More pics than words

The last few days we made it across a long, narrow string bridge to stay on Ceningan Island, from lembongan. Scotty had discovered this place from a solo motorbike ride he did a few days earlier. A lesson we have learned is to send one of us to scout out the next venue, then coordinate transport to move the family and bags. Took us 3 weeks to work this out, rather than have all of us scuffing the pavement looking for a place to sleep.

Loved it out here. Very remote. Very local. But of course like most of bali, a few Aussie have developed some land and we managed to find a great night sleep at a very KuDeTa like hotel. Real sheets, real towels. Just wonderful. All for $40 a night including breakfast.
Snuck the kids to sleep early and ate Mexican on the deck 10 feet away. Wonderful. Still missing my wine though. It is $50 for a $8 at home bottle of Jacobs creek. Reckon ill have to start a smuggling ring to get some in, getting over cocktails.

Getting picked up shortly for one last night on lembongan to catch some waves, yoga and snorkelling at playgrounds resort before heading back to the mainland.

Scott has finally come back from the dead of what we think was dengue fever. Had spins, fevers, shakes etc. just great but seems the norm over here. Relieved not to be running solo anymore.

See you on the mainland.











Welcome to island life


I have officially slipped into bali life. We have left the mainland, rented a beach hut, had the children on scooters without helmets, and are drinking red wine from an empty plastic water bottle.

Can’t complain.

We are day one on Nusa Lembongan, about an hour by fast boat off the south/ east coast.

Thanks to all for the recommendations.

The stairs of our hut, start in the sand and end on our balcony with waves crashing in front. Bloody marvellous.

Its late, but not really. As full time careers, the kids have ruined us by 8pm. So it’s actually only 9pm, Scotty has crashed with cocolily and Zambezi in our one room hut and I am out on the deck doing well, you know.

We did more touristy stuff today, but really we are tourists, so why not revel in it. Besides, tourists get clean toilets and cups of tea.

Our boat transfer today to the island included a live band, deep-blue circular vegas style seating and the most hilarious safety demonstration ever seen. Whoever thought to actually show what it would look like if you fell over board, with your life jacket on, trying to swim, waving your hands, shouting loudly for someone to hear, all on board of course for us to take notes, should it happen to us. You should have seen the faces. Of the tourists that is. The Balinese thought it was hilarious.

Post show, our boat took us to a massive pontoon offshore before we checked into our beach hut for a few hours of play. I am sure these pontoons must exist outside of bali but I’ve never seen one before. As we all scrambled on board, there was a mass rush for the lockers in the centre, a dash into the changing rooms, then the choices were: get wet and see fish, with snorkelling at one end, get wet with a thrill with a giant hydro slide into the ocean 6 feet up, stay dry and see fish inside the submarine that did a round the clock 20min tour, or for the easy option, stay dry and walk down the stairs to see the glass bottom of the pontoon and sit amongst the fish. Unbelievable but true. Oh and there was Bintang if that’s all you wanted.

Of course none of that mad dashing around was particularly easy for us with an over tired 3 year old demanding to go on the water slide by herself. Bless.
So, we avoided the wet options for the kids, Scotty went snorkelling and I did the submarine tour with them. It was awesome. Snorkelling to come later on the island.

We planed to stay here for 4 nights before Ubud on October 5th, but I am not sure if we are moving for awhile. I’ve always liked the feeling of sand between my toes.

We made it out of the resort, well nearly!


I dont think you can flick a switch and suddenly you are instantly on holiday. Maybe in location but not in body and mind.

Until my first balinese massage, my body ached with every bit of cleaning, painting, lifting, packing and bending over I did to get the house sold and everything packed before we left. My eyes are starting also to recover from the 4am wake ups, when I remembered we hadn’t done something ‘on the list’. 

For the girls, they are still talking  about their friends, their toys being packed away, and going home to NZ. For them, this is all about swimming in the pools, for hours on end. The real adventure has not hit them yet.

Zambezi has also been horrendously sick, now on antibiotics so I am pleased we have had this time to adjust.  Even though we are having dinner at 630pm, the girls are asleep in our arms before the mains arrived. Out to it. 

I was feeling a little resort crazy, so we decided to spend our last night, down at Jimbaran Bay for dinner amongst the other tourists seeking a Balinese experience. Touristy yes, but still such a unique experience of thousands of tables set up to eat seafood killed and cooked in front of you, along with a few bottles of Bintang and Fanta. 

The girls had wide eyes in the taxi there, taking it all in. The traffic, the motorbikes, the smells as soon as we arrived the sun was setting and the tide was turning. 

