Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Sometimes we just need to escape.....

....because we feel trapped.

 I love our dogs, and  I enjoy the fact that we can help so many other dogs and cats in our area, but occasionally I have a desperate need to get away from it all.

Those of you also involved in animal rescue and welfare I think will understand what I mean.  Even having one or two dogs can restrict you.  You can't just pack a bag and set off somewhere on a whim.  You need to put your pets in kennels or find someone to look after them.  Easy with one or two dogs, but 12 is a different kettle of fish entirely.  Who in their right mind would want to look after this many dogs, not to mention the cats, and keeping an eye on the dogs in the village and sanayi?

In 18 years, Kaya and I have never had a holiday together.  We've never even been away for one night together.   If I want to go to England to see my family, I have to choose a time when he is not working so that he can be here to look after the animals.  Likewise, on occasions when he has been working away, I have to be here.

I haven't seen my daughter and grandsons since February.  I usually try to visit on Billy and Jimi's birthdays, 6 days apart in April, but because Kaya started work in March this year it wasn't possible. My daughter's birthday is in September, and I have missed an awful lot of them because it's a busy time in tourism.  That makes me very sad.  I would love to be with her on her birthday.

Of course I book my flights way in advance to get the best prices, but had I known that Kaya would be out of work before the end of the season, I could have gone to the UK sooner than 4th November.  Nevertheless as the day approaches I am very excited and so looking forward to being there.

I tell myself at this point in time that it will be such a relief to have some time away from barking dogs and endless feeding of same, but I know I'll probably miss them.  It's a real dilemma.  If I could win the lottery (difficult as I never buy a ticket!)  I could  buy a huge piece of land for the dogs and employ someone to care for them if I just fancied escaping for a few days.  Perhaps a private jet to pop over to England?  

Kaya tells me that he is done with tourism.  He's not getting any younger and it really is a young man's game.  The long hours are exhausting and take their toll.  I'm hoping that he can find something locally which will make life a lot easier for both of us.  If that happens then I fully intend to go to the UK for my family's birthdays next year.  Better still, I'd like them to come and stay with us.   We'll just have to wait and see.

This post is beginning to sound like one big whinge, but it's not really because I don't regret the decisions I made.  Caring for these animals is a commitment which will last as long as I live.

But an escape now and then would be nice wouldn't it?

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Nothing stays the same

Sunday 22nd March 2009.  That was the day I wrote my first blog post.  Since then I've done 2000 posts. How on earth have I managed to write so much?

A lot has happened since then.

The most exciting events were the arrival of my grandsons.  Billy is now 7 years old and Jimi is 5 years old, and both at school.  It seems like only yesterday that they were tiny babies.  I love them so much but miss them dreadfully.  I wish I could just pop over to see them much more often.  A lottery win and a private jet would help!

I am going to the UK on 4th November, but just for 9 days.  I wish it were longer but having booked the flights in June...well in advance to get the best price, and not knowing when,  where, or if Kaya would be working, I have to accept what I can get.

This year has been a difficult one, for many reasons.  So much has happened in this country, not all good,and the effect on tourism has been dreadful. Kaya has been in and out of work since the start of the season, finally giving up on tourism completely when it became apparent that there were very few customers and as a result bosses cut corners.  They stop paying insurance.  They make promises about wages but when it comes to pay day, they change their minds and pay less or nothing at all.

He worked at the sanayi for a couple of weeks, then was laid off.  After a week or so he was taken back on again.   He worked from early morning till as late as midnight some days and for two weeks work was paid just 300 lira...and no insurance.   Just over a week later they took him on again.  He hoped things might have improved.  He worked for 8 days and was laid off again.   Now, one week later, he still hasn't been paid.   He continues to look for work, but winter is fast approaching so it's unlikely he'll find anything.   In the meantime, he is doing work in the garden and behind the house, mostly to prevent water getting through the walls of the house and onto the balcony when the rain starts.  Those of you living here know that when it rains here, boy does it rain.  Torrential is an understatement!

We still consider ourselves luckier than most.  We don't pay rent because our house is owned by my father-in-law, and I have my pension.  There are so many others here who have far less, and have families to support.  We are very fortunate to have the support of friends which enables us to continue to care for our 12 rescued dogs, and the others in our village and local sanayi, not forgetting several cats who we now feed.

The country is still in a state of emergency following the attempted coup, but apart from far fewer tourists, day to day life has not really changed.  Security has tightened up at airports and there are more police traffic checks.  But that's a good thing.  I've always felt confident of security here, particularly at airports where you can't enter a terminal building without going through a scanner.  I'm always more anxious about using Heathrow airport where people can wander in and out unchecked.

Those regular tourists who are not put off by the scaremongering UK press, and who still came here  this year,  will tell you that their holidays have been just as good as always.  It's not safe anywhere these days, and Turkey is no more at risk than any other country.  Let's hope 2017 is better, not just in Turkey, but everywhere.