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PH and the Secret of the Missing Equilibrium

Sunday, 18 October 2015

PH and the Secret of the Missing Equilibrium 📷 Mrs C knew something was amiss when she bounded into the staffroom with her picnic hamper. The room was silent. There was no-one there. The table was tidy, empty apart from a piece of paper. She checked under the paper – still nobody. Slightly frowning she felt her way to the fridge and took out her glasses; then she read the note. ‘URGENT TOP-SECRET MEETING IN HALL – 8.45 am PROMPT’. It was 8.48 and Mrs C was a bit late. Relieved that at least she wouldn’t have to eat all the cheese scones, apple and damson pies and bottles of ginger beer herself that she had packed in her hamper, Mrs C made her way to the kettle for a soothing cup of tea. She wasn’t stupid. She knew something was up and she knew that the mind clearing qualities of a well-brewed lemon and ginger tea would help her laser sharp brain to start functioning properly. So pausing only to refrigerate her home made produce she made her way to the hall. It was 8.57 am. There were 5 men in black standing in the hall. The staff were sitting in a semi-circle facing them. More silence. A bright light shone on a white screen on the wall and everyone was staring at it. Hmm images but no sound – again. Ms Morley was on the case though. No-one could make a computer work the way Suzanne did. Maybe it was her high-tec tool kit that she kept strapped to her person, ready for any eventuality or maybe it was the commanding vibes she exuded – ‘you are a computer and you will work for me’. Either way, as Mrs C slipped, almost unnoticed into a chair beside Mrs Mojab the computer leapt into action and one of the men in black started to speak. “Ladies and gentlemen”, he began, removing his dark glasses to create a closer connection with his audience. “We find ourselves in troubled times and only you can help us”. He paused for effect and indeed it was clear that he had the staff’s full attention. Louise had stopped texting and Carolyn put her list of Italian verbs to one side. Behind them Nigel opened his eyes, whilst Alison and Sally hid the notes they were passing to one another. “Time is not on our side. We have just six weeks to find and restore the equilibrium of life itself before it is too late”. Well, whatever the staff of that extraordinary seat of learning had expected to hear, it wasn’t that. Murmurs of puzzlement buzzed through the crowd. Emma looked bewildered, Louise started texting again; even Gayle looked confused. Emily stopped writing and raised her hand. Was she going to ask the question that had been going through their minds? “How man 'L's are there in curriculum?” Well, maybe not. But then came a voice from the back of the hall. “Excuse me!” There was, as I say a voice, but no person. That was weird. Then there was a rattle. “Excuse me! Can someone help?” There was someone in the kitchen – in fact it sounded as if there were several people in the kitchen and they were trapped!!!! The 3 Chris's – and a James were instantly on the case. Years of team training were evident in the way they tackled the emergency. Chris V vaulted out of the window (luckily open), whilst Chris M and Chris E took hold of either side of the metal shutter. Meanwhile James sprinted out the hall door to fetch the key. Within seconds the situation – potentially very nasty – was resolved as the reluctant shutter suddenly up revealing Jill, Lyn and Barbara digging into a rather moist chocolate cake with all the hallmarks of a Mrs Morley creation. They stood and beamed,a, very chocolatey smile with a good hint of guilt at being caught… “This is just what we need – teamwork!” boomed one of the men in black. “If I may carry on...” The staff were quiet ( a first, probably) as the man from the government – for that is what he was – started to explain the terrible position that they found themselves in. The equilibrium of life was a secret document, signed by the leaders of all nations.So far it had kept most of the world from killing each other. But the document – on a flash pen (Play, £16.99) had been lost when the politician looking after it had been on holiday. Without it, the world could go nuts and Britain could do nothing. There was another factor too that would mean the UK's fall into disgrace and anarchy would be complete. Spooks was to finish. The last ever series was to be aired that autumn. When that went what would the British people do? It didn't bear thinking about... But what had PH to do with this? Man in Black 3 smirked, clicked his fingers and there, on the screen was Kalkan bay and Snake Island, Turkey. The staff gasped. They'd seen this image so many times on Mrs C's white board. This was the bay that held the Secret of the Missing Equilibrium. This was where the flashpen was lost – (luckily encased in a waterproof case). “We need you, as a team, to get it back for us. So we are sending the whole school on this mission. Your students will think it is a new trans-European (and into Asia) project of course – but you will be undertaking a venture that is so important and unbelievable that if you were to mention it to anyone they would laugh at you. Your plane leaves in 6 hours. Pack your snorkels. This autumn term will be very different....”. Chapter 2 A Risky Business 📷 It is common knowledge that a school without a weather forecaster is taking a huge risk.  For that reason PH knew they were extraordinarily lucky to have Karen around.  Although her speciality was snow, she was also pretty gifted in the 'rain or shine' department  and she was most enlightening when called upon to forecast the likely weather conditions in Turkey in September. "There will be sunshine here, here and here.  The staff cheered in appreciation of her clear forecast and the absence of any clouds, rain or wind.  But still, Natalie was probably voicing the concerns of several members of staff when she asked a question. "Karen", she started nervously - then gained confidence in her voice. "Karen, what are the chances of snow in Kalkan?  I need to know as I'm concerned about my packing.  Do I take my leg warmers for Zumba sessions - or not?" The staff listened on every word with bated breath.  There was a long, long pause as Karen thought hard. "No leg warmers needed!"  She said at last. "The chances of snow are 0.0002%." Jill looked doubtful, but everyone else whooped and cheered as the good news echoed around the hall. There was nothing that Jill liked better than a risk assessment form.  PH humoured her and ensured that she spent her days - and many nights - calculating the likelihood of little Johnny being hit by a conker if he went and had a quick fag in the park next door.  However, the challenge that she had just been set my the men in black was a little awesome and for once Jill was struck dumb.  She shouldn't have worried though.  The men in black had it all covered. "It is vital that you are not tied down by red tape", said man in black 4 to the still slightly stunned staff of PH as they held a pre-flight briefing meeting. "You will be accompanied by our crack team of SAS troops, 50 of them to be precise. All of them highly trained in martial arts, espionage and teaching reading between the lines to teenagers."  The sigh of relief was most audible from Mrs C and Mrs Mojab.  "They have also been chosen so that they fit well into the local environment - bronzed holiday makers, fit young waiters... you know the types - rippling six packs,strawberry blonde hair,  brown eyes you can melt in...". At this point he was interrupted by Kate who had been trying to contact all the parents to tell them about the new arrangements for the school term.  "I keep being asked can the students use their tokens in Turkey and what sort of exchange rate will they get.  Can you help?" Gayle, was up on her feet in a second and with a flourish produced a sack of gold tokens.  She looked so proud - and rightly so.  Not many schools have gold tokens - international currency that can be awarded all over the world to students who have worked hard and been respectful to others.  How they gleamed.  How beautiful they were.  How satisfying to know that students would be able to exchange them for ice creams, postcards or bottles of vodka in the old bazaar in Kalkan. But reader, we must leave PH for the moment - otherwise they will never get to the airport.  My what a flight this will be.  Come back soon to hear all about it.... There were signs of stress when the PH crew discovered they had a 25kg weight limit for their Kalkan suitcase.  Having just a few hours to collect together essential items is just not the way to do it!  Naturally, the men in black tried to compensate for this problem with an expenses payment equivalent to a bankers bonus, but sometimes it takes more more than a few wads of dosh to ease the troubled mind; sometimes only a cocktail will do... So what better cure for stress than a lesson in being creative with cocktails. Intended as a treat for the weight-watching drinker, I'm told that doesn't mean you can have twice as many of them... Chapter 3 Journey to Kalkan John had been told to pack for Turkey time and was therefore filling the 2 minibuses with sage and onion stuffing and chipolatas.  At first it had been assumed that the students would be travelling to the airport in the buses, but the new policy on cycling for life had decreed that they should get on their bikes to get to Gatwick.  So with Emma at the head and Chris M bringing up the rear the school had set off  'en crocodile' up the A23.  Luckily they had the SAS escort with them and Alison, having selflessly agreed to look after them all, had gone along as well with her tea flask in the basket on the front of her bike.   Back at school the remaining staff were having a well-deserved cocktail prior to setting off incognito to the airport.  For security reasons it had been decided that it would be to dangerous for the teachers to be seen with all the students, so after consultation they'd been instructed to go in disguise, as a hen party. Mrs C had reminded them that method acting was the key to a good performance and had ordered a private bar - with barman to ensure they could keep up the act.  The stretch limos were a great touch and with barely a tear in their eye at the thought of having to leave the lovely PH building they all piled in and drove off. Rachel and Natalie - being the experts in all things geographical - pored over the maps of Kalkan bay that they had brought with them.  Aided by Nigel they worked out how they could lie unnoticed on a beach but still, between them have a clear view of whatever may be going on around them. 📷 Louise C passed round a few more cocktails, ensuring everyone was aware of the possible effects of exceeding the safe limit of alcohol.  She patiently explained to Gayle and Louise W that things weren't always what they seemed.  Orange drinks weren't orange squash necessarily, clear drinks weren't always water and Jack Daniels was not a little dog.  But the ladies just had to be sure.  Curiosity is such a wonderful thing and leads to so many new experiences! Thus it was that the Gatwick pepperami watchers had two unique photo opportunities that September afternoon.  The loud mouthed, badly behaved ones were herded onto their private plane, whilst the students settled themselves down for a four hour flight on their low-cost airline carrier - with pay to use loos and free sickbags! But, all the while the clock was ticking.  The missing equilibrium was still somewhere in a Turkish bay and the temperature was rising for all those people travelling to Kalkan from Gatwick.  Could PH save the day?  Would they let PH into the country?  What on earth will happen next????  Chapter 4 Things aren’t always what they seem It was a balmy 25 degrees at sundown  and the staff were assembled around the pool in their temporary headquarters in Kalkan, Turkey.  The sea was still that blissful blue and was dotted with gulets and yachts cruising back to harbour or still idling in the bay. It was quiet apart from the chink of ice in restorative Mojitos  and Tequilla Sunrises - the men in black had insisted that on this mission the 5 a day needed to include fruit (or mint) soaked in some sort of alcohol.  However, there were those who had downed their medicinal cocktail quickly and had now moved on to some ice cold Efes, the local beer. Mrs C was beaming around, as she polished off her second Pina Colada (lots of pineapple chunks): her picnic hamper was now centre stage and she was thrilled to think that Rebecca, Angela and Suzanne were about to start waxing lyrical about her damson and apple chutney which was one of the delights contained within it. 📷 So it was Mrs C who led the enthusiastic round of applause when the aforementioned people stood up.   It was also Mrs C who let out a howl of anguish when Rebecca opened the hamper - and the chutney was nowhere to be seen.  Neither were the apple and damson pies, the ginger beer or the cheese scones.  All gone, gone, gone... In their place were a collection of luxury grocery items from a well known store.  This was not just any hamper, this was an extra-special, top of the range hamper. There were bottles of champagne, boxes of chocolates, tins of biscuits and jars of all manner of things: olives, jam, apricots and brandy... Everyone was mmming - except Mrs C, who had reached for a restorative Horse’s Neck (brandy and ginger) to get over the shock. Carolyn was already edging over to the luxury dark chocolate box. But then Rebecca shushed the crowd and started to speak. "Friends and comrades, I shall say this only once!" she spoke in an awfully commanding tone. "As you know we are not here on holiday, but on a mission". (Slight buzz of disappointment in the crowd at that point). "Saving the world will be tough, but someone has to do it - and we are the chosen ones.... DON'T open that" Rebecca shouted as Carolyn eased the chocs out of the hamper.  Crestfallen she put them back, murmuring something about needing to eat to keep blood sugar levels high.

"This is not just an M and S food hamper.  This is an M and S extra special secret agent hamper, containing all you need for a good week's spying and espionage activities.  Angela took out the chocolate box that Carolyn had had her eye on.  "This for example contains not chocolates but explosive devices that can be used to open doors -although, it is not intended for when you've lost your keys at 4 am". She appeared to be glaring at Kate, Emily, Nigel, James and assorted Chris's at this point, who had celebrated their first night in Kalkan quite loudly the night before... Suzanne took over, showing the staff one of the champagne bottles.  "These extraordinary devices serve 3 functions, Firstly, you will notice that the cork is quite long.  This is because it isn't just a cork, it's 3 extra-special cork bullets that can be used in times of emergency.  You can also unscrew the cork and your bottle can then be turned into a telescope with 3 simple moves".  More Russian gymnast than English runner at this point Suzanne performed her routine at lightning speed and 30 seconds later the champagne bottle looked like this. 📷

"The third function of these champagne bottles is to provide essential hydration here in Turkey.  It can get pretty hot here." The staff nodded, they had noticed this tendency.  "These bottles contain the finest champagne, but it has been genetically modified so that it will hydrate you, keeping you healthy and happy for hours - all good, no bad side effects!"  Suzanne took a swig and demonstrated how great if made her feel with a quick handspring and one and a half twist sumersault into the infinity pool. 

