Stuff

Time Lapse

I need to prioritise more and that is a fact! When we wandered back to the cabin this last time we knew that all the big, pressure jobs were jobbed. We were going to relax, potter, wander about, do the odd things that were always waiting, blog and J was going to spend time preparing her presentation on a moneyless world.

Isparta Rose

Nothing short of stopping to smell a few roses – our beautiful Isparta Roses!

It was not to be – good stuff as well as jobs got in the way!

Friends flew in from the UK and spent a week based at the hotel across the lake. They were, by turns, amazed at the beauty of the lake and surrounding areas, thrilled as para-gliders descended from the mountains, caught ogling men in rubber and roped in for interview as obvious foreigners.

paraglider

diver

IMG_8534_copy

Then J decided that she absolutely needed a garden table made from a pallet . . .

pallet table1

pallet table2

I’m entitled to look happy, it could have ended up like this . .

pallet table 3

Anyway, back to the narrative – the lovely guy who built our dry-stone wall presented J with a bag-full of mixed seeds . . .

mixed seeds

. . . which required that irrigation system be expanded to incorporate the vegetable garden!

veg garden irrigation

Meanwhile, Ruddy Shelducks are flying over the cabin every morning and down to the lake –

ruddy-shelduck-birdingturkey

image from chum at ‘Birding Turkey’

 . . . and we watched Pine Processionary Moth caterpillars digging in to pupate (I know I’m going to be vilified in some quarters for not murdering them (and neither of us smoke)).

pine processionary caterpillars

welcome

. . and put up the sign my dotty sister sent from UK!

Then there was the day we took our friends to the village of Akçaköy, birthplace of the great Turkish author and activist Fakir Baykurt. (J is going to translate some stuff about him and then I’ll write a post some time) ‘Fakir’ means poor or impoverished in Turkish and Akçaköy, the home village of the blacksmith and the carpenter who built our cabin, must look pretty much as it did when he lived there.

Akcakoy1

a couple of examples of occupied homes

Akcakoy2

Recently there has been a very interesting collaboration between the state, which granted access to land around the village, a very interesting local veterinary environmentalist who donated plants and the villagers who provided the labour. The objective is to plant vast acreages of lavender which will be tended and harvested by the villagers and sold on to the veterinary who will process the crop at his facility which produces natural lavender and rose products. We were amazed at the scale of what has been achieved in a very short period of time.

Akcakoy lavender

lavender stretching off into the far distance

All of this, though, was not the main object of our interest in Akçaköy. A year before Fakir Baykurt died in 1999 a library, dedicated to his grandmother, was opened in this still impoverished village. It is open to all but is there specifically for the children who use it five days a week. It is an astonishing legacy from a man, born into poverty, who, because of Atatürk’s dream and the vision of others like İsmail Hakkı Tonguç, went on to graduate from one of the Village Institutes. With the gift of enlightenment he grew into one of Turkey’s great men of letters – a ‘wordsmith’. His life and the library he left to his village has inspired generations of village children to read and study. His true legacy, however, is to be found in the well-above-average passes of children from Akçaköy moving on to University.

Here are a couple of photos from the village library, the story is for another time.

Akcakoy library1

the reference room

Akcakoy library2

one of the reading/study rooms

Ak.akoy library3

friend Patrick ‘salutes’ the source of a great concept

Finally, as we drove in to the village we were spotted by the family of our blacksmith and greeted like long-lost family.

Akcakoy4

. . and whilst there are butterflies and beautiful knockers to be found I’m there with a camera!

scarse swallowtail

Scarce Swallowtail

beautiful knocker

So, ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ got in the way of a bit of blogging resulting in an overly long tale. We came back to Okçular in time for Children’s Day and I’ll tell you about that and the surprise that went with it in a few days.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

18 thoughts on “Time Lapse

  1. Vintage Alan posting… actually, a combo of several of your styles, eh… nature, butterflies (with a bee waiting its turn nice catch!), projects, both yours and others’, socializing with friends and neighbors, local history… you crammed a lot into a single post and I’m looking forward to the more detailed posts to follow that you hinted about. Do we get a guest lecturer in the form of J sharing her moneyless world lecture?

    1. thank you – as for the guest lecturer, you can hear/see her live at the Socialist Party Summer School in Birmingham or wait for the video (there is a video from a few years back on YouTube – search ‘Janet Surman socialism’)
      Alan recently posted..We Plough The FieldsMy Profile

  2. I think I rather like your idea of relaxing, pottering and wandering about what an interesting time you both had, the garden table is great too. !!!!!!

  3. Thank you both for great entertainment, great photography and a deeper understanding of Turkey.

  4. more wonderful photos and news to brighten up my early morning here in the UK.
    great to see how much you have going on there – as usual it seems – hankering for Turkey and planning to be there in September – would be lovely to see you both – the cabin – and the new garden table – looking spectacular

  5. Alan, You and J certainly live an interesting and active life. Entertaining guests, special projects (the table is great), commenting on Turkish culture and history. Whew! You wear us out. I thought the story and photos of the library were very interesting. Thanks for sharing them with us. Carry on!

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