Life, Interrupted

Gosh it’s been eons since I gave you guys a proper update of life here in Mersin.

Summer is upon us yet again and bloody hell it’s hotter than Satan’s asshole after a dodgy tantuni (my most recent Twitter post)! With things hotting up I intend to spend as little time as possible in front of the computer and as much time as possible at the beach… or in the pool. Yep, I live in a complex with a pool, and a beautiful garden, and 24-hour security… everything a girl could ask for… including an elevator (my knees are forever grateful!)!!

I am officially now a city girl and completely spoilt for choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give up my time in the Village for quids. It was always one hell of an adventure. But living in the Village permanently was hard work (which for those of you who have followed me since the beginning will know all about). My relationship with The Turk was never that strong to begin with, in fact one of the reasons we moved to Türkiye was because he was so miserable back in Sydney. Surely moving back to his homeland would make life better? Pfftt!

What I’ve now learned about The Turk is that he is a glass is always half empty kind of guy. He is a very good man who makes extremely bad decisions and will always put everyone else’s needs ahead of mine and Daughter’s. As time went on life just got harder. We spent little time together to begin with, as time passed little became practically none… and I realised that I didn’t really care. COVID struck with a vengeance, then the economic crisis, and we took hit after hit after hit. It was time for me to re-assess what I wanted to do with my life.

And while I didn’t want to leave Türkiye, I couldn’t continue to live in such a toxic environment. The backstabbing and bitchiness that would go on in the Village was astounding, and wayyy too much of it was directed at me. Every day there was yet another drama and, in the end, my mental health was becoming affected. I had to make a move.

Within a week of coming to my decision I had found an apartment to rent. It’s in an amazing part of the city, close to my favourite Migros and, even more importantly, my favourite restaurant!

It’s been 18 months now since I moved out of the Village and into the city and it has changed my life. Daughter is well on her way to finishing a communications degree and recently returned from Australia. I’ve written and published two more books (including a guidebook on Mersin… you can grab your copy here). I’m putting finishing touches to my next novel, Galata and Nutmeg as well as a contemporary fiction novel set in Mersin that has blown out into an epic saga is now on its second round of edits.

So if you’re looking for me I shall be by the pool… or maybe at the beach… or maybe, just maybe, having an extraordinarily large glass of red wine at my favourite restaurant (which is now stumbling distance from home).


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Meet Nancy Habbas

I met Nancy a few years ago when she first moved to Mersin. Nancy allowed me to join her on many photography expeditions around Mersin (and even further afoot), introducing me to places that I would probably have never found by myself. She is a well-renowned photographer, having taken part in photography exhibitions and festivals around Türkiye and internationally, with her most recent exhibition in Istanbul this month being a near sell-out!

One of the things I love about Nancy is her desire to get the best photo possible. She doesn’t hold back and will climb over rocks, wade through silt up to her knees or even dodge traffic to get the shot. For those of you who follow my Instagram stories you would have noticed a number of stories featuring Nancy and her crazy high-jinx’s as we travelled around Mersin taking photos and researching for the book.

These are a few of my favourite photos of her:

Sunrise at Kizkalesi. Beautiful, yeah? Gorgeous? Breathtaking?

Sunrise at Kizkalesi is all of those things and so much more. In an effort to get the photo for our cover Nancy climbed onto a long-abandoned dock resulting in her slipping in the pre-dawn light, nearly impaling herself on a metal pylon and looking like she had just done five rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson.

She also had quite a few encounters with the local dogs who were more than willing to model for her and a few even more curious four-legged friends who thought that she may or may not be available for, ahem, other things.

Nancy was never afraid to climb to the highest point of any sinkhole, ruin, mountain or cliff face dragging me kicking and screaming along for the ride!

And on-coming traffic is never really a concern… I mean they’ll stop, won’t they? Won’t they?

Mersin: All Over comes is available on Amazon on 1 June 2022. If you’re visiting Mersin, or just want to know more about the area you can pre-order your ebook here. Paperbacks will also be available on Amazon from 1 June 2022 and hopefully for those of you living in Türkiye I’ll have some available for you as well.


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Mersin: All Over

I know I’ve been threatening to do this for a while now but it looks like it’s really happening… Mersin: All Over is being formatted as we speak and will soon be live to purchase on Amazon, IBooks, Kobo, and many more!

If you’re thinking of visiting Mersin, or maybe, like me, you visited family each year and always found yourself wandering around aimlessly having no idea where to visit next, then this is for you:

MERSIN: ALL OVER

Written with 20 years of experience, expat Jane Gundogan, has assembled her knowledge, anecdotes and research into Mersin: All Over. This is the ultimate guide to uncovering the real story of this fascinating part of Türkiye. For the first time ever, this area is getting the recognition and resource it deserves, catering to a little of everything, from hidden castles to the author’s favourite restaurants. You’ll be surprised by what this often-overlooked part of the Mediterranean has to offer.

In Mersin: All Over you’ll visit the Big Five of Mersin including the incomparable Kizkalesi, historical Tarsus, the stunning dining experiences at Mersin Marina, the almost hidden Alahan Monastery, the recently-discovered Gildiere Caves and, of course, the unspoilt beaches of the Mediterranean coastline. This book will give you the inside information to discover little known places and the juicy stories behind them that bring the area to life.

Inspirational colour photography by the well-renowned photographer, Nancy Habbas, does more than just provide pictures of Mersin, her images prepare you for the beauty of what you will see. Mersin: All Over doesn’t stop at giving you helpful guides and information on places to avoid, it is also filled with hilarious anecdotes, and tips to fit everything into your day. Jane shares her expert advice for exploring the wonders of this little-known province so you can make the most of your time in Mersin.

Release date: 1 June 2022

Pre-order available soon.

And for those of you living in Türkiye I am currently in discussions with a Turkish publisher so you can buy direct at an excellent price (none of those pesky international postage charges that we all loathe).


Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like-minded people who, like you, want to know more about this beautiful area of Türkiye. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.