Sunday, 15 December 2013

Our winter Sunday in Turkey

We have been suffering an extremely cold spell for the last few days. People are saying it is the coldest December here for 30 years. Whether that is correct or not I have no idea, but as someone who does not do cold very well I have not been enjoying it. Therefore, it was no small measure of my enthusiasm for car boots that I wrapped up with several layers to look like Michelin man/person to attend the Çalış Children's Charity monthly car boot today.

Michelin man sets out for a day in the cold
So this morning I was up and about at 5.30 am. It is essential for me to get out of bed two hours prior to leaving the house in order for the metamorphosis from blobby into something akin to human life form to take place, and to sort out the animals before we leave. The ardent fan of car boots that I am, I have attended them  locally to our previous home in England whatever the weather. In inclement weather I have turned up to find only a couple of stands have actually turned up, so when I saw the ice on the ground this morning, I did wonder if it would be worth the effort of going down to Çalış. Even our pool had a layer of ice on the top! But clearly the Turks and ex pats are made of sterner stuff because if there were not quite as many as usual, there was close to the normal amount of stands present.

Stand holders had wrapped up and braved the cold
I was able to find the odd new bit of junk! I bought a few books - silly really when I have a kindle but I can't resist, a woolly hat - definitely an asset at the moment, a T-light holder for our courtyard garden, a couple of Turkish tiles - I'm collecting them to make the table top for the courtyard garden coffee table, a couple of cds and today's piece de resistance - a 'Yeni Raki' ice bucket complete with 'Yeni Raki' labelled tongs - ready for cold drinks in the summer - for the princely sum of 1 tl bargain!

t light for the courtyard garden and ..................
My 1tl bargain ready for summer
Being the practised car booter that I am, I do a quick tour round to glance for the unusual gems, then a second tour scrutinising every item such as books, clothes, cds etc. David & our mate Eddie who comes with us, leave me to it, they do one tour round and then retire to Eyna's Restaurant on the sea front to have a cup of coffee whilst awaiting my return. We have this down to a fine art now!

When I eventually saunter along to join them we order their excellent and good value English breakfasts and spend time talking to the street dogs and people watching until it is time for the 3 Cs Charity shop to open at ten, when I can bargain hunt again. I wonder if there is a word for somebody who is a compulsive second hand place frequenter?

I was able to buy some great books there. Mimar houses, with some wonderful design ideas, a beautiful book full of photographs of Istanbul - hope to go there soon, a guide to Cairo - well we might go there one day, an old fashioned cookery book - love them and a couple of novels that I have already read but are worthy of a second read and should be on the bookshelf.

Lovely, lovely books and my hat and cds from the car boot.
It is of course an absolute pleasure to visit Çalış at any time, and it is interesting to see how it changes with the seasons. It is certainly very different in the winter to the holiday season. In the summer it is a busy resort with lots of restaurants and  a buzz from the people enjoying their holiday. In the winter there are very few restaurants open, the promenade is empty, the paraphernalia of the holiday season is removed and the beach is natural and bare and virtually empty. You will only see the odd fisherman or maybe a lone walker or just the street dogs playing. But one thing is for sure it is always very beautiful.

Empty prom .............
......................... Natural beach. .............
..................... the fisherman ..................

........................... The lone walker ...................
.......................... and the street dogs .......................
......... I know a lot of people who would envy where we enjoyed our breakfast today
Today after Çalış we went on to the Sunday market at Çamköy in search of brussel sprouts for our Christmas dinner. This time last year I had already bought them and frozen them ready, because they tend to be quite expensive Christmas week. No brussels, they seem to be very late this year, but we did buy a new food bowl for Red because she has eaten the last one, a pair of fingerless gloves for me because I've lost the last ones, a funnel for jam making and some really thick fleecy material for me to make hot water bottle covers.

No brussel sprouts but here are the things that I did not go to buy!
We were entranced to see that one of the stands was selling bucket handles. We thought that spoke oceans about the difference between the throw away society that the western world has become and here where people conserve their belongings. We also stood and watched the knife sharpener working on a Turk's knife which brought the point home (excuse the pun) even more. I applaud that.

The knife sharpener busy at work
I love my old fashioned water bottles and no way would I ever want an electric blanket. Hot water bottles are very cheap to buy here, but if they come with a cover at all it is a flimsy, thin one that does not even cover it properly. As we all know from my efforts to make the cat beds my sewing is second rate, but it is slightly better than my knitting which I thought I may be reduced to attempting. So we will wait to see if I manage to make them and if they even fit if I do! Time will tell on that one, I will let you know!



  1. I spent years protesting that I would never have an electric blanket - but now wouldn't be without one. It only takes one burst hot water bottle!

  2. I'm just an old fashioned girl! Funny you should mention them bursting as I filled mine the other night ad it burst big time all over the table. Luckily I wasn't burnt and it happened before it was put in the bed.