A few September pictures

Crappy weeks happen even in Kirazli and with sad news about the cancer of a much loved friend in America and car problems and a bout of homesickness (yes it happens, even after years!) it has been a pretty crappy week.

So I took Shadow and my camera and went for a wander round the valley. Shadow was horrified to be let out of the car in the wilderness halfway up Gul Dar and after a brief snuffle round she caught the scent of wild boar and hastily clambered back into the car. Useless mutt!

Anyway taking photos kind of calmed me down and I am back to as normal as I get.

To me this is Turkey, mountains fading away into the distance like the best kind of tonal painting

I first saw and photographed this dried water trough four years ago, it hasn't changed since.

You find these all over Turkey, they are a centuries old tradition, water troughs donated in memory of a loved one, and they normally have a plaque with a date and a prayer for travellers

Reflections in the water trough at the top of the mountain

These look like dried and dead, growing on the barren land, then at the end of summer they suddenly flower

Dried grasses in the morning sun

The grape harvest has started, everyone is out picking from 5am but they are out of the sun by 11am. Here are the vineyards on the lower slopes of Gul Dar.

I love these flowers, they bloom every few weeks, like dry conditions and come in pastel shades of cream and lilac - wish I knew what they were called!

Swallowtail - this butterfly was still so long I thought it was dead, and photographing it would be sick, but then it moved. Hurray!

I’m always happier when I am either cooking or photographing or writing but it is hard to be creative when the sad memories rise up and people you love are sick and some days I still just sit with my feet in the pool and cry for the things that are gone. Some days living here is like watching a movie unfold in 3d around me and I watch us do it all over again.

But these days pass and I force myself to create again and I try not to get too angry with the world around me and I try and be positive and remember how Phil believed in Desiderata. I have some new guests arriving on Friday and their excitement in the valley and their discovery of Turkey is always a pleasure to see and a genuine boost.