Haircuts for the Girls!

Both Jessica and Shannon have had their hair cut recently and I think that both of them look very cute!


The New Member of Our Family

We welcome Katelyn Marie to our family. She was born on 24th July 2009 weighing 3.27kg. Congratulations, and love, to Suzi and Neil (and, of course, Katelyn). xxx

Katelyn on her very first day. Just look how alert she is!

Elizabeth Coughlan


Wayne and Raewyn's Visit to Istanbul

Raewyn, Wayne and David resting on the sea wall, with the Prince's Islands in the background

We had a wonderful few days catching up with our friends, Wayne and Raewyn from New Zealand. They used to teach in Turkey, that is how we first met them. We have seen them since they left Turkey as we travelled around the coast of South Island, New Zealand with them, when we took our geriatric gap year, and stayed in their home.

Raewyn, Wayne and David in the fitness park.

While they were here, we caught up with all their news and they got to visit some of the Turksh teachers they worked with when they lived here. We all agreed on two things: we wish that Avis and Brian had been here to share it with us, and we must meet again in the not-too-far distant future.

Raewyn by the flowers seller's stall in Bagdad Street.

In our favourite restaurant, Cafe Cadde.
One of our favourite waiters managed to get in on the act!

Elizabeth Coughlan


What to Pack for a Vacation

If you have been keeping up with my movements around the world, you will realise that I must have become expert at packing. I think that I have, at last, perfected the art of packing and regularly manage to get by with only 18kg of luggage and a handbag (although it must be said that it is rather a large handbag). If you are going away and want to know how and what I pack for a vacation, please read on. My article has also been used here.

What you pack for your vacation depends on your destination. Are you going to enjoy fun in the sun, traveling to the Antarctic or going somewhere temperate? Wherever your destination, how exactly do you decide what you will need?

* Decision 1

Will you need only casual clothes or will there be times when more formal attire is called for? If there are no planned formal events, but you are hoping for something to crop up on the off chance, then allow ONE evening top/shirt that can be teamed with smart pants/skirt (or a non-crease dress that can be rolled up into a corner of your case). If there are formal events, consider using the same outfit, but change it by adding accessories like a scarf or jacket.

* Decision 2

Look at your wardrobe and only take out items that coordinate. You want all your tops/shirts to go with all your pants/skirts. Take nothing that is for one wear only, every item of clothing should have multiple uses. For example, a t-shirt can be worn alone with pants or under a dress or jacket for a different look.

* Decision 3

How many days is your vacation? That's how many outfits you will need. However, as all your items are coordinated, you can ring the changes with mix-and-match, so you need fewer pants/skirts than tops. If there are no laundry facilities, will you have enough underwear? Will you be able to hand wash and allow to dry overnight?

* Decision 4

What specialist clothing do you need? Will you be swimming, hiking, skiing, sightseeing or enjoying a spa? Include the minimum clothing for your activity.

* Decision 5

What toiletries do you need? If you are staying in a hotel, you usually don't need anything in the way of basic toiletries, apart from your toothbrush and toothpaste. If you need to take toiletries, then consider buying travel sized ones. The same goes for makeup. Clean out your makeup bag and only take the bare minimum to keep you feeling good about your appearance. Check ahead with your accommodation to see if hairdryers are provided.

* Decision 6

Shoes. Realistically, what is the MINIMUM number of pairs you can manage with? Think carefully about this. Very few people on vacation will notice that you are wearing the same shoes to a restaurant or nightclub as you did the night before. You need three types of shoes at the most, activity shoes, beach shoes and evening shoes.

* Decision 7
What will you carry in your hand luggage? Always carry valuable items with you. Never pack jewelery, iPods, mp3 players, hand-held games or cameras in your suitcase. Do not carry liquids in your hand luggage. Many travelers have had their mouthwash confiscated at the airport because they shoved it in their carry-on bag at the last minute.

* Decision 8

Ask yourself, "Have I got my passport/ID/Driver's License, tickets and money? Am I going to enjoy this vacation?" Answer, a resounding, "Yes!"

Elizabeth Coughlan


McJeff, HD TV, Dinner and a Wedding

We spent the remainder of our time in England with Clare, John and Jessica. John was very busy with two plays he was producing, one end-of-term play for the school he teaches in and the other for an after-school community youth group. John wrote both plays himself. The school play was "McJeff", where a teacher wants to overthrow the head and become headmaster himself. It contained the immortal words, "Is this a scheme of work I see before me?" Apparently, the play was hilarious and the parents loved it - although the teachers were left wondering just who the main characters were based on.

With John's new HD TV, everyone can become a sports photographer! If John will let me, I will try the wildlife channels next time I am in England!

While we were there, John proudly took delivery of his new HD TV and the whole Sky package to go with it. As a result, we were able to see the final at Wimbledon with amazing clarity and David was able to watch the beginning of the test match.

Clare and John dressed for Sarah and Aidan's Wedding

Although John was absent for much of the time with rehearsing his plays, we managed to spend some quality (and shopping) time with Clare and Jessica. On our last Friday, Clare and John took us all out to dinner at Prezzo's in Norwich to celebrate David's birthday, rather belatedly! The photo shows Jessica filling in puzzles, courtesy of the restaurant.

The next day, we were especially happy to look after Jessica while Clare and John went to the wedding of their good friends, Sarah and Aidan. So far I have spent time with both Clare and Jane and, on 30 July, we fly to Australia to spend time with Suzi, Neil and their new baby. We are very blessed!

Like all little girls, Jessica likes to wear mummy's shoes!

A close-up of Clare's new Karen Miller Shoes


Long Melford, England Revisited

Dinner Chez Dick and Marilyn

We arrived back in England on Tuesday, courtesy of Turkish Air. Dick and Marilyn kindly picked us up at Stansted and drove us to Long Melford in their new Freelander. That evening we dined Chez Dick and Marilyn. Dick cooked a most delicious pork stroganoff, accompanied by rice and salad, followed by Marilyn's mouthwatering lemon meringue pie; accompanied, as always, by a most superior wine.

Enjoying sundowners. Cheers!

The next day, we walked along the village street to Holy Trinity Church, stopping off for a drink at The Bull, as it was very hot, before venturing into the church for a lunchtime classical guitar concert by Las Guitaras (Nicholas Edwards and Angus Scott). Their programme featured Spanish and Latin American pieces, which we enjoyed immensely! The church was fairly full, but there was absolute silence from the audience as the music resonated throughout this magnificent building. After the concert, we retraced our steps back along the village street for lunch at The Crown, followed by relaxing at home in the garden, before sundowners and dinner - again in The Crown.

Dinner at The Crown

Cheers from the family!

After all that exercise, we decided that Thursday was to be a day of R&R in the garden. Philip, Michel and Jacob came to see us at sundowner-time as they had yet to meet David. That evening we went to Gappmaiers for a wonderful dinner. All too soon, our visit had come to an end, and, on Friday, we all drove to Norwich to meet Clare and Jessica in the garden centre for tea and scones. We had a wonderful time at Dick and Marilyn's and hope that we didn't behave too badly, so they will have us back!

Gappmaiers. A typically Austrian restaurant in a typically English village!

Press Centre

Press Centre
I couldn't resist this one!