Thursday, 22 February 2018

Crafty Recycling

A crutch in one hand + A dog lead in the other = Empty bottles not getting to the recycling bin

A surplus of empty bottles + Chalky paint = Crafty recycling

Crafty recycling  + Too much time on my hands = Two garden vases.

Supplies from Cadence Paints

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Shopping surprises

Sometimes living in Turkey I experience a 'shopping surprise'.  In the old days it was the appearance of broccoli and sprouts on market stalls or the arrival of cans of Guinness and bars of Cadbury's Fruit and Nut in the supermarket.  This year my lucky surprise has been the appearance of chalk based paints.  When we moved back to Bodrum 6 years ago and re-did our town house kitchen, I made-do as best I could with the paints available but now I can have the rich matt colour I really wanted, and being chalky - there is no sanding needed.  I'm working my way around the base cupboards this week and by next week I should be fit enough to get up a step ladder to paint the top.

 Cadence Paint's web site in English

Available from Şulesi Hobi in Bodrum.

This wasn't my only discovery. For years I have been stocking up with Corsodyl when I visit UK. It's the only toothpaste that stops me looking like a postprandial vampire after brushing.  I ran out last month so had to look for an alternative and found Parodontax which is exactly the same product apart from the name and price - much cheaper here.
My daughter wears size 43 shoes - Almost impossible to find in Turkey so each visit abroad I return with a bag full of footwear.  From now on I might be able to travel with just hand luggage as we have discovered Well made, reasonably priced, fashionable shoes and boots from a Turkish supplier in sizes up to 43 and 44.
I'm on such a roll, I expect to see parsnips and rhubarb in my shopping trolley next week - dream on.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


My broken foot is mending but I am still spending most of my time at home.  Boredom has forced me to explore a few corners of the house that I rarely visit and one such expedition proves just what a lousy housekeeper I am.  A voyage to the depths of the under-the-stairs box files turned up 3,000 Turkish Lira. A momentary whoop was crushed by the realisation that these notes were long out of circulation. I cursed my carelessness and began to calculate what I could have done with this money back in the last century and I'm sorry to say the answer is 'not much' which is why they were languishing in the murky depths. This was very small change. 
In 1980, 1 US dollar bought 90TL; in 1988 - 1,300TL;  1995 - 45,000TL and 2001 1 US dollar got you 1,650,000TL.  
The dollar rate today is 3.78  (which equates to 3,780,000TL in pre-2005 Turkish Lira)
Today there is a rumour circulating that foreign currency will no longer be issued from ATM machines in Turkey and banks are offering over 30% a year interest if one agrees to keep lira in their accounts for 3 years.  I'm not an economist and could never understand how the enormous inflation rates were stemmed early this century (please explain below if you know). I'll hang to my old Turkish Lira as a reminder that for a brief period 18 years ago I was a multi-billionaire. 

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Ephesus Cats

Jake meets a local feline in the Latrine

Type "Ephesus Cats" into a search engine and you will find that the feline inhabitants of Turkey's most impressive ruin are almost as famous as its splendid library and theatre. Look for "Ephesus Dogs" however and it will be a stray labrador-cross, that gate-crashed Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony No 4 and sat down beside the Vienna Chamber Orchestra's first violinist last June, that grabs the headlines (and rightly so - obviously a music lover, he had the best seat in the auditorium). You Tube clip

Along side the hundreds of online photos of cats in Ephesus I add my own picture of my ailurophile friend Helen capturing a few more shots of a friendly feline in the bath house. . 

Most visitors assume the cats are wild and uncared for, existing on handouts from tourists. Luckily this is not the case. If you use the toilet block at the theatre (lower) entrance of Ephesus, you will see alongside feeding bowls on the wall, a discrete collection box.  Veli, who looks after the WC block, uses the donated money to buy food and medicines for the cats that live in the ancient site.  

So even if you don't want to spend a penny at Ephesus, please visit the loos and drop a few lira into Veli's money box.