•January 11, 2015 • 6 Comments

Today we’re of to Serigerme beach, a little run of about 20 miles, more riding practice for my daughter, firstly though its find “Little Vic” a tortoise that wandered in and adopted us.

Every morning find little Vic for his breakfast


He quite often gets himself stuck on the gates and needs a little shove.

He climbs the gate to get from one side of the garden to the other



This whole episode took about 20 minutes to photograph, you never get any action blur when photographing him!

Over !!

Thats the entertainment over for the day, on the bikes and off to the beach.

Today we are off to Sarigerme beach for a swim

V speeding past


I like to take beach photos from in the sea with the beach in the background.



Fag break


Group shot

Dry-off and back on the bikes to Dalaman.

On our way back home




•January 10, 2015 • 4 Comments

My daughter came out to Turkey for a holiday, within two hours of stepping off the plane she asked to ride one of the bikes, having no experience other than being a pillion on her boyfriends bike back in UK , I insisted she learned on a scooter first.

Why learn on a scooter first?…It’s much easier, there’s so much less to think about, they weigh less, the brakes are what your used too, being on the handle bars just like a peddle bike that we all have ridden when we were children, also there’s no clutch and gears to think about, its all automatic, not having to think about these things frees up your mind to learn road sense. The highest accident rates on the roads are among new drivers and new riders.

Arrived in Dalaman

I repaired the scooter and checked everything was working.

“ This is a mirror Vienna, you don't need them in Turkey”

We went through all the switches and what they do, practiced finding the engine kill switch without looking, its best to find this one automatically because when you need to use it, your generally in a panicked/flustered situation.

Control practice

Next it was practice getting used to where the automatic clutch starts to bite, roll a few inches, then power off and gently brake, its important to get a feel for the front wheel brake, harsh stabby braking locks up the front wheel and never ends well for the rider.

“Go on you have my full attention”

Next was ride the length of the garden, gently stop and practice maneuvering, turning as if parking in town, the trick to not being wobbly on a bike is to look far ahead to where you want to be and not to look down.


Getting better


Lastly it was practice maneuvering as if parking in a tight place with the engine helping you shunt the bike around.

No problems - on the roads next

Next it was out on some quiet back roads to learn road sense.

Wild Hogs Baby !!

Everyone has their own idea about road sense on bikes, mine are to ride in the center of the lane not near the edge, and definitely not in the gutter as many novice riders start out in, all the dust, grit,gravel and various bits that drop of cars and trucks end up here, its slippery for a bike and also there is nowhere to go if you need to make an evasive maneuver.

Quick ride around and then off to the beach

She’s a very quick learner, so next of we went on to the main roads and a little 20 mile run to one of the beaches we like.




Wild Hogs Baby

Practiced the knuckle salute!!


Stopped and had a quick lesson about riding on dirt tracks, you have to be very gentle with the brakes, power and no sudden harsh movements steering.


Quick pit stop for a coke

Stopped at a little cafe for some lunch.


Then its just a mile or so the the beach.

Nearly at the beach


Just a quick paddle about at the beach.

Sarigerme beach

Had a quick paddle, water warm so coming back tomorrow

V and Linda


Off for a run back home.

On our way back home




We decided that tomorrow we’d  leave earlier and spend the day at the beach.



•January 8, 2015 • 14 Comments

Its July and very hot here now, mid 40’s most days, we thought a nice long run to Bodrum would be in order, its a good 4 hour trip each way if you dont need to stop for  a fag every 30 minutes. One of the “Quaint” traffic laws in Turkey is that all motorbikes are restricted to 70 KPH  (44 MPH) needless to say most bikers in Turkey are constantly stopped and contribute vast amounts of money to the police benevolent fund.

Trip up to Bodrum

The black tape over the filler cap key hole prevents the petrol bubbling out and spraying me when the tank gets hot in the sun with the engine running, a small modification but a good one!



Our moody camera took a few hours off again, so not many pics of the views and fag stops.

Bodrum from the road

Bodrum in the distance.


We chanced upon a pension right in the center of town.



I really love this bike, even though she’s a cheap Chinese copy of a Yamaha Virago, she does all that’s asked of her and returned about 65 MPG on the run up here, petrol prices in Turkey at this moment are almost 7.50 Pounds a gallon (12 USD) The paint and bodywork are dire but the engines on these Chinese clones are good for the money.



We stayed in the room for an hour to cool down and take advantage of the included tea and watermelon.


the view from the balcony over Bodrum marina

The view from our balcony over Bodrum marina.


We had a walk around town, Bodrum castle in the distance.


St.Peters castle, built by good old English Crusaders Centuries ago.


