We’ve been on tenterhooks the past few days whilst hosting our dear friends Mark and Jolee (of Senior Dogs fame) and Mark’s brother and his wife. Nothing to do with them directly and everything to do with the amazing ability of our all-encompassing Ortaca Town Council. Everywhere you look they are getting on with stuff!
About a week ago our muhtar (village headman) arrived with a request – the road gang was coming to lay a new road up to the cemetery just behind our house and because the village now has no budget to feed them (new regulations put the entire budget with district councils) he was asking various villagers along the roads being done to help by cooking a meal for the workers. ‘Alright!’ agreed J, ‘How many?’ ‘Ten or fifteen’ said the muhtar. ‘That is going to be interesting’ said J in the biggest understatement I’d heard since George Dubya declared ‘Mission Accomplished!’
OK, it’s not Ortaca’s road gang but it is a pretty amazing photo
I thought, ‘Jeez! You must be insane – I mean, how many plates do we have? What’s our biggest pan?’ I kept these thoughts to myself because even hinting that Yorkshire lass of mature years is insane is a life-threatening matter!
A little later, I mentioned that it might be a tough call because we live up here alone whilst our neighbours will be clubbing together and helping each other. Many hands and all that. Why don’t we order in a bunch of take-aways and save ourselves a lot of grief?’ I suggested. Now, I guess that reality had kicked in because J readily agreed. ‘In fact’ she said ‘why not get the Ley Ley Restaurant to sort them out!’ So we did. It was a smart move because if we ever need a little ‘slight of hand’ from the boys in council overalls they will be there to deliver – no problem!
But I’m getting off piste as they say in certain circles. Where was I? Oh, yes! The road.
So, we were worried that whilst we were hosting/guiding our friends that this being Turkey where things don’t happen by stages but all at once with ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’, that we might want to get out and find that the road was closed and full of machines and piles of gravel. As it turned out we were lucky, there were no disruptions and we scraped home by the skin of our teeth. Well, nearly home!
We’d said our goodbyes and had our hugs from our guests and were on our way up our road when we were confronted by this:
The digger broke the main village water pipe but at least there was a nice, ready-made drain-away – and it didn’t take too long to repair the damage and we were soon grinding over the half-filled trench and back home to a welcome beer! Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .
This morning we were faced with this . . .
1.5kms of glistening, wet tar to get to the main road. We’re hoping that our bucket of good-will is overflowing and that the gravel trucks and road-roller will be along soon – otherwise we could be stuck here (literally) for days! Help! Is there anybody there?
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü