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.





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.

















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.