Hello, I’m back! It’s always a bit strange starting the first post after a holiday. It reminds me of the first day of term when you used to feel a bit nervous about going back to school even though you were going to be reunited with all of your friends. I hope you’ve had a good few weeks. I’m just going to write one post about our family holiday in Kalkan this time because I’m going away again next week (for work rather than pleasure)… and again the week after that!
So, we started our holiday with a detour via Newcastle and Northumberland to drop Gary off with the cousins who look after him and then spend some time with Mr MC’s mum. There was great excitement about my hair when I posted this photo on Instagram because everyone thought I had a fab new cut. Sadly it was just flattened to my head by a ferocious wind but I will show it to my hairdresser next time!
It was actually really good to have a break before our holiday began. It meant that by the time we set off, we were in full holiday mode and really looking forward to getting away from everything.
As you know, our destination was Kalkan in Turkey. It’s somewhere we know well so it wasn’t a holiday of exciting new discoveries but it did mean that we were able to get into the swing of things quickly. For the first week I’d booked us into a penthouse apartment -much to the confusion of the middle son who, when I told him about it asked whether it would be full of bunny girls!
It was lovely with its own rooftop pool. Here’s a shot of my first cocktail of the holiday. As you know I always post a bikini shot even though it’s getting harder with each year that passes. This is what 50 looks like. Viewing it objectively on my desktop, this shot tells me that my tummy is really showing the signs of three pregnancies and my appendix scar seems to be more prominent each year. However it’s not going to stop me wearing a bikini. They are just more comfortable in the 40° temperatures. I did wear a one piece for one day but, even though it was a nice one, I felt matronly and hot (in the wrong sense).
FatFace Bikini (past season)
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have read about my packing disaster. Somehow I managed to pack lots of bikini tops but only two pairs of bikini bottoms. I ended up wearing this tankini quite a bit.
And so this is how we spent most of our days – in the sea, the pool or sailing around on a gulet…
… heading into the shade to play cards and board games between 12pm and 4pm when the heat became too much to bear.
For once it was me rather than Mr MC who had to spend a lot of time working. It was frustrating, particularly because the wi-fi connection was so poor that everything took five times longer than usual. However I’m working on an exciting new venture that I’ll be telling you about soon so it had to be done.
Holiday birthday number 1
As usual, both boys had birthdays whilst we were away. They were both due to be born on 4th August and they were both late. The middle son’s birthday comes first and last year I timed our holiday so that we left after his big day, thinking that at 15 he would want to be with his friends. Of course when the day came round, most people were on holiday and so he was disappointed, telling me that he much preferred to be away on his birthday. So this year I made sure that it fell in the middle of the holiday and of course he was grumpy, telling me that a 16th birthday should be spent with your friends!
Part of the problem was that he had asked for a double bed for his present and so we had spent the two weeks before the holiday giving his bedroom a complete makeover. Luckily he was away so he hadn’t seen it but it did mean that there wasn’t a big pile of presents to open on the day.
He decided that he would like to go to Saklikent gorge which is one of the deepest canyons in the world. We hadn’t been since he was little but he remembered loving it. Of course now that he is over 6 feet tall it wasn’t quite as much of an intrepid experience. It started off well with a waterfall to scramble through…
…but after that it was only ankle deep (the strange shoes are water shoes in the style of a brogue that are provided at the entrance)…
…and they kept having to stop and wait for their old mum to catch up – it was slippery and hard going!
Top Hush – sold out; shorts – 50% off in clearance
We had fresh trout for lunch on one of the riverside platforms.
And how’s this for a picture of a disconsolate 16 year old – Mr MC took it as we were trying to work out what to do for the evening and nothing was hitting the spot. You can see that I’m looking at his dad with a ‘help me out here’ expression. It’s very unusual for this boy who has a naturally sunny disposition.
Hush Dress (sold out); Jigsaw clutch (sold out); Sézane sandals (sold out); earrings
My suggestion of pizza didn’t lift his spirits so Mr MC took the matter into his own hands. He marched us off to a bar and bought him his first cocktail. It worked – he explained that he’d just wanted to mark his 16th in a way that “felt right” and that did it – phew!
So, all’s well that ends well and our days went on. At this point we had moved to the luxurious villa that we have rented before. It was good to have more space. It has a big garden full of banana, fig and lime trees, a roof terrace equipped with a complete outdoor kitchen as well as a big pool. It was hard to tear ourselves away but we did for a trip to the market…
..and another day out on a gulet so that Mr MC and the boys could dive for octopus – a holiday tradition.
