Monday, 31 December 2012

Home and back to earth with a bump

I arrived home last night with mixed feelings.   I'm not feeling too good.  I've been trying to fight off a flu bug since before Christmas and it won't budge.   It was worse on Christmas Day which was a shame, but the day was very enjoyable nevertheless.  However,I spent Boxing Day in bed...thank goodness I had a bed to stay in (at my friend's house).   She was away visiting her family, so I could at least feel sorry for myself without bothering anyone else.

My daughter and the boys visited her Dad on Thursday and returned Friday, so I was able to spend time with them before returning home.

Flights were good and on time, and I was greeted with torrential rain when I landed at Bodrum.  I was also greeted with 3 and a half weeks of housework.   OK Mr A had made a kind of attempt at keeping the place clean, but men are really not  much good at this are they?

He has what he thinks are good ideas.  He had erected a washing line in the sitting room, from one side to the other,  so I had to fight my way through sheets and towels to get to the bedroom.

He put some more electric sockets on the wall in the sitting room.  Excellent idea.  However, they are hidden behind a heavy piece of furniture so not very practical.  And he has put up a shelf on the wall which he thought would be perfect for the modem and the telephone.  The problem with this is that it is so high up that you would need to stand on a chair to use the phone.

Avoiding the temptation to beat him about the head, I smiled sweetly and went to bed.  I'll sort it all out this morning!

And it's great to be back to blogging.  I'll catch up with all your blogs in the next few days, when I've cleaned the house, removed the washing line, and repositioned the phone where I can actually use it.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

I know I won't have time for the internet from tomorrow onwards, so I would just like to wish all my followers a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year.

...with lots of love xx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Hectic time of year

I'd almost forgotten what it's like in the UK at this time of year.  On the rare occasions I've been here for Christmas I have arrived just before the big event and missed the run-up to it.

I don't really like all the commercialism that goes with Christmas.  The shops full of things that people feel they must buy but can't really afford.  I'm no exception..I've been caught up in the spending frenzy too.  I can't really tell you where all the money has gone, but it's disappearing rapidly like water down a drain.

I have had to buy certain things for myself.  I threw away my 37 year old boots and replaced them with some decent leather ones.  The only other footwear I had with me were ankle length walking boots, and having been caught in several downpours during the past week, these have suffered the same fate.  Not wanting to allow the rain to ruin my new leather boots, yesterday I bought some short nylon fabric boots, which were very cheap.  They will of course get wet, but they will dry out very quickly.

The old ankle boots were 12 years old.  It made me stop and think about how rarely I buy clothes and shoes these days.  I never wear dresses.  There's not much call for dressing up in our village!  The last coat I bought was also 12 years ago.  I found a coat in Sainsbury's of all places which was originally £45 but had been reduced to half price.  I also had a £6 voucher so I now have a new coat.  No doubt this will last for another 12 years or so.

There have been some memorable moments over the past couple of weeks.  We visited Billy's nursery school one afternoon, on a day when it was very cold and the frost looked like a gentle sprinkling of snow.  We all gathered around the Christmas tree outside and the children sang christmas songs.  It was just beautiful.

Billy and I had a day out in Windsor on Wednesday.  We caught the bus and browsed the shops so that he could choose presents for his mummy, daddy and Jimi.  He absolutely loved it and he chose very well.  He particularly liked the fact that every shop we visited gave him a chocolate or sweet!  He chose where we should have lunch....not surprisingly Pizza Hut...his favourite.  And he slept on the bus all the way home.  He is such good company and it was a real pleasure to spend this day with him.

Jimi is sleeping a little better at night these days, but he is a bundle of frantic energy.  I really don't know how my daughter copes with him.   He can be so naughty at times, but has such a cute smile that it's impossible to get cross with him.

I have my first "free" day today to re-charge my batteries in preparation for the hectic time ahead!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Moving around

Just before I came on this trip to England I wondered if three and a half weeks at my daughter's house might not be a bit much...for her and for me.

