Thursday, 1 April 2010
Recycling..a way of life
My English friends L and A from Antalya, who stayed with me at Christmas are much the same. You may remember L kindly fitted an electric shower for me when they were here, so that I wouldn't have to suffer cold showers throughout the winter. It was a second-hand unit which had originally been installed in their uncle's apartment, who moved back to the UK, and L reclaimed the unit and passed it on to me. At the same time, L had accumulated a lot of spare tiles. These he brought with him and used in my bathroom. The wall was already tiled up to half-way, the spare tiles were different but complimented the existing ones, so he fitted them. We still have the remainder of the wall to tile, and we're on the lookout for some more spare tiles to finish the job.
Old planks of wood were used to build the dog house at the front of the old house in the garden, and some old chickenwire has been fitted to the main gate to stop Poppy from squeezing through.
Recently I found an old, dirty plastic vegetable rack in the old house, which I dismantled and cleaned up. One of my kitchen cupboards has very deep shelves, so to provide more storage space for dried goods, herbs and spices etc, I inserted the sections of the old vegetable rack which now give double the space for jars and pots.
We have a really nice small round wooden coffee table, with a circular piece of glass in the centre. This was once a table, covered in several layers of paint, and without glass, which I picked up for almost nothing in a junk shop. I stripped off the paint, and varnished it...bought a new piece of glass and voila! Unfortunately, last week, Poppy, perching as usual on the back of the sofa, looking out of the window, got excited at the sheep passing up the lane...and fell on to the table, breaking the glass. Fortunately she was unharmed, but we need to replace the glass...which is very cheap here.
You will remember that Mr Ayak split the kitchen table last week. It was a round wooden table with two drop leaves, and legs that pulled out to support them. It was one of the leaves that was split, and one of the pull-out legs was warped. So I have removed the two leaves and the pull-out legs, and this has left me with a lovely console table which now sits just inside the front door. The undamaged leaf, fits perfectly underneath and provides a shelf. On top is a large old clay pot...also recovered from the back of the old house, cleaned up which now contains some cuttings from a neighbour's plant. It all looks so nice that I'm actually quite pleased the table was damaged! The kitchen table has been replaced by an old round table which was on the terrace...slightly damaged...but a table cloth hides it. And the terrace table has been replaced by another old table, discovered after a good rummage in the old house, cleaned up and covered with a table cloth.
We have old stools, which when covered with some colourful Turkish cushion covers, provide bedside tables. These lovely cushion covers have been collected by me over the years, and some of them are now on the walls of the spare bedroom and they really brighten up the room.
If we can't recycle, we either sell or pass on goods to others in need. Old clothes are always welcome by poorer families, but some are too proud to accept them directly, so it's normal practise to wrap them well in plastic bags and leave them next to the rubbish bins. You can be sure that they will be gone by the next morning and someone will have put them to good use. The sort of old shoes that most of us would throw away can be totally transformed, very cheaply, by the cobblers in Turkey. They will sole and heel them, polish them or dye them if necessary, at a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new pair.
Clothes that don't quite fit, or need repairs, can be altered or repaired beautifully by the many tailors dotted about...usually for a few lira, so there's hardly ever the need to buy new ones.
So to generate some money for petrol and food to get us through the coming weeks, we had a bit of a sort out yesterday, and found a few electrical items that we don't use or need, which Mr A sold to the second-hand shop in Milas.
There's a great deal of satisfaction to be had from re-cycling, re-using and repairing. I find these days that I get much more pleasure from this than from buying something new.