Moving On Part 02


I took three weeks moving in to my new abode. Days were spent overseeing the workmen, making endless glasses of tea, slapping paint on anything that looked remotely like moving, running around Fethiye like a headless chicken or entertaining the neighbours, who would turn up bearing their own refreshments, the men to offer advice and the women to trail crochet or balls of wool with them.

Night would see me return to Tasyaka covered in multi-coloured paint splashes,streaks of pollyfila bearing the umistakable odour of ‘chanel’ White spirit. Once there I would pack anything that could be carried with my wordly goods, machine net and normal curtains, take keş for a quick walk before collapsing exhausted on the settee.

Furniture shopping was not on my list of ‘To Do’s’. I had previously mentioned to Recep that I wanted traditonal Turkish Furniture and that he would not need to stand like a plum in ‘Kelebek’ ‘Puffy’ or even ‘İstikbal’.

One day late October, Recep took Callum and I to Tlos, Yakapark and then on to see his parents in a small village – Bayliağac köyu. After seeing Recep’s mum we stopped at his uncle house which is at the bottom of the village, in a saw mill.

Here, we were ushered inside and removing our shoes taken into the living room. The room was pannelled in pine and a fantastic ‘mugla’ ceiling rose above us. An old fashioned treadle ‘Singer sewing machine’ stood proudly against one wall, a low settle or divan ran the length of a wall, a desk was wedged into the far corner and a small televison perched on top. What was fascinating about the room and furniture was that everything was made in a different style. Nothing matched and the only thing the items had in common was the colour.

I know from the eighties that when people say pine, we automatically think of something almost orange in colour and heavily varnished. Turkish Pine is nothing like this, but a pale nearly white wood which if you keep the natural knots and scars in the wood you have a fantastic individual piece of furniture. It usally has no more than two coats of varnish, yacht varnish which does not add to its natural colour.

Now anyone who has lived or spent enough time in Allah’s Wonderful Country will recognise that feeling where you are happily sipping your çay, taking in the ambiance and surroundings when suddenly the light bulb flickers on. This time the light bulb only illuminated when I was taken into the kitchen and shown around. I duly admired the cupboards, work bench and sink unit remarking on how useful it was to have a six foot gap between each unit!

Meeting ‘Uncle’s’ beaming face with a smile, he then proceeded to usher me from room to room, pointing out various cupboards,chairs,tables and even a bathroom cabinet. The ‘Grand tour’ ended up on the roof and three bedrooms. As I walked around the house, İ made various appreciative sounds, ran my hands over curves, opened and closed drawers admiring the dove-tails and twiddled knobs. Having made my choices, I then requested what I wanted made up.

I can honestly say that this was the only ‘stress’ free furniture shopping I have ever undertaken. No ‘Sorry Madame (which has the response of waving a red rag under my nose. Do I look as if I keep a brothel?) but the reclining sofa, master chair and poofee are not available in pale blue, with imitation coffe and ketchup stains, or yes madame that suite is available (deep intake of breath here) for delivery and a date so far into the future, that Christmas, Easter and Red nose day have been and gone. What the hell are we meant to sit on for 4 months?

Shopping or viewing in situ was a pleasure and to be grabbed with both hands if you get the chance. Admittedly, the çay went a long way into procurring a sale, but being able to touch,twiddle and open and close doors to my hearts content sold me. I was able to purchase a piece of furniture which was unique, hand-crafted and very well made but at cost price.

‘Uncle’ was a great character and after my buying spree (Fitted Kitchen, Kingsize bed, L-shaped divan, Single divan and a frame for a mirror )nothing was written down and I marvelled at his memory. There I was a good thirty years younger and unable to remember how the damm video records. After more small talk and more çay, he climbed onto a rickety old stool and removed a leather pouch that was hanging on the wall amongst framed photographs and an old rusty gun . Gingerly he undone the pouch and removed three pieces of flint or quartz and a scrap of dirty old cotton. As to be expected from the male species, Callum and Recep promptly turned into Pyromaniacs, trying to get the flints to spark.

Ignoring them completely ( practise makes perfect girls!) I asked ‘Uncle’ who they had belonged to? Beaming with pride he pointed to a faded sepia photograph of a Turkish man, wearing a skull cap with two huge bushy white caterpillars above twinkling eyes. The resemblance between the men was remarkable. The man was his father and the primitive fire starting pouch was what, apart from his carbine and god only knows what horrific memories he returned from Gallpoli with.

I have always felt that Turkey is living, walking, talking history and hearing this man, well into his seventies speak of his father long dead with such love, pride and devotion was very thought provoking. I love my family, my kids, my dogs but I know that never once have I shown or felt so intensly as this man felt. Not for the first time, I felt guilty for being english and by type a cold fish.

Driving back from the village, we passed a car going in the opposite direction. A quick toot on the horn, a screech of brakes and we slammed into reverse. The other car reversed towards us. Winding down the windows pleasantries were exchanged, introductions made and this was the Marangoz or carpenter – recep’s cousin Halil. This was the guy who would be soothing my knots, dove-tailing my drawers and constructing my mobilya. An arrangement was made which meant him dropping the wife and kiddie off at home and following us down the mountain to Esenköy, where he would eye up the job, take measurements and give me a price.

Arriving back at Esenköy, the three of us walked around the house discussing and deciding on what improvements could be done, mulling over possibilities and chucking various ideas around. By the time we had finished, Halil had arrived with his tape measure.

A rotund figure with thinning hair, blue eyes (from his dad and grandfather) and rosy red cheeks. If you had given him a fishing rod and parked him by your fish pond he would have looked at home. Armed with my faithful bible ‘The Argoose Catalouge’ I proceeded to lead Halil around the kitchen, explaining what I wanted, where the appliances would go and generally acting ‘Lady of the Manor’. Everything was going well considering I could not speak Turkish technical terms and he could speak no English. Unfortunately things fell apart when I tried to explain that I wanted an ‘L’ shaped unit which would house the cooker and a saucepan cupboard .

This simple request confused Halil and Recep so much that a ‘friend’ of Recep's was phoned who understood English (well my English or the ways of a woman) and he jumping on his trusty scooter, hot footed it from Fethiye to come to my rescue.

Süleyman chugged up the road and announced his arrival. He was very impressed with my ‘Argoose’ (stop smirking you lot!). I explained what I wanted, he relayed to Halil and Recep just complicated matters. Eventually after much pencil chewing from Halil, endless cigarettes smoked by Recep and with Süleyman double checking everything I said, we came up with the drawings, the measurements, time-scale and after much face-pulling, throat-cutting gestures and hand wringing a price we were all happy with.

Realising just how valuable Süley was, I dragged him into the bedroom and indicated how big the bed was to be made. It was here that Recep got his first slap. As I indicated the width, Recep stood shaking his head. Then he came out with ‘ who is going to live here?’ ‘Me’. Why you want a big bed? Umm to sleep in Recep. ‘No, no you have small bed’. Now people we all remember sleeping in a tiny two foot six bed when we were kids. Then the joy of getting married or in a relationship where you had the pleasure of a Four foot six. In later years we were given Queen and King size, so much choice. No-one down sizes do they? Well even if they do, I certainly wasn’t and having gone from a king size to normal size when we moved to Taşyaka and falling out the damm thing three times, I was not putting my ample curves in a narrow (Oh the thought) bed.

This matter sorted I then marched Süley across to the far wall and said I wanted a wardrobe fitted. The space I indicated was measured at 2.5 metres. Looking at me with amusement or shock, all three men slowly shook their heads. Callum from past experience of dealing with a stubborn mother had made himself scarce. Talking with Halil, Recep motioned that I could have a wardrobe half the size I wanted.

Now, coming from a boudoir that had ‘Sharps’ wall to wall wardrobes , I love my storage spaces. Shaking my head I said yok. ‘Istiyorum büyük’. Süley then tried to explain that it was impossible to make a free standing wardrobe that size, which would stay rigid. Waving him aside, I told them to screw a rectangular frame of 2x2 to the floor, the same on the ceiling and then add the framework, doors and end panel. Süley looked at me as if i had spoken in Chinese, took a step back and considered the idea. Recep and Halil argued, ummed and aawed about the method. It later transpired that Halil had never been asked to build a wardrobe that was fitted and it was a whole new ball game for him. Like the obliging chap he is, he agreed to give it a whirl .

It was only only afterwards that I let them in on my 'secret'. My Grandad had been a Master Builder,Decorator and Carpenter, so whilst I was not an expert, İ knew enough of the basics to know what I was talking about. Never believe a little Knowledge is a dangerous thing, it is not for at times it gives you that edge you need girls!

The floor boards with dry rot were examined and thanks to a little help from keş (he had been digging for beetles) and had made the small holes of gigantic proportions, they were worse than first thought. Yusuf had left enough timber to replace the rotted ones, but my feeling was that if it spread (I have no idea about dry rot,rising damp or any of that mans talk!) then sooner or later the whole floor would have to be replaced. I thought that if it was replaced completely now, then I wouldn't have to worry about it for a good few years. Heads nodded in approval and a new floor was agreed.

Buisiness finished, everyone relaxed and had a cup of tea (English). Süley departed for home, Halil back to his wife and baby up in the mountains with a bulging order book and a smiling face, with a promise of an estimate the next day. By now it was dusk and with a positive spring to my step, feeling I had achieved a good result, I walked out my front door, stood on the balcony and the three of us watched the lights come on up and down the valley. The blue of the mosques outshining anything except the carpet of silver pin-pricks high above our heads.

MKC 28/02/2006
Last edited:


Senior Member
Re: Moving On Part 2

Excellant read and nice to see you back on line. You've missed a fair bit!!!! so some catching up to do.


Non Active Member
Re: Moving On Part 2

really enjoyed reading your story , uncle sounds lovely and what a brilliant experiance , far more fun getting furniture this way.
Looking forward to next instalment.


Bolton Born and Bred
Re: Moving On Part 2

ditto all the above! I thoroughly enjoyed reading too. You certainly had more fun buying your furniture than I did, I am a little jealous. But so pleased that you are getting exactly what you wanted.


Senior Member
Re: Moving On Part 2

You write so well! I felt I was in the house with you. Have you ever considered getting your story published?


Senior Member
Re: Moving On Part 2

And donations to myself and Lorraine please. Jen I promise I will forward ALL to yourself :lol: :lol: Trust me :kafa:

friar tuck

I am not old but wise
Re: Moving On Part 2

Jen marvellous again I am going to print them all off and make up my own book to read on a nice summers evening in Uzumlu with a cold Efes and a Philli Sweet ( cigar ) aaaahhhhhhhhhh heaven thanks Jen.


Re: Moving On Part 2

Roflmto :lol:
Trust you Gail? Of course I trust you girl........about as far as I can throw you! Knowing you, you would spurge my royalties on that 'Blossom Wotsit' plonk or rush round Marks n Sparks stocking up on your undies :kafa:

Mushtaq is my agent.......006.5 (but lovely toms!) thanks for all the adoration everyone, it is much appreciated and I shall bask in the knowledge that so many of you like my humour,style and adventurous life. :)

Gail girl, part three is here but you not going to get it now until İ feel like it.Nah nah..........