My visits are normally just for a week or a little more, which is fine.  Their house is small, only two bedrooms, so I have to sleep on the sofa.  It's comfy enough but with all the paraphernalia of Christmas being added daily to the house, it was becoming quite overcrowded. And I hate living out of a suitcase.

I sometimes stay at my brother's house but it wasn't possible this visit.  His daughter has just bought her first home.  Exchange of contracts had been delayed and my brother's house is packed to the rafters with his daughter's furniture, so no room to squeeze me in!

I had an offer from a friend of one of her spare rooms, and the run of her house.  I didn't want to offend my daughter by taking up my friend's offer so decided to go ahead and stay with my daughter. After a week of sleeping on the sofa and feeling like none of us have our own space, I made the decision to move to my friend's house for the rest of my stay.  I am really just sleeping there and going to my daughter's house every day.  I will of course be staying over for babysitting and for Christmas, but it does give all of us a bit of personal space when we need it.

I'm having a bit of a disaster with umbrellas.  I bought one in Turkey before I set off.  Used it for the first time last week and a gust of wind blew it inside out, broke all the spokes and the whole thing collapsed.   I bought another one on Friday, and lost it. (at least I thought I had).  I bought a third one yesterday, and promptly found the second one. 

I am about to hit the shops for some new boots.  My black knee high leather boots are leaking water.  The soles are coming adrift, and I'm not sure they can be fixed.  They haven't had a lot of wear and I'm very fond of them.   However they are 37 years old.  They are classic design and never go out of fashion.

I wondered if anyone else had shoes or boots as old as this?  Do let me know!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Addictive Blogging Award

I've been given this award by omentide (Hilary and Ashley) over at Pul Biber with Everything. They have been living in Turkey for just over a year now, coincidentally in a house in Selcuk that they bought from a friend of mine from my days in that town.

What I particularly like about their blog is all the useful, step by step information on getting through the red tape here during that first year.  An absolute boon to anyone about to make the same move.

Thankyou Hilary and Ashley.

I will be passing on this award to some of my favourite blogs in the near future when I have a little more time to post the links.

Day 5......

...and it feels like I've never been away.   The boys are developing so fast.  I can't believe how much Jimi has changed since I saw him in September.  He has an incredible amount of vocabulary for a 20 month old.   He recognised me immediately and calls me Nana (an improvement on Billy's name for me...Turkey Dog Nanny)

As my daughter and son-in-law were out on Saturday night and the boys were staying with their other grandparents, I used the opportunity to catch the train down to Swindon to visit a friend (a good friend I made through blogging 3 years ago).  We have met up previously in Reading but this is the first time I have visited her at home. We had a great time...chatting...and chatting...and more chatting. I stayed the night and after she and her husband took me out to a local restaurant for breakfast on Sunday morning, I caught the train home.

I also had a phone call from another blogging friend yesterday.  She is in England at the moment but, like me, has very little spare time.  We had hoped to meet up but it just wasn't possible.   The phone call was lovely.  We have communicated for a few years now but this was the first time we had heard each others voices, and it was really great to hear from her.  Don't you just love the way we make such wonderful friends through blogging?

 And talking of blogging.  I have so little time at the moment so please forgive me for not leaving comments on your blogs.  I'm reading as much as time allows, and doing this post very early in the morning before the boys get up and the fun begins.  I'll catch up when I can.

It's going to be a busy time in the run up to Christmas.  Tomorrow I will go to Billy's nursery to hear the children sing Christmas songs, and next Wednesday I have a day out planned for just Billy and me.  We are going to Windsor to do his Christmas shopping.  He will be able to choose his presents for his mummy, daddy and Jimi.  We'll visit Santa, and have lunch out together.

In the meantime I'm doing as much babysitting as possible to enable my daughter and son-in-law to do their shopping and to have some much needed time out for themselves.  Jimi is such a handful.  He's incredibly energetic and wakes up on and off every night.  I don't know how they cope with so little sleep.

