Archive for April 2010

How green is my valley

Took the dogs for a walk up to the top of the ridge at the back of the house this morning. My aim was to get a photograph of the valley with the early morning sun lighting it up. Well I got there a bit early and had to wait half an hour or so with the sun rising behind me and the light chasing the shadow across the valley towards me until it got to  my house. Mine is the nearest one with the green roof. Click on the picture for the big version.

I had to chuck away some of a previous lot of milk I got from Hanife because I didn’t use it quickly enough so I froze three litres of the last lot. It didn’t really work out though, the cream sort of went into little bits like it had curdled and kept floating on the top of a cup of coffee so I didn’t like that. Well this time I let it stand in the fridge overnight before doing anything with it then I scooped all the cream off and kept it in a different jug before again freezing three litres. I got over a pint of cream off it so I’ll have to make an apple pie and some other things to eat it with.

Did a bit more laying of the stone this morning then went down to Kas. It is starting to get really warm down there now, it’s so pleasant sitting in one of the tea gardens having a drink and a chat and watching the world go by.

A big international cycle race was coming past Kas today, very exciting for lots of people but a complete pain in the ass if you wanted to get anywhere because they closed the main road for about 3 hours. I was lucky to be able to blag permission from the traffic police to cross the road and come up the ‘back’ road to my village. Some of my mates had to stay in town until they opened the road again. I got caught with it last year and had to wait an hour and a half before going on my way.

My best friend in the village, Suleyman, has a new tenant in his first floor apartment, Ali is his name and he and his wife Filiz speak excellent English and I like them very much. Well Ali Bey’s son in law has a hotel in Kalkan so I thought I’d include a link to the website for it. I haven’t been there yet but I’ll go and see it next time I’m over that way. Looking at the website I’d say if you want some really nice traditional Turkish hospitality at a fantastic price this is the place to go.

Update: Just been informed that the link to the hotel has stopped working, sorry about that, I’ll ring them and find out what’s happening. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Update 2: The message you now get when clicking the link translates as “The website is undergoing maintenance and will be published soon with a new look.”

Posted April 16, 2010 by cukurbagli in Building, Environs of the village, Food, Neighbours

Meis, Hoopoe

Going over to the Greek island of Meis is always a treat for me. I like to hear Greek spoken, it reminds me of my days in Cyprus, and I can get a couple of duty free items. As usual I got a bottle of Cognac and one of decent red wine, the other thing they have over there that I can’t get here is Cadbury’s Whole Nut chocolate. I got two 400 gram slabs, you can’t call it a bar of chocolate when it’s that big. Also had a pork chop for lunch and a couple of beers. When I got back home I had a sleep on the sofa on the veranda with the dogs.

This evening one of the Hoopoes was wandering around the garden busily pecking at stuff. I scared it off at first but it came back and I managed to get quite a decent photograph of it. Little bit of motion blur on it’s crest but otherwise quite good except for the lack of light.

200mm 1/50th at f4 ISO 100

Posted April 15, 2010 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food

Breakfast and baby plants

Halfway through my breakfast it occurred to me that it might make a photograph. I like the colours.

Last year I went to Izmir for the weekend. I’ve posted this photograph before but I like it so I’m posting it again. We were on a ferry going across Izmir bay in the evening, just in time to catch a nice sunset.

While I was over in Izmir I had a trip over to Çeşme, playground of the rich and famous. Anyway a friend of mine over there gave me some seeds from a few plants in her garden, I got round to planting them this spring and this is how one type came up. I thought it was interesting that the first pair of leaves were rounded and the next had jagged edges.

This happens a lot in nature I imagine but I thought this was quite a good example and I found it interesting. Trouble is I can’t remember what the mature plant looked like so I’m looking forward to watching them grow.

Posted April 11, 2010 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized


In the garden this morning doing some tidying up I heard the dogs start to bark and looked up to see what they had seen. Hanife, my neighbour was at the gate with her little girl. I went down to see her and she wanted to ask if she could bring her cows in through the other gate to eat the grass growing in the centre and at the sides of the drive down there. Well it saved me the job of cutting it down so I said yes. Eating the grass would be good for the cows too because it is thick, rich grass and not the sparse stuff that grows alongside the roads. It would be good for me in another way, I get my milk from Hanife and what’s good for the cows is good for my milk. It’s beautiful milk too, lovely and creamy and makes fantastic porridge. Here’s a picture of  Hanife and her daughter with one of her three cows.

She can bring the cows again. In the past I haven’t suggested it because I didn’t want cow manure full of weed seeds all over the place. Now I have a big container I can shovel it up and let it soak in with some water to make a good feed for some of the plants, they don’t do that much of it anyway.

Posted April 7, 2010 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food, Neighbours


At this time of year when I’m out in the garden there is quite a bit of it going on here and there. Not the kind of bonking you’re thinking about though. This is part of the  mating ritual of the tortoise. Lots of tortoises shelter for the winter amongst the bushes at the south end of the garden and they are keen to make some babies when they wake up in spring.

The male follows the trail of a female and when he catches up with her he gets up close and starts ramming her shell with his shell. It makes a dull “bonk” sound. It must be a very amorous thing for him to do and obviously it gets the female in the right mood too judging by the number of tortoises around here.  I can’t tell you how it develops into mating because I haven’t seen it, I’ll take a chair next time I hear them and sit and watch what happens.

I could say they breed like rabbits but I think they might be offended by that, however there are plenty of them and more coming every year. The first spring that I was in residence here I numbered them when I found them and put them outside the fence, I got fed up when I reached about number thirty five and gave up. They all came back anyway.

The gestation period, that is the period between mating and laying of eggs is between three weeks and three years apparently. Waiting for conditions to be conducive I suppose. Some of the females lay their eggs in my sand pile and between eight and twelve weeks later they hatch. I’ve only seen a couple of the newly hatched ones, mainly because they seem to hatch at night and scurry off into the undergrowth until their shells harden. The traces of their egress from the sand pile are pretty obvious though.

I’ve been doing a bit more to my drive lately, laying more flat stone on a concrete bed, should be strong enough for a truck to drive over it by the time I’m finished. As I sit here typing now my shoulder muscles are letting me know that I’ve done some work today. It’s a nice feeling to be tired because of doing some physical work. Today being Sunday I took it easy and only did a bit.

Posted April 4, 2010 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized