Banana nut bread and breakfast

“Come and try some Banana Nut Bread” was the invitation I got the other day. Well I’ve never been know to refuse an offer of some cake so off I went. Ken and Penny are a couple from America who are living in the village and Penny is a pretty good cook so I knew I was in for something tasty. This is Penny:

Never having had banana nut bread before I didn’t really know what to expect, it was delicious and Ken pressed me into having a number of slices (won’t say how many).

This is what it looked like and Penny gave me the recipe so I’ll be making some of my own. It’s a very simple recipe so here it is for your delectation:
1 cup = 8ounces
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (3 or 4)
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/176 degrees Celsius
Grease bottom of pan: One 9inch by 5 inch or two 8 inch by 4inch
Mix sugar and butter, add eggs, then add bananas, yogurt, & vanilla. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bake for 1 1/4 hours for 9 inch pan or 1 hour for the 8 inch pans. Cool inverted for 15 minutes, remove from pans and let cool completely (2 hours) before tightly wrapping in aluminum foil. Keeps for 4 days at room temperature, ten days in fridge. Can be frozen too. Have a go, you’ll like it.

On Saturday I had breakfast with Rob down at the Derya Beach Restaurant. It is right next to Kuçuk Çakıl beach and looks out over the sea. It’s a very nice place and we had a Turkish breakfast while putting the world to rights!

After that we both had shopping to do. The weather has warmed up again now and when I came home I was feeling pretty full so I had a nice doze in the shade and then lay in the sun for an hour or so. What a nice day!

Posted July 19, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Nice start to the day   Leave a comment

The weather here over the last few days has been slightly cooler, there was quite a bit of cloud and a loud rumble of thunder yesterday but no rain.  At the market on Friday I bought some lovely strawberries intending to have them as a dessert but I forgot about them and they were still in the fridge this morning. The air was fresh and after watering a few plants I thought it would be nice to have them for breakfast. They were lovely with cream!

The dogs had their breakfast then. My neighbour’s dog hadn’t appeared so he’ll have to have his bit this evening. L-R Alf, Wilf and Minnie

Sitting under the vines I paid a bit more attention to the developing grapes than I usually do and I realised just how many bunches there were. It would be nice if they become sweet table grapes but if not I’m planning to make some wine with them. There are a couple of people in the village who are expert at wine making so I’ll enlist some help I think. I don’t really know what I’m doing but I can follow instructions. The last lot of wine I tried to make is undrinkable but I might try and distill it and make some fire-water. Hee hee! Here’s a photo of the grapes:

Well that started a nice Sunday, I’m going to watch the Moto GP racing from Laguna Seca later. We’ll see what Jorge Lorenzo can do from pole but I can’t help hoping that Rossi wins. - Free myspace Profile

Posted July 5, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

Boat lorry dog   Leave a comment

My friend John wanted to bring his boat from Finike to Kas. He had already brought it to Kekova, about two thirds of the way, and asked me if I’d like to join him for the remainder of the trip. I didn’t have to think very hard about it, I like boats, so the answer was a definite Yes. We left Kekova at seven in the morning and threaded our way through the islands to the open sea. The motor rumbled steadily and the sea was calm, it was very pleasant. John made the first cup of tea while I steered and we chatted about all manner of things.

Here’s a picture of Kaptan John as we were passing the Greek island of Meis near the end of the journey.

As we turned round the end of Kas peninsula we saw a lorry that had overshot the parking area by the road and was nearly in the sea.

The driver must have had quite a fright.

The journey took exactly three hours, we had two more cups of tea  on the way. We tied up at the marina side of Kas at eleven.

John’s wife Maureen very kindly had some breakfast for us, so thank you very much Mo.

This is my neighbours dog who has been coming to play with my dogs. He’s a bag of bones so, being soft, I give him a little bit to eat every now and then.

A few days ago he arrived with a swollen eye that appeared to be infected. He couldn’t open it and it was obviously quite painful. He let me put some eye drops in it and it improved by the next day, the swelling had gone down and he could open it a bit. I’ve continued to treat him but he plays with my dogs and yelps if it gets knocked so it must still be painful.

Posted June 27, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized


I noticed yesterday that something looked different about the Cami (that’s Mosque in Turkish). Well actually I can only see the roof of the place from my house but it was the Minaret that looked different. Looking at it through my binoculars I could see that the pointy top bit had been taken off, there was scaffolding all round it and the tower was being painted white.

It’s nice to see that it’s being looked after, it’s probably being done at the behest of the new Muhtar, a new broom and all that. Well good for him.

Talking of the Cami I had a text message on my phone from Nazim, the previous Imam who went to live up by the Black Sea. I was glad to hear from him, he and his family are very nice people. Here he is taking the bark off some poplar logs that he was taking for the roof beams of his new house.

My dogs have a new friend to play with now. A neighbour’s dog has decided that he’s not too scared anymore and comes into the garden first thing in the morning and most evenings too. He’s a very thin gun dog type of mongrel, not unlike Doris the first dog I had but a bit lighter in colours. This morning as I was taking my lot for a walk up the road he came closer than ever before and smelled my hand so he must think I’m ok now. He’s never been within fifteen feet of me before.

Oh, and a bit of good news, one of the Pawlonias that I raised from seed last year hasn’t died after all. It managed to survive the winter and is now growing well. I’m looking after it and will put it in a bigger pot if it doesn’t get big enough to plant in the garden this year.

Posted June 20, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized


By a complete accident I kicked one of the dogs’ kennels yesterday evening and sustained an injury to the big toe on my right foot. This caused me to have a great deal of trouble getting to sleep last night. A very unusual occurrence for me. Thus, this morning I was not my usual bright-eyed and aware-of-my-surroundings self when I went to check on Simon’s pool and adjust the chemical levels. The pain had subsided somewhat and I hardly hobbled at all as I walked down there. Neglecting to push open the pool equipment room door and stand back as I usually do, I just blundered blindly in. I say blindly because the sun was up and I went from bright sunshine to an unlit windowless room. As I passed through the doorway I felt something drop onto my neck. It felt unusual. I’m used to spiders webs, spiders themselves and little ghekkos but this had an altogether different feel. I brushed it off and as it fell to the floor at my feet my slowly adjusting eyes made out the shape of a small, but venomous snake. A Viper to be exact. I took a couple of steps smartly to the rear (which made my toe hurt like hell again) and banged my head on the door frame (it isn’t high enough). Which is why I now have a headache and a very painful toe again. I’m not going to do anything else today. Bah!

Playing about with my camera the other day I decided to take some self portraits to make new avatars for the forums I belong to. This is the one I like best although I had to leave my glasses off so the flash wouldn’t reflect off them.


In a completely different vein…

I steer clear of posting about politics, for two reasons. I don’t know enough about it and what little I do know is enough to make me disgusted with the whole thing. I’ll stop there because I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising along with my blood pressure. However, I was reading, online, one of the Turkish newspapers (Hurriyet) and came across an article about the Expense Allowances of British politicians and their abuse of the system. Back in the eighties there was a TV show presented by Derek Jameson, a veteran Fleet Street journalist who used to talk about how the rest of the world sees us. It was quite eye opening to see how the British are seen in different parts of the world. This article put me in mind of that column I used to read…

A Bird’s Eye View: When is enough enough?

Human greed continues as we read about the scandal that broke out in the United Kingdom when members of parliament were accused of misusing taxpayers’ money.

According to the rules, members of parliament may recoup expenses that are made “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” in pursuit of their parliamentary duties. MP’s were found to have used taxpayer’s money to purchase toilet seats, clean swimming pools, moats and add fake Tudor beams to their houses. Other MP’s purchased dog food, toilet brushes. Another one claimed a mortage that he had already paid.

Leaders of the three main parties apologized for the abuse of the expenses system. However,what we cannot understand is the stupidity of the MP’s who cannot realize that by their actions they are undermining the last remnants of democracy in their country. Democracy has already been undermined in the U.K. by the Big Brother mentality prevailing in that country that has installed more cameras than there are humans to monitor their movements. But by misusing taxpayer money at a moment when the humans of the U.K. are asked to fasten their belts and are being laid off as a consequence of the global financial crisis, is like asking for voters not to vote for them. And if that happens and no one is voted into parliament then the U.K. will face a problem of democracy and democratic institutions. It also paves the way for the re-emergence of fascist parties that would like to see the imposition of a one-party state. The arguments for potential fascist movements have been given free of charge by the MP’s.

