Surging across from Africa waves of heat settle like a thick blanket across the whole of Turkey.  There are reports of temperatures reach 50c in Aydin yesterday and we are forecast for 44c tomorrow.  Apparently this weather will ease on Friday and we will go back to our routine 32c normal weather.

The heat forces us to change again our pattern of work.  We sleep all afternoon and work from 6pm late into the night.  Of course this is unless our rogue carpenters turn up to look confused over the stairs, in which case we have to work in the day and we sit and drip sweat in a depressed way at them as they scratch their heads over our stairs.

We are on draft three of the stairs!  Version 1 was the wrong shape and Version 2 would have only had 1m clearance between the third step and the ceiling!  We await Version 3 tomorrow with nothing akin to excitement.

It’s a crying shame really, the wood is lovely, wonderful thick, properly dried hardwood and the original design was a simple classic double curve with a plain handrail.  The problem is the carpenters are struggling to reconcile what they wanted to build with what we insist they build and we are really fussy about all steps being equal height and ceiling clearance being at least 1.95 metres as you walk up the stairs.  These things don’t normally matter much in Turkey, but they matter to us and so version after version will be made until they get it right.  Inshallah, 8 hours of computations and various mock ups on Monday will have done the trick and they will finally get it right this time. 

In other news, with great sadness we watched one of the lovely old stone houses being knocked down the other week.  It was a lovely little cream cottage with blue shutters and a rambling grapevine along its ancient walls.  Its photograph is actually on the site here.  It had been for sale for ages but was too small to work as a project for us.  We woke up one morning to see it disappear in a cloud of dust as a JCB levelled it in an hour or so.  We did hope that it would be rebuilt in stone but no, it’s concrete and ugly cheap tugla.  “Throw it up” building we call it.  They pumped the concrete into it today, in 44 degrees of midday sun, when the temperature is not expected to drop below 30 even at night for the next 5 days.  The concrete will dry too fast, it will crack no matter how many times a day you water it and those microscopic cracks will let in the damp for the next however many years.  No doubt, as is traditional here, all the mistakes will be covered up with a thick cloaking layer of concrete render and nobody will be any the wiser.  Sad though to see another of the stone cottages bite the dust.

We don’t really have a mossie problem here, which is just as well as I am allergic to their bites and have a miserable time if bitten.  We do have your standard fly though and they annoy Phil beyond belief.  So this week he bought the latest piece of Chinese rubbish imported by Koc Tas (B&Q to fellow Brits) – a fly killer.  A purple glowing, double barred, fly killer.  Despite having all the aesthetic appeal of road kill and being built out of razor sharp tinfoil this thing actually works.  It is fly genocide.  And it is also hugely entertaining to Phil and Metin who can barely restrain high fives of enthusiasm when another fly noisily expires with a bang having run into the thing.  Must be a boy thing!  It’s going to be a boy thing when it is time to clean it out too, I’m not touching it!
posted 26-06-2007