My 'country bumpkin' credentials are a bit suspect as I spend the wetter 4 months of the year in town. If our architect had been open to my suggestions of a damp course, cavity walls and a ceiling lower than 6 meters, I could have been writing this from the village but the price of heating an un-insulatable barn of a living room makes moving out in the winter more cost effective. Despite all this (and being born almost in Birmingham) I am a country girl at heart. When I first arrived here, Bodrum was a village surrounded by smaller villages and hamlets, now Bodrum is heading for city status and all the coastal villages are towns. The village way of life is still going strong, but is only found inland, away from the hotels and holiday villages and so is a mystery to the majority of Bodrum visitors. Bodrum Kent Konseyi leader Hamdi Topçuoğlu wants to rectify this and last Saturday organised a "Village Fayre" in the centre of Bodrum inviting 19 local villages and one from Datça to showcase their wares. My neighbour Raşit was there with his baskets and wooden spoons and a basket of morel mushrooms picked from the forest behind our house. The 20 villages produced varied displays of carpets, kilims, crochet lace, soap, pasta, scarves, knitted bouquets of roses, bottles of olives and pickled vegetables, honey, sweets, olive oil, goat's cheese, herbal teas, carob pods, pottery, bunches of lavender and wild asparagus and a camel. I wanted to stay for the folk dancing but Jake had a problem with the camel. He's usually a well behaved dog and we can take him nearly everywhere with us but he has taken a dislike to camels. He started barking which drew all the stray dogs to our side to join in so I thought it better, having taken a few photos, to beat a retreat. After all, I'm lucky to be in a position to enjoy all these village activities in situ, I hope others were encouraged to go out and see what life, non-dependent on the tourist, is like.
Basket making - From Bush to Basket