When she came up (scoring 8.7 - shame about the bent leg) she signalled to Angela to carry on.  There was a gasp as Angela opened a tin of chocolate biscuits and produced the most unexpected item so far from the picnic hamper.  It was an M and S extra special snorkel set, in dark green with matching fins. "Tomorrow, you will be taught how to use this device.  Until then rest, relax - go out for dinner.  Enjoy yourself in Kalkan.  For who knows what tomorrow will bring." 📷 Emma eyed up the cheesecake but bit into a banana instead.  Her willpower was strong and she was determined to stick to the PH super-fit, super-fab and super-funky  plan suggested by the men in black to prepare them for their mission - recovering the missing equilibrium from somewhere in the depths of Kalkan bay, Turkey, and thereby saving the world - obviously.   The team were settling in well to their new routine.  Whilst students, accompanied by a crack SAS team led by Alison, were climbing mountains, abseiling down gorges, white water rafting and learning to sail, the staff were engaged in an equally exhausting programme learning to water ski, snorkel and appear to be lounging around doing nothing -  whilst  really being totally aware of what was going on around them. 📷 It was a beautiful morning. The air was clear, the sea glistened in the sun; blue and inviting. 📷  In a quiet rocky cove by the sea  the PH 'Save the World' team were waiting patiently for their snorkelling lesson. But don’t for a minute think the PH students had been forgotton or abandoned. Nothing could be further from the truth, for across the bay could be heard the faint shrieks of their students enjoying themselves at the Kalamar Bay Beach club: jumping off the sea trampoline and whizzing round on pedaloes. The new time-out strategies that the SAS were using seemed to be working well - a simple raft floating well away from everyone else: cooling off had taken on a whole new meaning... Back at base camp - a large white villa with extensive gardens, infinity pool and jacuzzi,- Lyn was busy organising Mrs C's notes for her lecture on 'Snorkelling and the world of Espionage' that she planned to give later that day. A smile hovered over her face.  Organising Mrs C's paperwork was such a delightful job: stress free and easy peasy, with everything clearly labelled, named and colour coded so that Lyn just had to put them into the appropriate files.  If only everyone could be so organised she thought...  However, she did need some more plastic wallets - and she knew where to get them from.  In a quiet corner nearby was a small office.  Well, it has to be said that it looked more like a potting shed than an office, with it's wooden panelling and small, rather grubby windows.  Indeed, you could just make out gardening tools and bags of compost if you peered into the murky interior. But Lyn knew that was just a cover.  She'd spotted the men in black furtively entering the building - and she knew that the key was hidden under the third flower pot on the left.  Right now the men in black were all down at the harbour, surreptitiously hiring a small flotilla of boats to take the PH 'Save the World' team out to search for the missing equilibrium. Alison had gone with them to select the crews... Lyn approached the office cautiously and slowly.  It was imperative that she wasn't seen.  Thinking fast - replaying in her head the many detective films she had watched in the last 5 years - Lyn decided to adopt the clever, yet slightly startling methods of the master sleuth - Sherlock Holmes.  She sneezed and reached into her pocket, removing a linen handkerchief with the initials PA in the corner.  But then - and this was the clever bit - she dropped the handkerchief near the flowerpot.  Yes, near the third flowerpot on the left under which the key lay!  The plan was working like clockwork. She was so pleased that all those years of dedication to the king of detectives had paid off.  But as she went to lift up the flower pot (the aforementioned 3rd from the left) she heard a voice.  And the voice said "I wouldn't do that if I was you... OMG it was Chris M!  What was he doing here?  How was he involved? Lyn  was dumbstruck ( a pretty rare occurence) and it fell to Chris to get the key and open the door to the office.   "It could be bugged", Chris whispered as the door opened.  But neither of them could supress a gasp when they saw what was inside... Meanwhile, the snorkelling lesson had begun.  The expert in the field, Mrs C, had completed her demonstration - although sadly no one could hear her under the water.  But no matter.  Everyone loved their digital radio snorkels.  Barbara was hooked on the science channel and had already swum off to the sounds of dolphins diving.  Emma had tuned into 'Bowls 'r' Us', although she was a little disappointed to discover it offered round the clock commentary of bowls tournaments in Bognor Regis and Worthing.  Kate just loved the classic fm orchestral blasts that were coming through and Sally was groovin' and movin' to the cool toons of Radio Kalka.   Yep, the snorkels went down well in the end - although that made everyone splutter.  Just as long as the snorkels could recieve a GPS signal then the world would be saved, the missing equilibrium would be discovered and life could return to normality for the brave folks of PH. But....... , there has to be a but of is well known that whatever Kalkan may be famed for, it does not rank highly on receiving satelite navigation signals.  Oh yes, there are problems ahead and the missing equilibrium may not be at the fingertips of the PH 'save the world' crew as they seem to believe. Tune in on your snorkel tomorrow to hear what happens... Things were hotting up in Kalkan bay.  It wasn't just that the sun had come out -   it seemed to do that every day Louise had noticed, no, it was the tension caused by the impending doom.  The 'Secret Equilibrium' files had to be found quickly or the world would descend into anarchy, chaos and worse, probably.  Avid (ha ha) readers of this story will know that it is only the PH crew who can do this:  the PH crew who have boldly upped and shifted themselves from Brighton to Kalkan, Turkey just to save the world. 📷 Who would think this would be the place to save the world? Louise had extra worries on her mind.  In front of her were 6 flip flops.  The challenge was to find 2 that matched - and she only had 3 minutes!   It was all too much.  She gave her brain a rest and allowed it to wander back to the carefree days of Brighton life.  Back when the most exciting thing to happen was sitting in a room playing Kim's Game - trying to remember what was on a tray under a cloth:  a camera, a pen.....  it had all been such fun - sometimes a little noisy it's true, but such fun...  OK, concentrate.  Louise only had 1 minute 23 seconds left. 📷But she was not going to be left to complete her task.  She heard footsteps, and turning round she saw Lyn with a couple of people she knew.  But how did she know them.... don't you just hate it when you can't remember! Were they friends?  People she'd met at a spa?  Or on holiday? "Heloooo" she said chirpily, "How nice to see you...ur,... lovely....yes!".  Louise paused and looked at Lyn, who was standing there with a huge grin but clearly unable to speak.  It was Kate who solved the puzzle. She smiled at the younger guy "Hey cuz, good to see you", but her smile faded a little as she marched up to the older visitor and said "You've got a nerve coming here.  It's not like your James Bond now you know."  Instantly the pieces fell into place.  Of course it was Pierce Brosnan and with him -was Daniel Craig! Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig wait for their snorkel lesson Well, this was a surprise.  I expect you want to know why they're here. It was because of Mrs C of course!  As a location manager in her spare time, she had promised Pierce and Daniel that she would find them the ideal location for their new film - a kind of singa-longa-bond movie..  They wanted a pretty little bay somewhere in the med.   They'd been waiting for her in her office - the potting shed - on the day that they'd been sent out to Turkey.  Snoozing under some sacking on the compost bags, they simply hadn't noticed when the shed had been airlifted out to Kalkan - with them in it!  The first they knew something was up was when the men in black had installed a safe in the shed.  What was going on? Luckily they remained undetected until Lyn and Chris had appeared.  What a surprise.  Colin and Pierce had heard so much about these two.  How Lyn had been a fan of theirs for years and how Chris hadn't really...  But the strangest thing - and I'm sure you'll agree with me here - was that as well as containing Colin and Pierce, the shed was full of bowls - and yet Emma had not been near it.  No, it was the men in black.  They had been rounding up all the bowls in Kalkan. Why?  Well I don't know yet.  Find out soon!!! It was time for a reconnaisance mission - under the guise of a  jeep sightseeing day trip around Kalkan, Turkey. On the journey Glenys and Lyn had been trying very, very hard to teach everyone a few essential Turkish phrases - just so that no-one would suspect they were foreigners. Skilled in the art of recognising where their students's interests lay they used the modern, conversational approach to their tuition. "En yakın bar nerede?" said Glenys in a slow, calm tone. The driver of their minibus screeched to a halt in the middle of the road and then reversed down the middle of the road until with a swift 270 turn he pointed the vehicle at a roadside shack and then hurled it across the road before the advancing giant articulated petrol tank had a chance to collide with them. It was an effective learning tool, one that may, or may not be suitable for the PH tool kit. There may be those for whom the phrase meaning 'Where is the nearest bar?' will be resonating every night time as they try and drop off to sleep... but there again, maybe not. Strangely, even though no one had seemed thirsty before -it was only mid-morning - all the PH crew seemed ready to down the cocktail that was quickly whipped up for them when they slithered out of their jeep. Renamed in honour of the occasion, it was called – The Survivor! We must leave the PH crew now to finish their reconoitering as well as the drinks they have lined up for themselves on the table.  Speak softly for they will awaken with a headache... The way to the harbour in Kalkan It The PH crew were ready for action. Pausing only to down their cocktails or gulp down just one more swift Efes the intrepid team began to boldly go wherever their MI5 leader took them. And who was their leader? Why good reader - you should know this if you've been reading these attentively, but let me remind you that it was Louise who had suddenly dropped her cover and presented herself as a long-standing MI5 agent. "Miss London", they used to call her - back in the days when life was simple and Biba was there to be shopped in. Certainly, she seemed to have The London Look in spades. What a role model she was for those in the PH crew who thought that Brighton was the only place to shop. But it was not Miss London in the lead rushing down the hill, snorkel in hand. She still hadn't finished her cocktail.  It wasn't Emma either - she was clearing up the glasses and putting them in bags.  Nor was it Alison - she was travelling in style, by tahtirevan - a sedan chair, supported by some fine young SAS officers. Mrs C had gone back to get her glasses, so it couldn't be her and Kate was talking to hoards of mikes and tv cameras that had suddenly appeared. Was it Gayle.  Oh no - she was keeping a careful, moderate pace, guarding her precious stash of gold tokens, mingling with the multitudes. Maybe Natalie?  Hmm, no she was playing safe and putting on her leg warmers. Could it be Lyn?  Ah yes.  It was Lyn indeed.  And what a fantastic job she was doing.  The narrow streets of Kalkan were packed full of locals and tourists wondering what was going on.  There was no clear passage for the PH crew and there was clearly the potential for their curiosity to hamper the search for the missing Equilibrium. But Lyn had come up with such a cunning plan!  LIke confetti she threw the pages of Jane Eyre up into the air.  Who can resist Jane Eyre?  Thirsty for literature the good folk of Kalkan gathered up the pages and settled down in a quiet nook, cranny or bar to have a little sob as Jane told the story of her hard, hard life.... And so they reached the harbour and the good ship Yildiz and headed out  on a calm blue sea. Soon, the PH crew had left Kalkan behind and were drawing close to Mouse Island.  The sun was low in the sky and time was short.  Silence reigned on board.  All that could be heard was the drone of the engine. When Mrs C spoke it was in short sharp sentences - to add to the feeling of tension.  Every so often she would throw in a long convoluted phrase - to keep everyone on their toes.  "Today we are serving the world." she started.  "If we can find the missing flash pen, with the incredibly important document stored on it, we can save the world."  There was a pause and everyone turned to look at the beautiful sunset. "It's time PH.  Go now and return when you hear the strains of Titanic, the only music ever played on these boats..." One by one the PH crew leapt overboard into the darkening sea.  Each carefully adapted snorkel mask with radar pinged every few seconds as it guided each crew member to a possible spot where the missing equilibrium flash pen may have been located.   It seemed a huge task.  Mrs C felt a sense of hopelessness swim over her - then realised it was actually a rubber dinghy full of ice buckets that Emma had brought along for the ride.  She gazed at the sea floor that looked so close - but was really fathoms away.  So clear, so beautiful - but hey! What was that.  Someone had chucked their rubbish in the sea?  A bit of black plastic was wedged into a rock crevice.... or was it?   Yes it was a rock crevice.  But, dear reader - you're already there aren't you.  Ah ha!  It was no ordinary bit of plastic - it was the flash drive belonging to the man from the ministry.  The secret equilibrium documents were found and everyone would now live happily ever after! Oh, joy of joys.  PH could go back to Brighton.  But, strangely there was an air of sadness amongst the good people from the school.  Life had been different in Kalkan, and change can be difficult, we know, but perhaps it was a rather nice way of life there.   Perhaps Mrs C might even have to return there again.... pretty soon... The Kalkan Kick - or Bloody Mary plus... It's packing time and you should be really excited, but you're feeling a little stressed as you also have a million and one other things to do:  Feed the papers, cancel the cat, water the fridge and chuck out the mouldy plants - you know the sort of thing. So you need to focus on what's important - and that is getting in the right frame of mind.   📷  You need:

  • 2/3 cup  tomato juice

  • Slug of  vodka*, depending on strength of drink

  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

  • 6 shakes Tabasco Sauce

  • teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

  • Juice of 1/2 large lime (or medium lemon)

  • Salt and pepper to taste 

  • Celery stalk

A few sips of this and you'll be raring to go.  Not only that but you'll find yourself trying on those fake leopard skin shorts or  bikini bottoms that you'd shuddered at only an hour before - and chucking them in your suitcase along with a voucher for cut-price paragliding off the Taurus mountains.  Well, maybe not... The Kalkan Kiss Maybe you're wondering what on earth you're doing going on holiday when the roof needs fixing and the cat keeps being sick down the stairs.  Perhaps you should cancel it and put the money towards a new drainpipe. 📷 Oh no, no, no!  Take immediate action and create a Kalkan Kiss for yourself.  This may be hard to justify on the slimming count - but hey, it could save your holiday! You need:

  • A measure of tequila

  • small measure of white creme de cacao

  • small measure of reduced fat double cream

  • a little chambord

  • a few white chocolate flakes

  • a few raspberries for decoration

Mix all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker for about 15 seconds, then pour into a cocktail glass, chilled and rimmed with the chocolate flakes.  Decorate with raspberries.  (these could be part of your 5 a day and are very good for you). Once you've enjoyed your first Kalkan Kiss you'll be ready for romance.  And Kalkan has to be one of the most romantic places in all the world.  Who needs new drainpipes anyway! 📷 The Survivor Cocktail Survivor ingredients: to be served in a tall glass with plenty of ice. I dollop of Light Rum (1.5 oz. / 4.5 cl) Small dollop of Creme de Cacao (White) (0.25 oz. / 8 ml) Good swig of Pineapple Juice (1 oz. / 3.0 cl) A small swig of Lime Juice (0.25 oz. / 8 ml) The barman asked Emma for help in finding the glasses and then proceeded to mix The Survivor.   Here are the instructions. Fill a shaker half full with ice cubes. Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake well. Fill a tumbler almost full of ice cubes, and strain drink into tumbler. But this wasn't enough for Kate and Emily. They wanted more, more, more!  The adventure was only just beginning. So the barman, skilled in the art of chatting up tourists told them about an amazing trip he'd made to South America - surviving untold hardships after capsizing and being held to ransom half way down the Amazon. He managed to escape and made his way, alone, to Peru. This, apparently was his ticket to freedom: the drink that sent his captors to sleep.  The Sol Survivor. The Sol Survivor  is made from gin, watermelon, cucumber, lime, agave, and  a touch of mint and is as perfect in Kalkan as it is in Peru!  📷

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