'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

I Resemble That Remark!

In my last posting certain individuals, who shall remain nameless, like Jack Scott and Lesley Mason made some disparaging comments that implied that J did all the heavy work around here whilst yours truly sat around taking snapshots and offering advice.

To pinch a line from the Marx Brothers, ‘I resemble that remark!’ I felt deeply hurt and cut to the quick because, actually, the reality here in our mountain retreat is quite the reverse – 100% the other way round and I have accumulated the evidence over the past two days to prove my point. But first I need to set the scene . .

lakeside sunrise

sunrise yesterday

We were up early so as to make a start at clearing the undergrowth down the side of the plot. We needed to expose the tons of rocks that we want used up to construct the stone terrace across the area for cultivation. Those of you wondering about the gang due to start the other day – it’s a long story for another time!

plot clearing1

this gives you a bit of an idea of the task

plot clearing2

Exhibit A – first clear evidence of who does the graft in the thicket!

plot clearing3

Exhibit B – drags all the stuff out and burns it

plot clearing4

Exhibit C – whilst J stands around looking decorative and posing for photos

Meanwhile, we were never too busy or whacked out that we forgot to enjoy what lies on our doorstep . .

almond in blossom1

our neighbour’s beautiful almond tree in blossom

almond blossom2

mistletoe

complete with mistletoe in bloom (zoom in to see it)

Any road up, as they say in Yorkshire (in deference to a certain lady of my acquaintance), time to get back to the truth, the nitty-gritty of who does the heavy lifting around here . .

plot clearing5

very neat and tidy

hedging tools

tools of the hedger – and if J says those are her gloves, she’s lying!

plot clearing6

another view

blisters

Exhibit D – so, whilst I was working my fingers to the bone . .

a hot shower

Exhibit E – J was pampering herself – I rest my case

Alan Fenn, recovering with a couple of rakıs.

ps knowing that at some point J is going to read this stuff I want state for the record that a) this post is a pack of lies and a total misrepresentation of the truth. b) I’m pleading the 5th, and c) I’ve applied for the witness protection programme!

'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

We Plough The Fields

With commitments to honour we’d been away from our mountain hidey-hole for three long weeks – we were craving a fix and there was stuff to be done!

There was a great pile of firewood to be set about so first things first it was off to town for a felling axe, a sledgehammer and a couple of wedges. Suffice to say we have made a start on splitting and stacking about ten years worth of tree trunks!

a lumberjill

That was followed up with a neat log box to replace the tatty cardboard boxes that have been littering the area behind the cabin door. J prepared a great soup for later and then we joined forces for barbied fish and a salad to die for! Life is good!

Yesterday, of course, there was the mandatory spicy rabbit casserole with our dear ‘son’ at our local watering hole. Will we ever get tired of this dish? Hard to imagine such a thing, especially when it is preceded by an amazingly spiced-up Tarhana soup!

spicy rabbit casserole

Meal done and dusted we were joined by the local forestry manager. Apart from being a really nice guy he turns bits of what he so carefully husbands into splendid toys for his son.

wooden toy truck

wooden toy aeroplane

toy truck

Meanwhile, we were in negotiation with locals to get sorted with dry-stone walled terraces so that the plot can be ploughed, manured and readied for fruit and nut trees. Already, even up here at 1200 mts., life is stirring with almond trees and crocus blooming. We needed to get our fingers out in order to get everything prepared. We were promised the digging machine for next morning – in the event, at five o’clock this evening, there was much roaring of engines and work started.

digging machine1

An hour later the first trench was cut and the walling will begin tomorrow – now that feels like progress!

digger2

halfway there

Meanwhile, the neighbours were keeping an eye on things . .

neighbours

The lake was as blue as ever . .

blue on blue

The mornings are misty and moisty . .

misty moisty morning

And the nights are mysterious . .

IMG_8201_copy

Alan Fenn, Archers – an everyday story of country folk.

'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Economic Migrants

So, after being totally traumatised when Muğla central police station lost our original application for long-term residency during the change-over from the old ways of doing stuff, the new staff and system have completely redeemed themselves.

bureaucrats

I do understand that police stations can’t actually lose anything and anyway, I doubt the paperwork is lost – I bet it is still in the bottom of some filing cabinet drawer along with a whole bunch of other applications from people we know!

Six months, almost to the day, since the applications were re-submitted, an SMS arrived – they were on the way from Ankara! The tracking system functioned fine and on the first working day after they arrived in Ortaca the delivery guy rang to get our location. We’ve even had an SMS to tell us they’d been delivered to us in case we hadn’t noticed!

permit1

These days the permit arrives in a white wallet sponsored by Turkish Airlines ‘Miles & Smiles’ – you can’t keep the world’s favourite airline down!

emniyet_7247_copy

look carefully at this photo and you’ll see that Ortaca police are also kind to street animals

Thanks go to the delightful and very helpful police lady in Ortaca who got all the duplicates together and then rang and pleaded with Murat at the Migration Directorate in Muğla to see us and get everything sorted asap. He did! Forty minutes after we walked through his office door we were on our way home – job jobbed!

Unless the elixir of life turns up in the form of a wine bottle we’ll never have to go through this stuff again. These long-term permits are valid until 31st December 2099 – gawd help us if we forget or don’t last long enough to renew – trust me, you really don’t want to fall foul of the bureaucracy here!

Alan Fenn, a legal, long-term economic migrant in Turkey.

'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

All Change!

J and I had been expecting to be zooming up to our mountain hideaway tomorrow (Tuesday) for the finishing off of our cabin, but ‘the best laid plans . .’ etc, etc! Well, ‘Burası Türkiye!’ ‘This is Turkey!’

usefull

we view certain things differently, J will immediately notice the spelling mistake – doesn’t worry me, I’ll find a use for it some day

Since we were last there, we have been gathering up stuff that is surplus to requirements here and boxing them up ready to start their new life up there. J has been gleefully clearing out cupboard-loads of stuff that hasn’t been used in 18 years but that I have been reluctant to get rid of because ‘ it might have come in useful one day’. That day has arrived! My plan-ahead, long-term strategy (J calls it hoarding) has been vindicated!

Between cleaning the dust off suddenly useful stuff/objects and packing them in boxes there has been time to clean up  some long-relegated-to-the-garage wooden shelves and put together a couple of stools made from firewood.

stool and tea machine

we bought the tea maker in Erzurum 15 years ago – never been used

Anyway, back to the ‘best laid plans’ scenario – the chippy had been hoping to have the kitchen units and the wooden windows finished and ready to install but several days without power at his workshop set him back. So, Thursday will be the Grand Opening Day and, with a bit of luck and a tail wind, if all our threads come together we may well be able to spend our first night in our new hidey-hole. What is amazing is that it is just three months to the day since we first had the title deeds in our hands!

The delay was just as well, because at 10 o’clock this morning we had a somewhat delayed delivery of this lot . .

village wood supply Turkey

our annual supply of villagers’ firewood

village wood supply

three hours of graft later we’d made a serious impression on it as you can see (not)!

Burası Türkiye! In so many wonderful, unexpected ways.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü