Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Dance


There are a few places Jake can't go so I will reclaim my blog to take you to the last night of Bodrum's International Ballet Festival.  Before the performance started, I mentally ticked off the 3 places in central Bodrum I have recently watched shows and concerts.
1. The castle theatre, where I was now sitting with a couple of thousand permanent and temporary Bodrum residents - Always atmospheric with the castle walls tastefully illuminated as busy Bodrum harbour life carries on outside.
2. The ancient theatre - Forget the fantastic panoramic view of the castle and town - the notion that bottoms have plonked on the seat under me for over 2000 years to watch theatre and song is enough. I wish the massive speakers would be relegated to history though.
3 The Mausoleum - ideal for a string quartet - if rather removed from its original purpose

The show was Los Vivancos - Born to dance. The talented Spanish brothers, whose Flamenco morphs into tap, martial arts and things I'm too old to know the names of, to a sound track from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Leonard Cohen, Deep Purple and others who were born after I stopped noticing new music - and gives the audience the rare opportunity to watch and listen to flute and strings being played by musicians suspended upside down.  That these fit young chaps' frequent costume changes involve a lot of bare chests and tight leather trousers may add to their ability to sell out venues world wide, but their brilliant dance routines will fill Bodrum's theatres every time.

There are usually 7 - We were well entertained by 6 
Watch their official trailer here: 



Saturday, 12 August 2017

Brunch


I think I've made it plain over the past few weeks that I don't like being left behind. This poses a problem for the boss as big hairy mutts are not always welcome at eating establishments.  One place she knows I will always be welcome (About the chicken chase - It was a momentary lapse, I don't know what came over me - it will never happen again and thank goodness I came to my senses before any feathers flew) is Etrim Carpet Village. A short drive from our house, this is one of the best brunch venues near Bodrum.  Turkish breakfasts seem be getting bigger year on year -  a simple meal of bread, boiled eggs, white cheese, cucumber, tomatoes and honey has morphed into a table heaving spread of salads, pastries, 6 different cheeses, dips, fruit and fritters. Nobody is complaining of course - this must be the best spent 25TL in the area. 


Even the jams are getting exciting -  walnut, fig, olive (yes olive!),  quince, mulberry and lemon.


Belgin serves it all up without once implying that I am in the way or should be elsewhere.  


Halfway through the meal I noticed that we were being watched so I politely introduced myself. This involved a bit of barking which my other half always interprets wrongly but I'm not being unfriendly - just testing the ground.  


Daffy knows all about fame; he spends most of his day posing for walkers who pass by on the newly opened Lelegian trail and are tempted in for a drink, breakfast or a lecture on carpet making. We both decided to stay in the dappled shade and make it really difficult for the paparazzi to catch us having a chin wag.

February Brunch
Etrim Facebook Page

Monday, 7 August 2017

And down it came


All this blogging may have gone to my head, but I am becoming a mighty powerful canine. On a trip to our local reservoir, I took a few minutes out from sniffing and snuffling to contemplate the disaster about to hit our green and fertile Karaova plain if the Autumn rains miss another year. We are really down to our last reserves and it needs a prolonged period of steady rain to fill up this water supply. Another dry winter could mean the end of the market gardens that have sprung up in the 25 years since the dam was built.  I offered up a doggy prayer to the skies that those clouds would get big enough to dump a load of water on Mumcular.
I had to wait a few days but it sure worked. 

A storm front rushed through with a mighty wind that whipped all the dead needles off the pines into the pool (the boss wasn't pleased) and for a few minutes the thunder crashed and the lightening zinged through the trees.  It probably made no difference to the level of the reservoir but I hope it is a good omen for the winter.  


I had my two girlfriends Peri and Sevgi staying, so I did a lot of manly barking outside while the ladies sheltered inside. I hope they were impressed because I don't like getting wet and if they hadn't been there I would have stayed on the sofa.


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Gated.

Jake in pastels by Teoman Onursan 
It is hot today, I am not looking my best. I prefer to see myself in print in pastels. All a hot dog wants to do is lie quietly on the tiles under the fan and wait until the thermometer drops below blood temperature.  But I am not having a quiet day; the earth has been reverberating under me again and setting all the pictures and mirrors askew and the boss has called in the cavalry - the air is full of the teeth-grinding whizz of a saw, the hiss of a welding machine and the clang of metal meeting metal. She thinks she has put an end to my career as an escapologist.


I have an idea: I hear I am getting some canine company soon - with 8 legs, some nifty acrobatic shoulder stands might be the answer.  It's so hot though, I might just agree to stay at home - the last trip to Bodrum, stuck in traffic jams and walking on boiling hot pavements wasn't much fun. I won't let on though - I saw her hand over a big wad of cash for this iron work, I should at least let her think it's money well spent.


Monday, 31 July 2017

In the Dog House


These Paparazzi style photos catch me having a good time with one of my blog readers. I was so happy to meet Audrey in The Temple Bar, Bitez on Saturday night, that I got quite carried away as you can see despite the terrible quality of the snaps.


Richard (who took me walks when my master was ill) Audrey and me. 

I've been having a hard time at home because I am apparently "A very naughty dog"  so a bit of unbridled love and attention was very welcome.


I thought I was showing initiative when I squeezed through the iron gates which appeared around our courtyard in October. I surprised myself by getting through, I couldn't do it before.  - I am now getting a pasta ration with my dog food to fatten me up.  The day after my escape, ugly chicken wire was stuck all over the gates - I'm not having this I thought to myself - this house was designed with the highest aesthetic principles in mind - this wire is an insult to the eyes - so while the mistress was at the market I ripped it off and made my paws bleed doing it.  Did I get any thanks - NO.
The next time the humans went out I was shut in the house with no exit to the courtyard. What I did next was probably, in hindsight, a bit silly and I apologise to Jane; I shouldn't have knocked all your things off the bedside table and I'm sorry I wrecked your blinds, obliterated your mosquito net and walked my bloody paws on your sheets - I hope you will still come back and thank you for the gravy bones.



Friday, 28 July 2017

Losing Touch


I have spent the best part of the past 40 hours looking for my sunglasses.  I have tidied the kitchen, re-ordered my wardrobe and shelves, sorted through my bathroom cupboard,  folded and put away my clean washing and swept under beds and sofas in my search for them.  I have even emptied the kitchen bin, bit by bit, to no avail.  I was beginning to suspect the dog had eaten them. About 30 minutes ago, I gave up searching as there was nowhere else to look and decided it was time to write my blog.  As I plugged my camera in to charge, I popped the memory card on the nearest flat surface and guess what.. I have walked past this speaker countless times in the past two days. My house guests who were probably fed up with hearing me moan about my lost lenses, have sat less that 2 metres away - how come we all missed seeing what was in front of us?
I think a study is called for - ' The impact of continuous seismic activity on the human brain.'

(There have been two rumbles while I've been sitting at the computer)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

It's a Dog's Life


My personal chef and walker is questioning my sensitivity. She is telling all who will listen (which isn't many as we are still stuck in the middle of rural nowhere) that she had to wake me up when the 6.6 earthquake hit on Friday morning. She wants to know why I wasn't waking her up with minutes to spare and leading her out of the house, rather than her dragging me out by my collar.  She has shown me cctv footage of street dogs in Bodrum running anxiously around the harbour, quoted 4th century BCE accounts of Greek dogs howling before seismic activity and claims that a whole Japanese town of 90,000 inhabitants was evacuated before a 7.9 quake on the say-so of its animal residents. "Dogs' hearing is so sensitive that they can pick up the sound of the earth moving prior to the destructive convulsion" she says. All I can say is that she better start trimming the hair bunging up my lugholes then.  In my defence, I spend my whole day protecting her from danger.  I bark loudly and frequently at every squirrel, dove, sparrow, bee and hornet that invades my courtyard and all get for my trouble is "Shut up Jake" often accompanied by words too rude to print.  No wonder I was fast asleep in the early hours.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Shaken not stirred


I could say 'this morning I am picking up the pieces after last night's 6.3  (or 6.8 depending which report you read) earthquake'. It wouldn't be a lie - a large iron candle stick fell over and broke this plate, so I do have some pieces to collect (and re-stick -because my mother gave it to me and I use it a lot) but I would be egging the pudding. Any earthquake measuring over 6 is of course bad news; It is very scary, especially types that try to pull the walls of your house apart and approach with a roar.  It took a while for my heartbeat to return to normal and I stayed outside counting the aftershocks.  After a few minutes, thanks to Facebook, I could relax in the knowledge that friends and family were unharmed but two people did lose their lives on the island of Kos. The change in sea level damaged plenty of boats, cars and property and a few mosques have fallen or have damaged minarets. I'm sure many people have more bits and pieces to pick up and mend than I do.  I hear from a friend that one can almost get drunk from the fumes wafting from the swanky alcohol shop on Bodrum's harbour front (order wider shelves now). The roads are jammed with folk heading back to the cities. Now this does confuse me - you flee a town which has just survived a major earthquake mainly due to its policy of building two storey structures, for a city with skyscrapers - also built on a fault line. Each to his own.  BUT the gist of this ramble is - everything is pretty much ok, which is why waking up to this headline makes me angry:

Screen shot from Daily Mail 22/7

Like my broken plate, it is not untrue but I find it totally disproportionate.  I was on Marmara Island in 1999 when an earthquake killed tens of thousands - That was a 'Killer Earthquake".  And just to be correct - it hit the Aegean not the Mediterranean. But I understand that they are both difficult words to spell, so in the middle of the night 'Med' was probably the easiest option.

We are still rumbling by the way.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Cows on the Coast



This post is for Deborah Semel Demirtaş whose 'Artist on a Marginal Coast' blog I enjoy reading. She's recently wrote about cows by the sea and I promised to send her some pictures of cattle that graze the Swedish coast.  I'm always wary of cows and these ones stare intently at me every evening as I pass by, but so far I have only briefly interrupted their nibbling. Occasionally they rush wildly up the seashore so I know that one day I will have to avoid a charging cow and I had better start researching defence techniques.  All suggestions welcome.



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

There is no cow on the ice



I've had a few messages asking me if all is well as BacktoBodrum has been uncharacteristically off-air for two weeks. I can happily reply that 'Ingen ko på isen' - 'there is no cow on the ice' which will immediately reassure all my Swedish friends that there is nothing to worry about. I've been visiting Skåne, Sweden, enjoying how different life is there to my existence in Bodrum - not better or worse - just poles apart. 


Things that are different

Licorice
I've eaten more licorice in the past week than in the last two years (ie since my last visit). Sweet, or chocolate flavoured but even better - salty - I wonder whether a licorice shop would work in Bodrum?

Berries
Giant blueberries, gooseberries, endless raspberries and who could resist a fruit called 'cloudberry'. I discovered that a handful of fresh red currents mixed into lightly picked cucumber is the best accompaniment to baked herrings. 

Cinnamon buns
OK, I can make these at home but buying them warm from the Bakery for breakfast is almost as good as taking home a fresh crispy simit.  

Road Safety
Swedes step out on to pedestrian crossings without even looking, so confident are they that cars will stop. Please don't try this in Bodrum.  I'd prefer you didn't do it in front of me in my first few days - I'm already struggling with speed limits that go from 40 to 70 to 30 to 20 in a less than a kilometre and a car that brakes for me if I'm too near to the car in front or shouts at me if I stray too far to the right or left. .  

Bicycles everywhere
As above - car drivers acknowledge their presence; again - don't try this in Bodrum in Summer.
(One question - if Swedes are so health and safety conscious - explain the candles on the head on 13th December) 

Crispbread 
Big wheels of it offered with every meal, but very difficult to store - I would have to build a special Ryvita cupboard if I could buy it here. 

Place Names
I childishly delight in visiting Paarp on my way to Boarp and then on to Bastad.  (I know there are little circles on top of some vowels that change the sound, but can't be arsed to find them) 

Whipped cream with every dessert
Not so sure about the green cakes. 



Roses
Rosa Rogusa grows everywhere and has a heavenly scent.  Locals consider it a weed and prefer less rampant varieties to grow up their houses, but I love this Beach Rose and stop at every opportunity to literally smell the roses and hope to be figuratively doing the same, and writing about it, now that I am home.