Let’s Get Out Here

Despair is a terrible thing! For example; J often despairs at my collecting stuff, or hoarding as she usually refers to it. ‘Slim your life down’, she tells me. ‘Get rid of the clutter!’ Secretly I think she despairs at the thought of me shuffling off and leaving the house-clearing to her!

old bottles

a few from the bottle collection – you can just make out the antique dust that I collect as well

dead insects

 tiny part of the ‘dead animal’ collection

glass eye collection

the ‘glass eye’ collection

Truth to tell, I only ever owned one glass eye and that I used to keep hidden in a handkerchief. It used to cause great merriment/alarm when I’d pretend to sneeze and send it rolling across the restaurant table or plop it into a beer glass at the pub. Anyway, I’m only showing you these to illustrate that my stuff is not ‘clutter’ and is, in fact, a source of great interest and enlightenment.

This time of year when we are hibernating away from the excessive heat and doing little else but reading, sleeping and eating I find that I despair of conjuring up anything remotely interesting to blog about.  So it was that I turned to one of my bits of bookshelf for inspiration and was reintroduced to two delightful little gems of pure ‘Englishness’ published by the Southern Railway in 1936. They hark back to the days when trains wandered along branch lines and stopped at places that have long ago fallen to Dr. Beeching’s Axe, and are full of warm reminders of carefree days of childhood for nostalgia buffs like me – I love stuff like this!

SPB Mais Southern Rambles

southern rambles

‘the ancient village charms modern youth’ – so quaint


as they wander from Oxted to Tubs Hill

southern rambles

gazing down from Toy’s Hilldolcis shoes ad

in their Dolcis suede walking shoes!

Where, you may wonder, is all this rambling leading us? Well, one of the books is titled ‘Let’s Get Out Here’ and that is almost exactly what J and I are doing for a couple of weeks. We are ‘Getting Out Of Here’ and heading for the UK for a good dose of positive at the Socialist Party Summer School followed by lots more positive enjoying time with family. So, ‘Hadi, bye-bye!’ as we say in Okçular, ‘I might be some time.’

Was that a sigh of relief I heard?

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü



J and I ramble about quite a lot – we ramble up and down mountains – we ramble up and down backways and trackways – sometimes we ramble in circles whilst rambling up and down. Rambling is fun! It is also intriguing!

Let me explain; in 15 years of wandering around this beautiful country of Turkey we have come across countless examples of that which intrigues us. We have found what intrigues us near habitation and we have found examples to intrigue us miles from any habitation. We’ve found them near rivers and ruins; near pathways and fields; we’ve even found them on the tops of snowy mountains! In fact, hand on heart, I can’t think of a single ramble where we have not found at least one of them and we really are intrigued by this phenomenon.

Now, behind the impatient tutting I’m hearing from you, and the ‘Oh! For gawd’s sake will you get to the point!’ mutterings under your breath – you have to admit that you’re intrigued, too. So I’ll reveal this intriguing mystery in the hopes that someone out there can give me the answer or reason ‘why?’

lone lost shoe


Not shoes as in pairs of shoes – there are never pairs of shoes – just shoes! Wherever we go we find single shoes lying abandoned; often in the most unlikely places. Has anyone else seen this strange manifestation? I mean, it can’t be just us, can it?

Actually, there is a double intrigue here; first the abandoned shoes all over the place; and then there’s the question that I keep asking myself, I even wake up at night asking myself this question – ‘Didn’t they notice?’ I mean, there they are, half way up or down a rocky, thorny mountainside and the fact that a shoe has gone missing from their foot has completely passed them by! If a horse loses a shoe it pretty soon lets you know; if I lose a shoe I’m hopping about on one foot right away! Yet there are thousands of Turks out there who get back home from doing whatever it is they were doing, go to kick off their shoes and . . . ‘Allah hallah! İnanılmaz!’ (‘My God!’ they say, ‘Unbelievable!’) And I’m intrigued!

Abandoned shoe


abandoned shoe
Abandoned - the sequal!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü