Archive for May 2013

Roadworthiness Checks

You’ll notice that I used the plural in the title, recently the car and the scooter both had to be tested so I have been able to try out the new system that is employed for us now. We have a bright shiny new testing station to take our vehicles to, unfortunately for us it is 44 Km away by the junction for Patara, an ancient Lycian site which also happens to have a nice 7 Km sandy beach where turtles lay their eggs. This distance is not a problem if I take my car because the car is relatively comfortable but on the scooter it’s a bum-numbing trip and shakes your insides up a lot. The springs and shock absorbers must be on a racing set-up or they expect two (or three) people to be on board, it nearly shakes the scooter to bits too.

Anyway I made it over there with the car a few weeks ago, I only had to wait a couple of minutes because there was only one other car there. Unfortunately it failed for cracked brake hoses on the rear but I found a place to get them done and took it straight back to the tester and he passed it. Very quick, I got there about 9am and arrived back home at 11.30 or so.

Today was a little tedious because I seemed to be waiting for a lot longer but maybe it was just feeling all shaken up by the ride over there. I didn’t have to get anything repaired though and was still back home at 11.30. A couple of my friends were there getting their scooters done too so I had someone to chat to. Here’s a photo of the new station.


Posted May 27, 2013 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Fiona’s view.

Fiona flowers2

Ooooh! Dead flower stems… favourites! Yum yum…..

Posted May 19, 2013 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Computer, suicide.

Mustafa the kamyoncu (truck driver), an old friend of mine here, was telling me how his daughter Merve needed a computer for part of her studies. He was trying to see if I could help him decide on what kind to get for her, he has no experience of computers at all. After I talked to Merve about it I thought it would be a good way to dispose of my old laptop. It needed a new key, which I ordered online, and I gave it a good clean but I’m happy to say that it now has a good home. It won’t win any awards but it might help her with English, it runs XP and has an English keyboard, no wireless card (it’s ten years old), no camera, but as a first computer it will help. Actually the English version of XP might be better than the Turkish as a number of Turkish friends have said that they don’t understand the Microsoft translations for actions.

The donkey, I called her Fiona, is enjoying her stay with me and I’m discovering little bits of her character now. She likes to come and stand by the house in between bouts of feeding and stamps her foot when she wants some attention. I give her a carrot in the mornings for breakfast and she noticed one sticking out of my pocket the other day as I was taking her down the garden so she came up close behind me and pulled it out and ate it. I had noticed that her hooves are a little bit overgrown so I wanted to get a couple of tools to help me trim them. I have never been a farrier and didn’t know the slightest thing about how to go about it but all you have to do to learn something these days is look on Youtube. Yes there are instructional videos even on trimming donkey hooves! Well I asked one of the market traders to get me a couple of things, describing what I wanted to do stretched my Turkish a bit but in the end he understood. There are traders that sell what I call “village tools”, implements to do all the things that village men and women do, things like a spike with a swivel with a chain that you can stick in the ground and tether your donkey to so it won’t tangle the chain up, or a tara, like a machete but the curve goes inwards like a billhook, it’s used for general cutting of the bushes that grow all over the countryside here. Well this guy didn’t have the tools I wanted but said he would bring them and he did. One of them was a big rasp, a very coarse file for trimming and smoothing the hoof after it’s been cut, the other was probably the most dangerous hand tool I’ve ever seen. Here’s a picture.

Hoof tool


It’s almost designed to slash your wrist for you. This is a right handed model, I assume left handed ones are available too. Actually I think he had it made specially for me. To use it you lift the donkey’s hoof and cradle it in your left hand with your thumb alongside your other fingers to keep it out of the way. Then you sharply hack at the bottom of the hoof in an attempt to remove shavings. This means that the (extremely) sharp blade is pulled directly towards your exposed inner forearm so that the outer corner of the blade is in exactly the right position to sever the arteries and veins near your wrist. I have used all sorts of tool all my life, both in work and play but a more effective tool for committing accidental suicide or at least giving yourself a serious injury I have never seen. It was obvious too that the market trader was aware of the dangers of using it because he warned me at great length, clearly the reputation of this thing is well known. Actually I don’t like the method at all, I’m not a fan of tools used in a hacking or hitting manner and I won’t be using it, a nice sharp pair of cutters will do the job much more¬†accurately and with less danger to everyone involved. The rasp has proved to be a bit of fun though. Maybe it tickles the feet but as soon as I finish using it Fiona is off, jumping, skipping and running around and the dogs join in the fun. Of course it could also be the removal of all the stones and dirt from the recesses of the hoof that make her feel good, imagine if you were walking around with three or four sharp stones in your shoes all day, wouldn’t you jump for joy when someone took them out for you?

Posted May 19, 2013 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized