This is the time of year where we usually write the article that takes a look back through all of the highlights of the 12 months that have passed.
We’re still going to do that. Because, amongst all the upheaval caused by this virus throughout most of 2020, we can still pluck out some positives.
Reminders that we’re still hanging on in there.
And that we’re doing our best to muddle through this in as safe and as proactive a way as we can.
We’re not all in the same boat.
Yes, we’re all dealing with the virus. But we all have our individual circumstances that make each person’s experience different to the next.
Family commitments, lines of work, geographical locations…the list goes on.
So, with that in mind, this is going to be a quick round up of the last 12 months from our personal perspective.
Just how our blog has always been.
Well, it won’t take long to get this bit out of the way this year, will it?
At the end of February, we took ourselves off to Antalya, as we always do at that time of year, for the annual Runatolia event.
We came home and started to make plans for our trip to Datça for the Run Datça event in April. But, even then, there were stirrings in our mind.
This virus wasn’t just going to disappear or stay away from our own backyard.
By mid March, we were in lockdown.
And, as expected, Run Datça and other running events around Turkey were cancelled.
We decided we didn’t want to use public transport. The six month window on my UK driving licence was up.
So, we’ve been in the immediate Fethiye and Çalış Beach area ever since.
But, we got our time in Antalya in 2020. And for that, we are grateful.
My Turkish Driving Licence
And, from that, we can pluck out another positive.
For so long, I have been planning to apply for a Turkish driving licence. One of those ‘I’ll do that one day,’ situations.
It varies by country. But, if you have a UK licence, you can exchange it for a Turkish one.
There’s bureaucracy involved, of course.
I submitted my application in March; the day before lockdown.
Everything came to a standstill. Much waiting, patience (and a bit of frustration).
But, my Turkish driving licence was delivered by courier earlier this month.
So, happy days!
We’ll see 2020 out. And then, rules and restrictions permitting, we’ll be able to hire a car and take ourselves off somewhere.
Don’t worry, we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, here. Just a day out, relatively locally, will suffice for starters.
A shame that it’s taken a situation like this to force my hand in applying for a Turkish licence.
But it’s finally done! 17 years of life here in Turkey – it’s only right to have a Turkish licence.
In The Kitchen
We’ve said that 2020 has been the year where life slowed down.
We certainly weren’t taking off here there and everywhere for a few days away. Or dashing in and out of the house, going off to meet friends over on holiday.
A few friends did manage to make the journey over summer. And it was really great to see them.
But this year has been all about being closer to home and trying to make the most of the whatever situation we are in at any given time.
That has meant more focussed time on the blog and more time in the kitchen. The two are intertwined. And both are our ‘happy places.’
They’re places where we can immerse ourselves.
And, especially during curfew times, they’re places where we can see off a good few hours in what seems like a really short space of time.
Again, all those little jobs we’ve been meaning to do for ages – we’ve done, and are still doing, all those little jobs.
Many of our Turkish recipes have been improved and updated.
As with many others around the world, bread making became a favourite pastime.
I finally taught myself how to make pide and have experimented with various fillings.
That pide dough also serves as our homemade pizza dough, too.
Bazlama bread has also been on the menu. We’ll be posting that recipe soon.
They’re now in their rightful place in our Turkish recipes section.
Simple classics like cacık and shepherd’s salad were recipes we shared on the blog way back in the early days.
It was time they were brought into the 2020s. So that’s what we did.
And, whilst our diet does contain a high percentage of Turkish dishes, we’ve also had time to play around with local ingredients to create some of our own recipes and make some other dishes from around the world.
We’ve got another curfew starting on New Year’s Eve, until early morning on January 4th.
We’ll be making our traditional meat and potato pie to see in the New Year and updating and improving our recipe for that.
Our local fishmonger starting to sell whole smoked fish means we’ve also enjoyed experimenting with our own summer salads.
When our local supermarket also started to sell sweet potato more regularly, too, we combined the two to make our smoked tout and sweet potato fishcakes.
Obviously, we’ve changed and added lots of more food and recipe information than what we’ve mentioned above.
But this is just a little window into how some of our hours have been passed.
If you follow our Instagram Stories, you’ll know we’re always posting foodie photos and the occasional video.
We’re often asked for the recipe so we’ve got an ever growing list of food articles and recipes lined up for 2021.
Daily 2020 In Fethiye
Well, it certainly wasn’t humdrum, run of the mill. We guess most people can empathise with that!
Initial March lockdown was a strange time as we weren’t allowed to walk or sit along the harbour or along Çalış Beach.
This was strange for us because we live along the seafront.
If we went out to go to the shop or to Fethiye market, we had to stay on our side of the road rather than walking along the harbour.
It was there, just across the road, and yet it seemed so far away for a time.
Çalış Beach is part of our daily life and all of a sudden, we hadn’t seen it – or its sunset – for weeks.
I’ve just scanned through my phone photos from this year and been reminded of March, April and May running routes.
Our usual beach and harbour routes were now out of bounds.
Our neighbourhood maze of side streets and roads that ran perpendicular to the harbour road became new areas of exploration.
17 years of living in our house and we were discovering Fethiye’s agricultural areas just a few kilometres away from us.
I’d only ever seen globe artichokes on Fethiye and Çalış Market – never seen them growing, before they’d been harvested.
Now, we were running alongside fields and fields of them. Asparagus, too.
There was an old lady sat alone on her balcony who would shout hello and ‘kolay gelsin’ (may it come easy) to us as we ran by.
During lockdown, we were probably the highlight of her day.
As summer season approached, a more ‘normal’
Fethiye daily life resumed as shops, restaurants and cafes were allowed to reopen and international tourists began to arrive.
Nothing much changed for us.
We’re lucky in the Fethiye area that we very much have an outdoor life. And a lot of space in which to enjoy that outdoor life.
In Fethiye bars and restaurants, we could sit there feeling quite confident that we were safe.
If anywhere started to get too busy (for us) we moved on.
Some people were even brave enough to open bars during this time.
We even welcomed some new beaches to the Fethiye beach scene.
The local council took on Karaot Beach to make it a public beach.
And, around Fethiye peninsula, we visited the new Sea Me Beach.
Great fun, there!
Bars and restaurants are once more closed to sit-down customers, but many are soldiering on, open for takeaway and delivery service.
Social media often rightly comes in for a lot of criticism. But, in this instance, the Fethiye eateries are using it so well to keep in touch with customers and advertise what they have on offer.
For us, it’s been a lot of beach time.
Thankfully, the weather gods have blessed us with lots of warm sunny days throughout autumn and winter.
A run in the morning, a stroll along the beach in the afternoon.
And the skies! Autumn/winter 2020 has put on a glorious show of colour and cloud formation.
We slow right down and we appreciate what’s around us…
2020 Most Popular
Every year, in these annual roundup articles, we try to guess what our most-read post that was written during the year.
Every year, we guess – and we’re both completely wrong!
This year, our most viewed article, that was written in 2020, was our shepherd’s salad recipe.
We must have readers who love a healthy, refreshing dish!
And so, we’re very much a day-by-day do our best to deal with whatever the situation is in any positive way we can.
We’d love to be able to click our fingers and wake up on January 1st 2021 with a feeling of relief that we’re all back to normal and the virus has disappeared.
We know that’s not going to happen. And our reality is that we’re waking up to a curfew until January 4th.
We’ll make sure we get out for our runs and walks from tomorrow until the 31st. And appreciate the fact we can do that!
And then we’re still full of hope that 2021 will be a much better year.
It’s certainly not going to suddenly happen on January 1st – but then that’s not the real world is it?
For your blog support throughout 2020 (our blog readership has grown considerably this year), for your social media support throughout throughout 2020 (our Facebook page, especially, has grown very quickly), thank you so much!
We made a decision back in March not to get bogged down with Coronavirus on the blog, but rather concentrate on being an improving resource where we can be a ‘Turkey fix’ for people.
Plan your future travels, follow the seasonal ingredients, cook the traditional recipes.
Doing those things – and writing about them on the blog – has also been our fix.
Happy New Year. Keep on keeping on. Look after yourselves, your family and your friends. See you in 2021!