Archive for November 2010

Making life more pleasant

Two major upgrades to my house to report today. A few weeks ago I went over to Izmir to pick up a dishwasher machine that I was given. It was also during the first rains of the season and when I got into the middle of Izmir it started raining. Naturally I turned on my windscreen wipers just to see the business edge of the rubber blades stay stuck to the windscreen while the metal carriers screeched across the windscreen like a fingernail down a blackboard (you have to be a certain age to appreciate that). It happens every year because the sun rots the rubber during the summer. Luckily it was only a light shower (unusual here) and I was able to carry on although a bit more careful than usual. I had been looking forward to having a beer and a chat with the guys I was picking up the dishwasher from but unfortunately that was not to be. Anyway suffice to say I got the machine back home cleaned it up and temporarily connected it to give it a test and find out how it works, I’d never used one before you see. The supermarkets in Kaş had lots of different detergent options, I had no idea which one to use but I’d seen a little compartment in the door of the machine so opened a box with tablets in it. They seemed very small but were exactly the size of the compartment so I took them. Well it was a revelation to me, I’ve never seen my washing up so clean before. Yes it’s a bit of childlike excitement, it’s pitiful really but I love getting new things, or even old things that are new to me and I’m treating it like the 21st Birthday present I never got. I won’t be using it all the time, I don’t generate enough washing up for that but when I cook up a few things to freeze for the coming month I use every pot and utensil in the house and I hate washing up after myself then. I’m not going to bother with a photograph of it, it’s a white cubiod thing just like a million others.

Every autumn for the last five years I’ve made weather resistant panels to keep the rain out of the porch with some 2×2 and polythene sheeting. It has worked well and kept the porch dry and surprisingly warm as the sun is low in the sky and the porch faces south. Sometimes it gets up to 35C in there, it’s lovely to sit in there in January wearing shorts and tee-shirt with a cold beer and read a book or do a crossword or two. The trouble with it was it looked terrible and I wasn’t proud of it. Anyway I was tidying up a few weeks ago and came across a brochure that someone gave me a couple of years ago advertising custom made screens which zip together. I decided to give them a call to find out how much it would cost to have some made and they came to measure up and give me a quote. A couple of days later I got an email with the quote , I replied asking them to go ahead and a couple of weeks later they turned up in the late afternoon to fit them.

It took a while and the guys weren’t finished until late afternoon but it was a good job and I’m happy with the result. The screens look a great deal smarter than my polythene ones, you can see clearly through the windows and the material is stronger than the polythene too.

Because it gets so warm in there with the screens it tends to keep the house warmer in the winter meaning that I don’t have to use so so much wood in the stove and the dogs have somewhere warm and dry too. All in all a good addition.

Posted November 21, 2010 by cukurbagli in Building


I need to think of new projects to do like the Sahara needs another bucketful of sand. Doesn’t stop me thinking them up though and browsing pages on the wwweb all about construction, woodwork and doing things isn’t going to reduce the number is it? So I was looking critically at the old bench that the boss of the company that built my house made while his carpenters were busy.

Doesn’t look like much does it and frankly I was a bit disappointed with him, after all he was the boss of a company that built wooden houses, not much of an advert was it. I have to say that I have added bits of reinforcement to it over the years, it regularly threatened to dump me on my backside when I was standing on it to reach the grape vines and it has been dragged unceremoniously around from place to place as needed. However the main reason I’ve been wanting to make a new one is that too many people assume that I’ve made this one. Now my woodworking skills are not honed to a fine edge, God knows it’s only since I had my eyes done that I can make a straight cut with a hand saw, but I was damned sure I could make a better effort that his. I found a website with a page about building a basic bench and seeing as I had been tidying up and now had a nice pile of wood crying out to be used I thought I would do it. Don’t ask why I’m tidying up after all this time, I just am, ok?

This is the website that I found and I’m very grateful to Bruce Maki for creating it.

His looks a lot better than mine, he’s got all nice new wood but the legs on mine are stronger. Anyway I got up yesterday morning and decided that it was a good day for bench building and this is the result.

Well that’s all for this time, I might make a settee with the rest of the offcuts, if I do and it looks ok I’ll let you know, if it looks rubbish you’ll never know I did it, bye for now.

Posted November 6, 2010 by cukurbagli in Building

Side – more photographs

At last I am able to finish the notes on Side. Not much more to talk about as we were only there for a couple of days so here are a few pictures of the place with a few comments. All of the photographs are clickable for the larger version.

Here is a small part of the ancient harbour, there’s a new and much larger one where the big boats moor, this one seems to be reserved for the little boats.

This one is in the bigger modern harbour. I rather liked the juxtaposition of colours here and the way they reflected in the water.

This little black cat could be heard all over the harbour, he wanted some fish and wasn’t going to give up crying until he got some. Obviously he is well known to the fishermen who regularly feed him. He seemed to be the only one there.

Talking of juxtapositions, I thought this horse on top of the restaurant looked sufficiently crazy to warrant a photograph.

This house was a very good example of an old system being deemed good enough to use in modern times. Apart from mortar the infill between the stone blocks is of broken clay pottery, just the same as you can see on some of the old Roman remains around the town. Why change a system if it works?

Yet another juxtaposition. All around the town there are modern (I use the term loosely) buildings next to or even integrated with ancient remains in their structure. Here the Temple of Apollo can be seen close to houses with part of the Basilica just to the left of it.

This young woman was making a very intricate and fine kilim using silks. The designs she was using are hung above for reference. The speed she worked at was very impressive and clearly she was highly skilled and experienced. There were no markings for her to follow on the backing strings (warp or weft?) the accuracy of the resulting design was solely due to her skill in interpreting the pictures.

Almost all of the houses have been turned into restaurants, hotels or shops. Here just back from the seafront the shops dominate.

Well that’s all for now, you should really go and see the place for yourselves, you’ll be delighted, amazed and in July or August very hot too.

Posted November 1, 2010 by cukurbagli in Building, History, Tourism, Turkey