Monday, 13 January 2014

The Fogies look back on 2013

The year 2013 was a hectic year for us, a year of extremes. Highs and lows, happy times and sad times, plus plenty of laughter and some tears. It was also of course our first complete year living in Turkey, as we moved here in April 2012. Here is my review of what 2013 meant to us.

Of course the top spot for the year has to be our wedding. On May 15th in our village and surrounded by our family and friends we became Mr and Mrs Neale. We planned the wedding ourselves and in our opinion nobody could have improved it. Our criteria for the day was that we were married in our village, that there was a heavy Turkish  influence on the proceedings and that it would be a fun day for everyone to enjoy and remember and I think that was exactly what we managed to achieve. We were so grateful to all of our guests who travelled from near and far to be with us on our special day.

Getting married Turkish style in our adopted village among friends and family. What could be better than that?

Our greatest achievement for 2013 (apart from finally getting wed) was to finish transforming the first half of our derelict back garden. It was incredibly hard work, but we are so happy with what we have achieved and we look forward to hopefully finishing the other half  this year.

Sheds built and the first half of the back garden done

Our best day out was a difficult choice with the top three being our picnic at Oren, a visit to Babadag mountain and a picnic at Cadianda. But after much deliberation we voted unanimously that the day at Cadianda was our favourite. We are both interested in historical sites, it was much larger than we had imagined and provides spectacular views of Fethiye and the agricultural areas and mountains behind it. It was a lovely day. We are so lucky to have such a place on our doorstep.

Sitting and contemplating in the Cadianda arena - we  love it there!

But our day at Babadag was a very close runner up because of the stunning views it offers. Photo credit: Brian Lloyd

2013 saw the arrival of two new puppies first Bebek who was then followed by her sister Big Red three weeks later. They are a blessing and a curse and Red is the naughtiest, most difficult puppy I have ever had the pleasure(?) to meet. But they are part of the family and we love them both dearly. They take our animal tally up to three cats and four dogs. There are so many needy animals we all have to do our bit.

Bebek (Baby) our new pup 

Her sister Red who joined us later 

Our best meal of the year will probably surprise you, because it was not at a restaurant but on one of the Çalış boats. We not only loved the trip but definitely loved the food cooked by boat owner Ali Tuğsat's  Mum. It was real home cooking and very different to any boat trip food we have ever had. We highly, highly recommend his boat Alis 1 for providing a brilliant day or evening out.

 Ali Tuğsat at the helm of Alis 1
It was an absolute joy to have so many of our family members here together in May to attend our wedding and especially to have my grand daughter making her first trip overseas to be here. Also all credit to David's sister and Brother in law who travelled all the way from America in their seventies to be here, in spite of the fact that they thought we lived in a desert amongst terrorists!

My beautiful grand daughter Rosie enjoying her first ever paddling pool

But it has not all been wonderful and in line with our warts and all attitude to our blog here are some of the low points of 2013.

The lowest part of the year, was the deaths of three of our animals. Our 22 year old cat Horrace who had made the journey with us from the UK had to be put to sleep due to problems associated with his great age. A little cat we had adopted Peggy was lost to cancer at barely a year old. But the worst of all was the illness of our beloved black Labrador Tyson, due to pancreatic tumours. He was larger than life and to this day remains conspicuous in his absence. All three of them gone but not forgotten. Many, many tears have been shed this year.

Tyson very seriously missed

I won the 2013 award for most painful condition, in fact I had all three nominations this year! Regular readers of the blog will know what an accident prone year I have had. First my meeting with yakarca (sand fly) which left me with hundreds if not thousands of bites which I then had a reaction to. I have never known itching like it. Secondly, crushing one of my fingers between two very large boulders whilst gardening. The finger still looks crushed and the nail is only now starting to grow back. But the winner of this year's pain award without a doubt was the scorpion sting, involving a trip to the hospital in the middle of the night and having to be given intravenous serum and pain killers. I will be looking more carefully for them in the future before I march off barefoot!

My favourite picture of the year I would love to say was taken by me, but in fact it was taken by James Dorrington who took our wedding pictures for us. I know I am biased because it is my grand daughter but I think it is a fantastic picture worthy of being a poster, so here it is. I haven't even put a caption because I think the photo says it all without any words - Rosie and her dad.

Photo credit: James Dorrington

So a busy year and a mixed bag of highs and lows. We have met some lovely people since moving here, Turks and ex pats alike many of whom will undoubtedly be friends for life. So that is the highlights of the Fogies 2013 now we will see what 2014 brings.