Xmas within Turkey as opposed to without turkey, an entirely different thing, is surprisingly festive. The shops are full of decorations (which I think the Turks use to celebrate the New Year ) and lights glitter everywhere, (but they are actually there all year). The papers are full of restaurant ads for Xmas and New Year Specials sandwiched between the latest news on corruption in the banking and political world, (just like the UK) and people are smiling (it’s funny but but they do that a lot round here!)
It’s been a hectic week topped off with the arrival of 2 Yorkshire Terrier puppies today. Gina has been searching for another small dog for a while and then we finally heard of a litter in Yaniklar, only just down the road. Gina couldn’t pick between the two little girls and decided to have both! Then, I was asked to show my paintings at an exhibition of English artists at the Sarnic Gallery in Kayakoy starting this Sunday. It’s also the eve of the Calis Xmas Fair and I am hoping for a successful day tomorrow, at least the weather forecast is looking great for the Festival. Meanwhile, I had some cards printed in the UK for our mothers and this was the painting I used.
I am not going to discuss it further but Fethiye was jammed packed solid yesterday for the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister so we went for a walk in the hills above Olu Deniz enjoying the great company of Hash Harriers. We found some different views out over the lagoon, maybe some new landscapes to paint and had a great day.
This is a reworking of an earlier painting that I’ve done to remind me of the atmosphere of Calis cemetary. We walk our dogs on the hills above and were sad to see that the reckless concrete development of Fethiye continues without respite. The canals in this area, once the home of egrets and kingfishers, are starting to resemble a scene from a L.A. car chase and the the gravel paths and overgrown verges that crossed Calis cemetary are gone, cut back, levelled and smoothed over with grey concrete. I love progress but a bit of forethought is desperately needed at the moment.
Though tinged with sadness as Summer ends, my thoughts this Monday morning turn to all the interesting things we get to do now the weather has changed. Our winter weather is like September in the UK. So coming up this week we can look forward to more daily painting, hill walking the dogs, catch-up with movies, pick and preserve the autumn harvest, start the DIY on the boat and house, join exercise groups, take Turkish lessons and more. I won’t go on but this lifestyle depends on staying fit and well and so we keep our fingers crossed, appreciate how lucky we are and never take anything for granted.
Since we lost Ziggy all has been quiet on the dog front. However, Gina has started showing the signs of wanting another bitch and I can sense the first developments in the hunt for a suitable animal. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll continue getting Inspiration for my daily paintings from the spirit of Xmas.
In Muslim Turkey, thankfully, Xmas is a low key affair and we don’t have to endure the rampant commercialism and greed that taints the festive season in the UK. In our house Gina loves to focus on what really matters and. as you have probably guessed, that’s when to hang the decorations. I resist the day as long as possible, being a grumpy, old git, but will concede evebtually in the time honoured manner of all husbands….Yes Dear! Meanwhile here is another Daily Painting.
Last weekend we went to Patara wıth some frıends to see the results of the latest work and the restored Lycian Assembly building alone is worth the visit. Afterwards we popped into Kalkan for lunch and found it mostly closed up for the winter apart from some very expensive restaurants down on the quayside. Then, further up, we found Hünkar Ocakbaşı and can recommend it for it’s hearty, delicious and inexpensive regional specialities. Ocakbaşı means fireside or chimney corner and that’s basically where you sit in this cozy little place. Anyway, the ambiance got me thinking of Christmas so I’ve started a series of Xmas tree pictures with the vague idea of using one or two as artwork for xmas cards. I’m finding them perfect subjects to continue exploring this style.
Local boat owners agree that the mass of underwater growth fouling their hulls in Fethiye Bay is among the worst in the world, I have always blamed the water conditions on the chemical run-off from the intensive farming in the vicinity and sewage influx. Then I was very surprised to learn that Turkey is the largest producer of farmed Rainbow trout in Europe. An aquaculture survey of 3 trout farms in the Xanthos valley provides some interesting reading including the fact that there are more than 50 trout farms in our catchment and a significant ammount of water is fed, via a canal and hydro electric power station, directly into the sea at Fethiye. The main purpose of the survey is “to predict the existing and future discharge of suspended solids, organic compounds, and nutrients, thereby allowing authorities to quantify the environmental impacts of activities with the greatest accuracy (Frier et al. 1995)”. I have estimated from this report that this means over 2000 tons of Nitrogen and 400 tons of Phosphorous are discharged every year. When you factor in the sunshine and shallow water it’s no wonder we have a problem with algae!
I was searching my memory for a subject to continue my exploration of this style of painting and I thought of one of my favourite trout fishing spots in Gwynedd. I have so many vivid memories of coming around this corner to see fish rising off the point before me. Happy days!