Saturday, 29 September 2012

Proposed new law

Those of you on Facebook and who read the Turkish press will be aware of the proposed new law that the Government wishes to introduce to deal with the problem of stray dogs.

It is barbaric and people here (both Turkish and foreigners) are furious that this idea could even be contemplated.

There are demonstrations in most Turkish towns and cities tomorrow at 2pm.  You can read more in the link below and also help by signing the petition

We just cannot allow this to happen. 

Thankyou xx

Thursday, 27 September 2012

All change

I don't know.  I go away for a week and everything changes.  Is it a conspiracy I wonder?  Do "they" wait until I'm out of sight then change everything just to confuse me when I come home?

Yesterday morning I needed to go into Milas to pay our monthly health insurance at the bank.  I decided to get the 8.40am bus from the village but when I reached the bus stop, lo and behold, the bus timetable had changed.  No 8.40am bus. I'd missed one at 8.30 so had to wait until 9.15 for the next one.

When the bus reached Milas, everyone got off in the centre and I was the only passenger remaining.  I needed to go to the bus station because it's closer to the banks.   Only it isn't now.  Why?  Because they've moved the bus station.  It's now far away from the centre, in an area that I hadn't visited before.  I have no sense of direction.  It takes me ages to find my way around and I tend to stick to areas that are familiar.

I asked the driver to point me in the direction of the banks...which he did.  It was quite a walk and I felt completely lost.  I was so busy concentrating on the roads and buildings around me that I failed to notice a hole in the pavement and down I went.  Heavily.  I twisted my leg and it's painful.  Fortunately I was wearing jeans.  I grazed my knee but without jeans on, it could have been worse.

At last I came to a road I recognised and carried on limping to the bank.   After queuing for some time, the security guard  asked me what I was there for.  When I explained, he said the system had changed and I could now pay my health insurance via a newly installed ATM outside the bank.  He very kindly showed me how it worked, so at least that will save me time in future.

My mobile phone just will not charge anymore.  I took it to the shop where I bought it, secondhand, several months ago.   I decided to change it for a new one this time, with a 2 year guarantee.  I don't need a phone with cameras and gadgets, which Mr A always tries to convince me I must have.  I just need to text and make calls.  The man showed me a Samsung which is so easy to use, even I can manage it.   It was priced at 150 lira (about £50).  I could have bought the same model cheaper in England, but as you need to register a foreign phone in Turkey to avoid it being blocked, and that costs 100 lira, it's swings and roundabouts really.   Surprisingly the man in the phone shop gave me 80 lira for my useless phone so the new phone only cost 70 lira.

So that was a change I was quite happy with!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I wish I had photos.....

...of my trip to England.  Sadly I don't.  Not even one.

I didn't take my camera.  It seemed pointless because I can no longer upload photos onto my netbook.  Although it occurred to me when I arrived that it may just have been a problem with the Turkish netbook.  So I should have taken the camera because perhaps it would work with this new netbook?

I can take photos on my phone, but they are awful.  In any case the phone is on it's last legs. The battery has been replaced twice but I still have to charge the damn thing 3 or 4 times a day.

My daughter has a camera and also a phone which takes really good photos, but it didn't get used.

Why?  It was just all too hectic.  Not much time to catch breath let alone take photos.  We had a party to organise the day after I arrived, the clear-up the following day, and every day after that seemed to be taken up with the boys.  Stella is exhausted.  For months now, Jimi has taken to waking up several times during the night.  Because the house only has two bedrooms, the boys sleep together.  Stella worries about Billy's sleep being disturbed by Jimi screaming, so after several attempts at settling him, she eventually takes Jimi into her bed, where he promptly goes back to sleep.  He's a clever little chap.  He knows exactly what he's doing and it works every time.

However, it's a habit that needs to be broken and since I returned home on Monday, a new plan is underway.  Stella's husband usually sleeps through all this, and she has been reluctant to disturb him because he has to get up early for a long day at work.  But we all had a chat about it and he is happy to be woken up by Stella to go in and settle Jimi when he starts screaming.  He knows it's going to mean a lot less sleep for him but that the end result will be worth it.  So far, so good.  It seems to be doing the trick.

Stella's husband managed to take the day off work on Stella's birthday on the 19th and looked after the boys so that I could take her out to our favourite restaurant for lunch.  I then babysat in the evening so that they could go out together.  A rare occurrence for them.  I did the same again on Friday night.  I always feel guilty that I'm not around to babysit on a regular basis so I like them to make the most of my services when I visit.

