Moving On Part 04


The last week before I moved into my new house was a whirlwind of activity. I had twice moved the date I was to leave Taşyaka and a final 'Lock, Stock and Barrel' definite was the seventeenth of November. Not bad considering I only saw the house the last week of October, but time waits for no man or woman.

Everyday I would be later and later leaving to go back to that awful place on the hill, Colditz. Not having the time or energy to cook, I would descend on the nearest take-away or Gima, multi-coloured from head to toe, splashes of paint streaking my hair and my whole body yearning for a bubble bath. The nice guy who works in Gima would ask what I had done that day and I would gaily wave a paint splattered trainer at him to show the colour. He actually knew the colours of every room in the house.

During the preceding weeks I had gradually moved boxes and bags to Esenköy. The boxes would be obtained from rubbish bins during my nightly walk with Keş or driving along with Recep I would shout 'Kutular' and an emergency stop would follow, enabling me to gather my goodies and pack the car with cardboard. By bitter experience, I learnt that 'Lays' crisp boxes were the strongest and that Turkish cardboard is often inferior to the English version. Having shipped out nearly five hundred kilo of worldly goods from England and buying linen, kitchen stuff and the odd piece of furniture during the last nineteen months it was going to take more than a few car loads to decamp entirely.

Remembering the fun and games of moving to Taşyaka – Vordemont decided to move at eleven pm at night, using two friends and the shop pick-up as transport. Three loads along with a bottle of Jack Daniels to oil the wheels. Fun it wasn't, different it was. I insisted Recep get hold of a van or lorry for the removal. He assured me that he had spoken to his friend and we would move the remaining items the following Monday. Never once having doubted Recep's word I believed him.

The fitted Kitchen and furniture was due to be delivered on the Wednesday of the final week before I moved. The bathroom, toilet and kitchen splashback had been tiled, taps and toilet fitted but no sinks or shower. Every room had paint in it somewhere, but because of the workmen needing to work in different rooms at different times, I was moving from room to room, dragging paint, brushes and ladder as I went. To add to the confusion, clutter and disorder the locals and my landlords wife thought it an excellent opportunity to investigate, wander round the house and offer advice. There were times when I would be perched on my ladder, merrily splashing away and I would look down to see a group of total strangers smiling up at me. The first time it happened, I nearly fell off my ladder with shock. After mouthing at my workmen 'Kim' ? And getting the shoulder shrug, I gave up worrying about them and learnt to accept they were just plain nosy.

Halfway through the first week when work had started on the tiling and I had began painting I decided that I wanted Double Glazing installed! This came about not because I am ditzy but because although the old metal windows were serviceable they were in a bad state of repair with several panes of glass needing replacing. I couldn't for the life of me work out how to paint the frames inside and out without removing the whole window. I have to say that Callum did suggest I install new windows before I moved and I ignored him.

Luckily a friend of Recep's who lives opposite, works for WinHouse double glazing. A quick visit to the shop, bundled the guy into the car and drove him home to give an estimate. Three hours later, three workmen arrived and started to remove the old windows. It took a little over two days to complete and at the time I thought it was the worse job of the lot. That was of course until Mr Slapdash arrived on the scene.

The guy was one who had removed the window frames and he was to cement and patch up the now gaping holes. He looked normal, did not speak any English and happily accepted free cups of tea and cigarettes proffered. Unfortunately, I think he suffered from convulsions. I never saw him shaking or in distress, but the places that man manged to splatter çimento was unbelievable. In every room çimento was hurled across the ceiling, the floor, the doors all over the electrical sockets and strangely enough inside the toilet bowl. This was one person I was more than glad to see the back of.

Every window opening was now cemented, made smaller height wise and squared off. White marble sills were cemented in place. They stayed like that for seven days until the window frames had been made, glazed, delivered and fitted. Mehmet the kiretmçi supplied the sills and the door step. Somehow he managed to talk me into a black marble mantel shelf, for the fireplace in the kitchen. I blame being sucked in by the toastie he bought me for lunch one day!

By now the house was looking habitable. The wiring had been replaced, new sockets, switches and fittings installed and my new lights fitted. The bathroom tiling was complete, with only the sink, shower and screen to install. The kitchen was painted, new water pipes run and the tap for the sink fixed. The toilet was finished and the spare bedroom, which was used to store everything in. The hallway was half painted as was the living room and my boudoir. The front and back doors had been removed, the back being replaced with a double patio door.

The front now proudly boasted a dark brown (the only other choice was white!) metal, seven locks, peep hole, knocker,security chain affair. The door had been selected, bought and fitted within two hours by the double glazing company. I can assure you that with the door proudly erected to repel any would be burglars, I was confident that with no windows in the house everything would be safe. Strangely enough it was.

Then came the big day. The day of the furniture and fitted kitchen being delivered and hopefully installed. Recep and I were at the house early and waited and waited in vain. He made numerous loud voiced, frantic arm waving phone calls to Halil, while I made cups of tea, continued with my painting and inwardly seethed. At four in the afternoon, the cavalry arrived. Every stick,leg and knob was packed into a pick-up truck and Akin's car was scraping the road under the weight in the boot.

My boudoir floor had been ripped up the previous week in preparation for the new one. Not only could I not paint the room, the windows couldn't be fitted with no floor to stand on. The bed and wardrobe had to be left in the hallway. Nothing had been put together and the hallway was chock-a-block with lengths of wood, carved door fronts, pieces of bed and power tools. It was impossible to do anything whilst they hammered,drilled,sawed,glued and screwed.

Because Halil and Atkin were behind schedule, it was agreed that the trusty Suleyman would be contacted and enlisted to work until midnight. The other two would do an 'All-Nighter' ensuring that the kitchen and bedroom floor were completed. There was no set game plan and as long as the important jobs were finished, I wasn't too worried.

Making sure the boys knew were the tea bags and sugar were, had given me their word that they wouldn't have a wild orgy, I rooted round for my bag which has a habit of hiding in the most unlikely places and for the first time since I had seen the house, gladly stepped out into the cold night air. Who knew what tomorrow would bring? I had long ago learnt not to worry about 'Maybes' and with a final warning to Halil that I would personally use his electric drill on his unmentionable body parts, if he screwed up I climbed into the car and was driven off into the darkness.

MKC 22/03/2006
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