Thursday, September 23, 2010

here we are

You can see a corner of our pool where we are staying as well as some of the view out from the property. The house is amazing - three stories of eccentric wood and wrought-iron magnificence, with old tombs jutting out of a couple of the walls (those old tombs, you have to work around them), soft curtains that float in the breeze and wagon wheels everywhere (as a light fitting here, on the gate there, in the garden.)
This is the house that Ali built. He has some amazing stories of working with the builders - figuring out how to make the external staircase, problems with the swimming pool tiles lifting off once the water was in there and having to be redone. I can't believe he has done it, and all from his head telling the builders what he wanted and then working out together with them how to make it happen. The whole thing is a towering castle of stone and marble and glass. Simply incredible.
We all have rooms here except Princess and I are sleeping together at the top of the house in a big bed with white mosquito net which is so softly romantic. This isn't just so no child-bride stealers will climb up to take her away. We like sleeping together on holiday, it's special and fun. The weather is hot hot hot but today is breezier and it comes right up the mountains off the sea and is glorious.
Breakfasts are typical Turkish breakfast. Sun-ripened tomatoes that cost less than $2 per kilo and are better than anything you can taste in Australia. Some cucumber, white cheese, soft fresh bread and coffee. Or tea. Or both. Salty black olives and then maybe some pastry to finish. Then in to the pool, then maybe in to town for a wander. Or maybe not.
Friends arrived the other day and they have tootled off to look at some ruins nearby, and my girlfriend seemed a little puzzled that I didn't want to go. There is nothing I want more than to just stay here in this Wesley-esque villa, its garden and pool. And it's platforms amongst the trees that are scattered with cushions and where you can laze and lie and drowse and stretch and not even turn one page of your book.
As soon as we arrived, Princess saw the white kitten. Her baba had been feeding her a little but had he gotten her a collar with a bell and with a string of blue eyes along it? No. Had he gotten her a flea collar, and two types of cat food, wet and dry? So she has collars and food galore and her brother has turned up so he has a bowl of food as well in the mornings and nights, but no collar yet because he won't let her touch him. Once he lets her pat him, he gets the collar.
There is a hill nearby. It is not too big and not too small and the top is a bit rounded and a bit pointed. I want to climb this hill before we leave. I don't know if there are fences or other impediments - dogs, goats, snakes. But this is my deep desire.
Better finish now. The Cats lost and Clokes and the other two kids (the boy especially) are too excited about Collingwood being in the Grand Final. I couldn't care less, not really, other than if they DO win, at least I'm not there. St Kilda is my second team so I wouldn't mind seeing them win...
I'm reading Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. It is an awesome book and I don't want it to finish.
Hope you are all well, can't say I'm missing Melbs but you know. We'll be back soon enough and this will all be but a dream. Trying to live in the moment, fairly easy to do when there's nothing pressing to do other than float in the swimming pool watching the red dragonflies perched along the edge. I've never seen red dragonflies before - they look like prehistoric creatures with enormous eyes and long spiky tails. And red, scarlet, and they glitter.

Friday, September 10, 2010

gone fishing

Farewell dear friends.

See you when we get back.

There will be diarama and news and maybe some photes, and surely plenty of stories to tell.


Oh and GO CATS.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

a few small things before I go

Hey you
Pretty good about Jules, n'est ce-pas? I'm pleased and will be taking my Julia badge, custom made by squib, to Turkey. It's a bit funny though. Turkey had their first female prime minister back in the early to mid 90s. Her name was Tansu Ciller and she was expected to be a puppet of male politicians but once she got into power, did not bow to anyone. She was well-respected and strong, but then of course fell off the pedestal, I can't remember what about. Everyone falls of their pedestal eventually. Except maybe Mandela.
Watched Invictus the other night. It was terrific and even though it was about rugby, it wasn't about rugby of course. I wonder if Mandela is a secret buddhist because he was showing all sorts of buddhist ways. I was amazed too that it was true to life. The Springboks were crap, he got behind them, they rose above their mediocrity, managed to have whites AND blacks going for them, and beat the All Blacks in the final in 1995. Awesome feel-good movie that doesn't resort to tricks to keep you involved, and there wasn't even one cliche that I could see.
What a beautiful day it is today. I am in a t-shirt and was just down the street, everyone looks happy. I've finished work (may have dug my own grave there yesterday with a couple of ill-advised comments and negative body language) but I'm away now until Mon 11 October and feeling mighty fine about that.
Had breakfast this morning with a dear friend who, with another couple of friends will be meeting us in the south of Turkey to spend some time. A few years ago we had a fantasy of three of us buying a villa in Portugal and while that hasn't happened, we can pretend that Ali's villa on the Mediterranean will suffice. I'm seeing all sorts of scenes from Stealing Beauty but I'm determined Princess will not be seduced by anyone closely resembling a creepy Jeremy Irons.
Is there a role he's played that HASN'T been creepy?
Princess comes back tomorrow from camp. I haven't heard anything so no news is good news. She told me one of her friends was hospitalised on a previous camp (dehydration) and I am expecting her to arrive back slightly hysterical. It will either be all good or all bad, there will be no in between. I hope she had a grouse time.
I won't be blogging in Turkey I don't think, but you never know. Last time I did one from an Internet cafe, so there's a chance. I will if I can.
Stay safe everyone and enjoy the warm sunshine that will no doubt be a fixture, now that we are leaving the country.
Oh, and Go Cats!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Another vigil

So when the miners were underground in Tasmania for ten days or whatever it was, I remember thinking about them as I went about my daily life. I even blogged about it.

All the time they were down there, I was up here doing my normal stuff. Going to the toilet, eating, snuggling into bed, waking and sleeping. Working.

And then there was the other vigil, the waiting for Princess to come back from America. Twenty-six days of hell.

I find myself in a similar situation now. Princess went to camp at 7am on Thursday morning.
It was dry but the deluge was coming. They are west of Melbourne, near the coast and under canvas for seven nights, eight days. Apparently there is a house on the property that I GUESS the teachers will take them to if say, they are completely washed out and having to wring the water out of sleeping bags and dodge falling tree branches?

There is no contact with them until Thursday when they get their phones given back on the bus home, and while I sent her off with the most sublimely packed bag with nothing forgotten, lots of warm stuff in the correct fibres, even hiking boots and thicko socks and as much stroggin* as she could carry, I still find it difficult to push away the thought that while I am snug and safe my babe is lost in the woods somewhere.

Last night, in bed, with my hot water bottle against my stomach, the wind and rain lashing the window, how could I settle down and sleep? We've been to a party, had Father's Day breakfast, slept in clean linen, worked, shopped, read, watched Geelong lose narrowly (not bitter, not bitter) and all the while she is somewhere I can't imagine, can't visualise, possibly up to her ears in mud.

So glad to see the sun today, but the papers are telling me there's worse to come? Cars have been pushed off precipices on the ski mountains, people are being evacuated from flooded towns, and the only thing that is keeping me sane is that she is not in a danger area and she is with professionals. But the next few days will still be long ones.

And next Saturday we leave for Turkey. Ahhhhh.

* hiking snacks, like chocolate, nuts etc. High energy, high protein.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Love this song

Can't embed, it's disabled. This is a great version. 1977, before it got overcooked.

Just wonderful.