Just passing through

Another story from my recent visit to the Marmaris area of Turkey.

A lot of the time when visiting places of interest that we read about in brochures, we drive straight through other lovely places without stopping on the way. When we decided to visit the ancient site of Amos we also made a conscious decision to stop off at any little village or town that took our fancy. After travelling down a very steep and winding road through the Taurus mountains we came across the little seaside village of Turunç.  The area was a continuous settlement from Helen to Byzantine times and from then on it’s been inhabited by many living off the the sea and the abundance of natural resources such as wild herbs and agriculture.

Now it is a pretty holiday destination, boasting beautiful clear waters, apartment hotels and a small but perfectly formed beach. It is still a working fishing village and has a food market every Monday. Dotted around the mountains there are blue boxes everywhere collecting pollen to make pine honey that is sold locally.

Our next trip to the ancient site of Cnidos took us through the town of Datça, we stopped there on the way back home. The town itself is not much to write home about and if you woke up there after arriving on a night flight you would think the travel agency was having a laugh sending you there on holiday. But after walking around a bit more we discovered a pretty harbour, 3 small beaches with beautifully clear water and a cake shop that serves the most lovely carrot cake. The Datça area boasts 9 villages scattered around the peninsula with lots of little bays and coves. It is also possible to take a ferry to Bodrum and the Greek island of Rhodes from the harbour. On the outskirts of the town there are a collection of old windmills, most of them are derelict but a couple have been renovated to make very quirky houses.

Our last port of call didn’t involve a stop off on route to another place, it was my last but one day so we just wanted to go for a drive somewhere. On the map I spotted what looked like a beach called Amazon, we followed a long winding road and ended up eventually at nothing really but a couple of wooden boating platforms. So we carried on around a dirt track that ran along the coast until it ended at the most beautiful bay in the Gökova National Park. There can be found the Amazon Club, a costly but interesting holiday centre with the best private beach.

There is still so much to see in the area and I can’t wait to explore some more, I’m planning another trip to see my hubby in May before I get stuck into the return to nursing course.

You can check out my posts on Amos and Cnidos here, History galore and Cnidos or Knidos whatever you prefer

Best foot forward

At the age of 3, like many little girls, I started ballet class in the local church hall. At that age we didn’t do much more than skipping and galloping around the room. As I got older it got more serious, new ballet school and harder lessons, we did annual exams with the Royal Academy of Arts and 2 or 3 shows a year. Everything was going well until I had to give it all up due to a knee condition. I loved ballet, it was my life for 10 years and it was devastating when it ended as I had dreams of going to the Royal Ballet School.

Over the years I have found some adult ballet classes but they usually folded due to lack of interest. Dance is the only way I like to keep fit and in desperation I started going to line dancing lessons about 15 years ago. I went religiously every week and as a a group we even went on a few weekends away dedicated to line dance fun!

During my illness I haven’t been able to do any exercise as I suffered from post exertion malaise/fatigue. If I did anything remotely energetic, the next day I would be unable to move from my bed and all my worst CFS symptoms would be amplified.

So I was thrilled the weekend before last that I was able to do 4 line dances. I went back to visit my old group for a catch up and a gossip, I didn’t know any of the dances they were doing but my friend asked for 4 dances that I knew from the past. After dancing my legs felt like lead, but the next day I didn’t feel like I wanted to die and I was able to get out of my bed and move around normally. I was very tired by the afternoon though and needed a little nap.

Encouraged by this I have been on the hunt for another adult ballet class, if I take it very slowly and sit out when I need to I’m sure I can get my ballet groove back. Darcy Bussell I won’t be, but maybe a bit fitter.

To sleep perchance to dream

For anyone sleep is very important for well being, but in illness good therapeutic sleep is essential for recovery. The most common symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome,(CFS), are fatigue and sleepiness especially during the day. But despite seeming to sleep a lot , a sufferer of CFS does not get therapeutic sleep and can suffer from insomnia.

During my illness I have found the fatigue and sleep problems very distressing. When I was able, I did a lot of research into ways of improving sleep at night and manage my fatigue and sleepiness during the day. Also quite a few years before I became ill I did a short course at Bristol University on sleep and dreams as I needed the information for an assignment for a nursing course, and I also found the subject fascinating.

Using my own experiences and the knowledge I have gained through this research, I am attempting to write an ebook on managing sleep problems associated with CFS and dream interpretation. I’m not sure if it’s a symptom of CFS or not but I have had some pretty wacky dreams. I have a couple of books on dream analysis and am forever trying to find the meaning in the  sometimes weird dreams I have. Although they are not as weird as my friend Deb who lives next door, she has some real humdingers!

There are 2 dreams that I have had on a regular basis over a number of years and more frequently in the last 6 months or so. Firstly I dream about being pregnant, during the dream I feel pregnant and all that goes with it. I usually wake up just as I’m going into labour and when I wake up I feel very disappointed when I discover I’m not pregnant. The other dream usually involves me looking for a toilet to use and I can’t seem to find a nice private one to use and end up in a grotty communal loo with no doors.

According to my books the toilet dream means I’m uncertain about my future and the outcome to a particular situation. The pregnancy dream suggests a fairly protracted waiting period for something or completion of a project.

When we sleep our subconscious mind tries to make sense of what we have been doing and thinking consciously during the day. So my strange dreams are reflecting what is going on in my life at the moment, trying to get back to work and normal life and being impatient about it.

Out for a duck

My relationship with anything to do with skittles started in the 1990’s when I sometimes played 10 pin bowling. I was truly terrible at it and whoever I was playing with would be very relieved when they saw me coming as they knew they wouldn’t be getting the lowest score.

In the last few years I have been a reserve in a skittle team, occasionally I am asked to play when there is absolutely no one else available, because quite simply I am the worst player in the world. So when I was asked to make up the team for a weekend shoot out, I knew they were very desperate.

We went to the Pentire Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, which is situated right next to Fistral beach and I had the loveliest view of it from my bedroom window. As far as I was concerned, due to my lack of skittle playing skills, I was only there for a nice weekend with a lovely bunch of people.

So imagine my surprise when in the first game on Friday night I get the highest score!, it must have been a complete fluke as my form was not as good in the next 2 games. But that didn’t matter because as the highest scorer from my team, along with the next highest scorer (Iris), played in the super team playoff. This is where 2 teams are made up from the teams who didn’t make the final top 4 team playoff. It was an incredibly closely fought game, but our team won by 8 points and I have a medal to prove it.

So the moral of the story is to just go for it and hope for the best.

We all had a great time, I found it very exhausting but worth the effort and I’m glad I went.

Heal Thyself

This week I had my appointment with my Homeopathic consultant. I have been seeing her for about 5 years to try and control my symptoms.

Homeopathy dates back to Hippocrates, 460 – 377 BC, but used in it’s current form for the last 200 years. The term associated with it is “treating like with like” which means taking a substance that in large doses causes symptoms and using it in small doses to treat those symptoms. Homeopaths use a holistic approach to treat using remedies that can be fluid, tablet or powder based derived from chemical, animal, plant or mineral sources. Homeopathy has had mixed reviews from the conventional medical profession, recently stating that it had little or no effect on well being.

While being assessed by a homeopath expect to be questioned about past childhood experiences, past medical conditions, dreams, feelings, fears, personality, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses. If pain is a problem be prepared to describe that pain in great detail and how it makes you feel. All of this helps the homeopath to work out what makes you tick, how you respond to life and illness, what your character is like and what drives you, then prescribe the most appropriate remedy. This treatment requires frequent follow ups to keep tweaking the doses and remedies.

I suffered from many symptoms associated with CFS, but the most persistent and the ones that troubled me the most were severe head and eye pain, fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive problems such as forgetfulness, poor concentration, forgetting words, getting words wrong and mixed up and forgetting what I was saying halfway through a sentence.

After 5 years of intense questioning, soul searching, dream recording and remedy testing I think we’ve finally cracked it. I think it’s been a combination of factors that has helped me recover from my illness and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I started feeling much better when my last remedy was changed to a new one. I don’t care what the Lancet says about homeopathy not working, I believe it worked for me  and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with this cruel condition.

But one piece of advice start recording your dreams!

Wild Wild South West

My brother’s mother in law has a caravan in Bigbury on Sea in Devon. So every chance he gets he packs up the car and the family and heads down there, a lot of the time taking our mum with him. So not to be left out I felt it was time to go and see what all the fuss was about.

Once we’d got off the M5 and A38 we drove through the lovely villages of Modbury, Ringmore and St Ann’s Chapel which had the most prettiest thatched cottages and narrow winding streets. The holiday park couldn’t have been in a better position a few steps away from a beautiful, sandy beach.

Just over the hill, or a walk  around the bay if the tide is out, is Burgh Island where the elegant Art Deco hotel sits. The Burgh Island Hotel was built in 1929 and boasts many famous guests including Edward and Mrs Simpson,  Noel Coward and Agatha Christie. The Hercule Poirot mystery “Evil under the sun” was filmed on the island and in the hotel. When the tide is out it is possible to walk over to the island, but the only way across at high tide is the sea tractor. Although it was quite a steep hill I managed it at a very slow pace so I could take a closer look and it was definitely worth the effort, the views were outstanding and breathtaking.

The worst thing about staying on a holiday park is the evening entertainment at the park’s club. But we had to go because my nieces were all dressed up in their fancy dress finery for the competition, Rapunzel and Dorothy, (Wizard of Oz), respectively. Thanks to the combined big mouths of their grown ups they managed to get to the final 4 via the cheer o’meter, sadly they didn’t win but they looked fabulous anyway. That was the only high point of the evening, from that moment on it slid into holiday camp entertainment hell.

Day 2 of our visit was a trip to Dartmouth, I’ve been there quite a few times when my boys were young because they were obsessed with the steam train that took us there. The place really hasn’t changed much over the years, but I had the tastiest chips I’ve eaten in a long time for lunch. After a potter around the many little gift shops we headed back to the caravan before the rain set in.

Although it was only an overnight visit this time, we got a lot done and had a wonderful time in a lovely part of the country.

Reasons to be cheerful

One of the books on positive thinking I read suggested creating a board to pin on my goals and wishes and things that I am thankful for in my life. So I bought a cheap cork board and used some pretty fabric and ribbons I had lying around to cover it. I pinned on what I needed to and put it in a room where I could read it everyday.

6 months later most of my goals and wishes have been met; I am feeling much better now since my illness, I am a writer,( albeit just a blog but writing I am), I am much happier, I am almost working again and Hasan’s work is going well. All that’s left is for me to come into a large amount of money and it’s job done!

So I’m now planning my next board with a new set of goals and wishes, my things to be thankful for remain the same; the love and support of my sons, family, friends and Hasan.

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