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

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?

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) 

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. 

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. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Cheese in a bag

How do you like your cheese? Can I suggest serving it out of a hairy goat's skin bag? If you haven't tried it you should. Tulum peynir (cheese matured in a goat's skin) is my favourite Turkish cheese. If you enjoy a mature cheddar, this is the cheese for you. Finding a cheese that was actually made in an animal skin is quite difficult now, but the cheeses matured in more commercially suitable tins or plastic vessels are almost as good. I'm not keen on cheese made from goats' milk as I can always detect that 'farmyard tang' which lingers after the first bite, so I try and find tulum cheese made from sheep's milk.  Take time to pick the one that suits you.  Cheese stalls on markets or supermarkets will let you taste before you buy, so work your way through the display until you find the one that tickles your tastebuds. İzmir tulum is my favourite; not too hard or crumbly, it is easy to slice thinly and has a full flavour. Teo loved Bergama tulum; the older the better, with a sharp aftertaste that could bite back - ideal for a rakı meze.  If you are looking for a cooking cheese, tulum will serve you well. It melts quickly and a little gives a lot of flavour. It also grates well and is a good substitute for Pecorino or Parmesan in pesto.

As pine nuts and Parmesan are so expensive in Turkey, my go to recipe for a pesto that doesn't cost the earth is: 
A cup of sunflower seeds, lightly toasted. 
4 cloves of garlic 
Two handfuls of green basil
A cup of olive oil. 

Combine these four ingredients in a blender or pestle and mortar until you have a rough paste, then add a cup of grated tulum cheese.  Keep a bowl on hand in your fridge to use in pasta or spread it on toast, baked aubergines, peppers or courgettes. 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Bayram or Bedlam - Boon or Blight

Detail of Bodrum mosaic by Neslihan Zabci Erdal
According to the news, 220,000 cars arrived into Bodrum for the three day Bayram holiday, I made the mistake of driving in on Friday so they may have counted me too, I didn't stay long and thanked the mad whim in 1991 that made us build a house out in the countryside - way off the Bodrum peninsula.  I can at least provide a quiet hideaway for friends and family that want to avoid the traffic jams, loud music and influx of city manners (or lack of them) that take over our South Western bit of Turkey.
I'm sure hoteliers and restaurant owners will be heaving a big sigh of relief as they have at last had full hotels and tables, but if I can offer one piece of advice in this blog, it's to check the dates of religious holidays before you book a trip to Turkey and make sure yours don't coincide.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Things that go bump in the night

While Europe boils, we too have been having unseasonable weather - but no one is complaining because it has been cooler than normal and we've had late rain which is a boon for farmers and gardeners. I am neither but have been enjoying the unusual pink clouds that have been floating past the village. 

I wasn't sure how I would cope with living in the middle of nowhere by myself; daytimes are fine and I'm getting used to the solitary evenings.   Jake is not as laid back as I am, he takes fright at every bird that lands in the vines and squirrel that scurries up the pines, so he is frantically barking most of the night.  He probably thinks his name is now 'Shut Up Jake' as that is what he constantly hears from me.  I woke up at 3am a couple of nights ago to a frantic dog and was about to shout at him when I too heard the banging of metal gates.  I knew they were locked, but this sounded like someone attacking them with a battering ram.  Phone in hand, making sure I had the gendarmerie number on speed dial, I turned on the lights and looked out - nothing.  Assuming that the barking and lights had put off any would-be intruder I went to bed and read a book.  I'd just dropped off again when the whole rattling kicked off again and still no one.  It was almost light now so I went outside  and found the culprit. It's amazing that such a small animal, intent on getting through a metal gate, can make so much noise.  I put him out but in the morning he was back inside again so he obviously only knows how to enter, not exit. 
I've named him Theresa May. 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rowing ın Bodrum

I've been out in the countryside so have missed some of the exciting new things going on in Bodrum.
This has to be the best one - B.A.Y.K  (Bodrum open sea sailing club) have introduced rowing to their waterborne activities and have been offering free 30 minute try-out sessions in Bodrum Marina. (still a couple of days to take advantage of this if you are nearby). Both experienced and complete novices are welcome and hopefully a Bodrum rowing team will soon be in-training.

The Aegean is not know for its flat seas and these craft are specially built to cope with waves.
I was quite sad watching today's rowers start their lesson as Teo, my husband, was always keen to start rowing but there were no clubs near here - it has come too late for him, but let's hope there are some Bodrum folk who are just finding out that they have a talent for rowing which could have lain undiscovered.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Cooking for one

It is quite difficult to drum up enthusiasm for cooking when there is only one person in the house, but the markets are so full of great ingredients this month, it would be a shame to live on omelettes or cheese on toast which seem to be the go to quick meals for singletons.  

On Thursday I bought a bunch of small beetroot with leaves, red onions and a kilo of samphire and used them to make three meals.  I first peeled and thinly sliced one onion, put it in a bowl with half a teaspoon each of sugar and salt and rubbed the slices well until the juices started to run.  This method takes the bitterness out of the onion and leaves crisp sweet slivers. I then cut off the stalks from the beetroot and put them to one side and put the beets into a roomy saucepan of water to boil for 15 minutes, I then added the stalks to the pan and 5 minutes later added the leaves for two minutes and drained the lot together and cooled under running cold water.  In the same pan I poured a litre of water from the kettle and added the whole kilo of samphire.  While the samphire was cooking -about 10 minutes, I slipped the skins off the cooled beetroot and cut them into eighths, cut the stalks into eatable lengths and squeezed the moisture out of the leaves.  These all went to a large salad bowl.  Drain the liquid from the onions and add those too and once the samphire is cooked (test it by seeing if the green part will squeeze easily off the inner spiny skeleton) drain and run under cold water and then holding the root in one hand, use thumb and forefinger to slid the green stems off the hard white 'branches'. Add this and a good slug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the salad bowl and stir well.  

This base will keep in the fridge for a few days and if cheese is added on day one, tuna and olives on day two and hard boiled eggs and anchovies on day three, it doesn't feel like you are eating the same meal three times. If you can't find samphire, lightly steamed broccoli or cauliflower can be used instead. 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


Renewable Energy Systems. It sounds good on paper.  Does it look good? This is a picture of my house although you will need a magnifying glass to find it. These turbines won't directly affect me as I can't see or (hopefully) hear them from my garden but they are already changing how we live in the village. Yesterday I was driving home when a cement mixer, going so fast that it was almost obliterated in dust, nearly ran me off the road.  As it approached I pulled over and frantically waved my arm out of the window. The driver screached to a halt and backed up. Uh oh I thought, what's going to happen now. He wanted to know what was wrong.  I told him he was going too fast for such a narrow road. He said sorry, but he thought the mixers had the road to themselves.  I told him he was wrong; cows, sheep and the occasional camel and their drivers used the road. School buses and moped users used it. Dogs were walked along it and it was my way home. He again said sorry but it brings it home how the builders of these turbines have no concept of the life that has to continue around them. These hills were home to the Lelegians well over two millennium ago. We're any archaeologists on site when the massive holes were dug for the foundations?  Will the pine trees survive when the blades start turning and reduce the moisture in the air?  Will the amount of energy each turbine produces in its short lifetime justify the amount of energy needed to build, transport and erect it?  Wouldn't a solar energy plant be more appropriate in an area where it is sunny nearly every day but not nearly so windy? Would it not have been at least polite to consult local community leaders before the project went ahead?  
My only consolation is that they are better here than on the Bodrum peninsula where some are to be sited dangerously close to villages.  The sad fact is that despite protests and court cases, the construction in these contentious sites is still going on. 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Marmaris re-visited

In January 1981 I applied for a job as a cook on a 71ft ketch called Sinbad Severne.  The boat was moored in Rhodes which was handy as I had been working in Northern Greece and was learning to speak Greek. I got the job and in March, I flew out to Rhodes keen to try out my conversational skills. I'd only been there a couple of days when we upped anchor and set out for Turkey. Our first port was Marmaris and despite the decision made back in 1974 never to set foot on Turkish soil again, I was overawed by sailing into the fjord-like gulf of Marmaris. It should be on everyones' bucket list. And contrary to my first experience of Turkey, everyone I met was friendly, respectful and funny. They were 6 months into a military government and there was a curfew at night, but then as now,  everyone made us feel welcome and safe.
Last Thursday I drove to Marmaris for a wedding in Içmeler and again I was impressed by the approach. Steep wooded valleys and water gushing from the hillsides made me determined to use the word 'verdant' in my next post.
Marmaris has changed more than Bodrum in the intervening 36 years and after a 'lost period' in the 90s, it is now looking good. The the old town behind the main quay, where Sinbad Severne tied up all those years ago,  is a delight to walk around.  The castle houses a museum and winding streets house craft shops, an art gallery and cafes.  I hope all the visitors staying close to the long sandy beaches make the effort to visit the heart of Marmaris.

Jane Ecer on the walk up to her house

Friday, 2 June 2017

Welcome June

June 1st brought the British Ambassador to Turkey,  Richard Moore and his wife Maggie into town. He met local residents for an informal lunch before chatting to press and continuing on his round of meetings with Governors, Police and Gendarme chiefs

It's reassuring to know that the Consular team are all working hard to make sure Turkish resorts are as safe as possible for UK residents and visitors,  but after listening to our esteemed Ambassador, the photographers were keen to take pictures of Star, Maggie's guide dog.  I couldn't take Jake along with me as he'd have been heartbroken to realise that there was a much more famous canine than him in town.  

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Blooming Lovely

Home in Bodrum

It may be nearly June but the weather thinks we are still in March and Bodrum skies have been grey and heavy. Jake is not very happy with the thunder, being suspicious of all sounds coming from the sky, so he is reluctant to go out for long walks, which is fine by me as I'm happy to stay around my Bodrum garden which is blooming marvellous thanks to all the late rain. Unfortunately we are not getting the downpours where we need them and despite a whole day of celestial rumbling yesterday, very little rain fell out in Mumcular and the reservoir is still too empty for the time of year.  Local farmers and market gardeners are very worried about being able to water their vegetable gardens.

My small Bodrum plot is looking good; the lime tree gifted by Kath and Dave from Cakes by Kath and Dave and Kath's Campervan travels has lots of incipient G&T ingredients.

I love sweet peas and have tried unsuccessfully for years to grow them, but this year, seeds given to me by my daughter's Godmother Jeni, have bloomed beautifully.  I can only assume that the October sown seeds were confused by our unusually cold and long winter, and thought they were back in the UK.

Another garden surprise is this Hydrangea.  I bought the plants last summer for my daughter's wedding. The petals were white when I got them and they turned more and more green as summer progressed until the leaves and flowers were almost the same colour. This month they have bloomed bright pink; a colour that was banned from the wedding so I know my memory is not playing up.

The sun is now coming out and the forecast for the next 10 days is sun, sun, sun - more than likely this won't change for at least 3 months. Time to take the dog out before he uses 'being too hot' as an excuse for not walking.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

So are we friends now?

The mistress has returned from her travels and I am BacktoBodrum. I was quite enjoying my sojourn in Ortakent; my digs there are very comfy, no pesky stairs to negotiate, easy access to a garden with grass which is very important as I nibble it every day to sooth my dicky tummy, and a man about the house (much as I love continuous female adoration and tummy tickling, every dog likes a bit of masculine play-fighting).  The daily walks there are also superior to Bodrum - we skirt the golf course every morning and if I wasn't on a lead. I'd be very tempted to run over to the greens and lift my leg on those white poles with flags on.
I'd only been back in Bodrum a couple of hours when Nasty Dog who lives on our site came up to me and started trying to make conversation, I whipped round quick as a flash so that I could face him eye to eye to ask him what he was playing at. He was the resident dog when I first came to live in Bodrum nearly 5 years ago, and in all that time he has only ever growled or snapped at me and made it plain that we were not ever going to be on first name terms.  Now suddenly he is all over me.  I can only assume he has read my blog and realises that I am fast becoming a local celebrity.  That leaves me to quote the following:
'Fame is a bright flower, but weeds abound mostly around it ' *
Chew on that doggy!

*Edward Counsel - Maxims 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Magic of the Island

No need of a book - Happy to stare at the view in
Marina Taverna in Vlychos, Hydra. 

After a week spent in England socialising with family and friends, my liver is enjoying a much needed rest in Hydra.  I've swapped my usual glass of red wine for a pot of tea and dinner is a simple Greek salad. If I can keep this up for 10 days I might fit into my summer clothes. 

The ferries and hydrofoils have been hit by a 4 day strike so the island has been particularly quiet; not good for the tourism trade, but great for those of us who arrived on the Monday and don't have any urgency to get off the island.

I usually take a book with me when I eat out but Greek menus make good reading. I've never encountered a quote from an ancient historian in a Turkish or British restaurant, and my tea tastes much better knowing that any attempt at world conquest will have a cool yet sunny touch.

I'm not just sitting around in tavernas; getting to them involves the up and down of 200 to 300 steps. Despite my many visits, I still miss-judge where I am and yesterday found myself on a steep staircase where every narrow polished stone step sloped at 45 degrees.  Edmund Hillary would have been proud of me.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Lost and found

This is a photograph of Bodrum taken in 1974.  In March of that year, a group of school girls from Rugby High School got their first taste of Turkish Delight and weren't very impressed. We had already had our bottoms pinched in Italy and were getting used to the amount of attention a gaggle of 15 year old girls attracted in the Eastern Mediterranean, but we were unprepared for the Bodrum men and boys who took every opportunity to put their hands up our skirts. So time-consuming was the effort needed to avoid this that I can't remember where we went or what we saw in Bodrum. Our PE teacher, Miss Munden, a wonderful woman whose ample derriere, in my memory, is always encased in a grey tracksuit, was driven almost to distraction by this unwelcome intrusion and spent a lot of time shepherding the more delicate souls (me included), trying to keep our honour unsullied. I vowed never to set foot in Bodrum again - so much for that resolution.  
I have only one other memory and it has stuck with me for 45 years. As we were about to leave, Miss Munden realised that someone was missing and I can still see her dashing around Rasit's cafe shouting, "Pauline Garratt,  Where's Pauline Garratt?"  until the eponymous young lady turned up, as cool as a cucumber,  on the back of a scooter.  I was so impressed. How I wanted to be Pauline Garratt that day.  She'd been off to see the Mausoleum. 
I lost touch with Pauline 40 years ago, but her name comes to mind every time I walk through the square by the castle, so it was fantastic to find her again last Saturday, and she still the sort of person who would be up for any petty rule breaking. 

So glad to have found Pauline Garratt. 

She is sure there were a few of them that nipped off to the Mausoleum, but I only recall her name  echoing around Bodrum.  She does remember coming back on the moped though, which is reassuring as I had begun to wonder if I'd made the whole thing up. 

Forty years on, the RHS class of 1977 is still looking good and one afternoon wasn't enough time for all the stories we have to tell.  We must do it again soon.

* It may have been 1973, long enough ago to be forgiven for not being sure.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Out with the sour

Spring is a time of indrawn breath and pursed lips as the uninitiated take a bite of these green shiny fruit and wince at their sourness, or wonder what to do with the furry almond they have politely popped into their mouths to please a neighbour.  It takes a while, but once you have lived here for a while, salty sourness is a welcome taste as the rest of the year is going to be sweet, sweet, sweet.  If there are any left on the trees, the green plums (erik) will be turning pink and the almonds (çağla) will  be developing their shells.  Strawberries are already spilling over the market stalls and the first cherries will soon be affordable (it is never worth paying the arm and a leg for the first fruits). Before long we will be overwhelmed with the sugar rush that a ripe yellow melon or squidgy peach provides and will look back and yearn for the sharp clean taste of a Spring.

Saturday, 6 May 2017


"There is only so much fake dancing you can do"  

Joyce, Alex, Jane, Chrissie and Tracey (Peter and Andre made a very quick exit)

I'm happy to do almost anything to get a good blog post but this was very much out of character. I'm probably the last person to get up on the dance floor so dancing to order, to no music, on a balcony in a night club in the middle of the afternoon was way beyond the call of duty.  There have been many calls on Facebook for extras to take part in 'Holiday,' a Danish-Dutch produced film being made in Bodrum.  I approached the film's fixer to arrange an interview with the director but despite a couple of emails, this didn't come off.  My friend Jane Ecer had already taken part in an airport scene and I persuaded her to come back to Bodrum to join in with another scene. We were originally scheduled to be at a hotel in Gumbet so I had envisioned sitting beside a pool sipping a cold beer.  On the evening before the shoot, an email arrived asking us to wear sparkly clothes, high heels and carry small bags and to meet at the Bianca Marina Club in Bodrum.  I searched through my wardrobe wondering if some remnant of my 1980's disco days lurked in a dark corner. If I had found one, the extra 14 pounds  I now carry around would have made trying it on too dispiriting for words.  I did find some heals, and I still have the plasters on my toes to prove that I wore them for a couple of hours.  

The film team were new in town, so they had no idea that the club had only just changed its name to 'Bianca' so finding the place was the first hurdle for some.  Luckily my constant dog walking had taken me past the place and I'd noted the new sign being put up outside. It is a venue that changes owners and identity so frequently, very few locals would be able to tell you its current name.  It's now looking very good so I hope 'Bianca' is around for longer.
Our call came after an hour waiting outside in the sun, so we were happy to slip into the blacked out club and practice our moves on the balcony.
The quote above comes from Alex. Ever cheerful, even he, after 10 takes and a round of cocktails that were just coloured water, was losing his joie de vivre.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Off duty

Oh the relief.  The boss is away and I can kick back at my two-legged sister's house..
She doesn't make me write a blog post twice a week. 
I can lay around doing nothing all day. 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful

Bodrum is a great place to live. Who can fail to be cheerful when living in a town that boasts this wonderful view.  The strains of "We are the Champions" are just fading as I write - Bodrumspor have played their last match of the season and will be going up into the 2nd division. For a town with a shade of blue named after it, Bodrum is very green today - flags and t-shirts sporting Bodrumspor's green and white logo are everywhere. The celebrations will carry on this evening with a free concert in the town centre.  Tomorrow morning, the main streets will be closed for the 15km Global Run and in Çamarası near Mumcular,  Enduro motorbikes will race at the brand new cross country track. Adding to the positive vibes  today was the feeling that Bodrum is still on the main site-seeing and travel route.  Over a thousand European visitors were wandering the streets,  having docked at the liner port. Don't believe what you read in the papers - people are still visiting and enjoying the Turkish Aegean Coast and it is still one of the best places to be.

Bodrum Global Run

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Happiness = a tennis racquet and three tennis balls.

My master was an ardent atheist, if he had died in England he would have been laid to rest in a woodland burial site.  This wasn't an option in Bodrum so the graveyard nearest to our village house was his chosen spot. A shady corner plot under a pine tree.  When it came to choosing the gravestone, my companion remembered that he used to say he would always be content if he had a tennis racquet and three balls.  He had no expectation of an afterlife, but if he could see his gravestone, I think he would have approved.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Dog's Dinner

Hüseyin Karasu and me, outside Mozaik Bahçe

A misleading title; it was lunch and I didn't get any. 

Last week my permanent house guest and walker was invited to lunch. Usually in these circumstances, she takes me for a long walk from 11 to 12 and then leaves me with some tasteful music, a full water bowl, a few bone-shaped meat-flavoured treats, full access to the sofa and then she heads off for a couple of hours. I don't mind being on my own, it gives me time to think about my writing commitments.  This lunch date was different. It was in Fethiye. Three hours drive away and obviously 3 hours back.  Add the 3 hours or so she would spend gossiping and eating, there was no way I could be left at home for 9 hours.  So the lunch acceptance email was phrased thus: "I can come but lunch has to be at a dog friendly restaurant." Trip advisor was consulted, the top 10 restaurants in Fethiye chosen and emails sent asking if cute pooches were acceptable dining companions.  Only one restaurant replied. Stand up and take a bow MOZAİK BAHÇE.  I hear the food was great, the prices very reasonable, the staff friendly and for lone diners with canines, there is someone who will hold your four legged friend while you go to the loo. (An unimagined problem for couples with dogs).  My mistress wants you to know that if she had been researching places to eat, she would have forsworn Trip Adviser and only been advised by Turkey's for Life  because Julia and Barry really know where to eat and drink in Fethiye. 
Did I like Fethiye?  Yes until 4pm, when a brown labrador in the marina made some very rude comments as I passed and then took a chunk out of my thigh. He mostly ended up with a mouthful of white fur but my rear end and dignity is still stinging. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

As you were...

As you may have noticed, when times are troubled, my two legged companion struggles to find a suitable subject for her blog; not wanting to get immersed in politics, but feeling that a frivolous topic would appear crass. So she has again handed the pink pencil over to me. Since the last time I was in charge, viewing figures have dropped by 20% so I'm hoping my loyal canine literary followers will get back on board to woof up the numbers. 
We set off for our walk at about 9 am yesterday morning. Clouds hung heavy over Bodrum castle and the streets were empty. Hardly a car passed and we met no one along the way. It seemed that the 79% of Bodrum voters who didn't get the result they wished for had decided to stay in bed - who could blame them.  We had a solitary ramble and went home to pore over the news reports.  By three o'clock I was ready for another amble. Out we trotted into bright sunshine and busy streets. The seafront was full of families, (I assume the schools were closed for the day to make up for them doubling as polling stations the day before), strolling couples and fellow dogs and their walkers and there was a general holiday feeling in the air.  And that just about sums up this country.  Whatever you throw at us, those of us still at liberty will take it and carry on.

(ps I hope you notice my use of pathetic fallacy - this dog is on a mission to make BacktoBodrum more erudite - I'm busy chewing my way through a Thesaurus)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Eat up your greens

Did you mother tell you to do this, mine certainly did and I wasn't too keen on them. These days nobody has to tell me to eat up my greens, especially at this time of year. The markets are bursting with greenery in all different forms. And you don't have to buy them.  On any drive into the countryside you will see families field-walking, heads down - a bunch of leaves in one hand, the other poised to grasp a mallow leaf, wild asparagus shoots,  green fennel fronds or even uproot a thistle.  These plants have lovely names that don't exactly roll off the tongue but sound great when you've mastered the pronunciation ebegümeci,  tilkişen, arapsacı and şevket-i-bostan.  Just roll those words around your mouth,  they feel almost as good as they taste.

On Sunday,  Bodrum's H3A organised a herb festival at their Gürece headquarters,  with three types of mixed greens dishes and a herby börek on offer, all made by the local village ladies. Business was brisk and diners spilled out into the garden to eat their greens on the grass.  (In Turkish that could also be eating your grass on the green). In total 86 paying visitors turned up before the food ran out and 50 latecomers were disappointed and had to get their 5-a-day somewhere else.  They also missed the scones, cream and jam made by Camille as a UK contribution to a typical Bodrum lunch.

If you want to try your hand at Bodrum greens, have a look some of these past blog posts on herbivorous themes.

A passion for Prickles
A Prickly Eat
Wild Asparagus
Eggs in Samphire Nests