Monday, 30 September 2013

This week

Touching wood as I type, the water has been running normally for two days now so hopefully the work has been completed.  Typical that I'm off to England tomorrow, so have been frantically catching up on washing for the past 24 hours.

I am pleased to say that the papilloma virus tumour in Sammy's mouth has, as Mehmet predicted, dropped off.  The treatment that Mehmet gave was exactly right and Sammy has had no problems with it at all.  The area is clean and you would never know that there had been anything untoward there.  My vet certainly knows what he's doing.

Mr A should have been finishing his job in Gumbet today, but as usual nothing ever goes according to plan.  He is at the moment at the workshop where his car is being fixed.  As anyone who lives in Turkey probably knows, mechanics are not always reliable.  It's always best to be there watching them while they're doing the work.  They are known to say they have fixed certain things when they haven't, or replaced parts with secondhand ones rather than new.  He has no idea how long he will have to wait, but  Turks never seem to mind hanging around for hours.

Although his contract ends today, his boss has asked him to stay on longer...maybe for a few more weeks.  Out of some misguided sense of loyalty to a boss who has worked him almost to death for just 10% commission for the past 5 months, he has agreed.  He's hoping for a last chance to earn some money.  It's wishful thinking in my opinion.   I'm not happy about it, but what can I do?  He's a man, and a Turkish one at that, and will do what he wants.

It does mean that he will have to travel to Gumbet every day and come home every night in order to feed the dogs and let them out for a run while I'm in England.  Poppy usually stays in the house when we are out, but a whole day is too long for her, so Mr A is going to take her to work with him every day.  He says she will be fine with him.  They have an office and she will be safe....I hope so!

I have only just started to think about packing.  I have no idea what to take.  The suitcase is lying open in front of me while I procrastinate.  Hence my logging on to write this post. 

I'd better get my act together and make a start.

I've no idea what time, if any, I will have to write or read blogs while I'm away, so if you don't hear from me, I'll see you all again in a couple of weeks.

Friday, 27 September 2013

I'm probably wasting my time....

......trying to get through to the people of this village, but something compels me to keep going.

If you're fed up with me talking about the water problem ...then stop reading now.

For those of you still reading, although water was restored on Sunday, for the last three days it has been cut off again for most of the day and evening.

It would seem that there are problems with pumping it up to the top of the village, and if those at the bottom used less, then we would at least get some.  So again I have been on the Facebook village page:

"Work is still being carried out with the water supply here. Although water was restored at the weekend, there is still problem with pumping sufficient water to the top of the village.

I hope those of you at the bottom of the village are enjoying your water. But please spare a thought for those of us at the top of the village while you are selfishly using as much as you want, and more, that this prevents us from having any water at all. We have had no water for most of the time for the last three days.

Please have some consideration for others. Use less water, then maybe we can all have some."

Gokhan, the guy in Izmir, has kindly translated it for me, so we will see what happens.  I suspect nothing.

A day off

Those who work in tourism here are accustomed to having little or no free time during the summer months.  They are used to working all the hours under the sun in the vain hope that they will earn enough money to keep them and their familes during the winter when there is no work.

Mr A has been staying in personnel accommodation in Gumbet.  He is only about 45 minutes away but if he came home every night it would be costing a fortune in petrol.  Personnel accommodation isn't pleasant.  Bosses rent cheap, basic apartments for the season and cram as many personnel into them as possible.  It's not unusual to find half a dozen men sleeping in one small room designed for one person, in bunk beds or single beds squeezed into every available space.

Occasionally Mr A has popped home, normally late in the evening for an hour or two.  Just enough time to get some washing done and have a coffee.  He often uses these brief trips to call in at a supermarket on the way to get the shopping for me that is too heavy for me to carry, and of course in the last two weeks, to fill up water containers.  Then he goes back to work.  New batches of holidaymakers arrive at all times of the day or night, and this is the when Mr A needs to be around, to make himself known in the hope that he will find potential customers.

If you are working on commission only, as he is, it means being on duty for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.  He, like so many others, is exhausted when he gets towards the end of the season.

The night before last, or rather 2 o'clock yesterday morning, he sent me a text message to see if I was awake.  I was, and phoned him.  He said he was beyond tired and couldn't sleep so had decided to drive home.   He came home and fell into bed at 3.30am.  He slept through the barking of the dogs, and all the other animal noises and woke up around 10am.

He told me he intended to take the day off...the first in 5 months.  He sent a message to his boss, who wasn't best pleased, but then all the bosses think about is money.  They have little consideration for the health and welfare of their personnel.

We decided to drive into Milas and pay Mehmet.  He also went to the place where he had traded in the car for the truck (oto galeri), and paid the balance of what he owed them.  Then we picked up some shopping and headed back to the village where we intended to relax and have a meal together.

On the way, the truck engine became overheated and this gave Mr A cause for concern.  He dropped me back at the house and decided to return to the oto galeri in Milas.  No time to cook a meal, so hastily made him a sandwich before he set off at around 2pm.

He phoned me 3 hours later to say that he had left the truck in Milas to be fixed and caught the bus back to Gumbet.  The truck will have to stay there for 5 days.

So much for having a day off!   He is due to finish his job on Monday and I fly off to England on Tuesday.  His boss has asked him to work on for a few more weeks, but that means he would have to come home every night to look after the dogs, which would eat up any of his earnings in petrol.  The boss is considering paying him petrol money each day.  If he does, it's worth Mr A carrying on for a few weeks to earn some more much needed money.

If this happens, he will feed the dogs in the morning and let them out for a run, then when they are back in the garden he will head off, and take Poppy with him.  Then he will be back in the evening to do the same. It won't be so busy during October, so he won't have to work such long hours,  but all this travelling back and forth along the busy Bodrum to Milas road isn't good.  I'm hoping he declines his boss's offer, and just stays put.

And maybe you understand now why I want him out of tourism.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Update on Sammy

Mehmet the vet came out to the house this evening.  Just as well as this growth has been making it difficult for Sammy to eat today.

Mehmet believes it is a papilloma virus tumour and has made a start on treating it.  He gave anaesthetic as it would have been impossible to deal with otherwise.  He had loads of injections, including into the tumour.  I am not sure what they all were, but know that something in the one into the tumour would break down the cells and reduce it in size.  There were also antibiotics and painkillers, because he will be in a fair bit of pain tomorrow, and I have further injections to give him.

Mehmet has tied suture thread around the tumour where it joins the gum and it is hoped that this will cause it to drop off within the next few days.  Failing this, it will have to be surgically removed, or he will continue to have trouble eating.

I had run out of dog food today so he kindly brought out a 15kg sack for me, together with some frontline for Poppy.  He also brought 150 multivitamin tablets for Sammy as this will help him to be healthier.  These tumours are apparently common in dogs who haven't had the best start in life.

Sammy wouldn't come into the house before he had anesthetic so the procedure was performed on the balcony.  After it was finished I made him comfortable on some blankets, and popped out every 5 minutes to check that he was breathing ok.  A little tip from Mehmet, which I didn't know, is to make sure the tongue is hanging outside the mouth, and every 20 minutes or so give it a little tug and it encourages breathing.

A little while ago Megan insisted on coming onto the balcony to check Sammy.  She nudged him gently and lay down beside him.  Within 5 minutes he got to his feet unsteadily and followed Megan down the steps.  She is now staying very close to him...looking after him.  He is walking about now and has even managed a bark!

I am constantly amazed at how little Mehmet charges me.  For all this treatment, including anaesthetic, injections, vitamins, Poppy's frontline, 15kg dog food, not to mention the cost of coming out to the village, he charged me just 120 lira, which by today's exchange rate works out at around £37.50.

And as if he hadn't done enough, he also brought a bag of Pedigree treats as a present for the dogs.

I must have the best vet in Turkey.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Chickens, Warts and Water

Well after that outburst by Dursune on Sunday, I have now discovered...from her...that the chicken that Megan brought back to the gate in her mouth, wasn't killed by my dogs at all.  It was one that had died and Dursune had AGAIN dumped it on the hill behind the house, even though she was asked not to after the last time.

Her ranting and raving it seems was because she THOUGHT that my dogs might kill the chickens, but it seems that they don't.  They did of course kill one some weeks ago, but that was when the chicken came into our garden, so understandably they would attack something that invaded their territory.

However, I watched them closely today when I let them out for a run.  There were chickens about, and the dogs completely ignored them.  Megan will probably continue to bring home anything dead and decomposing that she finds.  Disgusting though it is, I doubt she will get out of the habit.

Dursune is now behaving as if nothing untoward has happened, so I am doing the same.  I guess my ranting and raving in retaliation probably makes me more acceptable to these village people...and so we move on.

