Wash, Reset and Blowdry

Hanife, our formidable landlady, swung into rapid action to fix our unholy holey roof; she arranged for the leaks to be sealed by the contractor who originally built the house. He was incensed to find that the electricity company had illegally nailed power cables to our roof and punctured the bloody thing in the process. To add insult to injury, the cables were nothing to do with us; they were supplying an adjacent property. Our fuse box was brought back to life by a pixie-sized spark who dried out the box with a hairdryer plugged into our neighbour’s socket. We watched in horror as he perched precariously on a folding patio chair: one wrong move and his ankles would have been snapped off. Liam made tea while I went for a lie down in a darkened room. This is Turkey.

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That’s All Folks!

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Strobe Lightning

Last night, the heavens opened and we were entertained by a real snap, crackle and pop of a storm. What is it about Turkish raindrops? They seem so much heavier than the Blighty variety as they fall to the ground like cluster bombs. As we watched the spectacle from our balcony, our courtyard became littered with adolescent olives and the road outside was overcome by a river of brown sludge that sloshed against our garden wall. We unplugged our fancy electricals as a precaution against the strobe lightning, positioned towels at vulnerable points around the house and hoped for the best.

At least the town’s first autumnal wash did douse the semi-parched garden. At the beginning of the summer, our neighbour took sole charge of our joint plot and made a valiant effort to keep it well watered. His initial enthusiasm eventually waned to half-hearted resentment; he seemed very pleased with the biblical downpour. We were less enthusiastic. Midway through the tempest, our roof sprang a leak and our fuse box, which is illogically located on an external wall, tripped. Compared to some, we got off lightly. We’re planning a joint birthday shindig this month; our birthdays are two weeks apart. At this rate it will be illuminated by candles and guests will be entertained by transistor radio while they sup warm white wine and dance around strategically placed buckets.
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Liam’s was making strawberry jam and, just as the kettle was coming to the boil, the electricity pylon blew up again. This time some poor little bird flew into it. The luckless creature exploded into bits like an old Hannah-Barbara cartoon leaving a flurry of feathers to float gently to the ground. Five minutes later, power was restored and Liam returned to his preserves.

Jam-making is the true vocation of all hardened emigreys.

Wacky Baccy

We thought bonfire night had come very early. For three days the electricity pylon located a few metres from the house entertained us with a nightly impersonation of a Roman candle. We feared we would be fried alive in our bed as sparks bounced off the roof. The power clicked on and off like Morse code until the fuses finally tripped. Thank the Lord for surge protectors otherwise our fancy electricals might have exploded in sympathy. On the night of the final performance I spotted arcs of lightening dance along a cable to a neighbouring house. We speculated that some dodgy local was cultivating hashish hydroponically like Brenda Blethyn in Saving Grace. Every cloud has a silver lining. The light and sound show roasted our meter. Once reset, our recent consumption has been lost for all time.

Pansy Pioneers

We semi-addressed the great heating debate with the procurement of an ugly infrared monster heater on a tripod,  colour-matched to the drawing room décor. There is much discussion about the effectiveness and cost of running such a unit. I don’t care. My feet are warm for the first time in weeks. Besides, they were flying off the shelves. As they say, when in Rome…

It’s a lazy day of pottering and laundering in brilliant, blinding sunshine. I’m cautioned that exposing our damp pants to passing locals is considered very poor taste. I’ve no wish to unwittingly offend but nor do I desire to display dripping knickers about the place like an exhibit from Tate Modern. In any case, passing traffic is rare and effective interior drying is all but impossible in a stubbornly nippy, nipple hardening abode. Daintily scented linens with real feel appeal turn to a stale musk and contribute to the inevitable condensation crisis we all endure during the mould season. In a determined effort to show uncharacteristic cultural sensitivity and to avoid inflaming Tariq the Toothless Caretaker’s bubbling ardour, I stealthily hung out our genuine designer pants in a neat row sandwiched between a t-shirt and a pillow case. Sorted.

While the undies were happily flapping away in the wind, the main fusebox switch tripped and resolutely refused to be reset. Clearly, the underpowered circuit designed only to run a couple of light bulbs struggles to cope with all our decadent fancy electricals. It was a relief that after a few anxious attempts power was restored. Such is the leisurely life of a pansy pioneer in the Wild East.