Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A little bit of pampering

You may recall me telling you about the bad haircut I had shortly before my last trip to England in September.  It was one in a series of disastrous haircuts over the past year, and I was beginning to give up hope of ever finding a good hairdresser again.

Do you remember the salon I found before the bad haircut?  They were very busy at the time (a good sign) and couldn't fit me in.  So being impatient, I settled for another salon resulting in the bad haircut.

Today, Mr A and I were both in desperate need of a haircut, so we went into Milas.  He visited a barber and I went to the previously visited busy salon  and they were able to oblige.

 The hairdresser washed and cut my hair beautifully, just the way I wanted it.  I am delighted.  I also had my eyebrows and top lip sorted.  They are very into cottoning here, which can be a little painful, but it is quite effective.  At this salon they waxed,  cottoned, trimmed and plucked until they achieved perfection...not one tiny unwanted hair in sight.  And it didn't hurt one bit.

The total cost...22 lira (approx £7.60).  At last I have a decent hairdresser! 

I must tell you about the amazing cream I use for burns.   I'm always burning myself on the cooker, the iron and boiling water, as I did yesterday.

It's called Silverdin here in Turkey, but in the UK it's known as Silvadene . I first discovered this cream because it was given to me by Mehmet the vet for Beki.  During her last few weeks, she had a very bad skin disorder on her back.  The cream helped a little, but to be honest I think she was so ill then that nothing would have completely worked.

I remember googling it at the time, and as is frequently the case in Turkey, medication for humans is often used for animals.  I read then that it was supposed to be good for burns.  When  the tube was finished, I bought another one from the eczane, but never got around to using it, so kept it in the fridge for future use. 

I wish I had taken a photo of the blisters on my fingers yesterday, and again today to show you the results of using this cream. As soon as I had burned my fingers, I ran them under the cold tap, dried gently, spread the cream on the blisters and wrapped in sterile gauze (as per yesterday's photo). After about an hour the stinging subsided.

I removed the gauze this morning and there was no sign of blisters or redness, no pain...completely healed.  This stuff really works.

So if you're clumsy like me, I'd recommend keeping a tube of this miraculous cream handy.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Shopping in Bodrum

After a couple of very windy days, and rain last night, the sun came out again this morning and it's been very warm all day.

Mr A needed to see someone in Bodrum about a possible job, so I decided to go over with him and meet up with Gwen.

I also had to visit the Turkish Airlines office because my flights have been changed for December so had to be re-confirmed. 

I have been past a new shopping centre several times called Midtown.  It's on the outskirts of Bodrum on the road to Turgutreis, so we decided to have a look.  It's beautifully set out, and there are lots of lovely shops for browsing, although not necessarily for buying...mostly designer stuff beyond my means.

There are a few cafes to choose from and the prices are quite reasonable, with seating outside as well as inside.  It was very quiet though and I wonder how much business they will have.  These shopping malls have sprung up all over Turkey.  We've visited a few and they never seem to be very busy, with the exception of Forum Bornova in Izmir, which I think is popular because it has an Ikea store.

The photo is blurry.See reason below.

There is a large Carrefour supermarket in Midtown and I decided to do my food shopping there. I notice that Bodrum prices are higher than Carrefour in Milas.  I did however find something that I have been wanting to buy for a long time, at a very good price.  An electric kettle with cay (Turkish tea) pot on top.  I needed a new kettle and I'm afraid I avoid making cay because it's messy so poor Mr A puts up with teabags..he is of course delighted that he can now have proper cay every day.


I did a very silly thing when I tried out the kettle for the first time.  I boiled water in it and poured it in to the washing-up bowl.  Then for some unexplained reason I stupidly put my fingers in the boiling water.  Ouch ...blisters!  They are now covered in my special burn cream and wrapped up.  So please excuse blurry photos because they were taken with one hand as was the typing of this post.       And it's taken ages!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Expat Blog Awards 2012

I received an email today to inform me that I have been nominated for the Expat Blog Awards 2012.  I am of course very flattered.  There are many expat blogs around which are far more interesting than mine, so I'm not expecting to receive an award, but I am delighted that I have been nominated.

As part of the judging process, they would like to receive comments from my followers.  I've copied and pasted the details as follows:

"The Expat Blog Awards 2012 which will be decided late December, where a
Gold, Silver and Bronze award will be given for each country. One
judging criteria will be based on reviews left on your listing, and so
it's a good idea to get some of your regular readers to leave a quick
note for you. Of course, this isn't the only judging method, but it does
show you have some loyal readers and let's us hear their feedback."

Here's the link to the page if you feel that you would like to leave a few words:

http://www.expatsblog.com/blogs/681/ayaks-turkish-delight

Thankyou xxx

Friday, 26 October 2012

The wrong day

How could I have got the date wrong?  For some reason I had it firmly fixed in my head that Kurban Bayram started on Friday.  I could have checked my diary of course, because it clearly stated that it started on Thursday.

On Wednesday Mr A decided to go down to the land in the village and pick the rest of the pomegranates, as someone had offered to buy them.  While he was there he had a phone call from Ankara to say that his grandfather had passed away.

As you may be aware, funerals here take place the day after death, and it's customary for every member of the family to make the effort to get there, no matter how far away they live.  The fastest way for Mr A to get to Ankara would be to fly.  Unfortunately there were no seats available on flights leaving on Wednesday, the earliest being Thursday.  So he would have to drive there...the most expensive alternative with the high cost of petrol here.  It would take him 10 hours, but at least he would arrive in time for the funeral.

I emptied my purse, except for some loose change, and Mr A withdrew what he needed from the ATM and off he set.

Yesterday ( Thursday), still thinking I had time to do shopping before the start of Bayram, I went down to the village to catch the bus at 9.00am.  I started to have doubts when I saw hoards of men coming out of the mosque.  They are not very religious in this village.  The only time they attend mosque en masse is at the start of a religious festival.  Amongst them was one of the bus drivers, who saw me waiting at the bus stop.  He informed me that there were no buses today as it was Kurban Bayram...and in any case even if I went into Milas, the shops would probably be closed.

With the loose change I popped into the village shop and bought some bread and then returned home.  OK I have enough food to last until Mr A returns...but I am a smoker (I know...filthy habit) but at this point in time I knew I wasn't going to last for several days with half a packet of cigarettes.

Mr A phoned and informed me that because of Bayram the funeral has been delayed until today (Friday).  No doubt he will then stay on for the rest of the holiday with his family.

I explained how I had got the date wrong and was now unable to get into Milas until he returned.  He told me to go to the village shop and ask for cigarettes and tell the man I would pay later.  I know this is common practise...everyone does it...but I can't.  I find it too embarrassing.  I'd rather go without.

 So he phoned the shop and has asked the man to give some cigarettes to our neighbour Mehmet who brings my post, and tell him to drop them off to me when he passes by, which he duly did last night.   Aren't people lovely?

Another reason for not actually wanting to set foot outside the house on the first day of Kurban Bayram, is that I can't face witnessing the slaughter of sheep.  After so many years I accept it, even though I don't like it, but I prefer to shut myself in the house until it's over.  I'm relieved that I had set off for the 9.00am bus before it started.  If I'd left it until later I doubt I would have been able to avoid it.

Moral of this story  (note to self)...always check your diary.

Kurban Bayraminiz Kutlu Olsun.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Granada

courtesy of Wikipedia
Continuing with my interest in Spain, here is another guest post by my friend Marina at Destinia.  This one is about Granada...another city I would love to visit:


A tour around Granada and its tapas.

 
The city and province of Granada is located in the southern region of Andalucia, in Spain. Nestled between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the sea, this city is known for its culture, its ancient palaces and its generous servings of tapas.

                            
Granada was one of the last Moorish kingdoms, and Moorish architecture is present in most ancient buildings, including the Palace of the Generalife, one of the city's main attractions. The Monasterio of the Cartuja is another city landmark, an ancient monastery.

 
The Alhambra is the city's main monument, a place visited by millions of tourists each year. This ancient Moorish palace has many gardens with fountains, tiled patios and towers that date from the Nasrid dynasty. Visitors can walk around the many gardens and take tours around the ancient Arabic palaces, where there are courtyards decorated with colourful tiles and rooms filled with ceramics and mosaics.

 
The city's Old Quarter is the historic center where the city's Santa María Cathedral is located. There are many chic restaurants and shops in this area, and visitors will be able to spend an afternoon visiting the many tapas bars in the area. Calle Oficios is one of the mains streets and is filled with many shops and handicraft stores.

 
The Basilica of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias is one of the city main churches, as is Granada's Cathedral. The cathedral was built after the conquest of Granada on the site on an ancient mosque. Inside the cathedral there is a large altar, several decorated chapels and a burial chamber where the Catholic Kings are buried. The cathedral is located in the city's Old Quarter, which has narrow cobbled streets and small traditional houses that have been converted into bars and restaurants.

 
After exploring this city visitors can try local tapas, which are small appetizers accompanying a drink. The tapas of this region are larger and vary from simple bread with olive oil and jamón ibérico ham bite to typical dishes from other regions. A typical night out starts with visiting several tapas bars and tasting the various tapas while enjoying a caña beer and a sangria. Many of these bars are located in the Realjo district.
 
Albaicín is a district located across from the Alhambra. This district is known for its traditional bars,
centered around the Plaza Large square, where visitors can enjoy a café con leche with pan con tomate in the mornings, gazpacho at lunch and many types of local tapas at dusk. The district is located on a hillside, and visitors can climb up to its highest point, the Plaza of San Nicolas, to enjoy views of the Alhambra and the city. The Mirador of San Nicolas, located in this district, is a large observation platform near the St. Nicholas Church.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thankyou Marina.

 

 
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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Arrivals

Within the last few days Autumn seems to have arrived.  A bit of thunder, a little rain, and chilly mornings and evenings, but the days are still lovely.  Plenty of sunshine to enjoy outside on the balcony.  The duvet is back on the bed and my big fluffy dressing gown is back in use, particularly early morning.

I still love to watch the sun rise, whatever the weather.  On the balcony with my first coffee of the day.

And the wandering nomad has returned.  Yes Mr A is back.  He's only been away in Antalya for a couple of weeks.   Work hasn't been very rewarding for him this year.  I've actually lost track of where he's been this season.  So much travelling here and there to try to earn money.  Every year we live in hope of him coming home with pockets full of cash to see us through the winter months, but it rarely happens.  This year is no exception.

The only advantage to him being away from home so much, is that wherever he is, he has a bed and he is being fed and earning just enough for his everyday needs.  This means that I take responsibility for myself and I'm pretty good at leading a frugal life.

He hates being in this situation and it hurts his male pride to have to ask me for anything.

There may be a job lined up for the beginning of December, but it's a little uncertain at the moment.  In the meantime, we needed to think of something for him to do now.  He has in past winters bought supplies of Mesir Macunu and travelled around the villages to sell it.  It's very popular with Turks, particularly as winter approaches, because they truly believe it cures all sorts of ailments.  It's difficult to find in shops outside of Manisa so it's fairly easy to sell it locally and produce a profit.

So we decided to spend a few hundred lira on supplies.  Mr A spent time on the phone yesterday organising an order, which the company said would arrive by cargo today.

Later in the afternoon, the company rang to say that the order was ready for despatch.  However, they couldn't find a cargo company to deliver it before Kurban Bayram.   Bayram doesn't start until Friday.  Today is Wednesday.  Cargo companies have decided to extend the holiday and are apparently closing at midday today.  So we will now have to wait until towards the end of next week to receive supplies.

It kind of reminds me of how this extending of holidays has occurred in the UK.  Anyone else remember the days when we finished work on Christmas Eve and returned the day after Boxing Day?  And when New Year's Day wasn't a bank holiday?  Now the two holidays have blurred into one, resulting in more than a week's holiday.  Looks like Turkey may be following suit.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Rain and Vegetables



There are grey clouds in the sky today and a storm is forecast, but it doesn't feel like it's going to happen.  We have rain too, but so little it's hardly worth mentioning.  In fact I walked down to the village to get vegetables...in the rain...but I didn't get wet enough to have to change my clothes when I returned to the house.  But it was pleasant to feel a few drops on my skin.

Monday is market day in our village.  I use the term "market" loosely, because it mostly consists of one vegetable stall.  Although today there were two more vendors who had their vegetables laid out on the ground.  This does happen occasionally and I know exactly what will happen when I approach them.

They all start calling to me at once because they want me to buy from them.  I do what I always do.  I bought potatoes from one, leeks and beans from another, and a cauliflower from the third.  Everone's happy.


Talking of cauliflowers, they are just fantastic at the moment.  They are huge though.  This one weighed almost 4 kilos and it was the smallest one I could find.  It should be enough to feed me on cauliflower cheese for a week.  It was just 2.5 lira (about 85pence).  A kilo of lovely green beans for 2 lira will make one of my favourites..green beans in olive oil, and the potatoes and leeks will make a huge pot of soup for eating and freezing.  

I spent a total of 8.5 lira (less than £3.00) and have more than enough fresh and healthy food to keep me going for some time.



I did call into the village shop to buy chicken livers for Poppy though...I doubt she would be happy with just vegetables!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Ooops

Apologies to those of you who tried to play the music clip that I posted up yesterday.  It played perfectly for me yesteday but today it wouldn't.  I tried for half an hour to sort it out but to no avail.  So I've deleted the post.  I never had problems with posting up videos before Blogger changed everything...so I'll blame them (even though it's probably me!)

Anyway thankyou Fly, Maggie and Perpetua for your comments.

I had an enjoyable few days with my friend Gwen.  Although we chat regularly on the phone and she is only a couple of bus rides away, circumstances meant that we hadn't actually seen each other for about four months so we had a lot of catching up to do.

We are both chatterboxes and we don't stop for breath.  It's exhausting but very enjoyable.

The weather here is glorious with temperatures reaching as much as 33 degrees during the day. 

Mr A is still away working in Antalya.  There aren't many customers so he's not earning much, just enough for his everyday needs.  But he has accommodation and all meals, and it keeps him occupied.  No doubt he will return home at the end of the month for a couple of days and then set off again...probably to Istanbul, to work for the winter.  I sometimes forget I'm actually married!

We make plans every year to avoid being in this situation, but somehow it never quite works out.  He has tried very hard to find a "normal" job but when you have worked for so many years in tourism, it's really not that easy.   I don't like it but after 14 years I'm pretty much used to it.  Before moving to this village nearly 4 years ago it didn't seem much of a problem because we lived in areas where I had friends close by, but here it's completely different.  Too far away from everything.

On the positive side, I still love waking up every day to the village sounds and the view to die for, and if this lovely weather continues for a bit longer, that's a bonus!

Have a good weekend everyone xx



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Things that work

The antibiotics have worked.  I am feeling so much better today.

My camera hasn't been working for some time.  I wasn't too concerned for a while because in any case I couldn't, for some reason, upload photos on my old netbook.

Today I took the camera into Milas to see if it could be fixed.  As it turned out it was a very simple problem, easily sorted, and the man in the shop refused payment.  Turkish people can be so kind and helpful.

I have mentioned before on my blog about the variety of items that people load onto the village bus.  When I once said that a live sheep was on the bus, you could be forgiven for not believing me.  However, because I had my camera with me today, I have photographic evidence.  As I stepped on to the bus in the centre of town, it was almost full of passengers...and a ram in the gangway..which I had to climb over to get into the only available seat.  Don't ask me why it was on the bus.  As everyone else took it in their stride and didn't bat an eyelid, it seemed inappropriate to ask.

Anyway, as you can see I have managed to upload the photos onto my "new" netbook (exactly the same model as the old one, only English) with no problem at all.

Here's a photo of Poppy and her new bed.  I bought it last week but she was very wary and it took her two days to pluck up the courage to get in it.  It's so cozy that it's difficult to get her out of it now.



I may not be around for a few days as my friend Gwen (the one who is married to Suleyman) is staying with me. It's almost the end of the season and she is bored at the hotel in Bitez and needed a break.  I haven't seen her for ages and we have lots of catching up to do, so not much time for the internet.  I'll catch up with all your blogs later this week.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Childish retaliation

I am a pretty tolerant person.  Most of the time.   I don't like a lot of noise however.

Some noise can't be helped of course.  Roadworks, traffic, building works, etc.  They're part of everyday life and I accept that they are necessary.

The Turks on the whole are quite a noisy race.  Until we moved to this village, we lived in rented apartment blocks.  I have had more than my fair share of noisy neighbours.  Those who sit out on their balconies until the early hours of the morning, shouting and laughing loudly, with no regard for those people who are trying to sleep.   I have rarely complained though..unless it goes on indefinitely.  Even then, I'm quite polite when I complain.  To be fair, most Turks take complaints very well.  They act on them.  They don't take it personally, and they don't bare grudges.

This village is quite peaceful on the whole, unless there is a wedding taking place, in which case there will be loud music, sometimes for a couple of days.  Again, it's part of life and I suffer it without complaint.

Sevke is our next door neighbour. She is a lovely elderly lady.  She lives alone and is very quiet.  Unless she has family visiting when they all talk loudly and excitedly out on her terrace.  That doesn't bother me.  It doesn't happen often and I'm happy because Sevke's happy to be with her family.

On the other side of Sevke is a house which is empty most of the time.  It is owned by a family who originally lived in this village but now live in Izmir.  During the summer months they have come to stay every weekend.   From the moment they arrive they turn music on full blast, and they don't switch it off until they leave.  From Friday evening until Sunday evening it goes on and on.  It's so loud that even if I close the windows, plug in my earphones and listen to a programme on my laptop, I can still hear it above whatever I am trying to listen to.   I can't imagine what it's like for Sevke, who is much closer to them than I am.

When Mr A was here last week he had a friendly word with them and they turned it down.  However, he is away now (and I am sure they are aware of this).    They arrived on Friday night and the music was louder than ever.

So now for my childish retaliation.  Sevke is away this weekend.  I decided to get my own back by playing loud music with all my windows open.  There is a slight problem here though.  Although I have lots of CDs, I don't have a CD player and I can't play them on my netbook.  So...I plugged in an old portable TV that someone gave us.  I then found a scart lead in the shed and attached it to the TV and to a DVD player that someone else had given us, but which had been gathering dust in a cupboard.  I inserted a CD and voila....loud music!

I found that an old  Bryan Adams CD had the desired effect.  After an hour of ear-splitting music, the noisy neighbours got the message. 

They turned off their music.   I turned off mine.   Peace was restored.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

IBS..a vicious circle

I was diagnosed with IBS about seven or eight years ago, after undergoing various tests, including a colonoscopy, to make sure my symptoms were nothing more sinister.

IBS sufferers all have their own triggers.  A flare-up can be caused by many things, including diet and stress. It can also run alongside depression.    In many cases symptoms can be quite mild and they don't interfere too much with daily life.  Some people can have quite nasty attacks (me included) and it can be very debilitating, with chronic stomach and back pain, nausea and fatigue.

I manage mine pretty well most of the time.  I try to be careful with my diet, and I'm not someone who likes to use medication unnecessarily.  However, my trigger is stress and anxiety.  This leads to a bad attack that can last for weeks.  Which makes me tired and depressed.   Which leads to more anxiety.  Which means an attack can go on and on and on...until the cycle is broken.

Occasionally my IBS attacks result in a bowel infection and necessitate a visit to the hospital, where various tests are carried out, antibiotics and other medication are prescribed, and this helps.

My current flare-up has been going on for a couple of weeks.  It started when Mr A's job finished earlier than expected.  He was home for a week but he was very stressed and grumpy.  This in turn causes me stress.  It got worse when he set off for Antalya last Monday to work in a hamam for the rest of this month.  Antalya is so far away and although I am used to being here on my own, it has made me realise just how isolated I am in this village....and this makes me anxious.

I hate visits to the hospital.  It's difficult enough to get through the system if your Turkish is fluent.  When it's not, it's almost impossible.  Believe me..I've attempted to do it on my own.  I need Mr A with me, and he won't be back until the end of the month.

I have got to know a lovely pharmacist in Milas who speaks English.  I went to see him on Wednesday and explained my problem.  His wife also suffers the same condition so he knows what he's talking about.  He felt sure that I had an infection so suggested a course of antibiotics (having researched the internet for the one he felt best for me) and some antispasmodics.  I'll give them a go and hope that they work.   Otherwise, I will just wait until Mr A returns and make another trip to the hospital.

He also mentioned the benefits of pomegranates.  A small amount of juice each day apparently helps.  His wife also boils the pomegranate skin and drinks the water.  She swears by it.  I'll try anything!

IBS is a common condition, so I feel sure that some of my readers are sufferers.   I wondered if you would share your experiences and any tips you have for dealing with it.


Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irritable_bowel_syndrome



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Blogger email notifications

This new Blogger dashboard is driving me nuts!  Is anyone else having problems with it? Or is it just me?

I can't seem to do any of the simple things I managed to do with the old dashboard.

The one thing that is annoying me most is a problem with email notifications.  I previously had emails whenever someone commented on one of my posts.  It was so useful.  I'd press "publish" and then reply.  Easy peasy.

Now I get the occasional email when someone posts, but mostly I don't.  I only discovered this one day when I went to my dashboard and noticed a number of comments awaiting moderation.  They had been there for a couple of days so I'm sure my followers must have thought I was ignoring them.

When commenting on someone else's blog, I always click on the button which will send me an email when the blogger replies to my comment.   I don't get these at all now.   I thought I was being ignored and only discovered I wasn't when I went back to the blogs and trawled through the comments.

It's infuriating.  It's such a simple thing, but when you're busy with other things and you don't want to miss comments and responses, it made sure that you were kept up to date.

OK.  I'll admit I don't respond well to change.  But I do accept it if it improves things, and I eventually get used to it.  But I can't for the life of me see how this new dashboard actually improves anything.

Anyone else finding it difficult?

Monday, 8 October 2012

Guest Post

You may recall that I recently published a guest post by my friend Marina at Destinia, all about Seville.

I am fascinated by Spain and Marina has promised some more posts from time to time. I hope you find them as interesting as I do.

Here is her post about Barcelona:

 
 
 
Barcelona.
The city of Barcelona is located in the northeastern region of Catalonia, in Spain. This city is known for Gaudí's architecture and its many cultural landmarks. A trip to this city offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy cultural landmarks and local food.
 
Gaudí's style can be seen in many buildings in this city. The city's symbol is the Sagrada Familia, an unfinished cathedral designed by Gaudí. Visitors can climb up one of the towers, from where they can enjoy views towards the city and the sea. The east façade of the cathedral represents the Nativity scene in a baroque fashion, and the Glory and Passion façades decorate the building.
 
Other buildings by Gaudí include Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, both of them located on the Passeig de Gràcia, a main street known for its boutique shops and restaurants. There are audio guides and tours available at Casa Batlló, an ancient mansion which offers views towards the city.
 
Park Güell, located on a hill in the city, was designed by Gaudí. A large, colourful mosaic dragon greets visitors into this park. Gaudi's old home is now a museum in the park. The park has several areas and a large porch with twisted columns, and there is a tiled observation platform at the top.
 
The Gothic Quarter is where Barcelona's Cathedral and several churches are located. This quarter is known for its Gothic architecture, with narrow stone streets and many small squares.
 
The country is known for its tapas, small appetizers served with a drink which vary from region to region. Traditional Catalan tapas are served in many of the city's centric bars, and visitors can savour local produce at the centric Boquería market.
 
Poble Espanyol is the Spanish Village, an attraction that replicates small towns and villages from several regions in Spain. Each small town in this artificial village sells traditional products typical of each region.
 
Montjuïc is a palace located in the city. The fountain in front of the palace is one of the city's main attractions, mainly during the afternoons, when the fountain is lit up and the fountain spray start to move.
 
La Rambla is one of the city's main streets, joining the centric Catalonia Square to the statue of Christopher Columbus by the sea. The street is lines with many bars, restaurants and shops and there are many flower shops and street performers.
 
Sports are part of the city, which was host to the '92 Olympics. There are three tourist bus routes around the city, and one of the lines tours the Olympic Village. The Camp Nou stadium, where Barcelona F.C. Plays, is another of the city's attractions.
 
 
 
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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Summer in October

Summer started a little later this year.   Usually by this time the temperatures have dropped and I am busy packing away my summer clothes.

October arrived and summer continued with temperatures in the 30s.   Today's forecast is 32 degrees...tomorrow, the same.  The rest of the month will remain warm with temperatures in the mid 20s ..even towards the end of October.   There may be the odd thunderstorm, but overall it looks like summer will still be around for some time yet.

Very fortunate for those people who booked holidays at this time, when prices are lower and the crowds have disappeared.

 It's a great time to be in Turkey.




Friday, 5 October 2012

Sultan the Shepherdess

This is Sultan.  She passes our house early every morning with her flock of sheep and climbs up and over the hill behind our house.  They graze for a couple of hours, whilst Sultan collects kindling, then they pass our gate again, where they climb over each other to get at the large water container I leave out for the dogs. 

Occasionally, like yesterday, one manages to get over the wall into our garden so we have to chase it out before it gets stuck into our fruit trees.

Sultan is 76 years old and she climbs that hill like a 16 year old.  She has a daughter and a teenage granddaughter, and they take it in turns to accompany Sultan with the sheep.  I always smile when I see that it's the granddaughter's turn as she looks like she has been dragged reluctantly out of bed and through a hedge.  Hair all over the place and still in pyjamas sometimes.  I guess teenagers are the same everywhere..they hate getting up early!

Sultan is the owner of the dog I mentioned recently who had been chained up outside their house.   Mr A and I encouraged them to remove the chain and make sure the dog had fresh water every day, and is adequately fed.  We treated him for fleas and worms and I supplement his food by saving some of Poppy's meals and give this to Sultan every couple of days.  The dog is doing well and is much happier and healthier.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Dursune

Because Mr A is around at the moment, he has been able to take some photos on his phone, upload them to Facebook and I've been able to copy them for my blog.

I wanted to tell you about my neighbour, Dursune.

She is considered by some (my FIL included) to be very grumpy and selfish.  I find her quite the opposite.  I absolutely adore her.  She lives next door to us, on her own, with her animals.  She works so hard every day to survive.

But the thing I most love and respect about Dursune is the way in which she cares for her animals.  I have never seen such healthy cows, donkeys and chickens in Turkey as those that belong to her.

Here are some photos, taken this morning.

Dursune with calf born to one of her two cows 15 days ago



Dursune's donkey. Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Just another Sunday...

Sundays are generally pretty peaceful around here.   Although I didn't get very much sleep on Saturday night because there was a wedding going on in the village until the early hours, with music at full blast and the customary gunfire at regular intervals.

I hoped for a lie-in but someone had music blasting out somewhere in the village from 7am and because the wind seemed to be blowing in our direction, we had the full benefit of it.

Mr A's job finished on Saturday.  It hasn't been a good season, and for him and the rest of the hamam employees it finished earlier than hoped.  Not enough customers.  All-inclusive holidaymakers just don't want to spend money.

We had a leisurely breakfast out in the garden...the weather is surprisingly still up in the 30s, and Mr A talked about what to do next.  He really wants to get out of tourism if possible and find a "normal" job closer to home.  I'm not sure how likely that is, but he intends to start looking today.

But we did have a good laugh during the afternoon.  Mr A was on the balcony and I was in the kitchen when we heard screams coming from Dursune next door.  A male donkey from somewhere in the village had escaped and managed to get into her garden.   We knew it was a male of course, as it was..how should I put it..visibly extremely excited...and attempting to mount Dursune's female donkey. 

She was doing all she could to get the donkey out of the garden, without much success, so Mr A rushed over to help.  He managed to get the donkey out and tied him up outside until we could find the owner.

Dursune, meanwhile, was still screaming and shouting and very angry.  She said something which I didn't quite catch, and Mr A burst out laughing.  I asked what it was and apparently she said "I'm going to ring the jandarma..my donkey is not a prostitute!"  She was deadly serious.

We're still chuckling today!