Welcome to Kaş on Turkey’s beautiful Turquoise Coast. Having been lucky enough to live here for the last 16 years, my friends back home in the UK are still asking me, ‘But what do you DO?’ The answer, of course, is exactly the same as everyone else, just here in the sunshine, instead of there in the rain.
When I left school, I trained in hospitality and spent my 20s literally working my way around the world. Cooking is a job which crosses most borders and I had a whale of a time. However, returning to the UK with my 30th birthday looming much too closely for comfort, I knew I couldn’t cook for the rest of my life – back in the 80s, things were quite different in the catering world. There were no celebrity chefs, no food shows on the telly and, anyway, I was fed up with working every Sunday and bank holiday when all my friends were out having fun.
I moved to London and fast forwarding several years and two fantastically encouraging bosses, I retrained in public relations and journalism and worked both in-house and as a consultant in the mysterious world of commercial real estate and fund management. Later I started my own writing and business development consultancy, which I continued for several years after we moved to Turkey.
Some years ago, my lovely hubby Robin announced, after an inspection of his pension, that we could now survive without my income, so why didn’t I give up work? A novel concept, but for someone who has always earned their own living, not necessarily one I relished. With Robin’s assurances that I would not go short of shoes, handbags or saffron, I allowed myself to be persuaded to try it out and I think it took about a week to dawn on me that I was totally free. Nobody needing me to fly to London or Lisbon, or to produce copy at a moment’s notice when any normal person would be having their dinner. Not having to consult my clients if I wanted to take a holiday or even think about going down with a cold, and no need to keep one eye on the business columns and the other on an airline timetable.
Best of all, more time for cooking and more time for walking. Yippeeee.
We live right on the Lycian Way – voted one of the Sunday Times’ top-ten long-distance walks. Within a few minutes of leaving our house, we can be up in the hills with fabulous scenery, Lycian and Roman cities galore and about eight million goats.
We have a large group of friends, with whom we walk from time to time. Sometimes there are 15 of us, sometimes it’s just the two of us, but I never tire of the views, the sunshine, the fantastically fresh air and the weird and wonderful people we meet on the way.
And as for the cooking? Let’s just say that not having to do it for a living any more, it is an absolute pleasure, particularly with the fabulous produce available here, most of which hasn’t travelled more than a few kilometres and was probably only picked a few hours ago. Not to mention being able to step outside and pick lemons, pomegranates, figs, passion fruit, avocados and Seville oranges straight from the trees in our garden.
So, I hope you enjoy being part of this idyllic little world of mine. I am no photographer and the photographs are mainly there to give you an idea of what things should look like, not to win prizes (which they won’t). I will try harder with the scenery shots though. And you might get the odd cat or two – there is no shortage of those around these parts.
As they say here – afiyet olsun.