Archive for the ‘Environs of the village’ Category

Morning coffee on the terrace   4 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?

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

Finger, France   Leave a comment

It’s now three weeks since the accident with my fingers and it seems that one is OK and one is not. The third finger of my left hand that was cut has healed, the village doctor here in France has taken the stitches out and apart from looking a bit red now it seems to be doing fine. I suppose it will take some time for the nerves to heal and the sensation to come back in it but that was to be expected. Stitching the piece back on the other finger hasn’t gone so well, it has turned black and it’s pretty obvious that it is dead. I’m only waiting to get back to Turkey to have the surgeon look at it and I’m expecting to lose the last joint of that finger. Bugger!

There is a lovely bed and breakfast / chambre d’hote place here in Normandy  called Le Grand Mesnil in a place called St Bomer les Forges. If you’re ever in or around Normandy it’s well worth staying at.

There are plenty of places to go and see here, one of the most visited is Mont St Michel, a monastery situated on an island just off the coast at the mouth of the Cousenon river near the town of Avranches. Apparently it is the most visited tourist place in France. In summer it is extremely busy but at this time of year there are no crowds.

We visited the abbey at Lonlay L’Abbaye, I was intrigued by the carvings under the pew seats. Some of the pews had a high back and a lift up seat so that people could stand and lean on a ledge sticking out from the bottom of the seat. This ledge was supported by a carved wooden wedge, the carvings depict various designs and faces, this one is a smiling village woman, possibly the woman who used that particular pew?

One of the things Normandy is best known for in England and America are the D Day landings of World War 2. The landing beaches. Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, Point du Hoc and Utah are interesting places to go and see, it is easy to imagine the hundreds of ships discharging the troops in the effort to bring the war to an end. There were thousands of casualties too and this photograph of the American cemetery overlooking Omaha beach is where a small percentage of them lie.

No goats, guilt, bat.   2 comments

Walking up the goat track near my house the other morning I thought about how many times I’ve wanted to come up here. My neighbours , the çobanlar (goatherders), make their winter camp just up the road from my house and it sits astride the track so I’ve never wanted to disturb them by bringing the dogs through. Recently though, their camp has been abandoned for the summer and just the frames of their shelters are left standing like so many skeletons. Quite eerie.

They have taken their goats up to the yayla, the mountain pastures, for the hot period of the year. There is more to eat and it is cooler up there. Past their camp is a track to a large open area with a big tree in the middle of it.

You can see it on Google Earth and with the naked eye from the top of the mountain at Phellos. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to take the dogs for a walk there.

This fallen tree looks reminiscent of elephants to me, the shapes and greyness of it create that kind of feeling I think.

This rock with a hole eroded in it caught my eye too.

Kurabiye is a kind of small sweet bread similar in appearance to a Hot Cross Bun in England. The texture is firmer and they’re not quite as sweet but the new bakery in Kas makes very nice examples. As I’ve mentioned previously Hanife’s milk is so creamy that I let it stand to separate then skim off the cream. Well this afternoon I had Kurabiye with whipped cream and strawberry jam, extremely indulgent of me but it was lovely.


I had cream left over and later in the evening I had a look in the fridge and found some strawberries that I had forgotten about for a few days. I felt very guilty for about a nanosecond and then thoroughly enjoyed them. The strawberries were beautiful, really tasty.

A strange sort of shuffling sound woke me in the middle of last night. When my cat, Stanley, gets something in his ear he shakes his head rapidly and it makes a sort of soft shuffling clapping sound and that was the closest I could come to the sound that had woken me. But this time it kept repeating and going on for longer and longer. I sat up in bed, turned on the bedside light and saw a bat fluttering around obviously trying to find a way out of the bedroom. The windows had been open till about nine last evening and the bat must have come in looking for moths or maybe even for a place to roost. I opened a window for a few minutes but the bat didn’t find it and I didn’t want to invite mosquitoes into the house so I closed it and we both went back to sleep.

This morning I looked around and eventually found it behind a curtain, as I tried to photograph it away it flew up to the ceiling. I don’t want to chase it out into the sunlight now so I’ll let it stay there and leave the window open again this evening in the hope that it finds it’s way out and back to it’s normal roost. It’s a dear little thing and they fly around outside a lot in the evening at this time of year, there are thousands of big moths around so they must find food quite easily. This one looks very well fed doesn’t he?

If he doesn’t find his own way out this evening I’ll have to try and catch him but catching a creature as quick and agile as this without hurting it won’t be easy.

I’m going down to Kas for breakfast at the Derya Beach Restaurant with some friends this morning so I’ll post a couple of photographs of that later and let you know how I got on with the bat.

Posted June 2, 2010 by cukurbagli in Animals, Environs of the village, Food, Neighbours

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Rubbish   Leave a comment

Taking the big rubbish up to the tip in my pick-up is always a bit of an adventure for me. First there is the possibility of getting a puncture in one of the tyres because of all the broken glass there and then there is the conversation that I know will happen when they see me. It’s nice and the people up there are always welcoming, like everyone in Turkey really, their hospitality is legendary.

I took the first load up on Monday and had a chat with Mehmet, Ekrem and his boy. They come from Diyarbakır in the east of Turkey. I find these guys to be very helpful and always ready to smile so I count them among my friends here. Mehmet often says a few words to me in English, imagine a guy working in a rubbish tip in UK being able to speak Turkish eh? I took the remaining stuff up there today. The roofing material that I took was being put aside to use on the roofs of their own place. They build their own shanty type places with what they find amongst the rubbish or people give them so they were happy for me to bring it.

When I drove back past their shacks the children shouted to me so I stopped and took a couple of photos. Here they are, the little one always makes me laugh, she stands there so sure of herself.

Actually I had tried earlier in the day to take the stuff to the tip but was thwarted in my plan by some of the goatherders who were taking their herd up to the summer pastures in the mountains. They were all over the road and I couldn’t be bothered to disturb them by trying to push through, I wasn’t in any hurry so I went back home and had lunch.

Everyone in Kaş is working hard getting things ready for the tourist season and the new marina in is steadily taking shape. There are more pontoons ready now and work on the buildings is progressing quickly. There is a new road by-passing the marina too.

At this time of year the broom plant is in full bloom. There are fantastic patches of this plant all over the place and their wonderful yellow flowers are almost blinding in their intensity.

How green is my valley   2 comments

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