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Author Topic: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!  (Read 5402 times)

Offline Jann

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Please, please forgive me for being so terribly late in reporting back to you all with my thoughts and experience of our recent trip back to Kalkan after a 26 year absence.

Work has seriously impinged on my doing so, but having now been back in Old Blighty for just over a fortnight, it’s high time I made some contribution to all the wonderful holiday reports that have been posted, though please bear with me; I will have to share with you bit by bit. I’m also sure that my report will fail to be as extensive and entertaining, but I will try my utmost!

We were so looking forward to our return and started counting down the days the minute we had booked, way back in March.

There were some moments of trepidation too as we’d read and seen photos of the ‘village’ as it is today. We hoped it would still retain the same relaxed charm and picturesque, unspoilt beauty that it had been. We also hoped, maybe more so, that the villagers would still be as genuinely warm and lovely, that the food would still be to die for and that our daughter would have similar feeling to ourselves (who hadn’t even been a twinkle in our eyes then, and had been  bombarded with our old pics and recollections of the place since we had booked)!

The departure date arrived and very excitedly we set off to Birmingham for the airport. All went exceptionally smoothly and we arrived at Dalaman airport earlier than stated. Hurray! A good omen.

Blimey, oh Riley! The airport had hugely transformed from a very small military airport (“no photographs please”, 26 years ago, though I was naughty and did take a sneaky couple then), to a much larger, more usual airport that we tourists are familiar with. It did look as if it was still an ongoing process so no quite finished.

The owner of our property, Safa, in the Dere Complex at the very apex of the Old Town (still to be fathomed as to where it was by us at that point), had organised Enes to collect us. As we ventured out of the airport into waves of intense humidity (lovely, well, for me anyway), we noticed some café-type establishments and people hanging around casually.

In our day, the only thing hanging around then was arsenal perched on belts from uniformed Turks and rather scary machine guns, nestling comfortably (but a tad uncomfortably to us) beneath their elbows. That and the darkness, as we made our way to our minibus. (Midnight Express was ever present in our heads in 1987.)

This evening we walked towards our name placard held high by a lovely old gent from Enes and he ushered us to our taxi. Once inside, and pleasantly cooled by the air con, he produced three ice cold bottles of water from the glove compartment for the journey and some Turkish sweets. It was all looking wonderfully positive.

I will endeavour to continue further tomorrow. Sorry once again that I’m being slow. I intend to post up pics taken 26 years ago as well, which may/or may not be of interest to you, so you can see how we once viewed the ‘village’.

Until tomorrow. Have yourselves a good evening – what’s left of it.

And by the way, huge thanks to Antler (and everyone else for your fab holiday reports) Antler, the videos were wonderful to see and everyone’s descriptions transported me swiftly back there
That comment will already give you some indication of my conclusion to Kalkan as it is today.

To be continued …..

Jan  ;D

Linkback: https://www.enjoykalkan.com/forum/holiday-reports-and-reviews/12/twenty-six-years-absence-so-whats-a-fortnight-in-reporting-back/11605/

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 11:26:51 PM »
Oh Jann, I'd forgotten how bad Dalaman Airport used to be :)
When you said you hadn't been to Kalkan for 26 years, I sort of assumed you'd been back to Turkey via Dalaman.....wow, BIG difference for you then.
Really looking forward to hearing all about your stay when you get the time :)
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt :)

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 08:46:07 AM »
Hi Jann, looking forward to the rest of your reports and viewing your photos. I'm really interested in reading your thoughts on the difference between kalkan now and 26 years ago.  :)

Offline Jann

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 09:31:44 AM »
Good morning.

So I presume you experienced what Dalaman airport was like as a military airport too, K4eva? It certainly is a huge difference from the then to the now. It looks far more 'friendly' now, excepting the unfinished greyness of the concrete - if it is unfinished. Spotted some lovely planting areas as a work in progress so I can't imagine the concrete remaining as is.

I'm off to work shortly but will continue this evening. Will certainly let you know my thoughts on the difference, Lizilu.

Enjoy your Monday folks.

Offline MartynE

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 01:18:32 PM »
Good morning.

So I presume you experienced what Dalaman airport was like as a military airport too, K4eva? It certainly is a huge difference from the then to the now. It looks far more 'friendly' now, excepting the unfinished greyness of the concrete - if it is unfinished. Spotted some lovely planting areas as a work in progress so I can't imagine the concrete remaining as is.

