One day, not too far in the future, the feel of this blog is going to change. It will be great, one day, to make a post called “Hotel and house finally finished!”, or something similar. Then I guess we might switch the focus to food photos and landscapes and shots of undiscovered local oddities. But for now, we are still in the realm of incremental construction progress. So I hope you are all OK with another post that feels like a small step forward from the one before.
Overview of the project.
One bit of news is that the cafe is now open for business — at least it is on Sundays! And some local people have come by for long, leisurely Turkish breakfasts. We’d love to open more than just one day a week (and we do if someone books especially) but at the moment it’s hard to justify too much time away from the building work. Sadly we just can’t afford to have one or two of us sitting in the cafe all day waiting for potential customers.
Terrace looking welcoming, we hope, with a few more tables and the dog houses moved to a more suitable location at the other end of the property.
Terrace and cafe by night.
We’re still experimenting with exactly what goes into our breakfasts, but there are some staples that are always there: eggs in some form, fried vegetables, fruit, cheese, olives, lots of different jams, and of course bread.
Front to back: boiled eggs, tahini pekmez (sesame paste mixed with grape molasses), olives, butter & honey.
Front to back: apple, kiwi fruit & banana; peppers and aubergines in a tomato sauce; various jams; sigara börek (fried pastry rolls stuffed with cheese).
Spring seems to be rapidly turning into summer: today’s high will be 32 °C. And once again the warm weather has been great for the gardens. The wet winter has made it an especially good year for green things to launch themselves out of the ground.
Rose bush gone wild in the front right.
Gardens outside rooms one and two.
Garden with a view at the north end of the pool. Note the fast-growing mulberry tree just behind the trellis.
All this sunshine reminded us, though, that the pool was always going to need more shade before summer comes in earnest. The pavilion we built earlier is great, but it’s at its best in the morning. The late afternoon sun shines straight in and makes it much less hospitable. For a long time we considered going with big umbrellas (and you’ve probably seen the green umbrellas that the nice people at TwoFour Productions bought for us). Still, the trouble with umbrellas is that a strong wind coming up the valley will often as not send them into the pool. So we sat down with Sketchup and designed a more permanent solution.
One nice feature of the new sunshade is that from about 2pm in the afternoon it starts to shade one corner of the pool, making it possible for easily sunburned people (e.g., me) to get out of those UV rays.
Two layers of green shadecloth seems about right.
Middle of the day sees lots of shade around the pool now.
It’s not only the human population that have been enjoying the new and shadier pool environment. Cezmi and Sasha claimed two of the deck chairs for themselves. (Which reminds me, I need to build some nice wooden sun lounges as these chairs have seen better days.)
Cats enjoying the shade.
The cats, being cats, have been trying to claim territory all over the place. We had some guests who were far too nice and let Lucy sit on their laptop for a bit. I had a word with her afterwards though and she assures me it won’t happen again.
Cat enjoying laptop of tolerant guest. “Don’t look at gmail, look at me!”
The dogs are much more helpful and reliable, as ever. They’re not very keen on where we put their dog houses when we moved them up from the cafe terrace, so instead they have installed themselves as watchdogs in rooms three and four. They seem very happy there but I will have to break it to them eventually that rooms are for people.
Zeytin: straw dog.
And we have of course done some actual construction work. The second building has really taken shape now, with all the straw bales in. Just the fabric and mesh work to go before plastering begins.
Building two progress.
Interior progress, room four. Strips of wood define the bathroom walls, ready for old-fashioned lathe-and-plaster work.
The good weather has also given us more excuses to get out and about. Here are a couple of shots from Dilek National Park, 50 minutes south-west of us.
National park view. Greek island of Samos in the background.
Coastal drive with tree.
Finally, something we’ve never thought to include before. Opening the cafe meant we had to make sure the cafe bathrooms were finished and ready for business. You get to them by going outside, onto the veranda, and then around the corner. Thus nobody’s table is too close to the loo, which is good, but there’s a side effect of giving the bathrooms quite a nice northerly view. Here’s a photo of one of the bathrooms with an attempt to catch the view in the mirror.