It has been a wonderful summer this year, a long one, spend most of it in Turkey, in our little place by the sea, woodworking has not been there too much, partly because we were busy settling in and playing in the water or hanging out in the hammock with good books and a cold beer.
But I will share a little of the joy along with the little woodworking and inspiration.
This is the hide out, a stone throw from the sea in South West Turkey.
We have rented this place for a couple of years and enjoy the locals company and kindness.
It is situated in a small village of thirty houses or so.
View from living room.
Here our house, with the 1 kilometre mountain behind.
The trees are orange and mandarin and you might see our little kitchen garden in front of the house.
I made drawings for some simple farmers furniture, inspired from the locals we have visited and these were made from a local carpenter from local wood, just in my spirit.
Here it is the kitchen frame where we added a marble section recycled from some old steps that were trashed in a nearby village.
The local carpenter, it was a joy to work a little with him, I felt he really liked getting this strange Dane as a client, to make things as they were used to be made and in the old houses spirit.
For me this is to respect the house and place.
Bedroom is same song; less is more than enough.
Old local bee hives as chests for clothing.
In the living room a traditional divan, made in three pieces so it can become three guest beds or a spare double bed.
We had the mattresses and pillows made from Bedouin tent fabric and cotton filling as they make it traditionally here.
He also made us the little table and the dinner table outside, after my drawings inspired from old traditional furnitures here.
All in all I am really happy, my fear that it would become seventies with all the wood was put to shame. I feel it has become light, timeless and respectful to the house and local tradition.
Ok, let’s forget about the house and focus on life and dead… after all a house is only a machine for living!
The death of this beautiful octopus after meeting me with a harpoon, is a dinner worthy of a king for me.
Here the old dinner table, the wood beetles here are serious!
There were practically no wood left in that leg, so I made a quick fix, so it could be used outside by the toilet.
Just a simple lap joint after cutting of the worst part.
Then some footworking.
Was lucky to find a piece of trashed wood that I could use for the repair.
Just nails and wood.
Have to admit it was not all fun, here I am at the local barber, please notice our faces, as he is pulling out hair from my ear, with warm wax.
Some people don’t believe in miracles, I have seen them!
Every day we woke up the locals had left us green and fruits on the porch.
Imagine two months we had this stream of fresh food in the kitchen and fish from the sea.
Yes I am a blessed man.
Here is one of the locals, he is a neighbor two houses away, Ahmet, this day we brought him with us to the marked and when I looked in the mirror he were sitting on the back seat laughing with one of my hats on my head.
Nature are also close when you live here and nature seemed to be interested in our world also.
Wonder if it were looking at the tree.
Here we are at one of the farmers markets, this day we bought some garden tools, a few axes and other stuff for the house. You can buy shit from China, but you can also buy traditional Turkish handmade tools really cheap and for a tool fool like me it is always interesting to buy and use tools from different cultures.
Here a man selling wooden things, while carving a traditional Turkish spoon.
Always a joy to watch a man working with skilled hands.
Ahmet were interested in things for his wife.
Perhaps selling carpets are not a bad business…
Kayaking is also just what you need on a hot day.
Here on my way out to look for fish in the basket trap.
Or together up coast, just for the joy of it.
Ohh yes while we were there, there were a coup d’état in Turkey, so I got a message from Tayyip Erdogan…
To be honest we almost did not feel the coup, air planes over flew the area once or twice a day, a few road blocks since some of the soldiers were hiding in the woods close to our house and a few police officers checking out the area. But the locals were quite affected and spoke a lot about it. In turkey most people seems to take it as a blessing since it will mean that the military power over the government since 1923 are finally history, even the same people at the same time see Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as the country’s father. All this is complex but not hard to understand if you read the history of Turkey. Personally I hope this will become a chance for Turkey to become a real democracy and that Erdogan will work on a free and open Turkish democracy from now.
Ohhh yes sometime nature comes really close, as when I caught this rat on the toilet…
Every day a new image when looking at the sea.
The hairdresser invited us to his sons wedding.
It was a wonderful evening, my daughter and her friend were with us, since they came for holidays.
Here four generations of woman dressed for the wedding.
Filiz and I with our landlord. She can smile from the heart and are so happy that the house are again full of life.
She live with her husband and family on the mountain, so it is a drive one kilometre up hill, on narrow gravel roads to visit them.
Also had time for trying out some old motorcycles.
Kind of fell in love with this 1969, IZH Jupiter 2, a 350cc 2-stroke made in Russia by the Kalashnikov Concern, but some vital parts were missing and so it was not possible to know if we could get it in order and if something broke to get spares from Russia were hell.
Then a ride on this IZH Planeta 5 sidecar motorcycle but this was not for me, I have chronic pain in my arms and riding this was like riding a angry bull…
Finally I saw a old Jawa, in Turkey this is like a Vespa for a Italian, it was hugely popular for many years and was affordable, so it became the workers motorcycle.
But either they were too expensive, or they were in too bad condition, so we kind of gave this one up.
So back to the IZH.
1980, IZH Planeta 5, 350cc 2-stroke made in Russia by the Kalashnikov Concern.
Kind of like driving a tractor in a good way. they told us this was like a horse and used to be the favourite of the farmers.
Hmmmmmm not easy to let the sidecar go, liked this feeling of adventure!
MaFe goes Indiana Jones…
So time to distract the brain.
Here back to the mattress man.
He is cutting foam for a mattress for a divan and it is also made to fit our trunk in the car for tour purpose.
I build this divan out of pallets on the top of the roof, like this we could sleep there at night and just hang out when it’s not the hot summer months.
We also bought the beautiful old wedding chest you see on the photo, it was used to deliver newspapers in, in a nearby town and the owner seemed happy we would pay next to nothing for it.
I will post later about the pallet divan project.
Here my wonderful mother in law hanging out, she were sleeping there on the days she came to visit us.
(She have a family house in Turkey, 9 hours drive from where we were).
Woodworking inspiration, this is a traditionally old kitchen ‘cabinet’, that used to be a common wedding gift.
We bought it on the roadside from a farmer selling oranges, that had it hanging in his little place and also here the owner were surprised that someone would buy it, even we paid less for it than the oranges.
Different friends of Filiz came for visit, here from Istanbul and we enjoyed to have the house full of life.
The fabric with stars in the back is our shower, we shower outside by the kitchen sink and our guests all loved to have a evening shower while watching the stars.
Breakfast and reading the Koran.
I have read the Bible and so I thought it would be right to read the Koran, when I have now decided to spend time in Turkey. Also I bought this Koran some years back out of interest in the Islamic culture.
As a part of this trying to understand, I also went with my neighbours and other locals a few times for friday prayers.
This is the local mosque, a simple building in a small village up the hill.
So what did I learn?
Understanding, respect, compassion.
But to explain here in short words would not be fair, so I will make it short and say that what the media is trying to tell us is far from the truth. There are NO blood thirsty Muslims to be found in the local population, just as you don’t find soldiers with bomb drones when you visit the West, what I see is peaceful, loving and caring humans, that wants peace and who brought us food without ever asking anything in return. I meet open minds and souls that were strong in their believes often due to the fact they were used to struggle for a living and so they were helpful to one another.
Also I learned that the Koran and the Bible have much more in common than I knew and to be honest after reading both books I have become less and less religious…
I believe in that there are something bigger than us, I fell that in the wood when I do woodworking, let’s call it God, but this is not something that would ever kill to be spread, so any one calling them self religious while wanting others dead, don’t believe in the same as I do.
Ok, hope I don’t start a war here now, please just read my words as mine and don’t argue if you don’t agree.
The The wrote the song, Slow Emotion.
The more I see
The less I know
About all the things I thought were wrong or right
& carved in stone
So, don’t ask me about
War, Religion, or God
Love, Sex, or Death
Everybody knows what’s going wrong with the world
But I don’t even know what’s going on in myself.
You’ve gotta work out your own salvation.
With no explanation to this Earth we fall
On hands & knees we crawl
And we look up to the stars
And we reach out & pray
To a deaf, dumb & blind God who never explains.
Every body knows what’s going wrong with the world
But I don’t even know what’s going on in myself.
Lord, I’ve been here for so long
I can feel it coming down on me
I’m just a slow emotion replay of somebody I used to be.
I had the luck to have the local Imam working on the field next to our house, this meant we had weekly talks about religion, being a human, love, compassion, temptation and much more. Further more it was wonderful to be able to question while reading the Koran, since I often felt confused and found double meanings just as in the Bible. The Imam is one of the kindest and most modest men, one of his first words to me when I told him I were reading the Koran was; ‘if I had grown up in your country, I would have been a Christian’, this made me calm and made me realize he had no intention of pushing me in any direction. So yes I feel I got a good understanding now about what it is to be a Muslim, that just as I as a Christian don’t follow the Bible blindfolded and word by word, then a Muslim don’t follow the Koran like this also. But yes extremists comes in many forms, confused Christians that ride horses with red crosses killing anyone that will not become Christians, Muslims with bombs strapped to the body, school kids with machine guns killing other students, people with white hats killing people with black skin and so on, crazy people will always exist, but we should never make them as an example of a whole population.
So let us leave the religion here and watch the sun go down with hope and love on our minds.
A good reason could be that we love our children, here my daughter and her friend hanging out in the hammocks. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed their visit.
Ok my sweet daughter Mathilde had to visit the hospital after she came too close to nature…
This scorpion kissed her foot as she were walking in the dark.
I got it and will post how it got a box later.
Luckily most animals were more friendly, some so friendly that you could feel their personality.
These are kind of my favourites.
And it was the first time I saw the crickets that sings so wonderful.
Sadly not all of them were alive, like this sea turtle that washed in.
Ohh here he is again Ahmet, here with his horse.
The richness of Turkey.
Passed this fine workshop.
He were working on a turning.
But as you can see he are working on all kinds of woodworking.
Also these wonderful birdcages.
I have to admit I loved his order.
The Jawa were following us like a ghost!
Talking of woodworking…
Two Muslim girls, hand in hand, walking to the beach.
Some how this is a good image of what i was talking about.
Difference don’t need to be a problem, it can even be beautiful.
Nature and food came right to the doorstep.
Making tea the traditional Turkish way.
Serving it for and sharing it with some of the locals.
We enjoyed so many wonderful moments like this this summer.
Ohhh yes and while Filiz mother was visiting us, she were spreading her wonderful happy and relaxed mood, here laughing over a small cake.
Also she had heard I were looking at motorcycles and she said; ‘buy the best one, buy the Jawa, I will pay’.
So that made the choice!
We had stumbled across this wonderfully restored one at a local restaurant, the owner had a heart operation and could not drive it. He had just three years ago had it restored for three times the prize I ended up paying for it, so I were more than happy, even though it was a long process to get the papers done and it had a broken generator that needed to be fixed before I were able to give it a good ride.
Do I need to say I love it?
1968 Jawa 250, at its heart, an air-cooled, two-stroke, 246cc, parallel twin powerhouse paired to a four-speed manual transmission, and can produce 17 horsepower.
Had some wonderful rides and Filiz love it also.
It’s a small motor, but plenty of life for the little mountain roads here and the sound is nothing less than wonderful.
Filiz mother love sea food, so I was happy to shoot some octopus and catch some fish for her, to make her a wonderful thank you dinner.
You want dinner?
Did you ask for walrus?
Here from another day with fish on the table.
we came to love a fish with poisonous spines, so I had to be careful when catching and cleaning them, since I learned the hard way that it was like a mild bee sting when it happened…
Grrrr Ahmet again, now with my glasses…
Also time to see some of the ancient story of Turkey.
Amazing these carved out buildings.
And Turkish local food.
(Ok perhaps not all local).
Did I mention I bought a Jawa?
Building site sign.
Guess it means: Scream with dirty hands!.
Building site sign.
Guess it means: Work only with stylish hat!.
Building site sign.
Guess it means: Tom Jones tell you this!.
Ok I have to admit I love my new Jawa.
Beauty of nature and dinner.
Evening fire just for joy.
Shopping in a nearby town. Mügla.
Prince MaFe of Turkey going to the Turkish bath.
Like a new painting every day in front of the house.
Fitting handles for garden tools, that’s kind of woodworking or?
Ok cutting a hole then to fit a box on the back of the Jawa then?
No as I said, not much woodworking, but sometimes working some wood.
Sewing some leather sheaths for some knife I made back home in Copenhagen.
While having Turkish coffee and a brandy.
Ahmet again, now with my Stetson…
Evening on the terrace.
Diamonds on the sea.
Did I mention a Jawa?
Our house, grapes, orange and mandarin trees, Jawa, old table by the toilet, kayak, hammocks, roof divan, corns in front and olive trees behind.
Well the summer came to an end and we had to pack up.
The owner will put a extra window in the bedroom, so we had to cover for dust.
This guy is the one to ask if you want to know what it is to live a honest life and never compromise.
He walks several hours with his horse two times a week to pick up water from a spring, this even though he have a water tap in his house, only because he only wants his family to drink the best water, direct from nature. He sleeps on the floor in a barn, to give room for his children and grand children in the house. He grow food in his field and walk to the coast to give some of it away for free to people passing by, just because he have learned from the Koran that you must share and because it feels good to him. This man have a clean heart and we are so many that can learn from this.
Also we had so many laughs together and talks of what it meant to be a good man.
The moon kissing the sea.
With this I will say thank you if you read this blog, it means that you have patience and that you unlike most people still have the ability to read a longer text and not just headlines.
Perhaps, that you like I enjoy many facets of life and therefore know, we have to learn to let go and just be.
Did I mention my Jawa?
(Shut up MaFe).
Hope it can inspire, perhaps bring some light, smiles and understanding.
The best of my thoughts,
-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.