Holiday birthday number 2
The youngest’s 14th birthday rolled round, reminding me as usual of just how many days he was overdue. Expected on the 4th, he finally had to be induced on the 13th because I had booked a holiday for 16th August – my eyes water now at the thought of it. A 14 year old is definitely easier to satisfy, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. An early morning game of Carcassonne (a board game I bought for the holiday which is a great buy, they became slightly obsessed with it)… a trip to a beach club before it got too hot…
Linen beach dress (in clearance)
…a choice of watersports…(I’m not sure what I said to them when I was taking this shot – you’ll have to add your own speech bubble)…
…off they went (not my idea of fun)…
…lunch in a beach bar (that is fresh lemonade by the way – not a cocktail)…
…an afternoon playing every game we had brought with us and then dinner at a restaurant of his choice. I had told them that it was his birthday when I booked so that we would have a nice table and they had arranged a few surprises for him. As we finished dinner, they took the middle son away and (no health and safety here) asked him to climb onto the parapet. They then handed him a firework and set it alight!
There was music and everybody sang, the fireworks popped the balloons and a cake arrived. It was just what a 14 year old would have wished for and, knowing what might come in two years’ time, I treasured it!
So, what else can I tell you. Kalkan is renowned for its restaurants and so most evenings we headed out to eat and I tried to remember to take a photograph. Here are a few outfits.
This was at the beginning of the holiday when we had a couple of days of thunder, lightning and rain. The humidity was intense and my hair kept curling.
Baukjen top (sold out); pleated skirt (available in silver or blue); Jigsaw clutch (sold out); Sézane sandals (sold out)
The weather had improved at this point
M&S dress (sold out); Boden clutch (sold out); WhiteCompany sandals (sold out); Earrings – 50% off
This was in a little town called Kas, further around the coast. We had to drive there to collect a work delivery so we made the most of the trip and spent an evening there.
Playsuit – in clearance; Mango clutch (past season); White Company sandals (sold out)
My favourite places to eat are always the simple restaurants at the beach clubs, especially because you have to take a water taxi to get there.
Hush dress (sold out)
and you can watch the sun set over the sea.
I hadn’t gone into full hippy mode here, I did add shoes when we left but it was just easier to take this picture on one of the upstairs balconies.
Asos Maxi dress (sold out); Jigsaw clutch (sold out)
Mr MC and I even managed to have a night out on our own. I love this dress but I give full credit for it to Kat at Does My Bum Look 40 because we discussed it when we met and she persuaded me to buy it. We started off with cocktails at the harbour…
…then walked round to a rooftop restaurant…
…and later I was even invited to have my photo taken next to the chandelier in Kalkan’s snazziest bar!
So, there we go, that was our holiday. I feel less rested than I’d hoped because, with the amount of work I had to do every day, I couldn’t quite switch off. In the end I only finished two books which is very unusual for me. It was a different holiday without the eldest son too – I’ve always thought that families of four are very tidy and it was certainly calmer. Three boys together seem to whip each other up into a frenzy and so there are lots of wonderful highs when they are laughing and creating crazy challenges for each other in the pool but then there are also lows when one outdoes the other and egos are bruised.
I missed being a table of five in the evenings with lots of noisy conversations going on but it was good to see the younger two regaining their closeness. As you know, the eldest and youngest were both at our local boys’ grammar school together which gives them a bond. The middle son goes to a mixed high school which is also excellent academically but has a stronger offering of creative subjects. There is a certain amount of local rivalry between the schools and that inevitably rubs off at home in the general ‘banter.’ At the beginning of the holiday I noticed that the boys were operating quite separately but after a few days that changed.
And that, really, is the most important thing about family holidays isn’t it? Sunshine helps but it doesn’t actually matter where you go – you can be in a pad in the Caribbean or camping in your back garden. The best thing in my view is just the chance to reconnect and the simple moments were my favourite ones – mastering magic tricks with cocktail sticks…
… laughing hysterically over card games…
…drinking wine in the afternoon…
…and remembering how it feels to have my boys snuggle in.
I hope you’ve enjoyed that little family holiday in Kalkan with me and that you’ve been lucky enough to make some new memories of your own this summer. As I said at the beginning, I am away a lot over the next couple of weeks but I will try to post on Fridays and then in September, normal service will resume. Have a lovely weekend and for anyone who is facing GCSE results day next Thursday – may the force be with us all!