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Food Shopping

I love living in Turkey but have over the last 5 years had to get used to a whole new way of shopping.

In the UK am I worked full time. If I ran out of food mid week I ate take always until I could get to the supermarket again. Sunday mornings were shopping time….. I’d meet my friends at the supermarket of our choice, eat a full cooked breakfast…after all it’s bad to shop when you are hungry, and then do the weeks shopping. Trying to think of things that wouldn’t go bad, or take to long to cook after a hard day at work. Lots of things in boxes that could get zapped in the microwave.

Here we shop for fresh fruit and veg at the local markets. Meat and fish is purchased as we want it at the cheapest place we locate. At the moment we are paying 1.50tl each for trout…. that’s about .45p. I had a good deal on some lamb shanks last week 23.50tl for 2 that’s less than £6 and they were huge. But it’s all very spontaneous…… We have the “what shall we eat for dinner?” conversation everyday at about 6pm. I come up with an idea and my husband goes and buys the ingredients.

It all sounds wonderful…right? Healthy fresh home cooked food. Fresh meat and vegetables. Nothing in the freezer. But there is always a but……

Today we have been really busy. We have a long 4 day bank holiday weekend coming up so we had bills to pay and errands to run. We got home exhausted. My lovely husband and a little nap, we drank tea and watched television and then realised we were hungry with not much in the house.

Neither of us fancied going out….and the supermarket certainly didn’t appeal. So tonight was the store cupboard challenge. What could I produce for dinner using only things we already had in the house?

I ended up cooking a potato and lentil risotto and topped it with hard boiled egg and raw onion. My husband was very unenthusiastic about it when I described it. But he did agree to try it……. He loved it…he ate two big bowls full and asked why I hadn’t cooked it before. No answer to that….except I am a true domestic goddess.

I have added the recipe in the recipes section. But thought a bit of an explanation might be needed before you were tempted to try it.

Samsung……thanks for nothing!

Where do I start? Having spent 2 very frustrating afternoons dealing with Samsung call centres I am fed up, wound up and giving up.

I’m a Samsung phone lover. There I said it out loud…….I am I can’t help it I just love them. In the UK life is simple…..a new model comes out, your contract comes up for renewal and you can either upgrade to a newer model free of charge or pay a small sum of money to have something awesome in your bag. For as long as I can remember I’ve had Samsungs….,flip ones, slide ones, touch screen I’ve loved them all.

Now Turkey is different…. There are no free phones. You buy what you want and they have always been horribly expensive. A lot of people buy a phone in the UK and bring it here. There is tax to pay of about £30 and a connection charge to your chosen operator but it has always worked out cheaper than buying in Turkey.

So last year I had the which phone shall I buy debate…I did my research and decided on an S3. My husband wanted an IPhone 5 and wanted me to get one too. Now much as I love my IPad I still wanted the Samsung. The android apps are free, the phone is bigger but thinner and lighter to carry around and at the time £200 cheaper.

Off I went to Phones4u in Cardiff and got myself a rather unusual metallic brown S3. I explained I lived overseas……. I checked the warranty would be valid if I took it out of the UK and was assured it was. The only problem was that he couldn’t do the paperwork to claim the VAT back….not the end of the world but I had factored the 20% into all my calculations. Anyway I came home……did all the running around to register it, charged it up and left the country again all in the space of 24 hours (a long story for another post). The battery life wasn’t as good as I’d hoped but by the time. I got home again 3 weeks later I was sort of used to it and just thought it was one of those things.

So Wednesday night the battery was flat. I plugged the charger in and let it charge overnight. I know they can catch fire but I don’t know anyone it’s happened to so I continue to charge my phones and everything else overnight. Thursday I got up, checked it was charged to 100%, unplugged it and popped it in my handbag. At 1.30 I thought I would call my husband to see if he wanted to meet me for lunch….. The phone was off….odd but guessed maybe I’d accidentally powered it off when I put it in my bag.

Pressed the button….nothing….no welcome screen no irritating Samsung welcome noise nothing. Then I decided I must have been mistaken when I saw it was 100% and the charge couldn’t have been plugged in properly. I came home and plugged it in again…… Nothing….no warming little red light to let me know it was charging…..completely dead.

I didn’t panic…..not a problem it’s still under warranty. I called Samsung UK……. I pressed all the buttons they told me to and I waited in the queue…… Eventually I got a human and explained that I lived overseas but my phone was purchased in the UK and wasn’t working….. His response was to hang up…..really irritating if you are calling from Turkey!

I called again and got the most unhelpful boy they employ. He was very condescending as if living overseas means you don’t understand basic English. He explained very slowly that he couldn’t help as I was calling the UK and I lived in Turkey. I explained very slowly that the phone was purchased in the UK and had a world wide warranty. He told me they couldn’t help I would have to ring Samsung Turkey. He couldn’t give me a number as he was in the UK and couldn’t be expected to know telephone numbers for Samsung anywhere else. That’s exactly what he said…we are in the UK we don’t know the number you will have to go on line and find it.

So……I ring Samsung Turkey…..I select the option for English and get someone who only speaks Turkish……. I got my husband to call…he did the same and again we got someone who only spoke Turkish….. My husband explained and they said….. “we don’t deal with phones purchased overseas”. He told them it was purchased 13 months ago and was still under warranty. Apparently not……yes you get a 2 year warranty if you use it in the country you bought it but if you take it overseas it’s only a year.

They gave us the number of my nearest service centre who would be able to look at it and tell me if it can be repaired. They are located a 3 hour drive away. Feeling fed up and cheated. £379 of broken phone and no warranty. You can only register one phone from overseas every 2 years, hence wanting the 2 year warranty in the first place.

I am going to take it I to the Mobile Phone hospital in town here on Monday and see what they suggest, Perhaps it is something cheap and easily fixed. I hope so, I took loads of pictures last week that I wanted to share on another post.

I wish I could say my husband is sympathetic…..but he says he told me I should have got the iPhone 5.

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.

Some of my recent knitting projects

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Thought I’d share some of my latest projects with you. Sadly all sold but am working on some more. The curly scarves are £10.99 + £1.25 for postage within the UK. The hats are just £ 5.00 each and again £1.25 for postage.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these items please leave me a message in comments with your email address and I will contact you to arrange payment and delivery.

Shopping Turkish Style

Now my husband comes from a very large family and is used to shopping accordingly. I still very often wonder how I turned I to a woman that buys 3 kilos of tomatoes or 20 kilos of apples at a time.

You may have seen my apple chutney recipe and my cabbage recipe all designed to use up apples after my brother in law brought home enough to feed several donkeys for several weeks.

My husband after a few months away was asked to bring me some sugar. He arrived with a 25 kilo sack. That’s over 50lbs to those of you that haven’t yet gone metric. Needless to say it won’t fit in the little pine canister I usually keep my sugar in.

Not only do I have in excess of 50lbs of it, it’s come straight from the factory so hasn’t been cut. I have long strips of sugar waiting to be cubed and no sugar cutter (shock horror!). So tonight when you are all relaxing and watching tv I will be trying to get Coronation Street on the Internet and cutting up sugar with a pair of pliers. Not quite the glamorous ex pat lifestyle you all envisage when you hear someone lives in Turkey.

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False Economy

Well…… Some of you will know that I am in the UK for a few days to attend the wedding of some close friends.

I managed to get a really beautiful shalwar kameeze to wear at a bargain price. I’ve had to pay for flight and  a hire car so didn’t want to go crazy on my clothes – especially as I rarely get very dressed up and know that the outfit is not going to get much wear. In fact sods law was invited to 2 weddings this weekend one in Turkey and one in Cardiff. The Cardiff one was booked first so here I am.

So the mission to find shoes and a bag commenced……I’ve trawled markets, shops and every inch of Fethiye…nothing! I’ve looked on line and eventually resorted to eBay. I found a lovely looking pair of flip flops for £5 including delivery…….cream or bronze….a tough choice and still no bag. My lovely husband suggested I buy both and make up my mind later. A couple of clicks later and they were winging their way to my daughters front door.

They are truly hideous…….! Quite pretty but so cheap looking………and not comfortable. The bit that goes between your toes has sharp edges…..and they are really plastic looking. Soooooo disappointed. Decided I would wear the cream and gold….and hope no one looks too closely at my feet. As my husband didn’t get a visa my daughter is my date for the day…….she’s a fox and I’m sure people will be watching her not looking at my horrid shoes.

Then today I had a trip into Cardiff to find a handbag. I picked a fabulous neutral shade envelope clutch up in Primark….even big enough for my much loved IPad. As I was strolling back to the car I spotted an Accessorize……….I couldn’t help myself the temptation was too much……..less than 5 minutes later I was the owner of the flip flops of my dreams……gold with diamonds…….not dissimilar to a pair I have at home but these were £25.

Lesson learned……..next time I will go for something more expensive and buy a brand I know. I guess my original purchase might be ok for the beach….but what a waste of £10!

Anyway…….at last I am happy with my whole outfit…..this time tomorrow I’ll be at the reception looking a million dollars.