Thursday, 3 September 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015- Sounds Like Change is in The Air.

The butterflies are fluttering amongst the flowers doing what butterflies do best. A wood pigeon flies down to drink from the pool. He does this at the same time every morning and I'm convinced it's the same bird. When I mention this to my husband he rolls his eyes at me and shakes his head.

This is breakfast time in Kayakoy.  A donkey brays, not just at breakfast but all day long. Local cockerels are crowing in competition with each other and the sweet sound of dogs barking is never far away. I say this tongue in cheek as we have our own dog at home and barking is part of our lives. Two dogs live here and they guard the property well. No one enters through the gates to the hotel unless the dogs give their okay. We have seen grown women run for their lives when the dogs jump at the gate barking. After you have met them they never bark at you again when you appear at the gate,they just lift their heads as if to say,"Oh it's them again!"
We forgive them for barking because they're very lovable dogs,one even has her own sunbed.

 Last night in Fethiye we passed by a canal and for the first time ever I heard a frog chorus. What a strange noise, I was surprised at how loud it was. I didn't see the frogs but if their size matched their voices I'm glad they stayed hidden.

These are some of the pleasant sounds we welcome everyday. Some are not so welcome.
At 8 am every morning a cavalcade of jeeps pass by noisily. They are tourists from the nearby Hisaronu taking part in a jeep safari. I notice that health and safety has finally reached Kayakoy as all the riders are wearing safety helmets, even if quite a few of them look like German WW2 helmets at least they'll be safe.

Lots of cars and bikes use the road that passes by the hotel, it's the only way to the nearby Gemilar Beach so at times it can be a bit noisy.  The hotel owner said that when he first moved here if he saw two cars pass by in 24 hrs then he knew it must be a holiday.

Nothing ever stays the same. Life moves on,technology gallops along and things change.
In the two years since we have been here 500 new villas have been built in and around the village. Local people are making money selling land that has been in their families for years. In the grounds beside the villa we stayed in last time two new large villas are being built, but as tourists we haven't noticed a big difference.
It is worrying for the owner of the small hotel we are staying at as most of the villas will become holidays rentals and he despairs that there won't be enough visitors to support his business.
One restaurant owner told us that she feels the local government don't want this to be a village but to grow into a town. They have even stopped local farmers walking their goats through the main part of the village. 
The fact that this is a small rural village is what attracts us and the many people who visit here. We respect the locals and feel privileged to share their lives for a short time. We want to see the goats walk through the village and don't mind waiting until they pass.

Ten minutes on a dolmus takes you to the brash Hisaronu with its British and Irish bars and restaurants. Half and hour and you can visit the large harbour town of Fetiye. So there is something for all tastes. We love Fethiye but love even more returning to the peace and quiet that is Kayakoy. I hope the local council don't succeed in their masterplan.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015 Boats and Brollies

One of the activities we enjoy in Turkey is a day out on a boat. I say activity but that just means lying on the boat soaking up the rays or reading. There are frequent stops at little hidden coves and that's when we go for a swim usually while newly caught fish are being barbecued for lunch.

This year we only did one boat trip. It was a private trip with another two couples from the hotel arranged by the owner. The boat was smaller than we have sailed on in the past but because we only had a few people on board it was ideal.

We had a lovely day and a filling lunch and all was well until the Turkish captain sat round the table with us asking us in broken English about our lives. Some were asked if they had children or what job they did. It was my turn to be questioned and to his wife's horror he asked me my age. The other two couples were much the same age as me but I was determined I was not going to divulge mine to him.
 I said "I'm not telling you" he said, "I will guess" and proceeded to make me four years older than I was. Oh the hilarity from everyone as my face reddened.  I stupidly replied, No! I'm 37! " and to make everyone laugh that little bit more he said,
"Well  you've had a stressful life!" All this in broken English with his wife trying to throttle him. I didn't live it down for the rest of our stay.

Fethiye is a large town with a lovely harbour. This is where the boat trips leave from and there are plenty.  I like to walk along looking at all the different boats but you can't make eye contact with anyone near them or you will end up in a long conversation about why their boat is the one you should choose.
Just up from the harbour is the Paspatur, a mixture of shops,restaurants and bars. Leather,pottery, clothes, spices, you can buy anything here as well as having a Turkish bath and massage.
We love the outside bars here where we sit and watch the world go by.
You eyes are drawn upwards as you stroll along the Paspatur at the pretty colours of the umbrellas on the roof.  I have no idea why they choose umbrellas as you very rarely need one here but they are very pretty and colourful and made me feel happy ever time I saw them which is a good enough reason.

Plenty of boats for everyone

Pirate ships

and sunken ships

A bar in the paspatur

Another bar,The Car Cemetry.

colourful brollies

Waiting in anticipation.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Turkey Diaries 2015 - We're Back!