I'm off to work shortly but will continue this evening. Will certainly let you know my thoughts on the difference, Lizilu.

Enjoy your Monday folks.

The "work in progress" has been just that for the last seven years or so since it opened..I don't think there is any more work planned... I think the airport designers went for the then-trendy "industrial chic" look.... ;)

Offline Blue Lizard

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 02:43:22 PM »
Yep..the ceiling certainly has that wood and concrete unfinished look...I noticed after fainting at the price of food and drink >:D
People Of Britain.. When your missus asks "Does my bum look big in this? Never say "Dunno your blocking the light."... just sayin ????

 ta ta for now
Lizard

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 03:15:21 PM »
Bits of that ceiling were dropping on our heads last Easter. We thought we all had dandruff but it seemed ok this summer!  ;D

Offline Jann

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 10:49:16 PM »
We set off from the airport on the last leg to Kalkan. I seem to recall the duration of journey took longer last time but that may well be that the roads then were not as developed? (And 26 years gone, had maybe faded in my memory).

Up and down, up and down, we drove on an undulating road (and at some speed too!) with the majestic Taurus mountains shadowing us all the way. Only wished it had been daylight to have seen the route. Still, it would be on our return.

As each bend was approached, we wondered if we were there yet. Finally as we swept around a corner, lights were twinkling above the road and way below in the valley. So this was Kalkan? Hubby and I were in some state of shock. We certainly knew it had grown but not quite as much as the sight we saw before us.

We were dropped off outside Safa apartment with Samet and his father warmly awaiting us. And into the apartment we stepped, which was lovely with beautiful limestone floors and everything we could possibly need. Our very comfortable home for the next 10 days. It was looking good, though we were still a tad unsure about the change we had just witnessed as we swept into the ‘village’. It was most certainly a town now.

I am going to attempt to upload the first couple of old photos and then I must get some zzzzs but I will try to continue tomorrow.

Sleep well.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 07:22:42 AM by Jann »

Offline Jann

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 11:16:25 PM »
Really must zip off to bed. Have posted 3 old Kalkan pics in the gallery. They are dreadful and very pixellated so I must rectify this. I tried - and tried - to upload themn as posts but was told the resolution was too big. Must sort tomorrow. Presume I can post more enlarged pics in the gallery? For now bed beckons. Sorry!

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2013, 11:37:40 PM »
Oh my goodness Jann! I'm waiting with bated breath for the next episode! I've just had a look at your pics. Where is the pirat hotel and the beach clubs and kalamar road? I have a similar photo as my cover picture on Facebook, taken from kaptan restaurant at sunset. I thought that was stunning but yours beats it hand down. How beautiful it was all those years ago, but how stunning it also is now too. Just so different. How I wish we could have experienced it all those years ago. We went to a little Greek island called Paros in the late 80's. it was fab! Very unspoilt but upmarket with gorgeous boutiques and a quaint Venetian harbour, windy cobbled streets etc. in 2006, we went to Naxos and the ferry (a fishing boat like on mamma Mia), stopped off at Paros en route to let the backpackers off. OMG, it had changed beyond recognition!! It was a sprawling resort which looked nothing like the quaint little village I remembered. I guess places evolve and move with the times. We've been coming to Kalkan now since 2009 and I can't say that we've noticed much difference in our 6 holidays, but I bet you have and I for one can't wait to read about it!  ;D
Ps I've just added the photo from kaptan to the gallery.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 11:47:03 PM by Lizilu20 »

Offline amber

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 05:34:38 AM »
I would love to hear what Kalkan was like 26 years ago!! Look forward to reading more of your reports.

Offline Jann

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 09:00:30 AM »
Safa apartment is situated at the very top right of the old town and just beneath the D400, so after a hurried and partial unpacking of cases and a quick freshen up, we were ready to venture into town. Hoping at this late hour to find a bite to eat and start our holiday in earnest, we set off in the direction of the sea.

Our daughter was very happy indeed. We too relaxed as we strolled downward through the steep narrow street. How pretty it appeared to be still. Although the town’s boundaries now stretched much farther and out along the hills of the bay, we were beginning to get excited to be back!

So far, I was delighted to see how carefully and tastefully the town had retained its character with its jutting out, rather Medieval wooden first floor balconies that we remembered from last time.

Approaching the end of the street, I had a déjà vu moment, and remarked that I felt pretty sure this was the very street and that the building on our left was the Patara Pension where we had last stayed. My husband thought it unlikely; all the streets were very similar. However, it turned out I was right. As we came out onto the flat, the front of the building looked very familiar, albeit more dressed up. A waiter, Yusuf, came towards us from a terraced restaurant out front and greeted us. During our conversation with him he confirmed that Korsan had indeed been Patara Pension.

We wandered on taking in the sights. How big and busy it had become but still it seemed to retain its charm. There were many more shops and restaurants; all rather classy we thought and forgive me for saying this, no evidence whatsoever of any yob element, thank goodness!   

Food! Being too wrapped up in our reminiscing, we needed to find somewhere to eat fast as it was approaching midnight. Many of the restaurants were closing or had already but we spotted that Alternatif still had a family at one of their tables. We asked if they could accommodate us and although the chef had effectively finished for the night, he was happy to cook for us. 

How lovely they were and how lovely too that the warmth and genuine hospitality they displayed was still present here. We had always held especially fond memories of the friendliness of the locals so it was good to see this hadn’t changed at all.

They were interested in our having revisited after a 26 year gap and the head waiter (can’t recall his name) was especially so. He told us that the town had rapidly expanded from 2010 when the government had relaxed the rules which made it easier for non Turks to buy land and property. We got the distinct impression (and from others later on) that they were concerned Kalkan would become too large and with it, potentially attract the wrong kind of tourist.

After a very tasty dinner later and at a very reasonable price, we said our goodnights and headed back to the apartment. Along the way, we saw a number of dogs, and stopped to stroke them. How nice too that they were all well nourished and healthy. We love woofahs do we!

A happy sleep beckoned on this first night back. We had arranged to meet with my girlfriend and her daughter at Fener next morning. They had already spent 12 days in Kalkan. She had remembered us visiting all those years ago and had decided to come and see it for herself. Hope she was as enamoured as we were becoming.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 09:03:39 AM by Jann »

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 10:04:36 AM »
great report Jann!
I'm fascinated by your recollections of Kalkan from a bygone age...and although we have a few members who have been coming to Kalkan for the past 25 years or more, you might be the first to return after such a long time.
Can't wait for your next installment.

Lizilu, I went to Paros in 1986 and totally loved the place too. I've never been back though because in those days I never went back to a place I'd already been....oh how that's changed!

Offline Babs

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2013, 10:32:49 AM »
Your old photos are really interesting Jann......Belgins Kitchen hasn't changed! I would have loved to have seen Kalkan all those years ago.....like many on here we went to Greek Islands, such as Kos and Alonisos but we are reluctant to go back as I'm sure they would be so different.

Offline Jann

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2013, 04:09:00 PM »
SORRY! 3 weeks have now passed since last we were sunning ourselves in Kalkan.

Back to it ... Awoke to our first full day in sunny Kalkan. Sauntered down to Fener to meet our girlfriend and daughter. How everything looked even bigger in the daylight. Seeing restaurant after bar, after restaurant lining the harbour seemed strange, though it was tasteful and not tacky at all. This was hugely different from how it had been: a rough stony road with very little there, except a café or two. Across the harbour then, large white boulders were still to complete the jetty. Today it is complete and prettified with vegetation, as you know.

Moved on to Seaport and had a delicious omelette with spinach and cheese. Then off to change some money and to buy some provisions at Yali. Winding up to the top of town, I tried to remember where ‘town had started’. It’s rather vague in my memory but I believe the edge of Kalkan was where the taxi rank is now (as it was then, though there were only ever a couple parked up on the side of the road by a tree. I don’t think there was much in the way of building beyond this.

Provisions purchased along with lots of fresh fruit and veg from the greengrocers and back to the apartment. Ambled back into town to Kleo’s Bar, armed with some old photos. Had a good lunch – pide, pizzas and salads, washed down with ice cold Efes. Our young waiter was intrigued by the fact that we visited Kalkan 26 years ago so out came the photos. He was fascinated and asked if he could take them to show the others. They pored over them pointing at them in animated discussion.

Durali came out to see us and seemed very happy to see the pics. He told us that the one of the two Ahmeds, who had served breakfast in Patara Pension, now worked for the council in a nearby town; the other lived in the UK with his English girlfriend. He also told us that our ‘adopted’ taxi driver had dived off a cliff into the sea a few years earlier and having hit his head, he is now wheelchair bound today. How terribly sad. I wish we’d had the opportunity to have seen him but we ran out of time. He was such an exceptionally kind and friendly man who even shone his car headlights at our table one night while we sat outside a restaurant when the power had failed!

