We were glad of somewhere to lay our weary heads. CVK Hotel Taksim, Istanbul

“We booked to stay for one night having travelled by minibus from Sakarya, further south in Turkey. We finished our journey by taxi and the driver took us to the other CVK hotel overlooking the sea. The doorman gave him directions to our hotel in Taksim Square. The location (if you like Taksim, couldn’t be better). We left our 4 cases with the doorman and went upstairs to the reception where we discovered our booking with Apodo had gone horribly wrong and our room had been given to someone else. They only had suites or one tiny room available. The receptionist quoted a price higher than the one detailed on the reception wall. When I pointed out the correct price, it was changed. They let us sit in the comfortable lobby to contact Apodo by email but our email providers didn’t recognise our “address” so thought we were being hacked. Tired, in our 60’s we took the tiny room, similar size to BLOC at airports, with no view. Well there was a view. See photos! So, all in all, we got over it and were pleased to have somewhere to stay the night before heading for the airport. The room had everything we needed for a good nights sleep, but was overpriced. We found a lovely roof top restaurant nearby and had a pleasant afternoon on a warm October day, before the rain came. In the morning, breakfast wasn’t very welcoming. Nobody spoke to us Nobody offered us tea or coffee or explained what we were entitled to. There was a chef area for live cooking but the chef, just stared at it. It was a cold and rainy morning and someone decided to open the remote control windows and it became quite blowy.

Would we stay again? Might like to try their sister hotel. The facilities look good on the website. The guys dealing with our luggage were very efficient and helpful.”

A Must Visit for Special Occasions

We always go there if staying in the Marbella area. Do have a drink in the outside patio area. They don’t seem to have a bar menu, so be ready with your choice of drink in your head. A good photo opportunity, if you didn’t already take a few from the car park to the restaurant entrance (lots of statues and fountains).

The food is pretty much old school Italian which suits us. Not for everyone, I understand. There is always a special and the knowledgeable staff will tell you what they are. If on a budget, these can be pricey.

If visiting in summer, a table in the large impressive terrace is a must. There is music with requests catered for.

The owner, Sandro Morelli, trained in London and was the owner of the Barbarella restaurants in Fulham. We used to go there regularly. He is very welcoming and likes to know his guests are happy.

Celebrity spotting? One time we were on the next table to Lord Sugar and another time, Nicole Scherzinger.

A great evening out, any time of the year.

Harry and Meghan. What’s next

They seem to be acting unpredictably. If they want to avoid the press, why allow the coverage of their thank you meeting at the Canadian Embassy? Why use Instagram at all? What will happen next? Will they keep Frogmore House and the staff available all year round? Will they choose Los Angeles or Canada, or both, involving much travel by jet. I am not really bothered but ordinary people seem to be encouraged to give up flying, or indeed anything enjoyable, to save the planet. All of a sudden cattle are adding to climate change.

I need a private jet to a sunbed somewhere without veganuary, or dry January etc.

Miserable January? Thinking UK

Why do people make resolutions at the start of the year. Imagine giving up meat, eggs, fish, wine and trying to do more exercise when eating a lettuce leaf with a bit of avocado?

January is a time to fly to the sunshine. So forget the full English breakfast, the pancakes or omelette at the buffet breakfast. Lunch by the sea? No prawns, oysters or lobster. Lazing on the sunbed? What about a nice glass of water or fruit juice? In the evening, no queues at the show grill? Just get a nice bowl of salad. Watching the live entertainment? A nice glass of water or lemonade? What a relaxing holiday.

Do you have the strength?

Saturday Jobs. A useful experience?

A Think Tank this week has said that teenagers and students in the UK are no longer interested in having a Saturday job. This tends to mean that they have nothing on their CV when applying for employment. I suppose the demise of reading a daily newspaper (my son delivered newspapers in the snow), and the High Streets not doing well will mean a lack of Saturday jobs.

When I was 14 and living in Kuwait, I got myself a job as a cleaner for two American engineers. The two men were very untidy and I would face a sink full of burnt pans to start my cleaning session.

On my return to the UK I took an exam to enter college aged 15, with the 18 year olds. My 18 year old class mates seemed very sophisticated to me, all wearing the latest fashion and lots of make up. I got a job in The Scotch Wool Shop in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. I had to refold the beautiful jumpers after customers took them off the shelves to try for size. I had never had to stand up all day before and ended my first day feeling really weak and ill.

My next job was for Woolworths where I had to wear a green overall, smelling of body odour. Yuck. I sold cigarettes, shampoo, sanitary towels (lady’s would whisper they wanted ST’s and a plain paper wrapping. I had to restock from an enormous warehouse above the store. This involved carrying boxes of shampoo sachets and displaying them. Some of my friends worked in Marks and Spencer and I was a little envious as the job seemed easier and more prestigious.

When I reached 18, I had been in full time work in The City of London for two years and worked at the weekends as a waitress or barmaid for extra money. Being a waitress was very tiring and the staff food, left a lot to be desired, a tin of cold beans eaten from the can.

I found being a barmaid quite pleasant, even though we had to add up drinks, sandwiches, crisps for a party of 10, in our head. No fancy tills to work it out for us then.