When I finished writing Turkey Diaries after our holiday in 2013 little did I know that the following 14 months were going to be so stressful. You will understand if you have read my Moving Diaries. We also had a family bereavement with was so unexpected and threw us all off kilter.
 Once we were settled in our new house and hubby had resigned from his very stressful job we felt we could breathe again and think about a break.
With no holiday for well over a year we  realised we could not wait until our usual holiday time of September (when noisy children have returned to school) so decided to go somewhere in July.
Our thoughts of going to Italy went by the wayside as we decided on a purely relaxing holiday with no sight seeing or driving involved, so Turkey it was.

Kayakoy seemed the most relaxing place to go to. It's outwith the big resorts and in a small village. We have stayed there twice before and both times we rented villas but this time we decided on a small hotel or pension with just sixteen rooms. It had great reviews on Trip Advisor so we thought we would give it a try.

Main street in Kayakoy,peaceful.

In previous diaries I have moaned about flights but this time everything went smoothly. Jet 2 had got their act together at Glasgow Airport and opened about ten check in desks, although why we have to check -in online and at the airport is beyond my understanding. Large queues at security but again lots of gates opened and we went through fast. We were upgraded to seats with extra legroom as they had a family to seat and children couldn't sit in those seats. Our flight arrived at 11pm and we were met by our taxi driver and one hour later we arrived at or hotel.
Midnight and the stars were brightly twinkling for us as we stood on the balcony sipping our welcome drinks looking out into the garden. Although there wasn't much to see in the dark we could smell Turkey. That hot,sweet earthy smell of the place we love. Straightaway and probably because of our lovely welcome we knew we would love it here.
Straight to bed I think.
Entrance to the pension,nearly hidden from the road



Some of my arty photos

Beautiful gardens. Morning view from balcony.



Thursday, 25 June 2015

Moving Diaries- The final instalment

This is a short update to end my Moving Diaries. We have been in our new house for nearly three weeks and we love it and so does the dog.
The neighbours are friendly and I know we will be happy here. The house itself is easy to keep clean being a good bit smaller than I was used to. The garden has slabs and chipped stones and will never need cut or watered only weed killer sprayed on it just in case.

It's not been easy cutting down on all we have accumulated over the years and the charity shops and a few friends have benefited. 
I found there were some things that I could not part with and thank heavens for loft space,what would we do without it?

The outfits I brought my babies home from hospital in, my gran's old clock which doesn't work, boxes and boxes of photographs taken well before digital cameras were invented, the list goes on. Maybe one day I'll be able to let them go but not yet. I do feel good that the junk has gone,the clothes I kept, hoping for the day they would fit me again, the clothes I kept for fat days which are so baggy I looked twice my size. 

What upset me the most and only someone who loves books will understand this was parting with my books. I had a bookshelves which covered one wall of a room and it was filled. I now have one shelve in a cupboard which is packed with my keepers which are ones I haven't read,signed books and books I love so much I will re-read them one day. I also have two bags of the books I have read in the past few months waiting to go to friends and yes,they're in the loft.
 Thank goodness for kindle I have over 300 books on it, more than I'll ever read. Collecting books is most definitely an addiction but a nice one.

Just across the road is a nice place to walk the dog. I unfortunately can't take Sam out on my own because he dislikes dogs he doesn't know and he's too strong for me. So hubby's job is walking him. Sam has no manners and has never learned how to say hello to another dog without doing it aggressively but once he has met a dog he's fine. 

 Another update I have to give is my about my  rose cutting. I'm so pleased at the result.

If you haven't read the story of the rose you can find it here

And this is its journey from cutting to flower. 
I've had it in the garden but it's been so wet that the pot filled with water. I now have a much larger pot to plant it in. 

 While looking through old photos and cards I kept I found a new home card from when we moved to our last house twenty years ago ( yes I keep stuff that long) it was from my favourite uncle who lived in Ireland who's now passed away. He wrote a little poem on it which is just as apt today as it did twenty years ago so I sat it in pride of place beside other new home cards I received this time. It still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.

 Life has returned to normal now but  I'm sure in a new place they'll always be surprises around the corner. 


Thursday, 4 June 2015

Moving Diaries - So Long....Farewell

Tomorrow we pick up the keys for our new house. I didn't expect it to take nine months for us to find one but it did and we've been grateful to my son for letting us live in his flat during this time.
Although I haven't settled here I thought I would share with you my favourite place here that I will be sad to leave behind.

 The area around this pond is beautifully kept. It's just such a pity that we've never had a really nice day where we could enjoy sitting at the many picnic benches dotted around.  Lots of different species of ducks live in the pond and I was lucky enough to see a male a female duck waddle past with six little ducklings wadding behind them. Dinosaur boy was with me that day and it was such a magical moment for us both. I also had to go to the local shop and buy drinks and snacks for a quick picnic with him as he just can't pass a picnic bench without eating and drinking. It wasn't the warmest picnic I've ever had.

Wouldn't these garden seats be lovely to have on your own garden? They are so tactile and you just can't help rubbing your hands over them. I would love to have seen the process of them being carved. Such a lot of work has went into them.

There are two swans here and you can see their nest on a small island. Their nest is made with thick hard branches which look so uncomfortable,they must have plenty of fat to cushion them.

I have also had success with the cutting of my rose bush I took from my old house. It has went from this...

To this.....

 In the last few days a tiny rosebud has grown. I feel like a new mum waiting for it to bloom. The original rosebush was 18 yrs old and I'm pleased that even if the new owners of my old house don't keep it a part of it will keep growing in my new garden.

My next post will be from our new abode. Where I'll be blogging from a garden chair in the living room as we have been let down by the sofa company who promised our new sofas would be delivered on Monday,took our money and then said, "Sorry they're not coming until July." 
Oh well,worse things can happen than not being able to curl up on a nice comfy sofa.

My Turkey Diaries will be continuing this year as we will be returning to our second home of Turkey and Kayakoy in particular. I am looking forward to feeling the heat of the sun on my bones.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Moving Diaries- Adventures in Selling and Buying a House.

I hope you have all noticed that I have added the word buying to the title at the top. Yes my friends we have finally bought our house and I hope with all my heart it is our forever house as I could not go through it all again anytime soon. So how did we get to this stage? Not without some stress and tears.

I love watching Phil and Kirsty on Location,Location. They have good advice and great ideas and although I don't agree with everything they say I do agree with the three "C" Compromise,Compromise and Compromise and this is what this house search has been about.

Hubby and I compromised with each other, each giving and taking on each others likes and dislikes. We are downsizing which is difficult and has meant having to declutter and declutter again and probably again before we move. It is one thing to talk about downsizing and what you can live comfortably without but it's another to be faced with the reality of it. I know in the end having a smaller house and (grass free) garden will mean that on the few sunny days we have we can enjoy sitting on our decking and have a rest instead of spending hours cutting grass and weeding. We were never good gardeners. I will have lots of pots filled with colourful flowers and enjoy them.

To meet your prince you have to kiss a lot of frogs and to buy a house you will love you have to view the ugly ones first. 
There was one house we didn't agree on, hubby loved it and I ...well let's just say I didn't love it.
The house was eighty years old and I think that was the last time it saw a lick of paint. There was untidiness everywhere you looked and although the owner would be taking his mess with him I just knew the house would not be left in a clean state, call it woman's intuition. 
The garden was large and quite secluded but in just as bad repair as the house. Remember when I said we're not good gardeners? 
Hubby could see it's potential, I could see work scrubbing, painting, gardening, spending money and hiring skips. We have been there and done that and are too old for a project like that. The owner also was asking far too much. I managed to persuade hubby it just wasn't for us.

There was disappointment when I would spot a lovely house which had just gone online only to be told an offer had been made on it. This happened many times and since I was checking the website at least every half hour I have no idea how someone else got there first. I would probably say inside information but who knows?

When we put our house up for sale I painted all the paintwork. All the jobs that needed done in the house and garden were done. We viewed houses where there was no bulb in the garage or outside light so we couldn't see the garden in the dark. I wanted a house being sold by someone who had taken as much care as I had, and we found it.

I'll be reprimanded here if I don't say that my daughter found the house. At first I wasn't too keen. It wasn't in the estate we had found and liked, it was smaller than I wanted,there was no garage. We decided to view it anyway. Kirsty and Phil are right! It only takes 11 secs to decide whether a house is the one you want to live in or not. 

That was over six weeks ago and in another two we will have our keys to our new house. We don't have to paint or paper, and nothing needs done we just have to place our furniture and enjoy it. 
Last week we went to the house to measure for sofas and I loved it even more. It is a five minute drive to my daughter's house and I expect to see a lot more of her. If she's reading this she be putting the for sale sign on hers! 

I'm so glad we're nearly there as I feel I've been in limbo for the nine moths I've been living in my temporary apartment. I will miss the hills around me here, the duckpond and the cattle in the nearby field but that is all.
I 'm looking forward to meeting new people and doing something different as I move to yet another part of the city. I never want to buy or sell a house ever again.

Still Crafting.
I'm still enjoying sewing. I would love to join a sewing club where I could get advice on how to progress as I'm kind of stuck on cushions and quilting.

A quilted cover for my sewing machine

Two cushion made from shirts. The buttons take the place of a zip.
Large floor cushions for spare room for children
Another swan.

Yes I know, I have too much time on my hands.