Over the years I have entered the Sunday Times Where Was I? competition almost every week. I used to rush out to the post to make sure my card arrived by Wednesday, then moved on to entering by email (hands up all those who can still remember the email address off by heart? Just me? Oh dear, maybe I'm sadder than I thought I was) and eventually moved on to entering on the web site. Although the Times website is now subscriber-only, the page with the Where Was I? competition on it is still free to access.
The holidays always look as if they are the best of their kind, and for years I have dreamed of winning one of them. Early this year the prize was a trip to the Bordubet Hotel in Turkey, given in conjunction with the travel company Exclusive Escapes. I was trying to win a holiday to go on with a friend who has been living overseas for some years and was about to return to the UK, so that we could have a break together to catch up on each other's news, and this looked perfect. So I was absolutely delighted to receive a phone call one Friday afternoon telling me that I had won and my name would be in that Sunday's paper!
We took the holiday last week, a perfect time of year as the summer sun can get far too hot for me - in August it got up to 45 degrees Centigrade. Last week it was a much pleasanter 28 degrees during the daytime, although the evenings and early mornings were a little chilly.
The hotel info said it was "isolated" - what an understatement! It's a good thing neither of us ran out of sun cream because the nearest shop was about 25 km away, mostly along an un-made-up road. Popping out to the corner shop was NOT an option. This meant there was practically no passing traffic, adding to the calm, peace and tranquility of this beautiful relaxing hotel.
This was the view from our balcony: ducks, swans, fish and turtles basked lazily in the river outside our room and one duck had a clutch of eggs in the reeds just below the balcony.
Or simply to wander around the beautiful grounds.