I have a photo of a little local boy who would sit by us most days on the beach (which was smaller then and very basic). I was under the impression he and his friends were curious by our speaking another language. One day while I was snoozing, he nudged me and as I opened my eyes, there he was close up with his eyelids turned inside out. Cheeky boy! I was keen to find out whether he still lived in the village. He’d be about 34 years old now. We did think we’d found him when we went to Korsan Mezze the following night. Ramazan, a waiter there, had the same very dark looks and cheekiness about him and he said he used to turn his eyelids inside out and sit on the beach then but it wasn’t him – and neither could he recall who the boy in my photo was.

I’m rambling now (sorry) so I’ll try to condense. We spent the first afternoon on the beach and likely amused everyone by our struggles to get back onto it after dipping in the sea. The Olive Garden was booked for dinner with our friends. A beautiful setting with fab views over the town. How busy Kalkan was looking out across the rooftops, though it was very pretty with lights a-twinkling. I’m not enamoured by the laser beam however! Dinner was really good too.

2nd day, we met at the harbour to take a boat to either Mahal or Palm Beach Club. Realised very quickly that our very late night and thus very late start to the day meant they were both full so we took a boat to Patara Beach Club. It was fine though things went rapidly downhill during lunch there. Our daughter ordered veal and the rest of us ordered a variety of salads. The veal arrived looking distinctly un-veal-like; more beef but it was practically cremated and like a lump of leather so it was duly returned. Our salads arrived looking sad, limp and tired. The ingredients within were completely submerged in pools of oil. They’d obviously been sitting like this for some time. How difficult is it to knock up a salad?!  We politely complained and they were surprised by this?? After some persuasion, these meals were taken off the bill and we decided to leave the club there and then. How disappointing. Their prices were akin to The Olive Garden though the quality of Patara’s food was substandard. We never did manage to make it to Mahal or Palm Beach sadly, being very late to bed folk as we are.

A table had been booked at Korsan Mezze that evening and we had a fantastic paella there with a good bottle of wine overlooking the beach. I recognised Uluc, who owns Korsan, instantly. He ran a restaurant with his English girlfriend (now his wife), where Kleo’s is now. His father owned the Patara Pension.  Uluc and his girlfriend had taken us and 3 other couples out on his boat where they’d cooked the most delicious marinated lamb over a fire built on a beach. This meal is still vivid in my mind! Of course Uluc didn’t remember us but he was interested in seeing our pics. He asked if I could email them to him when we got home and kindly offered us free drinks up on the Fish Terrace. How weird it was to be up there once again where we’d spent mornings and evenings up there. It has changed though only slightly we thought.

Next day – Yildiz 2 boat trip with the lovely Osman, wife and daughters. Great day on board, snorkelling, sunbathing, mud caking and a delicious lunch to boot. How they earn a living charging so little for a whole day out, is beyond me!  Drinks at Kleo. Booked a table at Moussaka for the next evening and headed up to Hunkars. Sat on the street awaiting a table and were not disappointed by our ‘fast’ food dinner. Excellent and what a buzz in the place. Fruit buying followed before heading back ‘home’.

Next day – my birthday. A lounge by the pool day and lunch cooked and eaten then off to Moussaka. Another excellent dinner. Borek Mezze to start, followed by calamari and prawns for me, Sea Bass for hubby and Steak for the daughter. Drinks at Kleo’s where we met Durali’s English wife, Jill. Lovely couple.

Poolside again the next day. Dinner at Akin. Starters, Turkish meatballs with spinach and cheese, delish veg for me. OH had a type of casserole and daughter had sea bass with spinach on a bed of yummy mash. Very tasty, very cheap and great atmosphere with friendly waiters. Meandered down to the harbour. Chatted to silversmiths at jewellery stall and he even straightened my Masai bangle. Wandered in and out of various shops. Wonderful craftsmanship in these. I especially loved the beautifully etched metalwork, hand painted china, fabric boots and pashmina shop. Daughter by this stage had visited each and every bag shop in town! I was rather taken by them also while OH stood outside looking worried!  Booked a table at Small House for Tuesday and headed home.

Sunday at Kaputas. Still exactly the same: beautiful and fab warm, clear water. I suppose it was a little busier than before but a good day and the pancakes with parsley and cheese hit the spot. This wasn’t there 26 years ago, What a nice, happy, smiley family there were.

White Table for dinner that evening. Good quality burgers  and beautifully presented. Chatted with the owner. An interesting man. Think we put the world to rights that evening! Booked a trip to Saklikent Gorge for Wednesday through Define Tours and then homeward bound after a nightcap at Merkez.

Monday - Pool again with the odd nip out to the supermarket and Doy Doy for dinner. Love this restaurant and had a first class dinner there. Daughter exclaimed that her steak there was the ultimate best – even better than Gaucho in Manchester (where she’s at Uni).

Tuesday – Another pool day. We’re lounge lizards in the heat. Lunch prepped and cooked by me, as I love cooking, and especially the eating of it!

Small House - freshly cooked and simply presented fayre. We had mezze to start, lots of little bowls of surprises, and tasty too. I had been a tad disappointed that so far this trip, we had been given a plate of mixed mezze or just one type, instead of a series of small plates being served as is traditional. The fun was in not quite knowing what would be served up next. I guess they don’t have the time to do this today. Shrimp casserole then followed for me, Sea Bream for OH and Sea Bass for the daughter. We couldn’t reserve the balcony table. Apparently it was fully booked through September. Although there was aircon, it did feel a bit hot on and off in there (or maybe it’s my age!) but what a lovely atmosphere it was. Ergan was so friendly and very attentive, along with his lovely wife and family. We were the last in and the last to leave! We wrote a message on the wall as is customary and left feeling very full and happy.

We were now fully ensconced in Kalkan and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I know why you are all so in love with the place. We are following suit.

Will give your eyes a well deserved rest for now (if you’ve managed to get this far in this epic! Sorry again!) I will try determinedly not to ramble on and on for the next and last excerpt of this report, and conclude with what changes we’ve seen and our thoughts on them. Pics to follow as well, if I manage to to post unpixellated ones. A big thank you, Hobbo, for your advice on how I may do this.

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekends? Off to do the chores 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 04:30:21 PM by Jann »

Offline Jann

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2013, 04:17:11 PM »
Thanks Lizilu, K4eva, Amber and Babs.

Have never been to Paros but I had heard good things about it from friends, though this was a good few years ago now. Sad to hear how dramatically it has altered by your accounts.

We went to Corfu for many successive years. The place we visit is Aghios Stephanos (or San Stefano as the locals call it). It's on the NE coast of Corfu and is lovely. Although more villas have sprung up on the hills since we first went there, it is still quite beautiful and unspoilt and the village which, like Kalkan, though not quite as steep(!), still only has its 5 tavernas and a couple of shops. We know the locals very well too as it has a very intimate feel to it.

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2013, 04:52:16 PM »
What a fantastic report you have written Jann. I have really, really enjoyed reading it and worth the wait. Very much looking forward to the next!  ;D

Offline Bob & Jayne

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2013, 06:55:33 PM »
Yes Lizilu, definitely, what a fab fab report Jann, just sat down with glass of wine in hand, thinking of Kalkan, so logged on to EK, and thank you so much, now dreaming of next year!

Jayne

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: Twenty-six years absence, so what's a fortnight in reporting back!
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 05:31:47 PM »
Thoroughly enjoyed your last report, Jann.
Yigit, the owner of White Table is a very well read, intelligent man we love talking to him. His knowledge of British history is immense and after our first visit he went away and read up on Wales and when we returned later that year he knew more about it than most British people - we were so impressed. And the food is great!! I hope you tried their homemade cheescake and ice cream with Johnny Walker whiskey - Derman is an amazing baker.
So pleased after all this time you are falling in love again, with what is most definitely a very different Kalkan for you guys.
Can't wait to read your next report :)


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Re: Countdowns 2018 by Bob & Jayne
[October 13, 2019, 08:25:53 PM]


Re: Countdowns 2018 by Pompeyalbie
[October 13, 2019, 08:00:30 PM]


Re: Holiday Over for 2019 by cleworthallray
[October 08, 2019, 04:55:37 PM]


Re: Holiday Over for 2019 by NormskiD
[October 08, 2019, 02:55:16 PM]


Re: Holiday Over for 2019 by Kevin Norwich
[October 08, 2019, 06:46:25 AM]

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