My teeth are fine now.  Only 2 more days of antibiotics and then I can have a glass (or 6) of wine.  Let the celebrations begin!

He looks like a little angel...looks can be deceptive!

..but Billy really is a little angel!

40 winks after nursery yesterday..wrong time to be sleeping Jimi!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Not a good first day

This is a very brief post due to feeling a little unwell, and being distracted by my two lovely grandsons.

Flight from Istanbul to Heathrow was fine, although my teeth/gums became gradually worse until my whole mouth was throbbing with pain.

Fortunately have a friend who works for a local dentist.  Phoned her early this morning and she managed to get one of the dentists to see me.  Not easy to do nowadays because I'm now considered a foreigner when I visit!

Abscess below bottom two front teeth...infection spread throughout the gums.  7 injections to anaesthetise so that abscess could be debrided and teeth and gums cleaned up as much as possible.  Strong antibiotics given, plus mouthwash, plus painkillers.  Pain should subside in couple of days, and antibiotics finished in 5 days.

No alcohol of course...and no smoking  (yes Maggie you are absolutely right smoking does the teeth and gums no good at all)

The boys are happy to see me but both have nasty cold/coughs, so we're a bit of a poorly household.

But they distract me and help to make me forget about my teeth.  I am looking after them this afternoon while their Mum and Dad do some shopping.

Back when I have some more time.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Blogging from Istanbul airport

The flight set off from Bodrum in the middle of a storm this morning..not pleasant at all.  There was so much turbulence that the cabin crew remained belted into their seats for the entire flight, so we had no refreshments.  It was like some kind of scary ride at Alton Towers.  Not something I'd like to repeat any time soon.

So I have 6 hours in Istanbul airport to calm down before the next stage of my journey.  I have wandered about, logged in to the internet with my dongle, had a couple of coffees in Starbucks and bought my duty frees.  Still nearly 3 hours to go < sigh >

I have doubts now about the dentist I found in Milas this week.  I thought he was very thorough. He did ask many questions about my health, one of which concerned allergies.  I informed him of my allergy to penicillin which was duly noted.

I was concerned about my bottom front teeth and gums as they had been sore for some days. I suggested I might need antibiotics because I had something similar a couple of years ago and antibiotics cleared it up.  He didn't agree and  prescribed anti-inflamatories and a mouthwash, but it didn't improve.  In fact it got gradually worse.  I had an appointment for a scale and polish on Tuesday but because I had bashed my knee I couldn't walk too well, so I cancelled and said I would be in touch to arrange all the treatment on my return from England at the end of the month.

Last night my teeth and gums were throbbing and I was getting quite anxious about having to find an emergency dentist the minute I set foot in England.  There was a storm last night and torrential rain.  However, Mr A phoned the dentist in Milas and said he wanted to come over to collect antibiotics.  He mentioned again my allergy to penicillin and I suggested erythromycin which I have had before, and which is commonly used by dentists for mouth infections.   He had never heard of it (I did give him the Turkish version so he should have).

Anyway Mr A (bless his heart) set off in this extreme weather on the motorbike to collect my tablets. When he reached the eczane he phoned the dentist so that they could determine what I needed.  Mr A phoned me to say that they didn't have erythromycin but suggested something else, plus a different mouthwash.

When the drowned rat Mr A returned, I opened the bag to find that the antibiotics were in fact...penicillin.  Not only that but the mouthwash is entirely unsuitable for my problem.  I checked it out on the internet and also with Mr A's sister who is a doctor.  So now I'm uncertain about this dentist, and may well consider going back to the one I found last year in Bodrum.

Not to be deterred Mr A set off again to Milas early this morning, returning the mouthwash and exchanging the penicillin for another antibiotic.

It made me stop and think about that comment recently.  You know the one?  About Mr A bringing nothing to the relationship?  

