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a couple of days ago I spent a little time trying to unravel a photographic mystery. As a result of some simple detective work involving a strange photo, I managed to win a guest blog post from ace blogger and inciteful Turkish resident, Spike.
I struck very lucky!
Fancy a spot of semi-retirement fruit growing in the sun?
I’m Uncle Spike, and as it happens, I’m dancing this little jig called guest blogging in response to a challenge that Liz, your host, set me off on after winning one of my ‘Guess What’ photo challenges on Uncle Spike’s Adventures. Her return challenge to me was this: “I think I’d like a 500 word guest blog on ‘rain’! It’s watery, and you don’t get much of it!”, so here goes.
Well, to set the scene… In a delusional state a few years ago, I decided to dump everything I had in life and bought a 7000m2 plot of jungle in the middle of nowhere and start fruit farming like the natives. Sounds idyllic yes, but with the meteorological extremes of one of the hottest and wettest places going, it’s been a steep learning curve I might add.
Oh, did I forget to mention, the farm is in the foothills of the West Taurus Mountains of southwest Turkey J – a far cry from West Yorkshire, my former nesting place for the preceding 10 years as an office-bound nobody.
Yeah yeah, I knew it would be very hot in the summers, I got that bit after ‘holidaying’ here for over 15 years (homestays and village hideaways at least twice a year; no thanks to the tourist ghettos full of beer, pink folk and loud music). But what I perhaps hadn’t quite bargained on was the extraordinarily high volume of the winter wet stuff, yes, rain.
We get somewhere in the region 1300mm annual rainfall, which is what, about 50-60% more than most of The Netherlands! However, we also have long hot dry summers, where our thermometers work overtime, recording daily ‘lows’ of 25 Celsius (around 2am) and nicely opposing ‘highs’ of 42-46 Celsius (over 32 by 7am usually). Weather is predictable here, and I pretty well know for sure that it’ll be dry, dry or perhaps dry from the 10th of May through until the 20th September. We might get 30-50 minutes of rain in between, but that really is a rarity. On the whole, summer means hot ‘n’ dry, and winter means mild ‘n’ wet.
When Cousin Spike Jnr, our resident small nerd, was just 4 years old, I remember him come shouting towards me one late August afternoon: “Daddy, come quickly, LOOK!!” (he had spotted a cloud, bless)
So does it rain all through winter? Err, nope, mostly it’s sunny and mild still, but when we get storms, boy does it chuck it down. Just off the Mediterranean coastline and surrounded by mountains, we attract electrical storms like Liz’s bees to a meadow of spring flowers. Thunder and lightning continuously raging for 6-8 hours is the norm – sometimes with 2 or even 3 opposing storms converging at the same time. All good fun J
We’ve become accustomed to this and preparation is key. Balconies have straps in place to lash everything down. I remember when we first moved in, we left an enormous old heavy TV box outside, then it blew up a goodun’, sending the box 700 metres across two orchards to our neighbours!
We have had to dig water channels everywhere to handle the rainfall too. And no, we don’t ‘store it’. I know Liz would be ashamed of me, but in our defence, just imagine 160% of your annual rainfall in perhaps 10 storms – not doable. Plus we don’t need it until months later… the fruit trees however love their winter drinkies, so everyone’s happy. Losing electricity, phone, and internet and house water supplies on a regular and sometimes prolonged basis is another matter that we now just accept as ‘life’.
Personally, I have come to love our winters : )
(The gift of this post was a joint event. Over at Aberdeen garden there’s the post written for my companion in the guessing game. The two posts are very complimentary so do take time to visit.
Plantbased Health Coach & Recipe Creator
a blog by a multilingual lifelong expat/international, linguist, researcher, speaker, mother of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about raising children with multiple languages, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...