So it is not enough to apologize. It is not enough to return misused funds. It is not enough to fire ministers. Not even the resignation of all the MP’s in parliament would be enough. What is immediately needed is for the MP’s to change the legislation that they themselves created so that it would be impossible for them to misuse funds in the future. Only that measure may save what is left of democracy in the U.K.

And speaking about democracy, Greece, who invented it, is doing its utmost to protect it. Greece’s data protection agency has prohibited vehicles manned by Google’s Street View drivers from the country. The agency said the search engine would have to provide additional information and concrete guarantees that the service was not an invasion of personal privacy before expanding the program to Greece. “We are not going to allow our country to become a Big Brother Society,” said an agency official. Greece has draconian rules concerning protection of private data and CCTV cameras are quite rare in comparison with the U.K. and other EU countries. So bravo to the Greeks and may others follow their example.

Ponder our thoughts dear humans for your benefit.

It would be nice to think that a lot of MPs in Westminster are remorseful for their actions, sadly I think the only remorse likely to be felt will be for getting caught and losing their allowances and jobs.

Well done the whistleblowers!

Posted June 7, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized


I asked my neighbours, Mustafa and Hanife if they would like to cut the grass and weeds in the gardens to use as winter feed for their animals. They were very happy to come and cut everything and laid it out to dry. Unfortunately if rained a couple of times so has taken longer to dry out than anticipated but they came a couple of days ago to take it away on the back of their donkey. Here they are loading up the donkey, looks a huge amount half loaded but the donkey managed easily. The children, Hasan and Zeliha, came too.

Taking the straw

Posted June 1, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

A walk around Kaş

On the way from my village down to Kaş one noteworthy sight is Reşit’s house with it’s wooden superstructure looking like it would be more at home in the Far East.

We are starting at the western end of the town, here is the lagoon side of the Çukurbağ yarımadası (Çukurbağ peninsula) looking west towards Kalkan. Work has been started on the new marina and a new road by-passing Kaş so that the big lorries won’t have to navigate the congested road junction by the Migros supermarket.

Turning ninety degrees right from the previous picture here is the road by the market place. Friday is market day and you can see it is in full swing. ‘Apartment City’ behind it has grown amazingly in the last couple of years. There was only one block standing when I came here.

Now turning due south and walking over the hill we come to the amphitheatre. In the distance you can see the Greek island of Meis (or Kastellorizo as they call it) The amphitheatre has suffered due to earthquakes but entertainment is still offered during the summer evenings.

Now going over to the middle of the town we dive into the main square where, as usual, there is a statue of Ataturk. This square is really a triangle and has just been resurfaced with shiny dark grey stone slabs. It was a very controversial act by the last Belediye Başkanı who did not get returned to office in the recent elections.

Most of the tea gardens are here, the Noel Baba tea gardens being one of the favourites. In winter when the rain stops and the sun comes out it is buzzing with ex-pats glad to get away from the TV and see other people to catch up on the latest gossip.

Still in the main square. It’s where the cafe society of the young wealthy turk tourist is most evident. On summer evenings it is alive with music and people out to be seen in their finery.

The most famous shopping street is Uzun Çarşı (Long market) known to a lot of people as Slippery Stone Street because the wear of millions of feet has polished the stone paving to such a degree that it was like a giant slide. A lot of people have slipped and fallen down here, yours truly included. It has recently been attacked with a chisel and now is more grippy.

Having made it to the bottom without falling over this time I heard a lot of shouting behind me and Mustafa the Camci (pronounced Jamji, it means glazier) came tearing down on his scooter. One of my best friends from Kaş, he put the glass in my house windows and I used to sit with him on the step of his shop practising my Turkish while watching the world go by.

Nearby is a little square with a few restaurants and leading away from that is this little lane at the side of a carpet shop. No hard sell here, most things are relaxed in Kaş.

Posted May 18, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized