Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

Last Visit to Meis   2 comments

Yesterday I took my last visit to Meis this year, what a lovely experience it was to go over in a Gulet again, the typical wooden Turkish cruising boat instead of the big welded steel ferry that usually plies between the two harbours. It took me back eight or ten years to when all trips were on a Gulet and how pleasant it was then.

 

The harbour in Meis was very quiet this time, most of the restaurants were shut, it is the end of the season for the island, a lot of the houses were boarded up but fortunately enough was open to cater to us tourists. Here are some photos of the harbour from west side to east, I suppose I could have stitched them all together to form a panorama but then you wouldn’t get the detail, so here you are:

 

In this photograph you can clearly see the town of Kaş in the background with the cliffs above it. Shows how close Greece and Turkey are just here.

 

 

 

 

This one was taken in the “busy” corner of the harbour, it always seems to be the most popular place.

 

As usual when I had lunch a few cats came to see if I was going to be benevolent, of course I was. Then a turtle (caretta caretta) came by for a visit. They are regular visitors in the harbour, I think there must be three or four of them that stay there most years.

 

On one of my first trips to Meis thirteen or fourteen years ago I was asked by one of my friends in the village to bring back a pack of “yellow bird” çay (tea) for him and his family, he said it was the nicest tea he had tasted. It turned out to be Canary brand Ceylon tea in a One Kilo pack. Turks drink more tea than the English so thought I should at least take his advice and taste it so I brought back a pack for me too, I’ve been buying it there ever since. A couple of weeks ago I ran out so my first stop was the supermarket to get some.

I discovered that only the older shop sells it, the new one doesn’t and I had to ask for it as it wasn’t on a shelf. This time I got two packs.

Posted November 11, 2018 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

My birthday and other things.   5 comments

It was my birthday earlier this month and I bought myself another motor bike as a present seeing as it was the only present I was likely to get. It’s a 1997 Kawasaki VN800, nice bike for the year, not a lot wrong with it, just enough to get me to fettle it a bit and change one or two things to suit me.

VN800

Very different to the BMW and very different riding style too. It ought to be a very relaxed riding style but it isn’t yet, that’s why I have to make a few changes. I’ll probably have to put a new rear shock absorber on it, the current one is rusted up and although it works to an extent it isn’t ery good, hopefully I can find a modern fully adjustable one that will fit. My plan is to take it apart and rebuild it properly over the winter, with some new nuts and bolts, new rubber components, maybe some new electrical parts and some wiring. I’ll leave the engine alone because it doesn’t make any strange noises and seems healthy enough. Should keep me occupied this winter.

I had a sad job to do last month, Aslan my neighbour’s dog who has been living with me for the past five or six years had to be put to sleep. He had a tough life what with being poisoned (deliberately) an incurable disease that progressively wore him down.

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Suddenly one day last month thousands of flies settled on and around him and he started to fade, I couldn’t let him stay like that and called one of the vets in to relieve his suffering. Goodbye old boy, rest in peace.

On a brighter note I had the opportunity to go to swimming at Patara beach and Finike beach last month and very pleasant days out they were too.

Then today I had a ride over to a place call Üçağız and it’s twin village Simena. The attraction here is that these places are very touristy but are very small and specialise in boat tours and boat trips along the sunken city side of Kekova island.

Simena can only be reached by boat or a walk of about four hundred meters up a rocky goat track. Doesn’t sound like much does but let me tell you it will make most people sweat in the twenty eight degrees celsius that it was today, the climb is about one hundred metres I would guess and then when you walk round the castle you descend another hundred and fifty through the village to sea level.

Photos of Üçağız

You can see Simena Castle with the flag flying from it.

Now we go to Simena

The road to Simena but first I have to park by the cemetery over by that beach.

And walkup the path to the castle

Tombs by the castle

 

That’s all, hope you enjoyed the photos. Just one more, a squirrel visited me on my birthday. Cute eh?

Posted October 14, 2018 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

The Owl and the Pussycat   9 comments

A ditty*
I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
II
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
III
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon**;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

By Edward Lear.

*Ditty – Noun. A short, simple song.

** A spoon with three wide tines one of which has a sharpened edge for cutting.

Well my little story about owls and pussycats starts with some more pictures of the owls who visit my garden at dusk. All three still come but now the young one has developed some self confidence and doesn’t hang around Mum and Dad so much, he’s starting to spot his own prey. At night my garden must be alive with little creatures because all three owls find plenty to eat and so do a couple of my cats, or maybe it’s the phase of the moon, at the moment the moon is a thin sliver but waxing with the first quarter on Thursday night and full in a week’s time after that, which is a complicated way of saying the moon is getting brighter every night for the next ten days and will be full on the twenty seventh. That probably means the owls will be seeing their prey more easily.

I’m afraid I can’t tell one from another yet, unless they’re perching in a row, so I’m not going to try to tell you which one this is because I have no idea.

Nor this one ….

nor this one….

What I will say is that they provide me with evenings full of interest and a good way to practice my flash photography, even if I do forget to put the batteries in the flash once in a while (ahem!).

The pussycat part comes with the arrival, after about three months absence, of my little cat Defne. The little sister of big Deniz she has been missing, nearly presumed lost, and I had almost given up ever seeing her again. She is such a small skinny little thing that I do feel very protective towards her. While looking at the owls the other night I heard a little “miaow” and turned to see her trotting towards me.

She has obviously been getting some food from somewhere, in fact that might be a clue to why so many times in recent weeks I have come down in the morning to find the cat food bowl empty, she might have been a nightime visitor. Well she got a big bowl of meat to tuck into and a saucer of goat’s milk to help it down.

I’m very glad that she’s back.

Last month the wheat in the valley bottom was harvested and then the stalks chopped for bedding, here is a picture of my neighbours having theirs chopped ready to store for the winter.

Posted July 14, 2018 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Owls   2 comments

In the rocky ridge at the back of my house there are some holes in the rock face and a pair of owls live in them. Some nights in summer they sit on my roof and in the big eucalyptus tree, I often hear them calling to each other and this week they brought their recently fledged offspring to hunt whatever they could find on my garden. Unfortunately I was caught off guard and didn’t have my camera set up for the best shots, hopefully everything will set up and ready next time.

The owls seem to be fairly happy about being approached as long as I don’t get within about ten feet of them. The adults brought this year’s baby to see what it could find to eat and it successfully caught and ate something that it spotted about four feet from the back wall under the vine where I usually park my car. I suppose I’m going to have to leave it parked further away for a while, well that’s not a problem since the grapes are going to start oozing juice before long.

I took a few photos of all three of the owls on the vine frame at the house too but those were with the camera on my phone and even with a lot of computer manipulation the images are not fit to be posted here.

This one seems to be the smallest, I’m not sure if that means it’s the baby or the mother. My dogs bark at them and it’s quite eerie to see them gliding around silently in the late twilight, their soft feathers don’t make a sound and I can imagine the surprise of their prey.

I hope to capture a few more shots in the next couple of weeks and hopefully I’ll be better prepared and they will be a lot better quality.

Posted June 26, 2018 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized