Stuff

Do What You Do Do Well, Boy!

Well, here we are. Déjà vu all over again! We were feeling deprived and it was something J and I just couldn’t put up with. (and before you pendants begin to stir) No, being away from our mountain retreat any longer was something up with which we could not put!

I mean, look at the view – who wouldn’t want to be here?

It feels great to be here. Within minutes of arriving everything was checked out and working fine. The fire was lit, the solar systems were providing hot water and electric power and all was well with the world. One hour in and we were out in the garden doing what we do so well, picking over the veg plot, planting onions along with the odd, lonely little petunia and moving piles of rocks about!

this is ‘Happy’. ‘Grumpy’ is on the shovel!

Oak logs were sorted to keep the fire in overnight – temperatures will drop to minus or just below. The wheel barrow has a newish wheel. The pond looks great. The wild pigs have had a root about but have done no damage so all is well with the world.

Alan Fenn, up here.

ps ‘do what you do do’ got me thinking. How many times can ‘and’ be followed by ‘and’ in a sentence and still make perfect sense? Answers on a postcard (or in a comment).

Stuff

Feckless

In a few days J and I will be heading back to Okçular because there are boring things that have to be done before we head to the UK. Things like laundry and ironing and banking and stuff like that. Like I said boring!

The time has flown by what with one thing and another. The cairn got finished and the pair of us are pretty pleased with our handiwork . .

cairn1

cairn2

You can see the extra pair of solar electricity panels that we brought up and fitted. They have made a huge difference to how and what we can now use. Add a couple more and I can see us laying on a son et lumière come next Summer’s solstice!

Daily work clearing the remaining rocks was interrupted a couple of times by monumental thunderstorms – they weren’t confined to the mountains either as the coastal resorts copped it as well.

storm1

storm2

The fresh stuff from J’s veggie gardening has been really enjoyable – the onions would grace a garden society show and the courgettes are prolific enough to warrant much searching on the internet for ‘things to do with courgettes’, none of which fell into the category of ‘adult entertainment’!

The storms gave us some beautiful dawns and evenings . .

storms3

storms4

What else? Well, we had a friend visit for a couple of days and we all got more than we bargained for when the people at the accommodation that was booked told us there was a problem. Never had the decency to tell us and we were left with no option but to bed our friend down on the floor because, this being the main holiday of the year for Muslims, everywhere else was booked solid! We managed and he had a good experience, or so he said!

On one of the dodgy storm days J decided to test the waters of the lake . .

lake swim

. . whilst I interfered in the private life of Onychogomphus forcipatus – Small Pincertail dragonfly. They are amazing – they lay their eggs in the lake and there the nymphs grow and develop. When they are ready to emerge as dragonflies they crawl from where you see J at the water’s edge all the way to where I am standing, a distance of around 200 mts! Here they crawl up into the sedges and the transformational miracle begins – it is fascinating!

exuviae1

Exuviae, the exoskeleton left behind when insects and spiders get too big for their boots

exuviae2

small pincertail dragonfly

it’s astonishing what comes out of the packaging!

So, what was all that ‘feckless’ stuff in the title? Well, I thought many times these past days that I should/would like to write a post but was always too much what the dictionary clearly understands me to be – ‘feckless ˈfɛkləs/ adjective: feckless lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible’. I was completely without feck! No, that is not strictly true because, actually, I felt pretty relaxed, laid back and cool about life so really I didn’t give a feck!

Alan Fenn, in a feckin’ cabin in the feckin’ mountains

Stuff

Things That Go Bump

”fae ghosties and ghoulies and lang-legged beasties and things that go bump in the nicht… guid lord, deliver us” – so goes and old Scottish prayer – no wonder they voted to stay in the EU!

things

I mean, a body needs their sleep and so, in the event that these ‘things’ are disturbing and disrupting a good nights rest then one can call in the power of the EU and its amazing array of regulations in order to bring some peace and tranquillity. I mean, there is bound to be something that says the dead shouldn’t be up and about, especially after midnight when the discos have to close down!

My question is, ‘What about squirrels at dawn?’

Where’s the enforcement of regulations to curb the antics of Caucasian/Syrian/Persian Squirrel – Sciurus anomalus? The little sods are a bundle of energy and and they start their day with a game of rugby on the roof of our cabin. The fact that they were here before us, living in the big, old pine is neither here nor there!

syrian squirrel1

syrian squirrel2

syrian squirrel3

zoom in on those ‘pinkies’ – formidable!

Then there are other ‘ghoulies’ that prey in innocent, passing victims . .

small pincertail1

small pincertail2

small pincertail3

Small Pincertail/Green-eyed Hooktail – Onychogomphus forcipatus – female

small hooktail4

the male

. . long legged beasties and the things that go bump in the night?

J

Not true, actually, well she is certainly long-legged, but she sleeps gently and quietly, rises at a reasonable time and is mostly not scary at all!

Alan Fenn, back home in the mountains.

'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

The Sun Comes Up And The Sun Goes Down

. . . and the hands on the clock keep goin’ around, I no sooner get up than it’s time to lie down – but life is not ‘tejus’, not for J and for me, anyway! In fact, time is doing a bit of ‘fugiting’ these days and fitting stuff in is a bit of a struggle.

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Blogging has been one of the things to suffer from not enough hours (or inclination if I am honest). I am also aware that what has J and me fired up is of limited interest to others. I’m referring to life at our mountain hideaway and the ‘farming’ that goes with it. I mean, a bit here and there is OK but who wants to read about mud, rocks and greenfly day in and day out? Not me!

Most days up here kick-off at about 7.30 with a bit of rock gardening. Turning our rock-strewn plot from this:

rocky garden1

. . to this:

rocky garden2

. . is proving to be long and ‘tejus’ and not without a few tweaks and spasms. We must be getting close to the halfway point now despite the impression that the buggers are multiplying over night!

J goes off for a walk most days, exploring the tracks through the forest. The last couple of times she’s arrived back breathless with excitement having come across, at fairly close quarters, a Eurasian Golden Jackal. I went with her today in the hopes of getting a glimpse and a photo – no luck this time around.

Eurasian Golden Jackal

Canis aureus – Eurasian Golden Jackal

Odd projects keep cropping up to fill the time when I should be reading or taking a nap. The latest came about when workmen putting up new electricity poles discarded a couple of small crates that are used to transport those great big brown insulator things. Anyway, being an old soldier, I did the right thing by them and got J to stuff them into the back of the car. One has had a make-over and now serves as a very functional and ‘country chic’ saucepan stand. Here’s the before and after:

country chic1

country chic2

There is also the joy of catering in the field . .

field catering1

field catering2

Then, there are all the other distractions that seem to eat into blogging time:

forest walks1

sharing the forest with birds and jackals

forest walks2

. . and views with no one else

very latest029_copy

. . and finally, for those with time on their hands:

Alan Fenn, out there – somewhere

Stuff

Did You Really?

It is almost impossible to grasp how much has been achieved since we rolled down the ‘rabbit hole’ last Thursday. You read in the last posting how our good neighbour organised a tractor and plough that very day and how Hüseyin usta, our ‘Pocket Hercules’ spent the next two days dragging and carrying out tons of rocks from the plot.

grumpy old sod wandering aimlessly in circles is captured on hidden camera

Day three saw us begin the back-breaking task of digging holes and planting a variety of different fruit and nut trees. Three days of solid graft and we had somewhere in the order of fifty trees in the ground!

work tools

tools used to break backs

grumpy old sod watering

grumpy old sod behind wall

Oh! I also made a very nice ‘country-style’ kitchen cum dining table to replace the folding ‘thingy’ we have been using.

country table1

under construction

country table2

constructed

country table3

ready for the consumers

Tuesday we were thanking our lucky stars because we had a short, two day visit from some very dear and very interesting friends. It gave us the chance to stand upright and share the pleasures of this place along with some good food, good wine and, most important, good conversation!

beach stroll

Walks on the beach on Tuesday was followed by a drive up into the mountains Wednesday. The good conversation was constantly interrupted by gasps and exclamations of amazement at the views.

friends up mountain

Friends having gone back to Dalyan it was time to get an irrigation system organised. Once again our good neighbour Ramazan was on hand to get the man for the job. He will get everything that is needed and start on Friday – with luck and a fair wind the job should be finished in one day and we can get back home to Okçular in time for the Argentinian MotoGP races Sunday evening.

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shadowland

Finally, an old fart and his squeeze, both mere shadows of their former selves and in the twilight of their day, enjoy a well-earned glass! Sorry, wrong photo!

old codgers

Alan Fenn, knackered, having done quite a lot, but feeling good!

ps In answer to the question – ‘Yes, we really did!’