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Friday, 28 June 2013

Sometimes I wonder....

...why I'm not a vegetarian.

I love animals.  I hate cruelty to animals.  I love to see the chickens running around this village and the sheep passing the house each day to graze over the hill.

I hate zoos and circuses.  No animal should be kept in captivity, just to entertain us.  I despise people who hunt animals for pleasure...it horrifies me.  My heart wants to save all the animals of the world, but my logical brain knows this is impossible.

But I eat meat.   I think I justify it because animals have always killed other animals to survive, since time began.  It's easy to pick up meat in the supermarket, which bears no resemblance to a living animal.

I don't think about it a great deal until I see a dead animal, which happened early this morning.

I fed the dogs at 5.30am and let them out for a run up the hill.   Sammy and Blondie were back within 10 minutes.  Megan followed a few minutes later...with something in her mouth.  She has a habit of bringing me "gifts" with that expression on her face that says "look what I've got for you...aren't you pleased with me?"

It was the remains of a tiny lamb.  Megan dropped it outside the gate and left it there.  She seemed to have no desire to do anything with it other than to bring it to me.  There were two street dogs just up the lane, watching Megan as she came through the gate.   I imagine the lamb was something they had found, and Megan had taken it from them...she's good at that...she will intimidate other dogs and they just back off.

I don't think it's likely that the dogs killed the lamb.  The sheep and their offspring are never left unattended.  I would imagine that it was stillborn to one of the sheep while they were up on the hill with the shepherd.   And it would have just been left there to rot.

Naturally I had to dispose of it.  In my rush to get a shovel, my dodgy ankle gave way, which is going to cause me grief today.   My sentimental side wanted to give it a decent burial, but being practical I threw it on to some waste ground, where it will feed the stray dogs and cats.

Incidents like this stir up all sorts of emotions for me.  Will I carry on eating meat?  Probably.

Are any of you vegetarians?  If you're not, how do you justify eating meat?  I'd really like to know your views.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tomatoes and Tortoises

This is the second year we have grown tomatoes here.  Last year's crop were disappointing.  There were plenty of them but they were tough, woody, and not juicy at all.  I made chutney from the best of them, but wasn't keen to attempt growing them again.

However, not to be deterred, Mr A planted more tomatoes this year and they are absolutely fantastic.  I would take a photo, but my camera's on the blink again.  I cannot believe the volume of tomatoes that keep appearing on about 10 plants, over and over again.   I pick huge amounts at a time, and no sooner have I turned my back, than there's another crop of  fruit waiting to be gathered.

I love tomatoes but can't eat too many as they play havoc with my IBS, so I've been sharing them with the neighbours.  I have given several kilos to Dursune, Mehmet, Sevke, and Sevke's daughter who was visiting her today.  Mr A has also taken large quantities back to Gumbet with him to share with his boss.  And I still have mountains of them left.  But I have also made lots of tomato chutney.  I would normally use the green tomatoes for this, but the red ones are fine as long as they are firm.

I don't have a recipe, or measure anything.  I have a large aluminium pan which I use for jams and chutney, and I just chop up the tomatoes, add chopped onions, a few chopped green peppers (also from the garden), some pul biber (crushed red pepper), a pinch of salt and some sugar and a small amount of vinegar.  Then I just boil and simmer until it's ready.   The tomatoes of course produce a fair amount of liquid so I drain this off before transferring the chutney to sterilised jars.

The liquid is not wasted.  There is usually enough to use for one or two more batches of chutney  as a substitute for the vinegar.  Each time I make chutney it is never quite the same as the last batch, but it's always delicious.  Mr A's boss has already demolished two large jars of my chutney and is requesting more.

I am utterly fascinated by the three tortoises in my garden.  Well it's too hot to do anything else but sit in the shade and watch them.  I'll never know why people think tortoises are slow movers.  They get around this garden at a rapid rate.  What I also find interesting is how well they can climb.  They manage to climb the wall around the garden and the steps up from the gazebo and back down again.  I panic when they fall and turn upside down, and if I see this happen I rush to turn them over, which makes them hiss at me.

It occurred to me that this must happen frequently when there's no-one around to give assistance, so when I saw it happen today I didn't rush to help.   Within a few minutes, after the tortoise frantically kicked his little legs, he managed to turn himself up the right way.  Clever creatures.


Monday, 24 June 2013

Yesterday's day out....

...didn't actually happen.  The plan was to set off fairly early before it became too hot, spend some time with Mr A at the hotel, catch up with a friend, then go on to do a big supermarket shop.  Then Mr A would collect me and we take the shopping home.  He had intended to come home anyway last night, to see me to get his washing done.

However, when I spoke to him in the morning he couldn't commit himself because they were short of staff in the hamam, so he was having to stand in as masseur.

By the time he phoned me to say he could get home after all, it was early afternoon.  Too hot to wait around for buses, and too late to meet up with my friend.   So I ended up getting the village bus at 5pm, then the Bodrum bus from the main road, arriving in Bodrum at 6.15pm.   Mr A collected me and we set off to Kipa.  This is one of my favourite supermarkets.  It is owned by Tesco, so you can often find their products in stock, as well as much more variety of goods than I can find in the Milas supermarkets.

There is a pet shop right next door to Kipa and they had 15kg sacks of complete dog food for 39.90 lira.  It is a plain sack, with no fancy pictures, but the contents are good...at least my dogs are happy with the biscuits.  They will eat anything, which is a relief, as I struggle to keep costs down.  So I bought two sacks which will keep us going for a few weeks.

In Kipa I bought enough (more or less) food to last for about three weeks, so this will save me having to keep popping into Milas.

I phoned Mehmet the vet today.  Poppy desperately needs another haircut.  She will not let me near her with a brush, and her fur is becoming matted.  She also seems to have an eye infection, and I have now noticed that Blondie has the same problem.  No doubt they are passing it around.  Megan has had a weepy eye ever since we got her, but it's not the normal red eye or conjunctivitis that Blondie and Poppy have.  But I need eye drops for them.

I'm also concerned that the paraband collars they have which will last  the summer, although brilliant for keeping ticks at bay, and helping to  prevent leishmaniasis , don't seem to be as effective on fleas.  I can't see any fleas but the dogs are scratching...not a great deal, but it's getting hotter and I want to be prepared.   Having paid out a considerable amount for the collars, I'm concerned about now having to get four lots of Frontline as well, which is also expensive here.

A friend told me about a solution called Bayticol 1%.  It's only available from vets.  You have to measure out 10ml to each 10kg bodyweight.  The bottle contains 100ml and Mehmet will let me have one for a special price of 20 lira.  It's pretty much the same as Frontline, but I don't think vets publicise it because they don't make much of a profit from it.  However, Mehmet always does his best to help me keep down costs.

So, he will be ringing me in the next day or so, when he has time, to let me know he will be on his way to the village to sort out my dogs.

Last week something happened which made me think that attitudes towards animals are changing in this village.  One of the women who passes with the sheep, told me that she had a cat, and that she wanted to know what to buy to get rid of fleas.  A couple of days later I picked up some flea treatment from Mehmet for her.  She was delighted...and so was I.  It's so refreshing to find someone who doesn't treat cats as vermin. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Getting out of a rut

It's not often I realise how much I have become part of this village way of life.  I seem to kind of blend in.  

My clothes become more village-like by the day, particularly in the oppressive heat we are experiencing at the moment.  I spend my day in my pyjamas, or baggy linen trousers, which don't look out of place at all.  I'm beginning to look more like my neighbours these days.   Give me a headscarf and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Although I shower every day, I tend to neglect de-fuzzing my legs, or tidying my nails.  And my feet are a disgrace.   But there's no-one here who notices or cares.

However, occasionally I make a decision to get out.  Tomorrow I intend to go to Bodrum to meet up with a friend, spend some time with Mr A at the hotel, and do a big shop in one of the many supermarkets available, which stock far more than those in Milas.

This evening I took a close look at my fingernails.  They were disgusting.  Admittedly I had just been
watering the garden, picking tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, and removing weeds from flower pots.  So once finished, I tidied up my nails and gave them a coat of clear polish.   Then the feet...well I've done the best I can, but I really need to have a good pedicure.

Into the shower, shaved the legs, exfoliated, and moisturised.  I am beginning to feel almost human again.   Next, finding something half decent to wear in my wardrobe.  

Of course I should make more of an effort with these things, but I actually quite like being a slob most of the time.  Although it  gives me so much to sort out when I do decide to escape from the village.
..........................................................................

A little bit of sad news.  Dursune's donkey has finally passed away.   She told me this morning and we both shed a few tears.  I think the heat was probably the final straw.  Bless Dursune's heart.  She had continued to feed the donkey, and wash her down every day up until the end.  But it's a relief, because she didn't seem to suffer unnecessarily.  

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Trivia

It's far too hot to blog.  The heat has affected my brain, so here's something I picked up from a Facebook status today, just to keep you amused.

Things you may not know  (I can't vouch for the accuracy of these statements by the way)

 A rat can last longer without water than a camel.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will ...
digest itself.

The dot over the letter "i" is called a tittle.

A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and
down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.

A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.

Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

A 2 X 4 is really 1-1/2" by 3-1/2".

During the chariot scene in "Ben Hur," a small red car can be seen
in the distance (and Heston's wearing a watch).

On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily!
(That explains a few mysteries....)

Sherlock Holmes NEVER said, "Elementary, my dear Watson."

Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.

The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per
side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange,
purple and silver.

Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space
because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

Weatherman Willard Scott was the first Ronald McDonald.

If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will
instantly go mad and sting itself to death. (Who was the sadist who
discovered this??)

Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to s-l-o-w film down
so you could see his moves. That's the opposite of the norm.

The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen's "Born in
the USA."

The original name for butterfly was flutterby.

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which
stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player
for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.

Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet.

By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot
sink into quicksand.

Celery has negative calories. It takes more calories to eat a
piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.

Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin
look-alike contest.

An old law in Bellingham, Washington, made it illegal for a woman
to take more than three steps backwards while dancing!

The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book
most often stolen from public libraries.

The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

Bats always turn left when exiting a cave!
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Men can read smaller print then women can; women can hear better.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace.


Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the "honeymoon".

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them, "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."

It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.


~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~


At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Oh for some English weather!

I know those of you living in the UK are not going to agree with me.  You'll probably say I should think myself lucky to be living in this climate, when you're all waiting and hoping that you will actually get some kind of summer this year.  

But I have to own up to not being a hot weather person.  I moved to Turkey 15 years ago for love, not the weather.  I do love Spring and Autumn here though.  Temperatures around 20 degrees, cool enough at night to snuggle up under the duvet.  This is my perfect weather.

Today it's 36 degrees here in this village.  Not only that, we have almost gale force winds, which means that dust is flying everywhere.  It's impossible to have doors and windows open for air because the air is just too hot.    We are due a heatwave this week, someone mentioned that the temperatures are set to rise to 40 degrees.   I'd be tempted to spend the day under a cold shower...if we didn't have constant water cuts.  Another thing which is normal during the summer months.

July and August will be hotter still.   I won't be venturing far.  I don't relish the thought of waiting around for buses in this heat.  I should be used to it by now, but I'm not.

If there was a sun-worshipper out there, in the UK,  or even the North Pole, who wanted to swap places with me for the rest of the summer, I'd be very tempted to say yes.   But I'd miss Mr A and the dogs wouldn't I?

Roll on Winter.

Friday, 14 June 2013

(Dog) Friends Reunited

I've not been entirely happy about keeping my dogs separate from each other.  My dream was to have four obedient dogs, in my garden and on my balcony, playing happily together.   Well, these things are always perfect in dreams aren't they?

The reality is that Sammy digs holes in the garden, Blondie chews everything in sight...shoes, sofas, etc, and Megan....  Well Megan is so obedient now.  She was the biter, but that has stopped.  She does exactly as I tell her, and she's adorable.  It's simply because she has more contact with me.

I know that Sammy and Blondie also need more human contact.  I feel certain they will end up as obedient and lovable as Megan if they spend more time with me.

For the past month or so we have been saving up to have a metal fence and gate made to separate the driveway from the bottom garden.  This part of the garden is Mr A's pride and joy.  It's looking lovely and has stirred up an interest in the garden for me which was previously lacking.  Yesterday the fence was installed.    I love it.  We are now saving to have a similar one erected at the top end of the garden, where the cats reside in the chicken coop, and where we are growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.


This morning, the side gate to the dog area at the back of the house was opened.  Megan was reunited with Sammy and Blondie.  I know all three run up the hill together twice a day, but it's somehow different for them in the confines of the garden.  We had half an hour of play fighting, about the same amount of time with all three jumping all over me, but finally they settled down.  Poppy watched on from the balcony.  She is used to Megan being around, but it's a bit overwhelming with three.  She will get used to it.


 The side gate remains open, and all three can come and go as they please....and Mr A's precious garden is an animal-free zone (apart from the two tortoises, but they're no trouble!)




 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Busman's holiday....

...well not busman exactly, but vet.   At the hotel where Mr A is working, there are a group of 65
student vets on holiday for two weeks.  They are all about to graduate in July, and are letting their hair down after all their studying.

Mr A has been chatting to them about our dogs.  Some of them are particularly interested in the plight of the street animals in Turkey, and are talking about maybe doing some voluntary work with neutering programmes here in the future, once they have started their careers after their graduation.  We do get newly qualified vets here from European countries from time to time, who go out into the towns and villages and help with mass neutering.  It's good practical experience for them, and helps a great deal with the problem here.

He happened to mention the problem Megan has at the moment with her legs.  She limps most days.  It's not always the same leg.  It can be any of them, and I have examined them carefully and there don't appear to be any broken bones.  Being an arthritis sufferer myself I recognise the signs in Megan.  Stiffness when she gets up, but improvement with exercise.  She is rather young to have arthritis, but then her first year on the streets has probably prematurely aged her.

One of the student vets at the hotel, Sarah, phoned me yesterday and we chatted for about half an hour about Megan's symptoms.  She agrees with me that it sounds very much like arthritis.  She says I am doing all the right things, ie giving her Rimadyl for short periods, daily glucosamine and fish oil capsules, and massaging her legs.  She also recommends swimming, and if Mr A can find time we may try to take her to the sea.  Maybe we'll take all four dogs...hmm that will be fun!

Sarah has given me her email address and has said that if I want to contact her at any time with any questions she will be happy to help, and if she can't she will find answers for me.  Of course I am happy with our vet Mehmet, but sometimes there can be misunderstandings with the language difference.  So it will be good to get another opinion, and thorough information in the future.

Shortly after she phoned, one of her fellow students, Sophie,  phoned me to say that Mr A had mentioned my home town in England, and it transpires that she lives just a few miles away.  So she and I have also exchanged email addresses, and she is also very happy for me to contact her for advice.

Mr A says they are a lovely group of young people, and I am certainly grateful for two of them taking time out from their holiday to talk to me.   I hope they enjoy the rest of their stay here and wish them all good luck for the future.

Food glorious food!

Shopping for food when Mr A is away working through the summer is quite a problem for me.  I have to do it in several trips into Milas on the dolmus.  I can't carry too much because it plays havoc with the arthritis in my hands.  

I usually wait until Mr A can get home for a night, and he shops on the way here.  He hasn't been able to get home much just lately.  He plans for a certain day and then he becomes busier than he predicted, so he can't get away.

Last Saturday I did a food shop in Milas and even though I didn't get everything I needed, I still bought far too much.  Getting off the dolmus and climbing the hill to the house with heavy bags in this heat is a nightmare.  I've often said that when I die it will most likely be half way up the hill, surrounded by bags of shopping.

After a couple of days expecting Mr A to come home, he finally made it last night.  I would prefer to go shopping myself.  I have a list, but sometimes I substitute items.  But I sent Mr A a list and he shopped on the way home.  There are problems with Mr A and shopping.  He buys more than I ask him for.  For example, I asked for two small pieces of steak, which I know would cost around 10 lira maximum.  He bought more than a kilo, which cost 37 lira.  He also forgets things on the list.  Last night three items were forgotten...but that's actually pretty good for him.   And he breaks eggs...but only two were broken last night, which isn't too bad by his standards.

But I'm not complaining because he does his best and I can't ask for more than that.

For me there is something very reassuring about a full fridge, freezer and store cupboard.   I get more pleasure from unpacking the bags and looking at the contents than I do eating them.  I actually get quite anxious when the cupboard is bare.  I think this may be something from my childhood, where although we always had enough to eat, there was just not enough money for anything special.  My Mum would shop every day for what was essential.  Those were the days before big supermarkets.  People didn't really do big shopping trips then.

There are so many different attitudes towards food these days.  I know people who stock up on far too much and then it get's thrown away.  I hate food to be wasted.  I will make a meal out of scraps and leftovers.  There are others who buy the bare minimum.

How often do you shop for food?  Do you buy too much, sufficient for your needs, or not enough?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Dursune's Donkey

When I got up at 5.30 this morning to feed my dogs, I glanced over into Dursune's garden and saw a mule.  Quite a lovely looking animal.  He must have arrived sometime last night.

Dursune's donkey is quite old.  She is also very ill.  According to Dursune, the donkey has cancer and won't live much longer.  There is apparently nothing more that can be done for her.

I have known this for a few months and have watched the rapid deterioration of this once sturdy and healthy animal with great sadness.  Both for the donkey and Dursune.  She has always taken great care of her animals and it was awful for her that she had to give up her cows last year because she is also becoming frail, and she just couldn't manage them anymore.

She's a stubborn woman, and very independent.  I know there are neighbours who would have helped with milking the cows, but with Dursune it's her way or not at all.

The donkey is no longer used for carrying things for her mistress.  This is quite unusual here.  There is no sentimentality for these animals who are invariably worked to the limit until they drop dead.

Dursune's donkey now spends her days in a garden just below Dursune's house which has lots of trees for shelter.   She is fed, loved and cared for.   She doesn't appear to be suffering, and I hope that she doesn't reach a point where she is, because Dursune's religion would not allow her to have her euthanized.  I sincerely hope that she dies peacefully in her sleep. 

When Dursune got up this morning I admired her mule.   She had to have him to work for her, she says, as the donkey is on her way out....she says this as she gently pats the donkey on the head.

The mule is lucky to have Dursune as his mistress.  He'll have a much better life than so many others.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Blogger's block

It happens to all of us from time to time.  We want to write a blog post, because we love blogging, but our minds just go blank. 

This is how I feel at the moment.  The dogs are fine (apart from Megan and an arthritic limp).  The weather is glorious.  The garden is looking wonderful.  Mr A is working over in Gumbet and getting home as much as he can, which isn't often.  I'm fine, apart from being almost completely nocturnal.  There are a lot of street dog gangs roaming the village at night.  They head up this way and my dogs bark to scare them off.  It doesn't work...they still hang around.  I give up trying to sleep through it, so nap during the afternoon when it's too hot to do anything else.

Elsewhere in Turkey there is civil unrest.  It seems to be escalating.  No doubt most of you will have seen it on the news.  Here there is an almost total media blackout.  What does manage to get reported is not always accurate.  I could do a blog post about it all, but I'd only be repeating what other bloggers in Turkey are saying. In case you want to know more, this article in The Guardian is pretty balanced:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/03/taksim-square-istanbul-turkey-protest

It might as well be another world, because it doesn't touch this isolated village.  Life continues as normal, with villagers completely unaware of what's going on.  Probably just as well. 

So that's it really.  Nothing else to say.   Maybe something exciting will happen in the next few days which will give me something to write about.  In the meantime, here is one of my favourite pieces of classical music, played here with original instruments.



Saturday, 1 June 2013

The one-eyed shepherd

I did a post once about Sultan the shepherdess, but I didn't mention another shepherd who takes his flock up the hill behind our house to graze.

I don't know his name.  He is a small wiry man who has sight only in one eye. His wife is very big, twice his size, and she seems to henpeck him somewhat.  She walks behind the flock shouting orders to the shepherd, until they get to our lane, then he takes over and she returns home...he seems to give a huge sigh of relief at this point.

 He has had a series of dogs over the years to help him herd his sheep.    Since we moved here I often  give him biscuits for them, and bones when Mr A brings them from the butcher shop.  At the moment he brings just one dog with him, a kangal mix, who appears to have no interest in controlling the sheep.  The sheep wander off in all directions and the dog just glances at them and does nothing.  He's actually taken quite a shine to Poppy, and is more interested in sniffing her through our gate, which is even more of a distraction.

The shepherd normally passes between 5.30 and 6.00am at this time of year.  Sultan follows about half an hour later from the other direction.  Sometimes they arrive at the same time and the sheep get mixed up and confused (actually I think sheep always seem confused).  Not that it matters of course, because they all have ID clips in their ears, so get sorted out later.   They  all return a couple of hours later and repeat the performance early evening.

I'm usually up feeding my dogs around this time in the morning, so I make sure I don't let them out for a run until the sheep have passed.  Last evening when the shepherd passed by he stopped to talk to me.  I have so little confidence in my ability to understand this language, and to be honest the village dialect doesn't help me to grasp what's being said.   I get the gist of it, and after the conversation has ended, I try to re-run it in my mind in the hope that I've understood.

He was saying something about letting my dogs out for a run, but I couldn't make out whether he was telling me I should or shouldn't do so.   This morning after my dogs had been fed I opened the gate and let them out.  Just at that point the shepherd, sheep and the useless sheepdog arrived.  The shepherd smiled, and I did my best to concentrate on what he said, which was that I should let them run with him, the sheep and his dog, and he would bring them back 2 hours later.

Wonderful!  Last night I had no sleep because there were dogs barking all over the village, and mine insisted on joining in.  I so envy the Turks who seem to be able to sleep through any amount of noise.  I can hear a dog barking miles away and I'm wide awake. So I was pleased at the prospect of going back to bed for a couple of hours and a bit of peace and quiet.

It didn't quite work out though, as my three returned 15 minutes later.  I guess they are getting so used to their home comforts that they don't want to be away from them for too long!  Maybe we'll try again later.

No sleep for me, but I am feeling much better today and my appetite has returned.  The stomach bug seems to have crawled away so I'm heading off to Milas this morning for a bit of shopping and a Lavazzo coffee.  If I can stay awake!