It is just as well that she is talking to me because she has informed me this evening that the water will be going off again tomorrow....she thinks just for one day, but who knows?  I am prepared though.  All my washing is up to date.  I have just filled a lot of empty containers, had a shower and washed my hair (which I usually do in the morning) just in case the water is off when I wake up tomorrow.

On Sunday, when I was making a fuss of Sammy, I noticed a growth just under his top lip, which started on the gums and was covering his front teeth.  It is just flesh coloured, the same colour as his gums.  It doesn't bother him and doesn't prevent him from eating, and he is his normal lively self.  However, I have sent a photo of it to Mehmet the vet and Mr A spoke to him.  He immediately said that it was a wart.  Well actually they are not called warts in dogs, but are known as canine viral papilloma.   There is an article about it HERE, and in particular the last paragraph is interesting:

"Effective therapy for viral papillomas has been elusive though recently (May 2008) a study was published by a veterinary research group in Turkey found that a 10 day course of the antibiotic azithromycin was able to remove all lesions within 15 days with no recurrences during an 8 month follow up period"

So Mehmet is coming out tomorrow to check that it is what he suspects and because he is aware of the treatment discovered in this country, he is confident that he will be able to clear it up.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Stress and frayed tempers

I don't really understand why the water appeared yesterday for 10 minutes then disappeared again.  BtoB and Perpetua's suggestions on my previous post make sense to me.   However, the water didn't return at all last night and Mr A phoned the Muhtar.

He still insists we lost our supply yesterday because those down the hill were using too much.  He says he told people NOT to use so much to start with.  As a result of this apparently three men turned up at his office threatening to hit him if he didn't allow them to use what they wanted.   I have no idea if this is true.  If it is, it's ridiculous.  If it isn't, it's a ridiculous story to make up.

I have had a big row with Dursune.   I wonder why I seem to be the only one in this village who is considerate of others.  Clearly, it makes no difference to them.  They still have attitude problems.

If I have extra food, or anything, I give to Dursune.  When I am going to the shop to get bread, I ask if she wants some.  She always says she doesn't have money, and I say it doesn't matter, and get her bread anyway.

Dursune has lots of chickens.  Far too many for her small garden, and they are running around all over the place, including our garden.  She knows but doesn't seem concerned when I tell her I am worried about my dogs killing them.   So I look out for them and shoo them out.

I am up at 5am every morning.  I let my dogs out for their run before Dursune gets up and lets her chickens out.  Every evening I make my dogs wait patiently until Dursune decides to gather up her chickens and put in the coop, before letting the dogs out.  In fact I always ask, as I did last night, if it's ok to let them out.  And last night she said yes.

Within 10 minutes they all rushed back to the gate.  Megan with a dead chicken in her mouth.  One of Dursune's which must have escaped up the hill behind our house.  It's not my fault. It's not the dogs' fault.  But Dursune went berserk.  She ranted and raved at me and started brandishing a heavy stick at my dogs.  I opened my gate to let them in, but Blondie was terrified.  She cowered, then ran away.  She didn't return for 2 hours, still very scared.

I was so angry.  I told her that I have fitted in with her and her chickens, but if she cannot control them and she has said it's ok to let the dogs out, then I cannot be responsible for something like this happening.  She carried on shouting, and in the middle of it Mr A phoned.  I answered and he could hear her in the background.  I explained briefly what had happened and he asked me to pass the phone to Dursune.  She snatched it from my hand and then shouted down the phone.  I could hear Mr A shouting back.  She threw the phone back at me...just as well I managed to catch it, or she may well have been paying for a new phone.

Mr A says I have to ignore her, and that I should stop being considerate, and let the dogs out whenever I want to.  That the road and the hills do not belong to Dursune, but to all of us so we have a right to let our dogs out.  I'll probably stick to letting them out when the chicks are not around, but I'll not bother to ask Dursune's permission.

I was up at 4am today.  I happened to turn on the tap and water was coming out very slowly.  Enough though to have a shower, and for the washing machine to work, so I loaded it up.

It has continued to flow and the pressure seems to be improving, so I am hoping that the crisis is now over.  I have managed to get all my washing done and have my shower, so even if it goes off again today, I won't feel so stressed.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

I am just too angry to talk anymore

The water returned at 1pm today.   I was quite excited.  I flushed the toilet, but before attempting to do anything else I popped out to tell my two elderly neighbours that it was back.

When I returned to the house 10 minutes later, the water was off again.

I have posted this on the village Facebook page, having first deleted all other comments I made on there.

"G***** and F**** thankyou for your support over the water problem in this village, and also my concerns about the rubbish.

You will see that I have deleted the post about rubbish and all my other comments relating to the water. The reason for this is because I am clearly wasting my time and energy trying to get points across to the members of this village.

Even though you, G*****, were kind enough to post about my concerns for the elderly at the top of this village and to ask for help from the young and able bodied to bring water up here, there was no response. I have watched my neighbour struggle with water every day for the past 13 days. I am also not so young and have some  health problems,so had to get my husband to leave his job to come home several times with water for me.

The water returned at around 1pm today. I managed to flush my toilet but then went off to inform my elderly neighbours that the water had returned. By the time I returned to my house, the water was off again.

I have since found out that as soon as it was switched on, those people living lower down and in the centre of the village immediately started to use it and as they were using so much, there was not enough for us at the top of the village. No doubt these are the same people who failed to offer help when it was needed. No thought or concern for anyone other than themselves. So we up here have to wait.

I am angry about all this, but mostly I am disappointed with the apathy and selfishness of many of the people in this village."

............I just don't know what else to say.  I will no doubt now be the most unpopular person in this village, but am past caring.  

Friday, 20 September 2013

Day 12

When I woke up early yesterday morning, Day 11 without water (Thursday) I was in fighting mood.

Having been informed on Wednesday that water would be back yesterday, I was actually getting a bit bored with it all.  I'm fed up with talking about water, so I decided to turn my attention to rubbish again.  I posted the following on the village Facebook page:

"People of this village. Why are you throwing your rubbish everywhere? Everywhere you go there is rubbish. There is a huge pile of empty bottles and broken glass dumped on the hill behind our house. People are dumping bags of household waste wherever they want to. There are not enough rubbish bins and only in the centre of the village, but if I can walk down with my rubbish, then why can't you? Do you not realise that this is a health hazard? It encourages vermin that spread disease. Do you want your children and elderly relatives to get sick?

If you can't or won't bin it...then burn it.

This is a beautiful place, but it is being ruined. Please take a pride in your village and be responsible for your rubbish, before this village becomes one big rubbish dump.

I am sure many of you will say that as a foreigner I have no right to say these things. I have lived here for more than 15 years. My husband is Turkish. I am a Turkish citizen with the right to vote, and the right to want to protect the environment in which I live."

Followed by a request for someone to translate my message.

The guy in Izmir responded as follows:-

" Linda, of course you have right to say these things and we all see this problem, but this is (can not find the correct word) about human culture, unfortunately we do not have this, also there is no good organization for collecting all rubbish to send them to a special area.. Sorry for short answer, I'm on the way to go to work"

My reply:  "Thanks Gokhan. I understand about the collection problem, but it's no excuse for people to make the situation worse by dumping rubbish everywhere"

...............and no further response from anyone.

As the day progressed I started to become quite depressed and tearful, mostly due to Mr A and I having a huge row over the phone, resulting in him saying that he was going to a solicitor to file for divorce.   (And no he didn't...and we are fine now)  Put it down to stress and the fact that he only has one more week to earn money for house repairs during the winter and it's looking very unlikely impossible.  But we didn't speak all day and everything just got to me.

And no...water did not return yesterday...yet another broken promise downright lie.

By the end of the evening I was down to my last bottle of water wondering whether to use it to make coffee or flush the toilet.   Fortunately, Mr A's colleague's brother needed a lift to the airport this morning around 6am, and would pay for petrol,  so Mr A said he would pop home to top me up with water as we are only 10 minutes from the airport.

He and his colleague arrived around 6.30 am with 20 x 5 litre bottles of drinking water.  As I have been feeling sick on and off this past week, Mr A thought it could be due to the water from the pipe in the village, so decided bottled water would be best.   I'm probably the only person for miles around who is now flushing the toilet with drinking water...what a waste!

I rustled up some breakfast for Mr A and his friend, after receiving a big hug from Mr A which was his way of apologising for yesterday.  Turkish men don't do apologies I'm afraid.  In any case, we were both to blame for the row.   But it lifted my mood and I am now quite happy.  I hate falling out with him, and he is the same.  It makes us both miserable.

The latest on the water situation:   Apparently the pipes will be opened tonight (I won't be attending the opening ceremony), but the water won't be flowing through the taps until sometime tomorrow...Day 13.   Do I believe this latest report?   Not a chance!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Day 10...still waiting's now 10 days without water.  I know I must be smelly, even though I am washing every day.  At least I feel as if I am.  Although, there are an awful lot of other smells around the village now.

No water means that cow and sheep sheds are not being washed out daily as they usually would.   I am sure I can smell the septic tank.  Most likely because not enough water is being flushed in the toilet.   I am pouring bleach into the sinks and drains but it doesn't seem to help get rid of unpleasant smells.

My friend Fleur was due to visit today.  Unfortunately she has had to postpone because her daughter is unwell.  But I would be embarrassed to receive guests here at the moment.  Hopefully by the time she comes, we will be back to normal.

Yesterday I popped on to the village Facebook page to see if there had been any response to the message left by the guy in Izmir several days ago, requesting help.  Nothing.  In any case I would certainly have noticed any offers of help, and so would my neighbours.  

However I took the opportunity to post a comment to this effect.  I was joined by the guy from Izmir, and another lady who lives in Izmir, but comes to stay with her family in the house next to Sevke.  She has been here for less than a week.  She had intended to stay longer but found it difficult with no water.   The three of us, plus another girl, had a lengthy conversation in Turkish and English about how disgusted we are at the state of things.  How we have no confidence in the Muhtar.  The way in which Turkish people are scared to stand up to those in authority, exacerbated by what is going on in the country as a whole.  Peaceful demonstrators being attacked and killed by police.   A dictator who is a bully and now has the people of this country living in fear.

I have to admit that a lot of this was said by me, but I certainly had agreement and support from those joining in the conversation.  I even jokingly suggested that I might stage a peaceful protest in front of the Muhtar's office, but that I would probably be the only one protesting.

The Izmir guy and the lady also from Izmir both phoned the department at the council in Milas  who are carrying out the work under instruction from the Muhtar, then they posted the telephone number on the page so that others (if so inclined) could also ring to express their concerns.   The department agreed to send an engineer out to inspect the work and progress.

As a result, it was then established from the Muhtar that the work was almost finished and that water MAY be flowing again by tomorrow( Thursday).   We'll see!  

In the meantime, I am curious as to whether the Muhtar has read the comments on Facebook, and what reaction I might expect when I next see him!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Boys will be boys!

Just to lighten the mood after all my gloomy posts recently.

Billy and Jimi love painting.  They have lots of tubes of different coloured paints, and a lovely easel which I bought for them

However, it can be very tempting for little boys to use paint for something other than producing pictures.

My daughter was busy and when she returned to the kitchen, she found this:-

The floor is black by the way in it's normal state!   Just look at Billy's face...he knows they have been naughty.  I think it most likely that it was Jimi (in the foreground) who was the instigator.  She almost cried when she saw the mess.   They have been deprived of privileges for a while. 
Only two weeks till I see my lovely naughty boys!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

No end in sight

And the water saga continues.   Mr A spoke to the Muhtar this afternoon and it doesn't look like the work will be completed anytime soon.  At least not before next Friday.

And of course there has been no response to the message left on the village Facebook page.  No rush to help carry water to those who are finding it difficult.

Mr A is popping home tonight to refill our containers, so that will do for a few days.


A Note re the TAG Blog...for information

I am no longer running the TAG Blog which I set up a couple of months ago.  This has been handed over to Karen at TAG.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Annie to the rescue

My lovely friend Annie of BacktoBodrum blog phoned me this morning and offered to collect me and take me to her house for the day.

I'm not good at acting on impulse these days.  I think it has a lot to do with spending too much time in this house.  Not only that, I felt very smelly and tired and not very good company.  So I found myself declining her offer.

However, after putting the phone down I regretted my decision and realised that it was about time I gave myself a good shake up and got out of this place, so I dithered a bit then phoned her back and said if it was possible to change my mind I would love to come.

She collected me and Poppy and drove us over to her home.  The first thing I did was had a lovely hot shower and suddenly felt human again.   We chatted for hours about all sorts of things, had a lovely lunch and later in the afternoon had a swim in her pool.

Poppy spent most of her time hiding from the gorgeous Jake.  He wants to play but he's so big now that I think Poppy feels a little intimidated.

Annie then drove us back to the village and I arrived home just before 8pm.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day.  Thankyou Annie for being so thoughtful and kind xxx

Day 5 or 6...still waiting

I hope I'm not boring you all with my posts about water...or rather no water.  I'm pretty bored with it myself.  In fact I have now realised that I am getting used to it.  Strange how we can adapt to difficult situations.

Last night I had my daily wash with the minimum amount of water possible, and managed to wash my hair with a small amount too.  Of course it's not a proper hairwash, but I was desperate and it's made me feel better.

On Thursday evening, in anger, I posted on the village Facebook page, in Turkish (with the help of Google translate) a message to the effect that this amount of time without water is totally unacceptable.

Many of the village Facebook page members are people who have moved away from the village, but use it as a way to keep in touch.  One of these is a man who lives with his wife in Izmir and speaks excellent English.  He answered promptly, to ask what the problem was and why I was upset.   I replied and we continued our conversation on the page in English.  I said that it was ridiculous that those of us living at the top of the hill should have to collect water from the centre of the village.  In particular I was concerned about my neighbours Dursune, Sevke and another old lady further up the hill.  All elderly widows.  

Whilst we were talking he phoned his mother who lives in the village and confirmed that the work will be going on for a few days yet.  He agreed with me that it would have been better to carry it out in stages, but said that the situation had become so many broken metal pipes...that it had reached the point where everything had to be replaced.

We then decided to delete our English conversation, because it would serve no useful purpose on the page, and he then posted a message himself.  He said...using very strong words...that whilst this problem was going on, that there are enough young and able-bodied men in the village who should be helping by bringing water up the hill, in particular for the elderly who are struggling.   He also sent me a private message to say that if he could be of any further help to me, then not to hesitate to ask.

He is a nice man.  I don't post on the village page that often, and then it's usually to remind people to leave water out for the street animals, or to stop chaining up their dogs.  Every time I post, he "likes" my comments and usually leaves a message of support.  His mother, by the way, is the lady who rescued a cat and asked my advice about flea treatment.  They are lovely people.

Yesterday I established that one pipe in the village is open, with a hose pipe connected to it, for people to fill up their containers.  At least it's better than having to wait and then queue up for a water truck.  I saw Sevke struggle up with 2 x 5 litre containers of water last night.   No signs of any able bodied men rushing to help just yet.   I won't hold my breath...all too busy playing cards and Okey in the teahouse.

I don't need to fill up again yet, but when I do, if I have the courage I may well fill my containers and drag someone from the teahouse to carry them for me.   The bloody men in this village are apathetic...they need to be shamed.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Day 3...aaargh!

As mentioned in my previous post the water went off on Monday afternoon.  I was informed that it would be for 4 days, so by my reckoning this could be Day 4, but to give the Muhtar the benefit of the doubt we'll ignore Monday and call it  Day 3.

I have been very careful with my supply of bottled water.  I have one wash a day.  I wash up the dishes once a day.  I flush the toilet once a day...and in between chuck down loads of bleach.  The dogs have to have water every day to drink and so do I.   Even though I have been careful, my supply is running low, but I felt confident that I could make it last through to Day 4.

I happened to ask Mr A on the phone this morning if he could ring the Muhtar to get some idea when the water would be switched on again tomorrow, in case I needed to go to the village for another 5 litre bottle.

He phoned me back a few minutes later to say that the water was going to be off for at least another 4 days!!   The water truck came last night, but of course I was unable to make use of it.  Impossible to carry huge containers back up the hill.  The shop in the village has now run out of drinking water.

Tonight Mr A has to make another round trip home to take every empty container we have and fill up with water somewhere outside the village.

And still no-one in this village is even slightly annoyed or put out about all this....except me.  I am utterly pissed off!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Water and Bugs

...two of my biggest bugbears (excuse the pun).

A week ago I opened a new sack of dried dog food.  We had two sacks the same, and the first was fine.  When I opened the second one it contained little black bugs and tiny larvae...yuk!   I attempted to tip it into a large plastic bag to dispose of it.  The bag split, and contents including bugs and larvae were all over the kitchen floor.

Having googled information I now know that they are known as pantry bugs, or cereal bugs.  I don't care what they are called, they are a bloody nuisance.  There must have been the tiniest split in the bag of dog food and the bugs got in, probably while it was stored in the shop.   I fumigated the kitchen, wrapped up the dog food, and put it outside ready to be disposed of.  When Mr A paid a flying visit a few days ago, he took it away to give to a pack of stray dogs outside the village.  The bugs won't harm them.  Extra protein in fact.  And at least they will eat.  I could have put the offending biscuits in batches in the freezer to kill off the bugs, but my freezer is too small, and frankly I couldn't be bothered.

Unfortunately, some of the bugs are still appearing in the kitchen.  Not many, but I hate seeing even one.  I have bleached all cupboards and surfaces, but need to do them again to be sure.  But I need a constant flow of water to clean up properly....which brings me to my next gripe...

Water cuts.  They are frequent during summer months for the odd day at a time, and I am used to it.  I keep empty containers topped up with water to use for the dogs, to wash with and to flush the toilet. We have been in this village for 4 and a half years, and every time there is a prolonged water cut, the Muhtar says it's because the pipes are being replaced.   Well this job never seems to be completed.

The water went off around mid-afternoon yesterday, and I expected it to be back by this morning at the latest.  Now almost midday and Mr A has just phoned.  I mentioned it to him and he phoned the Muhtar, then called me back.  It is going to be off for FOUR DAYS!!!  

I have enough water to last today.   A water truck will come to the village at some point, but people will have to take their containers down to the village to fill.  There is no way that I can carry water up this hill.  Mr A is going to try to get home within the next 24 hours to bring me water.  

It will have to be used sparingly and only when necessary.   The bugs will have to wait for the big clean up.  I need a shower and my hair needs washing.  I need to go to Milas for shopping.  I won't go out without showering so I guess I'll have to stay at home for the next four days.

I know I've said it so many times before, but I will never again take water for granted.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

First Steps

Today my darling Billy started school.  He is still so young.   He won't be 5 years old until next April, but it seems like they take children much earlier these days.

Anyway the day went well.  Well half a day to be precise.  The little ones will be settled in slowly with hours increasing gradually over the next four weeks.  He trotted happily into school.  No tears...except from my daughter who can't quite believe that her baby has grown into a schoolboy.  And tears from Jimi all the way home after dropping Billy off, crying "I want my Billy".  Bless him.

And another first step today.  Mr A on his way to becoming a farmer, when he finally gets out of tourism at the end of this month.   He traded in his car for a truck.  He wouldn't have done this if he hadn't made the big I'm happy!

The temporary job which he hoped would happen for the winter months, didn't materialise, but he has plans to go around the villages selling things, like he has before.  Mesir Macunu, fish, and anything else he can obtain which will make a profit. 

We're never going to be rich, but we will survive, and at least I will get my husband back at long last.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Reluctant Gardener

I am not, and never have been, any good at gardening.  If my late father were still around he would confirm this.  He spent years trying to encourage me to take an interest in growing things, and attempting to convince me that weeding was relaxing.   It didn't work.  He gave up and thankfully enjoyed dealing with my various gardens as well as his own.  Both of my brothers have inherited his love of gardening, but sadly not me.

I wish he was here.  He would love tackling our garden.

Mr A popped home late on Friday.  Another of his flying visits.  It was dark of course and he went off to inspect the state of the garden with a torch.  He was dismayed.   Things seem to be dying.  There were so many weeds that it was difficult to see anything decent growing.   He wasn't happy at all.   (Just as well it was dark.  It looked far worse in daylight).

It's my responsibility to water the garden every day.  But clearly I'm not doing it properly.  I should be weeding too really, but my arthritic fingers and back make it difficult.  Mr A bought a strimmer a while ago which he thought might help just to reduce the height of the weeds.  I attempted to use it once or twice but managed to get it clogged up and it stopped working.

My ideal garden would be one that has no soil, and is completely paved or cemented, with manageable pots of flowers.   But Mr A likes to grow things.  Unfortunately though he isn't here enough to make sure they don't die.

He was quite angry about it all.  I can't say I blame him, although most of the anger was really due to the stress of working such long hours and being exhausted.  Something he admitted later.

However, I did feel a pang of guilt.  I really could do more than I do, even though I hate it.

The dogs are now getting me up very early in the morning, so on Saturday I decided that I would attempt to tackle the garden.  I worked for three hours until it was too hot to do more.  Then again early evening.  I repeated this performance on Sunday and yesterday.  It was bloody hard work and my fingers, arms and back are suffering.   But it's more or less now in a state that I can manage.  It's not quite so difficult now to pull up a few weeds each day, and I am giving everything much more water than I had been, so am hoping that those trees and plants that appeared to be on their last legs, might pick up.

I so envy those of you who actually get enjoyment out of all this.  I never will, but I recognise that I have to keep on top of it until Mr A has finished working.....roll on the end of September!