Archive | November 2013

Some of my recent knitting projects

20131216-165208.jpg

20131216-165230.jpg

20131216-165329.jpg

20131216-165407.jpg

20131216-165427.jpg

20131216-165451.jpg

Thought I’d share some of my latest projects with you. Sadly all sold but am working on some more. The curly scarves are £10.99 + £1.25 for postage within the UK. The hats are just £ 5.00 each and again £1.25 for postage.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these items please leave me a message in comments with your email address and I will contact you to arrange payment and delivery.

Turkish Television.

Turkey is a rapidly modernising country and it is not unusual to see quite provocative advertisements for some of our favourite products. Ladies I urge you to google “Biscolata advert” you will really not be disappointed.

But our day to day television is often like something from the 1970s UK. Our films are all dubbed I to Turkish and anything considered too raunchy is cut out. My husband was stunned when he saw the uncut version of Borat.

We have Turkey’s got talent but unlike the UK show it is on for 3 hours at a time and they do not cut anything so you get to see every last excruciating interview and act. The judges are really nice and I’ve never seen them buzz anyone.

My husband will tell you he doesn’t watch television much. He watches 3 series a week but again they are on for over 2 hours and they run an hour of the previous weeks before hand so you can catch up. We have Karadiye on a Monday, Muhteşem Yüz Yil on a Wednesday and then Thursdays is Kürtlar Vadısı Pusu.

Karadiye is all bristling men, beautiful tearful women with the odd kidnapping and tales of lost love. Wednesdays we get to see the Ottoman Empire in all it’s glory…the costumes are fantastic and the jewellery gets copied and is available to buy for an extortionate price in glossy magazines. Then Thursday……. the TV widows night……no self respecting man would miss this. To many of them it is real …… Every week people get killed by shady double agents, the Mafia have a lot of say in the way things are run, all the main characters have been shot, drowned or kidnapped in the last 4 years but they are indestructible. They carry on the fight.

The Turkish government tries to protect us so alcohols is blurred out and cigarettes. They even blurred out a hand that was been attacked with a stapler is week….shootings are fine. I watched The good The bad and the Ugly recently, the cigarettes and been replaced with flowers…….not quite the same effect. The macho cowboy smokes a daisy and reflects on life!

The evening news is broadcast in all it’s glory…..we see mangled car wrecks, flame filled houses and dead bodies next to car wrecks with blankets tossed over them…..often surrounded by big pools of blood. We get screaming, grieving relatives…..nothing is missed. But this is the news, it’s really happened in Turkey today…no need to blur anything out or consider the families might not want to see their tragedy repeated over and over again on television.

It’s not all doom and gloom we get some comedy programmes. Personally I don’t think they are very funny. But the rest of the family seem to love them. Really bad acting and shaky sets.

Whatever you decided to watch……you can tell the heroes, the real macho men. The ones that are going to save women, children, animals the whole world………… How? They have moustaches…..rest assured the moustache is alive and well in Turkey. Real men have moustaches……not wimpy little things I’m talking big and bushy…the size of a small rodent.

Luckily here are ways of getting UK channels………. I can avert my gaze, put my headphones on and watch something on ITV in relative peace unless there is something really important happening on the television…..and then I get nudged and urged to turn mine off and watch the next shooting, stabbing, kidnap or gory murder.

Stitching & Bitching

Early in 2012 I realised that I have some very solitary hobbies – I love to read, cook, knit and crochet.  The only problem with these things is they are things you do alone.  It is very easy when the weather is bad and you don’t work to sit at home by yourself – doing something you love but not speaking to anyone for hours on end.  

I realised that there must be others like me who might like a bit of company and a chat.  In the UK there was a Stitch & Bitch group in my local coffee shop once a week and I wondered if Stitch & Bitch would be welcomed in Turkey.  I spent a couple of weeks looking for a suitable venue – I wanted somewhere quiet with comfortable chairs and without beer swilling expats hanging around. 

I went with my husband to vist a friend of his and discovered he was the chef in the perfect location.  After a bit of a chat with the owners about the high prices on their menu we agreed a price for cay (Turkish Tea) and I was ready to find some people to join me.  I though I would start with a Facebook Group and that as it turns out was all I needed – I had 15 members by the end of week one and it has kept growing. Not everyone comes to our meetings but we usually get somewhere between 10 and 15 of us. 

I didn’t know any of the people who had joined.  I opened the group to knitters, crochetters, embroiders and cross stitchers….all portable activities that can easily be done anywhere.   The first week we had a good crowd – the average age of the group is probably around 50.  What a nice group of people we are – all English speakers and all happy to share our hobbies. 

I have learned so much from the ladies in this group.  They know short cuts I’d never even thought about and between us we seem to know an awful lot.  We have people who make their own patterns, we have people who follow patterns – we are all sociable and love our weekly meetups.  We Stitch, we chat about life, the universe and everything, have lots of coffee and tea and lunch if we want it.  The meetings are supposed to run from 10.30 to 1.30 but we have been known to sit there until 3pm on occasion.  We just get on really well. 

A few people have come and decided they don’t like it – that’s fine I have no problem with that – we have had visitors – holiday makers who have heard about the group and asked if they can come along and again with so much knowledge – we met a fantastic felt making lady who was making bags,  Hopefully she will join us for 2 weeks next year too. 

We agreed from the start we would meet weekly in the winter and then stop when it got too hot…..we thought possibly at the end of April. But no one wanted to stop so we have carried .

Over the months we have become really good friends and have even managed some group day trips. 

For people interested in joining our group we are under Stitch & Bitch Fethiye on facebook – there are lots of free patterns and links to great websites.  it would be lovely to see you at our meetings but we are also happy for you to use our page to find information or inspiration. 

Happy stitching people.  

  

Caramelised onions

I love these and are something a bit different to add as a vegetable to any meal. I like them with roast chicken

I cook mine on the hob but you can put them in the oven. On the hob they are very quick to do and I usually do them fairly last thing whilst I am making gravy and slicing the meat.

Peeled and sliced onions……..as many as you need…I use one small one per person and usually cook for 4 people.
4 tablespoons of white vinegar….I’m using apple at the moment as it’s cheap and easy to get here
generous knob of butter
4 tablespoons of brown sugar…….if you can’t get it make your own……I use white sugar and pekmez (molasses syrup) to make mine.

Melt the butter in frying pan. Add the onions and cook on a medium heat until they are softening and perhaps a few crispy edges.

Add the vinegar and the sugar and give it a good stir. Turn the heat up….keep stirring. The sauce will thicken and look very dark. Taste…..add extra sugar and cook for a bit longer if you think they need it or serve. If you are cooking for a lot of people adjust the ingredients to match the quantity of onions you are using.

Onions…….you’ve just got to love them.

I know…. It’s a strange title. But…..I realised this week just how much I love onions and how many different ways I use them.

I love them raw in sandwiches, fried in burgers or with steak, baked with a roast dinner, and caramelised with just about anything. I also find I eat them raw in salads or as a side dish with other meals. Ooh and pickled to in chutney……yum.

I read an article this week about the antiseptic properties of onions which reminded me of an incident with my husband in the early days of our relationship and also my grandmother. The article suggested that you put a sliced raw onion in the room with someone who is ill and apparently it goes black over night as it absorbs the bacteria. It also suggested that once an onion is cut it should be eaten and not be kept even in a refrigerator.

My husband had an abscess…..he’s a bit of a wuss about dentists so I suggested a visit to the pharmacy to get some antibiotics to help. He opted for ringing his Mum who told him to cut a raw onion In half and sleep with it in his mouth to draw out the infection . It did help but it was one of the most unpleasant nights we have ever spent together….every time I rolled over and snuggled up I could smell it and much as I love them….it was horrible.

My grandmother was a tough old bird. She was from Belfast in Northern Ireland and lived well into her 90s. She had 10 children including my Dad. Now her cure for a cold, flu, chest infection, sore throat or anything similar was to peel and cut a large onion in half. She put half an onion I to each toe of a pair of tights and used to wear it around her neck like a scarf. Changing the onions daily until she was better.

I am sure there is something in these old wives tales and interesting that the miraculous properties of onions are recognised both in Turkey and in Ireland. I’ll definitely be trying the sleeping with it in the room the next time I am ill but can’t see me ever sleeping with one in my mouth.

Wow…..50 years of Dr Who

I grew up with Dr Who in the old days it was in black and white and had wobbly sets. At the time it was all very convincing and essential viewing. The Daleks were scary…….even though now looking back new Daleks are the scariest ever. They make the old Daleks look like neighbours popping in for a cup of tea and a chat!

I was living in Wales all through the 80s and 90s was not impressed with the one off film and when a local Welsh writer announced he was going to write a new series in 2005. I along with a lot of others raised my eyebrows, rolled my eyes and agreed that it had no chance of been as good as the originals.

I was wrong…..I admit it. David Tennant was an amazing Dr and I loved Billie Piper as his assistant….I even liked Catherine Tate. I moved to Turkey in 2009 and stopped watching. I didn’t have a working television for the first few months and had better things to do exploring my new surroundings, making friends and getting to grips with my new life.

I missed the Matt Smith incarnation completely……but couldn’t miss the most talked about episode ever…….the 50th Anniversary. I was worried that because I had missed so much there would be things that didn’t make sense and I was indignant on behalf of the former Drs after reading in the on line newspapers that they hadn’t been invited to take part.

But like millions of other people on Saturday night I logged onto the Internet and watched the episode on line. Personally I think it was fantastic. The special effect were great, the story was good and all the Dr were included which made me very emotional. The fact that Gallifrey did not burn and the time lords were not wiped out changes the whole Dr Who story. I read somewhere this week that in the Christmas Special we will discover Matt Smith is the 13th Dr and can’t regenerate……….. Now even living in my little corner of. Turkey I know they have cast a new Dr and am wondering how they are going to bring him into the story.

Guess for the first time I will be counting down the days until it is aired and looking forward to some Christmas television.