Bodrum blues

After a lovely 2 weeks with my hubby, Hasan, in Turkey I had a nightmare time at Bodrum Airport while checking in for my flight home. On the journey there Hasan and I were wondering if anything had changed at Bodrum airport as I hadn’t flown from there in a while and it wasn’t the prettiest place in the world the last time I was there.

So imagine our surprise when we got there and discovered the new international terminal, it was a vision of contempory design, gleaming and shining like a new penny. There were lots of airport staff milling around in smart new uniforms and all seemed well.

Or so I thought…….unfortunately a new terminal equalled new systems which didn’t seem to cope with large numbers of passengers. I arrived 10 minutes after the check in desk opened and there were 2 desks opened, there were about 30 other passengers left in the queues waiting to be checked in and there we stood for 1 and a half hours. While we stood going nowhere the gate opened and the plane began to board. One by one the desks were shutting down due to the systems giving up under the pressure and the staff flapped around worryingly.

Being Brits we remained patient for quite a while but as the time for take off was fast approaching tempers were starting to fray and it started to resemble a scene from ‘Airline’. Eventually with minutes to spare I was checked in and Hasan was ready to punch someone! I was angry because it was a stressful end to a wonderful time with Hasan. We couldn’t say goodbye properly because I had to do an olympic sprint through passport control and security. We not going to be together for 5 or 6 months and it would have been nice to have a better end to my visit.

Full steam ahead

While I was away in Turkey last week I received an email confirming that I had a place on the Return to Nurse Practice course, another email told me that there were 14 available funded places with over 20 people on the course. To be considered for the funded place I had to complete the QinetiQ Biographical assessment tool questionnaire, originally designed for pre registration students. I had 3 days to find somewhere to print it, fill it in, photograph it and email it back. It was a little bit of a challenge but it was worth it because when I got home I had another email telling me that I had a funded place. I am so chuffed as I would have really struggled to pay for it.

I’ve ordered my student uniform and sent off my photo, that makes be look like an axe murderer, for my student ID and now I feel like the course is officially on. I can’t wait to start although I am feeling very apprehensive, mainly because I haven’t worked as a nurse for over 6 years. I will have to work hard on pacing myself so that I don’t get completely exhausted.

But I’m excited too about this new phase in my life and I’m determined to succeed.


Pause for thought

I’m off to Turkey tonight to spend some time with my hubby, Hasan, before the season gets really busy for him and before I get stuck into the return to nursing course. This will probably be the last visit before the season ends in Turkey and I know it’s going to be so hard for us as it’ll be the longest we’ve been apart since we’ve known each other. But what will keep me going while I’m missing him is it’s all for the greater good. This is the plan we agreed to follow to ultimately make our lives better in the future and no matter how difficult it is for me to be away from him,  I must remember that.

I’m not going to be taking my laptop with me as there is nowhere safe to leave it in the hotel. So I won’t be writing any new posts while I’m away because my fingers are a bit too big to type out a complete post on my ipod touch! I am however taking my trusty notebook so I’ll be composing some stories to share when I get back to Blighty.

So goodbye for now to my loyal band of readers and I’ll see you in 2 weeks.


Carry on nursing

The month of May has been very busy for me so far. I have had 2 job interviews, the first was for the nurse bank at Weston General Hospital as a healthcare assistant at which I was successful. Alas the second one I wasn’t successful, it was for a community phlebotomist but they needed someone to work 5 mornings a week and none of the other candidates needed to job share. But it was worth going for the interview as it’s good practice for the future

Last week I went to the University of the West of England for a selection afternoon for the return to nurse practice course. We were an easy group to spot, all women around a similar age, barely there or subtle make up, smart casual clothes and looking extremely apprehensive about the next few hours. Reasons for letting our registrations lapse ranged from living/working out of the country, bringing up family and illness, although I was the only one playing the health card.

The course tutor went through all the details of the course, what we were letting ourselves into for 4 months and what we had to achieve at the end. We took in the details of the hours of practice expected, the huge book of competencies and the final assignment, but what was worrying all of us the most was the numeracy test. It looked horrific but it was only stuff that we learnt in school and calculations of medicines that we used to do on a daily basis when we worked in the past, but because of being out of practice it was scaring the living daylights out of us all! All I can say is I’ll be doing a lot of practice papers, maths was never my strongest subject.

We were all offered places on the course and despite feeling numb with fear at the thought of it, I am strangely looking forward to starting in the beginning of June. It’s an intense course particularly because I’ve done no study or work for a long time, I will really have to pace myself so I don’t overdo it and potentially make myself ill again. But I am staying positive that I can be successful in this next journey in my life.



Britain’s got talent

This year for the first time I’ve really got hooked on BGT. I’ve really enjoyed watching all the audition and there have been some really wacky ones as well as some very talented acts.

All this week I’ve been glued to the semi finals, not only to see which acts go through to the final on Saturday night, but also to watch Declan Connelly metamorphis into Aled Jones before our eyes……..what do you think??

How to talk Bristle

Thought I might carry on the language theme from the last post.

Although I grew up in Bristol I don’t really speak Bristolian. I speak with a West country accent and really pronounce my “R’s”. But occasionally the odd Bristolian saying will make it’s way into my vocabulary that will throw my hubby, Hasan, into complete confusion. So for this post I have delved into the fascinating world of talking bristle and chosen a few popular phrases that would be heard regularly on the 75 bus or on the streets of Bedminster, or Bemmie to us locals, and explain in plain English what they mean.

Ark at ee  He’s got a bit of a nerve saying that

Ow bist me babber  How are you today my dear?

Wer’s ee to  Pardon me could you tell me where he is?

Gert lush init  This is jolly nice

Cheers drive  I say bus driver thank you so much for that wonderful journey.

So if you are a stranger to Bristol and find yourself in this great city you will have some idea of what is being said to you and if you go on the bus don’t forget to thank the driver!

The things we say

One of the problems in a mixed cultural marriage is the differences in language. Even before I met Hasan, when holidaying in Turkey, I learnt a few Turkish phrases such as hello how are you?, yes/no and where is the toilet?. But when Hasan and I got together and later married the need to speak Turkish was more important to me as none of his family and very few of his friends spoke English. As anyone who is married to a Turkish man knows, I had very little help from Hasan so I attended quite a few Turkish lessons, but the best thing I got out of them was meeting some very good friends. So through my own research, perseverance, practice and support from friends in the same boat, I can now understand a lot of what is being said to me as long as it’s spoken clearly. I can now speak enough Turkish to get by in basic conversations, for shopping and out and about.

Luckily for me Hasan’s English is relatively good due to working in tourism for a number of years. But English is a tricky language to master completely with words with many meanings and different ways of saying the same thing. One of the things that usually foxes Hasan is my use of old English sayings, and I have to try and explain what they mean. There are many of them that are used regularly in our lovely language and I’ve just chosen a couple of them and their origins.

Daft as a brush: a nice way of saying someone is a bit silly.

There are 2 possible origins for this saying, the northern word for silly or stupid is soft and a foxes tail is known as a brush, so the original saying could have been soft as a brush. In the second one the brush refers to the chimney sweep boys who were repeatedly dropped on their heads when lowered down the chimney head first, making them a bit daft!

Between a rock and a hard place: no good alternatives in a situation.

This saying comes from Homers tale The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus has to choose a way to go between Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla is a monster on the cliffs, the rock, and Charybdis is a dangerous whirlpool, a hard place. Both were very difficult to overcome.

Hasan’s favourite English saying is “better than a slap in the face with a wet fish”, no need I think to explain that one!

Your chariot awaits

This holiday season my hubby, Hasan, will be working in a travel and car rental agency. He will be doing his best to convince as many tourists as possible that they cannot have a fantastic holiday without going on one or more of his trips. Of course they have heard it all before from many agents all desperate to sell as many trips as they can. Hasan has his work cut out but I have no doubt he will be excellent at it as he has the gift of the gab in abundance. But I thought I’d give him a little helping hand anyway by just writing this post about some of the trips he will be selling, and if anyone is holidaying in Icmeler or Marmaris this year maybe Hasan can help make that holiday a bit more exciting.

The Good day Tourism company offers the usual Turkish excursions such as jeep and horse safaris, Village life tours, Turkish nights and Turkish baths. The Marmaris area is so rich in interesting sights and holiday makers are spoilt for choice  for places to see and activities to do.

Here is a selection of the most popular:

The Dalyan tour includes a boat trip to see the Lycian Kings tombs, the turtle beach and ends with a wallow in the healing muds and a relax in the hot springs.

There are two water parks, Atlantis and Aqua Dream. nearby for all water babies young and old.

A boat trip going to Hisarönü to see the famous Kiz kumu.

The beautiful Gökova bay and the mountains is the place for rafting and diving adventures.

The Greek island of Rhodes is very near and there are daily boat trips. The boat gets into the harbour at 10.30 in the morning and leaves for Marmaris at 16.30, so the whole day is free for exploring the island. Rhodes town is considered to be one a the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean, it is made of two parts the old medieval town and the new city. The Palace of Grand Master and the Monastery of Fileromos are both medieval sites built by the Knights of St John and both were reconstructed in the 20th century. On the island there is another monastery, Panagia Tsambika, the icon inside is thought to have miracle working properties. For ancient history lovers there is the Lindos acropolis which dates back to the Hellenistic period of history, nearby is the natural harbour where St Paul took refuge in a storm in 58 AD and from then on Christianity was established on the island. The Valley of the butterflies is a must for nature lovers, it’s a green valley full of Plane trees and running water making it a haven for butterflies to breed.

From Gökova bay a 2 hour boat trip goes to Cleopatra’s Island, legend has it that the sand on the beach was imported from the Red sea by Mark Anthony for Cleopatra and it squeaks under every step due to the grain’s unique shape. The trip allows 3 hours of free time to explore the island, as well as the beautiful beach there is an ancient amphitheatre and fortifications.

For travellers who don’t mind a longer journey and perhaps an overnight stay there are excursions to Pamukkale near Denizli and Ephesus near Kusadasi. Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish and there is nowhere like it anywhere in the world. On top of a hill are pools of mineral deposits that can be paddled in, but a word of advice take great care as they can be very slippery under foot.  Very nearby is the ancient city of Hieropolis which in ancient Greek means ‘Sacred city’. In the sacred pool it’s possible to swim in the hot water along with ancient artifacts, the vapours from the water were thought to have come from Pluto the Greek god of the underworld. If swimming doesn’t appeal, feet can be dipped into the hot springs renowned for their healing properties. The city was established in the 4th century BC and is remarkably well preserved and has a very impressive amphitheatre.

Perhaps arguably the most famous and important ancient city in Turkey is Ephesus, situated between Selçuk  and Kuşadası this site is a must see for all visitors to the region. The site is crammed with very well preserved buildings, temples and roads and is well known for a great many things, here are a few; the first public toilets, the Library of Celsius, the huge amphitheatre and Cleopatra’s sister is said to be buried there. One of the seven wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis is very near in Selçuk behind the museum, but only one column remains. In 42 AD the Virgin Mary and St. John visited Ephesus and Mary then settled up in Mount Bulbul nearby, the house is still there and is visited by millions each year.

As well as selling all of these wonderful trips the other part of the business, Aktif Rent a car, does what it says in the title….rents out cars on a daily, weekly, monthly or long term basis. If that’s not enough they also ferry tired and excited holiday makers to and from Bodrum, Izmir, Dalaman and Antalya airports.

Situated on the only main road leading straight down to the beach, sandwiched between a bag shop and a Real Estate office on the right hand side the office cannot be missed. They are very well placed to do extremely well this season and I wish them all the luck in the world.