Since moving (and I use this term reluctantly because we were only supposed to be here for a few days) back to our house in Ankara, we've been very busy with some much needed renovations. The house is relatively new - construction and most of the renovation was completed less than 3 years ago. But there were many many things, both big and small that we planned to do one by one over a period of a few years. As it turned out, we ended up moving to Antalya for a couple of years and of course all the renovation plans were still waiting for us when we returned.
The biggest and most important renovation is exterior insulation. During construction, this was somehow overlooked... With winter temperatures in Ankara typically dropping to lower than -15 degrees celcius, this is a pretty major oversight!
Murat's poor parents, who recently moved in to look after the place, suffered through a long and freezing cold winter bundled up in the basement with a little wood stove to keep them warm and to avoid having to spend a fortune heating the entire house. The basement, mind you, is pretty much fully self-contained. Unfinished but livable ... barely.
After we moved in and experienced the sub-zero temperature inside the house for ourselves, we decided the insulation could wait no longer. Despite the huge expense, this became the first thing on our renovation list and we've been diligently researching materials, collecting quotes and comparing quality of service and cost of materials. We're still working on that....
In the meantime, we installed a kitchen!
Since we're back home together with the in-laws for the time being, we all decided it would be nice to finish the 'granny flat' downstairs so they could have their own comfortable private space (and we could have our space too). The first job on the granny flat list of renovations was installing the kitchen they brought over from their old house.
Unfortunately, it wasn't just a matter of fitting the pieces together and screwing them to the walls. Water pipes had to be moved (within the concrete walls and in the ground outside) and electrical outlets had to be repositioned...
Murat and a family relative worked really hard to get all this done over the course of about a week.
After that, there was a lot of cutting up and rearranging of the original kitchen, building of new cupboards, extending benchtops, placing of splashback, and all the other bits and pieces that go along with trying to fit a big old kitchen into a small space...
And finally, the actual installation and finishing touches were completed.
It took a few weeks, lots of sweat, a bit of swearing, lots of trips to the hardware store for buying and exchanging materials, and quite a bit of patting themselves on the back, and finally it was finished and the Babanne (grandma) was cooking up a storm of borek, backlava and bulghur pilavi.