Jan 2021

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

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

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

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

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.

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

 

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

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

Last Visit to Meis

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.

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