We were holidaying in a lovely part of Turkey called Calis Beach (near Fethiye) in a lovely beachside hotel called Mutlu. I am one of those who likes to 'people watch' on holiday, I not only watch them but I give them nicknames and make up stories about them too. Anyway there were lots of nicknames and stories flying about in my head but one particular couple with an adorable boy of about 8 really got my imagination going.
She was a real beauty, black hair, dark sunkissed skin, fabulous turquoise eyes, he was a typical Brit pale skin, daft straw hat and a tattoo on his arm, the boy was adorable as I said. I lay in the sun watching her spitroast herself looking elegant and poised, tanning every inch of her body whilst I sweated and complained it was too hot. He was in and out of the water with the boy, they were having a great time. I pointed them out to MWM telling him the story I'd weaved about them. She was definitely Turkish and met Wayne about 9 years before whilst he was there on holiday. Obviously he must have some charm to make a catch like her I deduced, they'd got married, gone back to his home in England, had the adorable one and were back visiting her family and holidaying at the same time.
"Yes dear if you say so" said MWM.
A few days into the holiday MWM developed a really 'bad' stomach and had to take to his bed. Luckily for me our son D, (who was 14 at the time), was with us, so I had company on the beach and a 'man' to escort me to dinner that night. D stayed faithfully by my side after dinner whilst I had a couple of drinks at our hotel bar, suddenly all the power went off and the barman Yasar produced a whole load of candles, which he positioned all along the bar and on the tables. I don't know what it is about candlelight, probably because it makes everything look dim, but Yasar decided I looked ravishing and proceeded to chat me up! He'd already determined that MWM had taken to his bed and wasn't likely to be surfacing until morning. I wasn't worried I'd had experience of this sort of thing, (though not a lot I might add), and D was within shouting distance if I need to make a quick getaway! Then I heard this voice
"Hi where's your husband tonight?"
Turning to the source of the question I saw Turkish Beauty, Wayne and the adorable one sitting just a few feet away. 'She speaks good English' I thought and I wanted to know if my 'fairytale' was true.
"He's ill" I explained, "would you mind if I sat with you a while I'm getting in a bit of hot water with the barman here?" I asked whilst Yasar was clearing the tables at the other end of the bar out of earshot.
"Course not, come and sit down" Beauty invited.
I introduced myself and D and couldn't wait to hear how they'd met so I could confirm my story to MWM the following morning. I must add here that I didn't completely ignore MWM's plight, I kept sending D up with bottles of water to make sure he was OK!
How wrong could I have been - she wasn't Turkish at all - she was a Brit through and through. Well we all got on like a house on fire and one drink led to another until we eventually retired for the night promising to meet up the following day, which wasn't difficult as we were staying in the same hotel!
The following morning I was awake with the lark, as usual, though I always wear sunglasses to breakfast as camouflage in case I made a fool of myself the night before! MWM was feeling almost back to normal and joined me and D for breakfast. The beautiful one didn't emerge until later, but the straw hatted one, or Wayne as I called him, and the adorable one were already up and at 'em. I introduced MWM to Wayne and the adorable one but apparently they'd already met! Oh that's good I thought "How, when, where" I enquired.
"I'll tell you later" said MWM.
It seems MWM had be wallowing in the shallows (he doesn't swim) and Wayne had inadvertently splashed him! Not good. MWM doesn't like it - splashing or water. He must have pulled a face because apparently Wayne had asked him "what do you come on holiday for?" to which MWM had replied "To get away from people like you!" MWM told me all this later in the day, after Beauty and I had agreed we'd had such a good time it would be a great idea if we all ate together that evening. Ho, ho I can hear you saying - this is going to be fun.
Well you're not wrong....
We had the most fantastic time for the rest of the holiday everyone thought we'd known each other for ever. When the beauties went on a two day trip I felt like my right arm had been ripped off and Beauty said the same when they got back. We were inseparable, we laughed until our sides ached and we drank enough to sink a battle ship! We party, party, partied, we even had a party on the beach, and we were asked to move further up the beach because we were making so much noise, well not just us, some of the other guests joined us too! Beauty even rescued me from the gypsies, when I was so 'partied' I sat down in the sand with some locals who were asleep on the beach as we moved away from the hotel. What a pal!
When the end of the holiday came our flight home was early in the day, whereas their's was a night flight, so we had to leave before them . We were in tears Beauty and I, promising to write and phone and visit. We have met lots of people on holiday with whom we've exchanged telephone numbers and addresses and we have kept in touch with some, just as far as Christmas cards go, but none have become lifelong friends like this family. Some of you may recognise them.
Here they are Turkish Beauty, Wayne and the Adorable One.
Here's all of us together on the day we were leaving
and here's another with me using the 'straw hat' as a fruit bowl.
I'm not sure who the young girl is sitting next to Wayne I think she fancied our D!
And here's me and Beauty sitting on the balcony after consuming a bottle of brandy at 4 in the morning! God alone knows why she's hiding her face!
For those of you who don't recognise them they are Queenie, Math and Nat.
They attended both our boys' weddings, they grieved when our first two grandchildren died, they know more about us than some of our own family. We usually visit each other about every 4 months or so for the weekend but Queenie is waiting for a hip operation and is really struggling at the moment, and of course I have been recovering from my knee op, so we haven't been able to do this for about 16 months, though we talk every week on the phone. MWM and I went to visit Queenie and Math last week, just for the day, and persuaded them to come and stay with us on New Year's Day so we could all go out for a Chinese meal and generally have a good time - which is what we do best. They are both a good deal younger than MWM and I, but that's no barrier to the fun we have.
After our meal we came back home and had a few drinks and we got talking about how we met 17 years ago (18 in August 2008). The story I made up about them on holiday has always made them laugh, and Queenie and I both think that and had it been down to the men we would have been ships that passed in the night. But, Queenie and I believe we are soul sisters, so were meant to meet. Queenie is the sister I never had and my bestest friend, and she asked me to blog about that fateful holiday 17 years ago. So this is for you my wonderful, wonderful friend - Turkish Beauty!