly debt in full, they had now slammed the door in my face.   AND...I said OK what am I to do?   Stop paying?  Disappear into the depths of this huge country and forget about the debt?  I said I am trying to be honest...to do the honourable thing...to continue to take responsibility for the debt that I have incurred, and all I am asking for is a little help at a financially difficult time in my life.

Finally, I said that I would continue to endeavour to pay the monthly minimum payment but that I was warning him that this may not be possible in the near future, but there's very little I can do about it if there just is not enough money available.

He went quiet...he said hold on...I did.  I was put on hold, and forced to listen to jolly music which made me want to scream!

He returned.  He said he couldn't unblock the card...once it's done that's it.  However he has reduced my monthly payment by 45 pounds for a period of 4 months.  This has to reach the credit card account on time or the arrangement will be cancelled.  They will review the situation again at the end of the 4 months.

On reflection it's just as well my card is blocked...I really don't want to keep using it...I never did.

It isn't much...but it's better than nothing.  I am very disappointed though, and I hate myself for even thinking that in future I will think twice about being so honest.   Does honesty pay?  It doesn't seem so!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Storms, Gas Bottles and Control....

...this photo was taken at 7.00am today through my sitting room window.  It's a miserable wet day.  We've had storms over the past week...the worst I've known.  Gale force winds forced the rain through every tiny gap in walls and windows, resulting in a very wet carpet and damp walls.  A couple of days of dry weather enabled us to open all the windows to dry it out, but now it's started up again and looks set to stay for several days.

I'm very careful now to  make sure everything electrical is disconnected at the first sign of a storm...particularly the modem!  I don't use the electric shower when there's a storm (you may recall the shock I received last summer).  I have always had it somewhere in the back of my mind that I should be careful with the gas bottles that are used here.  We only have one which is connected to the hob on the cooker (the oven is electric).  But sometimes one just forgets the dangers.  If there was any proper health and safety legislation in this country, their inspectors would have a field day.  Maybe that's why there is no control over the dangers in the home...they wouldn't know where to begin.

Yesterday I put the kettle on the gas hob to make a coffee and went off to use the bathroom.  When I returned, there was no flame under the kettle.  Instead of checking to see whether the gas was on, I just didn't think and pressed the ignition switch....whooosh...bang...flames!  Fortunately I jumped back and no harm was done...but it made me stop and think...it was certainly a wake-up call.  I will be much more careful in future.

Control...hmmm...when did I lose control over my life?  I can't really pinpoint the time...it's kind of crept up gradually.   It's all about money of course...or rather lack of it.  Money's not everything in life but it gives you choices...it gives you control.  We have no money...we have no control...and we have huge debts.

I've had  my credit card for years...going back to the time when I was in full-time employment in England.  For most of the time there, and here, I've used it for things like booking flights and paid in full on statement every month.  We've had a difficult few years financially, so I've used the card more than I should, and the closer I got to the credit limit, the more the company increased it.  Do they ever check your incomings before doing this?  I think not, or they would know that it's not wise to keep increasing it.  OK I've never missed a monthly payment, but my credit limit stands at 9,900 pounds, and I have now reached this limit.   I have a  very small pension (minute in fact) which now only just covers the minimum monthly payment on the card.  Oh the interest charged is so high I can't bare to think about it.   And at this rate I won't finish paying it off until I'm about 135 years old.

I haven't been extravagant.  Those of you who follow me regularly know that I don't waste money...quite the opposite.  But we have had to live, and the card has only been used out of necessity.

You know we live in this house which FIL "gave" us.  We live in it, but it's not ours.  FIL's name is still on the deeds.  He mentioned last year about being willing to sign the house over to us.  It comes with a piece of land on the outskirts of the village where he has planted fruit and nut trees.  This started out for him as a hobby.  But Ankara is so far away that he only comes to tend the land twice a year for a week or two at a time.  The rest of the time, FIL pays a man in the village to look after the land.  I asked Mr A why FIL could not just pay Mr A to look after the land.  At least we would have some money coming in.  Mr A replied that this had already been discussed and that FIL would expect him to do it for nothing because he's family.  OK I think this is fair enough...but Mr A can't do this if he is either working, or looking for work.

Mr A spoke to FIL recently, and asked if the land could be sold, to pay off my credit card debt, and so enable us to free up my pension, which would support us through the winter months.  But he has flatly refused.  No explanation, other than to say he doesn't want to sell anything.   FIL also "gave" houses to Mr A's brother and to his sister (again the deeds are still in FIL's name).   Apparently, because his sister and her husband are doctors and are now earning good money, FIL is about to take the house back from them.  Again, I can see the fairness of this up to a point...they should stand on their own feet, and they can afford to.
But...it's all about control isn't it?   FIL has ALL the control over his family, and will continue to do so until the day he dies.

FIL and MIL will be here in a couple of weeks time.   He will as usual criticise everything....the state of the garden, the dogs hairs, my cooking, the cheap food that we are forced to buy that doesn't suit his expensive taste buds.  He may find it difficult to criticise the food on this occasion however, as the cupboard and fridge are bare.  I should be thankful for small mercies!

I could do with a lottery win...difficult to achieve when I can't even find the money to buy a ticket.  I'm not greedy, just 10,000 pounds to settle my debts would help.   Although a larger win would be acceptable, if only to be able to either buy the house from FIL ...or tell him to stick it.   But mainly it would give me back control of my life again....something I am desperately in need of.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Silly Saturday

Some of you may have seen this video before.  It's fine if you have a head for heights.  I don't, and it actually brings me out in a cold sweat! If you have the patience...watch the whole clip to get a real sense of fear!


More about the most dangerous walkway here


Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Do keep up.....

...yes I am indeed trying to keep up.   My last update on Mr A's adventures here was only a matter of a couple of weeks ago, when you may recall him exchanging the motorbike for a car.  This was a different car to that which he had exchanged for the motorbike some weeks earlier.  Still with me?

It was a good idea to have exchanged the FIRST car for a motorbike because it enabled us to get rid of the 1000 lira still owing on the car.  However, selling by motorbike was proving to be difficult, so he changed the motorbike for the second car, which meant he still owed money but this wasn't due for payment until March.  Always optmistic, Mr A was certain he could earn enough money selling fish to be able to pay this when it became due.  Keeping up?

He has worked very hard with the fish.  Up at 4am most mornings to collect the fish from the boats, then out all day till late evening selling it.   It has provided us with enough money for food, but very little else.  The weather is getting warmer and it seems there isn't as much demand for fish, and it has to be sold quickly.  Naturally there is some wastage, so even though this is good news for the local cats, it hasn't helped us too much. 

After almost 13 years of living with Mr A, I am quite used to his impulsive ways. I used to get quite anxious about his rash decisions but surprisingly I just seem to take it all in my stride nowadays.

I phoned him earlier to ask him to bring some coffee home with him later.  He informed me that he has just taken the car back and exchanged it for a motorbike!   He was getting really worried about the fact that the fish isn't selling as well, and won't unless he goes further afield...which will cost more in petrol, which means less profit, and no guarantees that he will shift all the stock before it goes off anyway.   He's well aware that apart from having to save for the money still owed for the car, we also have bills to pay.  No doubt he has another idea for earning money, which will be possible to do with the use of a motorbike...I've no idea what as yet, but I'll soon find out.  But of course he no longer owes any money on the car, because he now has a motorbike...again....still with me?  (Please feel free to stop reading at this point..or maybe you already have)

So he told me this on the phone and I just replied "Oh OK"...I am just so used to it now that I just let him get on with it.   We have no choice.  Winter here is always like this...just doing whatever we can to survive.  And I've had 12 winters here, and we've always got through them somehow.  He wheels and deals, ducks and dives, does whatever he thinks necessary at the time...sometimes with a good outcome, sometimes bad.  He reminds me of Delboy in Only Fools and Horses.....but without the Reliant Robin...although I'm sure if he could find one here to swop for the motorbike...he would.

So I do try to keep up with his adventures...but mostly I don't bother.  What's the point?  It will all change again in no time at all!

Beware of high heels


I guarantee the next one can't fail to make you laugh!




Hope these started off your day with a chuckle!



Saturday, 12 February 2011

Silly Saturday

It's Valentine's Day on Monday so I thought you might appreciate some quotes on love and marriage on this week's Silly Saturday post:- 

Women marry men hoping they will change.Men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed. -- Albert Einstein

An archeologist is the best husband any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her-- Agatha Christie

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. -- Groucho Marx

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell. -- Joan Crawford

You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip. -- Jonathan Carroll

If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married. -- Katharine Hepburn

All marriages are happy. It's trying to live together afterwards that causes all the problems. -- Shelley Winters

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down." - Woody Allen, Love and Death

Friday, 11 February 2011

Shark Finning...action required

For those of you who may recall my referring you to a post on Fly in the Web's blog, Costa Rica Calling, a little while ago about this barbaric practise,  you may be interested in reading her latest post here.

Please take a few minutes to read, and perhaps some of your time to spread the word and take some direct action if you can.

Thankyou.

When is spam not spam?

I mentioned the  new  Blogger spam system recently here and here.   It's still working well and is picking up comments by that well known spammer "Anonymous" and placing them firmly in the spam box.  Most of the time these comments are so obviously spam, but it's really irritating when you get one that starts off in such a way that you think it's a genuine follower, and it's only when you get to the last sentence that it hits you.

The following comment, which I plucked from my Spam box this morning from good old Mr Anonymous, appears to be one that you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking is genuine.  It also appears to have been translated by using something a little more superior than google-translate, but I still don't understand much of what they are trying to say.   Have a look. 

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Blog problems update":


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...........so, what do you think?  Is it spam or not?

And note for Anonymous.  If you are genuine, I hope I haven't offended you, but if you are as you say "going to be here a lot from now on", then please do use a name other than Anonymous, or I'm afraid this post will be your only "5 minutes of fame"....any future comments will end up in the spam box for deletion.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Restless

I am amazed that although I was blogging just a few days ago about how winter had arrived, suddenly summer seems to be on it's way again!  The last two days has been magnificant. Temperatures around 20 degrees has had me outside in a t-shirt again, having coffee on the balcony.

This weather also has me thinking about spring cleaning...only thinking..not actually doing!  But I do get restless and I have blogged before about how I have this obsession with moving furniture around.  I can be sitting doing nothing, when all of a sudden I'm jumping up and moving sofas, armchairs, wardrobes, etc.

The biggest problem is that I don't plan it first.  I move something large and then find that I've blocked myself into a corner and the only way out is to climb over everything.  I've spent two days on and off doing this.  Moving stuff back and forth, deciding I don't like it, and changing it again.  At one point yesterday I had an armchair firmly wedged in the doorway between the bedrooms and the sitting room.  It just would not budge. The only way out was to climb over it...and then to lift the dogs over.  Poppy is easy, but Beki weighs a ton!
The dogs have more sense.  They shot off into the garden and stayed there for a couple of hours...they know better than to get in my way when I'm moving furniture.

I left the chair for a while and had a chat with my friend on msn.  Time was getting on, and Mr A was due home, so I had to tackle the chair.  He gets cross with me for doing this, because I always strain my back...I'm really suffering for it this morning.  However, surprisingly the chair suddenly became unwedged and ended up where I wanted it to be, and I'm happy with how it all is...for now anyway.

Today I'm going to make a start on sorting out the contents of my wardrobe.   I'd actually like to move the bed and the wardrobe, but that will have to wait for another time, until my back can cope with it!

Do you have any similar obsessions?  What do you do when you get bored or restless?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Silly Saturday

We haven't had a Silly Saturday for a few weeks, so here are some signs which seem to have lost something in translation...hope they make you smile:











Have a good weekend!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Bread Pudding

I've been making bread pudding for as long as I can remember.  My mother used to make it, and my grandmother before her.

There is no real recipe. Like most of the things I cook it varies depending on what I have available.

But basically it's an excellent way of using up old bread.  I say "old" rather than stale, because I don't think many of us these days actually keep bread until it's stale, but bread that is a day or two old is fine.   Although sliced bread keeps longer doesn't it?  I can't remember as I don't buy it here.

Anyway, this is how I made my bread pudding today.

Break up bread into pieces and soak in milk in a large bowl until soft but not too soggy.  Add to this sugar and a couple of eggs.  Now if you have shredded suet to hand add some of this for a better result.  I can't get it here so I throw in some margarine.  Then add some dried fruit...anything you have.  I happened to have figs and sultanas today.  A pinch of cinnamon or mixed spice adds to the flavour, as does a couple of tablespoons of jam or marmalade.   I used the last of some apricot jam and some of the lemon marmalade I made the other day.

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a greased baking tin and flatten down.  Sprinkle a little sugar on the top.   Bake at around 160 degrees for...how long?  I don't remember...but you can tell when it's cooked because it will be firm to the touch and will start to brown on the top...just like the picture.

Don't worry about quantities or ingredients...I don't and it always turns out fine.

It's delicious hot with custard, cream or icecream, and just as nice cold with a cup of coffee......enjoy!

Life is Good...an award

I am really happy to accept an award today from Mr H at Subsistence Pattern.

This is particularly special to me because when I first encountered Mr H in blogland we got off to a bit of a shaky start.  He had commented on another blog that I followed and was a bit scathing about blog awards.

Well...we had a few words...sorted it out...took on board each other's opinions and have been the best of blog friends ever since.  And here he is, accepting an award and passing it on to me...who would have thought it?

Mr H's blog is so interesting.  He and his wife are pretty much totally self-sufficient, and his blog is full of useful advice.  You can learn an awful lot from people like him....well worth having a look.

Thankyou Mr H...such lovely words from you, and very much appreciated.

So in accepting this award I have to answer 10 questions:

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?

I did start out anonymously, and to a large extent I am still anonymous.  However, my real name has cropped up a couple of times.  It doesn't bother me too much although I would prefer to use my "anonymous" name on my blog (you never know who's reading!).  I have of course added blogger friends to my Facebook friends, so they know my real name now anyway.


2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

Oh I couldn't possibly think of one incident.  I am stubborn pretty much all of the time.  It always surprises me that Mr A tolerates my stubborn streak...Turkish women are so different, much more laid-back and easygoing..not stubborn at all.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

I see me...a face with lines and wrinkles that is ageing faster than I would like.  But I wouldn't attempt to change it...even if I could afford to.  All these lines are our life's experiences...they make us what we are.  In any case just a facelift would not be sufficient...there's little point in having a youthful face if the rest of the body is sagging!

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Well I'd like to say a chilled glass of dry white wine, but I'm not keen on Turkish wines.  But if I happen to be in England I enjoy a glass or two of Pinot Grigio or a dry Cava.  I really love champagne but rarely get the chance to drink it.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Most of my time these days is for myself.  I worked very hard all my life, and carried on working from time to time when I moved to Turkey...when jobs were available.  I'm retired now, so this is my time.  I enjoy blogging, reading, and sitting outside admiring the view...as long as it's not too hot.

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
I'm pretty satisfied with my life.  I'd really like to live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up, and I'd love to have enough money to visit my family in England more often.  I'd also like Mr A and I to have a holiday together...just the two of us...something that we haven't manage to achieve in almost 13 years.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
I hated school.  I left early...a year before taking my GCE's.  I regretted it later.  I realised that I wasn't stupid and that I should have concentrated more, learned more, because I spent years trying to catch up with my missed education...and that is not the easy option.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?
About 12 years ago, Mr A returning late at night from work, in the pouring rain, on a motorbike, covered with a plastic rubbish sack to keep him dry, carrying a little bag containing a cake for me.   He used to do this every night...lovely! 

