Wednesday, 29 May 2013

OK let's start again

I was awake at around 4am.  In fact I had been awake on and off all night.  I decided to pass the time by writing a blog post.  It took quite some time.  Then I deleted it.

Why?  Because it was so gloomy.  I am depressed.  I am ill again.  Having had a nasty bout of flu as I left England on 30th April, followed by a day or so of feeling OK, I had what appeared to be tonsillitis.  That cleared up, then three days ago I started having stomach cramps, diarrhoea, feeling sick, loss of appetite.   I still have this bloody bug, but I am feeling better this afternoon.

I'm not one to generally wallow in self-pity but in the early hours of this morning I was feeling distinctly sorry for myself.  I've more or less been alone throughout this month of sickness, and I don't like it.  We all need to have someone to look after us when we feel unwell.  It's not possible for me at the moment.

So you think those first three paragraphs were gloomy?  You should have seen the original post!  But that's where the self-pity ends.

I have been cheering myself up today with videos on Youtube.  Trips down memory lane.  I was reminded of something my daughter told me recently.  She loves music.  She has a very eclectic taste. Anything from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles, The Who, Oasis, classical music.   Oh lots of stuff from way back to the present time.  She told me that her music of choice for doing housework to is Fleetwood Mac.  I can understand that perfectly, because I also play Fleetwood Mac  when I'm doing housework.

I don't feel much like doing housework today, but I have been playing a Fleetwood Mac cd just to get me in the mood.

And on my trip around Youtube last night, I indulged in a bit of 80s Bowie.

Another perfect track to help you through housework, don't you think?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Dog videos

Mr A came home last night and as usual we were up very early to feed the dogs and let them out for a run.  Mr A has an iPhone so was able to do a couple of videos of the dogs for me, which I thought you might like to see:

Excuse Mr A's spelling of Megan's name..he must have been thinking of the car with the same name!  He attempted a video inside the dog area but they were too excited and wouldn't keep still, so he had to shoot it from the other side of the fence.

Friday, 24 May 2013



After being promised an investigation by Vodafone earlier this week, into my dispute over the bill and the complaints against their representatives, I called them on Wednesday to check on progress.  They had done absolutely nothing, and I still kept getting reminder messages about the unpaid bill.   They then informed me that even though I had given them all this information, I would have to repeat it all again in writing for them to take action.  Fine.  I said I would get this done and post to them as a matter or urgency.

Early  the following morning (yesterday), I attempted to phone Mr A.  Not possible.  Vodafone had blocked outgoing calls and text messages.  Great.  So much for customer service.   I had half written the letter to them, and was about to complete it and post today by express delivery.   I'm not going to bother.  What's the point?  They can chase me for the unpaid bill and take me to court if necessary.

In the meantime, I have a new sim card from Turkcell, on pay as you go, which has now been activated.  I am back to where I was before and I'm happy with that.  Only one thing though...all the campaigns giving free calls and texts which I took advantage of before, being a longstanding customer with Turkcell, are not available to me now.  I am of course being treated as a new customer. Big lesson learned!

Mr A is now in permanent employment (well as permanent as it can be here).  After the job with Suleyman didn't work out, he then went to a hamam in Yalikavak. I mentioned before that he was having problems taking his commission from the boss and this problem continued.  Eventually he squeezed the money out of him with threats and set off to work at his third option...a hotel hamam in Gumbet.  Touch wood, this seems to be OK at the moment.  He has been there for 4 days and no problems.  Although it's still commission only, he has been given a contract and his insurance will be paid.  The boss has given him free reign, and he has resolved some existing problems with the hamam such as hygiene, staff clothing, etc, making the hamam cleaner and more professional.  The boss is extremely pleased with this.    Fingers crossed this one will last.

This week I have managed to make two large pots of apricot jam with some of the fruit from our land in the village.  Also some apricot puree which is great over icecream or yogurt, or mixed with soda or lemonade as a refreshing drink.  

Our tomato plants are like a jungle and we've had to cut them back to prevent them taking over the garden.  Last year's crop wasn't too impressive.  There were plenty of tomatoes but they seemed a bit tough.  So I decided to start using some of the green tomatoes and  this week  I have made seven jars of green tomato chutney.  It's delicious.

The dogs continue to thrive.  Megan is an absolute softy and very obedient.  This is helped by the fact that she is in the garden and balcony and I have more control over her.   Sammy and Blondie, although having settled well and are clearly  happy, are a little more difficult to train because they are in the area at the back of the house.  They need to have more human contact, so within the next few weeks we will be placing fencing along the driveway cutting off the part of the garden that we want to keep dog-proof.  Once this is done, they will be allowed in here with Megan and Poppy.  The gate to the area at the back of the house will remain open and they can come and go as they please.

Blondie is getting bigger.   And continues to grow.  She may not end up as big as the  huge kangal in the photo I showed in a previous post, but she is going to be VERY tall.
Blondie when she first arrived

Blondie now

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Women get things sorted

One problem on top of another.  The dog food eventually arrived, as I mentioned in my previous post.  However the Vodafone contract saga continues.  Just to refresh your memory you can read about it HERE.

Mr A promised to "sort it out" and as usual when I hear these words from him my heart sinks.  I know only too well what he is like when he is on the phone dealing with a problem.  It goes one of two ways.  Either he shouts, rants and raves...and the problem doesn't get sorted.   Or he listens and agrees with what the person on the other end of the line is saying because in typical Turkish fashion he is sometimes reluctant to offend.......and the problem doesn't get sorted.

Every time I mention it to him he tells me he is sorting it out. But I am getting reminders from Vodafone about the bill of 247.40 that has to be paid.

 Yesterday I discussed things in more detail with Mr A.   I got the name of the representative who came to the village, and his phone number, and also that of the shop in Bodrum where he works, the name of his boss and his phone number and email address.  Mr A then informs me that they admit they gave wrong information, but were going to try to sort it out by firstly, getting me changed over to a Turkcell contract for one month, then sorting out the outstanding Vodafone bill (how they were to do this, I don't know), then after a month they would change me back to Vodafone with a new "much better" contract.  All sounds a bit fishy doesn't it?

It was clear to me that they were attempting damage limitation for themselves, and I was having none of it. I told Mr A that I would call Vodafone myself in an attempt to sort this out, because I was not prepared to wait around for these two men to cover their tracks and at the same time creating more inconvenience for me.

Finding a number to ring Vodafone customer service was quite an effort, as was finding someone on the other end of the line who spoke English, but eventually I managed it.  I phoned yesterday morning and explained the situation.  They said they would look into it.

 I also sent an email to the shop in Bodrum clearly stating that I was in touch with customer services objecting to not only being given totally incorrect information at the start of the contract, but for not actually having seen or signed the contract, as their representative had Mr A sign for me.  These two men may wish to deal with the matter in a way that protects them and not me, the customer, but I am not happy to go along with it.

Vodafone customer services called me back in the afternoon and we talked for almost an hour.  I have established that for 20 lira that I originally agreed to, I would indeed have 500 minutes of call time and 500 text messages...BUT within Turkey only.   OK, that's fair enough but it was not what I was told by their representative (via Mr A, who double checked the information).  I have also given them details of the shop in Bodrum, the name and telephone number of the representative, and all other details concerning the contract.   I have insisted that I want these conversations recorded in writing and sent to my address.  That I have no intention of paying the hefty bill due to misinformation, but that I will happily pay the 20 lira a month to which I agreed...providing of course that they send me a new contract for ME to read and sign.   That if I don't get a satisfactory solution,  I will take legal action.

This morning I had a message from a cargo office (a different one!) in Milas who had a Turkcell sim card awaiting my collection.  So the men had gone ahead with their plan anyway.  Mr A also had a call from the man at the Vodafone shop in Bodrum to inform him that because I had contacted Vodafone customer services and told them the whole story (THE TRUTH) that both he and his employee had lost their jobs. 

Mr A is quite upset because he considered this man to be a friend and says he has now lost a friendship.  My response was that it isn't Mr A's or my fault that this has happened, and if the man has rejected Mr A's friendship, then he really isn't a true friend.

Of course I am not happy that two people have lost their jobs, but perhaps they (and maybe others) will learn something from it. 

In the meantime, I am waiting to hear further from Vodafone about the outstanding bill.  I'm also pretty sure I will get a text message from Turkcell telling me when my new sim card will take effect...which in turn means that my Vodafone sim will be disconnected.  I can't do anything about it until I get the message.   I could well end up without a working sim card at all.   You see the trouble these bloody men have caused?

I'm on a mission now.  I am a woman and we get things sorted out...not easy in this country, but I'm not giving up.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The continuing saga of the dog food

Yes, I know.  It's boring.  I'm bored with it, so I'm sure you must be, so you are forgiven for not wanting to read further or comment.  I just need to write things down.  To keep me occupied.  I am fed up with being stuck at home feeling useless.  My flu type whatever bug that's been lurking for a week seems to have attacked my sinuses now.  Well I guessed it would.  I will have to give in and see a doctor this week because it's not going to clear up by itself.  It will have to fit in with Mr A coming home, to get me there and to translate for me.  Although when that's likely to happen, I haven't a clue.

Anyway...the dog food...or rather delivery of same.  It was a good idea to order it online to be delivered to my door.  It would save me, Mr A and anyone else the hassle of getting it here.  Wrong...bad idea.  Yurtici Kargo in Milas refused to deliver...they don't have vans to come out to the village.   A cargo vans??

I tried to explain the contract between me and the supplier to Mr A, that delivery to my door was part of it, and for him to ring Yurtici to insist they kept their side of the deal.  As usual Mr A didn't listen properly and just said "I'll sort it out".  He phoned them, then phoned me and said I was wrong and that they don't deliver to the village.   Infuriating...but typical I'm afraid.  The Turkish male mentality that believes women are never right comes to the fore.

I sent emails including copies of the order confirmation to everyone...the online store Sahibinden, the supplier, and Yurtici Kargo.  Sahibinden responded to say I was right but they could do nothing as the contract was between the supplier and Yurtici.   Eventually I got Mr A to listen properly and phone the supplier.   The supplier then phoned Yurtici.   Yurtici phoned Mr A.  Mr A phoned me.  Yurtici wouldn't deliver but they said they MIGHT find someone else to do so but that I would have to pay for it!  The supplier also said that he would take the goods back and refund my money.

This story could go on and on, but in the end Yurtici said they couldn't actually find anyone to deliver.   Mr A asked a friend who lives in Milas to collect the bags of food from Yurtici, which he has.  He is coming to the village today and will drop them off at the teahouse.  Mr A has phoned the teahouse man, who will ask Mehmet our neighbour to bring them up to the house.  Mehmet doesn't have a phone because he is deaf so the teahouse man will look out for him.  So it looks like I will get the dog food after all....eventually.

It all seemed so simple...a good idea at the time.  I've learned a lot from it.  An exercise never to be repeated.

Friday, 17 May 2013

When a blogger disappears

We meet so many people through blogging, and get to know some more than others. Particularly those who regularly read and comment on our blogs.  They become friends and part of our little blogging community.

So I am always a little concerned when one of them suddenly disappears.

I know some of you will know Erica who always posts comments on my blogs, and you may, like me, also follow her blog Sweet on You.  Erica hasn't posted anything on her blog since February, and she hasn't commented on my blog during that time either.

I have emailed her a couple of times, but had no response, so I wonder if any of you might have heard from her.  Maybe she has just given up on blogging, but I'd very much like to know if this lovely lady is OK.

Debit cards and dog food

I've pretty much been confined to bed this past four days.  I have what appears to be tonsillitis (according to the symptoms listed on the internet) and I've been feeling pretty rough. I've slept an awful lot and I have stomach cramps too, most likely because I've lost my appetite.  I know I should really get it checked out at the hospital, in case it's a bacterial infection, but Mr A has been away now for 17 days, his motorbike's out of action, and I'm reluctant to get him to take me to the hospital, because I know he is fearful of losing his job if he takes time off.  In any case, the thought of queuing at the hospital, makes me feel more ill than I actually am.

 Mr A did come home late one night during the first week, and brought me heavy  shopping, then returned very early in the morning.  His boss was taking someone to the airport on Wednesday evening, so Mr A managed to tag along, stop to get me supplies on the way, and dropped them off.   It was literally...throw the bags in the door...hello...goodbye...and that was it.

I had been browsing online to check out large bags of dog food, available from several online stores here in Turkey.   The prices vary enormously.   I have been getting a pretty good deal from Mehmet the vet.  However, as Mr A isn't around to collect them, and I can't manage 15kg sacks on the dolmus, online buying seemed the best option.

Having found a good price, I wanted to order a couple of 15kg sacks to be delivered by cargo (FOC) to my door.  

There is a slight problem though.  The debit card I have with Denizbank has numbers printed on the reverse, but these up till now could not be used as verification when making a purchase online.  It's possible to do it with a credit card, but I don't want a credit card.  I have spoken to Denizbank several times about this and each time they say that it is only possible with a credit card.    I have been seriously considering changing banks recently because of this, but again it's one of those can't be bothered with the hassle things.

I don't know if I have some kind of sixth sense or if it's stupidity that makes me attempt something that has previously failed, in the hope that it might just work.   I completed the order form online for 2 bags of dog food, filled in my address, phone numbers etc, and then came the section for payment.  I was rather hoping it might be cash on delivery, which wouldn't be a problem, but card details required.

So I filled in the details and when it came to entering the 3 digit verification from the reverse of the card, I entered the last 3 digits on my card.  Lo and worked.  I then got a Denizbank pop-up to confirm my transaction, where they send a code to my mobile phone...I enter it in the pop-up box, and Bob's your uncle...transaction completed!  Clearly Denizbank have changed the system, albeit without informing their customers (well not me anyway), but who cares?  It works!

Delivery by cargo is due in 3 to 4 days...fingers crossed that this part of the process actually works!

EDITED TO ADD:  I thought it was all too good to be true.  Since writing this post, I received a call from the cargo office in Milas stating my items were awaiting my collection.   Even though it clearly states the delivery address as being our house, on the confirmation.  Now I've had to get Mr A involved.  The cargo office won't budge, and he's having to make loads of phone calls.  This is exactly what I was trying to avoid.   Aaaargh!!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A brief return to Winter

Last week summer had well and truly arrived, with temperatures rising to over 30 degrees.  Time to pack away the winter clothes and the duvet and enjoy the sunny weather.

A storm brewed up on Sunday night and continued on and off yesterday.  Lots of rain.  The soil here is like red clay and when it rains the mud gets everywhere.  I slipped in it yesterday around the back of the house when I was about to feed Sammy and Blondie.  It was on a slope about 5 yards long and I slid from one end to the other.  Apart from a little graze and bruise on my arm I was unscathed, although the clothes I was wearing have been put through three wash cycles and I still can't get the stain out.

It didn't rain during last night, but it felt chilly.  I seem to be going down with another flu bug which is making me shiver, so the duvet is back on the bed for the time being.

This morning I was up just before 6am as it started to rain again.  It looks like it's set to continue today.  I fed the dogs and they insisted they wanted to go out in the rain, so off they went.  They returned an hour later, very wet and muddy.


As for me...I'm going back to bed, where I'll stay until summer returns...hopefully tomorrow!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Confusion, Contracts and Cow hooves?

At my age confusion pretty much comes with the territory, although being married to Mr A does tend to exacerbate the problem.  He's not one for lengthy explanations.  I have to drag bits and pieces out of him over a period of time in an effort to establish a complete picture.

The Vodafone bill is still appearing online as being due for payment.  Mr A says "don't worry, I'm sorting it out".  That comment fills me with dread.  Mr A sorting things out usually means that they don't get sorted out and I end up dealing with the mess.  That's men for you.

Keeping his options open as far as jobs are concerned, seems to be working in Mr A's favour (well sooner or later something has to).  He is still in Yalikavak with the unpredictable boss, who it would seem is becoming less so, inspiring more confidence in Mr A.  Whether this confidence is misguided remains to be seen...only time will tell.

He has used the job offer from the hotel in Gumbet as a bargaining tool with the Yalikavak boss, who knows Mr A from previous years, and is well aware of his potential when it comes to selling.  Mr A is sick of working on commission only and over the past two days has told the boss that either he is paid a salary or he will take up the other job.  It seems to have worked.  As from today Mr A is on a monthly salary.   Now we just have to wait and see whether he is actually paid it....forever the pessimist...that's me.

You're probably wondering why I mentioned cow hooves?  It's to do with the dogs.   In my experience in rescuing street dogs over the years, I have learned that you can take the dogs out of the streets, but you can't take the streets out of the dogs.  It doesn't matter that they are well fed and cared for, they will still scavenge for food.  Don't read further if you have a weak stomach.  When I walk up the hills with them, they eat sheep poo.  They find old bones, and I have no idea from which animal they originated.  The dogs aren't fussy...they'll chew on anything.

After a run yesterday, all three arrived at the gate and Megan in particular looking rather pleased with herself.  In her mouth was what appeared to be a cow's hoof.  Well to be honest, I'm not an expert on could be cow, sheep or donkey for all I know.  But it was definitely a hoof. 

After a bit of a tussle, Sam gained the hoof and went off to bury it in the dog area.  Megan sulked a bit but had to put up with a chewstick..not nearly so enjoyable of course.

I have a memory of a dog we rescued and re-homed in Cappadocia who once turned up with an entire sheeps intestine.  It was disgusting, and I couldn't get rid of the smell for weeks.  So a hoof doesn't seem so bad after all.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Night and Day

I'm fast becoming nocturnal.  My body clock is all over the place.  I blame it on the dogs.  The heat of the day makes them sleep, and they do very little else.  By the time evening arrives and it's cooler, they wake up.  And they bark...and bark...and bark...on and off all night long.  The neighbours don't seem bothered.  Sevke has got used to them, and like most Turks seems able to sleep through anything.  Dursune is actually pleased they bark, because she came outside the other night when the barking was particularly furious to discover that a fox was hovering around her chicken coop.  The dogs scared it off.

So for the past week or so, I'm sleeping mostly during the day when it's quiet.  Although to be fair, they don't bark EVERY night.  Sometimes they stop around midnight and then I don't hear a peep out of them until the sheep go past at 6am.

I don't think it will last. Nights are going to get much hotter soon, so I don't think they'll have the energy.  I certainly seem to have run out of energy at the moment.

Since I arrived back home on 30th April, I haven't set foot outside of the garden.  Admittedly having arrived home with a dose of flu, I didn't much feel like going out for the first week.  The problem is that the longer I put off going out, the worse it gets.  I get to the stage where I can't be bothered to make the effort.  Then I reach a point, like today, when I know that if I don't escape for a few hours I will end up being agoraphobic.

I twisted my foot yesterday...the same foot containing the toe I damaged 6 weeks ago (which is still painful).  I reckon if I'm going to keep doing this, it's best that it's always the same foot.  At least then I still have one good one.  My ankles have always been quite weak, but they do seem to be getting worse.  It's almost like they're made of jelly.

It was painful all night, but didn't stop me sleeping...the dogs did that.  I could just about hobble about on it this morning, so after a couple of hours I decided to go into Milas to get a support bandage.  While I was there I popped into see Mehmet the vet.  I owed him some money from just before I went to England so was anxious to settle up.  Not that he is ever in a hurry to collect payment, but I don't like owing money.  We had a chat about the barking at night and he thinks that if it continues I should let them out to roam the hills and village.  He thinks it's probably what they would prefer to do if they can't sleep, so maybe I'll give it a try.

I bought my bandage, did a little shopping then caught the dolmus back to the village.  It was pretty full as usual and when we turned off the main road onto the village road, we were flagged down by a little old lady with a walking stick, accompanied by a middle-aged woman who I guess may have been her daughter.  She hoisted the old lady onto the bus and then proceeded to load the gangway with what I'm sure were  all of the old lady's possessions.  I counted 11 large, full, black plastic sacks, 4 carrier bags, two holdalls and a large suitcase.   The woman then left and once the old lady was seated, the journey continued...and as is batted an eyelid at all this stuff which was more than waist high and blocked the entire gangway, preventing anyone from getting out.

I'm thinking "please let her be getting off the bus before I do or goodness knows how I'm going to get out of here".   She didn't of course, and when I reached my stop, I stood up, with my shopping.  The automatic door opened, and no-one moved.  Well they couldn't actually move.  There was no way I could even attempt to climb over all this baggage, without the risk of flying head first out of the bus.

I did the Turkish exaggerated shrugging of the shoulders and waving of arms until a man at the back of the bus came to my rescue....well rather he climbed to my rescue.  He unloaded half of the stuff, leaving a tiny path for me out of the door.  Phew!

I'm glad I made the effort to go out though.  A trip into Milas isn't exactly exciting, but it's always interesting!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Village photos and some music

We have 2 tortoises in our garden now. Male and female (so Mr A says) so maybe
 there are babies somewhere.

I love storks

This is an old photo which I found on our village Facebook page

Village women making gozleme
Finally, I'd like to share a song by Kurdish singer
 Rojin.  I love Kurdish music,
and Rojin singing Kevokim is my absolute favourite.

If this video doesn't work you can go straight to it on Youtube HERE

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Trying to keep options open

I briefly mentioned  that Mr A started work last Tuesday at the hotel hamam in Gumbet being rented this year by our friend Suleyman.  It was very irritating because Mr A is employed solely on commission and he arrived to find there were no customers booked into the hotel, and the first batch were not due to arrive until the 10th...a group of schoolchildren, who would hardly be likely to spend their pocket money on a Turkish bath.

Because Suleyman hadn't been entirely honest about the situation, Mr A  decided to stay anyway and take advantage of personnel accommodation and food, while he looked around for something more suitable.   He found two more possibilities.  One hotel hamam, also in Gumbet, and another in Yalikavak.   The hotel in Gumbet seems to be the best option, because even though Mr A will still be working on commission only, the boss is prepared to give him a contract (something which is not available with the other hotels).  However, they are not opening until their first customers arrive on 15th May.

The one in Yalaikavak is open, and Mr A decided to start there the following day, having informed Suleyman that he would consider returning to work for him when he had customers.

He has been at Yalikavak for a few days now and is earning a little money.  He came home last night to get his washing done to see me and we had a chat about how things were going.

It would seem that the Yalikavak boss is quite unpredictable.  He makes all sorts of promises and suggestions and then promptly changes his mind.  It's not something that inspires confidence in Mr A, but at least he is earning money there at the moment. 

The other Gumbet hotel boss has been in touch with him and would like him to start on 15th May.  He is seriously considering this, but naturally is keeping quiet about it, neither informing the Yalikavak boss nor Suleyman.

It's called keeping your options open.  Something that we have found is absolutely essential when working in the tourist industry in Turkey.  Taking care of your own interests...because no-one else will.

Mr A feels he is getting too old for this kind of work, and we are looking ahead to the possibility of him working on our father-in-law's land in the village, and making it profitable.  It would seem that FIL is not intending to visit us anymore, or to work on the land (although I'll never be 100% sure he won't just turn up unexpectedly sometime), and he did actually suggest Mr A try to live off the land, rather than continue to work in tourism.

There's a lot to consider....and work to be done.  We have a lot of walnut trees, olives, pomegranates and apricots.  It needs sorting out because it has been somewhat neglected, although the walnut trees are in good shape and would produce the most profit.  

So hopefully just one more season in tourism for Mr A, and then we can get back to something like a normal life...fingers crossed.

Monday, 6 May 2013

If it sounds too good to be true.... usually is.

A couple of months ago a Vodafone rep came to the teahouse in our village.  He was there to sign up customers to a contract and if they did they would take advantage of a special campaign.

Mr A is easily taken in by such deals.  He signed up on the spot.  He would pay 30 lira a month, for which he would receive about 1000 minutes (am not sure of the exact figure) and text messages (again I'm not sure of the exact amount, but it was a lot), and also connection to Facebook on the internet.

He thought I should sign up too.  I wasn't convinced.  I have been using Turkcell pay as you go for years.  I only top up 20 lira a month, and if I use 12 lira of this, I get free text messages and calls.

He spoke to the rep, who said that for 20 lira I would have 500 minutes of calls, numerous texts, and not only that, 250 of my minutes could be used to call any Vodafone number in England.  Although still a bit sceptical, the idea of being able to call my daughter on her Vodafone number without incurring hefty charges on my landline, was appealing.

I asked Mr A to double check all this, because I wanted to be certain of the facts.  He checked and confirmed what he had been previously told.  Not only that, when I was in England recently, I was told I could  use my sim card to call Vodafone numbers here, and that would also be included in the price.  So I signed up.   Well actually, to be honest, I didn't sign.  I wasn't there and the rep allowed Mr A to sign for me.  I should have smelt a rat at that point.

I actually use an English simcard while I'm there, and I continued to do so for the majority of my stay.  However, I used my Vodafone sim to call Mr A a few times.

Now, at the end of my first month with this contract, I checked my bill online.   It wasn't 20 lira as I was given to was in fact 247.40 lira!!

Someone is clearly giving out the wrong information.  It could be Mr A misinterpreting what he's been told, although having double checked it all, I think it's unlikely.  I think it's more likely reps out to make a fast buck.  They are no doubt working on commission for the contracts they sell.

Well this particular rep has a shock coming.  Mr A has been in touch with Vodafone head office, who are investigating the matter, and have promised to get to the bottom of it.

Watch this space.....

Friday, 3 May 2013

My wonderful dogs

OK, I hear you say, she's doing yet another post about her dogs.  Humour me.

I just can't help it.  I've only had them a short time, but I love them so much.

This morning I was faced with a situation that I had been dreading, but knew was inevitable.  I let them out for their pre-breakfast run up the hill behind the house.   I love this time of day (around 6.30am).  It's warm but still cool enough to take a stroll, so I walked along the path at the bottom of the hill, while the dogs galloped on ahead.

After a while they came running down and I was there to meet them.  We just reached the lane next to our garden when we came face to face with the shepherdess and her flock of sheep.  The whole lane was blocked with them and there was no way we could pass to get into the garden.

Bear in mind that these are dogs who are prone to chase sheep and anything else that moves. Every time the flock pass (twice a day), the dogs bark furiously at the sheep from the safety of the garden.

The shepherdess panicked.  The sheep stopped and refused to move.  Meanwhile I grabbed Megan and Sammy's collars and told them to sit.   Not having a third hand with which to grab Blondie's collar, I called her to me, and she sat quietly next to the other two.  Not one bark from them.  I told the shepherdess to move the sheep.  She wasn't convinced.  She was sure my dogs would break loose from me and chase them.   I tried to reassure her that this wouldn't happen...even though I certainly wasn't confident about it.

The shepherdess waved her arms around and poked the sheep with her stick and eventually they passed us and headed off over the hill.   I let go of the collars, half expecting my dogs to turn and chase the sheep.  They didn't.  They followed me obediently down the lane and into the garden. 

All three have now been rewarded with biscuits, and being brushed.  They love being groomed.  Megan is done first as she is in our garden. Then  Sammy and Blondie in the dog area.    They love it so much that while one is being brushed, the other will keep nudging me as if to say "my turn".

 I am so proud of them. Isn't it amazing how these street dogs can adjust to a new way of life in such a short time?

Thursday, 2 May 2013


It's what I need but it's not happening.

Young Jimi, who is reluctant at the best of times to share his toys or anything belonging to him, with others, has generously shared his rotten cold with me, his Mum and other Nanny.  What a parting gift.

I say it's a cold, because I was sneezing and sniffing all through the long day travelling yesterday, but it has become gradually worse.  It's more like flu.  I absolutely ache all over.  There isn't one bit of my body that doesn't hurt...right down to my fingers.

I'm dosing up on all sorts of flu remedies, but I really need sleep more than anything, and I just cannot get comfortable.

The weather is glorious at the moment.  It reached 30 degrees today, but being outside makes me feel worse so I have been taking shelter in the bedroom.

Mr A went off to the hotel hamam in Bodrum today, although it seems like a bit of a wasted journey.  There are no customers yet, and won't be until the 10th, and even then there will only be a party of school children, hardly customers for Turkish bath.  I don't know why they couldn't tell him before he left home instead of insisting he started on 1st May.

He is really not sure this job is going to work out.  There seems to be a distinct lack of organisation.  However, instead of wasting even more petrol and money, we decided he should stay there, at least for the next few days.  He has accommodation and food, and because there is nothing to do, he will use the time to look around the area for more suitable employment.  He has already arranged to see another hotel hamam tomorrow morning.

Before I arrived home last night, he had cleaned the house (not to my standards but sufficient enough), and he has stocked me and the dogs up with food.  He also collected 4 paraband collars from the vet, as it is now tick weather, so my four kids (as Mr A calls them) are now protected. 

I have no need to set foot outside for a while.  I can just relax.  Now if only I could actually sleep!