They even made it through dinner without failing asleep. 






Good morning. You won’t believe what I’m staring at. Well you might, it’s the ocean. But I need you to pull back a little. I’m seated in one of those oversized too heavy to lift lounge chairs. Behind me is a large private villa with a thatched roof. The doors open from all sides and all the floors are marbled. The bath looks like an open sanctum filled with yellow and red petals. Everything is larger than it needs to be. Twin sinks and giant mirrors are the size of a single apartment in Bondi. A beautifully finished edge less pool is fed by two pale stoned goldfish.

The quiet of the day has been broken by Coco Lily who is seeing it all for the first time with over sized eyes having finally run out of steam last night. There’s two huge fragapani trees on either side of the pool, one pink, one white. Their flowers grace every surface of the garden I’m sitting in. A straw roofed garden bed will no doubt turn cubby house before the day is done. A beautifully manicured golf course sits in front of the resorts home base which we are squirreled away from.

Then there’s the ocean below the cliff we’re perched on. Sickening, I know. Time to get amongst it.



So here we are. A first blog from me and a last night in Sydney after the best part of 5 years. What to say? It’s just after 8 and I’m looking at the best view I’ve seen since we graced Sydney’s, its got to be said, glamorous shores. We’re hiding out post Eating In on the 17th floor of the Quay West Suites in the Rocks. Opera House on my right, bridge in the middle and Luna Park tucked gently to the left almost underneath the bridge. It’s frosted white lights on display. Enough of the view. What? How? Why? Have we even got here.

In this order: transfer through work, transfer of work, transfer from work. There have been some nice people. And there haven’t. What country doesn’t have its own blend. I’m sold on the Eastern Suburbs. Kiwi cliche they say, though I think we know what’s good. The waters’ clean, the weathers better than ours and no one in New Zealand has thought to put in a sea pool. I think it’s because we’re too environmentally friendly. It would never get through. Well in my opinion we’re missing a trick. The closest we have in Auckland are the Parnell Baths and they’re much loved.

So. Why move back? Simply put, I miss it. I miss you. The larger network of permanence. The family and friends. The Eastern Subs are a bubble and a fabulous one that any person of sound mind would only be too happy to wrap themselves in. Thing for me is that it’s always been temporary. I’ve lacked a center. Lots of great friends over here, though the majority it’s got to be said also seem to be in transit. And I’ve loved it. My surfings still weak, though the girls a strong. Time for a new adventure. Bali tomorrow, NZ early next year. I’m excited. See you all soon. I’ve gone over 300 words though will do my best to stay under, I promise, photo on its way.

Kindy kids saying goodbye to zami

The girlfriends


Farewell cake for cocolily

Peter and  Tinkerbell @ zamis bday


Saying goodbye to bronte


They say you never know what you’ve lost until its gone. Well thankfully I got to experience the best of my world in Bronte, Sydney, New South Wales 2024, before I said goodbye to it.


I knew I was missing out on what Bronte had to offer, working huge hours, only squeezing in a swim a week, a morning coffee on Saturdays at the local cafe and the occasional wave to the neighbour when I brought the bins in. Probably sounds pretty good to most. But I was struggling massively, juggling the roles of wife, mother, daughter, strategy director, school mum, neighbour. Every night, when I arrived home I was miserable and I couldn’t seem to shake it.


So, with my dear Scotty, we made some changes and we are about to embark on the journey that has come about from those changes.


My last month in bronte, fortune would have neither of us working. Not one hour.


I swam everyday in water as low as 16 degrees (positively freezing in Sydney!)


I dropped off and picked up the kids from school practically everyday.


I got to know everyone in my life a lot more. Which meant when I said goodbye, I have never felt more connected to a community in my life. Which says a lot because its not where I call home.


I also sold our home in four days to pay for our five month holiday we are about to embark on.


I fell in love with spin class again.


I bought pink lilies every week and when I didn’t, Scotty did.


I hung around at the school gate, enjoying the smiles and chit chats with the other parents as well the super cute faces of the kindy kids as their teachers brought them to us at the end of the day.


I took a surf lesson on bondi beach and utterly humiliated myself in front of four 20 something french boys, thinking I would get up on the first go.


My girls started crawling all over me, holding my hands, cuddles, snuggles and kisses everyday before the normal 7pm arrival home.


I liked everyone a lot more, the only change being more time to get to know them better.


But now we are off.


Farewell bronte, stay in touch because we might not see you for awhile.















Cocolily and her Bestie