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First Week...



I’m ok...
You are ok...
Love me,
look at me,
value me,
attend to me,
On being boss,
on having power,
on winning the race
I don’t feed myself on that…
If I feed myself on others...
If I am nourishing material..
I know I’ve lost my soul…

I haven’t lost any of my excitement while I’m living in Elan Valley. Everything is so new but at the same time, everything reminds me of my childhood. The smell of burning wood, the cold bathroom, buckets in the bathroom, the ‘voices’ coming from the wood burner. Silence and the sound of the radio which we bought had a couple of days ago…

I was born in a house with a wood burner but after three years we moved into a flat which had central heating and a shower. But my dad, uncle, and their aunt lived in Keçiöğren when I was a child.
Keçiören was a village far from the city centre. People there live in a cottage or in small apartment buildings with a maximum of three floors. They have big gardens with different fruit trees, vegetables, chicken, geese… Life there was very different from my life in Çankaya… Çankaya is one of the posh areas in Ankara but I loved staying at their house in Keçiören. Especially after our car accident, I went there every week and most of my holidays… I loved climbing the trees, I loved the small woods, I hated cold places but again I found when I stayed there the cold did not bother me like it usually would … I loved to find eggs in the chicken house…. Both families in Keçiöğren always kindly took care of me. I think it is only that part of my life, I remember happily. I am always grateful to these people, because of them I am able to live in nature.

In this cottage, every small detail transports me back to my childhood. Memories I haven’t even remembered for years … Meltem as a child, wild and free… Easily happy… Easily sad… Loves to spend her time up the top of the trees… Feels very comfortable in a small bunker… She enjoys running around with animals and is so happy when she plays with a lot of chicks…

During our first four days here we had to go shopping. We shopped for food, for equipment like the radio, for small cheery things like a unicorn basket for my notebooks which made the cottage more homely, and of course some vital things like storage boxes, firelighters, matches, a shovel, a doormat, buckets… I don't have a car and Andy will not usually be here with me so I had to buy everything that I need for a minimum of two weeks.

On Wednesday I had my first guest. I wanted to cook them Turkish quiche with spinach and carrot cake…  I woke up at half past seven and I fired the Rayburn and wood stove… I prepared quiche and cake for them and I made tomato and celery soup for us...  Another dream has come to life... Cooking with a Rayburn which we called an Aga… Everything is ready but the Rayburn is not burning properly, we did everything but no way… It’s burning but not efficient… Andy thought maybe the coil was wrong… I put my quiche in the Rayburn but its hot level was in the middle of the simmer… It means the temperature was less than 150 degrees… I hoped the Rayburn would get hotter but sadly it didn’t. My guests, Simon and  Beth,  arrived at around two o’clock and my quiche stayed in the oven for more than two hours. Luckily I had cooked the other foods so I was able to serve them something to eat…  When Eluned arrived around three o’clock my quiche was still not cooked perfectly but it was okay. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to serve my cake… I baked my cake later that night but it wasn’t good… However, I’m sure I’ll learn how to work with this Rayburn and I will cook and bake very delicious meals and cake here.



I never use a map and I know I will need it here, so Andy decided to teach me how to use a map. Map reading is hell for me. Whenever I have tried before, it is a disaster, everything just gets more complicated. Every single time I have always lost my way. But I accepted that if I want to walk all around the Elan Valley, then I have to learn to read a map. There is no other way… We prepared our backpack...  Inside was our lunch, tea, water, fruit, chocolate, map, compass, handy wipes, hand gel, tissue paper, toilet tissue, waterproof trousers, cagoule, my eyes drops, my protective glasses, Germolene, waterproof bag for phone and camera, tablets for water…

Walking with Andy always challenges me. He hates following the normal path, he always chooses a harder path and it is never easy… We started walking around ten o’clock from the cottage than to Penyarreg, Esgair Penygarreg, Crugyn Cl, Banc Trehesglog, Creigiau Trehesglog, Rhydoldog Farm, Creigiau Rhydoldog, Cwmnant, Bwlch Croesnewydd, and home again. It took seven hours… The path has peaks and valleys, rivers, bridges, and forests. Walking was not easy going, some paths were full of boggy ground, and because of the shrubs, you had to be careful where you were stepping. Sometimes the path is so wet that the slopes are like treadmills, moving my feet with a smooth, quiet continuous motion back to their starting place at each step. Our legs quickly became coated in thick mud, making our trousers sticky…. The conditions were really hard because Andy insisted on not using a phone map. If we had used a phone map, we would have been able to work out an escape route, but without that option we ended up someplace it was not easy to walk. There were moments when it felt as though some of the terrain was designed with goats in mind rather than humans. You can’t even see where you are stepping because of the bushes and rocks. It wasn’t fun but definitely a challenge… I thought this is all that I have: the whole of creation that flows through the generations back to my ancestor’s dreaming.

This walk was very helpful for me because I learned a lot… Firstly, I will never use that route by myself or with my guests. Secondly, I definitely want to use a phone map. Thirdly, when I walk with my guests, I have to choose a simple and well known path…
Andy and I were happy but tired after that walk and I needed the internet for my email, to get in touch with my next guest, and to look at my blog…

So we went to a pub in Rhayader.  Our plan was to eat dinner, finish our work and then return home. We went to order our food. I opened my computer and Andy’s face colour suddenly turned white. He was frustrated and very unhappy. He said ‘shit… shit… fuck… shit’ again and again. Andy never normally uses words like that… I froze.

I knew something was very wrong. He said that he got an email from port Ginesta in Spain where
Karisma (his boat) is moored.  Something was broken in Karizma and they said he had to go there as soon as possible. The problem was they wrote this email in Spanish and Andy couldn’t discover what had really happened, he thought Karisma’s rudder was broken and she would sink... I said let's call the restaurant near the boat and ask them to go and look at Karisma, then they can give us the correct information. Of course, as an English man, he was reluctant and didn’t believe my suggestion was possible. But I, as a Turkish woman, insisted “Of course you can do that.”  And so he called the restaurant. They told him that the restaurant is very busy but promised they would go and check Karisma before they closed the restaurant. Andy was a little bit shocked at how people tried to help him. We didn’t eat anything. I couldn’t do any work. We were shocked and disappointed. Andy suddenly discovered that they did not mention the rudder, they meant the mooring line was broken. It was a relief but we had to wait until the next morning to find out more. In the morning, we learned Karisma was in one piece and everything was under control.

On Friday we went to Aberystwyth. We met with my son and we did our last shopping. I have to admit we had had enough of shopping for the last couple of days. On our way back we visited Plexy who sent an email to me before I came here… She is a farmer and of course, she is a crazy one… I’m so happy she sent an email and I’m so happy that we visited her. I think her mail explains not only her feelings but my feelings too...


Message just for whenever this finds you, dear Little Sister!
Yes, that is how this feels to me - we are already long/deeply connected...
Even your cottage name is part of the dream/experience that brought ME here...
you - all 3 - for leaving me with a big smile in my heart!
Blessings to each for your Adventure -
and for the adventures, we shall have together!!!


I’m sure you will read her name in my blog a lot and very often...

This weekend my son, Ege and Andy's son, Ben stayed with us. We walked five hours around Peny Garreg and Garreg Ddu, we enjoyed ourselves with the simple conditions. Nobody lost themselves on the phone. We talked, we laughed, we ate… It was a very nice weekend. By the way, I cooked a very delicious lamb in the Rayburn…


I enjoy random encounters with crows
Crows I build a relationship with
When I’m walking, they are always with me
It doesn’t matter where I am
 It doesn’t matter who is with me
When I’m walking, crows are always with me
I never have to go looking for them
They always find me…
Crows…
When they are with me
I remember I’m alive and free...

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