The Mrs. found the bazaar (Moody camera again) and unfortunately I had to endure 5 hours of being dragged around a multitude of tat shops and stalls before I was allowed to eat.


I ordered International cuisine, English steak and chips in a Chinese restaurant in Turkey!


The next day I wanted to explore the castle.






The chapel above was built by King John in the 13th century, the tower had the top lobbed off in the 1980’s and converted to a minaret, very few Christian symbols are allowed in Turkey, people thinking and deciding for themselves would never do!






After photo posing, more exploring.









The evening was spent in the bloody Bazaar again, not much storage space left in the bike now. Next day it was back on the bike and a run to Ephesus, Mary’s house and the Tomb of St.John the Baptist.

Off to Ephesus near kusadasi

First up is Mary’s house (Jesus mother) Had my doubts if this was genuine as its a fair old way from Israel, so searched the Vatican website and they say it is, apparently she fled the Holy lands by boat after the Crucifixion.





Franciscan Nuns run the place supported by American charities.



Prayers are written by people and pinned,tied,taped to the wall around the house.


Baptism pool.

I have one already

I already have a genuine fake watch but know where to come now when it breaks!

ST.John basillica

St.Johns basilica.

St. John the baptist's grave

The tomb of St.John the Baptist, I must confess, I thought it would be grander.


Next up is a little run to Ephesus then back to Bodrum.


Ephesus ampitheatre



The Ephesus library is quite magnificent.




This way to the brothel

Follow the footprints to the brothel.


Roman loo.


Off back to Bodrum and the hotel for a shower, been a long sweaty day walking around.

Yes - I am sunburnt !!

Yes, I am proper, proper sun-burnt!


The long run back to Dalaman.

Ciggie break


The usual slippy melted tar on Mugla hill.



Nice photo of my genuine fake watch!


And home again, this is the longest run so far on this bike, several hours each way, it took longer to get home because of  rock bum and dead legs, torture on motorbikes is part of the fun!



•January 7, 2015 • 6 Comments

With our friend Mick, on his Honda Dominator, we had a run to Datca for a bike rally and music festival.

Trip to Aktur near Dacta for a bike rally


Ir’s a good 2.5 hour run each way from Dalaman to Datca.

first ciggie break on the way to Marmaris

First ciggie break.




Stopped for another fag break in some town or other.

Ciggie break in Marmaris


Skirting past Marmaris.

View over Marmaris


Another fag break admiring the coastal view.

Ciggie break along the coast



The Datca peninsular has some great views on both sides of the road.

Stunning sceanery


ciggie break

The morning is warming up now and the stops for a drink and ciggie getting more frequent.






The campsite where the festival is held.

We are here for the 3rd Marmok bike festival


Met some interesting people walking around the camp.

Cool !!

We just had to have a go of course, but its harder than it looks, Mick and I soon gave up trying to ride one.

I had to try it

It was horrible and scarey


Mick had a go

Having both given up on the scary fally-over machine we explored the campsite beach.

Aktur beach

Our new friend !!



Had a wander around looking at bikes.

The festival lasts for a week - bikes and rock music





If ever I won the lottery, I’d have me a Goldwing.



Time to relax after all that walking around



Cool Goldwing


Mick got asked to join a chapter, they didn’t ask me, bastards!!


Mick and Linda made some new friends, I went for a swim.


The sea was warm so just had to have a swim

Mick and I set of back to Dalaman early evening, Linda followed a couple of days later, it was good trip out and nice to see all the bikes.



•January 7, 2015 • 6 Comments

Ian & Bev came to stay with us at the villa.


Having spare bikes came in useful….


…As did a volunteer to help with the polishing.


Ian had a desperate need to feel the power of a Turkish copy of a Chinese copy of a Vespa 125cc scooter.


Lazy days spent splashing around.







Drying off in the garden.






DSCF0095 (1)

Evening drinks….






•June 14, 2013 • 16 Comments

Dave and Juliet arrived here in Bulgaria after a two day ride  from  Kas in Turkey.


He’s ridden to Bulgaria on his trusty Yamaha XT660R.


Next they’re heading off in to Romania and/or Macedonia.


After lunch and a catch-up of a years worth of  gossip they have to head back to Veliko Tarnovo.




Juliet’s helmet with the floppy ears attached is way cool!!



Must try to take next years photos from a different angle or something, or better still, the Mrs. might let me have a day off so that I can visit some bike rallies, I wonder what bike he’ll ride up on next year 🙂


•June 16, 2012 • 18 Comments

A motorbike arrived at the gates the other day, Dave and Juliet from Turkey, he drove up from Kalkan in Turkey to Bulgaria in the car, they are staying at Dougs place near Veliko Tarnovo (VT.) and borrowed his girlfriends bike to ride around Bulgaria on. Doug is a legend amongst long distance riders and adventure riders, riding around the World twice plus many long distance rides, he now runs a bikers camp in Bulgaria near VT with his girlfriend Polly.

1996 Yamaha 660 Tenere.

I  love the twin headlights on the Tenere, just like the Africa Twin.

It was absolutely great to touch, feel and smell a motorbike again after an absence from bikes for a year now while the endless house renovations slowly lumber on, of course we had to sit on Polly’s bike and pose for photos.

I’ve “Virtually” known Dave via his blog (DickyB’s Turkish Delight) on the internet for probably 5 years or so now, it was great to finally meet up after all that time, Juliet is a fantastic painter, we  spent the whole afternoon chatting and Linda gave them a tour of the house (unfinished) then a tour of the barns (Unfinished) and a tour around the garden (Unfinished)

Before we knew it, the afternoon flew by and they headed back to VT.

The main gate is also unfinished 🙂

Heading back across country to Veliko Turnovo.


•June 3, 2012 • 18 Comments

An update first on our little farm, the two baby goats have been sold to market a couple of weeks ago and since then all the milk has been ours, she produces a constant two liters per day, but occasionally 2.5 liters.

Opinion is very much divided about pasteurizing Goat milk, since it doesn’t contain anywhere near the amount of harmful bacteria that cow and sheep milk contains, many say there’s no need to boil it. We’ve done both, sometimes we pasturise and sometimes we don’t, there’s no difference we can tell, so it’s  probably just one of those things you have to decide for yourself!!

FETA cheese is the easiest cheese to make so we started with that, also if it goes wrong and you have your temperatures to high it just turns in to RICOTTA cheese, so you have two chances with the same milk. The milk is heated to 37-38c then the Rennet is  added, about 5 drops per liter, stir in gently then leave under a cover for half an hour. Pour off the whey and scoop the cheese (Looks like Cottage cheese at this stage) in to a muslin bag, squeeze then hang the bag for and hour or two until all the remaining whey has dripped out.

Set the cheese in to a mold then you are supposed to leave it for a month to mature, but we eat it the next day, sometimes we’ve put garlic in the cheese or salt.

The whey isn’t wasted either, you can either boil it up for RICOTTA or use it for animal feed, we just use it for the dog,cats and chickens.

We’ve also made yogurt, heat to 40c and add two table spoons of live yogurt per liter, stir in gently then wrap up in a towel or insulate the pot for 8 – 12 hours to keep it warm, turns in to natural yogurt and then just add fruit or what ever takes your fancy.

We’ve also grown our very first string of garlic, since that’s been successful we’re going to plant much more this winter.

Garlic yogurt is one of my favorites, very nice on chips.


•May 11, 2012 • 22 Comments

At long last work began, and actually completed for once, on our temporary fireplace in the lounge. We considered all sorts of materials along the way but I really wanted it to be made of traditional materials, brick and stone, not just any brick or modern brick but old brick!!

The old stone slabs I found quite by accident in the chicken run buried under soil and chicken poo.

I had previously molded a concrete slab to act as a base, the stone was cemented on top with a single row of facing bricks.

After much asking around we finally managed to buy 330 old second hand bricks, they cost 10 stinkie each (4 pence) The difficult thing about working with old reclaimed bricks is that they are all slightly different sizes.

I liberated an old air vent from a friends rubbish pile, this will be the fresh air supply intake in the future, when I get around to it!!

Two metal strips to make a bridge over the air vent cover.

The brick laying was very slow work, I couldn’t find a pointing trowel anywhere so I just built it all using a wall paper scraper 🙂

The 14 x 14cm beam 4m long cost me 30 lev (12 Pounds) I’ve only used 1.5m on this fireplace the remainder will be used on a much bigger ingle nook type fireplace that I might get around too later in the year.

The chimney breast took me all day to make but is actually just layers of plasterboard sheet with the detailing also made from plasterboard.

Couple of layers of stain varnish.

Everything is now blended in to the back wall.

All finished, one old fireplace.


•April 25, 2012 • 14 Comments

Most people believe that farmers spend most of their time counting up their millions in EU subsidy’s and grants, then for fun at the weekends drive tractors as slow as possible down the narrowest road they can find just to hold traffic up. Being a farmer is actually a little more difficult than that, you have to watch your animals for one thing, and without the aid of a sun brolly!!

I wonder if there’s an EU grant for a sun brolly?

By early afternoon everyone seeks shade.

Time for some Female bonding..

..Life on the farm.


•March 23, 2012 • 17 Comments

Never for a moment did I ever think before moving to Bulgaria that I would find myself chasing a goat around a field with my tape measure in hand with the classic Benny Hill chase tune playing in my head, when a goat doesn’t want to be measured they take quite a bit of catching, they’re surprisingly nimble and fast you know!!

Linda wanted a milking stand making, we looked on the internet for some photos and some ideas and came up with the following contraption,its made from standard sized planks and posts from the local wood yard, posts are 8×10 cm and planks are 2.5×10 cm and 2.5×16 cm with some 3x 4 cm roofing timber.

All the wood and screws etc came to about 35 Lev (15 GBP)

With just basic tools and some rudimentary measurements I started my epic wood butchery project, the length of the four posts was 130 cm.

The external width of the frame is 62 cm and the table height is 45 cm, the external length is 94 cm.

By the end of day one most of the frame was up but we needed to catch the goat once again to measure her neck, goats have very skinny necks it would appear, couldn’t believe what I was reading on the internet but it turned out to be correct, they’re necks are only three inches thick.

The length of the head scissors is 90 cm with a head slot cut in of  4 x 20 cm long.

At the end of the first day the frame, table and head clamp are finished.

Day two of  construction under the hot sun begins with a hinged ramp, the ramp is 80 cm long and 62 cm wide. I made the ramp hinged instead of rigid so it could be raised up to stop the goat kicking backwards once it was in position. Today the temperature was in the high twenties again, only five weeks ago it was -25c the seasons change very rapidly here!!

The feed box and some bracing were the last pieces to make,the top of the  feed box was 87 cm from the floor,  the contraption is starting to take on the look of  something from the French Revolution, so we have called it “Madam le Guillotine.” Ties for the goats legs can be placed on the four posts if necessary for a troublesome goat.

Linda modeling how a goat fits inside “Madam le Guillotine”, Linda was easier to catch and strangely  shares many similar measurements to a goat!!

All that’s left to do now is for Linda to spend a couple of days painting it!!


•March 3, 2012 • 22 Comments

Well its just one week today that the baby goats were born, we got off to a bumpy start but perhaps being thrown in at the deep end, head first with concrete blocks tied to you is maybe the best way to learn quickly!!

One of the goats wasn’t feeding by himself at first very well so we went to a mother and baby shop, mimed “Baby bottle for our little goat” The shop assistant found it very funny when Linda and I were miming goats complete with fingers sticking up on top of our heads for the horns and making “Baaa” sounds, must learn a bit of the language one day.

Mum and babies, one week old.

Its amazing just how quick animals can walk about from birth.

Puppies are cute, kittens are cute but baby goats are just seriously cute!!

We decided to let them out into their field today for the first time, Linda gave the chickens a talking too and told them not to frighten the babies!!

We thought at first that the chickens had come over to start some trouble, but they were just curious to get a good look at the new arrivals!!

Whilst I your gallant reporter got on with the important job of taking photos, Linda was mucking out all the stables and coops.

This area was the veggie plot but now will be sewn with Alfalfa grass and be for the goats.

Once the dogs had a good sniff of the goats they were happy and settled down, I would just point out to any animal lovers reading that at no time were the dogs in any danger!!

Goats like to play and climb, Linda sat contemplating how to make them swings and a slide.

Time for a quick feed then back to jumping and springing about.

Linda meanwhile had begun construction of a goat play ground.



•February 24, 2012 • 15 Comments

DAY 1.

So, we thought it would be a really good idea to get a Goat, as part of our Organic healthy lifestyle and make more use of our land and animal buildings and barn etc. Linda is planning to make cheese, yoghurt, butter and of course the milk would be for our tea.

We contacted Vic in America via Skype to ask his mum Dimka across the road for us if any body was selling a female goat in the next few months, April May time would be good for us, that would  give us some time to prepare the animal buildings properly, this unusually harsh and prolonged winter has been difficult for the farmers and people alike here, many have run short on firewood and the farmers have run short on hay.

DAY 2.

A goat arrives outside our house on the back seat of a Lada, she was female and pregnant, the farmer spoke Turkish, we could just about remember enough Turkish words from our years in Turkey to cobble together a sentence that he was running out of winter feed and needed to sell a pregnant goat (The most valuable) to ease his situation. We decided to take the gamble of what we would get, even if she gives birth to male goats these can be sold so its not a problem, we paid 75 Pounds for her because she would be in milk very soon.

Since people can ride in the boot of a car (Trunk) here, its only fair a goat can ride on the back seat.

Our neighbours said it was a good deal and that the goat was OK, we don’t actually know anything about goats being city people so thought we’d best check with our village vet that she was indeed a goat and not a three legged dog with plastic horns glued to its head 🙂 He confirmed she was indeed a goat, female, good condition, pregnant and that the babies were not more than a week or two from delivery.

We didn’t expect babies so soon, we decided to look on Youtube to get some kind of idea of what would happen. They start off with a kind of mucus dripping from the rear end, then a big ball of mucus goo the size of an Orange pops out….Then the babies follow, goats have between 1 to 5 kids.

My daughter chose the name PHEOBE.

DAY 3.

Bloody hell….Its 8AM and Pheobe is in labour, the Orange sized ball of goo was out, we phoned the vet but he was in the next village, he told us to find our neighbours, “They will know what to do.”

As luck would have it Dimka was stood chatting to someone outside our gate, she called her husband Jordan and they came straight over followed closely by Yergi from the next street…..Then out pops the first baby!!

The birthing goat kit, salt, milk bottle and syringe.

Out pops goat number 2, salt is lightly rubbed on the babies to get the mother to lick them and bond with them.

Vestle the village vet arrives, he speaks perfect English so was able to tell us all what was happening and what we should do next.

The very first milk from the mother is the most important he told us, so Yergi and Linda then spent a little time getting the babies to suckle either from the mother or from the milk that had been expressed into the bottle.

Unfortunately neither of the babies were too interested in being fed, both Jordan and Yergi felt it was because they were too cold and still too wet from being born, they needed to be by a fire and dried off properly.

A hairdryer was used to speed things up, they loved it, tails wagging.

Once satisfied we city folk could cope with the rest, Jordan, Yergi and Dimka went home, big thanks to everyone, we couldn’t have done it without you!!

The last thing to be done was for a heat lamp to be placed in the goat house to keep them warm, unfortunately when we put a security light in the barn last year the old barns electric wiring caught fire a little and shorted out. So not wanting to use the barns electrics I drove to Trambesh and bought some bits and pieces to cobble together a heat lamp that we could work off the lawn mower extension cables from the house.

All warm and snug in the heated goat house, the babies are all dry now, their fur all fluffy and they are feeding from mum by them selves.



•February 2, 2012 • 22 Comments

Do you remember back to the 1980’s when Global warming was born, holes were even discovered in the Ozone layer above the Arctic, scientists promised us, promised, that if we all carried on using aerosol cans and driving gas guzzling cars the Planet would heat up and within 30 years we’d enjoy lovely warm weather in the UK, Inverness in Scotland would be the next Bahamas!!

Well, this winters big freeze over Europe, setting record low temperatures over many Countries in the Continent appears contrary to Global warming, more like Global bloody freezing.

Photo from Varna Beach Resort yesterday.

I’ve copied some pics from Bulgarian online newspapers today, we have had abnormal record low temperatures here in Bulgaria also, last night we had -25c in the Veliko Turnovo area, which is quite mild compared to last nights low of -32c some place near Vidin I think I read today.

Well I did my bit, I carried on using aerosol sprays and I’ve nearly always had motorbikes and cars with engines bigger than I really need….Has the World got warmer??….I dont think so!!

I even keep a can of body deodorant aerosol spray in the car that I can spray out of the window whilst driving along should I ever be confronted with some really thick clouds of Ozone on the road.

Fortunately I didn’t buy a beach front villa with pool in Inverness 30 years ago waiting for the warm sunny weather to arrive, otherwise I’d be demanding my money back from all the Global warming scientist who promised we’d all be warmer. Anyway tomorrow this freaky cold snap from the Arctic is heading to North Africa next, where according to the weather man its going to cause snow in the Sahara desert!!



•January 26, 2012 • 18 Comments

We’ve had our first power cut for a year today, I don’t know why the power should be off, we’ve only had a little bit of snow, but like all power cuts they always seem to be just as you were going to boil the kettle for tea or coffee, or just as you were about to turn the computer on, they normally strike at the  time of maximum inconvenience!!

This mornings power cut was just at breakfast time, now were seasoned country folk we don’t need any modern things like electricity to carry on with our day, a pot of tea placed a top the wood burner for ten minutes and a few slices of bread thrown on for just a couple of minutes. Then buttered and strawberry jam, 40 minutes later the electric came back on.

We were saying to each other, actually why don’t we do this all the time anyway, its free….Why do we use electric for tea and toast when we don’t have too, we’re still conditioned to modern ways I suppose!!

The dogs certainly like running about in the snow, not us though, feet up in front of the fire for Linda and I today.