Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

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

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.

1495209576154

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