Sofa, Phellos flowers Frankenpot.   4 comments

What a lovely couple of days we’ve just had, beautiful blue sky, warm sunshine, couldn’t ask for nicer.

Way back before Christmas I visited the Sofa bistro in Kaş where a small fund raising even was held in support of the Kaş Animal Friends charity. I decided to take Wolfie for an outing and to see his old stamping ground in the middle of Kaş. We had a nice little walk around and he sniffed all his old haunts then we headed over to Sofa. A few other dogs were there and we got our picture taken, a very nice one of him too.

Since then I have visited Sofa a few times to have lunch, it’s nice and quiet there which contrasts starkly with the goings on in the middle of town where all the roads have been dug up causing lots of noise and dust. Sofa is an intimate little place with a nice menu, good food and is not expensive. Here’s a picture of it.

At home I have been trying make more improvements, this time to the garden. Spring sprang and I started getting flowers to put into a job lot of large second hand pots that I bought for the patios, I also bought nine new almond trees that have gone into the garden. On the subject of new plants I stumbled upon a picture of a plant that I have a few examples of in the garden.

It’s called a Mandrake. I’m not really too happy about discovering its name because that led me to do a search for information on it and then I discovered that it can be fatally poisonous to anything that eats it, human or animal. It makes a round red fruit that looks for all the world like a tomato albeit slightly more orange coloured than what we are used to seeing. All of the parts are poisonous so it’s definitely worth avoiding. I’ll have to make sure that my neighbour doesn’t bring her goats into the garden any more.

Last week I had a walk, with some friends, up to the ancient Lycian city of Phellos on the top of the ridge opposite my house. Very enjoyable morning and got our pulses beating a little quicker. Took the dogs too of course, five of them altogether and they slept all afternoon, more than one of the humans had a nap too!

I’ve got some more photos of the flowers to post but I’m getting some more flowers soon so I’ll wait until I’ve potted them up and then have a flower festival post. Bye for now.

Edit: My apologies, I forgot to add the frankenpot item that I alluded to in the title of this blog, why didn’t one of you say something? Sometime during the winter one of my flower pots got cracked, the fact that it grimly held itself together until the winter finished inspired me to try and perform some surgery to save it. Here it is

I had some aluminium wire, off-cuts from the new power cable that was strung up along my road, when I picked them up I knew they would come in handy and so it proved. The idea came from a couple of pots I already had which are painted to resemble leather pieces sewn together. It took me about an hour to do it and I think it looks rather fun, I call it Frankenpot.

 

 

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Posted April 3, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Drainage   5 comments

Trying to find your way around Kaş in a car has been a bit of a trial recently and the trial is not over yet by a long chalk. Being situated in a small half bowl surrounded by the foothills of the Taurus mountains, when the rain comes it has nowhere to go but downhill into the town. I suppose in earlier times there was sufficient open ground for a lot of it to soak into the soil but since the expansion of the town the water has to go somewhere else, concrete and asphalt don’t soak up much. So in an effort to make the town less prone to flooding during the heavy winter rains an upgrade of the drainage systems began a couple of months ago. Various other building works have taken the opportunity afforded by the road closures and driving around Kaş has been a game of “U” turns and an opportunity to practice your reversing skills.

Here are some pictures of the upheaval.

ataturk-boulevard3        ataturk-boulevard2        ataturk-boulevard

 

lion-tomb-to-bi-lokma       old-house-bar-to-cafe-corner       side-of-cinarlar

 

silk-road-to-square       by-post-office

Hopefully it will all be finished and looking beautiful for the beginning of the tourist season.

Posted January 26, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Bulbul Coriander   4 comments

Standing at the kitchen sink this morning doing a bit of washing up and I spotted this pair of birds that are new visitors to my garden. In the twelve years I’ve lived here I haven’t ever seen any of these before. They are called White Spectacled Bulbul or Yellow Vented Bulbul for obvious reasons. That water they are bathing in pretty cold this morning but the sun is quite warm for them.

yello-bum

 

yello-bum-2

I’ll bet they don’t have any trouble following each other.

 

I like making curry but one of the spices used in some of my recipes is Coriander leaves. Well I had a hard enough time finding any Coriander until somebody told me about the spice shop in town, only been there a couple of years, why haven’t I noticed it before you may ask, I asked the same thing myself. Anyway I was only able to get ground Coriander and seeds so I planted some, didn’t really think they’d be viable but nearly all of them germinated. Very pleased with that, three pots of them are in the sun on my kitchen window sill now.

coriander

By the way, I also found out recently that in America Coriander is known as Cilantro, a good discovery because I’ve never known that and I have a few recipes calling for Cilantro. It’s also known as Chinese Parsley, something else I didn’t know, of all the things I didn’t know I didn’t know that the most. Thanks Bob.

Posted December 10, 2016 by cukurbagli in Animals, Food, Gardening, Turkey

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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