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Author Topic: Here we go again...but different this time  (Read 10441 times)

Offline MartynE

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Here we go again...but different this time
« on: June 25, 2015, 10:21:35 AM »
Well, just one more sleep until we get back to our favourite place on Earth. After living in Kalkan for two years, it was a real wrench to return to the UK full-time in May and we both realised that we had come to take Kalkan for granted - just a bit. Last winter in Kalkan was hard because of the unusually bad weather and to be honest we had got a bit jaded with it being so quiet in winter.

That, coupled with the insurmountable residency problems, made us feel quite philosophical about coming back to Blighty.  The English "spring" weather was a nasty shock to the system but moving house, problems with BT, and just getting back to normal with work, etc, took our minds off all that. It needed all of Fiona's brilliant "organisational skills" (ie, nagging) to keep me on track when my mind kept taking me back to that view we had from our office window in Kalkan...

...frankly, the only thing that has kept me sane was knowing that we had a trip back to Kalkan booked at the end of June.

The upside to our revised situation, however, is that now, when we return, it will be an actual holiday....starting tomorrow, for twelve days! That old excitement is well and truly back...simply can't wait to drive round that bend on the D400 and see the bay unfolding before us tomorrow evening. And that first Efes. And seeing some of the many friends we have made in this special place.

This next twelve days will go all too quickly...but we do have another six weeks to look forward to in September/October. Guess we will be back to wishing our lives away again. But one thing's for sure...we won't be taking Kalkan for granted any more!

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Offline Babs

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2015, 11:07:02 AM »
Hope you have a wonderful time!

Offline MartynE

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2015, 12:19:36 PM »
We certainly intend to, Babs!  ;D 8)

Offline Tyros

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2015, 12:59:16 PM »
Have a great time Martyn. We may see you in September/October as we are also there for 6 weeks from the 10th September.

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 01:02:04 PM »
Just think, you get the best of both worlds. To see Kalkan as a tourist and a resident. Sounds good to me  :).

Hope the house move goes smoothly and enjoy every minute of your holiday.  8) :)

Offline tortoise lady

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2015, 02:35:00 PM »
It will be strange for you MartynE to be back in Kalkan "on holiday".   Will it be entirely holiday though as you still have your properties in Kalkan?  And will you stay in one or your own places or somewhere quite different.   I sometimes wonder what it would feel like to go to Kalkan and stay in a hotel so I didn't spend time going round wondering things like "should we buy more glasses, what needs to be done in the winter etc".   I have a feeling I would miss our own place, own bed and sitting on my own bedroom balcony in the morning.

Offline Kalkan Magic

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 02:52:55 PM »
Me too Tortoise Lady, İ often wonder if it would be liberating!
Have a fab time Martyn, İ bet you do just a 'little bit' of work lol...
Hope to see you both early Oct x

Offline MartynE

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 03:15:32 PM »
Yes, Tortoise lady, it will be really strange, but not unwelcome! We are really looking forward to being able to see Kalkan as a tourist sees it again. All our properties are booked out, but fortunately we have kept our little long-term rental villa on the Falcon Villas site, so we can come and go as we please, at least for the next year or two.

Sue - yes, of course we will work "a bit" ... as you know, answering enquiries is a 24/7 job ;) -  and we have various meetings organised with owners, managers etc, but lots of space in between for eating out, boat trips, playing music...what everyone else does, in fact! Believe me, compared to the last few years it will be a doddle.

Chillaxing is the order of the day. Well... the next 12 days, to be precise ;D

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 03:52:21 PM »
Have a fab time....I'm sure you will. Friends of ours stay at Falcon Villas twice a year - its a lovely spot so even when you are working you will be doing so from a great place.
Enjoy  :) :)
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt :)

Offline suzyq1

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2015, 10:25:42 PM »
Have a wonderful time Martyn. We too travel tomorrow and are really hoping to come along to hear you play on Sunday.
In the meantime enjoy.
Hope the forecast is wrong? I can't wake up to cloud on my first morning it wouldn't be right :(

Offline MartynE

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2015, 05:43:05 PM »
Let's start with the sleazyjet flight from Gatwick yesterday afternoon.
We were first on the plane..we always get speedy boarding to guarantee getting our favourite seats in row 2 - 2b and 2c...near to the front loo (always a bonus after one or two pre-flight snifters) plus you  get served early, you get good legroom but it's not refrigerated like row 1... easyjet users will know what I mean ;) I like an aisle seat and Fiona prefers the window, so we book b and c in the hope that no one books a. It sometimes works,  and it did this time! Result..we can spread out...

So far, so good. But then...as rows 1, 3 and 4 fill up - and the other side of row 2 - it rapidly becomes apparent that they all know each other. Six or seven couples, all apparently booked on a "middle aged grown ups making the most of their empty nest situation" type jaunt. Evidently from Essex. Going To Dalaman. To Have A Good Time. On our flight, totally surrounding us.  We looked at each other with dread and resigned ourselves to four hours of loud, embarrassing, cringe-making torture, and felt really sorry for the cabin crew who look equally as nervous. Eek.

But we couldn't have been more wrong. We actually had one of the most pleasant flights we have had in a long time. These guys were totally charming... funny and very friendly, polite and kind to the crew and we had a real laugh with them. I ended up offering my socks and shoes to the poor, unprepared guy in 1a whose sandalled feet were getting frostbitten (another couple who won't be booking Refrigerator Row 1 in the future). Mind you, I do wish he hadn't taken me seriously when I told him not to waste it and to put his big toe in my g and t (as my ice had melted). Anyway,, after disembarking we bade our farewells and lost sight of them in the mass of humanity that was Dalaman passport control..about six flights had  all arrived at once, and it was bedlam in there.

I do love the drive from Dalaman to Kalkan. Our hire car from Enes was great as usual and although it was dark when we rounded the hill overlooking the bay, we couldn't help doing that "aaahhhhh" sound when we saw the lights. Home again...kind of. Strange coming back to a place that was first a holiday favourite for many years, then home for a couple  and is now somewhere between the two.

As we opened the front door to the villa, Fiona was delighted that her semi-adopted street cats Oscar, Minnie and Trixie all suddenly appeared, as if they were waiting for us. How did they know? We hadn't emailed them to tell them we were coming but here they were again, after seven weeks, as if we had never been away. They had lost a bit of weight but to be honest they looked better for it. Maybe Fiona will now believe me when I tell her not to feed them three times a day...

Today we had a load of stuff to catch up on at the Nur apartments so we set the alarm to get up bright and early and get the work-related stuff out of the way, so we could make the most of the sunshine later on but....wait.. What's that!? CLOUD???!!! Noooooooooo, we left that in England didn't we? Anyway ...fortunately, by the time we had finished with the drudgery the sun was out. Normal service resumed.

And to celebrate, we have Mussakka booked for tonight!  Mehmet and Kitty were so devastated when the old place burned down and, before we left Kalkan in early May, we promised them their new place would be our first dinner stop on our June Holiday. Can't wait and I just hope Summer Steak is still on the menu.

More tomorrow.

Offline Babs

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2015, 09:21:01 PM »
Looking forward to it!

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2015, 06:21:03 PM »
Mmm summer steak. I haven't had that in ages! Can't wait to try it again. Look forward to your next instalment Martyn. Thanks for this unexpected and very welcome blog.  :)

Offline tortoise lady

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2015, 06:32:03 PM »
Isn't it good when you dread sitting near a particular group and then discover they are actually really nice people and you can enjoy their company.

It is going to be interesting reading your blog as you are back in Kalkan as a holiday maker (almost) having lived here.   I suspect property issues are going to take up a good bit of your time but hope you manage to have lots of relaxation as well.

Offline Kalkan Magic

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2015, 10:38:22 PM »
Have a fab time chillaxing! Xx

Offline MartynE

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2015, 06:24:47 AM »
Thanks everyone :) I promise  I'm going to do an update later (the Summer Steak definitely lived up to expectations) but in true holiday mode I don't have time right now because we are going on a boat trip today. Nothing booked, but as it has turned out nice - despite the forecast - we are just gonna stroll down to the harbour and take pot luck.

Three days of reports to catch up on later then. Hmm. Sounds like work...


ooops, I said the 'w' word....


M

Offline Bob & Jayne

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2015, 07:46:47 AM »
Oh how lovely, popping down to the harbour and taking your pick on a boat trip! that certainly does sounds better than the "W" word MartynE! Have a lovely day, and look forward to hearing which fab trip you go on! Enjoy  :D

J

Offline MartynE

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2015, 06:04:04 PM »
Saturday

As previously mentioned, our First Day started cloudy and cold for the time of year. Oh well. We had some mundane stuff to do at the Nur Apartments and we still had the hire car available for the day,  so it was a kind of blessing in a way... we could get the provisions  shopping done at Yali and do what we had to do at the apartments without feeling too cheated about missing the sun!

By lunchtime it was no better. Not worth going down to the harbour for lunch so we thought we'd give The  Lime a try. They had received a thumbs up from some of our apartment guests in the visitors’ books – always a good sign – and so we strolled down. It was a bit weird sitting on the old Parc/Lemon Garden site of so many happy musical memories but they have done a good job with the renovation and it's a nice environment. The First Efes arrived, suitably chilled and all was well with the world, despite the cloud. The  food  was good.  Fiona had a simple pizza , I had the burger and chips and Fiona now has fork marks in her hand. Why do women do that? (If you want chips with your pizza, ladies, order your own and do not try and nick chips off your man’s plate – or be prepared to accept the consequences). The service was friendly and initially good but dipped a bit when four girls parked themselves on the next table. How many waiters does it take to serve a table of four? All of them, apparently ;) Understandable, of course. Ah yes….testosterone… I remember it well….

By the time our lunch was over, the weather had brightened up a lot. Time to get the shopping done and back to the villa to unpack and then chill before getting  ready for our evening table at Mussakka.

I am not a massive fan of steak. Well, I wasn't back in the day.  It would never  have been  my first choice  on any menu, but my first  Summer Steak at Mussakka a few years ago changed all that. The. Best. Steaks. Ever. That is all.

Oh boy, I was so looking forward to this one. It's only  a two minute stroll from the Falcon  Villas to the new Mussakka but I almost ran. Mehmet greeted us with his usual earnest enthusiasm and we had a nice catch up chat with Kitty at the bar while we downed our traditional preprandial  gin & tonics. Her foreword in the menu  says it all; so many people would have disappointed if they had not been able to reopen after the fire. Anyway...that is all so  last  year. Onwards and upwards, like a Phoenix rising from the flames. . the cold meze was delicious as always,  but when the Summer Steaks arrived.  that was really the-proper start of our Holiday. Bliss. To top it all, Fiona actually  ordered her own chips, so my fork could do its proper job instead of standing guard.  All washed down with a very nice bottle of red. Perfect. And absolutely no room for dessert; just a couple of complimentary liqueurs and proper coffee. We reminisced about how far Kalkan has come since our first visit, many years ago, when proudly offering “Nescafé” was considered by restauranteurs to be the height of sophistication. The Americanos hit the spot, however, and set us up properly for the rest of the evening. 

They were certainly needed, for next it  was  down to Black & Gold to flash our hard-earned VIP card, number 24,  from our “old life” here. Yes, I .know everyone and his dog has one, but still… as a  marketing ploy it has clearly worked.

“Ps I love you” said Fiona. Thank you darling, said the waiter... And Sir? Spoilt for choice, I eventually opted for the Long Island.. A real man’s drink, winked the waiter. That was a done deal, then.

Later, we staggered back up the very short but definitely-steeper-than-it-was-earlier hill to the villa, stopping to say a brief hello to Muhitin at the Moonlight  bar. “Quiet for the time of year”, he observed.  Hmmm. Not the first time we have heard that comment this visit.
Anyway. A really lovely First Evening.

Tomorrow…  Sunday… a musical reunion beckons.

Offline MartynE

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2015, 06:34:59 PM »
Sunday
Through the not-quite-a-hangover fog in my brain, I became aware of a phone ringing. Not one of our  usual mobile phone ringtones (mine is the Mexican Hat Dance, Fiona's is Can’t  Get You Out of My Head by Kylie) but still vaguely familiar.

“Did you set the alarm?”
 “No. Did you?”
“What day is it?”
“Errrm…Sunday”
 “So who is calling us on the Turkish mo….oh no, what's the time? Enes are picking the car up at 9:00…”

It was 9:15.

I suppose it must have looked quite funny when, a few seconds later, I emerged from the front door with one hand clutching the car keys and the money for the car hire, and the other hand pulling up my shorts, whilst gingerly hopping over the cats sleeping on the doorstep. The Enes driver certainly seemed to think so…leaning against the car, grinning widely  and holding up his mobile phone as if to say “ yes, it's me who woke you up, you idiot”.

He accepted my profuse apologies with a wave of his hand and drove off, still grinning.  I blame the Long Island…I am clearly not man enough. Fiona agreed (a little too readily for my liking), over breakfast as we planned the  day.

Another day combining work and pleasure, as it turned out. We had to go and do an inventory check on  the two  Customs House apartments we handle rentals for, in the old pink house overlooking the beach,  and meet up with Samet, the local manager. Why not kill two birds with one stone , then, and we can see Samet, have lunch at Fener then get back in time for a meeting with Mustafa (the owner of some of the villas we rental-manage) at 5. Then over to Blue Turtle for my musical reunion with Aklan. Deal…two parts work, two parts pleasure is a good trade off in my book.

Having lunch  at Fener would almost certainly result in bumping into some friends and so it proved... Jane, Rose and Liz were there and the main topic of the conversation ended up being the graffiti that had appeared overnight on the new concrete pillars at the fire scene. Very ugly, and “not quite Kalkan” was the unanimous verdict. Shame, whoever is responsible.

After the girls left we decided that lunch should be fairly light as we would be eating at Blue Turtle later.  Fener's sesame chicken salad has always been a favourite of ours on such an occasion and it did not disappoint this time around. Tasty, light,  but substantial enough (with a bit of bread) to stave off any hunger pangs before the evening.

Fener is strange without Suleyman there running things and the service is a bit less efficient... but you can't beat that location on a day like this. An Efes or two for me, a couple of glasses of red for Fifi and we felt very contented sitting in the sunshine, overlooking the bay, with THAT sea breeze blowing away the cobwebs as our lunch settled.

Good meeting with Mustafa, but it went on a bit later than we expected, so Fi’s normal 47-minutes-and-20-seconds get-ready time (she's very precise) started late. A quick shower for me and I would have to go on ahead and form the advance party to Blue Turtle, which worked out well anyway as I needed to get my gear set up ready for the Aklan Experience.

When I say “set up gear” – well,  compared to a gig in the UK it's very simple. Here, you just have to keep things as quiet as possible and that means eschewing the normal amplifier and plugging into the PA mixer. Which, as any guitarist will tell you, is a nightmare with a capital F. No control over the sound and it completely destroys the normal playing dynamics. Oh well, I'm a pro...I can handle it. If I can play in an empty swimming pool I can play anywhere (but that's a whole different blog...ask me about it sometime).       
 
What is it about my relationship with Aklan? We have never had a rehearsal but it just works. We haven't played together in weeks – in fact I haven't picked up a guitar in weeks - but it's like I've never been away. Other people describe it as chemistry. All  I know is that it feels damn good playing with him. He gives me space, and I push him a bit…. I guess the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And this time around we were joined by Murfit, the Turkish drummer/percussionist, who lives in Sweden, whom I've played with before but Aklan has never played with. No worries... he's a pro too,  and everything gelled straight away.   Big grins all round between us. Great feeling. Music…the  universal language.

Lots of very nice comments from people afterwards. Suzyq1 from the forum and her husband said hello and they loved it… naughty Juney said it was rubbish (which is what she always says, but it's our code). And a very lovely Scottish couple said I sounded like Santana. Which is like...wow…thanks…really?....he's my original hero (blush) :)

Hopefully Aklan will be back again next Sunday…video shoot in Istanbul permitting…if not, I won't play with him again till late September, which would be musical cold turkey :( Anyway…another great evening at the Blue Turtle… and thanks to everyone who came.

What shall we do tomorrow? A boat trip sounds good. After all. we are on holiday!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 07:35:02 PM by MartynE »

Offline Kalkan Magic

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Re: Here we go again...but different this time
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2015, 10:42:10 AM »
Thanks for the blog Martyn, sounds like you are having 'our holiday' lol with the exception of the Blue Turtle addition that is! Glad ur both having a great time with plenty of room for chilling! Xx :)


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