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Jenny "Shirley Valentine" with PAWS members

Jenny with members

PAWS May – Shirley Valentine

39 members and 1 visitor attended our May meeting when Jenny Gibb, dressed in traditional Turkish dress, gave us a talk called “A Turkish Shirley Valentine”.

Jenny explained how in 1993, having recently divorced, her colleagues booked her a cruise to the Aegean.  Jenny, who had a phobia of water, had never even been abroad so when she arrived in Izmir Airport (Turkey) and transferred to Bodrum to join her cruise she was amazed to see that she was in fact on a Gullet, and, on top of that, sharing a tiny twin cabin (one of only 6) on board.

After a few days of eating her meals in her cabin, out of the porthole she saw a beautiful inlet with blue sky, turquoise sea and finally emerged on deck to declare to her fellow passengers that she was going to live there.  Upon returning home she found she was to be made redundant and so 4 months later she returned.  She got onto on a white mini-bus at the airport, and at the end of the road as everyone disembarked, found herself in a non-English speaking restaurant.  They directed her to a small hotel nearby where she was given a room, in the most idyllic location.

Jenny & Mustaf

Jenny & Mustaf

Eating from the meze back in the restaurant one evening she asked the waiter, in Turkish, what she was eating.  She was marched into the kitchen, and ended up chopping vegetables until mid-night.  She obviously passed her induction as she was told to return the following morning at 7.00, which she dutifully did and the daily grind of 7.00am to mid-night commenced.

A week-end festival approached and everyone was going home to their villages, so she went home with the chef, Moustaf, to his mountain top village where all of the women were in traditional dress.  She was the first foreigner they had seen.  She fell in love with the village, wanted to stay longer, and then he suggested they buy a house!  The rest they say is history.

They spent 6 years restoring a wonderful old farm house, and after a visit to East Anglia, which he fell in love with, they decided to spend 6 months in the UK and 6 months in Turkey.  What a story!  Members then had the opportunity to purchase scarfs etc. that she had bought with her from her village in Turkey.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on the 28th June when Chris South will return with her talk “Basic Gardens Design.”  Visitors are very welcome at the cost of £5.00.  Details of all our meetings and speakers can be found on the diary of the home page of the Winstred 100 website.

If you would like further information about P.A.W.S please ring either of the following committee members: Alice Holmes 01206 735510 or Jane Anderson 01206 735505