Saturday, 31 October 2015

Cooking up a storm

I don't want to let October disappear without a post.  A busy week in Scotland helping to organise an 18th birthday party and now a week cooking  in Hydra, have kept me away from my blog.  I have really missed catching up on friends' blogs and even missed sitting down to write my own.  This is the longest I've left it to its own devices and it's encouraging to see that even when I don't write anything new, Google is still directing folk towards the site.  I aim to be back in Bodrum at midnight on Thursday so expect some new posts after that.
Meanwhile, I'll get back to my stove as gale force 8 winds whip around the house, giving the few restaurants that kept open after the mighty flood in Hydra last week another reason to pack up their tables and close up for the winter. 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Enjoy the Day

I'm off to Inverness on Monday so am making the most of this week's glorious weather. The pool is freezing now our evenings have cooled down, i.e. it's the same temperature as the sea in Southern England on the hottest day of the year, but I am enjoying a chilly swim every day in the probably misguided belief that cold water immersion is good for my health. I'm feeling very lucky to live where I do, despite events in my last post.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Ankara - 10/10/15

Young lives blown away for others' principles. Souls walking in hope, eager to push for peace, meeting together with all the enthusiasm of youth, naively certain that their force for good can change the world, or at least the country they live in.  Then, boom - just twice - a few seconds that shock us all; a brutal affront to our idea of Turkey and being Turkish, leaving us devastated and shrouding all good thoughts with a blanket of despondency and hopelessness.  How can we bloggers continue to write after an event like this? Three days of mourning have been declared and the country grieves and rages. I mourn but refuse to give up my posts. At the worst of times we should actively seek relief in the beauty of nature and minutiae of daily life however trivial they seem. To give up looking for good is to acquiesce to the terrorist. I will continue to write about the beauty of the changes of season, the glorious sheen on a newly picked olive and the subtle purples of a wild thyme flower. Shattered bodies can't be repaired but we can restore our broken morale and refill our reserves of optimism, despite the craziness going on in the corridors of power.  It is observing, appreciating and writing about the small details of life in Bodrum that keep me positive in difficult times.  Look on it as therapy!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Red October

An October sunset is a good reason to eat out early. Find your West facing table at 18:30 and you have half an hour to watch the splendid light show.  These pictures were taken from the Mandalya Restaurant in Güvercinlik. With the clocks not going back in Turkey until Sunday 8th November, it will feel as if we have two weeks of more evening time to enjoy the reds and golds.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Laurence's legacy

This photograph was taken in 1994. Hazel, Laurence and I had climbed to the top of Theangela, the nearest Lelegian site to my house. Laurence had a battered copy of George Bean's 1971 edition of 'Turkey Beyond the Meander' to guide us and we'd parked my car in the village of Etrim and headed straight up. The three hour climb wasn't much fun and Hazel had a sore ankle, (when she got back to the UK, her doctor couldn't believe that she'd been climbing mountains with a fractured bone) but we felt very proud of ourselves when we got right to the top. Just after this photo was taken, an ancient Fiat 124 drove past us and we discovered that we could have driven the whole way up a track at the back.  This wasn't my last trip with Laurence up a mountain in search of antiquity, we managed several more before he died at the unfairly young age of 41 in 2002.  Our first joint hike had been in 1980 in the Halkidiki in Greece. We borrowed a car and set off on a action packed 48 hours to see how many sites we could tick off in our guide book. Laurence got sunstroke and developed a life-long hatred of water melons and I decided that I loved water melons and was going to spend more time in this part of the world and not go back to the British Midlands. So when Helen, a fellow University of Birmingham archaeology graduate and frequent travelling companion of Laurence, and I found ourselves climbing to the top of the Hellenistic theatre in Stratonikeia, despite having run out of steps and having to clamber over mud and dislodged masonry, we could only blame one person. Laurence; he must have made us do it. He was probably having a good laugh at our ungainly progress. (I had to descend most of the way on my bottom as the sides were really steep.)

It was worth the climb as the recently excavated Augustus-Imperial temple comes into view as one crests the lip of the top cavea, and despite visiting this theatre many times, this was my first view of the ongoing temple restoration.  

In homage to past trips with Mr L. Bowkett, we discovered that the main road to Yatağan  passes directly behind the temple, which, being well signposted, could have been reached without a climb, but as Laurence would have said - where's the fun in that!

Related posts: Stranonikeia    Old friends    Concert at Stratonikeia

Monday, 5 October 2015

Autumn mists and wood collecting.

This summer, unusually high temperatures have been accompanied by almost uninterrupted low pressure, making the air feel heavy and oppressive, so it is a relief that October heralds the arrival of fresh misty mornings that make the first dog walk of the day a pleasure rather than a chore. October also sees the start of firewood collecting and Jake and I often meet a two legged mobile wood stack on our morning ramble.
We don't use an open fire or a wood burner but did have five felled pine trees in our garden and several villagers had approached us about taking the wood off our hands.

Rather than offend anyone by accepting one offer and refusing another, it seemed easier to donate the wood to the ladies in the village who have lost their husbands. The felled trees were inspected and the third day of Bayram was chosen as the best day to cut up the tree trunks, as plenty of family members would be available to dismember and transport the logs. (I'm not sure how happy they were at being volunteered for this duty on one of their rare days off, but they all came along.)

Our garden has never seen such intense activity as three chain saws buzzed and three vans were repeatedly filled and emptied. We kept back just one large tree trunk which will go off to the saw mill and hopefully will one day grace our terrace as a bench, table or planter to remind us of the massive tree that towered over us for years. 

Related posts;  Up, up and away,  Mornings