Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Bodrum Februaries

I arrived back in Bodrum on 4th February 1983 after a couple of months away in England.  I'd left a murky Heathrow in fog and finally stepped off the bus in Bodrum into the fading evening light. I can't remember whether it was wet, dry, warm or cold but the next weekend we piled into a friend's ancient  Chevrolet and bounced and swayed over rough tracks, fording a couple of streams on the way to the seafront at Türkbükü.  This Sunday lunch is etched into my memory.  There was one restaurant open and we were the only customers.  A wander in the damp fields behind the rough muddy road that pretended to be a beach in the summer, produced armfuls of anemones and narcissi and rakı glasses were commandeered to act as vases. We arrived in jumpers and scarves but the sky was bright blue and after a lot of discussion, the table was placed at the optimum angle to catch the sun's rays while hiding from the breeze.  There was no menu, just white cheese and green olives  followed by fish and greenery that had been picked from the same field as the flowers, all accompanied by plenty of lemon juice and olive oil.  After 30 minutes, the woollies and some shirts were abandoned and everyone was basking in the warmth of a February sun.  I had no idea then that I would spend several decades tied to this corner of Turkey, but if I ever wonder why I'm here, this Sunday springs to mind.  Good friends, simple delicious food, winter sun and (you have to travel further a field these days)  meadows of wild fragrant flowers.   For years, I kept a photo of that lunchtime table on a shelf in the kitchen but now I think to look for it, it is nowhere to be found, but I'm sure you can imagine the scene.
We need some of that February sunshine now. It's been unusually wet and windy for the past month and our patience with wet feet, damp walls and puddles is waining.  It's not that we are unused to bad weather in winter, it is just that storms are usually followed by severals days of warmth when we can air our houses and bask in the sunshine.  This year the gaps between the bad weather are so short that we forget they've happened.   Jake so hates walking in he rain that he will stay upstairs and pretend morning hasn't arrived rather than be made to go outside. Which suits me, as I am just discovering the meaning of  "a duvet day".

Jake voicing his dislike of damp windy weather.


16 comments:

  1. Reminds me of our first winter in Yalikavak, the wettest since Noah. But, only a few short weeks later it was but forgotten as the sun came out and stayed out.

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    1. I can imagine how cold you were in Yalikavak exposed to all that the North wind is capable of throwing at you

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  2. Hello,

    Yes, it is memories such as that first lunch which become permanently etched in the mind and serve as continual reminders as to why we are in our respective foreign lands. All so simple and, yet, exotic and adventurous at the same time.

    And, how one yearns for clear sunny days to relieve the dreary cold of the worst winter weather. They will come ........make the most of your duvet days until then.

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    1. Duvet days are not good for writers though - stifles all imagination

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  3. I'm just being a moaning minnie, I know.

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  4. I really want this rain and wind to go away. I promise I will never moan again about it being too hot :-(

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    1. I promise too. Do you think it will help?

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  5. Love your description of that lunch. Really lovely.

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    1. We are long overdue a lunch. How can we persuade you two to get out here.

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  6. . . interesting to note that the past couple of winters have been a bit drier than usual and this one, based on records, has been fairly normal in terms of rainfall. That said, I do agree that it seems to have gone on for an awful long time (as he gazes out of the window at the belting rain). Next few days promise to be drier and a lot brighter so Jake has a chance air out along with the duvet!

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    1. I think we got all the rain at once this year - at least I hope that's what happened and it will be warmer and drier from now on

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  7. B to B, I had to google 'duvet day' to find out what it was and realized that we took one today from our morning walk. It was howling, windy, cold, blowing snow and I did a Jake. This winter has been the pits for sure. If we could just get one day like the February day you describe!

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    1. It took me a long time to find out about Duvet Days too.

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  8. That is a gorgeous memory BB, we need reminders like that - do hope sunshine returns, we had an unusually warm winter, though had our share of the winds last week - I am ready for spring too - it will be the Texan sunshine (hopefully) for me next week : ) Selamlar, Ozlem

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    1. I was in the UK for the first 10 days of 2015 and it was def. warmer than Bodrum.

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  9. I loved your lyrical description of that long-ago February lunch and hope the right kind of weather for a repeat arrives soon.

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