I've had a week of sleepless nights and I'm feeling the strain. I'm usually kept awake if my dogs are barking at a passing cat, but I'm actually becoming accustomed to this and can often sleep through it.
However, it's the tortoises in our garden that are disturbing my sleep these days. We've always had tortoises here since we moved to the village nearly 6 years ago. Some were already in the garden, and I've added a couple more...rescued from being run over by tractors in the lane outside. They have lived happily alongside each other, feeding on weeds and grapevines. I put out water every day but other than that I leave them to it. There are lots of gaps in the walls where they hibernate in winter, A couple of baby tortoises arrived over time and they have thrived.
I have no idea how many there are altogether. It's difficult to count them, as they all look pretty much alike, and never seem to appear all at the same time. I've just left them to get on with their lives. But during the last couple of weeks I have been disturbed by constant banging, like someone hammering nails into a wall. I only realised it was the tortoises banging their shells together when Monty started to bark at them through the fence.
This week the banging has started during the evening and gone on for most of the night. Who knew tortoises could be so noisy?
I've done a bit of searching on the internet, and have established that either it's a male and female mating, or two of the same sex fighting. It seems that it's best to separate them to avoid injury. So this morning the banging started up again and I moved one of the tortoises to the top garden. Several hours later and as I am typing this, another two tortoises have started up. Now I have to find a different area for one of these. Maybe tonight I'll get some sleep.
Otherwise this week has been taken up with preparation for getting the building and maintenance business off the ground. Mr A has completed one job for our friend David. Felling a tree, chopping it up for firewood, along with some wooden pallets. Yesterday we went to David's to measure up for a carport to be built on the side of the house. The materials were ordered in Milas, and delivered this morning. Mr A will start work tomorrow. We have ordered business cards and these should also be ready tomorrow.
After numerous problems with our car, Mr A was sick of paying out for repairs, so eventually took it back to the oto galeri where he bought it. The owner has agreed to exchange it for another car and this will be collected today. Fingers crossed that it will be more reliable than the previous one.
Finally, Melek is proving to be very determined to get onto the balcony and into the house and cause havoc. She was jumping the gate at the top of the balcony, so Mr A removed it and fixed at the bottom of the steps where it wasn't easy to jump. One morning when I was in the shower, I turned around to find Melek behind me. She had somehow managed to get onto the balcony and into the house.
We thought the gate was too low, so Mr A fixed another metal bar to make it higher. We then discovered that she was crawling under the metal steps and squeezing through the space underneath. We need to close off this space, but because there hasn't been time, at the moment there is a temporary barricade made from a table, an old sink and a chair. It's starting to look like a junkyard.
We also need to make the shelter over the three kennels a bit more waterproof before the rain starts. On Wednesday morning it seemed like this wouldn't be necessary. Chas, Dave and Melek were constantly sitting at the gate to the back area where the four big dogs are and I decided to let them in. There was a lot of bum sniffing and territorial behaviour, mostly from Megan and Sammy, but eventually they settled and played together. We moved the three kennels inside the front of the old house, where the four big dogs sleep. We popped into Milas and when we returned they were all fine.
After a while, Megan and Sammy lay down in front of the old house, preventing the three pups from passing them. Every time they attempted to do so, there was growling and snapping from Megan and Sammy, and whimpering from the three youngsters. I left them for a while but it was clear that although we can put all the dogs in this enclosed area for a few hours which would be useful if we have guests, it won't work on a permanent basis. So it's back to Plan A with the kennel shelter.
A busy week, and only 8 more sleeps until I set off to England. Can't wait!