Stuff, Wanderings

Worms From The Back Of Beyond

On our way back up here to our hidey-hole in the mountains J and I took a detour to meet up with our dear friend and brother ‘Deli’ Ahmet. Long-time readers will remember Ahmet as the blue-sky thinking collaborator with me on Gülay’s exercise machine. Well, Ahmet has a new project that he was keen to show us and that required a trip to the back-of-beyond in the mountains of Aydin Province.

my mate Ahmet thinking in the sky again

Winding through narrow village lanes we climbed and climbed often needing to use 1st gear! Eventually we crested a rise and there below us lay a small village. Our reactions were a mixture of wonder at the beauty and sadness at the obvious dereliction and decay. Here was a village in the process of dying.

sunlight on the local stone houses

a view to the grandchildren

Once upon a time the village thrived by harvesting olives and pine nuts. Today only the old folks remain whilst the younger generations have moved away to the towns and the work that can be found there. There are, perhaps, less than twenty residents left in the community. Houses that were once built from the local stone lie roofless and windowless as they slowly moulder away.

The survival of this beautiful, peaceful place lies in outsiders who recognise what a true gem it is and choose to move here and begin a process of revival. There are signs that this is happening with one couple, she a ceramic artist and he is a man after my own heart who distils fine rakı and whisky deciding to enhance their lives and settle! Then there is Ahmet who has a vision of restoring several houses and making them available for walkers/cyclists/lovers of peace and quiet. As you can see above he will have his work cut out to achieve his dream.

Loving bulbous plants as I do it was a treat to find cyclamen and Sternbergia lutea growing all over the place.

Remnants from a once thriving past are to be found everywhere.

olive crusher

What, you may wonder, has this got to do with worms? Well, it turned out that the lady ceramic artist also cultivated worms for composting and, having extolled the virtues of these amazing creatures to J, insisted that she have a couple of kilos to get her going on her very own worm composting venture. Here’s J getting started with a bucket of worms and in the next couple of days (weather permitting) I’ll set about building the interlocking wooden boxes that will become their permanent home.

Life is never dull! Alan@the wormery!

Incredible Okçular!

What Else Does One Do

 . . on a wet, dark day when the sky is closed until torn apart by great, sizzling sheets of lightning? What else but share the light of a few glorious, multi-coloured candles. So here are just a few flickering lamps to brighten the day for any of you, anywhere, gazing out at a grey, guttering world. They were all taken just a couple of days ago on a short walk around to our beautiful Kocadere Valley. I know you’ve seen them all before but, let’s face it, waking up to a new day has got to be worth it!

Beautiful Anemone Coronaria

Tilly Tortoise taking the Spring sunshine

Bee Orchids (Ophrys) in all their diverse glory

spelunking goats

Cyclamen

those beautiful anemones again

Giant Orchid

a delicate little Fritillaria

Finally, a question: what has a hazelnut in every bite?

Alan Fenn, fascinated by the same-old-same-old!