Archive | April 2014

The cobbler’s child………

It’s an old English saying. The cobblers child is always the last to get their shoes repaired and I know just how they feel.

My husband is a builder and decorator. He builds and decorates….he paints, tiles, instals bathrooms, plasters all the usual things you would expect.

But not at home…… I’ve waited 4 months for a nail in the wall to hang a picture….I tried asking where the drill was so I could do it myself and was assured he would do it….a few weeks later I suggested advertising for a man to come and do a few odd jobs and was told it wasn’t necessary he’d do it. Finally after 4 months he finally asked where the picture hanging hooks were and when I produced them he tapped a nail into the wall……….easy!

Last year he was going to paint the lounge at the the end of the winter as there were smokey patches from the stove……did it get done? Um nope am still waiting and there are even more patches this year.

I was in the UK 3 weeks ago and asked him to dismantle the fire…did he? Um nope it’s still here.

So my sister is coming to visit at the end of next week. So this morning himself gets up and says I must sort the fire and paint the lounge before your sister comes. Hooray I thought at last an incentive to do it….. Has he made a start? That’ll be an ummm nope…he’s out with his friends drinking tea in a cafe.

It’s not like I’m asking him to fix the car or cook a 5 course gourmet dinner….I’m asking him to do something he’s good at. If I paint the lounge it’ll take me days if he does it it’ll take a day.

Does anyone else have this problem? Why is it so hard to get a man to do things in his own home? I hate nagging but if I don’t have a daily nagging session I’d wait forever.

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Pastries & Pies – Çaliş Beach

Thıs cafe has been open for over 5 years now and is run by the lovely Liza and her husband Sabri. It serves traditional home cooked English food and. Liza makes all the cakes, pies and quiches herself as well as the chutneys and jams.

In addition to eating in you can take away too as well as buy jams and pickles to take home. They do airport picnics. Anyone who ever travels to Dalaman will tell you the food and drink is extortionate and a picnic to take with you is a really good idea. If you pre order Sabri or Liza will deliver it to your hotel in Çaliş too.

Recently they have taken over the premises next door where Sabri’s Mum is the cook. They are serving traditional Turkish food. Soups, lokanta dishes and home made Turkish pancakes (gözleme) at very Turkish prices. They have special meat balls (kofte) on the menu this week too. I am 100% recommending it.

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The Meeting Point @ Çaliş Beach

What a wonderful meal.

I’ve always been a fan of this restaurant and have known the owner for as many years as he has been open and previously when he worked at a restaurant on the beach.

I accept that some restaurants start out very good and then go down hill but this is not one of those.

We have been for dinner tonight. We started with free bread and some garlic butter and a peppery salca. For out mains we ordered T-bone steaks
but were advised by Ahmet that the fillet steak was better and the same price.

We accepted his advice and ordered fillet steaks with a pepper sauce on the side. The pepper sauce when It came was lovely and not too creamy. The steaks were massive…probably about twice the size of a fillet steak in the UK and cooked to perfection. They were served with grilled tomatoes, a whole heap of fried mushrooms and onions along with chips, rice and salad.

I know you are wondering how much a meal like this could possibly cost and the answer is just 33 tl or a paltry £9.10 per person.

I am again 100% recommending this restaurant for 2014.

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Cat season…..take a ticket and wait for your number to be called

Wow my cat is a hottie. He has had his little op but that doesn’t seem to stop the ladies queuing for his attention.

We live on the second floor and they are managing to get up in the balcony for major flirting sessions. The tails are bushed up and presented….lots of rubbing against the window and miaowing.

He does have a particular lady friend…she could be quite cute…..long cream fur a hint of ginger around her ears and tail. But she doesn’t come from a good home….her fur is knotted, she has fleas is always starving hungry and I suspect pregnant by someone else.

We are using so much cat food keeping her fed that my vet suggested that my cat might have worms……. I had to laugh and explain that we are feeding 2 cats hence the speed the food is eaten.

Lots of yowling and some of these lady cats really have no morals…… There was a rather pretty tortoiseshell on the shed roof last week…… she was getting some cat action from a ginger tom, and 2 others were queuing ready for their turn. My boy was there waiting patiently…..no fighting….just forming an orderly queue.

I wish people would neuter their animals. In a few weeks there will be dozens of stray kittens rummaging in bins and looking for new homes.

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My boy exhausted after a morning on the roof with his ladies.

Meatballs

Easy to make and very tasty.

For 4 people

1 medium onion
1 hot green pepper
1 sweet red pepper
4 medium tomatoes
3 large cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of tomato purée
1 medium mushroom per person
Knor beef stock cube
100 g of mince per person
Salt, pepper, mixed herbs, pepper flakes or cayenne, dash of wine optional.
Corn flour or plain white thickening granules

Peel the onion and garlic. De-seed the peppers. Chop it all up.
Add some olive oil to a large frying pan and gently fry the onions, garlic and peppers. Whilst they are frying open your mince. Make little round balls of mince in your hands. Squeeze it tightly together so that it stays together.

Once the onions are looking clear add the meatballs to the pan…..fry in a low heat. Add salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and mixed herbs.

Wash and slice your mushrooms and add them to the pan. Wash and chop the tomatoes into small chunks and throw them in. Add the dash of wine if you want to at this stage.

Put the tomato purée in a small mug and add boiling water. Stir it until dissolved and then add to the pan. Put your stock cube in the same mug and add half a mug of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add to the main pan.

Cover with a lid and turn to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Just before serving add thickening granules or cornflour to thicken. You want it to be just a bit thicker than runny.

I serve it with rice and salad.

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Raspberry Ketones……….

Well what can I say? Regular readers will know that my knees are knackered and arthritis has set in with vengeance. One of the perks of the diagnosis and I am joking when I say perk…is that I now need to lose another 10kgs.

I have a group of friends who have leapt to my support who are all dieting alongside me. I am forever grateful for them been there and for our Monday weigh ins when I find out how much I have lost.

I have been in full diet mode since February and have lost precisely nothing. I started by giving up sugar in tea….about 20 lumps a day. My weight has dropped by 400g and gone up by 400g and gone down again…..but that’s it.

So I ordered a diet plate. It’s much smaller than my normal plates and has sections for meat or fish, carbohydrates and vegetables. I’ve used it since March and no I haven’t lost any weight but I am always hungry.

Finally someone was raving about raspberry ketones and colon cleanse….so with 10 kilos to lose I thought it was worth a try just to get me off to a good start and heading in the right direction. Three weeks down the line….and I’ve lost…you guessed it a big fat nothing.

The instructions on both packets say take one or two a day. I’ve tried the one of each and have as of yesterday doubled it to two of each. Fingers crossed the scales will start heading in the right direction.

I will keep you posted but at the moment I think I have just fallen victims to the hype the only thing that is actually lighter is my purse….but that’ll be the £25 I spent on the tablets.

Weigh day tomorrow…..if the scales still says the same I will be opening the last box of emergency Maltesers and scoffing quite a lot.

Monarch Airlines……never again!

I mean never….not if they paid me…..absolutely refuse to ever fly with this bunch of idiots again.

So……there I was 2 weeks ago in need of a quick visit to the UK. I hunted for flights that would arrive when I needed them to at an airport that was close to where I needed to be.

I found a reasonably timed flight to. Gatwick airport and back. Sadly they weren’t cheap and it came to more than £320 for the ticket.

So I arrived at the airport for my flight…..I overheard the check in staff tell the couple in front that the flight was delayed. I checked in and was handed a letter apologising for the delay and telling me I could check the flight status on line. The check in staff told me there was a 3 hour delay but when I checked my boarding pass it was 3.5 hours.

I managed to contact my sister to tell her that instead of 23.55 I would now be landing at about 4am. Not the greatest news as we had an appointment in Cardiff at 2pm the following day.

I then discovered that there were only 9 people on the flight. One person had received a text about the delay but the rest of us knew nothing. As the letter had come for. Luton. Monarch were obviously aware of the delay much earlier in the day. At about 10pm we were offered some food and a drink. All that was on offer was pizza…..not great for someone who is dairy I tolerant but there was no alternative on offer.

I tried to check the flight status on their website…but it didn’t exist. It wasn’t showing on the Dalaman website and the Gatwick website said they had no idea when it would arrive.

We were given no assistance, and no information. We finally decided we would head to the gate even though there was no confirmed departure time and all the boards just showed the flight as delayed. We finally took off 4 hours late…..we were told we could sit anywhere and were offered a free drink…but at 1.30am you are really too tired to drink anything.

If I hadn’t booked a return flight I would have refused to ever use them again at that point.

So the return…..check in was chaos….2 flights checking in at the same queue with only 2 manned check in desks. I queued for nearly an hour leaving me just 20 minutes to run around duty free before boarding started. Everyone was at the gate on time but we didn’t board until 20 minutes later. We weren’t told we were delayed but the flight didn’t take off until 30 minutes after the time on the ticket.

The plane was the most cramped I have ever been on. No room under the seats for hand luggage and the overhead lockers stuffed full. My hand luggage was 4 seats away. I am really short and my feet don’t touch the ground…usually I put them on my hand luggage bag but I was left swinging them for 4 hours. Anyone over 5 foot tall had their knees pressed up against the seat in front.

There were literally 100 very small children on the flight……who all cried in unison during take off and landing. The parents obviously though that there would be room to spread out and the wouldn’t really have a wriggling under 2 year old on their lap for 4 hours. I was whacked on the head by the same chocolate chip muffin 3 times, had my hair pulled several times and my back kicked at regular intervals for the whole 4 hours.

I can honestly say it was the worst flight I have ever been on. I really wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. Sadly my sister has already booked with them to come and visit me in a months times. What could possibly go wrong? Oh…..they have already emailed to say the flight will be delayed 2 hours…… So it will be my turn to do the airport run in the middle of the night.