Dog Tired

Growing up in a very small family we did not have the social interaction that I have now in Turkey.  There was just me, my brother, my Mum and Dad.  Just the four of us.  On occasion we socialised with our neighbours or with a few close family friends but the constant of social activity just did not exist in my world.  Even as an adult I still lived by that creed.  I would socialise with my family, my neighbours or a few close family friends.  

Now I find myself in what could possibly be described as a nightmare.  A never ending party.  Do not get me wrong – I love a good party.  I love a night out.  I love going to my friend’s house or to a neighbour’s house for dinner but I also need time for me.  Oh and I need to sleep too.


No one ever seems to sleep here.  They are up at the crack of dawn (which suits me as I am usually up very early too – residual from my time working in a law firm) but as I get up early I like to retire early.  I like to watch a show, read a good book and then lights out by 10.  Some would call me “dull”.  I call myself “sensible”.  Your body needs a good 8 hours sleep after all.

With Seker Bayrami in full swing the last few days has been filled with social activity.  I have been to parties, visiting family, visiting friends, visiting cemeteries.  I have been to BBQ’s.  I have been to the beach.  Two restaurants and even a club.  I find myself going out for ice cream each night (but not before midnight) and I have not gone to bed before 3 or 4 am.  

This is not me.  I don’t know who this is but it is definitely not me.  I am shattered.  Dog tired.  I need some quiet time and I look around me at these happy, smiling faces and ask myself, “How on earth do these people keep doing this day after day after day?”  In particular the kids.  None of them go to bed before midnight.  Young or old they all stay up until whenever and run around in the darkness.  Daughter looks like hell.  Honestly.  Her and her cousins stay up all night watching movies, giggling and gossiping.  She just left now on her bike to go to a friend’s house.  She was in tears.  She was Miss Cranky Pants.  She will not admit to being tired but she is.  She stubbornly won’t listen to me or to The Turk and she pushes herself to keep up with everyone but I can see the outcome.  She is going to crash and burn.  Probably soon and I don’t think I want to be around when Daughter has her meltdown.  

I can hear The Turk talking with his sister downstairs.  They want to walk to their Aunt’s house for cay.  Yes!  Go.  Take your time.  Stay all afternoon if you like for I am going to sleep.



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The most important event that took place in Turkey this past weekend was Daughter’s birthday party.  Her birthday is not actually until next week but as we will be in Sydney it was imperative that we threw her “the party of the season” before we left.

Alright I can do this, after all I have thrown 11 other birthdays for her so one in the Village can’t be that different.  I did, however, give myself a sneaky lesson in Turkish birthday etiquette while recently attending her cousins 10th birthday.  It is clear that birthdays are not huge events here even though Daughter considers it should be “the party of the season”.  Here in the village a birthday is celebrated with family, a cake and maybe a few balloons.  Easy.

Sunday morning I was up early cleaning the house.  Daughter had had a sleepover the night before and they attempted an all-nighter so she was as grumpy as a toothless troll in the morning.  I threw her in the shower to wake her up and sent the girls downstairs for breakfast (there were kids everywhere on Sunday morning so I took advantage of my sister in law who had arrived from Adana the day before to feed the masses).

The Turk and I left to get the cake and a few last minute items and when we returned less than 15 minutes before the party was due to begin we arrived to find Daughter had turned our living room into a balloon pool.  She had blown up every single balloon in my “Mega-bag” of balloons that I recently purchased at Metro for the bargain basement  price of 10TL.  That means close to 200 balloons were blown up.  It was crazy.  There was also music blasting, the Wii was set up and the piñata that I had put away (as I considered that it fell under the heading of “ostentatious”) was now hanging in the garden downstairs.

Cousins arrived.  Friends arrived.  More friends arrived.  Chaos ensued.  Music blasted (I think I heard Adriana Grande’s hit “Problem” about 20 times).  Cake was eaten.  Pinata was destroyed.  Balloons were popped (and one eaten by My Hurley Dog).

Here are a few snaps from the party.  If you are wondering the significance of the “A” it is a reference to Daughter’s favourite television show, “Pretty Little Liars”.  Only 3 days until the Season premiere people – I know this as Daughter has been counting it down for weeks now.  Will we find out who “A” is?  Only time will tell.

birthday collage

Was this considered the “party of the season”?  Yes, yes it was.  I have also fallen into the category of “Coolest Mum Ever” with Daughter’s friends which sits well with me because it is true!


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I am officially a rock star!

Those of you who know me know that if I have had a few glasses of red wine I morph from mild mannered (scoff) Janey into a Madonna-esque power ballad diva.  I love nothing more than I sing very badly at the top of my husky (read that as croaky) voice.  I want you to know that I do not sing like Madonna, or Beyonce or anything in between.  I sound like someone has dropped spoons down a garbage disposal or maybe Axl Rose on crack (isn’t he always on crack?).  Regardless with a few glasses of red under my belt I really don’t give a feck.


Saturday night Daughter and I went out to dinner with Capt Awesome, his girlfriend, his brother Vito Jr and Mrs Vito.  Yes Switzerland is working on bringing the family together and it seems to be working.  Incidentally and also with a few wines under my belt I announced at dinner that Capt Awesome should be re-named Prince William with Vito Jr being Prince Harry.  William, the sensible one, the one to carry the family to glory and Harry drinking raki and preparing for a huge piss up.  At this point Capt Awesome’s girlfriend pipes up, “Well that makes me Princess Kate.”  Good on her for keeping up with the international news I say!  Anyway I will dwell on re-naming the family later, back to the story.

The night started sedately enough.  A great dinner, a couple of glasses of wine poured by a waiter who really should know not to fill a beer glass with wine – it tends to make the customer tipsy or in my case pissed as a fart.

After dinner it was decided that we should go to Pozcu to a few bars.  Ummm?  OK??  We wandered down the waterfront before we found a likely looking bar.  It was packed with young, attractive Turkish people . . . and me.  I really am too old for this shit.  I had another glass of wine (this time a more sensible sized glass was provided but unfortunately the damage was already done and I was smashed).

Daughter spotted a karaoke machine on the small stage.  She started jumping up and down although I know she would never, ever hop on stage and sing anything.  Within minutes the first singer jumped up and started the night off with a rendition of “Let It Go” in Turkish.  How many times do I have to hear that song?  How many times do I have to watch that movie?  Damn you Disney, I am in a bar in Turkey for goodness sake!

Next came a young Turkish girl who sang a Turkish tune.  She was out of tune, everyone clapped along and gave her the confidence she needed and she finally made it to the end giggling all the while.

Princess Kate got up with William and they sang a love song of unknown origin (am guessing it’s Turkish).  Ahh, the romance.  Ahh, the look of love in their eyes.  Ahh, “Get a room”!

The night continued with a few more drinks.  Daughter was dancing on the dance floor having a great time (yes kids are allowed in the clubs if they are with their guardian) and then I had an idea.  I had a plan.  I got up.  And.  I.  Sang.

“Like a Prayer”.

It was bad.  It was deplorable.  It was not filmed thank God.

The whole place went wild as I was singing in English.  They sang along with me.  There was cheering.  I felt like I was Madonna.  I even did a few vogue moves.  I am beyond embarrassed.  Daughter was beyond mortified.  William and Kate were dancing along.  Maybe I AM Madonna?  I am not sure where Harry disappeared too – we lost him along the way and Mrs Vito remained seated watching and no doubt analysing my behaviour to discuss later with others.

Daughter has made me promise that I will never, ever do that again.  A cross your heart, hope to die promise.  Being in another country tends to allow you certain freedoms, allows you the liberty of doing something I would never, ever contemplate doing back in Australia.

I also will never drink again.  OK, look that last bit was a lie.  I think we all know it was a lie.  I am sorry for lying.