...is unheard of in Turkey. Like everything else in life here, the Turks take huge risks every day. They tend to believe that their fate is totally in the hands of Allah, so don't feel it necessary to protect themselves. You only have to look at the way they drive to recognise this.
When the workmen were building the balcony roof on Saturday, there was a good deal of welding being done. Bright lights and sparks flying everywhere, but no safety goggles or protective clothing. Goodness knows what damage they are doing to their eyes.
Early yesterday morning the power was cut...nothing unusual here of course. The work is continuing in the village to install a new electricity supply. Ugly metal pylons have been planted all over the village to replace the old wooden telegraph poles. They are now at the stage where the cables are being transferred from the poles to the pylons. Yesterday they reached our house.
As I couldn't use the internet, I decided to sit out on the balcony and read, but found myself totally engrossed in watching the men at work. They scale the pylons and the poles with no safety harnesses. They work away at the top of the pylon, fixing the wires and cables, occasionally stopping, perched there, to smoke a cigarette or chat on their mobile phones.
There is one vehicle involved in this operation. A large mechanical digger. It was previously used to dig the holes to plant the pylons. It's now being used with the digging bit upside down, as a lift, with a man standing on it to take cables up to the man at the top of the pylon.
And to my horror, the digging bit is also being used to loosen the old wooden poles, pushing them violently to remove them from the earth. We had one such wooden pole in our garden. The digger pushed it back and forth to make it loose, then a man stood on top of the digger to tie a chain around the pole. He remained there while he and the digger attempted to pull the pole out of the ground.
At one point as it came out of the ground it swung precariously towards our balcony roof. I had fleeting visions of our wonderful new roof being demolished in one fell swoop. Needless to say I rushed back into the house for my own safety.
Finally, with me holding my breath, the pole lurched the other way and fell into the lane below. By 6.00 pm they had packed up and left, and eventually power was restored at around 7pm.
Before the workmen arrived this morning, Mr A had arranged for a man in the village to come and cut down the mulberry tree. We have decided it has to go. It has never produced fruit. We cut it right back last year because it was touching the electricity and telephone wires, and also blocking our view. It grew back again even stronger...but still no fruit.
The man arrived and cut off all the branches with an axe and then produced a chainsaw to cut down the trunk. He was so old and shaky, and could hardly hold the chain saw. I couldn't bear to watch and retreated to the house, hoping I wouldn't hear screams that would signal a nasty accident.
A bit later he was still having trouble sawing through the trunk and phoned his son for help. He arrived and proceeded to try to push the trunk back and forth while his father used the chainsaw. Eeek...his legs were so close to the chainsaw it brought me out in a sweat.
They still couldn't uproot the tree, but I actually laughed out loud when the man's wife arrived...a stout little old woman...who gave the trunk a huge shove and it promptly fell over!