I Think The Gods Love Me

Hello there. This comes to you live from a corner desk in our villa. It’s late at night and once again yours truly is putting finger to digital screen in the dark of night, aided only by fairy lights, vodka and cigars, the latter from a local coffee plantation. I can hear the river below me. What can I say about Ubud. A bit of a nexus for experience it’s got to be said. In the last few weeks we have bathed with elephants, drowned our collective sins (mostly mine) in holy baths; learned to cook with raw foods (more on this from Lou Nash I’m sure); trekked through the hallowed temples of Gunung Kawi; rafted the Agung River; cycled the downhill run of Mt Batur; taken in the Legong dance of the talented locals at Ubud Palace; photographed the painted breasts of Atonio Blanco (the eyes are actually better- did I say that?) and absorbed the local writers festival.

I have been assured there will be return trips. Quite possibly… no let’s be honest, without me. Girls, gear up. Lou will drag quite a few of you back here. My daughters are loving it. Coco Lily has come to the conclusion that she thinks the gods love her. Why wouldn’t they? Zami’s just finished a week with a local school that ended in a play. She played a monkey, a cheeky one. I had the pleasure (lets dial this down) of having two girls massage me at a local parlour, all above board I assure you!

There’s container of stuff with our name on it heading back to NZ. Confirmation of our impending arrival! Lots to see in between. A big shout out to Lou and Scotty for making the journey from the shackles of Seminyak. Looking forward to seeing everyone in a few months. Singapore, Vietnam and more Bali in between.

Pictures as always to come.
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Hemingway

Apologies in advance. I should have posted this about a week ago. I wanted to include pictures so waited. Sadly South Korea and California don’t see eye to eye. Its taken me this long to get a few pics through. Nonetheless, here it is.

And here I am. Having a Hemingway moment. An early warning. This will go past 300 words but read on. I promise a bit of fun. I’m half cut, so words are bound to flow. Talk to anyone that knows me. Maybe a few that don’t. It’s quarter past ten at night. The Fam is down and I’m up. Hard not to be with the view of Lombognan Island spread out in front of me. Granted, it’s dark, though there are plenty of lights to guide my eyes. I’ll post a pic of it in daylight so you know what to expect when you get here. You’re coming. I know.

The air out here sits at a stable 29 with the water trailing by 3-4 degrees. We’ve been out here for 8 days and I think have canvassed the island in pretty fair fashion. Suffice to say we’ll be coming back. True. I’ve been sick. Head spinning like I’ve been quaffing mushrooms from a forgotten field and purging myself (choose your exit point), like the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Ugly. Anyway you want to look at it.

In the last week or so I’ve had my toes nibbled by a 180 fish in a tank. Think gentle electric current. Stayed in a thatched hut in Mushroom Bay with the water a stones throw from it’s stairs. Ridden scooters all over the island, no helmets at times with both of the kids between my legs. Cavalier I know. Rest assured not a Bintang in sight. Scuba dived in search of the giant Mola Mola along with my own barely secreted hope of a Whale Shark (no on both counts sadly, 3 days prior apparently), ridden on a submarine and a banana boat.

What. No surfing you say? There’s a place called the Palms. It’s new. And I’m convinced I’ll be returning with several of you for a party and some surfing when I can actually do it.
For those that have been to Ku Da Ta in Seminyak, here’s a mini version with a break that will blow you’re brain. You’ll stare at its’ face from an infinity pool with a view from a cliff top with a Skinny Pina in hand. Sadly I was too sick and I’m too crap to ride it. So I sat there and watched wave after wave with no one on it. Why after 4 1/2 years in the Eastern Subs you say? I can tell you, it’s about 6,500 ft too short and lacks snow. Bitter? Possibly. I’ll get there. I still enjoy it, even if I’m paddling, though I know where the loyalty lies.

Tonight we dined at Coconut Island. You guessed it. It doesn’t have any coconuts and it’s not an island. That said the food was good and we were serenaded. The band asked us to choose three tracks. As ever I thought as Sweetpants would, the crowd. Layla, Hotel California, Imagine. They went down well. So good we’ll be looking for vinyl at home. The really bad news? On my last day in Sydney I bought a guitar. Ricardo I’ll be calling.

The girls are on fire. In great shape, both swimming, adjusting and from what I can see loving it. Long may that continue. Lou, tanned a picture of health..

Seminyak tomorrow. Lots of love.

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The heart of Ubud

The journey north to Ubud from Seminyak was nothing short of spectacular.

The streets lined themselves in groups of various crafts and skills: giant budda statues, stone carvings, cane chairs, wooden doors. I got whiplash trying to keep up with them all.

Scotty was on a mission to ubud and there was no stopping him. We were leaving the coast behind in search of tranquility and fresh air.

Coconut trees towered overhead and giant Bayans hung heavy with the latest ceremonial ornaments. This is what we came for. A bit of culture luv.

Of course we had the usual craziness of bali going on. Traffic on the narrowest of streets. Roosters being slaughtered. Random fires. People on motorbikes. Shops on motorbikes. Children on motorbikes. A group cremation involving 1000 attending villagers blocking the streets for days. You get the picture.

We arrived at our villa, thanks to the GPS, to greet the American owners who were going to stay at one of their other properties while we stayed at theirs. He is a Hollywood set designer who now designs, builds and exports furniture around the world and his second wife has become a Zumba teacher/hairdresser/life coach since moving to bali.

The villa was great but very much their home. An empty nesters paradise but you know what we can kinda play that game so we explored every cliff drop, over sized stairwell and pool with a sense of adventure. Of course the kids were excited. Within moments cocolily had found a black spider the size of an outstretched hand including fingers! Not poisonous apparently.

We have now been here a week and we are finding our groove. There a some lovely spots on the property and as long as we can keep cocolily in sight we can relax! (Sic) A large bale sits perched amongst the trees as the sun sets- where I am writing this from now actually. Our bedroom is surrounding by tree tops though 20 foot high glass windows so we are literally waking amongst the trees at daybreak. If the rosters don’t wake us first.

We signed up to cooking school and blessed a crowd with our presence. Balinese children use sharp knives from a very young age so I was constantly removing knives from my kids hands as the chefs were encouraging them to chop, chop, chop! Zammie actually got the swing of it, dicing up garlic for the sauce and pounding the chicken in a giant pestle and mortar.

The writers festival starts this week and thankfully we managed to get tickets, which Scotty and I are going to dovetail at. Some amazing speakers and we are really looking forward to hanging out with adults!

Tonight we are off to some fabulous dance show at the palace so a late one for the kiddies. Cross your fingers for us.

We are hooked up on Skype, under Scott Butler, Sydney, so if you’re keen find us, we’d love to chat. You can get a sneak peak of our little life in ubud on your screen.

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