Author Archive

Twelve Camels For Your Wife   4 comments

My friend George lives about 175 kilometres north west of me in a village called Kaplan. He’s holidayed in Turkey since 1972 and eventually decided to live here full time. His book about life as a visiting Turcophile and expat resident is an excellent read, his take on the realities of this wonderful country sighing in sympathy and laughing in agreement.

The ups, downs, adventures and misadventures are, by turns, hilarious, frightening, funny and sad. There are a lot of ex-pat foreigners living here from various countries and most of us can relate to some of Georges experiences, I doubt that many of us have had such a wide range of them though.

The back cover says this:

Charmed by the fulsome hospitality of strangers, enthralled by breathtaking archeological sites, dazzled by beautiful beaches and scenery the author fell in love with Turkey in 1972. The lifelong romance that followed has included many incredible, sometimes sad but more often comical situations as a regular holiday destination later became a permanent home. They include being arrested as a spy, watching a man swallow a snake, judging a beauty contest, being given a front row seat at a circumcision and seeing Turkey’s most famous criminal crash a plane. Whether you are a casual traveller, looking to live abroad or a seasoned ex pat the book seeks to explain Turkey’s sometimes crazy but endearing customs, habits and culture.

Anyone interested in Turkey would enjoy reading this book either for amusement or as an eye opener to the lifestyle of an ex-pat.

Get the book from Amazon.co.uk

Posted May 5, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Become a Pen-pal   Leave a comment

A good friend of mine founded a website with the aim of introducing people with others who would like to write real letters with paper and pen then post them in a post box or post office. ( You don’t have to use a pen, typing is also acceptable )

It’s an old fashioned idea but something that feels more real and takes a little more thought. You can be as clever or interesting as you like and hopefully you will receive an equally interesting letter shortly afterwards, although the two letters I’ve sent so far have taken a long time to get to their addresses but then I am writing from Turkey. Perhaps I should ask for the airmail option in the Post Office?

Have a look at the site and see what you think, it could be fun. If you sign up you will receive a list of very different people (men, women, married, single) all with different backgrounds in very different places all over the world, choose one and pop an introductory letter in the post, you could have a new friend for life. By the way, it won’t cost anything.

Here’s the address: https://www.letterinthepost.com/

Have fun.

Posted April 28, 2021 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Jan 2021   3 comments

I’ve had some complaints about my lack of activity so in order to placate a vociferous minority here is another blog. I’m going to gloss over a lot of last year’s aspects, too much bad news for and from so many people and places for me to even start writing about it. I took a few photographs during the year and I’m going to include them and some stories about them in no particular order of date or importance.

You will have seen that a new water pipe was installed along the road and I was furnished with a new supply to it. I had to connect to this new pipe because the old supply from the other side of the road was severed when the trench was dug. Previously I had bought and fitted a new water pump to and the arrival of this new pipe made me think that I had wasted a lot of money by getting a very quiet and modern pump but it turned out that I inadvertently did the right thing because the pressure from the new supply can be too much for some of my water fittings. I’ve had trouble with some of the taps and valves being over powered by the main supply pressure so now I just let that keep my forty seven litre tank full and allow the new pump to supply the house from that tank.

 

Since I have lived here (17 years this year) I have found that having to cook for myself has meant I have grown to enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. Successful pie pastry has eluded me though, at least until now. I have had to resort to the frozen millefeuille pastry which although turns out nice as seen below it’s not home made.

I must admit that my early attempts were failures but persistence pays off and although it has been a long time between attempts I think I have finally managed to make pie crust that I don’t need a road drill to get through. My goal is to make a raised pastry case pork pie, apparently this is one of the most failure ridden recipes but I will try. I will post more photos of my successes in due course. Until then this kind of pie crust will keep me going. I put all sorts of filling beneath it and especially in the winter months I find the pies not only tasty but comforting and they usually last for a few days too.

A young lady in Kaş brought me a kitten.

Cute little thing with very nice colour marking. It had been named Mayıs because she found it in May. There are a lot of unwanted or unplanned dog and cat births around here that considerable effort is made to try to control. A very difficult task for local veterinarians made harder by the natural wish of the local people to let nature be nature. Consequently there are always lots of puppies and kittens who are being put up for adoption and I find it quite difficult to refuse sometimes. This kitten, however, caught my attention and I relented. She even came with her own bed. She’s a very exuberant little thing and has caused me a number of scratches and wounds and reminded me that I cannot leave things lying around if I expect to ever find them again. The dogs are trying to avoid her too, even big Wolfie will go out of his way to avoid walking within talon’s reach of her.

The tortoises in my garden have come in for some attention but they don’t move quickly enough to hold her interest for more than a minute or so.

Talking of dogs I was very upset recently to lose my favourite dog Minnie to the curse of the Leishmaniasis disease. She had been with me for 12 years since joining me when I was taking two of my previous dogs for a walk up the road near my house. They started looking around behind them and in the end I stopped to look too.

This little brown dog was following us and eventually when we got to my gate and went in she carried on down the road. About fifteen minutes later when I was having a coffee on the patio she came trotting up my drive. I gave her some water and then some food and she stayed ever since. I never had to put her on a lead, she always trotted right behind me everywhere we went.

I’m really sad to have lost her, just wish there was some medication that cured this rotten disease but no-one has found one yet.

 

This is the time of year when we get nice skies and beautiful sunsets. I need to go to the other side of the hills to get the sun going down past the sea horizon but I’m not allowed out that late during the day for now. I’ll post the good ones that I get from my patio for now.

That’s all for now folks, I’ll post some more soon. Hopefully I’ll have no more complaints, you know who you are, hee hee.

 

Posted January 13, 2021 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food, Turkey

Water pipe   4 comments

Oh joy of joys, yet another water pipe is being buried along the side of the road outside my house. This is the third pipe, the first was a big twelve inch diameter one made of hard plastic that was buried about a metre deep. The second was smaller probably two inch diameter and is being ripped out to make way for this one which is four inch. The works for this new pipe include cutting through everything that crosses the road too, including the pipe that supplies water to my house and my neighbour’s house. It also includes ripping up the concrete “bridge” that I made to cross the gulley that carried rainwater down the side of the road. I expect it will be up to me to make a join from my drive entrance to the road surface but it would appear that a bridge will not be necessary because the digger driver is filling in the the gulley level with the road surface.

Here are a couple of photos, the result will be shown in a day or two.

I’m cut off from the world! Good job I left my car down the road a piece.

 

Neighbour’s drive entrance.

While a point could be made that I wasn’t informed it was going to happen and other complaints, the fact of the matter is that I am delighted because the lack of mains water in the summer months is something that has plagued us for far too long. There has been very little planning in the expansion of Kaş over the last twenty years and none at all in the development of Çukurbağ village. Of course local businesses wish to take advantage of the expanding tourism and making more hotels and other rental accommodation is an important part of that as are the other aspects of tourism like beach facilities. Kaş cannot remain as it was even though I and many others wish it could, summer tourists are going to come whether we like it or not and they will resort to sleeping by the sides of the road if nothing else is available, sympathetic planning and provision of infrastructure must at least keep up with growing demand. I hope the people in charge can figure this out and react accordingly.

Posted July 29, 2020 by cukurbagli in Building, Environs of the village, Kas, Tourism

Corona Virus, short personal update   2 comments

I’m now into week two of the official internment at my place here in Çukurbağ. I’m trying to keep up with events in Turkey and the rest of the world but it’s a bit difficult with all the wild exaggeration from some quarters and the blase attitudes of others. I just hope that as many people as possible can survive to see another year.

I have been keeping myself out of the way for about a month, easy to do in winter here and my stock of food is usually fairly plentiful anyway so no problems here.

Tourism is going to wiped out in most of the developed world by the look of it and that will be a shame for the people running tourism related businesses but it will undoubtedly be good for the planet not to have so many people travelling, particularly by air. Reports of fish returning to the Venice canals is just one of the examples I noticed.

My efforts in the coming weeks are going to be focused on tidying up my garden, repairing my BMW motorcycle, finishing off building a wall and constructing a stone pizza and bread oven.

My pets are all safe and well as am I so good luck to all.

Chris

Posted March 29, 2020 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Another Bonus Day   2 comments

Yesterday Sunday, 02.02.2020, unusual because it’s date is also a palindrome, was another one of my bonus days, the days in the middle of winter that have blue skies and warm sunshine. I had visitors and we sat outside in the warm sun, talked and ate a variety of cakes, buns and savoury pastries with Turkish tea (Çay) and a drop of wine. We had plenty to eat and some left over for my breakfast, the dogs all had plenty of cuddles and treats, even Whisky who was brave and came close for some cuddles but didn’t want to be photographed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Derya, Ann, Gamze and Laura for coming and bringing food and good cheer.

 

 

 

Posted February 3, 2020 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Christmas Day   2 comments

I wish a very Happy Christmas to all my readers. I think I have probably said this before but every Christmas day bar one has been a beautiful day with blues skies and today is no different.

 

The morning walk with the dogs was interesting, lots of evidence of the wild boar digging along the roadside. We walked for about half an hour then back home for breakfast.

 

Now off to cook my Christmas dinner…..with sprouts of course!

Posted December 25, 2019 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Cars, bikes, scrap and a poem.   6 comments

The car that I bought about four years ago has an electrical oddity that automatically locks the doors for you when it thinks you have forgotten. Since I habitually leave my car doors unlocked when parking behind my house this is an annoyance when I bring back from shopping sprees a couple of heavy bags of dog food or some large bottles of water. I bring the smaller shopping into the house first then go back for the heavy items by which time the car has locked itself. Thankfully I don’t usually leave the keys in the ignition when bringing the first batch of stuff in, until yesterday that is. You might think from my background in automotive engineering and maintenance that getting into a locked car whose keys are safely inside it would not present much of a problem but when the keyring also has my house keys hanging on it things become a little more difficult. Any tools or usefully long bits of thin metal were all locked inside so my ingenuity was severely tested for about half an hour until I resorted to the big hammer.

I hated doing it that way, apart from anything else it involved a lot of work with the vacuum cleaner and then two walks, one from the local garage back to my house and one back to the garage to pick up the car with new window fitted. Funny thing was my astrology reading for this month included a warning that I would have an unforseen expense, oooer missus.

My immediately younger brother is now the owner of two nice Triumph motorcycles from the 1960s. I’m jealous. This one….

and this one….

which he promptly dismantled.

We have liked Triumph bikes since we first got licences, I’ve had two or three and my youngest brother also had one or two back in the day. I’m currently having a problem with my BMW (pictures posted previously) and I think it’s going to necessitate a major strip down and possible engine out of the frame as per the photo above. I’ll let you know.

On the walk back from the local garage yesterday I came upon a truck parked close to my house, it was a scrap metal man (hurdacı in Turkish). My old wood burning stove that I replaced has been sitting on my front terrace for a couple of years looking worse and worse so I invited the scrap man to relieve me of it so he came to have a look at it. It is (was) big and very heavy being made of cast iron. The bolts holding it together were rusted and it wouldn’t come apart so he tipped it off the terrace and reduced it to broken bits by slamming a big rock down on it. Well I’m glad it’s gone but I thought it was a shame to smash it because someone might have made use of it. No pictures because I wasn’t quick enough.

I found a poem by Arthur Hugh Clough and thought the last verse suited my house particularly well.

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
     The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
     And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
     It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
     And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
     Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
     Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
     When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
     But westward, look, the land is bright.
Something I have enjoyed ever since I’ve been here, the sun comes up in the east, behind my house, light comes then the view to the west is of lighted mountains. I had photographs of it but I can’t find them now so I’ll take one or two tomorrow morning and add them here….  Finally found one, apologies for the quality, was on my phone. I leave my curtains open most nights and this is the view that I get if I stay in bed an extra half hour. Not bad eh?

Posted November 21, 2019 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Kawasaki Netflix   Leave a comment

 

The indicators on my Kawasaki were flashing far too quickly, in UK that would be cause for an MoT failure. I’m not sure if it would be a fail in Turkey but it has bothered me for a long time because it didn’t give chance for the lamp to shine long enough to get to it’s brightest meaning that someone following me would have less chance of seeing it. Anyone who has driven a motorcycle knows that signalling your intentions is not only good road sense but often the difference between life and death. In Turkey that goes double. After a number of attempts I finally found the fault, the indicator flasher unit wasn’t working properly. The reason it took so long to discover the cause of the fault is that I couldn’t find the flasher unit, it is a silent one and is buried deep in a dark cranny behind wires and connectors, only by methodically taking bits off did I find it. Of course it was a sealed unit, not repairable and I thought I was going to be in for a long search to find a replacement. Imagine my surprise when I visited a local motorcycle repair shop to find they had one on the shelf. They’d had the bike for a fortnight not long ago and this fault was one that I had specifically asked them to fix so why didn’t they? A typical shrug of the shoulders was all I got. Anyway it’s now fixed along with a new fuse in the spot/fog light circuit. I feel a lot safer now.

 

 

A very kind friend allowed me to use her Netflix login and I’ve been watching lots of films and tv series over the last couple of weeks. I’m very impressed, so much so that l started my own account on Monday when hers stopped working. Lots of great films I want to see and if you use a VPN you can get content from other countries not available here in Turkey apparently. Excellent price too.

Posted October 30, 2019 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Saturday ride, beach lunch   2 comments

Had a ride over to Finike yesterday (Saturday) afternoon on the Beemer.

It was hellish hot every time I had to stop for traffic lights (only four or five times thankfully) but enjoyable. Bought a few things in a shop there then on the way back I stopped at Volkan’s beach restaurant in Suluklu Beach, Demre for a cold drink and something to eat.

 

By the way, that is not me in the green shorts.

Nice couple of hours out, saw a few other bikers around too.

Posted August 25, 2019 by cukurbagli in Food