The Anatolian Collection

The Anatolian Collection

The sequel to Perking the Pansies to tie up the fraying loose ends and bring our Anatolian journey to its crashing conclusion is coming along very nicely. Expect a few surprises. I have a working title of  ‘The Sisterhood,’ so this may give a little clue about the main theme.  In the meantime, a gentle plug for the books already on the virtual and actual shelves. Hey, a boy’s got to sell his soul to bring home the bacon.

Anatolian Collection

The books are widely available in multiple formats. And if you buy direct from me, I get to keep the lion’s share of the take. For more information, check my website.

Turkey, Surviving the Expats – Out Now!

Turkey, Surviving the Expats – Out Now!

PtP Episode 2

After a few weeks of tweaking, fixing and buffing, Turkey, Surviving the Expats is off the blocks. Episode Two of the best of the blog contains all the juicy bits from the Turkey years. Here’s the blurb:

In 2009, Jack Scott and his civil partner, Liam, sold off the family silver and jumped the good ship Blighty for Muslim Turkey. They parachuted into paradise with eyes firmly shut and hoped for the best. When the blindfolds were removed, what they saw wasn’t pretty. They found themselves peering over the rim of a Byzantine bear pit. Bitching and pretension ruled the emigrey roost. The white-washed ghettoes were populated by neo-colonial bar-room bores who hated the country they’d come from, hated the country they’d come to and were obsessed with property prices, pork products and street dogs. Expat life was village life where your business was everyone’s business. For Liam, it was the barren badlands of the lost and lonely. For Jack it was the last stand of the charmless Raj – ‘Tenko’ without the guards, the guns and the barbed wire. It took them a while to find their feet and separate the wheat from the chavs but, determined to stay the course, eventually they found diamonds in the rough and roses among the weeds.

Welcome to Part Two of the mini-series which includes previously unpublished material together with Jack’s personal recommendations of the must-sees that Turkey has to offer visitors and residents alike.

Buy a Kindle edition from, and from all other Amazon stores worldwide. Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. Download the Kindle app from Amazon and read the book on your PC, smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, buy an e-Pub version from me directly and I get to keep all the dosh. The e-Pub format can be read on most non-Kindle readers (Nook, Kobo, Sony, Apple). The e-books are priced at just £2.99, $3.99 and €3.50 – cheaper than a frozen pizza from Iceland (the shop, not the country).

PtP Episode 1 (313 x 500)Don’t forget to pick up Episode One – Turkey, the Raw Guide. Like Jack and Liam, they come as a pair.

School’s Out

Travel may well broaden the mind but upping sticks and relocating to a foreign field can blow it completely. The best laid plans may not prepare you for having the cultural rug pulled from under your feet, something that can throw the most balanced person off kilter. Becoming a novice expat is like the first day of school. All those childhood fears come flooding back. Will I fit in? Will people like me? Am I wearing the right kind of kit? Am I as good as them?

As the naïve new kids on the block, we made the classic mistake of chucking ourselves into the well-rooted and largely insular expat community that clung to the iridescent coast of Aegean Turkey. We didn’t dip our toes into the water to test the temperature. Oh no. We leapt in with eyes slammed shut, noses held and hopes raised. It was a salutary lesson in what not to do. The emigrey soap opera was, at times, a life-sapping experience and negativity stalked the smoky bars and over-crowded beaches. We spent the first six months trying to get to know people and the next six months trying to get rid of many of them. In retrospect, I don’t know why I expected a disparate group of people thrown together purely by chance to be our cup of tea. Four years down the line our burnt fingers had healed and we started to enjoy the sparkling company of a small cohort of like-minded people. As with many things in life, less is more. Ironically, just as we reserved our own corner of the playground with a hand-picked gang, we returned back to Blighty to be grown-ups again.

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Separating the Wheat from the Chavs

Emigrey Soap Opera

Hit the Road, Jack

Hit the Road, Jack

The show is over and the curtain has fallen on our final Anatolian performance. It’s been a long and successful run but they’ll be no ovation or encore. As we said goodbye to Gümbet, Liam and I reflected on our time in this ancient land of paradoxes and plenty. Turkey has provided a restful respite for our weary bones and taught us that we can live differently and work with less. This is a profound lesson that many would be wise to copy. We don’t regret a single second of it.

We’ve both enjoyed and endured some extraordinary exploits with some extraordinary people. From the outset I called our cast ‘the mad, the sad, the bad and the glad’. This epitaph was no less true in Bodrum than it was in Yalıkavak three years before. From our first encounter with the pretentious expat rat pack to the Bodrum Belles, the Gümbet Gals and the Bitez Babes all sorts – the ladies of this small corner of Asia Minor do what they can to live their lives in dignity and grace. Many succeed. Many don’t. Listen up, ladies. Take a little advice from an old pro. When your ship is holed beneath the waterline, head for the lifeboat. Don’t flounder about like flotsam just because the sea looks inviting.

We’re not looking forward to the downside of Blighty life – the unpredictable weather, the fretful recession or the endless whinging. Let’s face it, some of our compatriots, whatever shore they wash up on, have turned whinging into a class act. Nevertheless, our course is set and it is a step forward, not a step back. But, there’s a sadness in my soul. I shall greatly miss our entertaining encounters with the hopeless, the hapless and, yes, the happy go lucky. So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu to the emigreys, vetpats, semigreys, VOMITs, MADs, Emiköys, and sexpats. You gave me an unexpected tale to tell and for this I thank you. The next instalment is on the story drawing board.

Chip Pan Alley

This is a gumbet – a Bodrum water cistern

We closed the door on our little stone house in the heart of old Bodrum Town for the last time and said our fond farewells to our great neighbours. Tears rolled down Bubbly Beril’s cheeks and Vadim distributed rib-crushing bear hugs. We left Bodrum a week before returning to Blighty. We would have been homeless itinerants if two Gümbet gal-friends hadn’t come up trumps and offered us their holiday villa for a week, no strings attached. It was a fantastic parting gift. Lovely Lemon Tree Villa comes highly recommended. If you want to know more, contact Carole or Liza on

Ironically, it was like taking a proper holiday, the first for four years. We planned to relax around a cool pool with a G&T, ice and a slice. We also planned one or two evenings getting down and dirty with the good, bad and the ugly along chip pan alley with its competing cacophony and naff neon. We were looking forward to witnessing the garrison of tattooed emigrey arms, pussy pelmets and pot-bellied Nike tops on proud display. It was not to be. Instead, our week became a fabulous fanfare of farewells as the Belles and the Gals sent us on our way in drunken style. I’ll be taking my liver back to Blighty in a jiffy bag.

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Drums and Drugs

Painting the Town Pink