Friday, 14 October 2011

The way to the harbour in KalkanIt
The PH crew were ready for action. Pausing only to down their cocktails or gulp down just one more swift Efes the intrepid team began to boldly go wherever their MI5 leader took them. And who was their leader? Why good reader - you should know this if you've been reading these attentively, but let me remind you that it was Louise who had suddenly dropped her cover and presented herself as a long-standing MI5 agent. "Miss London", they used to call her - back in the days when life was simple and Biba was there to be shopped in. Certainly, she seemed to have The London Look in spades. What a role model she was for those in the PH crew who thought that Brighton was the only place to shop.
But it was not Miss London in the lead rushing down the hill, snorkel in hand. She still hadn't finished her cocktail.  It wasn't Emma either - she was clearing up the glasses and putting them in bags. 
Nor was it Alison - she was travelling in style, by tahtirevan - a sedan chair, supported by some
fine young SAS officers.
Mrs C had gone back to get her glasses, so it couldn't be her and Kate was talking to hoards of mikes and tv cameras that had suddenly appeared.
Was it Gayle.  Oh no - she was keeping a careful, moderate pace, guarding her precious stash of gold tokens, mingling with the multitudes.
Maybe Natalie?  Hmm, no she was playing safe and putting on her leg warmers.
Could it be Lyn?  Ah yes.  It was Lyn indeed.  And what a fantastic job she was doing.  The narrow streets of Kalkan were packed full of locals and tourists wondering what was going on.  There was no clear passage for the PH crew and there was clearly the potential for their curiosity to hamper the search for the missing Equilibrium. But Lyn had come up with such a cunning plan!  LIke confetti she threw the pages of Jane Eyre up into the air.  Who can resist Jane Eyre?  Thirsty for literature the good folk of Kalkan gathered up the pages and settled down in a quiet nook, cranny or bar to have a little sob as Jane told the story of her hard, hard life....

And so they reached the harbour and the good ship Dilaro and headed out  on a calm blue sea.

Soon, the PH crew had left Kalkan behind and were drawing close to Mouse Island.  The sun was low in the sky and time was short.  Silence reigned on board.  All that could be heard was the drone of the engine.

When Mrs C spoke it was in short sharp sentences - to add to the feeling of tension.  Every so often she would throw in a long convoluted phrase - to keep everyone on their toes. 
"Today we are serving the world." she started.  "If we can find the missing flash pen, with the incredibly important document stored on it, we can save the world."  There was a pause and everyone turned to look at the beautiful sunset.

"It's time PH.  Go now and return when you hear the strains of Titanic, the only music ever played on these boats..."
One by one the PH crew leapt overboard into the darkening sea.  Each carefully adapted snorkel mask with radar pinged every few seconds as it guided each crew member to a possible spot where the missing equilibrium flash pen may have been located.
  It seemed a huge task.  Mrs C felt a sense of hopelessness swim over her - then realised it was actually a rubber dinghy full of ice buckets that Emma had brought along for the ride. 
She gazed at the sea floor that looked so close - but was really fathoms away.  So clear, so beautiful - but hey! What was that.  Someone had chucked their rubbish in the sea?  A bit of black plastic was wedged into a rock crevice.... or was it?   Yes it was a rock crevice.  But, dear reader - you're already there aren't you.  Ah ha!  It was no ordinary bit of plastic - it was the flash drive belonging to the man from the ministry.  The secret equilibrium documents were found and everyone would now live happily ever after!
Oh, joy of joys.  PH could go back to Brighton.  But, strangely there was an air of sadness amongst the good people from the school.  Life had been different in Kalkan, and change can be difficult, we know, but perhaps it was a rather nice way of life there.   Perhaps Mrs C might even have to return there again.... pretty soon...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Spot the difference

Below is a collection of pics of beaches.  Some are UK beaches and others are Turkish beaches.  Can you guess which are which?  And - for a bonus GOLD token guess which month they were taken in?

number 1
number 2

number 3

number 4

number 5

number 6
number 7

number 8

number 9

number 10
  1. UK, Brighton,  - October
  2. UK, Brighton, - March
  3. Turkey, Patara - August
  4. Turkey Kapatas -July
  5. UK, Brighton,  - May
  6. UK, Exmouth - August
  7. UK, Exmouth - August
  8. UK, Brighton - January
  9. UK, Walmer - December
  10. Turkey, Patara - August
Did you get them all right?  yeah!!! Brilliant.  Sorry, I lied about the gold token.... 
(Most of the time Turkish beaches were bathed in sunshine with calm blue seas lapping at them, but that would be too easy in a quiz...)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Kalkan and the electric bike

I'd love to be back in Kalkan, but as my credit card bill is as long as Gatwick airport runway I need a plan to help me get there.  I have given it plenty of thought and believe that I could have an answer to end my money woes and take me and my idea to my favourite Turkish place.

So, for the moment, please consider yourself a critical friend - a gentler version of Alan Sugar if you like - as I present my plans for - The Kalkan Electric Bike.
cycling downhill is fun.  Going up is err more challenging.  So get an electric bike!

Kalkan nestles between the Taurus mountains and the Mediterranean sea in Southern Turkey - a beautiful location, but clearly one that involves very steep hills.  I've researched this and discovered that in general the downhill sections are brilliant.  People smile and chat as they walk through the little streets of the Bazaar, stopping to buy an ice cream or an Efes - generally ambling happily around. 

But what goes down must come up again (hmm something like that anyway...) and this, according to my research, is where the problem lies.  A steep hill in the heat, after the aforementioned Efes is an exhausting process. This is where my brilliant idea comes in; electric bikes stationed all around Kalkan.

Shamelessly borrowing Boris's ideas I would have half a dozen bike parks, where the bikes could be charged up.  Imagine it.  You wouldn't need the motor on the way down hills - just freewheel your way down to the harbour, park your bike, wander around a little choosing a boat trip for the following day - maybe eat and drink your fill - and then when you're ready you can leap back on your bike without that feeling of impending cardiac overload, start the motor and be gently carried back to your starting point. 
Kalkan harbour - at the bottom of a hill, strangely

And electric bikes, unlike motor bikes, do give you the option of keeping fit.  You don't have to use the motor all the time.  A good pedal could help shift the pounds that the Doy Doy dinner threatened to add to your stomach.  Or not - your choice. 

So this is my plan A.  I have a plan B forming and indeed a plan C in the wings.  Just as a more secure backup though, I'm off to buy a lottery ticket now...


Saturday, 1 October 2011

PH and the Mystery of the Missing Equilibrium - The mystery deepens, a bit

Karen was training hard for her next weather forecast.  Although it was a sunny day in Kalkan, again, she had heard rumours that some of the PH crew were so worried about the chance of snow they were off their food a little.  Natalie's leg warmers were spotted  with her zumba workout gear (strangely still unused) and Mrs C had noticed Gayle threading her mittens on a string through her warm winter coat, although she laughed it off saying she was only doing it to pass the time between snorkelling sessions.  Karen had to save the day.  She had to win everyone over and exude confidence, no matter how many niggling little doubts she might have about the continuing sunny spell in southern Turkey.  
No expense had been spared in furnishing Karen with the necessary equipment.  
An outstandingly large fridge had been wheeled into their headquarters and a huge map of Turkey attached to it with magnetized gold tokens!  Karen had insisted, rightly of course, that only bottles containing the finest wine were accurate when pointing out areas of high pressure on the map, so she had been busily emptying them into large glasses (health and safety - no lifting heavy weights) and sharing these with her comrades. 
dangerous way to lift a bottle.  Don't try it at home.

One glass for Carolyn, one glass for Mrs C, one glass for Gayle, one glass for mrs C... you probably get the picture.
At last the time came for Karen's ultimate performance.  It was 6 O'clock, Kalkan time.  The sun was starting to descend over the bay and all the PH crew gathered round the fridge expectantly.  Lyn nervously chewed her snorkel mouthpiece whilst Louise removed her flip flops - they were slightly different colours, one being pink and the other not.  The men in black were guarding all the exits.  All was quiet.  Karen was about to begin.
"Stop!!" roared a voice.  The crowd erupted unable to stand the tension a moment longer.  Emma shrieked, Kate fainted and Rachel adopted the 'Swan in Flight' yoga pose that she used in stressful situations. Then in ran Jill and Sally. They were holding a single flip flop between them.  
"We've found a clue!" they cried in unison.  "It's the MP's flip flop.  Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah - now we may be able to find the missing equilibrium". - (In case you'd forgotten or have lost the will to try and remember, it was the missing equilibrium data, lost on a flash pen somewhere in the bay of Kalkan that had brought the PH crew here).
Well, you could almost hear the cheers from Brighton.  Certainly, the good folk of Kalkan smiled to each other knowing someone was happy in their pretty little town.  The bar owners stuck champagne on ice and the cocktail bars hastily created an inspired Belles of Brighton cocktail.  But was this all a little premature.  After all, it was just a flip flop.  The mood darkened a little as realisation grew that this wasn't yet the end of the affair.
But then Louise suddenly stood up and the crowd hushed.
"Oh Friends,  my dear, dear friends I think the time has come for me to let you in on a few secrets."  Omg thought half the people there, what is she going to tell them.  Please don't let it be about that party...
Louise held up her flip flops.  The one that wasn't pink matched the one that Jill and Sally still clutched.
"You really are the bravest, cleverest most wonderful people you know.  I have spent over 15 years with you so I understand this.  Yes.  15 years undercover - on her Majesty's Secret Service.  I always knew that one day you lot would be there to help me save the world - and so you are."  The PH crew looked surprised - but hey, they were used to surprises and this plot seemed nothing like as complicated as the Dr Who or Spooks ones.
"So hang on, you know my cousin then" said Kate.  Louise nodded wisely. Shaken and stirred in equal measure Kate was silent.
"These flip flops are coded".  Louise pointed to the markings on the bottom.  "Now we have the pair I can quickly calculate the exact position of the Missing Equilibrium."  Everyone stared ( a bit rude really) as Louise mumbled something about x = Y(g-4t)/absolute zero.  What a maths genius!"
She looked around with a natural air of authority.  "There is no time to lose.  Grab your snorkels and get down to the harbour.  If I'm right we have just 2 hours and 23 minutes to find this flash pen and still be back in time for dinner."
Like bats out of  hell  they ran- indeed John linked that up to the town's loudspeakers to aid the crew as they ran down through the town to the harbour.  A laughing, cheering crowd (well, laughing anyway) helped them on their way and very soon they had boarded the good ship Dilara and were on their way to X marks the spot.
Louise, who had quickly changed into her black lycra regulation SS diving gear, had taken command of the boat and given orders to the crew -  in Turkish of course - it turned out she spoke 17 languages fluently. 
Ahead lay the still blue darkening waters of the Mediterranean sea.  Somewhere down there was the treasure they sought.  

Would they find it in time to get back for dinner at Doy Doy? 
Find out in the next episode,