Busy, Birthdays & Brad

I’ve been so busy I don’t have time to update here much! I had a 4 day working-week this week as it was my birthday on Friday so I took the day off!

Me and Berkay went to London for the day and had a really good time, I’ll be doing a big post about that tomorrow, hopefully, with lots of photos!

Today though, we spent the day at mums house. She picked us up this morning and bought us to her house where a pile of presents, birthday cake and a balloon were waiting for me! Can always rely on mum for birthday celebrations hehe. They got me some lovely presents, including this Frozen Dvd, box of Ferrero Rocher and bag of chocolates, which apparently were from her Shih Tzu, Brad, as we are currently dog-sitting him until tomorrow evening – Mum and her husband have gone to London for the night and tomorrow to cheer on runners at the Marathon!
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Before they went out, we all went to Nandos this afternoon, surprisingly it’s only the second time Berkay has been there in the two and a half weeks he’s been here! It’s his favourite place. I was feeling pretty festive so wore my new Easter t-shirt, why not wear cute chickens on your clothes while tucking into some tasty Nandos chicken eh? 😉
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After our Nandos we came back home and had birthday cake! Don’t ask why it’s Spongebob – mum saw it and thought of me as I’m a little strange haha  Who doesn’t love spongebob? Minions are favourite thing but she couldn’t find a cake version of one of those- instead she bought these little sugar paper cake toppers and stuck them on some little cupcakes herself – how cute, I love them!!\
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Mum’s wedding was 2 weeks ago today, but she picked up the photos from the photographer today so we spent some time this afternoon looking through those – they turned out really cute, I love the ones of me and Berkay.
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The one of mum and Berkay makes me smile too – how cute is this? Real happy faces.
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We’ve just spent the evening watching Britain’s got Talent, Frozen, eating chocolate and looking after Brad the dog. We’re just about to go off to bed, the dog is spoilt and usually always sleeps on it with me so it’ll be interesting to see how two people and a dog squish on the sofabed.. I’ll look forward to my 6am wake up call for his morning pee-walk.

As promised, I’ll be back tomorrow with the photos from London… and trust me there are hundreds. I also haven’t forgotten about my 100,000 views giveaway, I’m planning to do an update about that next week if I have time. I’m trying to make the most of the last 6 days I have with Berkay…

Goodnight all ❤

A day out in London..

Last Saturday me and Berkay hopped on the train and went exploring in London.
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Central London is only 25 minutes on the train from us, so we left at 1130 and arrived at London Bridge before 12. We took a little detour and found Borough Market. It was so pretty as there were still Christmas trees and decorations everywhere, some places were even selling mulled cider, yum. There were hundreds of stalls, the first row we saw were all selling cooked food, hotdogs, burgers, stews, soups, rice dishes, kebabs.. Berkay wouldn’t eat any of it as the meat was cooked on the same grill as the pork, which he doesn’t eat. We carried on walking through the market past stalls selling cheese, olive oils, vegetables, biscuits, wine, bread, chocolate fudge… the list is endless. We spotted this stall, and a huge smile swept across Berkay’s face… He chatted to them for a while and bought sigara boregi (pastry with feta cheese) and yaprak dolma (stuffed vine leaves). Also note the sign says ‘Turkish Deli’… of course we all know this as a delicatessen counter, but in Turkish ‘deli’ means ‘crazy’, so this sign of Berkay posing under a sign effectively saying ‘crazy Turkish’ is quite amusing 😉

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After walking around the market, we headed back to London Bridge station and went on to Waterloo, we took a walk along Southbank, which had a few fun things to do, one of them being this ‘pedal powered snowdome’ . There was a tree inside and when people sat pedaling the bikes, the snow fell down inside the globe. I can’t ride a bike so thank goodness these were well supported and fixed to the ground. We had great fun!
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We were quite amused by the street entertainers at Southbank too, flexible Jamaican dancers, men in cat outfits and people pretending to be statues, this man was my favourite, he literally stood still, didn’t move an inch or even blink in the 20minutes we were stood watching him. Not one blink! How is that even possible?
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We popped into the Namco game station at County Hall and used a few pennies in the 10p machines, then walked past the London eye, and across Westminster Bridge towards Big Ben stopping to pose for the typical photos along the way!
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Next stop was Hyde Park Corner, where we left for Winter Wonderland. Going on a Saturday probably wasn’t the best idea because it was so busy, we had to queue for 30 minutes just to get in. We eventually did get in and had a walk through all the Christmas market area, past the traditional hog roast stalls (sorry Berkay!) and through to the area where all the rides are. Along the way we stopped at a few of the stalls where Berkay tried to win me a Minion toy, it was massive and so cute, we must have spent about £15 trying to win it, darts games, ball games, trying to throw rings onto bottles, buzz wires, he tried hard bless him but didn’t manage to win 😦
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The unfortunate thing about Winter Wonderland is that everything is so expensive, although I can understand why as they must spend millions setting it all up for just a month or two of the year.  It is really impressive. We bought tickets to go on one of the cheaper rides, and that still cost us £4 each. It was an awesome ride though, spinning and spinning around so fast we all got ridiculously dizzy and couldn’t walk in a straight line when we got off! There were lots and lots of rides, some house of fun types, some rollercoasters, sky drops, swings… they all looked really impressive lit up when it began getting dark.
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Just after 5 o clock we headed back to London Bridge and walked along to a nearby Nandos, Berkay’s favourite. Of course it was delicious, what’s not to love about spicy chicken, chips and garlic bread? 😉 (Diet starts tomorrow…boo!!)

We got back home at 8 o clock and were knackered after our busy day. The weather held up all day and was lovely and sunny, as you can see from the photos. It made a nice change and was a lovely day out.  It certainly made a difference for Berkay to see the city in the sunshine instead of rain for once!
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BERKAYS FAVOURITE PLACE – NANDOS

Nandos is most definitely Berkay’s favourite thing about England. He absolutely loves it.
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After work on Friday, we had a spare couple of hours before we had to babysit my brother & sister, so we took a detour to spicy chicken heaven, Nandos.

Being a Turk, Berkay loves spicy stuff. Very spicy. Not content with the hot chicken he had, he tipped loads of extra hot sauce over his garlic bread, pitta, chicken and chips. How he eats it without smoke coming out of his ears I have no idea, good job you get free refills for the drinks!

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Nandos is my favourite too. Red pepper dip, chicken in pitta, spicy chips… yummy. xmas
Afterwards we got the bus home, but not before stopping to take a photo of this pretty tree.
3 days til Christmas 🙂
Writing this post is making me so hungry, Im going out with my friends for dinner tonight and table isn’t booked til 8pm… mmmmm, We’re spending the weekend back in Essex in mums house, we are celebrating Christmas tomorrow here, 3 days early, as we won’t see her, so lots of festive photos coming tomorrow!

🙂

Holiday fling or the real thing? Can relationships with Turkish men really last?

During a relaxing, carefree holiday In Turkey, it’s all so easy to fall in love with a handsome stranger with a sexy accent, romantic walks on the beach, watching sunsets together and a lot of fun in the sun, but what happens when you return home, can the relationship continue or will he forget about you as soon as you board the plane?

We’ve all seen the typical ‘Take a Break’ magazine stories about Turkish men being love rats, cheating on British women, manipulating them for their money or using them for a visa, but are they all like that? The answer is no, they’re not, and some (and only someholiday romances can go the distance and turn into loving, long lasting relationships and marriages.

A lot of things really depend on what circumstances you met in. If you met him while he was working in a bar one night and the only communication you had was while either one or both of you were drunk, the chances are it’s not going to turn into a real meaningful relationship. Drunken conversation and sex does not make a good foundation. What is more important is spending real quality time together and getting to know each other properly before moving forward, although admittedly that is difficult whilst on a short holiday. The normal rules of dating are put on fast forward, it’s easy to get carried away and fall head over heels when everything is moving quickly, you know your time together is limited and that you’ll soon be returning home so everything is rushed. First date, second date, first kiss,sex…It all happens in a blur and it’s difficult to know what is going to happen next and what it all means.

I suppose it’s important to figure out if it is love, or lust. Is it really possible to fall in love with someone in a country thousands of miles away from home where there are so many obstacles to overcome? The language barrier  is an important one. Is it really possible to ‘love’ someone you can hardly communicate with? Communication is key. Getting to know each other from 4000 miles away is never easy, but nowadays with Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, email and text, there really is no excuse not to keep in touch, if that’s what you want.

An important thing to be sure of is that you are both wanting the same thing, are you both looking for a quick fling, or is one of you more serious than the other? While on holiday, a lot of us let our guards down, we are physically and emotionally relaxed and free from all the stresses of home, this makes it oh so easy to get carried away, but in reality, when you’re 4000 miles away back at home and have work to do and bills to pay, are you still going to be as interested in your Turkish ‘lover’? If you are serious about the relationship, be certain he is too. A lot of Turkish men working in resorts see a lot of women come and go, as soon as one flight leaves, another arrives. Some men see women, British in particular, as easy and fun loving.  They assume, rightly or wrongly, that these women want nothing more than 2 weeks of fun, and the reality is he probably won’t be interested in keeping in touch until you’re back next year.

Turkish men have a reputation as being love-rats, only interested in money and a visa. Sure, some of these men are really clever, scheming, con artists who cover their tracks well, however, in most circumstances there are some clear signs that your ‘relationship’ is doomed. Don’t ignore the signs and leave your brains at the airport. If you’re old enough to be his grandmother, or great-grandmother, he’s probably not genuine. If he runs to the toilet when his phone rings, he’s probably talking to one of his many other holiday flings, or a Turkish wife. If he tells you he loves you in broken English after having known you 5 mintues, he’s probably not genuine. Once you’re home, is he constantly making excuses and too busy to talk to you? Did you do a bit of Facebook stalking and find out he actually has 5 different profiles with photos of him and a different girl on each one? These are all huge red flags, don’t fall for his charm or excuses, it’s not worth the heartbreak in the end.

A lot of women  who have experienced the above sell their stories to magazines or newspapers or create online groups and blogs ‘warning’ everyone about the dangers of Turkish men. There seems to be an assumption that all Turkish men will try their luck and manipulate British women for money. If your fella gives you a list of duty free alcohol, trainers and the latest iPhone he wants you to bring out the next time you visit, realise he is not genuinely in love with you, he is more interested in your bank balance. If every time you speak to him he mentions how his mother, father or sister’s friend’s dog-sitter etc.. is ill and he needs money to pay the hospital bill,  end the conversation and delete him from your life. He’s lying.

Turkish men are not all scheming, money grabbing rats, far from it. Generally, Turkish men are very proud; they work to provide for their families and would never ask someone for money, especially a woman. Using my relationship as an example, I don’t have a penny to my name, Berkay works hard everyday to provide for us both. When family come to visit, the most he’s ever asked them for is a bottle of Nando’s sauce.

If people try to tell you that your guy isn’t genuine, that he’s cheating on you or using you for money, most of the time they are probably right. Don’t dismiss their concern as ‘jealousy’. Take their concerns on board and be wary. If the signs are there, pay attention and take notice, if not, stay on guard but don’t turn into a bunny boiling stalker.

Trust is important. When you’re living 4000 miles away from someone, it’s going to be impossible to know what they’re doing and who they are with every minute of the day. Gut instinct will be the key, if you think he doesn’t deserve your trust or he’s acting suspiciously, move on, there is no way a long distance relationship will ever work if you cannot trust each other.

The most important thing for me is can you really make the long distance relationship work? Are you patient enough to understand that while friends and people around you may be settling down and moving on with their lives, you’re going to be back and forth only seeing each other for a limited number of days per year until you come to a decision as to where your future is? You can only visit each other so much as your job, and your bank balance permits. At some point, one of you is going to have to give up your life in your own country and move away from your friends, family , job and everything you’ve ever known, it’s inevitable and is the only way forward, eventually.

This brings us to the issue of visas. Depsite what everyone thinks, visas to the UK are not easy to obtain, if you are unwilling to try to settle in Turkey, be prepared for a long battle to get your Turkish partner to the UK, it’s not something to take lightly, it’s a long, hard process and the stress can be enough to split couples up.

There are also cultural differences, and religion pays a large part in some circumstances too.  Is he Muslim? Will he expect you to give up certain things? Will he expect you to be a stay at home mum/housewife? Is he willing to let go of some of his more traditional Turkish cultural values, and are you willing to give up some of yours? Can you come to a compromise?

If both of you are willing to make it work and put in the effort as well as having the patience, trust, understanding and communication, your relationship may well turn into something wonderful. If not, enjoy it for what it is and move on, either way you’ll have great memories.

An afternoon at the beach..

I always used to think how odd it looked when Turkish families rocked up to the beach in the height of summer, fully clothed with rugs, cushions and pots and pans in tow to enjoy a full on family feast. Today I realised I have become one of these people.

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My level of Turkish-ness definitely peaked today. I wanted to for a swim with Berkay and thought it would be nice to take some food along with us, I found myself marinating some chicken breast in Nandos sauce (we’re addicted to it) at 6am this morning, ready to cook in the oven before we went this afternoon. We ended up taking the chicken, some pasta and salad all nicely stored in saucepans and old ice-cream tubs and shoved in my bag… along with towels, a blanket, 2 cushions, plates, cutlery, a bottle of coke and the trusty salt pot.540683_10152190349198776_1918048497_n God knows what the tourists thought, Calis Beach was pretty busy with bikini clad sun worshiping tourists, and there we were, walking along trying to find an empty spot to set up our little feast. We did find a fairly quiet spot luckily.

It was lovely, but by the time we had walked 20 minutes in the 38 degree heat and were sweaty, hot and bothered, we weren’t all that hungry and couldn’t finish it all. Boncuk was grateful for the leftovers for dinner though!
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After a little mini photo-shoot (I am way too snap happy, 7000 photos taken on my iPod in just 5 months..) we had a little swim, the sea is still lovely and warm at this time of year, perfect.
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We had time for a quick walk and hugs with Boncuk before Berkay went to work too, isn’t this photo adorable? True love 🙂
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A not-so-typical Monday

Today I managed to wake Berkay up at a reasonable time (3 pm- he works nights!!) So we made the most of it and went for a late afternoon swim at the beach with our dog. (:

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Anyone who knows me will know that this is a rare thing, we hardly ever go swimming or do anything remotely ‘touristy’, despite living in a holiday resort and being a 20 minute walk away from the sea. It makes a nice change from boring day to day stuff every now and then though.

Before we went, we had lunch. Fresh fish, boiled potatoes with Nando’s sprinkles (Oh boy do I miss Nandos!!) and salad. Yum.

Calis Beach. It’s not all that pretty, no sand, just big stones and shingle, and the water has a lot of sea weed in it, but other than that, it’s a nice place to have a swim. The beach was fairly busy today, we walked around for a while to find an empty spot because we had the dog with us… As it turned out, she wasn’t the only animal on the beach, just as we got there these two camels came wandering along. They live near our house and I quite often walk past and talk to them. ”Hello camels”. Berkay thinks I am nuts. I’ll let you decide whether he’s right or not…

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We all went for a little dip, we only had Boncuk (the dog) in there for a few minutes just to cool her off (:

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Then she got out with Berkay and they had cuddles while watching the waves. She even gave him kisses, haha. Bless.

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We didn’t stay long, it was too hot and we had to get back for Berkay to go to work. Poor fella does work hard, I give him that!
Still, it made a nice change, really should go swimming more often, with a beach this close it’s rude not to really, isn’t it? (:

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Boncuk enjoyed her afternoon too!