Thursday, 6 March 2014

At last! Back out in the garden

At last we are having some days that are fit for us to be out working in the garden again. It is our target to finish the other half of the back garden this year, and we can't wait to be getting on with it again. We are of course still experiencing lots of rainy days and some of our wonderful storms. But on the good days it can be quite warm now and several days recently, I have shed my winter jumpers down to a sleeveless T shirt whilst working outside - joy of joys! I think one of the things I hate most about the winter is the amount of clothes you have to wear to keep warm. I'm just a get up and drag on a T shirt and shorts kind of girl really. I can't be doing with all those extra layers.

On the good days we have been right around the garden doing the spring maintenance. We have pruned the fruit trees and vines and retied the climbers and composted a lot of the plants and soil. The soil here is solid clay - sticky and claggy but luckily we know some people in the village who keep horses, so we arranged to have a tractor trailer load of manure delivered, which now sits in a very large heap in our roadway. David spent almost a whole day helping them load the trailer, but well worth the effort. Haha! Easy for me to say I know!

One very large heap of ... manure! waiting to go on the garden

The half of the garden we completed last year is now all ready for planting so when we go out we are keeping an eye out for bargain plants. I want lots of climbers and vibrant colours. I am anxious to get them planted, so that hopefully we will live long enough to see the results of all our hard work and tears. So far this year we have planted three more fruit trees, a jasmine and a bit of a gamble in Uzumlu I know - a fuschia. But it is in a very sheltered, shady area so we thought we would give it a go.

Our new fuchsia - bit of a gamble we will let you know how it gets on

So we are all ready to start the second half of the back garden. Now this is the exciting bit, as it will have the outdoor oven and barbecue. I have spent hours over the winter researching the best sort to build and have tracked down some excellent plans which I have had emailed to me from the states. We have managed to source most of the materials we need locally, the plot is all pegged out and when the weather permits we can begin phase 2.

All pegged out and ready to go

In the foreground of the picture above you will notice a very large boulder. This is the largest boulder we have removed from the garden as we have done it. I am determined to incorporate it somewhere in the garden as a reminder of the hard work that this project has been.

When we both go out in the garden, managing the dogs before we go is like preparing for an intricate military manoeuvre. We can't trust them out in the front garden because Kizi climbs over the wall if she is left unattended and wanders off. She comes back when she has been for a look around, but we worry that she will get run over so we don't allow it. The puppies stand and bark at everything and drive us crazy if they are outside on their own, but if we leave them all inside we are worried about Little-E getting hurt in one of their scraps. So Little-E goes in her cage and we have to remove all our ornaments, computer, kindles, books etc. etc or Red eats them. They are quite happy to be with us, but at the moment the back area where we are working is thick mud and not conducive to dogs running around, so they have to stay indoors and we pray they will behave.

It is absolutely fantastic to be able to get back outdoors after being cooped up inside for so long and utter pleasure to see the trees in bud and that the plants are coming back to life. It makes us feel that summer is around the corner now - yippee!

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Fogies are tickled pink

Unbeknown to us last September Saga Magazine asked it's readers to submit blogs written by people over 50. The suggestions they received were whittled down to just eleven and Wow! we were delighted to hear that Fethiye Fogies was included in their choice.

As we were not even aware that we had been put forward this was an incredible surprise. Thank you so much for putting us forward we couldn't be more pleased.

Credit: Saga Magazine

Saga Magazine is a journal for the over 50s and covers a range of articles geared to that age group including financial advice, gardening, holidays,  and celebrity interviews. With almost half a million subscribers it is the UK's best selling magazine.

Thank you Saga both for selecting us and allowing us to reproduce your page and thank you to the reader who submitted our blog to them. Wow!!!!!  

Friday, 28 February 2014

Busy doing nothing

I am very aware that it is some time since I have written anything on our blog, but the reality is that we have done very little in the last few weeks. Having spent all our spare cash on the wedding last spring, we entered this winter with no stock of wood to run our heating, so it has been a tough winter for us. Normally we buy our wood through the summer but this year we were not able to do that, so we have struggled with having to buy it at its highest price. At one point as I mentioned in a previous blog we ran out and had to forage for fuel until we could buy some more. Consequently we have tucked our heads down and been nowhere apart from to do our monthly shopping and of course the car boot. Cannot miss the car boot!

We were determined to enter spring with a clear account so that we can continue with our projects in the garden. We have also had the added financial burden of having three female puppies to spay and the cost of it has meant we have had to save for that through the winter.

Little-E was spayed in September and we finally managed to save enough for the other two pups to be spayed and this was done last week. As I have said before I hate sending them off to have it done, but I know it is essential to prevent any more unwanted dogs in this country where there are already way too many waifs and strays wandering the streets. If we want another dog in the future there are many needy animals searching for good homes without adding to the problem by producing more.

They were poorly girls when they returned home. Both of them were very, very sick and neither of them was interested in food for a couple of days. Believe me that is extraordinary! They came back home with an injection to give for pain the following day, anti-biotics for a few days and large spongy collars that they were supposed to wear for 5 days minimum. It took both of them under five minutes to remove them, when they got in the door! Probably just as well as they would have been bound to eat them and that would have been more expense. Luckily neither of them has touched their wounds so we have been lucky. The vet apparently loved Bebek, his comment about Big Red was “She is a character!” So I dread to think what she got up to while she was there!

Two poorly little flowers return from their operations

In a couple of days Red had bounced back to normal. Bebek on the other hand was seriously traumatised by the whole affair. David stayed with them downstairs on their first night home and when I came downstairs in the morning she was lying on the sofa and when she saw me she wailed. It was as if she was trying to tell me how unhappy she was. It doesn't half pull at your heart strings.

By the next day she really was not any better, just laying down, not interested in food or anything else in fact. I sensed that it was trauma rather than pain, so I dragged her out into the back garden with me for the afternoon for some ‘one to one time’. It did the trick, she improved beyond compare, ate her tea and the next day although still a bit stiff was almost back to her normal self. Now five days on she is fine and we have all put the experience behind us.

Big Red soon back to normal - stealing and carting around my clothes!

Of course I thoroughly enjoyed my morning out to the car boot and came home with more little treasures. As always the odd book! But also several baubles for the garden and this times treasure - a lovely old çay pot. I shall so miss the car boots through the summer.

Love my old çay pot

However, all things considered I can’t tell you all how glad I am that the weather is improving, the fruit trees and plants are starting to show signs of life again and we are moving away from winter and in to better days. We have entered the rainy, stormy period and several days are wet, but the dry days are lovely now and really warm. 

We have been blessed with some glorious weather in the last couple of weeks and it has been wonderful to get back outside to start in the garden again. But more of that next time ……