Back in Selçuk we had the rear wheel looked at again. As suspected it was badly worn and needed to be replaced. The advice was to be very careful with it, don’t go too fast, and avoid all potholes, and get a new wheel as soon as possible.
October was also the month we heard about a new law which permits foreigners to obtain a Museum Card – they give free access to pretty much every museum and archaeological site in the country. Since buying the cards which are valid for a year we have made a great deal of use of them and strolling through Ephesus has become a regular occurrence.
The broken wheel was an unplanned expense just as we started to have some alterations made to the kitchen. New cupboards, and a cooker hood / extractor. This involved taking out the old extractor fan and having a carpenter make new cupboards to match the old ones. There were some delays to the work, we needed to get a second carpenter and as a result the cupboards only got fitted the day before we left for the UK. This meant we would need to have the rest done when we got back.
Then it was off to the UK to see family and to Dublin to see friends, and to pick up a new wheel for the bike.
We had the kitchen finished as soon as we got back. This involved having the extractor hood moved to the right height for the new units and the pipe properly fitted through the wall, and getting a neighbour to help fill in the resulting hole in the wall. It was starting to get cold, the last thing we wanted was a hole in the kitchen wall for the wind to come straight through. Of course when the work was all done there was decorating to do. It has very much been worth the hassle and expense, the kitchen is greatly improved.
Equally in need of attention was getting the new wheel fitted. The wheel went on the bus to Izmir along with Hilary and Ashley carefully rode the bike. We had a couple of hours to kill whilst the wheel was being fitted so wandered around Izmir and had lunch.
Over the month we gradually moved into the front house and then closed down the back house for winter. We started using the high quality wood (we bought a tonne of it earler) in the soba. We now know we must not use the extractor when the soba is lit, and so far have had no problems at all with the soba.
The local nonsense about the end of the world started. There was talk about only Şirince and a village in France being saved from some sort of apocalypse brought about by the end of the Mayan Long Count. It is a count, a measure of time, when it ends a new one starts, but we guessed it would be good for the local economy.
The apocalypse thing got increasingly out of hand. People started to get concerned about safety. Rumours of thousands of people converging on Şirince started. Come the day there was a massive media circus, loads of police and emergency services present, and access to the village was being restricted on safety grounds. We took a stroll up there by way of the forest roads, just to see what was going on. The village was packed but not much more than is normal for a Sunday in summer. In the end it was all a bit on a non-event and as expected nothing else happened.
We bought two new radiators to help us stay warm. High tech things, made in Sweden, they seem excellent. They were also incredibly easy to fit.
We learnt that the KGS card we have for the toll roads is being phased out. The other system, OGS does not work for bikes because it works on front number plate recognition. A new system called HGS was being introduced, this works on a bar code recognition when approaching the toll booths. The sticker with the bar code is meant to be mounted on a forward facing surface, a windscreen. We now have the sticker with the bar card mounted on a card and plan to hold it forward when approaching tolls. We have not as yet tried this out, December was cold and we had no pressing reason to hit the motorway to Izmir.
We did a lot of social things, in particular towards the end of the month. Meeting friends in Izmir and Selçuk, evening gatherings, the usual stuff for this time of year.