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Morning coffee on the terrace   2 comments

Not a breath of a breeze, no leaves twitch, the sounds of cockerels, chickens, a cow lowing in a byre, pigeons. The evidence of life is all around me, birds singing, the sound of car tyres on patchy asphalt but all the evidence can only be heard, nothing I see is moving, from my spot on the terrace it is surreal, not one movement can be seen yet all the sounds prove that it is occurring somewhere close by. The cries of a goat herder urging her flock along the path to fresh browsing.

The early sun casts shadows on the opposite side of the valley revealing the contours that will be hidden in an hour to be revealed again by the late afternoon sun striking from a different angle. Noises of people starting work, leaving houses, doors shutting, things being dragged or dropped, voices calling to each other.

A bird breaks the stillness, a gently descending glide across my field of vision, followed seconds later by another, a tiny toy truck invisibly pushed by a child’s hand crawls along the road across the valley, a delivery to the concrete plant.

The dogs have had breakfast.

Wolfie strides onto the terrace, head down moving purposefully. He stops, raises his head to peruse the scene then, tucking one leg under he sits then lies, lets out a long sighing breath and is still. He’ll be there for the next hour.

Molly dozes but listens for any sound, she will be the first to react if something alerts her, she is the pack’s alarm.

Whisky is watching me, watching my movements.

Minnie rests under a bench, awake now, everything is again still.

My cup now cries for a refill, the scratching of my pencil on the paper ceases and I rise and turn toward the kitchen, the moment is lost for now, perhaps to be re-enacted tomorrow?

Posted August 7, 2017 by cukurbagli in Animals, Environs of the village, Turkey

Test. Death. Cats & Dogs. Bikes. Beds. Fire.   Leave a comment

Earlier this month, after a lot of administrative nonsense I got my scooter to the testing station at the allotted time and as expected it passed. Third time of getting there though and it would have to have been during this spell of hot (40C and above) weather that we were going through. However apart from a slight grumble I took it in my stride and kept smiling.

My spirits were at rock bottom a little while later when I heard that my first and best friend here had suffered a heart attack and died. Buke Yılmaz Kadırıkan, “Yilmaz” to everybody, was well known and well liked. He owned the famous Hijazz Bar in Kaş and had lived and worked in many countries before ending up here in Kaş.

Yılmaz 01-01-1949 — 07-07-2017

 

When you have pets, in my case dogs and cats, it’s hard to stay fed up for long, they always lift my spirits with their antics and funny ways. Sitting with them while eating my breakfast in the morning or having a glass of wine in the evening is always a nice thing to do.

I have bought a motorbike. That set my spirits at an all time high since moving here. It’s been about twenty years since I had a real motorbike, this one is not the biggest or heaviest or most powerful that I’ve had by a long chalk but it’s in my possession now and that’s the point. I have really missed the feeling of riding a bike. A scooter just doesn’t have the same thrill, adrenaline does not flow. Now I’ve got this I’m going swimming regularly in the mornings, what an incentive eh?

I’ve been experimenting with dog beds and concluded that I’m too big for them. Ha ha, no, our local dog sanctuary uses wooden pallets for the dogs to sleep on, the dogs are ok with that but cleaning the pens out is a problem because all the poo, hair and other detritus including thousands of ticks gets stuck in and under the pallets. Cleaning them and around them is a nightmare. I am developing a bed that is sturdy, easy to make, easy to clean under and above all cheap. Most animal sanctuaries have limited funds so it’s worth cutting the cost down as much as possible. One of my cats was checking out the original version.

This was one idea using strong plastic water piping but I think I can cut the cost even further. We’re going to need a couple of hundred or so. Watch this space.

There was a big drama a few nights ago in the town harbour in Kaş, a nice big yacht caught fire and burnt itself to the waterline and beyond. This was a nice yacht around 45 feet long and this is all that was left. A very sorry looking few bits of the stern, what a shame. Hope the insurance was up to date.

 

Posted July 29, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Kennel, Roads and a Chipper   6 comments

My new dog, Whisky, is now settling in to a nice life with me, she is still quite nervous and panics at the drop of a hat, or anything else, but now at least will come and have a fussing session with me. She jumps up on the dogs’ settee to put her paws on my chest when I go out to them in the mornings for a fuss so I’m happy about that. I made a three berth kennel for the three girls.

So the old double one will go up to the sanctuary in the next day or two. I’ll have to cover the top of it with polythene first so that rain won’t get in but that’s not very likely to happen until October at the earliest.

In Kaş the Belediye (Municipal Council) suddenly decided to rip out the temporary road surface that they had put down in March,

and are now laying a new block surface as originally intended.

Of course this has had the place in an uproar because of all the dust and damage, since we are now well into the tourist season it has affected the number of Turkish tourists coming here too. The Turkish media have been full of it so everyone in the country who might come has been aware. Actually I think the new blocks look quite good and fairly in keeping with Kaş,

they look a lot better than the old interlocking blocks. The problem that a lot of people have noticed is that a lot of trees that lined the boulevard have gone and the green central median with it’s hedges and trees has likewise disappeared. Well we won’t have long to wait to find out what the final appearance will be.

At the same time as all this is going on down in Kaş we are having the road from Ağullu to Çukurbağ resurfaced, not with those blocks unfortunately,just a spray of tar then a covering of chippings, not necessarily on the same day either, just to make sure that everyone gets a souvenir coating of tar on the sides of the cars. Today they spread the chippings but I didn’t have my camera so no photo.

I have been thinking about having a few chickens to supply me with fresh eggs. They will be able to eat a lot of my vegetable food waste and will also be helpful in keeping down the scorpions, not that I see that many these days but I know there are still plenty that I don’t see. To make a nice space for a chicken run I’ve been trying to cut down a lot of the maquis bushes but I had to call a halt because now that we are in the warmer part of year I can’t have a bonfire to get rid of the cuttings. Then I thought about a wood chipper so had a look online and sure enough Hepsiburada.com have just what I need so I ordered one, here’s a picture from their website.

Should be here next Monday or Tuesday, can’t wait to try it out. A bonus is that I won’t have to have a plume of smoke rising from my garden so I’ll be able to use it while my neighbours are here and I can use the chippings as a mulch to help deter weeds.

 

Posted June 21, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

A new dog   Leave a comment

Well I suppose I shouldn’t have done it but a new dog took my heart so I’ll now have to make another kennel.

Her name is now Whisky and I’ve started a blog for her here https://whiskys.blog

 

Posted May 23, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Sofa, Phellos flowers Frankenpot.   4 comments

What a lovely couple of days we’ve just had, beautiful blue sky, warm sunshine, couldn’t ask for nicer.

Way back before Christmas I visited the Sofa bistro in Kaş where a small fund raising even was held in support of the Kaş Animal Friends charity. I decided to take Wolfie for an outing and to see his old stamping ground in the middle of Kaş. We had a nice little walk around and he sniffed all his old haunts then we headed over to Sofa. A few other dogs were there and we got our picture taken, a very nice one of him too.

Since then I have visited Sofa a few times to have lunch, it’s nice and quiet there which contrasts starkly with the goings on in the middle of town where all the roads have been dug up causing lots of noise and dust. Sofa is an intimate little place with a nice menu, good food and is not expensive. Here’s a picture of it.

At home I have been trying make more improvements, this time to the garden. Spring sprang and I started getting flowers to put into a job lot of large second hand pots that I bought for the patios, I also bought nine new almond trees that have gone into the garden. On the subject of new plants I stumbled upon a picture of a plant that I have a few examples of in the garden.

It’s called a Mandrake. I’m not really too happy about discovering its name because that led me to do a search for information on it and then I discovered that it can be fatally poisonous to anything that eats it, human or animal. It makes a round red fruit that looks for all the world like a tomato albeit slightly more orange coloured than what we are used to seeing. All of the parts are poisonous so it’s definitely worth avoiding. I’ll have to make sure that my neighbour doesn’t bring her goats into the garden any more.

Last week I had a walk, with some friends, up to the ancient Lycian city of Phellos on the top of the ridge opposite my house. Very enjoyable morning and got our pulses beating a little quicker. Took the dogs too of course, five of them altogether and they slept all afternoon, more than one of the humans had a nap too!

I’ve got some more photos of the flowers to post but I’m getting some more flowers soon so I’ll wait until I’ve potted them up and then have a flower festival post. Bye for now.

Edit: My apologies, I forgot to add the frankenpot item that I alluded to in the title of this blog, why didn’t one of you say something? Sometime during the winter one of my flower pots got cracked, the fact that it grimly held itself together until the winter finished inspired me to try and perform some surgery to save it. Here it is

I had some aluminium wire, off-cuts from the new power cable that was strung up along my road, when I picked them up I knew they would come in handy and so it proved. The idea came from a couple of pots I already had which are painted to resemble leather pieces sewn together. It took me about an hour to do it and I think it looks rather fun, I call it Frankenpot.

 

 

Posted April 3, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Drainage   5 comments

Trying to find your way around Kaş in a car has been a bit of a trial recently and the trial is not over yet by a long chalk. Being situated in a small half bowl surrounded by the foothills of the Taurus mountains, when the rain comes it has nowhere to go but downhill into the town. I suppose in earlier times there was sufficient open ground for a lot of it to soak into the soil but since the expansion of the town the water has to go somewhere else, concrete and asphalt don’t soak up much. So in an effort to make the town less prone to flooding during the heavy winter rains an upgrade of the drainage systems began a couple of months ago. Various other building works have taken the opportunity afforded by the road closures and driving around Kaş has been a game of “U” turns and an opportunity to practice your reversing skills.

Here are some pictures of the upheaval.

ataturk-boulevard3        ataturk-boulevard2        ataturk-boulevard

 

lion-tomb-to-bi-lokma       old-house-bar-to-cafe-corner       side-of-cinarlar

 

silk-road-to-square       by-post-office

Hopefully it will all be finished and looking beautiful for the beginning of the tourist season.

Posted January 26, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Bulbul Coriander   4 comments

Standing at the kitchen sink this morning doing a bit of washing up and I spotted this pair of birds that are new visitors to my garden. In the twelve years I’ve lived here I haven’t ever seen any of these before. They are called White Spectacled Bulbul or Yellow Vented Bulbul for obvious reasons. That water they are bathing in pretty cold this morning but the sun is quite warm for them.

yello-bum

 

yello-bum-2

I’ll bet they don’t have any trouble following each other.

 

I like making curry but one of the spices used in some of my recipes is Coriander leaves. Well I had a hard enough time finding any Coriander until somebody told me about the spice shop in town, only been there a couple of years, why haven’t I noticed it before you may ask, I asked the same thing myself. Anyway I was only able to get ground Coriander and seeds so I planted some, didn’t really think they’d be viable but nearly all of them germinated. Very pleased with that, three pots of them are in the sun on my kitchen window sill now.

coriander

By the way, I also found out recently that in America Coriander is known as Cilantro, a good discovery because I’ve never known that and I have a few recipes calling for Cilantro. It’s also known as Chinese Parsley, something else I didn’t know, of all the things I didn’t know I didn’t know that the most. Thanks Bob.

Posted December 10, 2016 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food, Gardening, Turkey