Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Galery

I promised a galery of all my vacation photos or at least a choice of the best. Here are some explanations -- or go directly to the galery.

Inspiring details and the "beach google"

We did not buy a lot of souvenirs. Not that we were out of money; but there wasn't too much worth while, and if it was, we would have had trouble to get it safely over the flight. I took back these dishes, hand painted, in my cabin rucksack, wrapped into a traditional hamam towel, the thing people wear in the steam bath.
On auntie's lanai, I discovered this wonderful grid, very simply made, yet with a surprising effect.
-- Something you see most everywhere: The use of solar energy. Almost all the hot water in households and hotels is produced by means of solar panels and stored in metal barrels on the rooftops. Even old and poor looking houses are equipped with such devices, maybe less shining and new than these.
Before the use of solar energy started, Turkey had a serious problem with illegal wood chopping; this is solved, as far as I know.
Solar energy is almost entirely used to heat water. As for electricity, Turkey uses water power mostly, but also plans to build nuclear power stations. What for? They are flooded with sunshine!
Turkey is a modern country with all kinds of technical equipment, but on the other hand, there is no unemployment insurance, as we have it; the family has to support members who don't have a job.
Now the promised story. I was sitting in a beach chair, J was reading the "Golden Compass", I was doing my embroidery when I missed my scissors. Oh my. I started digging in the sand. The beach "janitor", an employee of our hotel, saw me and asked if he could help. Yes, please! He said, wait a minute, and came back with his beach "search engine", a rake with a wire basket which caught my scissors indeed after one or two strokes over the place where we had been sitting. Of course this help was followed by a proper tip.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

... and the real reason for blogging here

This is my favourite place in the Turkish hotel. A lanai, open to all sides, allowing the wind from the sea to cool the place. Once, we had 43°C/108°F. But this was only one day with a wind that seemed to come out of a baking oven. Mostly, it was around 86 F, quite pleasant. But not going down much at night, so we had to sleep with the air condition on, and the cold winds fell right onto my bed, so I had dreams of wool caps. The remote was in a box screwed to the wall, so all you could do was to switch off and on. At last I learnt that the lid of the machine could be put into a different position, so this was improved.
I had a flu for a few days, and when it was mostly over, J got it.
I got a little further with my embroidery. The cook of the hotel had a look and said that this looks like Turkish nomad craft. I was quite pleased to hear that. I had taken a sketch along instead of the big book. But I did not get very far, because most of the time, there was an animation program going on around the pool, and this lanai was close to it. The young guys who did the animation turned up the music to an intolerable volume, so I was constantly on the move, looking for a quiet place. The nights were no better, there was disco music and parties all around in the neighbouring hotels, so even my ear plugs were not enough to save my sleep. We had to sleep with closed windows and a chilling air condition -- see above. But this hotel also had great advantages; more about that soon. And then I will explain the "beach google".

Friday, June 25, 2010

I missed you, friends

The other night I had a dream of one of my blogger friends -- or was this a symbol for many of you? And I was trying to find out how you were. Now I'm back online, and I'll find out.
Next chapter of my travelling adventures. The place where we were is a new village on the south coast of Turkey, a place that is only 30 years old, an assembly of hotels. Yesterday, we took a taxi plus driver. He drove us up past the ruins of an aqueduct from Roman times to an embarkment up in the mountains. I asked him to take us there and to some quiet place where we could eat typical Turkish food, and we ended up on his aunt's lanay. His cousin made wonderful flatbread for us, filled with spinach and cheese, plus a few more lovely dishes, a salted yoghurt drink (ayran) and more stuff. We finished the meal with tea and watermelon. The aunt charged 18$ for all of it. No, not per person. For the complete meal. So we were integrated into the family, real genuine Turkish village inhabitants, and this was part of his sales management. It is funny, how business and privacy are being mixed for a higher purpose. We departed with kisses on both cheeks, and our driver thanked his aunt with a Turkish hand kiss: He kissed his aunt's hand and then touched it with his forehead. Very charming gesture.

Back from Turkey

This is our first life sign after two weeks in Turkey. We saw so many amazing things, and I'll go into the details asap. We just arrived, unpacked our luggage, and now we are hungry and have to buy food. Upper picture: Stormy weather, quite unusual in Southern Turkey, and swimming was forbidden on that day. Usually, the sea was very calm. Here, you see a bit of the ancient ruins from the Greek settlings from about 1800 years ago. And this is the view out of our hotel room, rather our first room, because we changed, due to the noise, after a few days. More details and picture galery in a few hours!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Magic Day in the City

You might have heard that we call Hamburg "the most beautiful town", and among the reasons are the lake in the center and the park. After shopping (a light, but ladylike blouse for Turkey, not the one in the shop window, right pic), we sat by the Alster lake for a while. Then we decided to walk on through the Colonnaden shopping mall and arrived in a park which is simply called "Plants and Flowers". The atmosphere was warm and damp, another rain was due, but still lingering. We sat in the park for some time, talking about the past year and its changes -- we had started this walk with a short visit in J's old company, and talking to his ex-colleagues had eased his mind a little. He had been very sorry to leave a company he had been working for thru 7 years until the company decided to centralize their service in Munich; but now, J heard that things were getting worse, overtime working and Saturday-/Sunday work was due, so he lost some of his regret.
He does enjoy his time off now, and we sat in this park for some time, just letting our eyes rest on the flowers, on the ponds, on the little waterfall. Then we took the train home; when we got out of the subway, we saw that it was pouring down and ran to reach our flat.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A closer look

You are right, the embroidery is not so visible in my latest posting, and maybe it is a little embarrassing to show it too closely... It is a little primitive. But some of the examples in the books show that not everyone who did embroidery had a hand for refined design. The red wool blinded my camera, it is just too radiant.

Arrived today after almost one month shipping: My latest Spoonflower goodies. Had to pay 9$ customs. But wasn't it worth it? There is the tablecloth for my m-i-l. The material is linnen-cotton canvas, a rather sturdy material. And as always, the printing is very good quality and 100% true to the handpainted design in shape and color.
My cloud pattern is not on the first page of the shop any more. They remove a design after 6 weeks in the charts. Boo. Couldn't it just go down slowly when people lose interest? But maybe they wouldn't? It is still selling, but now, less people will find it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First bits of my new project

I started this project in order to have something for our journey. It will be a large project, I guess. I made a sketch to plan it a bit, but in most cases, the finished piece turns out quite differently. But that's part of the fun.
This one has a slightly primitive appeal, as I wanted it to. The red wool looks so neon! More than in daylight. When it is used up, there will be no more of this kind. It is not produced any more.
Funny feeling. Will I have to go back to untwisted sock wool?

We'll be starting in a few days. So this is not my last posting before lifting off, I guess.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Still enjoying -- Lena Meyer-Landrut

She won! In the eyes of America, she may be one in the crowd of singers. But for Germany, she is extraordinary. This is her first public appearance as a singer! 18 years old, just finishing highschool, the grandchild of a diplomat with Baltic roots. (Aha...) All of us are in love with her, and she swept the silly show called Eurovision Song Contest completely off the stage. No show, just her in a simple black dress, and her chorus. She won. Millions danced in the streets all over Europe.