Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The first time

This is the face of a dog that has just tasted pork souvlaki for the first time.  The excited anticipation of the next piece mixed with the accusation, "Why have you never given me this before?" and already the tinge of despair in the eyes, knowing that it is not going to happen again for a long time.

Monday, 25 September 2017

New Friends

It could have been a bit of a disaster bringing a dog to work - especially for a cook, but so far so good.  I realised that I no longer had to worry about Jake after the first dinner party. While I was working away in the kitchen, Jake was invited into the dining room and by the time the first course had been served, he was under the table having his chin tickled.  He was very upset to see the first guests go; he barked loudly at me and had a doggy tantrum worthy of a toddler - I have a feeling he could see himself on an English country estate or in a Chelsea town house and was hoping for a ride on a private jet.   Return to the bungalow in the Turkish countryside is going to be a big disappointment for him.
When not working, having a dog by my side has been great for me too. I've met so many more people this trip - all conversations ignited by Jake. He has also made friends. He was shocked to meet Zubee, a female Jake look-a-like, also an ex-street dog, rescued by Dimitrios Antonitsis, the founder and curator of "Hydra School Projects' - an international platform for visual arts. In its 17th year, this season's work is on show in the old Hydra High School under the title 'Gestalt'. So Jake has been to his first art exhibition.
He also met a brown version of himself called Bruno, another rescue dog, and has been invited to and  agreed to take me along to the biggest Easter party on the island - should we find ourselves here at that time next year.
I think he needs to read this past post about Easter on Hydra before he makes any firm plans - I'm not sure his nerves (or mine) can take the explosions and public hanging.

Jake and Zubee or is it Zubee and Jake. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Roving Jay picking grapes

That title is slightly misleading - it should read 'Roving Jay eating and photographing grapes' but after my post despairing at all the fruit rotting on the vines because I couldn't reach them, the Roving Jay grape picking team were very welcome.  It's good to know the grapes were appreciated. I left a bottle of grape juice fermenting in my studio. I hope it will be well on its way to turning into wine when I get back.

Saved by Annie’s Grapes

After a delicious Turkish Breakfast at Etrim, where we were served a feast worthy of a Sultan, it was back to Annie’s house (she of Back to Bodrum blog fame) – a short 10 minute ride away – to help with the grape harvest.
We all had a role to play. Annie was chief ladder holder and grape director, Red was the scissor touting harvester, Tracey and Jake were on the moral support and quality control committee, and I was the capture-the-moment archivist.
Tracey and Jake on the moral support committee
Read the rest of Jay's post with lots more pictures here

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Island Dog

I've been here over 10 days now and I thought you'd like to see some of my holiday snaps. This is me at the harbour, with the flying dolphin coming in to port behind me. 

This is me in the Isolos bar/restaurant.  We come here a lot as there is always a bowl of water for me and the large glasses of wine are 5€ with a refill so I'm sure it's not just the comfy cushions that are drawing the boss back.  

The island is full of cats. I don't mind cats; Bodrum has a lot too but here there is a cat around every corner, in every plant pot and under every table.  I'm allergic to flee bites and have already had to meet the island vet and get treated for inflamed skin, despite my drops and collar from Turkey.  He says it happens to every newcomer but it was an itchy (and expensive) first few days.  The trip here wasn't much fun either. I wasn't allowed inside the catamaran, and had to spend the 90 minute journey in a metal cage on the aft deck. I wasn't as traumatised as my owner but I landed in Hydra with oily paws and undercarriage which is not the arrival I planned for such a chic resort. 

I suppose I should mention the donkeys, mules and horses too but to be honest I find them very up themselves. Being on every post card, guidebook and bag has given them very inflated egos - the donkeys are the worst - they stand right in front of me and make unflattering remarks as I go past. I can usually ignore them but sometimes the boss has to hold me back.  It's lucky we're on short leash in Hydra, not the extending one. 
In general though Hydra is a very dog friendly island - we haven't been turned way from any restaurant or cafe and most people and fellow canines want to say hello.  I feel quite at home. 
Wish you all were here 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Vine Harvest Festival Pictures

It sounds as if this year everything came together to produce a great festival. Chris Drum Berkaya and David Beavis kindly sent me some photos to show me what I missed and have allowed me to post them here.  I'm sure Joy will write a blog post as soon as she gets back. After years of trying to meet up with Joy, she was demonstrating her tart making just 6 kms from my house and I wasn't there - one day Joy.

Bodrum - Friday Evening ( Photo -Chris Drum Berkaya)

Bodrum Friday Evening (Photo CDB)

Joy and Asli, owner of Cooking Classes in Bodrum
Mumcular Saturday (photo David Beavis)

Mumcular Saturday (photo DB)

Mumcular Saturday (photo DB) 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Vine Harvest Festival

I am gutted that I am going to miss Karaova's third Grape Harvest Festival. The first one was wonderful, read about it here. The second one not so good as the organisers bowed to the demands of shop keepers in Mumcular and held it in the streets - not a good idea.  But this year it has moved back to the park and should be a fantastic week-end of food and crafty delights. All my Turkish food blogger friends will be there and even Joy from My Travelling Joys is flying in from London for it.   The festival starts with a procession in Bodrum this evening and then opens at 10 am in The Mustafa Kalem Park in Mumcular on Saturday.   If you go and take some good photographs send them to me at and I'll put them up on the blog. 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Bodrum dog to Piraeus

After a very long and leisurely lunch we set off to explore Kos town.  As an inhabitant of modern  Halicarnassus, I am blasé about ancient ruins but I did lift my leg on the corners of a few medieval buildings and was more interested in the help street animals were getting, than Hippocrates' plane tree (wasn't allowed to pee on that). 

At 7pm the Blue Star Ferry to Piraeus docked and the boss tried to make me wear a muzzle,(that's the rule) but it didn't stay on for long, I managed to leave it on the quay a couple of times but bloody do-gooders kept picking it up and giving it back. 
We had to use the back stairs to board rather than the escalator, which avoided the queues, and were shown to our pet cabin; top deck, roomy and with an ensuite and bigger than we expected. I can't say it was comfortable journey as the incessant engine noise and various clangs and clunks made it impossible to sleep for long but it was much better than a cage next to the trucks, which was the only other large canine accommodation on offer. 

We explored the aft deck but never worked out where the dogs' convenience was.  Luckily I can cross my legs for 12 hours over night and at 7 am we were striding happily towards Quay 8 to catch the Hellenic Seaways Flying Catamaran to Hydra. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Gusto Restaurant on Kos

After a half hour wait on the docked ferry, we were allowed to disembark and join the queue for passport control. I hung back in the shade as furry coats and bright sunshine don't go together. It was noon when we got through and the Customs Officer only wanted to see the rabies vaccination stamp in my passport, not the blood test results and 'permission to travel to Europe' papers that had cost the boss over 1000 TL to complete and only last 4 months - I suspect we may be travelling further afield this year, if only to justify the outlay.  We now had 7 hours to fill until the ferry to Piraeus. An island bus trip would have been a great option but the buses don't take dogs so on the recommendation of close friends, we went to Gusto where for the first time in my life I was ordered my own meal, and  a very good chicken filet it was too.  The restaurant is popular for it seafood platters, the trays of giant prawns and octopus looked fantastic and the mostly Turkish  diners surrounding us were all enjoying the food.  I made friends with the owner Sinan and his mother Sonya who were happy to look after me while the boss visited the bathroom - a very important service for single people travelling with dogs - and generally kept us entertained and well fed for several hours.  They will also look after bags leaving travellers free to wander unencumbered.  Gusto's is the first restaurant on the beach next to the temporary ferry port but when the earthquake damage is repaired and the ferries move back to the opposite quay, I'm sure loyal customers  will walk the extra 10 minutes to dine.  I noticed all the ferry captains were lunching  there - always a sign you've picked the right place to eat. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Out of Bodrum

I knew something was in the air. Last week I was given a sharp short back and sides (and unders) and a stranger in an office took my photograph and yesterday I was thoroughly soaped with Johnsons Baby Shampoo, towelled dry rather than being allowed run around and roll in dust as I usually do to dry off, and brushed until half my coat was in a plastic bin bag.  This usually means that I am going on a 'holiday' ie left behind while the boss goes away, but this morning our rather early morning walk was accompanied by a large bag on wheels and ended up in front of the castle.  Half an hour later, the floor under me started to rumble and shake and Bodrum was left behind. 
It wasn't a pleasant sensation but I got used to it and a nice family from Cyprus made lots of fuss of me.  The only other dog onboard was a very cool Weinmaranar who doggedly looked the other way so I made sure he heard me.  He didn't reciprocate -I still  don't know what a German accented bark sounds like.  So now I am in Greece, well not quite - there is a very long queue to get to show my passport and reams of paperwork that the boss had to pay extra for as the Bayram bank holiday was extended forward by 3 days. 

No one has been allowed off our ferry yet.  I hope we are not here too long, after all this excitement, I need to find a lamppost