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Posted November 27, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Dogs cats and Meis   2 comments

Well here I am playing catch-up again. Sometimes I read through what I’ve written a few months ago and it seems like it’s the same old stuff over and over again. Sometimes I think your lives must be much more interesting than mine, but then I’m the one living mine and it all seems so familiar that I wonder why anybody looks at my blog at all. A couple of the blogs that I follow seem to be written by action heroes, there is so much going on in their lives. Ah well, at least it’s peaceful in my corner of paradise.

You’ll no doubt be aware that I have a new dog to look after now. Wolfie is a big softy, he smells of urine most of the time and occasionally has a crap on my little patio by the porch but his most endearing habit so far is barking like a madman sometime between the hours of 01.30 and 03.30. It’s a strange thing but this barking always interrupts or initiates a dream, I never really remember what the dreams are about, they vary but it usually seems like twenty or thirty minutes has elapsed since his barking starts until I realise that the dream is not real and I should get out of bed and go to quieten him. In reality it is probably only a few seconds but it seems longer. I bought one of those electronic training aids to clip around his neck like a second collar, it has various settings and can deliver an electric shock, a buzzing vibration and a beep that sounds like a little motorbike. He ignores the beep, the electric shock doesn’t appear to have any effect on him whatsoever but the vibration works quite well so now I can just roll over in bed, reach out to the bedside table and press the button to give him a little vibrating surprise which seems to quieten him, at least for a while. Of course there is no point in just doing that without any associated training so we have little sessions during the the day so that he know who is doing it, why and what he should do to avoid getting another dose. I think I must be getting softer as I age because even though I have to go to these lengths to try to keep him quiet all the other dogs in the village are all barking like madmen too. I made him a kennel a few weeks ago, just a rough old thing, wouldn’t want to spoil him too much now would I? Here he is trying it out, I did actually catch him sleeping in it one day too…

wolfie-kennel

… but most of the time he commandeers the settee…

wolfie-settee

The cats have had a fun time for the last couple of weeks too, they often bring small creatures they have killed, or are in the process of killing, usually they bring them first thing in the morning while I am still in bed. I don’t mind too much when a dead mouse is dropped on my bed but it does get annoying when it is still alive, shrieking fit to wake the dead and running around looking to hide under my pillow. Funny but they soon get bored with that game, the cats that is, and it is up to me to dispose of the poor little creature. However they never tire of playing with a cardboard box. I am not privy to the rules of the games, there seem to be three distinct games but they all involve one cat being in the box and the other one trying to usurp the position. One game uses subterfuge to entice the sitting tenant to vacate the box, the second uses surprise and shock to frighten the sitting tenant out and the third is just a violent frontal attack. The winner is the last one in the box when the other cat stalks off in a huff. Funnily thing though, I have three cats but they never gang up two against the sitting tenant, the third one always sits and watches and occasionally takes over the role of attacker.

cats-box

The boxes that Hepsiburada.com deliver shoes in are just right for this game because if you duck down under the top flaps you can repel an attacker by jumping up at just the right moment.

 

I had yet another trip to Meis a few weeks ago so here are a few more photos.

meis-east-bay

The east bay from the top of the castle.

 

meis-museum

The courtyard of the museum

 

meis-museum-2

The courtyard again

 

meis-harbour-old

A picture in the museum showing how built up the area around the harbour was before the Second World War.

 

meis-harbour-from-castle

And finally the harbour from the top of the castle.

Posted November 14, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

‘Tis the season for….   6 comments

Baby tortoises! The cats usually like to bring everything they’ve caught into the house. The two females, Defne and Katie, bring mice, voles, small snakes, locusts and crickets and birds but big Deniz isn’t too bothered about catching fast things, he’s happier sauntering up to a baby tortoise and bringing that into the house. Three in the last week, or it could be the same one three times, I’m not sure because how do you tell them apart, can he? They all look the same to me. I know one was different because the shell was still soft from being in the egg but that might have been the first one.

Baby Tortoise

They look so bright and new that you could mistake them for a brand new plastic model. I’ve tried giving them various bits of vegetables and water but they just walk off so I put them back in the garden and hope for the best. Perhaps I’d better create a tortoise nursery where I can put some of the fruit and vegetable peelings and trimmings, I know someone who has one and it seems to work remarkably well.

Temperatures are easing off a bit now, still in the low thirties during the afternoon but down to the low twenties at night so sleeping is easier.

Oh, sorry, forgot to mention that the biopsy thing turned out to be benign so yippee for that.

 

 

Posted August 20, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Into August   4 comments

Heading into August now and still in the “very warm” phase of the summer with a lot of days reaching 40C. Of course it’s not as hot as some places and any thoughts of moaning about the heat are far from my mind.

The heat does have an effect though, I’m very disappointed that my piano playing gets cut short because the sweat makes the keys very sticky. Also, bedclothes have to washed every couple of days because of the sweat as do clothes that I wear, particularly if I go down to Kaş. Walking the dogs has to be done before the sun gets over the ridge behind my house in the morning and after it has gone down over the Phellos ridge on the other side of the valley because the surface of the road that I walk up is too hot for the dogs paws. This means starting between five thirty and six in the morning and after seven thirty in the evening. I brought the TV into the bedroom and dogs, cats and I stay in the air conditioned cool and watch a couple of films on the hottest or most humid afternoons.

Talking of dogs one of Kaş’s most well known street dogs Wolfie (or Wolverine as some people called him) got himself banned from the Republic Square where he used to sleep in the shade cast by the statue of Ataturk. Nobody seems to know quite what he did to deserve the ban or who complained about him but after having lived in the square for many years he was unceremoniously shipped off the to the animal shelter. A petition to the mayor to return him failed so I decided he would come and live at my place. He’s been here about five weeks now and is well settled in, he barks quite a bit though. I was worried that he might upset my neighbours but luckily it’s only a soft kind of bark and when I’ve been down at the road by my gate I have barely heard him. There are plenty of other village dogs that bark nearly all night so I doubt anyone will single him out for complaint. He used to look quite old, slow and overweight but since he’s been getting decent food and excercise with me he has lost most of the excess weight and has become quite energetic. He’s still a big dog though, probably over thirty kilos  and I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures when I can see how much he likes to run around down at Demre beach.

Wolfie

Had another trip over to Meis (Kastellorizo) in early July and walked over to the east bay again to see the progress of the renovations and show a friend around. Then we had a bite to eat and a nice cooling beer at the little restaurant next to the Church of St George. We had a very nice Moussaka with salad, very cheap too!

Restaurant Meis

Just across the road from the restaurant is a statue to the Lady of Ro, Despina Achladioti who lived alone on the tiny island of Ro very close to Kaş. Here is a link to her story on Wikipedia.

Despina Meis

Whilst walking around we came across this old BMW motorcycle with a sidecar attached. Looks ripe for restoration and I feel quite interested but the paperwork to get it to Kaş would probably be horrendous.

Beemer Meis

It doesn’t look as though it would need that much restoration work to get it to original condition, it seems pretty complete and it’s a shame that it has been allowed to deteriorate.

Beemer Meis 2

A friend of mine bought a “house” on Meis a little while ago and has been jumping through some of the hoops to get permission to rebuild it. There is quite a lot of work to do but I’m sure it will look nice when it’s finished.

Steph House 1

Power to you elbow Stephanie, I think you’re gong to need it.

Ramazan (it has a “z” in Turkish) finished here followed by the Şeker Bayram in early July and I took a couple of photos of the new moon from my house, here’s one of them

Bayram Ayı 2

And last but not least my little cat Katie caught a small snake last week and I managed to get a few shots of her with it.

Katie and snake

It’s actually not a snake at all but a baby Slow Worm, the mother was in the garden a month or so ago and she was about a metre and a half long and much more impressive. They don’t bite and have no defences against their predators so tend to stay out of sight most of the time. Like I do with most things the cats catch I took the baby off Katie before she could do any damage and let it go in another part of the garden so hopefully it will survive and be a bit wiser about cats from now on. Unfortunately there are many little creatures that the cats catch that I don’t have chance to take off them.

 

Posted August 4, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Summer   2 comments

Summer is blazing now, regularly 40C+ and curtailing most activities apart from visits to the beach. The cats and dogs are just lying around so as not to get too hot and I have put the television outside on the porch to watch in comfort, I only have air conditioning in the bedroom.

I had a trip over to Adrasan recently to see an old friend. Been past the turning off the main Antalya road lots of times and always wondered what it was like but always had a different agenda before, this time I had all day. I was very surprised at how nice it was, quiet, small buildings, nothing too fancy and a nice beach. there were a few summer season preparations going on but for a relaxing holiday I would say it is nearly perfect.

Adrasan

The flowers in my garden attract some nice butterflies, don’t know the names of these, or the flowers but I thought they were nice so here is a picture.

Butterfly

The cats were all gathered under one of the oleanders the other day and I had a suspicion that there might be a reason so I picked up my camera and toddled off to have a look. The tortoiseshell one, Defne, had caught a large mouse. At first I thought it was a small rat but I think mouse is more likely, although I have seen one or two rats in the years I’ve been here. The third cat is in deep shadow behind Deniz, the black and white one, you might just be able to see her eyes. (Edit: Actually I seem to have made a mistake, not unkown in my posts, it’s actually a small Bay tree not an Oleander as anyone with any horticultural knowledge has probably already shouted at their screen.)

Mouse with cats

I made Shakshuka for breakfast a few days ago, typically Mediterranean and very nice, I’ll do it again next week I think. I enhanced it a bit with some chopped fried bacon but couldn’t really tell if it made any difference. Very nice though.

shakshuka

Oh, my biopsy results eventually came through and reported that the thyroid “nodule” was benign. Apparently just a goitre, and not a very large one at that. I can’t really feel it although the consultant said he could. I’ll get it checked for size in about a year but it doesn’t seem as though it will be a problem.

I like the occasional few Pringles, cheese and onion for preference, but I’m getting sick and tired of opening a tube of them to find that they are all broken into small pieces. I wish the manufacturers would get a grip of the shops and delivery people, I would buy them more often if I could be assured that they were whole.

Pringles

Well today is British EU Referendum day. I will be very interested to hear the results tomorrow. I hope the result is to leave the EU, for me it is all about sovereignty, we have slowly but surely lost most of it to the un-elected EU gravy train and I would like to see power to make decisions on laws, tax and other regulations that we have lost returned to the British government so that we have control of our country. Not that I think the British government is good by any means but if they make bad decisions at least the British people will be responsible for who they elect.

Posted June 23, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Trouble in t’ village   11 comments

There’ve been rum goings on in the village for the last couple of months, dastardly plans have been published for building an international airport in our little corner of paradise.

The grapevine has been incandescent with rumours about its size, the size of the aircraft and every possible permutation of the information currently available. The short truth of the matter is that very little concrete information has been released by the people behind the plan and neither the location nor the construction have been approved by official government bodies, yet.

A topographical map with black areas marking the runway, terminal and apron areas has been circulating. It shows that some village areas of habitation could be badly affected by the construction process and houses occupied by some of the villagers may have to be bulldozed.

Airport3.5

 

As you may imagine a groundswell of public feeling has been stirring to voice opposition and point out alternative locations. In the opinion of the opposition, Kaş, the villages above Kaş and the immediately surrounding areas would be blighted forever if the airport were to be built. Certainly the peace and quiet of the villages would be gone forever from the moment the first excavator bucket load of what passes for soil on the planned site is scooped up.

Oh, by the way, the red spot near the end of the runway on the map picture above is the location of my house. It is 300 metres or so from where the pilots might be retracting their undercarriage as they and their cargoes of sunburnt self loading freight scythe through the peace on their climb into the wide blue yonder leaving in their wake a cloud of Jet A-1* fumes and the faint but unmistakeable “ker-ching” of capitalism run rife.

I hope it won’t happen but I doubt my opinion will count for much in the decision process, there are too many other factors to be taken into consideration. I am put in mind of recently watching the TV series House Of Cards, both the U.K. Palace of Westminster version and the American White House version. Is there any similarity in the behind-the-scenes machinations of the decision? You might think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.

And another thing… I attended a hospital in Fethiye a few weeks ago to have a complete medical health check-up, very thorough it was too. I was pronounced fit for my age, a backhanded compliment but I don’t get many so I’ll accept it. The only fly in the ointment, if you’ll pardon the pseudo-medical pun, was a “nodule” on my thyroid. Currently I am awaiting the results of a biopsy to determine whether further action will be required, the consensus is it will not be, but to be 100% sure we wait.

EDIT: I almost forgot, Hanife’s horse did a wonderful job of eating my grass and most of the weeds too. Such a good job in fact that I prevailed upon her to bring her back because we had some rain and everything started growing again, pesky stuff.

*The fuel used in the turbine engines of modern jet airliners.

Posted May 11, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

2016 begins   3 comments

2016 started off with a very enjoyable meal at a friend’s house including good conversation around the table, thank you very much Juliet and David. I would have liked to have stayed longer but had to get back to feed my animals.

I pruned my grape vines at the back of the house with the intention of creating a good crop this year so that I can make some wine again. I also bought two more sapling vines, a nice red grape this time, I prefer red wine but enjoy white too, we’ll see what the quality of the wine will be in a couple of years time.

Pruning

Talking of wine I saw in the British press that “Dry January” seemed to be high on the agenda for quite a few people and there was a lot of advertising about it. The idea of giving up alcohol piqued my interest so I joined in and went alcohol free for the month. I suppose it did me no harm, I thought I might lose some weight but I didn’t. I didn’t notice that I ate any more but I suppose I might have, I certainly slept better. That reminds me, I bought a new bed last week and it’s really comfortable, I love sleeping in it.

I have also done a bit more to the supporting structure for my wood fired oven outside the kitchen. I’ll have to get another bag of cement and see if I can find some firebricks too. I ought to get on with it since the weather is so nice for this time of year.

By far the most of my time has been spent learning to play my piano. I really get a lot of enjoyment out of learning to play it and I do seem to be learning. I suppose playing it as much as I do something must be going into the little grey cells.

Yesterday my neighbour, Hanife brought her goats into my garden to eat from the new leaves on the bushes, it’s horrible old scrub oak (makilik in Turkish) that grows all over the place here. I wish I could get someone to bring sheep because they concentrate on eating weeds and grass which would be much better for making the garden tidy. Today Hasan, Hanife’s son, has brought their horse to feed on the weeds, it’s not a very big one but my dogs are not happy with it and keep barking, it will save me some work with the strimmer though.

Horse

Next door the gardener for my neighbours Celina and Dirk has brought a guy who is ploughing the garden with a horse drawn plough. Very quaint and I’m not sure whether the strange noises and words that he uses  to urge it along and change direction would be appropriate in a posh pony club in UK but the horse understands well enough.

Ploughing 1

As usual when some work is going on there is one person doing it and two or three watching.

Ploughing 2

The village is swathed in almond blossom at the moment, it has blossomed very early this year, wonder what we can infer about the weather for the coming year from that?? We haven’t had much rain this winter and it’s quite a bit warmer too.

Blossom

At last the almond trees I planted behind my house a few years ago are giving a good show of blossom too.

Posted February 28, 2016 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized