Stuff

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.

Stuff

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!

Stuff

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.

Stuff

Feckless

In a few days J and I will be heading back to Okçular because there are boring things that have to be done before we head to the UK. Things like laundry and ironing and banking and stuff like that. Like I said boring!

The time has flown by what with one thing and another. The cairn got finished and the pair of us are pretty pleased with our handiwork . .

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You can see the extra pair of solar electricity panels that we brought up and fitted. They have made a huge difference to how and what we can now use. Add a couple more and I can see us laying on a son et lumière come next Summer’s solstice!

Daily work clearing the remaining rocks was interrupted a couple of times by monumental thunderstorms – they weren’t confined to the mountains either as the coastal resorts copped it as well.

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The fresh stuff from J’s veggie gardening has been really enjoyable – the onions would grace a garden society show and the courgettes are prolific enough to warrant much searching on the internet for ‘things to do with courgettes’, none of which fell into the category of ‘adult entertainment’!

The storms gave us some beautiful dawns and evenings . .

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What else? Well, we had a friend visit for a couple of days and we all got more than we bargained for when the people at the accommodation that was booked told us there was a problem. Never had the decency to tell us and we were left with no option but to bed our friend down on the floor because, this being the main holiday of the year for Muslims, everywhere else was booked solid! We managed and he had a good experience, or so he said!

On one of the dodgy storm days J decided to test the waters of the lake . .

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. . whilst I interfered in the private life of Onychogomphus forcipatus – Small Pincertail dragonfly. They are amazing – they lay their eggs in the lake and there the nymphs grow and develop. When they are ready to emerge as dragonflies they crawl from where you see J at the water’s edge all the way to where I am standing, a distance of around 200 mts! Here they crawl up into the sedges and the transformational miracle begins – it is fascinating!

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Exuviae, the exoskeleton left behind when insects and spiders get too big for their boots

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it’s astonishing what comes out of the packaging!

So, what was all that ‘feckless’ stuff in the title? Well, I thought many times these past days that I should/would like to write a post but was always too much what the dictionary clearly understands me to be – ‘feckless ˈfɛkləs/ adjective: feckless lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible’. I was completely without feck! No, that is not strictly true because, actually, I felt pretty relaxed, laid back and cool about life so really I didn’t give a feck!

Alan Fenn, in a feckin’ cabin in the feckin’ mountains

Stuff

Things That Go Bump

”fae ghosties and ghoulies and lang-legged beasties and things that go bump in the nicht… guid lord, deliver us” – so goes and old Scottish prayer – no wonder they voted to stay in the EU!

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I mean, a body needs their sleep and so, in the event that these ‘things’ are disturbing and disrupting a good nights rest then one can call in the power of the EU and its amazing array of regulations in order to bring some peace and tranquillity. I mean, there is bound to be something that says the dead shouldn’t be up and about, especially after midnight when the discos have to close down!

My question is, ‘What about squirrels at dawn?’

Where’s the enforcement of regulations to curb the antics of Caucasian/Syrian/Persian Squirrel – Sciurus anomalus? The little sods are a bundle of energy and and they start their day with a game of rugby on the roof of our cabin. The fact that they were here before us, living in the big, old pine is neither here nor there!

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zoom in on those ‘pinkies’ – formidable!

Then there are other ‘ghoulies’ that prey in innocent, passing victims . .

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Small Pincertail/Green-eyed Hooktail – Onychogomphus forcipatus – female

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the male

. . long legged beasties and the things that go bump in the night?

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Not true, actually, well she is certainly long-legged, but she sleeps gently and quietly, rises at a reasonable time and is mostly not scary at all!

Alan Fenn, back home in the mountains.