Showing posts from September, 2015

Scary Turkish storms and Turkish Bayram

Did I say Cirali was quiet?  Well, not now.  Turns out this week is a national holiday for a big Muslim festival and the place is absolutely packed with Turkish families. Many small children running around the place.
    Here, the festival is called Kurban Bayrani. We call it Eid Al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice. Derya, our landlord, invited us to go along to the mosque early in the morning, where he was helping to distribute sweets to the children.  Unfortunately I overslept but Philosopher went. He said it was very interesting. The children each got a carrier bag full of goodies. Derya also told us that he had paid for an animal sacrifice - it is done in a slaughterhouse - and the meat should be given to the poor - but he said there were no poor people in Cirali.
     Here are some of Philosopher's pictures of the sweet-giving ceremony.

     We have lots of opportunity to practice our limited Turkish.  There are no other English people here at all.
     Yesterday we met Derya…

Cirali, Turkey - Year Three!

Cirali has developed in our absence, and seems to have jumped forward since our holiday last year. The main village street has been paved, there are more shops, a cash point, and most surprising, rows of umbrellas and sun-beds are colonising the beach supposed to be reserved for the breeding turtles.  There was no sign of the wire cages that are used to protect their nests. I was alarmed to see this, but Derya, our landlord, assured me that 7000 eggs have hatched this year, and the turtles have now all left for the sea...... 
   Sadly, development does not necessarily bring more business, many Russians are staying away due to their economic situation, and Brits seem to be afraid to venture to Turkey.  People don't seem to realise that this is an absolutely huge country. One is far more likely to encounter desperate Syrians and disaffected Kurds in Hastings.
   We have been here nearly a week out of two weeks, this week overlapping with old friend +Shaun McKenna.     This time, we …

Coastal Currents- Open Studios and sensational Barefoot Opera

Our old friends Sue and Alex came down to stay for a few days, and we did all sorts of dynamic things....
     The first day we went for a long walk round Hastings - West Hill, Alexandra Park, Bohemia, Summerfields Woods and back to town. Stopped in the West Hill Cafe to admire the views of the Old Town and the sea, then for a pint in the North Star in Clarence Road, and lunch in the General Havelock pub a must-see for any lover of Victorian tiles. This is an excellent walk - I have described it in a previous blog post. That was back in 2012, I see, and again it was Coastal Currents time, and that was when we originally saw the Claire Fletcher picture... see later. What a coincidence....
      Next day we all went down to the Old Town, and first thing, stopped for a coffee at the relatively new coffee shop at the front of the Laindons Bed and Breakfast, in the High Street. It's a risky business, letting Battleaxe loose in a new coffee place.....  On the positive side, the quality …

Bottle Alley in Hastings - deco delight or derelict disgrace?

The Coastal Currents Arts Festival is underway, and Bottle Alley has been transformed into an art installation. I thought I'd take a break from cleaning the kitchen (yes, really, a rare occurence in Battleaxeland) and go and have a look.
     Non-Hastingas may ask, what is Bottle Alley? Well, if like us, you'd lived far too long with crumbling sixties Birmingham concrete, you'd expect a very dodgy pee-smelling subway inhabited by cider-bottle-flinging street drinkers.
      To be honest, Bottle Alley is not that different. It's a very long covered walkway that runs along the seafront from the Pier up towards St Leonard's, below the raised promenade. It is so long, that looking along it from the end, the perspective almost reaches a vanishing point. It got its name from the inner walls, which are covered in a mosaic of broken glass bottles embedded into the concrete. It is actually a splendid piece of modernist/deco architecture.

       The remodelling of the sea-fr…

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