Stuff

Life, The Pooliverse And Everything

Last post had me and my mate Big Al beavering away, as beavers do, making our home pool.

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Now, I was going to wait until I’d completed the building phase including the artfully placed tree trunks and rock features before inviting your gasps of admiration and incredulity. Trouble is we are now in the middle of a mighty thunder storm and I am not willing to work outside and risk getting struck by lightning for a second time! I am also at a loose end so here we go . .

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With the land sloping away it was necessary to construct strong retaining walls – seems a pity that they will be hidden by the liner

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the bottom was padded out with left over wall insulation boards before the liner was positioned

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an extra layer to aid plant growth was added by a retired kamikaze geezer

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the overflow checked out

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the progress so far – next will come the cosmetic bits on the outside and the various habitats on the inside for plants and creatures

To be continued . .

During the construction stage my mind ever wandered off back in time to the days of the ‘Perishers’ cartoon strip in the Daily Mirror. Dear old Boot was always fascinated by pools and their inhabitants, just like me.

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Alan Fenn, engrossed in the Pooliverse

ps in case you were wondering the first time I was struck by lightning was the day J walked in to my pub and asked for ‘A half of Guiness, please.’

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Ponderosa

Ponds! I’ve loved them ever since I fell in the Bomb Crater Pond behind the now defunct Sheppey Light Railway station at Minster where I grew up.

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Round and deep and full of scrap it was a haven for newts, frogs, sticklebacks and a myriad of exotic insects. The hours spent there as a kid are the bedrock of my passion for pretty much any sort of creature that spends part or all of its life in water.

So it will come as no surprise that, from the very start of our cabin project, I’ve wanted to develop a small pond that will offer a mix of habitats that should encourage a variety of wildlife. With help from friend Alan who travelled up from Okçular for a couple of days the project is now under way.

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Alan reminds me of Hoss Cartwright, he’s big, wields a mean shovel and likes a glass of Jack Daniel’s when the day’s work is done!

Now, knowing just how rocky the land is up here I had no illusions about how far we’d get in the couple of days he was due to be here. Not wanting to dampen the big fellow’s enthusiasm I kept shtum about what lay ahead. I needn’t have worried, in just four hours spread over two early morning starts the excavation was done and dusted! With me on the pick and Alan throwing the stuff around like a demented JCB it was amazing how the earth moved for us.

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the Big Fellah in action and below some of the rocks we dug out

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Now that the ‘muscle’ has gone back to sweat it out in Okçular (temperatures in the 40s), the task of putting the rocks back where they will serve a useful purpose has begun . .

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seems a pity that they will be hidden behind the pool liner

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To quote a certain Captain Oates, ‘I may be some time.’

Alan Fenn, ‘Ponderosa’, geddit? Oh, never mind! and thank you Alan for the graft.

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Breakfast At Tefenni’s

My little ‘Piece of Paradise’ is away in the realm of the Great Satan visiting family. I admire her intestinal fortitude since a number of countries around the world have issued clear ‘health’ warnings to their citizens to avoid the place like the plague!

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Let’s face it, apart from the places their armed forces are bombing the crap out of, the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’ is about the most dangerous place on the planet! (16200 intentional murders per year – 44 per day, excluding those murdered by the police)

So, whilst J has been in hell I have been in paradise up here at the cabin. With nothing to distract me I’ve been pottering around doing useful things. Things like servicing the shower taps; making compost bins;

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complete with its own watering supply

there’s been some new shelving put in the cupboards; the main door needed easing; an extra pot stand and a new, practical table top made and fitted for the balcony.

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halfway decent!

Then, following the current fad for photographing food and sending it to the person opposite, I thought you might like to see what I had for breakfast this morning.

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Home made muesli, home grown grapes, figs and melon – well, OK, the muesli was mixed up from different packets with a few additives and the grapes and figs were home grown by someone else. But the melon was ours grown from a seed planted by J’s green-fingered hand – honest, it was!

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I knew you wouldn’t believe me so here it is with the cairn in the background.

Anyway, I think I need to explain a couple of things. First is the title, ‘Breakfast at Tefenni’ – well, it’s the name of a small town about 30kms from here and just like the muesli, figs and grapes is stretching the truth a bit because I’m not there either.  Still, as J is much closer to Tiffanny’s than I am, I thought it was quite clever and gives this load of twaddle an arty feel! Second is this ‘little piece of paradise’ thing – Turks tend to call J ‘Cennet’ – (pronounced ‘Jennet’ and pretty close to the sound of her name in English) – Cennet means Paradise in Turkish and often leads to smiles and winks in my direction! Turks can also be a right lot of soppy romantics as a search of Google images for the same would show. To save you the trouble I’ll leave you with this:

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Alan Fenn, up those steps somewhere – not really, it’s back to the grindstone!

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Viewed Through A Different Lens 2.0

This is Türker! Türker is a friend!

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He grew up to be a doctor but really all he ever wanted to be was a biker. He also has interesting things like a GoPro camera on his helmet and Bluetooth linked GPS that talks to him inside his helmet. I like things like that!

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A few days ago he managed to get a couple of very rare days off so he leapt on his bike and came for a flying visit. We were delighted that he did because he is a very nice bloke and we like him a lot. These are his impressions:

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on the run in beside the lake

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walking the beach

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at the quaint, rustic lake-side restaurant

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the rental apartment

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the morning alarm clock!

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sun rise

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‘seaside’ selfie

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‘so-long, see ya’ selfie

Thank you Türker! It was such a pleasure to see you and we so enjoyed your company – do come again!

Alan Fenn, up here.

'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Viewed Through A Different Lens

‘Good Lord!’ I hear you say, ‘I thought you’d shuffled off!’ I don’t know, a few weeks without some drivel about rocks or courgettes and you have me wrapped in a shroud and tickling the daisy roots!

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Life has been full. J and I flew out of Dalaman about an hour after the start of the attempted coup d’etat on the 15th July. You would never have guessed anything was afoot though as the tourists continued to come and go as usual. It was at about the same time as the president was flown out to Istanbul escorted by two F16 fighter planes piloted by non-coup supporting Dalaman-based crews. Interesting times but here is not the place to discuss them.

Our ten days in the UK to visit family and take in the SPGB Summer School just flew by and before we knew it we were back home in Turkey with just two days in hand to get the washing, ironing and other chores done before our dear friends from Istanbul, Mark and Jolee, arrived on the morning flight at Dalaman. As soon as they were collected we were all off – back up here to our cabin in the mountains. The rocks hadn’t multiplied whilst we were away but the courgettes had morphed into marrows and as for the sunflowers . .

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Anyway, what follows is a pictorial saunter through their visit as seen through their camera lens. It will be a change from flowers and insects which is all I ever seem to find! So, let’s begin with breakfast at our favourite lorry drivers’ café.

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Mark could really use a smart phone and a ‘selfie-stick’ because he spends a lot of time taking pictures of food!

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the courgettes are this big! Honestly!

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the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrate and fine red wine!

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sunrise from their hotel

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another ‘foodie’ pic

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a view from the top

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and the bottom

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the famous spicy rabbit casserole

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proof that it is organic!

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tour of Sagalassos with our own personal guide

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feeling the heat

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supervising the hired help

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a spread to die for – almost!

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snow sherbet and ice cream – mmmmmmm-mmm!

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chatting with Imam Ali inside the stunningly beautiful Hacı Ömer Ağa mosque

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the priceless alabaster windows

So, there you have it – our life in the mountains seen through the eyes of our friends. There were so many more photos to choose from and as Mark was usually behind the camera here is a shot of them from their last visit with us. Mark and Jolee, thank you for spending time in Paradise 2.0!

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Alan Fenn, in the mountains by a beautiful lake