Friday, 29 April 2016

You can't judge a hospital by its view but....




Blogging has been curtailed this month because my husband has been in hospital - in hospitals - both in Istanbul and Bodrum.  I can't fault either on their care and attention but the view from the hospital room has improved considerably now we are back in Bodrum.  I had hoped to sit and write a few posts in between mopping my beloved's brow and recharging his iPad but the institutional wifi has decided that my BacktoBodrum web site is a gambling site so it's banned.  I'm still wondering which post gave it this idea. 
 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

BacktoBodrum on Kent TV


On the last day of March, I was lucky enough to be invited by Aslı Mutlu to take part
in one of her cookery programs for Kent TV.   While the production team Reyhan,
Hamdi and Sedat set up the cameras and microphone, Aslı and I sorted out the ingredients
and worked out how many dishes and utensils we would need.


I donned one of Aslı's handmade aprons. Reyhan took a few photographs and with
only the instruction not to talk while using the pestle and mortar, we were off. No rehearsing, no notes and no make-up because it hadn't occurred to me to take any along.


It was mildly nerve wracking but not as scary as  I expected because Aslı, pro that she is, filled in all the gaps where I lapsed into silence.  I have not yet plucked up the courage to view any more than the first few minutes of the programme, but I'm told it is 44 minutes long- a few glasses of something strong will be needed to get me to sit down and watch the whole thing all the way through.



Kent TV Cooking Video


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Bodrum Global Run


Jake and I were on hand in 2014 to see the 1st Bodrum Global Run and this morning we were out and about to see the 3rd one.  There appeared to be many more runners today than the first year, but this may be down to a curtailed route which stopped short at the Main Square rather than going on to the Marina, so the runners were more packed together.


I don't run but am happy to distract those that do. Barry Dawber and Julia Power from Turkey's For Life blog and website were competing today, but I only managed to catch Barry on film.


Şafak Yılmaz Bayliss was also easy to get a wave from as she effortlessly jogged by, but as an organiser of Bodrum Hash House Harriers, a group that advertise themselves as 'drinkers with a running problem' I expect nothing less.


I only saw one canine competitor, but the local street dogs were keen to join in with the action, except they hadn't grasped the concept of running with the entrants and seemed more focussed on adding a few obstacles to the race.


Jake just barked, more in panic than support, so he didn't get his photo taken. 

Friday, 15 April 2016

Transitions and Silver Linings



When you get given lemons, make lemonade, the saying goes.  When global strife, neighbouring civil war and a refugee crisis conspired to decimate Dave Stanley's Yacht Charter company's bookings this year, he picked up his brushes, dusted off his easel and got painting.  The fruits of this spurt in creativity are on show in Bodrum this month.  The most frequently heard comment at the exhibition opening  was " Wow Dave, we had no idea you were so talented", but we now learn that Dave trained under prominent Australian painter and sculptor Ian Bowie.  And all the time we had him down as a yachtie with a penchant for motor bikes.


Several of the painting explore the refugee dilemma and Dave generously auctioned one of his works and donated the proceeds to Bodrum Humanity, who are working to ease the plight of all those in dire need in the Bodrum area.





If you can't get along to Pannonica Jazz in Bodrum to see Dave's pictures, drop into his web site http://www.davestanleypaintings.com/  and  if you're thinking of a holiday cruising the Turkish Coast and Greek Islands, Dave hasn't given up the day job and can be contacted via Southern Cross Blue Cruising web site.  This is going to be one of the best years to sail the Aegean - the bays will be quieter than they've been for a couple of decades - almost as good as the 1980s and 90s when I had the luck to sail these coasts.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Naked Men in my Garden



Behold the Orchis Italica,  also known as 'the naked man orchid' or 'the hanging man orchid'.   Most of my orchids get dug up in the Spring (when I'm not there) by my neighbours hunting for Orchis mascula or Orchis militaris.  I usually arrive home to find a multitude of small holes and discarded orchid flowers as only the root is ground to make salep; a prized flour used in the creation of desserts and a hot drink that to us Brits tastes similar to thin sweet custard.  So I was very happy to see this wonderful specimen standing proud next to my washing line. Nice to see that Mother Nature has a sense of humour.

Friday, 8 April 2016

A New 'Ancient' Route to Walk - The Lelegian Path


The main road between Bodrum and Turgutreis is now almost continuously lined with shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets and shopping malls. The land behind these palaces of consumerism is also filling up with housing so it’s encouraging to see that a new route is opening up in the hills behind all this development; a path that will hopefully be forever bordered by only trees, grass and clouds.  Initiated by The Bodrum Chamber of Commerce (BODTU) and supported by The South Aegean Development Agency (GEKA), a total of 185 kms of pathway is planned to link the Lelegian hillfort settlements around Bodrum.



At the end of March, the first 8 km stage was unveiled to the public and the opening ceremony was so well attended that walkers experienced a two-legged traffic jam as crowds attempted to be first to walk the new route.  The week-end after the opening, there was an encouraging number of ramblers attempting the path. (I assume and hope they weren’t left over from the opening ceremony)



A lot of work has gone into the preparation of path; it has been cleared of brambles and branches and lined with stones  and is well marked with blue and white arrows - very easy to follow for people  like me who get easily lost.  If you have the Carian Trail guidebook, this new section of the Lelegian way carries on from where the Carian trail ends in Pedasa, above modern Konacık


Lelegian towns flourished up to the 4th century BCE, until the point Mausolos ordered all but two be depopulated to boost the inhabitants of his new capital Halicarnassus.  The eventual Lelegian Path will begin in Theangela, the site above Etrim village  but the first stage to open starts above the ruins of the Temple of Athena in Pedasa . This may prove to be a drawback to the overall success of the route as there is a dispute between the owners of the land where Pedasa stands and the car park has been closed to traffic.  Those driving to the start of the walk at Pedasa have to be pretty nimble at 3-point turns on a steep narrow hillside road if they want to park nearby. The alternative is to park lower down the entrance road (at the fork with benches) and walk up 1.5 km, which is my preferred option because as much as I love hill forts, hill-starts were never my forte, or join the route further along and park on the road past the mosque in the centre of Konacık. 

This map is from the Lelegian Path Facebook page where you can see lots of photos of the opening event and pictures of volunteers preparing the new route.

More about Pedasa and Lelegians 



Monday, 4 April 2016

Tricks, Revenge and Giant Fennel

Reality is seriously stunting my blog writing prowess this year so I'm delving into mythology for this week's post with an event from Hesiod's 8th Century BCE poem, 'Theogeny'. 

A meeting has been called at Mekone to decide the division of sacrifice between mankind and the gods. Prometheus kills an ox and picks out all the meat and covers it with the ox's stomach. He makes another pile of all the bones but covers them with a layer of juicy fat.  He then invites Zeus to choose which pile he would prefer as his sacrifice. Zeus picks the fat covered bones meaning that mortals can keep all the good meat and sacrifice the waste products to the gods.  Zeus is furious at being tricked so in retribution confiscates fire from the human race, leaving them cold and hungry for cooked meat. Prometheus steals back the fire from Mount Olympos and is chained to a rock as punishment and just to drive home the point that one doesn't mess with Zeus, a bird of prey daily devours Promethueus' constantly regenerating liver. 

According to the myth, Prometheus carried the stolen fire in the stem of a Giant Fennel.  Travel around Turkey in Spring and you will see this mighty plant emerging from the ground with wonderfully acid green flowers. By summer it will be up to 2.5 metres tall and in the winter its dry form dots the landscape with sculptural reminders of summer.  A member of the Umbelliferae or Cow Parsley family but not the edible fennel group, it is also known as Ferula, Narthex and Çakşır  and its tubular stems have long been used as torches and for transporting smouldering kindling. 

This is not the Giant Fennel's only appearance on the godly stage. Bacchus recommended his followers carried Ferula stalks rather than sticks so that if they brawled and fought when under the influence of his wine, they would not hurt each other. 

Terry and Brenda channelling Prometheus.



Giant Fennel in April

Giant Fennel in winter, upright and felled. 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

No, No, No.

Here am I, producing a blog that sings the praises (mostly) of our beautiful town and what happens?




This!

What can I say.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Jakes's Progress

Euromus

Stratonikeia

Iassos

Euromos theatre
Having friends to stay is always a pleasure, especially ones that reconnect me to my lost iPhoto files (Thank you Simon). It is also good excuse to get out and about and revisit nearby sites. Jake is always up for a trip to some old stones and I like to think he's becoming  a canine authority on the differences between Hellenic and Roman theatres and the transition from Lelegian hilltop fortifications to Carian towns.  He certainly appreciates drinking rainwater from a 2,500 year old bowl and in the last picture he is contemplating the natural state of the unexcavated  theatre at Euromos and wondering whether he'll still be around when the rest of the cavea is uncovered.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Mehmet Sönmez 1944-1998 Bodrum Blue


For many Turks who live in big city apartment blocks, Bodrum is a Shangri-La: a fantasy of blue sea, white-washed sugar cube houses and tumbling magenta bougainvillaea.  Artist Mehmet Sönmez should probably be held responsible for 90% of these fantasies.  He moved to Bodrum in the 1970s and his paintings of the town were turned into postcards which circulated the globe for 2 decades.




Copies of some of his most famous works can be seen in Oasis Shopping Mall until 16th April.  The opening of the exhibition yesterday, was like a flash back to Mehmet's favourite bar, the Hadi Gari, all of us 35 years older (but I have to say everyone still looking good).  Mehmet would have easily recognised us all although no one would have called him Mehmet, he went by his nick-name 'Asker' (soldier).


This vision of Bodrum still exists if you look in the right places but it's rapidly being overwhelmed by insensitive development.


In the last few years of his life Mehmet was not happy with the way Bodrum was developing and produced a series of paintings called "Critical Bodrum" which I haven't been able to find on the internet.  I heard lots of stories last night about how Bodrum was so wonderful 30 years ago, and I feel very privileged to have lived in Bodrum before it expanded but it's worth remembering that in this Utopian past, Dursan's bicycle, shown in the pictures above, was stolen 3 times and recovered before it was nicked for good. Bodrum is still a great place to live and we still need to lock up our bikes.