Stuff

On Gold ‘n’ Pond

Posting about our life here in Turkey is not like reporting from the front line. Our days flow by gently, filled (mostly) with little pleasures and small achievements. We are pretty contented as we survey our life together and the views around us, especially up here in the mountains.

lake5

the view from just around the corner back to the cabin

Life may not be fast-flowing but, as I said, it does have its moments – here are just two:

The pond I’ve been rabbiting on about is sort of complete. There are always going to be new plants to add, new creatures to encourage and cosmetic touches here and there. J and I went off up the mountain to the source of all our water to collect reeds, other plants and mud.

pond6

pond7

not very exciting, I know, but this is a good beginning

The other event was much more exciting especially for my grandson and his doting mum (aka Number 1 Daughter). Some of you will know that grandson is a considerable athlete and rows for the Great Britain Under 23s/Junior squad. With his graduation from UC Berkeley a short while ago his junior career has culminated with a gold medal at the European Universities Rowing Championship in Poznan, Poland. Eurosport was showing just one hour of rowing and by pure chance we were lucky enough to catch his race and the presentation on TV.  We were also surprised and delighted to see Number 1 Daughter three times as she bounced about at the finish line! Is that amazing, or what?

In the following photos grandson is the stroke at the ‘back’ of the boat.

rowing1

img_8773_copy

3/4 of a length – beautifully judged

rowing3

champions – grandson on right

rowing4

what does one do with a goat???

img_8776_copy

congratulations chaps!

Now he moves on to full time rowing with the GB senior squad – he won’t get very rich but at least his mum is relieved from the pressure of pumping unbelievable levels of calories in to him on a daily basis (somewhere around 4700kcal per day – it’s a lot more complicated than just counting calories). Such is the saving that she can afford a holiday this year and is coming out to visit us – how great is that!

Alan Fenn, on gold ‘n’ pond – geddit!

Stuff

Life, The Pooliverse And Everything

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

beavers

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 . .

pool construction1

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

pond construction2

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

pond construction3

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

pond construction4

the overflow checked out

pond construction5

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.

eyeballs

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.’

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.

the-bomb-crater-pond

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.

Dan_Blocker_-_1966

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.

IMG_8729_copy

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

IMG_8732_copy

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 . .

IMG_8734_copy

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

IMG_8733_copy

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!

dangerofdeath2

 

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;

IMG_8713_copy

IMG_8714_copy

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.

IMG_8715_copy

IMG_8717_copy

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.

IMG_8723_copy

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!

IMG_8724_copy

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:

CENNET1

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!

turker2

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!

turker5

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:

DSC_0712_copy

turker3

on the run in beside the lake

DSC_0750_copy

walking the beach

DSC_0723_copy

at the quaint, rustic lake-side restaurant

DSC_0805_copy

the rental apartment

DSC_0732_copy

the morning alarm clock!

DSC_0734_copy

sun rise

DSC_0727_copy

‘seaside’ selfie

DSC_0817_copy

‘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.