Pages

Monday, 31 May 2010

Old Family Photos



My brother recently found some old photos up in his loft.
Amongst them were these two.

They were very small, scratched, dirty and creased.  He has spent some considerable time restoring them.

That's my Dad above, around 18 years old, having just joined the Merchant Navy.

And the one below is my Mum, taken in 1946 when she was also 18 years old.

It was a great idea of my brother's to restore these, before they were lost forever.

Lovely aren't they?

Friday, 28 May 2010

Weeds

No...these aren't my weeds.  The weeds in the pic actually look quite nice...as weeds go.  Mine are much worse...ugly things.

Before I went to England for just over two weeks, I had been working on keeping the weeds down.  Every day I was out in the garden removing weeds.

My in-laws actually came up and stayed in the house for four days while I was away. They left the day before I returned.   Considering the advice (for "advice" read "lecture") my father-in-law gave me last time about the upkeep of the garden, I was surprised and a little disappointed that he hadn't done some weeding whilst he was here.

On Monday and Tuesday I had to clean the house thoroughly.  The in-laws had left it in quite a mess to be honest.  The house was spotless when I left.  I even cleaned the oven and fridge.   Something had been spilt in the fridge and not cleaned up and all the shelves were dirty and sticky.  At some point the freezer appears to have been switched off for some time as food I had left in it had clearly defrosted...then had frozen again and stuck to the shelves.  On removal of the food it was clear by the smell that it had all gone off...so I had to throw it away.  And the cooker was so greasy, it took several attempts to get it clean.

 I have to admit to being a bit angry about this.  If I ever stay in someone else's home, I make a point of cleaning up after myself, and would certainly have left it in the same condition as I found it.  I guess we all have different standards.

On Wednesday I caught the bus to Mr Ayak's hotel.  It's difficult, well impossible, for him to come home at the moment, so he asked me to go there.  We had breakfast together at his cousin's hotel and I caught up with his cousin and wife, which was very pleasant.   I can see for myself how quiet it is at the moment.  Everyone is sitting around waiting for customers.  They are still feeling the effects of the recent disruption to flights, which resulted in hotel bookings being cancelled.   Let's hope the volcano stops errupting and that the season can continue to improve.

Back to the weeds.   I made a start on them yesterday.  I spent hours pulling them up but I seem to be fighting a losing battle.  I'm sitting in the gazebo with my laptop at the moment, looking around me and the weeds seem to have grown again overnight.  I somehow think that this is my task for the foreseeable future..weeding, weeding and more weeding.  And I'm not very enthusiastic about it.

On a positive note, the grapevine is looking wonderful.  There will be a good crop this year.  Plums and almonds are coming along nicely, and pomegrantes are starting to appear.  I'm not sure how the fig trees will do this year.  There don't seem to be as many fruit appearing as last year, but the trees are looking very healthy.

Anyway...I can't spend anymore time on the laptop at the moment.  The temperatures are rising rapidly, so I have to weed before it gets too hot ......groan!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Good Neighbours

The day I set off for my trip to England, Mr Ayak took the dogs with him to stay in the apartment he had rented near the hotel.  He assured me it would be OK.  Unfortunately it wasn't, because the landlord wasn't happy about the dogs staying there.  So he had to take them back home, and then come back to the house as much as he could while I was away.

This wasn't as easy as he had hoped, not only because of the cost of petrol and the distance involved, but because as anticipated May has been very quiet as far as business is concerned.  The disruption caused by the volcanic ash also created a knock-on effect in that hotel bookings were cancelled, so there have only been a handful of customers.  So Mr A needed to be there as much as possible to catch any prospective customers and to go out and about searching for more.

Of course I worried about the dogs.  I had visions of them being left alone for days on end, not knowing when their next meal would arrive, and being lonely without me.

I needn't have worried.  My wonderful neighbours rallied round.  Now considering that the Turks aren't very keen on dogs at the best of times, my lovely neighbours, knowing how much Beki and Poppy mean to me, have gone out of their way to look after them.  One neighbour cooked up chicken livers and pasta, and chicken.  She is scared of dogs, so another neighbour collected the food from  her and came in twice a day to feed them.  The man who lives in the house up the hill from us, came in several times a day to replenish the water bowls, and to play with the dogs for an hour or two.  Yet another neighbour came in regularly to water the garden.

I have of course rewarded them all with English biscuits and chocolate but it was clear they expected nothing in return for what they did for me.  And Beki and Poppy have been well fed and are a picture of health.

This morning I made my way down to the village to get the bus into Milas, and was greeted along the way by villagers welcoming me home, and asking if I had enjoyed my trip.  Even the bus driver said it was nice to see me back home.

It was as you know extremely difficult for me to leave Billy and Stella on Sunday, and I had such a feeling of uncertainty about returning home.  I suddenly felt that I didn't really belong anywhere and the black cloud was still hovering.

A large part of my heart is in England with my dear daughter and grandson, but I now know where I belong.  I truly feel part of this village and it's wonderful inhabitants....and the black cloud has finally disappeared.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Home and Memories

Two weeks and three days in England seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye.  Oh how difficult it was to say goodbye this time.  Oh how I wished for the volcanic ash to appear again and delay my return...but it wasn't to be.

Mr Ayak collected me from the airport, accompanied by bags of food to stock the fridge.  I don't know how he managed to buy it as he's not earning any money yet but he'll borrow rather than see me starve.  We just had time for a coffee and a chat before he set off back to the hotel, and to return the car he had borrowed to collect me.  I'll see him again in a few days.

Beki and Poppy were very pleased to see me and as a result of them bouncing all over me with excitement it was pretty late before I managed to stumble into bed.

Stella has just sent me a few photos of Billy and I, and I'll share a couple with you here.  They really just sum up the wonderful relationship that I managed to build with Billy in such a short time.  Memories I will cherish and keep close to my heart until I see him again.



Wednesday, 19 May 2010

That big black cloud

You may be forgiven for thinking that I'm going to do a post here about the volcanic ash cloud.

I'm not...but I can't help thinking that it's a good simile.  It's that other big black cloud...you know the one...it follows me around, causing disruption in my head.  It won't disappear until it's good and ready. 

Oh yes...I hear you say...she's talking about depression...AGAİN.  Such is my paranoia that I am convinced that the subject of MY depression is boring.  So I don't talk about it.   I blog about it because where else can I say how I feel?   If you want to be really bored you can read my previous posts on the subject here

At the worst depressive time in my life I kept a diary.  I recorded my every thought.   What a self-indulgent exercise that was.  Thank goodness the diary was lost years ago.

Don't ask me why the "black cloud" is with me now.  I really don't know why.  It just arrived.   There are triggers of course.  The odd throwaway comment that someone can make, which is forgotten the minute it leaves their lips...actually hits me full force...it's criticism of me, my actions, behaviour, whatever....it shoots my self-esteem down in flames.  It makes me feel like the worst wife/mother/grandmother/sister/friend (delete where appropriate) that ever existed.  

The feeling that no matter how hard I try to do the right thing, to help, to advise, to give, to love, to care..it will never be enough to be accepted, to be loved in return.  None of us are perfect...we all have faults...sometimes I wish I didn't feel that people are zooming in on my faults and that they could just sometimes focus on  my good qualities.   I know I have some.   The little voice in the deep recesses of my mind keeps telling me I do...and that it's just the paranoia that's convincing me otherwise...but that small voice is just overwhelmed by the bigger one that keeps insisting I'm useless.

No comments on this post are necessary.  What is there to say?   It's another self-indulgent exercise.  I've written, deleted and re-written it a fair number of times during a sleepless night....and finally got it off my chest.  It helps.   The black cloud will disperse in it's own time.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Poorly people

I've been enjoying my time with Billy and Stella immensely.  Billy is such a dear little boy, so contented and easygoing...very much a reflection of his mother's wonderful laid-back, caring attitude I think.

On Friday morning we took Billy to the surgery for his jabs...not a pleasant task.  He cried of course, but recovered fairly quickly.  I think it's actually a far worse experience for Mum really.

They were both due to spend the weekend with Stella's dad, so I wouldn't be seeing them again until today.
I went shopping with a friend on Saturday, then returned to my brother's house late afternoon.  Around 6pm I suddenly felt sick, and rushed to the bathroom, where I spent the best part of Saturday night vomiting.  Boy did I feel awful.

Early on Sunday morning Stella sent me a text message to say that she and Billy had been up all night at her father's house, with the same bug.   Stella's stepmum is an absolute treasure, and spent the night looking after Billy, because Stella was too sick, and changing bedding etc.

They travelled back yesterday afternoon and both slept for the rest of the day.  I also spent the day in bed...in fact I didn't get up again until this morning.

Billy was worse this morning and as a precaution Stella took him to the local hospital, where they said it was nothing serious, and to keep his fluid intake up and to give him dry toast, crackers etc.  I've just spent the day with them, and Billy has been asleep most of the time, but fortunately he seems to have perked up a bit this evening.  Thank goodness.

I have lost more than half a stone in weight since Saturday...not a bad thing...but not a good way to do it!

And now the volcanic ash is causing more disruption...so who knows if my return flight on Sunday will actually be going.  To be honest...at this point in time...I won't be too disappointed if it's cancelled (but don't tell Mr Ayak!)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

A Special Award

This is a very special award.  Not a blog award but a personal one.  For my brother.

He's nine years younger than me...the baby of the family...but his common sense, wisdom and caring nature makes him seem like an older brother to me.

I've had a fair few ups and downs in my life, and he has always been there for me.  He always listens when I want to talk...and sometimes I talk too much..but he's very patient!

When I make my trips to England he is there to collect me from the airport and to drop me off on my return, and he and his wife are happy to let me stay in their home. He'll often act as chauffeur when I need to be somewhere.

He is a very kind, considerate and generous man, who willingly offers help to anyone in need.  Nothing is ever too much trouble for him.  He probably has no idea just how special he is.

It's all too easy to appear to take family members for granted, so even though he may not even read this post, it's important for me to put in words just how much he is appreciated and loved...not just by me...but by all those fortunate enough to know him.

The Prolific Blogger Award


I'm very flattered to have received this award today from
'Cross the Pond who is a fairly new follower of my blog...so thankyou very much.

The rules that accompany this award are as follows:

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!


2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award (see above).

3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.

4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we all can get to know the other winners.

So here are just seven of my favourite blogs who deserve this award. 

Nomadic View

auntiegwensdiary

Bombshellicious

French Leave

Nuts in May

Path to Self Sufficiency

My Life

Friday, 14 May 2010

Just a quick hello!

I took a few photos of Billy in the park the other day but he moves so fast...and I'm so slow...that this is the only one where I actually managed to snap him facing the camera.

And this is his favourite expression at the moment...he frowns and screws up his nose..and it's very amusing because his Dad sometimes has the same expression so we know where Billy gets it from!

It's been so enjoyable being able to see Billy every day since I arrived and I can't believe a week has gone already.  I really feel that he knows me now and I don't know why I was so anxious about whether he would accept or reject me.

I don't have  much else to write about just now, but I have managed to catch up with reading most of my favourite blogs, even though I haven't  had time to comment on all of them, so forgive me if I have missed anyone out...it's not deliberate.

So that's my quick hello for now...back again soon.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Brrr...it's cold here!

My flight was delayed on Thursday evening by two hours, which meant that I didn't arrive at my brother's house in England until around 3.00am Friday.  However there were only 17 passengers on the flight which meant that I had plenty of room to stretch out and sleep for most of the journey.

I've spent every day with Billy and Stella and it's just wonderful.  Billy is such a little character and I can't take my eyes off him.  I was a little apprehensive because I expected him to be wary of me.  After all I haven't seen him for almost 7 months.  But I needn't have worried...everything was just fine and we hit it off straight away.

On Friday night my laptop was infected by some kind of virus which was extremely irritating, so on Saturday morning I set off to find a pc engineer, left the laptop with him and collected it this afternoon.  Unfortunately it cost me 50 pounds, which I can ill afford, but I had no choice.  My laptop is like my right arm...I couldn't manage without it..

I can't believe how cold it is here.  It was around 84 F at Bodrum airport on Thursday evening, so this weather is a bit of a shock to the system!  Of course I have totally inappropriate clothes, but have received donations of warm clothing from relatives and friends.   And now I really do feel like the 'poor relation'!

Thankyou everyone for your comments wishing me a good time, and excuse me for not responding individually but I'm a little short of time

Will catch up again very soon.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Off to England tonight...fingers crossed!

The volcanic ash which reappeared and caused disruption to airports again yesterday in Northern Ireland and Scotland, is now blowing away from the United Kingdom, and all being well my flight will take off tonight and tomorrow I will be able to see Stella and Billy at last.

Yesterday I was anxiously watching news bulletins and hoping desperately that I wasn't going to face yet another cancelled flight.

I'm taking my laptop with me so I may blog from time to time, but please forgive me if I don't have time to respond to your comments, or to visit your blogs...I'll catch up with it all when I return on the 23rd May.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A budding artist!

My daughter just posted the following 3 pics on Facebook and her comment was "Making Thank You cards, if you're wondering what the hell it is you get through your door in the next week or so!"





Monday, 3 May 2010

Marriage in Turkey

I was browsing a Turkish ex-pat website, and came across these conditions for marriage, which were provided by a firm of Turkish solicitors, for information.

..........................................

Capacity to marry: Only those persons who have sufficient mental capacity to make fair judgments are allowed to marry. Mental illness is, therefore, a bar to marriage. In addition, a person must have reached the minimum age of 18 to marry.

Absence of consanguinity: Marriage between close relatives is prohibited

Already existing marriage: Monogamy is one of the essential principles of Turkish family law. A second marriage cannot be entered into unless the first is terminated. A divorcee should produce legal documents (i.e.: A Court Sentence about the termination of her/his previous marriage) in order to marry again.

Waiting period: Married women whose marriage has been dissolved cannot marry before the expiration of three hundred (300) days from the date of dissolution. The divorce decree may also state a waiting period within which the guilty spouse may not remarry.

Sickness: Certain sicknesses, such as epilepsy, hysteria, venereal and contagious diseases, constitute a bar to marriage in Turkey.

Only civil marriages performed by authorized marriage officers are allowed in Turkey.

Necessary Documents for Marriage

1. Four (4) copies of the petition of the marriage. To start an action, the groom and the bride must submit a petition of the marriage. This is called Evlenmme Beyannamesi

2. Identification such as: Passport, Identification card or Birth Certificate

3. Health certificate (If demanded by one of the parties)

4. 6 passport size photos of the bride and the groom.

5. Certificate of capacity to Marry. (Single, divorced, widow or widowed) (For foreigners the certificate of no impediment can be obtained from the relevant Embassy or Consulate which then needs to be authenticated by the local Governor office in Turkey.)

The foreigners who reside in Turkey as provided in the Turkish Civil Law

According to Turkish Citizenship Law, marrying a foreigner does not influence the citizenship of the husband. A foreign wife marrying a Turkish husband has the right to choose her own citizenship. But in some exceptions, such as "having no citizenship", the foreigner automatically shall gain Turkish citizenship due to the principle of "having at least one citizenship". Foreign women married to Turkish men are not required to give up their other citizenship.Turkish Laws allow the wife to hold both citizenships implicitly

 .................................                            

It brought back memories of the enormous amount of effort involved and the volume of paperwork generated at the time Mr Ayak and I were married just over 11 years ago. The laws regarding marriage have changed a bit since then. For example, I was able to obtain my Turkish citizenship as soon as we had married, but a foreign woman getting married now has to wait three years before she can apply, and then undertake a Turkish language test.  Until then she can't use her married name. (Now I state this according to a friend who has recently gained citizenship after waiting three years but I'm not sure whether this has changed...laws here constantly change...you just get used to one law and they move the goalposts)

Blood tests were required to check for diseases that might prevent the marriage going ahead....but it would seem that now this is only required if one party requests it. At the time I was married it was a requirement. The 300 days waiting time for women after a previous marriage is dissolved , is to make sure the woman isn't pregnant from the former husband. In fact, I remember being at the state hospital to have my blood tests and was informed that I should also have a pregnancy test. I insisted this wasn't necessary as I had had a hysterectomy some years before, and stated this clearly, but they still argued the point... I refused of course.

I also waited in a queue for my blood tests (it would appear that all blood tests were taken on a certain day of the week so there were an awful lot of people waiting). When I was almost at the front of the queue, with one person in front of me, I could see where blood was being taken. It was an open cubicle, with blood spattered walls, and the nurse was taking blood from one person after another at a rapid rate, without surgical gloves or washing her hands between patients. I decided not to have the tests done there, so went off to find a private clinic where hygiene standards were considerably higher. This was a particularly poor example of a state hospital by the way...things have vastly improved since then.

It's quite amusing to see that amongst other "sicknesses", hysteria can constitute a bar to marriage in Turkey.

Quite frankly, if you weren't suffering from hysteria at the start of the process leading up to marriage, it was very likely you would be by the time you finished!

Update on flight refunds....

...or maybe that should read "update on attempting to get anything other than an automated response from Expedia on flight refunds".

OK I have my flights booked for my trip  on Thursday, and I know (or hope) that I will eventually be credited with a refund for cancelled flights.   But it's these bloody automated-response emails that really irritate me.  I don't want to know that Expedia are busy because they have a lot of flights to refund or re-book.  I just want them to deal with my refund.  Why should I have to wait up to 3 months for a refund?  They didn't give me 3 months to pay for the ticket when I booked it!

The last email I sent to them last week, was a reminder that I had cancelled the 2nd May flight, because it was still appearing as active on my account with them.  I just wanted them to confirm that it had been cancelled by me, as my previous request had just produced another automated response.

Naturally, the reply to this email produced yet another automated response...aargh.

So the final straw yesterday actually made me laugh out loud.   Yesterday was 2nd May...the day of the cancelled flight.   If I had been travelling back from England I would have left at around 11am from Heathrow to Istanbul....then caught the transfer flight to Bodrum.

At around 1pm I was sitting at my laptop and an email from Expedia arrived in my mailbox.  Ah...I thought...it can't be an automated response because I haven't emailed them today...it must be a REAL response.  No such luck.  It was notification that my transfer flight yesterday from Istanbul to Bodrum had been cancelled by Turkish Airlines.   So supposing I had been travelling back?  I would have been on the plane...halfway through my flight...so how on earth would I have received this notification?

I have written to Expedia pointing out that this information is hardly helpful, and could they PLEASE read my previous emails and actually deal with my request.......

.....to which I received...an automated response.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Misunderstandings, Apologies, Forgiveness

My father-in-law was here this weekend...he's gone now.  He just stayed one night..

As I've said before I've dreaded his visits, and the last time he came on his own I was relieved that Mr Ayak was here, because he makes me feel uncomfortable. I was pretty sure he disliked me as much as I disliked him and there's always an awful atmosphere.  But Mr Ayak couldn't get back this time, so I just decided to be as polite as possible, to offer him tea and coffee, and food if he wanted it.  He accepted coffee, but said he didn't want food.  Fair enough...at least I offered.  I only saw him briefly last night when he returned from the land and I went off to bed and then didn't see him again until this morning, and he set off to the land again.

He finished working  at lunchtime and returned to the house, and it appeared that he had a few hours to spare before setting off back to Ankara. He came by bus this time, and was waiting for a friend to collect him and take him to the bus station.

He went and sat under the gazebo and I made some coffee and took it out.   It occurred to me that I now had the perfect opportunity to clear the air.  Maybe it was a good thing that Mr Ayak wasn't here, because he clearly feels stuck in the middle at times, so it would have been very difficult to try and have any sort of conversation with my FIL.

I started off by chatting generally about things, with not much response.  So I then said that I would like to be open and honest with him, and to say that I felt we had got off to a bad start.  That maybe there had been misunderstandings on both sides, things said that were regretted, but that I very much wanted to put it right...and that I hoped he felt the same way.

At this point, even though I think I was outwardly calm, my mind was in turmoil.  It could have gone either way and I was trying to be prepared for his response....whatever it might be...and to try to remain calm enough to deal with it without getting upset or losing my temper.

To my astonishment he agreed with me.  I sighed with relief.  We then talked for about two hours about how things can be misconstrued or misunderstood.  I apologised for anything that I may have said that offended him....I didn't quite get a direct apology in return...but I did get words that indicated that he felt sorry.   He's a proud man, a little bigoted, and he's a typical Turkish male of his generation, who probably isn't used to having to apologise.  But he did seem to express a genuine desire to make things right between us.  And that was enough for me.

We talked about Mr Ayak, and our hopes for his success.  He worries about him in the same way as I do...because we both love him.  And we talked about families in general and how we always worry about our children, no matter how old they are.  

During our chat, MIL phoned him, they chatted amicably and he passed the phone to me so that I could say hello.  I kind of gathered from this that they are back together again.  But I didn't ask because it's not my place to do so and if he had wanted to mention it I'm sure he would have.  (I later asked Mr A if this was the case and he confirmed that it was but he had been so wrapped up in the business that he had forgotten to tell me). 

Maybe the fact that FIL and MIL have reconciled their differences, has made FIL a little nicer?  Perhaps I picked just the right time to iron things out.

Whatever has caused this change of heart...I'm delighted that it has happened...and that before he left he said that we should put the past behind us and make a fresh start. 

None of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes.  I know I could have tried a bit harder to understand him.  

Forgiving him for everything may take a little time but life's just too short to bear grudges.  I'm glad that when he comes again, I can genuinely welcome him because the animosity will no longer exist.

And I feel so much happier now.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

A request...

...from Charlotte Ann, who has recently started to follow my blog.  She would like to see some pics of the nearest town, which is Milas.  So here are a few that I have found...none of which have been taken by me...but this is something I will rectify in due course:














Who says tortoises are slow?

Here's the baby tortoise I mentioned several posts ago.  Do you remember?  I had him (or her...I wouldn't know?) in the palm of my hand and was about to take a photo with my other hand, when Poppy rushed up and barked at the tortoise causing him to wee on my hand.  I dropped both camera and tortoise...but neither thankfully came to any harm.

You can see how small he is...but my goodness does he move.  I don't know why people think tortoises are slow, this little chap is making very fast progress round our garden.

The problem is that he seems to have taken quite a liking to Poppy's pen...the chicken-wired section outside her little house and is so tiny that he can easily climb through the wire.  No less than three times today I've heard Poppy barking furiously in her pen and on investigation have found Timmy inside the pen (oh yes I always give pets names...and he is a kind of pet!).  Poppy seems to know she can't play with Timmy because he moves and she can't eat him because he's...well...too hard...so she just barks at him.  So each time I have removed him and taken him to the far end of the garden.  But in no time at all he's back again.

I've put some water out for him and I assume he is feeding on weeds but I'm wondering if he needs anything else?  Any ideas?  It's just that he is so tiny and there's no sign of a mother anywhere.  Maybe I'm over-concerned about him...after all he certainly seems to have plenty of energy!

..........................

FIL arrived and accepted my offer of coffee and cake in the gazebo, and we chatted for a while about the garden.  Well I chatted generally and he criticised...nothing new there.  But it was fine...he doesn't bother me at all now.  He went off to his land shortly after and will probably not be back until dusk.  I asked him if he would like me to cook him something this evening but he declined...fine.  He informed me that he has to travel back tomorrow night as he has to be in Ankara by Monday morning.  So he'll only be here for one night.  On reflection of course he probably didn't expect me to be here this weekend as he knew I should have been in the UK until tomorrow evening.  He's probably as disappointed to see me as I am to see him.  I don't suppose that we will ever actually like each other...but at least I can be pleasant and polite now...which I found very difficult to do before.

Bad News or Good News?

I'm still having a bit of a battle with Expedia over refunds for my cancelled flights.  The 18th April flight is straightforward...I will receive a full refund for this one.  As far as the 2nd May return flight is concerned, as this was booked seperately, I am not entitled to a refund...apparently.  Expedia contacted Turkish Airlines who have just said that Expedia can apply for a refund of the taxes.  In any case, Expedia have now informed me that I am likely to have to wait up to 3 months to receive any refunds. 

So I started searching flights on the internet yesterday, just out of interest, and can't believe how expensive they are.   It would be better for me to go as soon as possible before Mr Ayak starts getting busy, because at this time he can have the dogs with him in the house they have rented for personnel, because it's just Mr A and Mehmet at the moment.  Also from June through till September they will be far too busy, and I would probably have to wait until October to go to England again.

So I checked out flights with Expedia and the only options given were to fly from Bodrum to Istanbul with Atlasjet, from Istanbul to Moscow with Aeroflot, and then on to London....a journey of 18 hours and 35 minutes!  At a cost of 460 pounds.  So I'm now sure I will never use Expedia ever again.

So here is the bad news...Mr A phoned last night to say father-in-law is on his way here.  In  fact he should be arriving any minute now.  Apparently he is just staying for the weekend...but who knows?  Of course Mr A can't get home, so I will have to put up with his scintillating company on my own.

BUT here is the good news.  I have managed to book a flight for next Thursday, 6th May, with Monarch Airlines, flying from Bodrum to Luton.  My brother has kindly said that collecting me from Luton isn't a problem.  And my return flight will be on 23rd May.  And the cost:   166 pounds return!   I've done my calculations and this is covered by the cancellation refund, and as that will eventually be credited to my credit card, I felt I was justified in booking it.

I've spoken to Stella on webcam this morning and she is as excited as I am.  I am so looking forward to seeing her and Billy, and I'm so happy today that coping with FIL for the next few days will be a walk in the park!