This Post Will Self-Destruct in 5, 4, 3, …

The year is almost over, and this funk I’ve been in, this fog, is finally lifting.  It’s almost incomprehensible that 2017 is taking its final breath and tomorrow will be the first day of another new year.  I guess I will wake tomorrow with the usual worries that affect us all – family, health, love, money, yada yada – but I am going to try to not let those little things send me spiralling into a depression abyss of no return.


I think for the whole 2017 has been a bit of a shit-storm but I’ve already lost friends this year for voicing my opinion over various subjects so instead, I shall reflect on the year of that was and its effect on me personally.

I have met some wonderful new people (and a few nutters) this past year and, thanks to my high school reunion (which I did not attend as I happen to live 14,351km away, although was Facetimed into – and yet somehow still found myself spending an extraordinary amount of time gossiping about so and so in the toilets!), I also got to reconnect with people that I hadn’t spoken to since I unceremoniously left those not so hallowed halls many moons ago.

January was spent with Daughter in London where along with a butt-load of bacon being consumed I got to catch up with one of my dearest friends (I have been told I can no longer say ‘oldest friend’).  A special shout out to her for putting up with me through my tears (I was still recuperating from my knee surgery and a bit of a Negative Nelly during my visit), but it was wonderful to spend time with her and her family again.  I also travelled to my happy place, aka Australia, in June and spent desperately needed time with my family and friends there.  There was another quick trip to Bali where a lot of silliness ensued and I finished off my travels this year with a thumping good concert in Germany.


On the writing front, I know I have been slack with my blogging and thank you all for regularly reminding me to get back to work but my general slackness was for a very good reason and that reason is *drumroll* I have finally completed the first draft of my novel (truth be told its probably my 20th draft but it is done either way).  I have sent it off to a few publishers but all that rejection is quite disheartening and it certainly taps into my already dark funk, however, I did get a little realistic feedback from a few of them which has bolstered my resolve to see my book one day get published.  Right now, it is being Beta-read (a new concept to me) for detailed feedback on plot, characters, clarity and pacing.  Shall I tell you the name?  Okay.  Here goes.  “Salep and Ginger”.  Yes, it is set in Turkey.  Yes, it is a romance and yes, it is kind of sexy, in fact, one editor suggested to me that perhaps there was a little too much sex (although no neckties were injured in the writing of this novel).  Anyway, that’s all I can say for now.  The whole thing is nerve-wracking, but the end result means I might get to publish my book.  Imagine that?  Me?  A published author!  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet.  Chill Janey!

This year also gave me the opportunity to visit places in Mersin that I hadn’t visited before.  A few highlights were visiting tiny villages in the Toros Mountains, exploring the monastery in Müt, peeing my pants in Kozan (maybe that wasn’t such a highlight) and even a visit to the ruins in Uzuncaburç (which I will get around to writing) as well as repeated trips to Kiz Kalesi and lazing the extended summer on practically deserted beaches.  I had become a lazy expat, not exploring the beauty that surrounds me.  I promise that 2018 will bring a lot more adventures in my adopted country.

sunflowers 1

On the home front, The Turk and I still quarrel constantly.  We slam doors on each other and vow to divorce at the earliest opportunity, but we soldier on – because that’s just how we are.  Daughter is over both of us and it is clear that I have lost whatever parenting mojo I actually once had.   She no longer buys into any of my shite and is way too busy socialising to remember that The Turk and I actually exist (other than to open our wallets or to drive her to some very important event).  I guess I was the same at her age (and again I should be very thankful that she is growing up here where morals are imbued into these kids at a very young age) but I am hoping that 2018 will bring her a little more confidence in herself and help her strive to reach her goals (whatever they may be).

I won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions again this year, and I’m good with that.  I will try and be a little healthier, but I don’t really need resolve to do it.  I did buy a treadmill and I used it for a good few weeks before it started to collect dust (not true).  I am, however, putting My Evil Cat on a diet.  She is a binge-eater and, despite the fact that she now has only 3 teeth, she still has managed to put on weight.  Now that I think about it My Evil Cat and I are very similar ladies (although I do still have all my teeth) so perhaps we shall become diet buddies in 2018 (that won’t happen either).


For those of you who read my very first post knows that I don’t love New Year’s Eve (in fact I also talk about it in my novel – Salep and Ginger – hopefully to be found in good bookstores just in time for summer – hello free advertising on my blog page) and the probability is very high that I won’t be going anywhere tonight.  I am good with that, but I do want to thank all of you for hanging around and reading JaneyinMersin.  It really does mean the world to me and to all of you I say this – no matter how shitty 2017 may have been, you survived it. Internet fist bump for you.

That’s me done for the year… there’s a glass of red calling my name soo Happy New Year and to 2018 I say this – bring it!


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My Mautaugh Realisation

Does anyone remember that episode of “How I Met Your Mother” when Ted made a list of all the things that he and his friends were all too old to do?  Barney then ran out to prove Ted wrong putting himself through absolute misery only to be forced to accept the final reality that he is growing older.  Yep I am Barney.  I am Mautaugh.  I am me.


Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am not a big fan of New Years Eve.  Highly overrated.  In fact my very first post all the way back here was about how my New Years Eve blew bat balls but that particular NYE brought me to Turkey and to my new life.  A  dramatic story.  This one – not so much.

We need to rewind a few weeks to really gain insight as to how My Mautaugh Realisation came into being.  We begin at an expat Christmas party where a party person (who shall remain nameless) told me I looked pretty good for 49!  What.  The.  Royal.  Feck!?!?!  Being full of the holiday spirit (which is pretty hard to locate in Mersin) I chose to take this backhanded compliment (was it a compliment?) with a grain of salt and party on regardless of my obviously (to everyone but me) aging and decrepit self.

Then last week I was on a dolmuş when an older lady (shall we say slightly older than me) offered me her seat.  This in itself is unusual as it is normally only boys or men that stand to offer a seat however in this instance she called me yenge (aunt).  Are.  You.  Shitting.  Me?!?!  Biytch you look more haggard that I have ever looked.  Please!

Which brings us to yesterday.  New Years Eve.  It started well.  I got interviewed by the local television station as an expat and what it was like to be in Mersin for New Years Eve.  I had lunch in my favourite café at Ataturk Park and it was playing all my favourite tunes.  From INXS to Rick Astley it was an actual dance party and I was loving life.  Then … I went to the hairdresser.

In Turkey you can go for a wash and style or blow dry for next to nix.  In fact 8TL or AU$4.00.  See – next to nix.  Anyway while there my usual hairdresser told me that she was going to curl my hair as it is way too thin to blow straight.  Excuse me?  She then handed me a little ball of my hair as a gift.  O.M.F.G!  What is going on?  First I am aged to 49, then suddenly I am a yengi to a haggard beast of a woman and now my hair is falling out like my grandmother (no I am not going to mention Daughter’s Alopecia although she took great pleasure in bringing it up and offering me her hair tonic) this morning.

Like my hair my good mood gurgled down the drain and I started my New Years Eve celebration slightly dark.  Arriving at our destination I perked up considerably (although when I found how much I was paying for a bottle of wine I felt slightly violated).  By midnight I had danced until I just could not dance any more.  I learned that he (or she) who holds the hankie wields a lot of power on the dance floor of a Turkish restaurant.  I drank more Raki than a sensible person should although I still detest the taste of Raki and finally I found myself running through a portakal grove throwing oranges at strangers while watching fireworks as the New Year rolled in.  By 2am I was knackered only to find out that there were no more dolmus and no taksiler to be found.  So no bus and no taxi.  Now what?  Hitchhike?  With my 12 year old?  No I had to wait for my brother in law (who was with the band) and so I found myself being the last people to leave the lokanta at 3.45 this morning – not bad for an apparent 49 year old!

I woke this morning covered in huge bruises (no doubt from an orange pummelling), a broken heel, makeup running down my face and not much memory of how I actually got home.  At that moment … I had … My Mautaugh Realisation.

I am definitely getting too old for this shit!

Herkesin yeni yıl kutlu olsun.  Happy New Year everyone.

You’re Moving Where???

I have always detested New Years Eve.  There is such high expectation to revel with other revelers, rejoice in your tomfoolery and have oodles of casual sex as we come together as one to countdown and celebrate a new beginning.  Blah!  Yet every year I would dress up in my finery ready to revel, indulge and make general whoopee  when in fact I would rather be on my couch eating pizza and chatting to my cat about our plans for the coming year (and there would be some epic adventures involved).


“It’s going to be the best night of your life”, THEY say.  Well who the feck are they because I have always found New Years Eve to be the suckiest night of the year.  Is “suckiest” a word?  If not, it should be.  New Years Eve always sucks balls! And New Years Eve 1999 proved to be exactly the same.

That fateful evening as we held our breath for the Y2K bug to implode our world and as Jennifer Lopez was Waiting for Tonight I was, yet again, breaking up with my “Mr Mediocre”.  Yes I am stealing the idea from S&TC but I think in this case the name given to my ex is insightful and, well, he really was  mediocre at everything that he did (nudge, nudge).  It is clear to me, probably also to you and almost certainly to a psychologist, that I still have some unresolved issues with him but Mr Mediocre is mentioned only briefly so I will now move on with the story.


Anyway, Mr Mediocre had succeeded in letting me down for the tenth New Year in a row and I found myself sitting harbour side watching the Sydney fireworks alone – again.  Around me merry people applauded the year that had ended and rejoiced with their lovers celebrating the celebration of a new millennium.  A New Millennium!  It was kind of significant wasn’t it?  2000 years ago – or thereabouts – “a child was born”.  Obviously many children were born but this one was kind of important.  As I sat drowning my sorrows I decided that I needed to reconsider precisely what I was doing with my life as, after all, not only did I have issues regarding my relationships, I also was turning the dreaded 30 in eight days time.  Crap!

Within days I had rebounded into Mr Mediocre’s arms (like I said – issues) but had also made the fateful decision to embark on the holiday of a lifetime to find myself.  Perhaps have an epiphany that would change my life forever.  This holiday was going to be outstanding too as I had incorporated good friends with amazing destinations from the birthplace of the abovementioned significant child, camel riding to the Pyramids of Giza and a trip to Petra to re-live the final scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Yes, I know that scene rocked!

Shortly before flying out my girlfriend rang from Londra and suggested a side trip to Türkiye – a chance to unwind.  “An excellent suggestion.” said I.  And by the time I arrived in Türkiye to meet my girlfriend those two weeks would be well earned as I was mentally and physically exhausted from the hieroglyphics and the craziness and the heat and well, I just needed to re-boot my system.Image

On our first night in Türkiye I met who I will forevermore call The Turk.  He suggested that we spend the day on his sailing boat.  He said that we would have a great laugh and enjoy good food and have a wonderful time swimming in the blue sea.  He promised us a day to remember.  Cheesy eh?

Well as cheesy as it was we did spent the next day enjoying his food and laughing out loud at his silly jokes.  We enjoyed swimming in the sea and it was indeed very blue, almost turquoise!  Upon arriving back to the jetty The Turk suggested meeting up again in the evening for drinks however as we had both had too much sunshine and perhaps a few too many beverages throughout the day my girlfriend and I fell asleep in our hotel room before the sun had even set over Bodrum Kalesi.  I didn’t see The Turk again before I left and frankly, didn’t really think about him either.  He was merely an anecdote when recalling my adventure to others.  (I know that my girlfriend will no doubt recall this day quite differently but I don’t really want you all to hate The Turk before you get to know him so this is the story I am going to stick to).

I returned to Sydney in time for the 2000 Olympics and then it was New Years Eve again.  A full year!  Had I grown?  Had I learnt anything?  Did my life have new meaning?  Not really but I did, finally, end it with Mr Mediocre having finally realised that he would never mature into the man that I deserved.

Fast forward to June 2001 and I find myself with friends ready to indulge in the delight that is Türkiye once again.  Walking down the caddesi on my first night I bump into – wait for it – The Turk.  Kismet?  Destiny?  Inevitability?

Well whatever it is I now find myself married to The Turk and we have been blessed with our one little darling, my baby, the ever wonderful, always beautiful, Daughter (who is currently morphing into an obstinate teenager) and we are ready for a new adventure.

Today surrounded by boxes we are preparing for the biggest move of our lives from Sydney, Australia to a small village on the outskirts of Mersin in Türkiye.  I don’t know how long we are going to last – could be 3 months or it could be forever.  Whatever happens I will keep you updated with my witty banter and hopefully not too much twaddle.


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