Archive for April 2008

Busy again   Leave a comment

This week has got steadily more busy and it seems that summer is well and truly here, we’ve had three days of 30+ temperatures, a plague of crane flies (daddy long-legs to you and me) and the yellow of the broom bushes and gorse is brightening up the roadsides now.

I paid the Emlak Vergisi (the equivalent of Community Charge) on Simon’s and my house on Monday. We have to pay it on our houses because they are inside the Kaş Belediye (Council) boundary. Jenny doesn’t pay it on hers. It’s one of the major expenses of the year and cost me 89 Lira this year, that’s for both houses.

The car had to have a new exhaust emissions certificate. Kemal down in the insurance office helped me out with this and it cost 40 Lira.

I started to trim the fur on Wilf and Alf on Tuesday and they looked a bit moth eaten to start with, chunks out here and there, especially Wilf as it’s more noticeable on him. It took a few days to get them looking presentable because they treat it like a game and start play fighting with each other, and me. It will help them to be a little cooler during the hot part of the summer I hope.

There are still about half a dozen tortoises roaming around the garden but I now know where they are likely to be at the times when I take the dogs for a poo. About 6pm they are heading for their sleeping places under the bushes and move quite quickly, for a tortoise that is.

23rd of April (Wednesday) is Children’s Day and National Sovereignty Day here in Turkey. It’s a big day for everyone and I went up to the primary school in Ağullu to take some photographs of Selahaatin’s daughter Cansel. The children parade down the village main street first then stage a show consisting of various dances and sketches followed by prize giving for doing well in exams. Lots of the parents come and everyone enjoys it. My camera is quite big and and was noticed by quite a few people but instead of having a problem with me taking pictures they came to ask me to get some close ups of their kids too. I ended up with about three hundred pictures to sort through and there will probably be twenty or thirty to print for the parents, here are a couple.

Google Earth has finally updated Kas, Cukurbag and surrounding area to a half decent resolution picture. It’s not as good as it could be yet and the picture is at least three years old so you can’t see the newer houses, including mine, but it’s better than it was at least.

In the search for a way to help the dogs cool down in the heat of the summer I made a Doggy Paddling Pool. It’s just four bits of big diameter drain pipe (soil pipe) with elbows connecting it together and some polythene draped over the top, taped to the pipe and then filled with water. It works a treat and they like it too, after a bit of a shaky start. When the temperatures really start to soar I’m sure it will be very welcome for them. At least it will allow me to get on with things without having to take them over and sit with them in the cool of Simon’s house.

Got three new bags of cement now so work will continue on the drive tomorrow (Saturday) morning when the dogs and I come back from our morning walk.

Posted April 26, 2008 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Yaz Geldi (Summer came)   Leave a comment

Wednesday today. Spent some time yesterday afternoon taking some pictures of Caretta Estate’s (Mustafa and Lale) house for sale. All inside shots and not easy because the sun was strong outside and I got over exposed windows, nasty shadows and over exposed highlights on some of the shots. I was going to do some clever jiggery pokery with the photos on my computer but it didn’t work. I’ve made them look pretty good though. It’s a super property for the money (only £140k) and it has a pool and detached guest cottage with it’s own car access and parking spaces included. Here’s a shot of the living room.

It’s a bit windy today but sunny and warm. I took down two of the polythene panels on the porch yesterday morning and I’m wondering if I’ve tempted fate a little too much. The panels that are still up are now blowing and making a noise in the wind and Wilf doesn’t like it much, he’s very subdued. It won’t be for long, the wind is forecast to drop overnight and then die right down tomorrow afternoon but there is supposed to be another of the Coptic gales on or about the 29th. I made the panels and put them up to protect the porch against the wind and rain during the winter so that the dogs had somewhere warm and dry without being in the house. We started off with the dogs in the house but they were puppies then. They’ve grown quite big and they shed so much hair it became a nightmare to keep the place clean. Stanley didn’t like them in the house either, they kept eating his food!

Talking of Stanley his foot seems to be healing up nicely. It’s taken quite a while but the anti-biotic that I’ve been giving him for the last week or so has done the trick. He is still limping on it but not as much and it doesn’t stop him catching birds and mice.

I’ve been doing some gardening in the last week or so, cutting down the long grass and thistles and pulling up the worst of the big dandelion type plants. What with all this fresh air and a bit of exercise I’m ready for bed by 9.30 in the evenings, losing a bit of puppy fat too, ha ha. There are some nice drifts of little yellow and purple flowers under the fruit trees so I’m going to try and keep an eye on them and when they set seed I’ll gather it and spread it around so we have more.

I think they are a kind of flowering clover, whatever they are they look really lovely.
This tree has been flowering nicely for about a week, I think I’m a bit late with trying to photograph it. It’s a Lilac and seems to have coped well with the winter.

I keep getting spam in one of my email accounts and occasionally on of the email subject titles is amusing. I had one today entitled “Look after your feet and they will look after you”. Good eh? It reminded me of basic training when I joined the Royal Air Force and Cpl Ted Topping’s lessons on the SLR (Self Loading Rifle). “Look after your rifle and it will look after you!” He said it as if he really believed it too. Actually it wasn’t self-loading at all, you had to load it and cock it to begin with then once you started firing it would eject the empty case and reload automatically, but that’s just me being pedantic I suppose.

Posted April 16, 2008 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Shorts   Leave a comment

Saturday. It looks like summer might have come in the last few days. It has become a lot warmer, butterflies are fluttering about and the martins have returned. I might be able to get a photograph of a butterfly for you but I need a lot more practice to get one of a martin because they’re so fast. Last year I tried to get photographs of them drinking on the wing from the swimming pool but the camera I had wasn’t capable of it. I’m going to try again this year with my new camera and hopefully it will work, the camera is capable, will I be?

Another portent of better weather is the complete change in behaviour of the birds now that they are in the mating season. There are a pair of sparrows that have found a little gap in the edge of the roof where the new part over the veranda meets the overhang of the original part. They can just get into a very low space and I’ve heard them scratching about and seen them taking in bits of grass and some of the fur that comes off the dogs when I brush them. The blackbirds have become even more territorial than ever and I think the Jays are nesting in the oak tree by the house. The robins just seem to have disappeared! Perhaps they have gone somewhere cooler.

At lunchtime today a digger appeared on the slope by the bluff and started work. It has created terraces under the bluff. What will happen there I wonder, could be a number of things. When they started my bet would have been buildings of some sort but now I think it looks like it’s for planting fruiting trees, olives, almond, pomegranate or something similar. Time will tell.

Monday now. The winter clothes are being washed ironed and put away and the summer clothes are coming out now. I’m in shorts and shirt for the morning walk too. It will be ok when my knees go brown but they’re a bit pale looking yet so no picture . I started with the shorts about six weeks ago actually but the weather turned cold and wet again so put them back in the cupboard.

Posted April 14, 2008 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Scorpion and thunderstorm   Leave a comment

Suleyman badgers me to go round to his house for food or tea as often as he can. I usually manage to spread my visits out to about once a fortnight but sometimes it isn’t possible. I went one evening a few days ago and had tea with them, he joked with me about the trick he played on Ayaz when we added a For Sale notice to a picture I had taken of Ayaz’s house. Suleyman took it to Ayaz’s son and he put on a different voice and rang up asking about the price. Ayaz was a bit upset as you might imagine and Suleyman was asking me if the Jandarma (village police) had been to see me about it. I said no of course, all I had done was do the photo, any wrongdoing would be on his part etc etc. It was all a big joke and Ayaz laughed in the end but I think Suleyman might have been a bit scared by how big it all got.

The villagers swear by having chickens to keep the scorpions down so it was a bit of a surprise to find this little lady halfway up Suleyman’s kitchen wall (I found out how to tell which sex they are through the internet).

He was a bit disappointed to say the least and was going to kill it but I wanted to photograph it so picked up an empty jam jar, scooped it up and put the lid on. Suleyman and Hatice were fascinated by this and were very worried that I might get stung. I kept the jar in the fridge at home on the assumption that the scorpion would stay alive if it was cold, if it was warm its metabolism might have been quick enough for it to die of starvation. It sounds good reasoning to me but could be completely wrong! According to David Attenborough they can survive short periods in freezing conditions. We also find big black ones here but this is the first one of any colour that I have seen for a couple of years now.

The weather has been pretty miserable for the last ten days or so, cloudy, cold and wet. We’ve had quite a lot of rain and looks like we will have some more so after walking the dogs this morning I got the chainsaw out and cut up some more firewood. The sun is out just now but there are lots of clouds about. The forecast is for some thunderstorms, we had one yesterday and the electricity went off for a few hours. Wilf isn’t keen on the noise of thunderstorms and I think he was trying to make the point here:

Funnily enough Alf, who is the more nervous usually, doesn’t mind thunderstorms or the chainsaw and Wilf hates both. Strange innit?

Little Stanley has pus oozing from the wound on his leg and I keep putting antiseptic on it for him. I’ll take him to the vet if it hasn’t cleared up in the next couple of days.

Posted April 1, 2008 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized