I’ve been reading Sian’s blog for the last few months. It’s a lifestyle blog. More specifically a ‘life in Turkey’ blog which of course I can identify with. However what sets it apart is its outrageous positivity. Not in an alienating no-normal-person-can-possibly-be-this-happy way, but in a seize-life-with-both-hands-and-run-with-it way. Sian is a self confessed optimist, a person who doesn’t see the point in waiting for life to happen but actively thinks “sod it, let’s go for it.”
I am not quite sure what to expect when I go to interview her. I’ve never actually seen her in person, though candid snap shots pepper her blog, and more than once her collection of tattoos, and her distaste for wearing dresses, is mentioned. I know she made the somewhat unusual choice to move to Turkey way before retirement age, and not in the company of a significant other – she’d been happily single for fifteen years at that point – but with her two rather elderly cats. I know that since arriving she has fallen in love with a man (and his motorbike) and that she is an active volunteer for The Calis Children’s Charity, aka the 3 C’s. I have no idea how all these rather disparate puzzle pieces fit together, but I am looking forward to finding out.
We meet in the beach-front Eyna Cafe, the home of the 3C’s charity shop, the 6TL for coffee and cake deal, and an immense rubber tree that provides the cooling type of shade a plastic awning-extension just can’t. I have been half expecting her to be loud, maybe a little sweary, to have the kind of hair that says ‘recently I was a completely different colour’ or ‘a few more days and I’ll turn into dreadlocks.’ She is none of these things. In fact my initial reaction is surprise at just how reserved she is.
She tells me how she discovered Turkey, the seven visits in three years to a friend who’d recently made the move and how she began to research the possibility of coming herself.
“Things just fell into place. I managed to sell my flat in Kent. I got a part time online job with a UK firm. Then most important of all the quarantine rules were relaxed and I could bring my elderly cats without them having to spend six months in limbo. I just didn’t have any excuse not to come.”