Tomorrow is a big milestone for us. At 8am the excavator will arrive and ground will finally — finally! — be broken up in the orchard. The first job is improving the driveway so that future cement trucks can make it up there without getting stuck. And then it’s on to digging out the slab foundations and the swimming pool. Exciting times.
So the next few blog posts will undoubtedly be full of construction stuff. This post is the calm before the storm, if you like. In the meantime I thought I should fill you in on what we’ve been doing as summer has turned into autumn.
We’re getting used to the seasonal cycle now. As the hot weather starts to cool down, it’s time to dry and pickle and preserve things for winter. Here’s a couple of photos showing how that works for tomatoes: boiled up with olive oil and salt and sealed into jars. Great for making pasta sauce in January when there are no tomatoes in the shops.
It also seemed like a good idea to get some last trips to the beach in, before the water gets too cold for swimming. This shot was taken on the road to the national park, just coming up on Guzelçamlı with Mount Mycale in the background.
And this one is a few hours later, on the way home, looking back at the sunset. Those hills on the right are actually the Greek island of Samos.
We’re still getting warm days with high temperatures between 25 and 30, but the summer drought has broken and the rain is starting to come a few millimetres at a time. Here’s a sun shower we had one afternoon — the photo is looking out to the west, across our neighbour’s back garden.
Our friend Carol came to stay for a week at the end of September, and this was of course an excuse to visit our favourite tourist spots again. Şirince is always good for a lazy lunch and a walk around town. I feel as though I have photographed the place to death on previous trips, so this time I tried to get a sense of the colours and textures in the souvenir shops and market stalls.
Carol flew out of Bodrum/Milas airport on a late-night flight, so we all drove down to Bodrum in the early evening to look around and have dinner beforehand. I’m not sure that my pictures do it justice, but Bodrum (Halicarnassus in classical times) is lovely. Development has been kept reasonable with a no-buildings-over-three-storeys rule. Fantastic harbour.
Anyone who has been reading the news will not be surprised to hear that we saw quite a few Syrian refugees sleeping rough on the Bodrum waterfront. Presumably they were looking for a boat to one of the Greek islands. (No pictures as it seemed like the last thing they needed was a camera in their faces.) A very sad situation that looks as though it may go on for a long time.
While we’ve been waiting for the work to start up in the orchard, it hasn’t all been swanning around the countryside and taking photos, honest. We’ve also been doing the last of the jobs down here in the farmhouse. With the help of our neighbour John, I learned to weld (read: “John decided that I was going to learn to weld whether I liked it or not.”) Here’s my first welding project: a little stand to stop an old amphora from rolling across the courtyard.
We built another new door, this time for our bedroom. (Note the inevitable cat flap.)
And we carried in a pallet and a half of bricks that will be used to build a raised bed and a retaining wall in the garden.
Thanks for reading.