Friday 06 September, 2013 by Uncle Spike
There are perhaps three things in life that you could quite happily take a stab at as being ‘right up my street’… If you thought of the following, you’d be dead right.
Travelling, that’s first on my list; whether it be overland adventures or camping expeditions in Africa, cultural meanderings in the far off lands of Asia, working in other countries, or simply grabbing a short weekend away somewhere closer to home.
The second would be anything involving a beach. Now that can take me anywhere in the world pretty well; from Australia, to India, from west coast California to the islands of Greece, and these days, a choice of many places right here in south-west Turkey J
The third would be a good read. Whilst I would love to proudly say how much of an avid reader I am, the reality is somewhat a little less glamorous. Rarely do I take the time to sit down for a quiet read I’m afraid. Unlike some people I know who can become engrossed in a good novel even while mowing the lawn; I need peace and quiet before my brain can turn away from the outside world enough to absorb myself into the written word.
Just an hour and a half‘s drive from the farm, is a beautiful seaside area called Selimiye, situated on the Datça peninsula (the point at which the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas meet). There are no high rise blocks, no large hotels or nightclubs and at the end where we tend to go, not much of anything really. Sure, if you head for the marina at the village centre, you’ll find it fairly busy in the summer months, mainly with the financially well-to-do from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Trying to spot a car that does not wear the badge of some German car company or other is quite a challenge; as is trying to find a visiting yacht that costs less than my house. However, it takes not more than 2 minutes to leave this crowd behind, and enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of Selimiye.
We came over here quite a bit last summer, but sadly this weekend has been our first venture over here this year; what with work commitments and suchlike taking priority over our time. Anyway, we are here now and I’m scribbling this post sat on the veranda at almost 10:30pm as kiddo sleeps away happily just inside, knackered from hour upon hour of swimming and splashing around in the warm Mediterranean waters all day.
Going back to my three earlier points, it dawned on me a short while ago as we were having our barbeque, that this place has been at the centre point of some pretty happy memories of late.
First of all, the travel. Ok, so it’s not some great expedition to get here, but the roads are superb, very picturesque, nice and twisty, and with plenty of hills – all the ingredients a somewhat aging adventure driver would seek out in order to really enjoy a short road trip.
Second, the beach. Now we are not talking Copacabana or some other long stretch of golden sand, in fact, in all honesty, the beach is pretty basic – just a narrow strip of gravel at the far end of the bay. However, saying that, there are just 10 sun loungers there, most are usually empty, with plenty of natural shade, shallow, warm, safe and sheltered waters, and a small wooden jetty from which the blue waters are deep enough for some decent swimming and diving for the grown-ups.
As for number three, well this place is one of those spots where I can instantly dive into a book. Over the past two years, I have probably read more here in Selimiye than all the rest of the year at home. And that brings me nicely to the point of my post today. This afternoon, I finished my book, ‘Heat’ by Campbell Armstrong. Not a big deal I’ll agree, but this is why I thought of today as being a little more than any normal conclusion of a novel. Early last summer I started ‘Jig’, the first in the trilogy, right here, right on this beach. And then, much later last summer I finished it, again, here on this beach. That was actually some 3-4 visits later. I’m no speed reader, plus with a 4, now 5 year old in tow, the minutes that accrue in-between ‘daddy duty’ rarely hits double digits, as I’m sure all self-respecting parents will attest to. Well, that same weekend last year, I started ‘Jigsaw’, the second in the trilogy. I’m afraid I wasn’t here at the point I finished that book, but low and behold, as it happens, we are back here again on the very day, today, when I completed the third book, ‘Heat’. All a bit spooky really – all three books of the trilogy were started and/or finished here J.
Feels kind of sad, end of an era, and all that… Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, with a new book, and now that summer proper has finished, we can look forward at last to enjoying a full day at the beach with temperatures only peaking at 30-32, which is a lot more pleasant after the 40+ we’ve seen day in, day out, throughout the long hot months of summer. So I guess this might be my last post for the next day or so. Do I feel guilty? Not in the least 😀