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A wordpress/iPad mystery

Well I’ve just discovered that there are 3 blank posts on my blog. I realise it was Halloween yesterday and am quite frankly wondering whether the content has been stolen by mischievous witches, elves and wee folk.

It’s an even bigger mystery because on my IPad the posts are there. They even have photos! They were uploaded from here and somehow have disappeared in cyber space.

Off on a missing post hunt. Might have to delete them and start again.

I just love all these app updates that are supposed to make things run better. Is it just me or is there always something that doesn’t seem to work quite as it should?

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.

World Hijab Day.

http://worldhijabday.com

So today was World Hijab Day. Very simply for people who don’t know Hijab is the scarf worn by a Muslim woman to cover her hair. It is not a Burkha or Niqab these are two different types of covering.

In Turkey Muslim women have a choice they can wear it or not wear it. No one can force them to wear it but in reality there are some families that prefer it and they will apply family pressure if someone chooses not to. I know girls from very modern uncovered families that have decided to cover and on the flip side girls from very traditional families that don’t. Until recently the headscarf was banned in some public buildings but this ban has now been removed.

In my husbands home village all the ladies are covered and I am the only member of the family that isn’t. In fact he is the only man in town to marry a foreigner so you can imagine the tales that were been spread prior to meeting me and reassuring themselves I was not a PVC wearing, pork eater with green hair and tattoos on my face. In the village I cover….it was a bit uncomfortable at first and it wouldn’t stay on but some neat tips from my nieces have sorted out all those issues. I don’t wear it in our family homes unless we have visitors but do wear it if we are going out. They have been very welcoming and I would not bring shame to their door by been seen in public without my head covered.

I never wear it in my home or home town. But decided that today I would. I got up and got dressed and covered my hair. My husband got up and never said a word, my Brother in Law and Nephew arrived and again not a word. Eventually I raised the subject and was told I look very beautiful.

We had planned to join friends for a meal tonight and I decided that I was going to wear the scarf. Some of the friends had plenty to say last year when another friend chose to cover…all of course said behind her back. They decided that the only way she would wear a headscarf was if her husband had forced her and thought it a shame because she is so beautiful. Her husband was as surprised as anyone and she says she feels safer, gets more respect when out and about and is happy that only her husband gets to see how gorgeous she is.

We arrived in the restaurant and nobody said a word. There were some surprised faces but no one mentioned it to me. A shame as I wanted to tell people about the day and my decision to wear it. One friend was going to sit next to me but changed her mind leaving a gap in the table – I hope the headscarf didn’t scare her off.

It doesn’t just tell ladies to cover their hair and dress modestly in the Quran – it says it in the Bible too and I know many ladies who wear a hat to church on a Sunday. When we see a Nun we comment that they have a vocation and that their clothing is a sign that they have made a commitment to God, yet when we see a Muslim lady wearing very similar clothes she is oppressed and we wonder how she copes in the heat. To me the clothes look the same – both are showing their commitment to their religion.

When choice stops been a choice……..UK Immigration rules

Yes I chose to come to Turkey and most days I love living here. But the plan was always if the job didn’t work out I could always go back to the UK. For those of you that have been reading for awhile you will know that not long after I got here I met my husband.

We did the usual things…..dated, got to know each other, fell in love and decided to get married. But that’s when the choice stopped been a choice……because now I don’t have a choice….we have to live in Turkey.

Why, why? I hear you shout…..well in October 2012 the UK changed their immigration rules for non EU spouses. That means Turkish as well as Egyptian, Tunisian, American… Yes I said American,Canadian and anywhere else that isn’t Europe.

So we have some choices…… I could return to the UK by myself……find somewhere to live, try and find a job…not any job I have to earn more than £18600 a year. Once I have been working for 6 months we can apply for a visa for my husband. He first has to pass an English test which is a reasonable requirement and we have to pay the extortionate visa fee which with translations, photocopying and visit to the visa centre to submit the documents can easily come to over £1000.

Then we would have to wait…..,between 12 and 24 weeks for a decision to be made. They can suggest we live in my husbands country especially as we have already done so for a number of years. So that’s nearly a year apart. If the visa is granted he would come to the UK but be subject to immigration control for 5 years. The visa is only for 2.5 years and we would have to reapply again after that time for a further 2.5 years. Exactly the same costs, and we would have to be earning £18600 between us…… possible for a mature couple like us but what about young couples with children or who want to start a family…..not such an easy amount to reach.

After a further 2.5 years we would then have to apply for a different type of visa allowing him indefinite leave to remain and yes that does come with a price tag…… He also has to sit a higher level English test and pass a Life in the UK test. I’ve tried the Life in the UK test on line and failed….58%. Interestingly I got sidetracked and ended up doing an aptitude test on the MI5 website afterwards and was told that I have an aptitude for that type of work and should apply……..no chance they don’t pay £18600 a year.

Eventually if we meet all the criteria set by the Government 6 years down the line……he can apply to be a UK citizen if he wants.

But what if they refuse the visa…….. We can appeal…….that can take a further 19 weeks…… All the time living apart. We won’t get a visit visa for him because they will know that he wants to settle in the UK and won’t believe that he’ll come home afterwards.

If I was European…..I could bring my husband to the UK to live. He could have a Family Permit and a 5 year residents permit and not be subject to immigration controls, not pass an English test,claim benefits if he wanted in fact everything that an EU citizen can claim in the UK. Not very fair is it?

There is a way…..we could consider the Surinder Singh route. Couples move to another European country, get jobs work for an undefined period of time although 12 weeks has always been acceptable and can then apply for a Family Permit and return to the UK. The UK Citizen is then classed as having exercised their rights to free movement and are treated as an EU citizen rather than a UK citizen. Many people have opted for this route as it is cheaper and you get to be together for the whole time rather than separated for 6 months to a year.

There are groups on Facebook specifically for supporting people through the Surinder Singh route…search for EU FREE MOVEMENT DIRECTIVE and you should find them easily.

But…..isn’t there always a but? In January 2014 the UK decided to add a few extras to the European ruling…..not legal but they seem to be able to do what they like. Now you have to prove you have moved the centre of your life to the other EU country. Things like keeping a house, car or job in the UK may affect your right to return as a family. People who are enrolled on University courses in the UK could be classed as not having transferred their lives. Sadly the UK government is doing everything it can to keep non EU spouses out.

At the moment we are happy to live in Turkey……which is just as well as there aren’t a lot of other options open to us.

Big Wave Seafood at Lamai

Just have to give this one a mention . It’s not on trip advisor so can’t leave a review there.

This restaurant is located in Lamai not far from Mc Donald’s. Lamai is one of the towns that has a Walking street every night…known as the Night Plaza. In reality a couple of rows of stalls selling shirts, flip flops, souvenirs, phone cases and other things tourists might want to remind them of their trip. Definitely haggle it is well worth it and you can get some really good bargains.

If you stand with your back to Mc Donald’s the Night Plaza is to your left about 100 metres further up the road on the opposite side, There are two entrances and if you head for the furthest one The Big Waves is on your left not long after you go in.

To be honest it looks grubby…….the plastic chairs could do with a good clean….we headed for the wooden ones. Really attractive display of fresh fish outside all in ice to keep it fresh. Hubby opted for Barracuda and I had the White Snapper….both fried in onions and garlic with some garlic rice and a salad. A food mountain arrived and the fish was cooked to perfection. A mix of all nationalities eating here including local people, which I always think is a great recommendation.

Not the cheapest place we’ve had fish but definitely the tastiest served by lovely friendly people.

For the ladies…..the ladies facilities are basic but clean…nowhere near the worst I have experienced on the Island. But…….when you come out don’t be tempted to look in the concrete sinks where they wash up. It’ll offend your Western concept of what a sink should look like.

I would recommend it and I would eat there again……but don’t wear white trousers.

Nathon

Yesterday we got up early and decided we would use the local bus taxis to go and visit Nathon.

We ended up spending quite a lot on fares and would probably have been better off hiring a scooter.

Nathon…..well…it has a reputation as been the best place to clothes shop but it was Sunday and lots of shops seemed to be closed. It is the Administrative Capital of the island but was by far the dirtiest place we have visited so far. The whole place seemed very grubby and was very smelly…a mix of all sorts of cooking and rancid drains.

The beach was a very thin strip and there were a few pretty long tail fishing boats dotted around. We did manage to find a bit of a market that sold cheap fruit….and also a clean looking cafe where we were able to get breakfast.

We found nowhere that did halal meat so hubby on eggs, fruit and vegetables again. He was appalled by how dirty some of the food places appeared and shocked that people didn’t wash their hands before starting to prepare the food.

We did pick up some bargains but still found most shops overpriced. We will definitely be going back to the local walking street which although geared towards tourists seems far more reasonably priced. I am now the owner of a lively new sarong and hubby got some shorts.

Last night we were too tired to go out so went and got a pizza from a place on the road to Nathon. One very large tuna and onion to share and a night with some DVDs.

We are having an early night as we are going to visit Koh Pangang tomorrow.