Cabin Life

Not Much Ado About Nothing

Well, here we are again slumming it up here near the clouds. We knew there wasn’t really much to do apart from plant a few broad beans, earth up the leeks, check on the well-being of the worms and generally ensure all was well.

We arrived to a sparklingly crisp, cool, clear day and a near freezing cabin! Get that soba going and warm the place up.

Meanwhile, J was busy earthing up the leeks, posing for a photo op and cooing to the worms which were doing very nicely in their insulated home. The minus temperatures had once again ‘popped’ the garden watering system so we needed to call out our plumbing neighbour to get that sorted. He’s stopped the leaks and will come at some time soon to fix us up with a stop-cock underground so we can shut the system down and avoid this in the future.

‘And what about you?’ I hear you ask – well, there is always something for this multi-skilled Jack-of-all-trades (you know the rest!) to be getting on with. This time it was the main door. You know about the beautiful old doors we acquired and had fitted – they look splendid and we love the look and the feel of them. The one at the main/only entrance was showing its age and sagging a lot. Various remedial efforts had failed to solve the sag and so I’d made a couple of ‘L’ brackets to overcome the problem. Spray-painted ‘antique gold’ (all I had available) they are fitted, look good and, so far, seem to have done the job.

So, jobs are jobbed and all that remains is to relax, idle away a couple of days reading, writing and Scrabbling mixed up with a few episodes of MASH, a couple of home-made Rakıs and enjoy keeping Jack Frost away with a nice, warm soba.

Jack Frost nibbling at your hose – Brrrrrr!

A&J taking great pleasure in small things.

Cabin Life

A Gloomy Outlook

It really is! Drizzle, everywhere looking grey and miserable – not a day to be out planting onions, leeks maybe, but definitely not onions.

So, what to do on such a day apart from getting depressed even more by the global situation – politically and environmentally. How to bring some colour into a post and at least let me feel uplifted? The answer just might be to give you a rare view of the inside of our hidey-hole cabin. It might help to explain why we love it so much up here.

the lovely old doors and the bread oven

kilims old and new

beautiful Palestinian embroidery – a cabin-warming gift from dear friends

the comms centre – laptops, Bose, DVDs, CDs, Books, radio, etc there’s even a tv for MotoGP

The outlook may be gloomy but we are cozy and contented at 1200mts. Alan

ps Looking for the famous Okçular book and PDF of walks and cycle rides? Then click here

Cabin Life

At Risk Of Being Boring

If you are looking for the Okçular walking and cycling guides then click here.

After the excitement caused by the last posting about bottling your own rakı it’s time to come down to earth and get grounded in ‘normal’. And ‘normal’ for J and me equals pretty, bloody boring for you!

Mr Bean

I mean, if this blog is to maintain its position in the Google Premier League then I have to post regularly whether I, or you for that matter, like it or not! Algorithms rule so here we are, I’m trying to make the ordinary scintillatingly interesting and you’re trying to pretend you are not bored out of your brain.

Our life here at the cabin is mostly quiet and simple. We harvest our veg – potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, aubergines, melons, cabbages, tomatoes, beans, tobacco. There’s been an apple, a plum, a few peaches and the cennet elması/paradise apples/persimmon are coming on a treat. Dried they are scrummy!

We weed, grub out or layer the hedgerows, find interesting things to do with rocks and, after the success of this past season, widen the veggie plot and add plenty of goat manure.

Just in case you get the idea that the only person who works around here is J let me ask ‘Who do you think built the path? And who is up the ladder waterproofing the woodwork?’

When the cabin was built the exterior was done over with varnish – in my opinion a big mistake. It never lasts very well in extreme conditions like we experience up here. Hot summer sun and ice, snow and -20C in the winter. I use this stuff and find it works very well – it waterproofs wood, stone, concrete, you name it – they even use it to waterproof the domes of mosques!

Alan, back to the job in hand!

Cabin Life

Off Piste!

Off Piste we are not! Our boule piste may not be up to league standard but they are good for a laugh – especially for me as J is on a losing streak these past few days. Comments of empathy/sympathy can be attached and I will enjoy responding!

But enough of all that ‘off piste’ stuff, off grid is what this is about. I mean, no mains electricity equals no electric ovens so what to do when you fancy roast chicken, jacket spuds and roast onions? The answer is in the can!

 

Forty five minutes later . .

Go on. Admit it, you’re impressed, aren’t you?

Alan, on the frontiers of technology!

Stuff

Amazingly Chuffed!

Looking for the Okçular walking and cycling guides? Then click here

J reckons I use ‘Amazing!’, complete with exclamation mark, a lot. Maybe so! I see it as a positive because if I can still be amazed by the relatively normal at my age then that has got to be good – right?

So, what amazed me recently? Well, we were sitting by our pond enjoying a beer in the last of the evening sun when it started to ‘rain’. Except it wasn’t raining rain and the ‘raindrops’ spattering all over the pond were in fact little beetles arriving in their thousands and dive-bombing into the water. Having run the gauntlet of the many pond skaters intent on a bit of fast food and struggled through the surface tension they were off like little bonitos to explore their new home.

I’ve never seen this on such a scale before and I think it was amazing!

‘Wonderful!’ fits in just below ‘Amazing!’ and there is lots about the pond that sits in that category. It is alive with creatures that have made their own way to it and settled in.

Great Diving Beetle

Long Water Scorpion

European Green Toad

Water Boatman

There are also Common Black Diving Beetles, Whirligig Beetles, Pond Skaters and much more. There are also four young Grey Mullet that have survived over the winter and seem to be thriving. OK, they didn’t fly in or make their own way here, I netted them in a pond up in the mountains and carried them here in a bucket! All-in-all I’m delighted with the pond and can’t wait for the dragonflies and damselflies to emerge.

So, apart from sitting around and drinking beer, what else have we been doing? Well, J has been beavering away on the veggie patch. When you consider that just over a year ago this was a stony, compacted desert the transformation is ‘Amazing!’

There is an ‘Amazing!’, satisfying calmness to our life when we are up here. Not that Okçular is frantic or stressful you understand. But picking caterpillars off the leaves of fruit trees or watching, beer in hand, beetles plop by has a certain . . something. Add to that mix the ‘Loveliest Of Trees’ . .

. . cooking alfresco . .

. . completing the ‘Grand Entrance’ . .

. . and doing useful things like making an ashtray from recycled materials after J discovered yet another butt-end in the garden!

And now you are amazed that anyone could find any of this stuff ‘Amazing!’

Alan, off looking for beetles and caterpillars.