All too soon, Sunday arrived and I packed my bag and left for home.  Last week now seems like a distant memory...but a very happy one.  I adore my grandsons.  Billy now calls me  "Turkey Dog Nanny" by the way. Not particularly flattering but I love it!   

 At least I will be there for 3 weeks in December and maybe there will be enough time to take photos!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


I eventually arrived back from my trip to England at 2.45 on Monday morning.  It should have been an hour and a half earlier but the flight from Heathrow to Istanbul was delayed.

We landed at Istanbul with half an hour to get through passport control and to the gate for the domestic flight to Bodrum.  It should have been enough time.  In the past when this has happened there has always been someone from Turkish Airlines ground staff to get us through as quickly as possible in order to get us on the flight.  Not this time.

The passport officer said "you must run" and I did.   I got to the gate with 15 minutes to spare.  It was closed and no sign of airport staff.  Just half a dozen other passengers who had arrived earlier than I had, to find the gate closed.  Clearly they had filled the seats on the flight and closed the gate too soon.  

I found a very helpful man who took my boarding pass and went off to get me one for the next flight, telling me that my luggage would be transferred to this flight.

Running for 10 minutes had left me feeling quite ill.  I have a rotten cold (picked up in England during my last two days) which has now developed into a chest infection.  I was tired and not at all happy.

I arrived at Bodrum airport but there was no sign of my luggage, or that of the other half a dozen passengers who had missed the previous flight.  We established that our luggage was still in Istanbul and would be delivered sometime later in the day.  Another half an hour was taken up with filling in forms etc.

I was met by a tired and grumpy Mr A who couldn't understand why I wasn't cheerful and smiling and took this as a personal insult.  Bloody men just don't get it do they?  However, Poppy was pleased to see me and I was pleased to see my bed.

After many phone calls my luggage finally arrived at lunchtime yesterday, and the cheese and bacon contained therein was fine..thank goodness for coolbags.

I have sent a complaint to Turkish Airlines, for what it's worth.  I have also mentioned that every time I try to upgrade using my airmiles, I am informed that the flight is full.  And every time I try to use them to get a free ticket, there are none available for the flights I require.  If you are a frequent Turkish Airlines traveller take my advice...don't bother to register for Miles & Smiles..they don't deliver what they promise.

Apart from the problems returning home, I did have a wonderful time with Stella, Billy and Jimi.  I'll tell you more about it when I'm in a better mood!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

In at the deep end

My lovely friend BacktoBodrum collected Poppy on Friday afternoon and kindly dropped me off at the airport.  I was surprised to see her right arm in plaster (see what happened HERE) but she is made of strong stuff and is clearly determined that her injury won't prevent her driving.

After two flights I arrived at my daughter's home at midnight and straight to bed (on the sofa).  None of us had a great deal of sleep as Jimi has been waking up in the early hours for some time now.

Saturday was filled with the company of two lively toddlers and trying to prepare for my daughter's birthday party to be held in the evening.  It went very well and everyone had a good time.  Billy had taken himself off to his mum and dad's bed and late evening I popped up to check on him.  I settled down for a cuddle with him and promptly fell asleep.   And there I stayed until morning.  My daughter told me Billy and I looked so cosy she didn't want to disturb us.  I didn't realise quite how tired I was.

Up early Sunday morning and as I had had more sleep than anyone else and wasn't hungover I cleared up the debris from the party.

I'm writing this post on my new netbook, whilst not only trying to get used to the English keyboard, but attempting conversations with Billy and Jimi.  Not easy!  I still have some work to do on setting up the netbook and downloading certain things,  but this week is not the time to do it!

The boys are exhausting but I am enjoying absolutely every moment with them.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Last post...

...not the last post ever of course, but the last before I set off to England tomorrow, and the last one using my current netbook.

I am not confident that I'll actually be able to post it, because I have internet connection problems.  I lose my connection every couple of minutes.  It returns for a few minutes.  I type frantically, then it's gone again.   I have commented on here and also several other blogs, and lost everything before having a chance to post them.

In respect of my previous post, I'd just like to thank everyone again for the lovely comments.  I sometimes think perhaps I bare my soul a little too much on my blog.  I don't do it for sympathy, but because I find it extremely therapeutic  to write how I feel.   In a way it's a bit like talking to a therapist.  I get things off my chest, I put everything into perspective, which then enables me to lift myself out of depression.  The fact that there are lovely people out there who read my words and seem to understand, and are able to reassure me,  is always a pleasant surprise to me.  It's the icing on the cake.

So I'm off tomorrow for a hectic and tiring week, but one which will give me enormous pleasure as it always does.  Spending precious time with my daughter and grandsons makes my life complete.

My brother has my "new" netbook awaiting my arrival, and of course I will need to set it up and try to get used to an English keyboard again, after using a Turkish one for many years.  I doubt I will have much time to do this, let alone blog.

I'll be back on the 24th (providing my internet problem has been resolved by then!)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Dealing with life

I suppose when I moved here 14 years ago, I had no idea that life would be so different.  If I had known then that I would face so many ups and downs, maybe I wouldn't have lasted long.  But to a large extent I'm glad I've stuck with it.

I'm a naturally anxious person.  Even if things are going smoothly I will always find something to stress about.  That's me and I can't change it.  But I have learned over the years how to deal with it.

My last post about my obsession with bugs is a good example of how my anxiety manifests itself.  But now I've dealt with it, not just in a practical way to be sure that my house isn't infected, but by talking about it here.  Because for me blogging will always be therapeutic.  Writing about how I feel puts it all into perspective.  The support and encouragement I then receive from my followers helps me to overcome my fears.

There are many signs that show me I'm heading towards depression, apart from the OCD and anxiety.  I become quite clumsy.  I walk into doorframes and furniture and bruise myself.  I burn myself on the iron and oven.  I have an almost healed burn on my arm from last week, and yesterday I scalded my thumb and part of my palm with steam from something being heated in the microwave.  Nasty blisters have appeared and it's painful, but it will heal.

A lot of my anxiety comes from being apart from Mr A.   I see so little of him.  He is working such long hours.  He doesn't have time to come home, and on the rare occasions when he does, it has been to bring dirty washing or shopping, which he drops off and then returns to work.   We have no time to talk.  This can't be good for any relationship.

I spend too much time on my own, so on Saturday I caught 3 buses over to Mr A's hotel, which takes between two and two and a half hours.  Spent a few hours relaxing, having lunch, and attempts at conversation with Mr A...which is not easy when he's busy, but it's better than nothing.  I repeated the journey again on Sunday and yesterday.   Fortunately he had to drop a customer at the airport yesterday so was able to give me a lift home.   The communication between us which had almost disappeared, is gradually improving again, and this in turn makes me less anxious.

Last Friday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the home of my friend BacktoBodrum. She kindly drove out to the village to collect me and Poppy.  We had a lovely lunch and a swim in her pool and she took us back home later.    You may recall that she recently adopted a dog called Jake through the Turkish Animal Group.  We are encouraging Poppy and Jake to spend time together and have agreed to help each other out with dogsitting when the occasion arises.  She is kindly looking after Poppy when I go to England next week, and I very much look forward to having Jake here with Poppy some time in the future.

BtoB is  lovely  and I am happy to have met her.  She is good company and really lifts my spirits.  Jake and Poppy, although naturally apprehensive at first, seem to be getting on OK and I'm sure they will become good friends.

My anxieties are gradually disappearing and plummeting into the black hole of depression seems to have been avoided this time.

There are many things to be positive about in my life.  I just have to make more of an effort to find them.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Bugs, Google and OCD

I'm often reluctant to admit that I suffer from OCD.  It's mostly under control.  I don't obsess on a daily basis, but occasionally something triggers that illogical part of my brain which sends my obsessions into overdrive.

At the moment it's bugs.  Most of the time I accept that living in this environment and hot climate I will encounter creatures that I'm not comfortable with.   We get ants...I put ant killer down and they go away.  We have scorpions, snakes, centipedes, millipedes, mosquitoes, and all kinds of other crawling and flying pests, some so minute that you can hardly see them, but they bother me nevertheless.

For the past couple of weeks I have convinced myself that we have bed bugs.  I have searched on Google.  I have looked at countless pictures of bed bugs and have read everything there is to read about the signs of infestation.   I have searched my bedroom from top to bottom.  I've come across tiny insects obviously, but nothing that resembles a bed bug.  And there are no other indications that they exist.  So the logical part of my brain should just accept that they aren't there.  I wish.

The problem with Google is that there is just too much information.  And I have spent hours reading about bed bugs to the extent that I was having nightmares about being eaten alive.

I have been like someone possessed recently.   I have vacuumed and scrubbed.  I have taken everything out of the underbed storage, washed it, and put in plastic bags.  I have washed every item of clothing in wardrobes and drawers.  I bought some liquid from a shop in Milas, which is mixed with water and have sprayed every part of the house at least twice a day.

Last week I was  sleeping on the sofa in the sitting room with the light on (somewhere on Google it said that bed bugs don't appear if you leave the light on).  But all this was becoming so exhausting and  making me very miserable.  At one point I asked Mr A to find a pest controller to come and fumigate the house.  My logical side knows that if this happened he would find nothing, but I'm sure would be happy to be paid money we can't afford for carrying out the job.

I have realised within the last couple of days that all this is due to extreme anxiety and the onset of another bout of depression.  There are things going on in my life over which I have no control and this makes me very anxious. 

I've taken back a little bit of control.  I'm back sleeping in the bed...without the light on...and I'm not being bitten by anything.  I now accept there are no bugs.  It was all in my head. 

I'm hoping this mood will lift before I go to England on Friday, because the last thing I want is to be like this around my daughter and grandsons.

I always try to find a positive if I can, and on this occasion  because of my frenzied search for bugs, my house and  contents are cleaner than they've ever been!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

I may be gone some time

Just a brief post to let you know that I am having internet connection problems at the moment.

My connection goes on and off every few minutes and I can't seem to find out what's wrong.  I have reported the problem to TTNet and they are looking into it, but I suspect it may well have something to do with the counterfeit Windows programme on my computer, because within the last day or so the pop-up boxes telling me it was fake, which appeared every few minutes...suddenly disappeared.  Everything then seemed to be working normally until yesterday afternoon when the connection problem started.

I am typing this in stages,  whilst I'm connected, then hoping that I can post it.

Thank goodness my netbook from eBay is waiting for me in England when I go on 14th.  I may have to just suffer internet withdrawal symptoms until then!  How on earth did we cope before the internet?

Update:  No sooner had I posted the above than TTNet have proved that for a change they are really on the ball.  Customer Service phoned me and texted at the same time to say the problem had been reported to the local office.  Five minutes later, internet was reconnected and the local office called me to check it was working.  Then a couple of minutes later, another text message from Customer Service informing me that the problem had been resolved...and to have a nice day!  I will now!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

How hard can it be... get a haircut? 

I had just reached the point this week where I felt that the only way I could appear in public would be to wear a paper bag over my head.  I have been procrastinating for weeks about getting my hair cut.  I was attempting to grow it but frankly it was a mess.

On Thursday I phoned Ferdi in Gumbet who had cut my hair really well last year.  I made an appointment for 11am yesterday.  Ferdi knows where I live.  He knows it takes me an hour and a half and three buses to get to him.

I arrived on time to find no sign of him, just his wife doing a pedicure.  She welcomed me and told me to take a seat.  I waited about 10 minutes and then asked her when Ferdi would be arriving.  She informed me that he wouldn't be coming in as he had a bad back.   OK.   I can sympathise of course, but he has my number.  Why couldn't he have phoned or asked his wife to call me to save a wasted journey?

On the positive side, it wasn't a complete waste of time, because I then decided to get the bus to Yalikavak and visit Mr A at the hotel.  We had lunch together, then he was able to take a few hours off.  We grabbed some shopping and then he took me home.  He stayed for half an hour for a coffee and then went back to work.  I have seen so little of him for weeks and even though this time together wasn't ideal, it was better than nothing.

Determined to avoid the paper bag, I set off to Milas today to find another hairdresser.  I have been having haircuts by  Atila on and off since we moved here three and a half years ago.  He's very cheap but unpredictable.  It depends on his mood on a particular day as to whether you will get a good cut or a bad one, so it's a risk.

I arrived at Atila's salon to find it boarded up...clearly he has had too many "off" days and gone out of business.   

I tried two more salons.  The first was very busy (a good sign) but they couldn't fit me in so I took their card to ring later for an appointment.   The second one was where my friend Gwen had her hair cut on one of her visits to me and I remember it being quite good.  The guy who cut her hair had since moved on.  The salon was empty and there was just one female stylist who looked very frumpy and miserable and something told me not to bother.

By this time I had almost given up and was on my way to the bus station when I came across a newly opened salon.  It didn't seem too busy so in desperation I entered and sure enough there was someone available to cut my hair.

It's OK.  It's not brilliant but it's not bad.  Although the fact that the stylist cut his finger on his scissors during the first 2 minutes didn't inspire confidence.  It isn't exactly how I wanted it but I can dispense with the paper bag for the time being.  And I just tell myself, as I often do after a slightly disappointing haircut,  "It will grow and then I can search for another hairdresser".