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I actually share more in my blog than I ever intended to.  I am a basically honest person and can't lie about anything.   Of course there are some things that are too personal to share, but on the whole I am finding it quite easy to be my true self.  I do also enjoy writing about other things that interest me.  Blogging for me is very therapeutic.


10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
I'd choose to talk on the phone simply because I spend so much time on my own.   I have plenty of time to read a book, but I love human contact...even if it's just on the phone.

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I'm going to follow Mr H's lead and choose just one blogger to receive this award.   I am presenting it to Bombshellicious.   The reason for choosing her is because she is one of the loveliest people I have had the pleasure to meet.   You may recall that we met in person during my last visit to England in November.  We hit it off immediately.  She and I have had similar ups and downs throughout our lives, and we find it very easy to talk to each other about anything.   There are days when one of us is down and the other up, and vice versa, and we always manage to make things better for each other...we always end up laughing which is great.   The Life is Good award is very appropriate for her.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Winter and Mr A's adventures

Looking at this photo, taken from my balcony a few days ago, you could be forgiven for thinking it's summer here.  But winter has arrived at last.  It's pleasant outside with the sun shining, but it is cold...very cold in the house.  I was about to switch on the aircon unit yesterday, only to discover that the batteries in the controls were dead, so I spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking.

Since my last update on 21st January we have had very little food.  In fact on Tuesday I was down to 2 eggs in the fridge and enough milk for 2 cups of coffee, which left me praying that Mr A would come home that evening with food.

You may recall from my last update that the car was exchanged for a motorbike, and Mr A was travelling around the villages selling mesır macunu.  A few days later, he realised that doing this on the motorbike was just not working.  So the motorbike has now been exchanged for another car.  OK he still has to pay money for the car, but he doesn't have to do this for a couple of months. 

This travel and sell business is all about supply and demand and Mr A feels that if he constantly changes products, he can continue to supply villages with things that they want or need.  The latest car is a hatchback, with plenty of space, and the latest product is fresh fish.

He has negotiated a good price with the supplier and drives to Güvercinlik every two days to get the fish which has just been caught, and then  packed in ice in polystyrene boxes.  This fish will actually keep for 4 or 5 days, but he is clearing the stock within 2 days because he wants it to be as fresh as possible.    He did try to negotiate with the Belediye (council) for a permanent pitch in Milas, but they are charging much more than we can afford at the moment, so he is travelling the villages.  Although he has been given a free pitch in the industrial estate in Milas on Saturdays.

The Turks are big fish eaters, but people in the villages can't always travel to get it, so Mr A has no problem clearing his stock quickly.  He has to earn enough to re-stock, pay for petrol, and keep us going. It's been less than a week since he started and so far it looks promising.

And the good news is that, after I had eaten the last 2 eggs on Tuesday, he arrived home in the evening with bags of shopping.  Enough food to last us for a couple of weeks.  He also checked my postbox in Milas and there was a parcel for me from a friend in England containing 6 big bars of Cadbury's chocolate....so it was a bit like Christmas!

The downside is that he comes home every evening smelling very fishy and it's not pleasant.  And I certainly have no intention of going anywhere in the car anytime soon!  He did leave a car window open very slightly the night before last, and when he set off yesterday morning, discovered a cat in the car who had managed to squeeze in, was just pushing the lid off one of the boxes and had the tail of a fish in it's  mouth.   Caught in the nick of time.  So fortunately only one fish was touched...and Mr A gave it to the cat...lucky cat!

I assumed that Mr A wouldn't be able to continue selling fish when the weather gets warmer, but apparently there are refrigerated units that can fit into the back of a car, so if this business is profitable enough, he will look into this further.

And so, Mr's adventures continue...watch this space.