Monday, September 23, 2013

A long delayed post about a long delayed drawing

So to tell this story I'm going to have to rewind about a year, to when I drew a portrait of Loki and a portrait of Nick Fury from Avengers.
Nicole asked me soon afterwards if I would draw her a picture of Thor for Christmas. I said yeah sure, but I didn't find any inspiring photos online and I pretty much forgot about it. 
Fast forward to this summer and Nicole asks me to draw a portrait of Tony Stark. Figuring I kind of owe her for bailing on the last one I say sure. And forget about it for a couple of months.

Finally, about two weeks ago, I decided to draw the picture. But I just couldn't manage to get it going. So fine, I decided, I'll draw her Thor instead. I found a photo I thought would appeal to both her sense of humour and her like of Thor, and this is the result:
So maybe in another year I'll get a drawing of Tony Stark done too.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What's Normal in Turkey?

I've been feeling out of sorts since we returned to Turkey, in August. I'm homesick I guess; if that is what you call it when you miss your family and friends. Anyway for the first time in a long while I played tourist with my camera in Gelibolu. The camera and a ramble through the Tuesday market helped remind me just what an amazing opportunity it has been to live here. These pictures represent some every day sights; what's normal in Turkey.

The outside couch. This one is in the Kipa (grocery store) parking lot.

Residential bottled water delivery.

Scooter + wagon + man

More deliveries.  This time with a small truck.  See the oncoming traffic and the pedestrian?

Painter climbing up a level on the scaffolding.

He's wearing safety flip-flops. Do you see the safety harness?  Me neither.

Horse power is also used for deliveries.

We're following the horse and cart. The men are in short sleeves, but the woman, especially the one on the right  is dressed much like she'll be dressed in February.  However, in the winter months she'll trade her light coloured short coat for a darker coloured long coat. In Turkey, drafts are dangerous.

We're still following the horse and cart. Sidewalks aren't much taller than the street here.  This allows cars to park on them so pedestrians walk on the road in many places.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stormy Weather

Last night about 1 am I woke up to the sound of wind, rain and thunder. Johanna was up so we headed downstairs.  Johanna had her flashlight in hand which turned out to be a good thing, since the power went out just then. 

She manned the door while I dashed onto the deck to gather sopping wet swim clothes, towels and the pool noodles. The drying rack had collapsed in a heap and the wind was driving various things around the deck.  

As I was dragging things inside, Nicole appeared to tell us that she'd gone to bed with her window open and her floor was wet.  She gathered up some dry towels and headed for her room to begin mopping up. Johanna and I went upstairs and moved the DVD bookcase into a drier spot. The rain was coming through the roof on the stairs as usual and in at least two other places. We laid down more towels and set garbage cans under the most persistent drips. Then we headed to Nicole's room to check her progress.  Nicole had most of a lake on her window sill and bedroom floor.  It took quite a bit of mopping up to deal with the water.  We were all back in bed shortly after two; by then the storm had moved on.

This morning I discovered that the roof had also leaked in the master bathroom. The rug was wet and so was the TP. We went for a walk right after breakfast. The wind had whipped many of the quinces off the tree in the yard. There were deep puddles in the road ruts. There were a few branches down in the alley. The wind had even battered a magpie to death.  Fall has arrived.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

We decided to go out for lunch today. Dad is still at the rig so Mom, Sam, Johanna and I walked over to the cay house in our village.
After we ordered, and sat down Mom sent me back to the house for the big Turkish/English dictionary.

On my way to the house I noticed that Bayram (the caretaker of the village) was unhitching his boat trailer from his tractor. On my way back he was standing in his boat, on his boat trailer. He spoke to me so I stopped, he carried on in Turkish while I nodded and smiled. He said something else, and threw something in my general direction. It landed five feet away from me. Upon closer inspection I found that it was a little silver fish, about as long as my palm, and still gasping. I looked at Bayram, O.K., why did you throw a fish at me? He made a throwing motion, he wants me to set it free? Bayram continued to talk and I tried to screw up the courage to pick up the gasping fish. I couldn't just leave my new friend in the dirt!
I picked up the fish and nodded to Bayram, I pantomimed setting the fish free and he grinned. I grinned back and went on my way. I gave the book to Mom and explained what had just happened. I then went down to the beach and set the fish free.
I then went back to the cay house and sat down.
Presently Bayram came along again and said hi to Mom and my siblings. He asked about the fish and I confirmed that I had released it. Contrary to my fears he seemed to be OK with the fact that I'd set his sardine free.

The End

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Some Despicable Pictures

I built this minion from Despicable  Me out of Lego.

Here I'm dressed up as Gru from the same movie with my minion.

Two Weeks - so far so good

I arrived back to Turkey more than a little exhausted from three months in Canada.  Our first two weeks back have given us some time to settle and to enjoy the end of Turkish summer.  When we arrived temperatures were in the low 30's and there wasn't enough air conditioning anywhere.  We've all acclimatized a little and the temperature has dropped to high twenties so we're not needing the ac all the time.

Cam has been living at the rig these past two weeks.  He drops in every day or so to do paperwork or run us to town for groceries.  Speaking of groceries, I bought ketchup this week.  If we go to the big city, I can actually buy Heinz which is a familiar brand from home.  However, locally we usually buy Calve brand.  In Turkey, ketchup is available in regular and spicy.  So far I've carefully avoided buying spicy assuming it would be more flavour than our Canadian palates could bear.  So like I was saying, I bought ketchup since we got back.  In fact, I bought two bottles; both "acili". Ooops!  It certainly livens up home fries! The red swoosh under the word "ketcap" is actually a red pepper another flavour clue.

We've really enjoyed the ocean since we returned.  I did a few days of water aerobics and I've been snorkeling with Nicole and Sam.  I didn't really like snorkeling the first couple of times I tried it last year. I had trouble figuring out how to breathe and I found the water depth disconcerting. I've really enjoyed it since we returned though.  I like following the fishes and it gives a purpose to swimming. Speaking of fishes, Cam took me out for lunch this past week.  We ate fish at one of the restaurants at the harbour in Gelibolu.  When we were finished with our meal, the waiter stood beside our table and frizbee'd the left over toast into the sea. Before the fish were finished, gulls swooped down and carried the bread off.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Number of ... Random Math

Number of dead dogs I saw today?     Two - bleh 
Number of cups of Turkish tea I drank today?     Two
Number of pencils I bought today?     Twelve in neon colours (no more "I can't find my pencil!" from the  kids.)
Number of conversations I had in Turkish?      Three If you count the cashier who exclaimed over the number of pencils I bought and the bus driver.
Number of times I thought I was going to be run over?     Five at least.  I've completely forgotten how to navigate on foot in Turkish traffic.  
Number of Italians I met today?     One
Number of meals I cooked?     None (thanks, Johanna)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

You know it has been a good day when . . .

You know it has been a good day when you have a story or two to show for it.  I am writing this post one handed because I am soaking the other hand in a dish of vinegar. More on that later.

Late this afternoon I went out to check on the kids who were heading out to the sea for a swim. Nicole and I discovered a good place to swim earlier this week.  It's chest high, with a rocky mostly weed free bottom.  I stood at the water's edge and quickly saw them where I expected, but they had company. One of our neighbours has been swimming out there with her two other ladies.  They spotted me, gave me a wave and called me to come. 

Turns out the ladies were using pool noodles and their German friend was giving an aquatic exercise class to the other two. Pretty soon I had a borrowed noodle and was pushing and pulling it through the water with the others who were counting in Turkish and English for my benefit.  It was good fun, but tiring, which I guess was the point.  When they went  in they left me with the noodle.  I borrowed Nicole's mask and snorkel for a bit, then spent some time encouraging Sam to practice swimming.  The girls used the noodle and then we all headed for shore. I paddled along towards shore and then put my hand down on the bottom to stand up.  It came up covered in black sea urchin spines along the side of the palm.  I was able to dislodge many of them with a scrape of my finger nails.  This is a sea urchin:

I paddled back to deeper water, stood up and walked from there over the slimy bolders to shore. We returned the noodle to our neighbour.  She invited me to tomorrow afternoon's class.

Nicole and I tried to use tweezers and a needle to remove the remaining spines. When digging didn't appear to work on the last ones, I did an internet search and found a site which recommended a vinegar soak. Evidently the spines left in the skin will disappear over time.  Digging them out is not recommended. I would agree. It hurts!