Sunday, 12 April 2015

Yesiluzumlu Mushroom Festival 2015

Today is the last day of the annual three day mushroom Festival and yesterday we wandered down to join the festivities. It seems strange to see our village which is normally so quiet heaving with visitors. The roads through the middle of the village are closed to traffic and trade stands and make shift cafes are spread along the streets. It really is a great atmosphere to be there with everyone in festive mode.

We did notice that there were not nearly as many stands as in previous years, and speaking as someone who loves to wander and browse the wares it seemed a shame. But nevertheless I did manage to make a couple of purchases.

Some lovely things on the stands

I bought two bundles of garden canes, a couple of plaques for the garden and of course a couple of bottles of Uzumlu wine. I have learnt now that it is not a good idea to drink the Uzumlu wine and then go out afterwards. Last year with family we had a very pleasant afternoon whiling away the afternoon sipping Uzumlu wine by the pool. It was our wedding anniversary and we went out in the evening for a meal with family and friends. Unfortunately after imbibing during the afternoon I found I was almost incapable of speech throughout the evening, so this time it will be savoured at home on a day we intend staying there!

There is a great choice of items made from dastar the cloth which Uzumlu is known for and has been made here for hundreds of years, and a wide selection of village foods.

Lots of village food on offer too

A lot of villagers are making gözleme (pancakes) and along with the normal fillings, mantar mushrooms are an option because it is these mushrooms which are what the festival is actually all about. However, we opted for a kofte kebab and a coffee, sitting at tables and chairs which were set out in the middle of what is a road when the festival is not on.

Gözleme being cooked everywhere ...........
........ you're spoilt for choice ......

...... and then eat it in the street

Usually when the Festival is on we can hear the evening concert at home, but this year we have had high winds from a different direction to normal and it has scuppered our chances of hearing it. However, I understand that the village square was packed and that it has been highly successful again.

Long may the festival continue it is so nice to see so many visitors enjoying what Uzumlu has to offer.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The weather has improved and it's go, go, go at Fogie's Place!

Hooray it's April and summer is getting close, another winter done. The weather is variable with some rainy days and showers but interspersed at last with some beautifully warm - almost hot days. The tortoises are coming out of hibernation, leaves are coming on the trees and both ourselves and the animals are able to spend a lot more time outside again. 

I am like a different person in the warmer weather, I hate the winters with a vengeance and whereas I sit around indoors like a blobby all winter, in the summer I am out there busy, busy, busy. I love the warmer weather.

We haven't been anywhere of interest in the last month. I have spent my time pulling the garden round and starting to sort the pool. David has been cracking on with his building and at last our major project is coming together and we can see the end in sight. Everything we do now is improving the look of the place and it is changing from gypsy encampment into visible hope of a pleasant place to sit and while away some time.

After months of using a pallet to keep the dogs in the front garden, it has now been replaced by a gate. The joy of undoing a catch and walking through instead of having to undo wire and lift a pallet out of the way every time you need to pass is unbelievable.

Goodbye Pallet ..........

...... Hello opening, properly functioning, dog proof garden gate

The wall is now built between the drive and our back garden and grapevine run along the top of it. Yes I know there is a bit of clearing up to do! We have a heap of rotten wood that was our bedroom floor but more of that later. The two biggest boulders that we had to remove from the garden - I just have to think of something to do with them. I am determined to think up some way of incorporating them into the garden somewhere, to remind us of the hard work that this project was. Also some roses that someone was taking up from a garden in Calis and were going free. Unfortunately the roots were hacked about when they were taken up, but I have put them in pots to see if I can salvage them to use at a later date in the garden.

Drive wall finally finished

David had now started on the top half of the barbecue and hopefully that will be finished very soon.

Meanwhile in the house the saga with the water damage in our bedroom continues. We had removed the parts of the wooden floor that had gone rotten, measured up the part that needed to be patched in which ended up being (we thought) a piece about 3 metres by 2 metres, and the carpenter was scheduled to come and put it in almost two weeks ago on a Thursday. The allotted Thursday duly arrived and along with it an electricity cut, so it had to be postponed to the following day. The power finally was reconnected at teatime. But at 8.30 the following day it was off again all day and the same on Saturday.

On Monday morning, anticipating that the carpenters may come that day, David checked the floor to be sure everything was OK. It was not! The boards that had been left because they were undamaged were soaking wet underneath. Anyway the long and short of it was that because when the floor had been originally laid they had not left a breathing gap around the edge, condensation was sitting under it. Obviously to have the new bits put in would have sealed it in to yet again to cause more damage later on. We therefore made the decision to rip the entire floor up and have the whole thing replaced, more expense. The carpenters are up there as I write, finally putting a new floor in and it should be finished later today. 

all ready for the new floor 

We have of course had to entirely empty the bedroom and spread the furniture all around the remaining rooms upstairs both to rip up the old floor and to put the new one down. So the other rooms upstairs now look like a second hand furniture shop with things stacked everywhere including in front of our wardrobes so that it is a major performance just getting clean clothes out to wear each day.

We will therefore be highly delighted when the job is done and all the furniture is back where it belongs. However, to prolong the inconvenience even further, in my wisdom I have decided that it is too good an opportunity to miss having the room empty and that we should decorate it now too. In the long run it seems the sensible thing to do.

On the plus side there will be enough good flooring to use for the köşk which we intend building in the front garden. That is if we ever finish the back!

Meanwhile as Head Gardener I have just finished my spring maintenance the whole way round the garden. I have weeded all the beds, retied and pruned the climbing roses, tidied up all the other plants and swept the paved areas. I have also planted a privet hedge and some bamboo between us and our neighbour to eventually give us more privacy and I have cucumber, aubergine, hot chilli pepper, bell peppers and two kinds of tomato seeds sown in pots and radish and lettuce sown in the veggie garden.

Broad beans in flower now

The peas, beans. leaks, onions and lettuce that had been planted earlier are coming along well so we may have something to eat later on when we have spent all our money on the bedroom!

All in all it's a stay at home and get on with things time of the year, so that later on we can enjoy some time with friends and family when they visit in the summer.

Friday, 27 March 2015

It's so hard to say goodbye ...

A few days ago our poorly cat Çingene passed away during the night. We miss her so much. As I had explained in previous posts she suffered from a viral infection - picked up during her life on the streets and also chronic kidney disease. She came here for terminal care (prognosis a few weeks - months at best) almost three years ago, so she did well and we feel blessed to have been able to show her a loving life in the country after her years of struggling to survive on the urban streets.

After a couple of weeks of being quite poorly, she seemed to be a lot better. We enjoyed a few really hot sunny days and she was able to go out again to visit her old haunts. On the third day of her going out to enjoy the sunshine she did not seem so well again, so I brought her back in the house and settled her in her bed with her hot water bottle. The following day, she refused to eat and her condition deteriorated throughout the day. By evening she was almost unconscious and she slipped away peacefully during the night.

It was as if she had rallied to revisit her favourite places before she said goodbye. She is buried in the garden of her haven alongside her friends Peggy, Horace and Tyson. 

She will be fondly remembered for:

Her appreciation of home comforts

Her love of the dogs

 Her fussy eating

 Her demanding behaviour

 and those beautiful eyes

 RIP Çingene we will see you again at Rainbow Bridge one day.