Other Fun Things

Some More Observations On Life Between Husband And Wife

Photographs by Mike Vickers

Feature photo above: We bumped into Captain Hook browsing the goods at his favourite hardware stall in Köyceğiz market. It’s his go-to destination for all his prosthetic enhancements.

Well, I did say in the first Observations that I thought it wouldn’t take all that long to assemble another eclectic collection of remarks, comments and snippets of conversation between Jan and I – and I wasn’t wrong. I’m wrong on a whole host of other matters, as Jan will readily testify, but not on this one.

So, while we’re out and about, I make sure I’ve got my phone readily available so I can jot down these observations as and when they occur and take photos of the weird and amusing thing I see on an almost daily basis.

Of course, I could also actually use it as a phone, but unlike everyone else on planet Earth, that particular feature is rarely used. So, when something interesting occurs, I whip out my phone and make a note straight away, otherwise I’ll forget. It’s just an age thing and comes to us all. Some memories, as one would expect with the slow but steady advancement of years, went off for a short holiday some time ago and never returned, leaving dreamy euphoric blanks. Other memories have not been quite so considerate, and no matter how hard you try, just refuse to do the decent thing and slip away quietly. For instance, I know a great deal of interest happened during the 1970s, but the only clear recollection I still have is my friend’s beige Ford Capri with its brown vinyl roof! Great. Just what I need.

As before, these observations are accompanied by a cheerfully eclectic entourage of orphan photos which don’t exactly fit in anywhere else, but which I like. Hope you do, too.

Once again, enjoy…

While watching a programme on furniture recycling. ‘It’s been weathered by sandblasting, then rough painted and rubbed down to make it look aged and distressed,’ explained the presenter.
‘Just like my face,’ I added cheerfully.

‘I love the way Kaş is totally different at night,’ said Jan.
‘Yes, it’s a lot darker.’

‘Kissing through a set of bars is true love, kissing in a bar is one too many gins!’

‘Our cat has killed another bird. There’s just a pile of feathers left.’
‘Pile Of Feathers? Sounds like a great name for a pub,’ said Jan.
‘Or for a brand of pillow, but mainly for a dead bird.’

While watching Tipping Point on TV,  ‘The highest part of the electromagnetic spectrum is identified by what Greek letter?’ asked Ben.
‘Gamma!’ replied Jan promptly.
‘Gamma is the correct answer.’
‘There, are you surprised your missus knows that?’
‘I’m becoming increasingly concerned you seem to be familiarizing yourself with all things deadly to a husband,’ I observed mildly.
Jan chuckled like a Bond villain. ‘Heh, heh, so you’ve noticed that, have you?’

‘Good grief, cat,’ objected Jan, furiously waving her hand in front of her face. ‘Have you farted? That’s really ‘orrible.’
‘He’s sat on your lap so it’s definitely a fart of happiness. You may have noticed I do the exact same thing.’

‘For God’s sake, what’s wrong with you now?’ sighed Jan in exasperation as we sat in a restaurant waiting for lunch.
‘I think I’ve got a hair on my tongue.’
‘Let’s have a look.’
I stuck my tongue out. Inexplicably – even for her – Jan does so as well. We stare at each other with extended tongues. People on adjacent tables start to look uncomfortable and eye up the nearest exit.
‘This looks like a strange animal ritual,’ she chuckled.
‘Then just be thankful we’re not gannets – by now I’d be chucking up and ramming my vomit down your throat!’
‘D’you know, I love you, but there are times when you’re really, really disgusting.’
‘Maybe, but never as disgusting as a gannet.’

‘Where’s that little street cat gone?’ I asked as we sat in a seafront cafe.
‘He’s here,’ said Jan, ‘under the table and rubbing himself all over my leg.’
‘Don’t know if you’ve noticed, darling, but that’s a tactic I often use as well.’

‘Shit, pressed the wrong button again!’ muttered Jan, wrestling with a recalcitrant TV remote.
‘Mankind is forever grateful you never got a job in a nuclear missile silo.’

‘I’ve got a predictive text correction on my phone. My name’s no longer Janice Veronica, it’s now Janice Erotica!’

‘That poor woman over there’s got really awful purple hair,’ whispered Jan sympathetically.
‘Yeah, see what you mean. She looks like a damson in distress.’

On overtaking a low loader carrying a giant excavator. ‘That’s a big bucket,’ exclaimed Jan.
‘Indeed it is. Let’s drive it to an ice cream vendor and ask for two scoops!’

‘I see Britain’s curling team has won a silver medal.’
‘Is that in the Winter Olympics or a hairdressing competition?

‘Look,’ said Jan, pointing out of the car window, ‘a red squirrel with a bushy tail! How lovely.’
‘You know it’s been a really quiet day on the roads when he’s the first thing we’ve seen moving in the last fifteen kilometres.’

‘This is delicious,’ I enthused. ‘I’ve got lumpy nuts in my kofte.’
‘Better than lumpy nuts in your trousers,’ sniffed Jan. ‘They’ve always been much more difficult to handle.’

While sat at a seafront cafe engaged in some casual people watching. ‘Good lord, look at that woman,’ murmured Jan. ‘What are those blue patches above her knees? Is that an Alsatian tattooed on each thigh?’
‘I think you’ll find those are wolves.’
‘Oh. Wolves?’
‘Uh huh. If you want to eat at her party then better bring some Winalot to get past the guard dogs.’
‘You men, that’s all you think about.’
‘What, Winalot?

‘Sneezes are like buses. They’re big, noisy, unpleasantly damp in winter and frequently come one after another.

On landing once more at Dalaman airport, ‘The only occasion I’ve ever seen a socially acceptable skid mark is on a runway!’

‘Who played Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films?’ asked Brad on The Chase.
‘Helena Barometer Carter,’ replied Jan promptly, displaying admirable but misplaced meteorological knowledge.

Relaxing in a trendy Fethiye coffee shop, our lattes arrived with the usual flowery froth art, in this case something resembling a botanical tree of hearts. I’m left-handed, so when I rotated my cup around to pick it up, I realised I was now peering down at something completely different – a pendulous pair of creamy, bubbly boobs! Unable to help myself, I then added two tiny espresso nipples. Jan just looked at me. ‘I love the way you’re old but you’ve never grown up.’ Damn right.

‘I love the way you’re old but you’ve never grown up!’
New-born taxi learning the ropes from dad. This teeny-tiny baby is still sporting its infant plumage.
Winter sunshine reflected off roadside poly-tunnels near Patlangiç.
Not pollution, but naturally occurring pollen. The arrival of spring perks up millions of coastal pines, triggering the release of drifting yellow clouds of pollen that settle everywhere, including the sea at Fethiye.
Wonderful Medusa sculpture in Antalya Kaleiçi. Question: If one of her snaky locks projected forward, turned and looked back at her, would she have turned to stone herself?
White stallions at full gallop through the children’s play area Fethiye Park. Don’t worry, there’s no danger – these are wonderfully dynamic statues.
Street cat heaven! This lucky stray has fallen on all four paws. Not only does she exactly fit inside her snooze box, complete with a sun awning and side screens, but also has an adjacent cold plunge pool in which to cool off when the temperatures really soar – which I can assure you they do every day between June to September.
This is why I don’t let Archie lick my face!
Summer in a nutshell.
Cat and Water Meters. I bet that’s the first time those nouns have ever appeared in the same sentence!
Why on earth would you go to the expense of buying a plug when you can just stick the wires into the socket? In a bathroom. Next to the sink. With lots of water already splashed around all over the walls and floor. I took the quickest wizz in the history of mankind and got the hell out of there, snapping this as I hurdled potentially lethally electrified puddles on my way to the exit!
Jan’s a natural, one of the world’s greatest cat magnets. This one latched on to her one bright winter’s morning in Datça many years ago.
We shared a boat trip up the river in Akyaka with these two young ladies and their outrageously pampered pooches. I observed them with interest. Not for one moment did they take any notice of their surroundings – including me – as the boat chugged through beautiful reed beds on crystal clear waters rippling with abundant shoals of fish. They spent the entire voyage posing and preening exactly as seen in the photo. That’s the Instagram generation for you! Which reminds me, I really must put some more photos on my Insta account. Hey, aren’t you proud that I actually have an Insta account? Yes, I run with the cool kids nowadays. Sadly, my long-term frozen shoulder now prevents me from assuming the classic selfie position demonstrated above. Maybe that’s why I keep photographing my ear…
…like in this outstanding example recently taken in Fethiye’s Paspatur, the latest in a series of several hundred stunning partial portraits.
The extremely well-heeled like to demonstrate their success in life through the acquisition of super yachts, so does the presence of this giant inflatable pink flamingo enhance or detract from the image you’re trying to project – and what’s the purpose of that knobby bit at the back? Discuss!
At what point, you have to ask yourself, did the builder notice this architectural clash between the staircase and the window, and having noticed it, how long do you think he spent pondering on the problem before shrugging his shoulders and carrying on regardless? I have to say I particularly like the way the edges of the stairs are sealed to the glass with mastic. That’s quality construction.
This stallholder in Köyceğiz market could not afford new mannequins – but he did have twin daughters! We could hear them texting their mates and chatting away happily under the table.
Here’s a car parked in the middle of the road near our house. Most normal drivers would attempt to tuck their car in next to the kerb, but not in Turkey. I’m sure you can all see this driver’s reasoning – his car may be in a dangerous position and awkward to manoeuvre around, but he doesn’t care about that. His criteria for parking here is entirely sensible – it’s in the shade! Some of you may also have noticed that the tree is growing in the road as well. That is not an uncommon occurrence in these parts, and if it’s not a tree in the road…
…then it’s very likely to be one of these!
Finally, unless you want to appear on the interweb, best avoid this bloke!