Well now...I am in desperate need of a cigarette and I have discovered a smoking area here in the airport.  It's not widely publicised...being at the far end of the building, up an escalator, round the back of a restaurant, and out on a terrace overlooking the runway.  But it will do just fine for now.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Off tomorrow morning

Well it would seem that my blog has won the  Bronze Medal in the Expat Blog Awards 2012 which is really rather now I have the badge proudly displayed on my sidebar ----->>>

Thankyou everyone for the lovely comments you made about my blog. I really appreciate it.

It's getting late and I should really be asleep, but I'm too excited!  I also have problems with my teeth which doesn't help.

Our new modem was installed today and is working well, after half a dozen calls to TTNet in Istanbul...and half a dozen different instructions on how to connect to our network!

 My flight leaves Bodrum at 11.30am and as I have just over 6 hours in Istanbul airport  before my flight to London, I will make good use of the dongle to do another blog post....providing it works OK. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dentists and Dongles

It's not one of my better weeks so far.  I'm going through one of my accident prone phases again.  I've already cut myself twice on the same sharp object (surely once is enough).   I fell flat on my face, banging the knee which has still not recovered from the last fall about 6 weeks ago.  An hour ago, whilst moving furniture (again) I managed to gouge out quite a large chunk from a finger which has only just stopped bleeding.    And it's only Tuesday!

On a positive note, I have found a new dentist.  This time in Milas which of course is so much more convenient.  I had a check-up yesterday.  The clinic is very sterile, and you have to wear protective plastic covers on your shoes before you enter.  The dentist was very thorough, particularly in checking any health issues I might have, blood group, allergies etc.   I need some bridge and crown work done and an old filling removed and re-done, and a scale and polish.  He also prescribed some mouthwash and anti-inflamatories for my gums which are a little sore at the moment.

I intended to have the scale and polish today, but having left the dental clinic yesterday,  walked a few 100 yards to the chemist for my prescription, I promptly tripped up the steps and flew head first into the shop (banging aforementioned knee).  It was so embarrassing but people were very nice.  I couldn't wait to get out of there. So this morning I couldn't walk very well and decided to cancel the scale and polish.  It will have to wait until I have the rest of the treatment when I get back from England. 

And another modem bites the dust.   There was a storm forecast last night so I disconnected the modem and went to sleep quite early.  I woke up in the early hours, unable to sleep further so went outside to check the weather.  No rain, no sign of a storm.  So I decided to connect the modem and log on to the internet.

I had only been logged on for about 10 minutes when, without warning there was a huge flash of lightening, followed by a loud bang.  No it wasn't the thunder, although that followed minutes was my modem exploding.  This is the fourth modem to have been struck by lightening since we moved here. 

Later today my knee was a bit better so Mr A and I went into Milas.  I had a hunt through cupboards and found a dongle (such a stupid word don't you think?) which we got free on some deal with TTNet a couple of years ago.  At that time it was connected to the Avea service provider, who would send out monthly bills.  I wasn't keen at the time, but Mr A was quite excited...he loves freebies, so we signed up with Avea.  Sure enough the novelty wore off and even though I asked Avea to disconnect, they kept sending bills.  Finally when I refused to pay the last two, they disconnected it.

The Avea shop in Milas has changed a great deal.  The people there are much more efficient than those of two years ago..  I wanted to know whether I could reactivate my dongle but on a pay-as-you-go tariff rather than monthly bills.  They can now do this.  My next question was how long would it take to reactivate.   If it was going to take some time there would be little point as we would hopefully have a new modem in the house anyway.  They said it would take less than half an hour.

So we sat in comfy chairs, were served tea, while the staff inserted a new sim card into the dongle, phoned to get it activated, then plugged it into my laptop, downloaded the software...and that was that.

Next stop TTNet, to get our modem we thought...completely dead, so now we have a new one.  The problem is that there are so many connection problems in the area that it won't be installed and wires repaired for a day or more.

The dongle is working fine.  I can blog, check emails, etc.  I can't do some of the things that I normally do but at least I'm connected.  It will do for now.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Only 5 more sleeps....

...until I see these gorgeous bundles of fun