Monday, 31 January 2011

Real Housewives

Whenever I'm searching for something on the internet I have a tendency to get distracted.  I do recall that I was searching for a particular episode of a particular BBC series the other day...but I can't honestly remember what it was.

I got sidetracked because a video popped up of an episode of an American reality programme called Real Housewives in Beverly Hills.  I was curious so I clicked on it to have a look...and I was hooked. I then discovered the whole series and have been watching the episodes ever since.  Well. it is winter, and I was feeling a bit off-colour, and there's not much else to do.  OK...enough of my trying to justify watching this crap.  I really enjoyed it.  It's an absolutely fascinating insight into a world that most of us would never enter.  It also proves, that no matter how much money you have, you can still be bitchy, fall out with your friends, have problems with your husband, and still not be happy.

So I've watched the whole series (except for one episode yet to come) and I decided to google  to find out a little more about the characters......only to discover that there are 5 other similar series!!

Real Housewives of....Orange County, New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, D.C and Miami.

Of course I'm going to have to watch them all now.  How will I ever find the time? 

Note to self:  When searching the internet, stick to what you are looking for, DO NOT click on to anything else!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

This Beautiful Country

Natalie at Turkish Travel Blog has just produced a wonderful post containing  scenes of Turkey through the eyes of others who either live or have visited here.   I was very happy to be included in this post along with one of my favourite photos.   Have a look here.

Friday, 28 January 2011


This is just a quick follow-up to this post about the Blogger spam system.

Since I posted it, some idiot with clearly nothing better to do with their time has been attempting to prove that the system doesn't work by sending spam comments to me.

Naturally, they cowardly post as "Anonymous" knowing that they cannot be traced or reported.  If they were genuine they would of course post their name wouldn't they?

Anyway, if any of you are still unaware of this spam facility, make sure you regularly check your Spam box by clicking on "Comments" on your dashboard, then you will see "Spam" with the number of comments awaiting your action.  Clearly anything from "Anonymous" will go straight there and not appear on your blog.

Great isn't it?  Well done Blogger!

ETA:   OK one slipped through the net which I had to delete.  So I'm back to comments moderation for a while until this moron gets fed up with spamming me.

Aren't they a pain in the backside? 

Spammers...go and get a life..take up knitting or judo, and leave us bloggers in peace!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

When the cupboard is bare.... just have to use a bit of imagination.

Well the cupboard is not absolutely bare, but it is down to a bare minimum.  Even the basics are running low.  But I like the challenge of trying to produce meals from almost nothing.

I picked all the lemons that were ripe enough to use with the intention of making lemon curd...but I had no butter, so even though I've never attempted it before, I decided to have a go at Lemon Marmalade.  Having read somewhere that lemon juice is a natural pectin I guessed that only sugar would be required.  So I chopped all the lemons into small pieces, placed in a pan with sugar (don't ask me how much...I just guessed) and a tiny amount of water, and boiled then simmered until I thought it was cooked. It turned out really well.  It's quite sharp...the way I like of course it could be made sweeter with more sugar.

Most of you may know about my Extremely Adaptable Cake by now...see the recipe here.

You will see how I just use whatever I happen to have available.

So today I used some of the lemon marmalade to get the right consistency.  I think this would have been good with choc chips, but as I didn't have any, I used sultanas.

Very nice!

We needed a meal, and I only had the minutest amount of minced lamb in the freezer...really minute...about 100g!

I soaked some white haricot-type beans overnight, and then boiled them this morning.  Unfortunately, I forgot they were cooking and they boiled dry and stuck to the bottom of the saucepan.  Not to be deterred, and because I can't stand wasting food, I painstakingly removed all the burnt beans.

I chopped and fried two onions in olive oil with chopped garlic, added the mince, red pepper (chilli) flakes and salça (tomato paste), and then the rescued beans, and simmered for about 15 minutes, gradually adding a little water at a time so that it wasn't too dry.   I served on top of jacket potatoes.

A very satisfying and cheap day's cooking!

Blogger gets it right!

I believe in giving credit where credit's due.

I know I'm not the only one who experiences problems with Blogger.  There are so many niggly little problems with the technical side of Blogger, and being someone who is not at all technical by nature, I find it frustrating at times.

I've had an ongoing problem since last year with followers suddenly not being able to leave comments.  I reported it to Blogger Help several times, as did some of the followers affected, but we never got any answers.  When I searched the internet for a solution I came across others with similar problems who were equally perplexed.
Then I spotted a comment about "reverting widgets".   So I went to my Design page, then clicked on something else, then something else (you see...I really don't know what I'm doing most of the time). 

Anyway to cut a long story short, I stumbled upon "reverse widgets"...clicked on it with my fingers crossed...and it worked.   I haven't a clue what this means or how it resolved the problem, and would love for someone technically-minded to explain it to words of one syllable please, as if you are talking to a 5 year old.  Well skip that...a 5 year old would probably understand it better than I could!

I don't like having comment moderation on my blog, or the word verification.  I like the fact that comments will appear the minute they are typed.  But because of the amount of spam that can arrive at times, I can well understand the need, so I do revert to moderation from time to time.

Blogger recently introduced a system for detecting spam.   You've probably all noticed it by now.  (I know Fly has because she accidentally deleted some of her published comments a while ago...I do sympathise because it's just the kind of thing I would do).

Yesterday I received one of the usual email notifications for a comment on my most recent blog post.  It was a long post full of rubbish.  So I rushed over to my blog to delete it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had not been published but had gone straight to the Blogger spam box....waiting for me to delete it.

So well done Blogger for getting something right!

It has gone a little way to restore my faith in Blogger.  Anyone else got anything positive about Blogger to add?

(Now I'm getting a little paranoid because I was just about to publish this post when an email arrived in my mailbox from the Blogger help page which I've now responded to...see it here.   Is Blogger watching everything we write?  Even before we publish it?  Very spooky!)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Just Be Yourself

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.-- Dr. Seuss

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.-- Andre Gide

Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.-- Julius Charles Hare

It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.-- Desiderius Erasmus


For the past few days we've had storms and an awful lot of rain. And I've spent most of the time in bed. Why? For no other reason than I wanted to.
It got me thinking about how I've spent my life trying to be all things to all people.   Don't we all do this sometimes?    We try to be what others expect us to be, rather than just being ourselves.  We pretend sometimes to know more than we do,because we don't want to be judged.

How many times do you do something that you really don't want to do, simply because someone asks you to?   We worry too much about what others think of us.  If we say no, we feel guilty, so we will put ourselves in difficult or uncomfortable situations because we don't want to appear selfish or unreasonable.

I seem to have reached a point in my life where I can actually please myself.  Not all the time...because I still have this in-built desire to please others...but I can just be myself without having to justify it.

 Having had two previous marriages where I felt like I was constantly apologising for being me, it's a relief to be married now to someone who doesn't judge me or expect me to be anything other than myself.  Who doesn't, for example, expect a meal on the table and will just accept my saying I can't be bothered to cook today. 

It is refreshing to live in a country where people do generally accept you for what you are.  There's very little pretense. What you see is what you get.  When you try to conform and fit into some societal standards, you are possibly abandoning part of the real you.

Life would be so much easier if we could all just be ourselves wouldn't it?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

New Blogs

Isn't it great when you come across new blogs to add to your list?  I've discovered quite a few recently.

Most of them are not actually "new" of course, they've been going for a while, but I've only just discovered them.

It is particularly exciting to find a blog that is actually new. One that you can follow from the beginning, especially if it's one that is so full of promise.

I found one such blog this week called A Girl on the Coast..Living Life to the Most.  It was started this month and so far the posts have been so good, and I'm finding myself eagerly waiting for more.  Go and take a look.

Just a mention....

I recently received the Stylish Blogger Award which I posted about here. I duly  carried out the instructions and passed it on to three more blogs.  This morning I received the same award from  Deniz, a lovely young Turkish lady, who lives in Canada.

Deniz has two blogs Purl One, Yarn Over, Purl Two Together, Knit One which you might have guessed is about knitting!   She's a budding author and talks about her writing on her other blog The Girdle of Melian.

So this time I don't need to do anything further other than to thank Deniz for thinking of me. xxx

Friday, 21 January 2011

Serious Saturday

I won't be doing a Silly Saturday post this week.    Instead, today, I want to draw your attention to a more serious topic.

You may have noticed this pic on my sidebar.  If you click on it, it will take you a website called MyLetsAdopt.

It's run by a guy called Viktor Larkhill.  He and so many others throughout the world, work tirelessly to save animals.  You can read more about him on the website here, and also more about the work being done...and still yet to be done.

On Sunday there is a demonstration in Istanbul.   Read more about it here.

I can't attend but I can do my bit by publicising it here and elsewhere.

I have rescued several dogs and cats since I moved to Turkey, and in the days when I could afford it I had them vaccinated and neutered and found them homes.

Not all of us can afford to donate to worthy causes, or to adopt animals in need of a home.  But we can help by spreading the word to those who can.

Just posting a link on the sidebar of your blog would do so much to help.



I haven't mentioned much lately about how we are surviving this winter.  It's usually a difficult time for us.  

Mr A has always worked in the tourist industry.  It means that like thousands of others, he only has the summer season in which to earn enough money to keep us going through the winter.

When I first moved here almost 13 years ago I remember the season starting in April and going on until around October.  The tourist areas were full of foreigners with plenty of money to spend.

How times change.  Recession has hit everywhere.  Holidays for many people have become a luxury rather than a priority.  And it seems like the holiday season now  lasts for nearer three months than six.

The introduction of all-inclusive hotels a few years ago, has meant that many tourists just stay put once they arrive.  They don't bother, or can't afford, to venture further than their hotel, and as a result local businesses suffer. 

In recent years Mr A has found work away from home during the winter...usually in Istanbul.  This has not been good for our marriage and we came to the conclusion recently that if our relationship was to survive, then this had to change.

For several months he has attempted different ways to earn money.  He's not always successful, he's also accident-prone and very gullible (you can read more about Mr A's adventures here).

At the moment he is still selling mesır macunu products around the villages.  This doesn't really make us very much money but it's feeding us, and it keeps Mr A him something to focus on.

I'm feeling a bit guilty though that I have prevented him from going away for several months to earn money.  Although he insists this is as much his choice as mine.  As a result we are struggling to pay bills and just over a week ago the final instalment for our car was due for payment...1000 lira.  There was absolutely no way that we could raise this money, so Mr A had to sell the car.  In fact he exchanged it for a motorbike plus 1000 lira, which he paid to the car man to clear the debt.   So now he is touring the villages with his stock in a bag strapped to his back.   Thank goodness the weather has been good.   And I'm hoping we won't have more rain anytime soon. 

We have bad days and "not so bad days".  He carries a constantly updated shopping list of basic food and household items with him.  When he sells his wares, he puts petrol in the motorbike, and brings home as much of the shopping on the list as possible.  At the same time we have to try to set aside enough money to buy more stock.  On a bad day when he sells nothing, he returns home and becomes quite depressed.  It's then my task to try and lift his mood and encourage him to go out again the following day.

He's still looking around for other work, but there's really nothing at the moment.  He wants to be out of the tourist industry.  It's a young man's game.  It's fine for the young boys from the villages who spend the season in the tourist areas.  They have no responsibilities.  When the season ends they just go back to their families.  It's also fine if you have your own business.  He tried this last year of course, but it's just no good if you don't have enough capital when you initially start...which we didn't have...because you have to have something to fall back on if you don't get off to a good start...which he didn't.  We have discussed what we can do this year...we have several ideas....and are trying to remain positive, and hoping that these ideas can eventually be put into practise.

So that's my update on Mr A's adventures.  Now mine:

I am getting very excited about the arrival of my second grandson in April.  He will be due around the time of Billy's second birthday, and I am hoping to be there for both events.  My daughter has been wihout internet connection since they moved in October, and at last it's on again and I'm now able to talk to her and Billy on webcam.  Oh how he's changed in such a short time!  Can't wait to see him again!

On the blogging front, I am delighted that the number of followers of my blog is increasing daily.  I do tend to ramble a fair bit on here, so am always pleasantly surprised when someone new arrives and takes the trouble to read and comment.   I have recently completed an interview for The Sunday Roast on Eddie Bluelights blog.  It will appear sometime in the near future.  For those of you who don't know about this, it was originally started by a blogger called "authorblog", an author from Australia.  When  he found himself with no time to continue it, it was handed over to Eddie.   You can see some of the previous "roasts" here.

I also had a request for a photo and a few words from Natalie at Turkish Travel Blog who is putting a post together about Turkey seen from the eyes of different people.  So I'm hoping that my contribution is interesting enough to be included....we'll see soon enough!

And that's just about it for now...other than to say Poppy has just come into season, which means Beki will follow suit shortly, so I will have several weeks of chasing the street dogs away from the garden...what fun...not!

And the sun is still shining...still no sign of winter!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Translating Recipes

I recently started following a blog by Phil at Blogitandscarper.  It's a great blog and I love this man's sense of humour...pop over and take a look.   

One of his posts contained a recipe for Turkish Lamb and Lemon soup.  It sounds delicious.  I was sure it must have a Turkish name but I couldn't recall it.  Phil has been googling it without success, so I asked Mr Ayak if he knew what the name is. 

It's apparently called Paça.   I decided to google the recipe but could only find it in Turkish, so to save myself some time I google-translated it.   I thought you might like to see the result:  The ingredients are straightforward but please read the instructions.  This has given me the best laugh of the day!

Trotter soup seasoned (4 persons)


 8 goat or sheep Paçası (cleaned)

 6 Water Glasses Water

1 medium size onion (peeled bark, all the left)

2 cloves garlic

1 tea spoon of salt

2 soup spoon Refined oil

1 tea spoon Red Pepper

1 / 6 Lemon Juice Water Glasses

2 Egg Yolk

1 soup spoon of water

The familiar bell-bottomed soup with egg, seasoned trotters soup prepared by the addition of lemon and seasoning, as the winter season, starting dinner or drinks can be served at the end of the table

First, pants on fire Iron bristles slightly.  Wash your legs pressed in plenty of water.

 Large-sized legs in a pot, water, onion, garlic and salt put, a transport boil over medium heat.  (Please take a perforated foam accumulated in the bucket above.) Lid off the pot, the soup cook for 4 hours.

Discipline to prepare a wide boiling pot of water to fill.  Sit on top of a small bowl, into the egg yolks, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water Place.  Beat eggs for 2 minutes with wire.  Take two cups of boiling soup of trotters, decency and stir well.  To take the pot from the fire, removing the bowl from within, in the simmering soup pot dosing with good manners. . Once mixed, take soup pot from the fire. Pour the soup in a heated bowl.  Serve service.

............I would however recommend you have a look at  Phil's recipe here.  It's a lot easier to follow!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Taking recycling to the extreme

I've mentioned before how good the Turks are at recycling.  I am always amazed at how they can find a use for almost everything that is discarded.

Everywhere you go in Turkey you will see plants and flowers growing in old olive oil cans, paint tins and similar containers.

When we first moved here there were only two bins down in the village and I wondered where everyone was disposing of their rubbish.  Gradually over a period of about six months, more bins appeared but we are near the top of the hill and it would seem that the man with the tractor and trailer collecting the rubbish wasn't happy to come this far. 

Well eventually we got our bin and agreed to pay an extra 3 lira on top of our water bill for collection. Of course we don't object to paying such a small amount, but then again there is no regular collection.  We can wait anything up to 5 or 6 weeks for the tractor to appear.  This bin is for use by us and our neighbours...there are 5 other houses who can use this bin.  But I am the only person who uses it.  The others don't want to pay 3 lira for collection.  But that isn't the main reason.  They just don't generate enough rubbish to justify the use of a bin.

I would say I'm pretty good at recycling, but these villagers beat me hands down.  They seem to recycle absolutely everything, and what little amount of rubbish can't be re-used will be thrown onto a bonfire about once a month.  And we're not talking about a big bonfire here...just a very small one which will probably only burn for about 10 minutes.

This morning Mr Ayak decided to clean and tidy the old house in our garden.  Most of the rubbish in there consisted of old things I had no further use for in the house.  Because Mr A has this Turkish habit of never wanting to throw anything away, over the next couple of hours, he kept popping back indoors with various items which he thought I could use, whilst I kept insisting that the reason they were no longer in the house was because I no longer had any use for them.   So we had this ridiculous situation where he would be dumping stuff indoors and I would take them back out again!

Eventually he accumulated a huge pile of rubbish to be disposed of and made several trips with the wheelbarrow to dump them out in the lane next to the rubbish bin.  I said that I didn't think this was a good idea because we had no idea when the tractor would next be up to collect the rubbish and it was blocking the lane.   He said don't worry, it won't be there for long.

Sure enough, within 5 minutes my next door neighbour was out rummaging through our rubbish, picking out various useless (to me) items and throwing them over her wall.  And when I say useless...I really mean stuff that I could never imagine anyone being able to make use of.

A little later two women came down the lane with their flock of sheep and they also stopped and had a rummage, gathering up some more things.

I went back in the house, got on with my cooking and about an hour later took a bag of rubbish out to the bin and was amazed to see that what amounted to about 6 wheelbarrows full of absolutely worthless trash had completely disappeared.

Maybe I'm not as good at recycling as I thought I was...I certainly can't compete with these people!

Monday, 17 January 2011

An Award

I am very happy to have received this award from 'Cross the Pond.  It did give me a bit of a giggle because these days I am far from stylish...but I appreciate the gesture...thankyou.

There are as usual things I have to do in accepting this award:

To thank and link back to the person who awarded you.

Share 7 things about yourself.

Pass the award on to other stylish bloggers, and let them know.

I always find these tasks difficult.  Sharing things about myself...I don't know what there is left to share...I write about almost everything in my blog!  But here goes:
1.  I love getting letters...REAL hand-written letters...not emails, or text messages.  People just don't write letters these days do they?
2.  I can't wear anything that is creased.  Even the old clothes that I wear at home.  When I make a trip to England for example, the first thing I do when I unpack is to iron everything.
3. If there's housework to be done, I have to do it early in the morning or I can't relax for the rest of the day.
4. I hate owing money.  If there are bills to be paid I have to pay them on time...if possible I pay them early.
5.  I  like swimming but am terrified of my head going beneath the water.  A throwback I think from being pushed into the deep end of a swimming pool when I was a child.
6.  I get bored very easily.  I have a butterfly brain which flits from one thing to another.  I can't even sit in one place for more than half an hour.
7.  I am over-sensitive and I hate offending anyone, which brings me to:
...passing on this award.  I am supposed to nominate 15 bloggers to receive it, but I don't want to offend anyone by not choosing them. 
So I am going to change the rules to suit me and just choose three bloggers for this award, for different reasons.   
French Fancy at French Fancy Moves to Kent for moving on with dignity.
Fly in the Web at Costa Rica Calling. A wonderful blogger whose French Leave blog I have always enjoyed. She is now living in Costa Rica and this new blog really deserves an award.
Maggie May at Nuts in May who inspires me with her faith and courage.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Waiting for Winter

Well here we are in the middle of January and I'm still waiting for winter.

Whilst those of you in the UK and other parts of Europe and the World have been suffering with snow and freezing temperatures, we have had a lot of sunshine in this little corner of Turkey.

Oh we've had rain...torrential rain and a few storms.  But throughout it has still been relatively warm.  The rain lasts for several days, then it stops, the sun comes out, and there I am sitting out on the balcony again in a t-shirt.  There have been a couple of occasions when the temperature drops and I think winter has arrived, but within hours it's warm again.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we had installed a soba (wood-burning stove) in the spare bedroom to make us a cosy winter room.  Admittedly the house is's much warmer outside...but it has only been cold enough for the soba to be lit twice.  And then we ended up opening the window because it was too hot.

This morning I killed two mosquitoes in the bedroom.   Mosquitoes in January?  Who would have believed it?  And Beki has normally grown her winter coat by now but she's still shedding hair.  As for my winter coat...I was very grateful for it on my recent trip to England,but it's now back in the wardrobe, along with the rest of my winter clothes that are not getting worn this year.

And you've probably realised by now that I have resorted to doing what we British always do when we have nothing interesting to say...we talk about the weather!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Silly Saturday

You seemed to enjoy the classified ads last week, so I searched for some more:


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Haiti's Future

I was so moved by this article by Bill Neely of ITV that I decided to post it in full here.  I really despair for the people of Haiti.


Posted by Bill Neely. 13 January, 2011

Haiti’s day of remembrance is over. Its people prayed,laid their wreaths,stood in silence,released their balloons and braced themselves foHaiti’s day of remembrance is over. Its people prayed,laid their wreaths,stood in silence,released their balloons and braced themselves for the aftershocks many were convinced would pepper the day. There were none. But they will go on believing the worst is yet to come for many years.

And bizarrely,in the middle of a day of terrible memories,their Prime Minister decided this was the moment to revise the death toll upward by ninety thousand. Until now it has stood at,depending who you ask, roughly a quarter of a million people or,precisely,222,570. Suddenly,Haiti’s dysfunctional government,which can hardly count its own officials,or its population at the best of times,announced a massive dive in the depth of its country’s tragedy.Often,the higher the death toll,the more generous international donor countries will be. Perish the thought that Haiti’s often corrupt Ministers would have cooked up a scheme to bump up the figures in order to attract more international aid. But the timing and the extent of the announcement was odd to say the least.

Haiti’s political elite often does its country no favours. And it hardly helps that the country still has no President and no government that can implement the huge changes Haiti needs if it’s to crawl out of the pit of poverty it has languished in for so long. The government that can count 316,000 dead and calculate 20 million cubic meters of debris can’t lift more than a fraction of that debris after a full year. It can’t provide Haiti with more than two fire stations to cover the entire country. It can’t provide a single Haitian village,town or city with a sewage system.It can’t provide a primary health care system that keeps disease and epidemic at bay.Its communications Minister didn’t have a satellite telephone after the quake. I asked my Haitian producer where Haiti’s elite would be on the anniversary of the quake. “Florida”,he said,without missing a beat.

Haiti is an unlucky country; prey to disaster and upheaval. It surely deserves a better future than its past.It sits at the bottom of almost every index on health,infant mortality and poverty in the Western Hemisphere. Cross the border into the Dominican Republic and you think you’ve reached Western Europe. Other Caribbean countries make education their priority.They gamble on their children.I’ve seen some astonishing children here,like four year old My Kinlay,who lost both his arms in the quake but has learned to feed himself with the stumps that remain,defying the predictions of physiotherapists.Like the two hundred earthquake orphans at one school whose resilience has astonished those who work with them. Haiti needs a new class,a new breed of men and women,who have come through catastrophe and survived and thrived and can raise Haiti up to a proud place in the league of nations.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Shark Finning

Please take a moment to read this post by Fly in the Web and spread the word.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Walking the dogs

Our dogs rarely go out for long walks.  They get enough exercise running around our garden...usually chasing cats...but are probably bored with the same environment day after day.

Mr A and I can never seem to find a time convenient to both of us to enable us to take the dogs out together. Because the hill up to the house is so steep and the surface uneven, it's impossible to manage two dogs on my own.  I've managed to trip over a few times without two dogs on leads.

This morning the weather was beautiful and Mr A had an hour or so to spare, so off we set.  The dogs were so excited, and it made us realise that we really have to find more time to take them out.

We came across a man and his wife working in the fields, stopped for a chat, and they insisted that we help ourselves to some of their we came back with a huge bundle of leeks.  The Turks are always so generous.  You can never refuse anything they offer because they would be deeply offended.

I remembered to take my camera with me but unfortunately only managed a couple of shots before the battery died.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Spare a thought today....

...for the people of Haiti.

One year on from the earthquake, and people are still suffering.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Silly Saturday

These are classified ads, which were actually placed in a U.K. newspaper:

8 years old.
Hateful little bastard.

1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour's dog.

Mother, a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father, Super Dog... able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Also 1 gay bull for sale.

Must sell washer and dryer £100.

Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

*** And the WINNER is... ***

Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica,
45 volumes.
Excellent condition.....£200 or best offer.
No longer needed; got married last month.
Wife knows f#%#%#g everything

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

After the Rain

The rain finally stopped in the early hours of this morning.

I took this photo from my balcony at around 10.00am.  The sun was shining, the sky was clear and it was lovely to see everything looking so green.  We needed this rain after a long, hot, dry summer.

Mr A planted some onions just over a week ago before the rain, and we can already see small shoots appearing through the soil.  Isn't it amazing how fast things grow?

Poppy also enjoyed the sunshine this morning and  I had to remove her woolly jumper because she was too hot.  I bought it for her on my trip to England, because the one I had made for her from the sleeve of one of Mr A's old jumpers had fallen apart (I'm really no good at making things).  It's very cute isn't it?

Beki also enjoyed being outside again after days of rain.  This would have been a nice photo of her but she's camera-shy.  As soon as I point it in her direction, she looks away...every time.

So we made the most of this lovely day because it won't last.  The black clouds have appeared again. It looks like more rain is on it's way.

Memories of my Dad

I was reading a post by Bombshellicious this morning about her father and how she came across his watch, which she is now wearing and I started to think about my Dad.

He died about 10 years ago.  I say "about 10 years" because I have a tendency to forget the dates when those close to me pass away.  I don't know if my memory deliberately blocks the sad dates and only remembers the happy ones..I have a feeling that this is exactly what happens.

This photo was taken of my Dad and I at some function or other.  My mother was never keen on attending such events as she suffered from Parkinsons Disease for many years and was reluctant to go out.  So I often stepped in or my Dad would never have had a social life.

I never had a good relationship with my mother when I was growing up.  I wanted a better one with my Dad but for many years he just went along with my mother's wishes for a quiet life. 

It was only when I reached my late 30s that my Dad and I became closer.  It was as a result of him apologising to me one day for all the times he felt he had sided with my mother against me.  So from then on we had the relationship that he and I had always wanted.  We had days out together.  Day trips to France on the ferry, shopping in the hypermarket, followed by a lovely meal in the ferry restaurant on the return trip.  And every year we would go to Royal Ascot, get dressed up and have a lovely champagne picnic on the Heath before having a flutter on the races.

When he had a massive stroke and became disabled, he really missed our trips.  I would take him shopping with his wheelchair and then we would have a coffee after, but I know he hated being dependent on anyone. Later on he bought a mobility scooter which gave him some independence and he was able to pop into town for shopping and to visit me. 

I moved to Turkey a couple of years before he died.  Although I was glad to have had the chance to fly back to England and spend three weeks with him before he died.  He never met Mr A but they did chat on the phone once.  They would have got on very well.

Bomb's post made me stop and think about what I have to remind me of my Dad.  Only three small things.

Firstly, his old driving license which reminds me that he was a terrible driver...dreadful.  Even when he had his mobility scooter he drove it much too fast and if he was in town people had to leap out of his way to avoid being run down!  Yes,  Dad's driving was a standing joke in the family.

Secondly, his membership card to the local leisure centre.  Before his stroke he belonged to the Early Risers Club.  He would go off to swim at 7.00 am every morning. He loved it.  I have a  sad memory of this too.  After his stroke he missed the swimming club dreadfully.  One day, without telling anyone where he was going, he managed to get himself on the bus and to the leisure centre.  He somehow negotiated the changing rooms and got himself into the pool.  Goodness knows how he managed all this, he must have been so determined. Unfortunately he just couldn't swim or stay afloat anymore, got into difficulties and had to be rescued by one of the lifeguards.  I cried so much when I heard what had happened.  I was just so sad for him, but at the same time I admired him tremendously for his courage in attempting to do this.

I am not at all religious, but I do feel my Dad's presence at certain times.  I do have conversations with him in my head, particularly if I'm going through a difficult time.  I think it helps me to find the answers.

And the third memento of my Dad?  It's a Santa Claus candle.  It's never been lit.  He had two of them..the other one is a snowman and my brother has that one.  The Santa candle comes out every Christmas, whether I celebrate the occasion or not, and it takes pride of place.  My Dad loved Christmas...the family, the food, the carols, everything.   So this candle brings back lovely memories for me.

I think my brothers probably wondered why I only chose these three things from my father's belongings when he died. I had my reasons of course.   The simplest things can give us the best memories.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Lazy Rainy Days

We've had so much rain since last week...with a few storms thrown in for good measure.  I've been very careful to disconnect the modem, and most other electrical appliances, before the storms hit.  Mr A has at last realised that we need to do this to avoid losing modem No.4.

When we can afford it, he will bring an electrician to the house to check everything, but in the meantime we are taking all necessary precautions.

Mr A has continued to go out and about selling mesır macunu products.  It's not earning much money but apart from keeping us almost afloat, it gives him something to focus on.  At this point in time, with no other jobs around, the last thing we need is for him to be stuck in the house getting depressed.

He orders a small amount of stock at a time, and this procedure is very efficient.  He phones through the order to the factory in Manisa, pays the cash into the company bank account, and the parcel arrives the following day by cargo which he collects from Milas.

He placed an order on Friday which should have arrived on Saturday.  Unfortunately we forgot it was New Year's Day and the cargo office was closed.  It was also closed on Sunday.  He phoned the cargo office yesterday only to be informed that the parcel hadn't arrived.  On phoning the company he discovered that they had forgotten to send the stock, so they despatched it yesterday, to arrive today.

So he has had three days at home with nothing to do, and he hates it.  If it hadn't been raining so hard he would have been out in the garden, but instead he's been stuck in the house playing games on the internet in between the storms.  He also eats far too much when he's bored, and that worries me because he is very overweight.  But I know there's no point in my saying anything because he won't listen.  However, once he's out and about and working, he'll be back to normal eating habits.

To be honest, I've also been eating far too much.  I keep making shortbread and cakes and they are disappearing at a rapid rate.  I'm also very bored.  There's nothing to do here in winter when it's raining and you have no money.  So I've been crawling back into bed with the electric blanket on and spending far too much time on my laptop.  As a result I have strained my eyes, which are red and swollen.  But now I have some excellent eye drops from the chemist which have helped enormously, and I'm cutting down on my laptop time.

I've done as much as I can to relieve the boredom.  I've been sorting out cupboards and wardrobes.  I found some wool and tried knitting again, but the arthritis in my hands prevents me from doing this for any length of time.  I love reading but this is also not helping my eyes to get back to normal.

We have more rain to come so I'm going to be stuck in the house for a while yet.  I desperately need something to occupy me.  Has anyone any brilliant ideas?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Text Messaging

At 7.30am this morning, 2nd January, I received a text message from my brother which he had sent to me on New Year's Eve at around 10pm.

I can just about grasp the fact that messages will probably be "stacked up" at busy times, New Year's Eve obviously being one such occasion, and did receive texts early the following morning, but did think 2 days delay a bit excessive for an "instant" message.   Can anyone else beat that?

As someone who was born in an age before  mobile phones existed, I still struggle to understand how all this technology works, but I do try to enlighten myself by searching the internet for answers.  And as usual, when I'm using this other wonderful piece of technology, I get distracted.   I ended up on a forum where people were discussing the problem of delayed messages, and found myself laughing out loud at some of the comments.   Have a look at it HERE .

One of my pet hates is "text speak".  Oh I don't mean that I think we should write every word in full in a text message, because I can accept how useful the abbreviations are for getting a message across by using as little of your credit as possible.  (Although to be honest I don't understand half of what people are saying when they use this new "language").

 But I find myself becoming extremely irritated when I see it being used elsewhere...on Facebook, on blog comments, in emails, on forums.   It would appear that the younger generation in particular have forgotten how to write properly.  Are they trying to wipe out the English language?  Will this become the language of the future?    It's a worrying trend isn't it?