Waiting Around!

We are in a hiatus at the moment as we are still waiting for our stuff to arrive from Turkey and we can’t go anywhere until it does! That is not to say we are in the least bit bored! Every day there are newspapers and a bewildering array of magazines, to read; plus the Times crossword, the Sudoko, the Killer Sudoku, the Times 2 crossword, the Polygon and the Codeword to do. All those who have lived in foreign parts will know this is bliss! I have also managed a four-day detox – very necessary after the excesses of the Gold Cup weekend! This was going to be a seven-day detox but I weakened when the wine was brought out for dinner on day five.

Clare is very busy writing up her thesis for her PhD and Suzi has departed these shores for Sotogrande in Spain, so it’s just as well there is plenty to do as we wait for the truck to arrive from Turkey. We also spoke to Jane (in South Africa) yesterday and she and her family are fine, so all is well with the world.

We seem to have miraculously missed all the rain that has fallen in recent days. Judging from the news reports, the west of the country has had a torrid time, but we have escaped. Some rain has fallen, but not in large quantities, and usually at night – just enough to test our new shed which fortunately managed to withstand the weather.


Polo Gold Cup, Cowdray Park


Veuve Clicquot Polo Gold Cup, Midhurst, England

We spent the last five days in Midhurst for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Gold Cup. David and I stayed at Loves Farm – a 17th century working farm - wonderfully clean and comfortable with excellent service and a typical farmhouse breakfast (definitely no need to eat lunch). I highly recommend staying there with John and Mally – the farmer and his wife – website www.lovesfarm.com check it out!

Suzi preparing her horses

Unfortunately Ellerston were beaten in the semi final on Thursday by Loro Piana, so everyone’s spirits were rather dampened when we went for the usual after-game drink at Steadham; although, this now meant that Suzi, Laura and Jamie could now frock-up for the final on Sunday. On Thursday evening we went to the Hamilton Arms at Steadham with Laura, her mum Sue, Jamie and Suzi for dinner. The Hamilton Arms is run by Thais and the food is excellent. I had the green curry – delicious!

On Friday, the Argentine grooms treated us to a lunchtime asado even though they were still down about losing the semi final! Clare joined us on Saturday and we went for drinks with some ex Zimbos living in Midhurst before going to Prezzo’s for dinner.

Smart Girls

Sunday was finals day for the Gold Cup and gave us all an opportunity to dress up. Fortunately, the weather was amazing and we didn't have rain all day. We began in the Ellerston hospitality tent – thank you Mandy – and then went to take our seats for the match. The finalists were Loro Piana and Lechuza Caracas. Such a strange match! Usually polo matches last about one and a half hours, this one lasted three hours!!

First Sebatian Merlos got knocked off his horse and Pelon took that opportunity to have his wrist attended to – he may have been injured in the first chukka. Pelon came back when Sebastian got back on his horse but he didn’t return after half time. Pelon (Loro Piana) was replaced by Pablo Huarechi.

In the fifth chukka, Pablo’s horse slipped and fell under Pite Merlos’s horse. Both horses tripped over and then scrambled up and galloped off down the field. Poor Pite broke his nose and had to be stitched up in the ambulance. Then a replacement had to be found. Unfortunately, the rules state that no one who has taken part in the contest is allowed to substitute and by then most players had left for other tournaments. They had to bend the rules to allow yet another Merlos brother to play, so Augustine appeared – in his jeans! (Not done in polo!) Play had just started again when Henry Fisher rode smack into the goal post and did a dramatic prat fall. Quite extraordinary!

The crowd didn't seem to mind all these delays as champagne corks were popping all over the stands and relays of pint glasses of Pimms helped keep us all in a merry mood. The upshot of the match was that Lechuza Caracas won by a goal and we all went back to Ellerston’s tent to continue the party. There was a match between young England and young Chile after the final, but unfortunately, after the three-hour marathon, there were few supporters.


First Stop Norwich.

The Bandstand at Hunstanton

Our flight to Schiphol was uneventful, although we were glad we had the foresight to have lunch at Istanbul Ataturk Airport before we left. Lunch on the plane was in one of the dreaded boxes, now standard fare on short flights. The box contained an unappetising cold pasta salad and some cheese and biscuits; we couldn't face the pasta, but the cheese and biscuits were palatable.

We had dinner at Schiphol, which was fine, except for the fact that the only place people are allowed to smoke is in the restaurants and bars. Not only that but the best seats are reserved for the smokers while the non-smokers are confined to a pokey corner (in which the smoke from the smokers is trapped) or directly above the bar wreathed in clouds of smoke that waft gently upwards, engulfing the abstainers! Why would anyone with a smattering of intelligence imagine that a suitable place for smokers is where people are trying to eat their food!

Flew on into Norwich airport on Friday evening to be picked up by Clare and the lovely Jessica. We were so grateful to be flying into Norwich rather than Heathrow. Norwich is so much more civilised!

David and Clare dismantled her old garden shed on Saturday and heaved everything into a skip while Jessica and I watched and played ball games in the garden. It’s great being a geriatric old granny; you’re not expected to do anything too strenuous!

On Sunday, we all went to Hunstanton to hear the Breckland Brass Band, in which Clare plays EЬ horn. It was a great venue and the afternoon turned out fine, despite the threatening rain in the morning. The bandstand is on the green overlooking the sea and the setting was perfect for a relaxing afternoon. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera, so no pictures this time, except for one of the Bandstand! (Just in case you are wondering where John was all this time, he was in London on a pediatric first aid course.)

Today, Monday, the new shed arrived and is being mantled ready for the arrival of all our kutundu. We downsized dramatically before we left Turkey, but still managed to end up with 42 boxes – goodness knows how!


Goodbye Turkey

A view down the Bosphorus

As many of you know, we have been in Turkey for six years. That's quite a long time for us to remain in one country! We have enjoyed being here and have made many friends, and, in one way, we will be sad to leave; but now it's time to move on!

Our plan is to visit as many friends and relatives as we can in the coming months, beginning with Clare, in Norwich, England, and Suzi, over there from Australia and temporarily in Midhurst for the polo season.

This blog is so that everyone can follow our journey from beginning to end (although, at the moment we are not quite sure where that end will be!). Our plan, at the moment, is to go to the UK, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand and then… who knows?

Although we are looking forward to our travels, we are sad to leave the wonderful people we met in Turkey – especially our very kind neighbours in Zekeriyakoy. I am sure we will be back one day, but for now it's, ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish!’

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I couldn't resist this one!