Saturday, October 30, 2010


I knew I had to spend some time meditating today. Every now and then I get this fractured feeling in my subterranean strata. Somehow meditation pours an oil into all the cracks, lets the currents flow once more through the core material and smooths out the possibility of snapping off an ankle in some hidden fissure.

My favourite is the Gyoto monks chanting to a background of chimes, Shakuhachi  flute and didgeridoo. Every chakra resonates; from growling bass tones to haunting heart beats through to sprinkles of the etheric bursting into the caverns of my mind. It nurtures me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hanging out in blue

It was one of those days that no matter how much spit I applied to the inside of my goggles, I just could not see down to the bottom. An interminable and determined fog crept continuously up my lens. Just as I began to focus on some juicy delight clinging to the reef below it enveloped  me yet again.
I spent the whole day swimming round in circles agitated and annoyed as time after time I pulled my head back, lifted the mask and tried to create some new clarity of vision, to enjoy whatever it was that was sending squeals of delight up the snorkels of my fellow floaters.
But my agitation remained, the sense of opportunities lost, treasures unfound and inspiration squashed left me hanging out in magnificent though blurry blue, as I burned slowly in the tropical sun.  At the end of the day when everyone else was swapping stories of their aquatic delights, I had nothing to show for it but bright red bather marks down my back.
God knows what the moral of that story is.............

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life's tuff

Morning ritual.
Wake up slowly and go downstairs to overlook the river and do yoga.
In tree pose, meditate on the mountains and the forest as I float on my balcony.
Gather the frangipanis that have fallen through the night and place them round my work space.
Throw the faded blooms from yesterday high into the air and watch them like spent prayers as they fall to the river below.
Place one perfect bloom between the fingers of QuanYin's statue and choose a soul card for the day.......write until coffee.....write some more. And when I tire of sitting with my laptop on my knees, I have to go and soak in this damn pond amongst the floating flowers till some new inspiration drives me back inside!!!!! God life is hard.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unhappily hindered

I'm a little unimpressed with my inner blogger. The last entry was weeks ago and she has been slacking off with feeble excuses like...."the camera is broken and I cant take any pictures" or " the Internet has been down and I haven't been able to post anything" Of course we all know that words can be stored without access to the Internet and used later and that pictures are also a posthumous possibility but she was not to be persuaded. Hence blog, not a peep.
The camera situation is still not rectified and frustrating as that may be...I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS SILENCE TO CONTINUE! So Ms B. since the Writer's Festival has got me all fired up again..there will be NO MORE EXCUSES ..!!.......Does anyone else talk to themselves like this on occasion? Or is the humidity finally turning my brain to mush?

Friday, August 20, 2010


Look at her. Hewn from  rock. Set against the mars red sky. She sends a rivulet of compassion  into the primal ooze of humanity in which she is immersed. Immobilised. Her eyes closed in the meditation required to keep an open heart. A single bloom at her breast, the sweet fragrance of hope that keeps her present to a world of pain. She is patience personified. ....BUT all that composure and eyes closed caper, sure means she misses out on a lot of ACTION !!!!!  Can't stay there forever ! Grow some arms and get down in the dirt girlfriend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The Fool has always been one  of those archetypes that I admire, although at first glance I guess the name is a little inglorious. Here is mine, about to step off the precipice, away from the known and into the void. She takes hold of me when things need to change. She is the one that somehow has an indefatigable trust in the universe to send just the right rope, at just the right time, to let me swing to the next piece of knowing that I need to continue on my journey. She keeps my gypsy moving, to or from or through the choice points of  my life towards the light. Her backwards glance a challenge to all who stay in places past their use-by date because of fear, or the numbness of complacency. Her voice is driving one of the main characters in the first book I hope to have finished here.


Just north of Ubud the volcano rises from the crusted ooze of it's most recent eruption. The village of Kintamani is on the neighbouring ridge, its main road lined with tarnished monoliths, the crumbling dreams of the view stealers and pushers of over priced smorgasbords dressed up in silver tureens. The town feels desolate, more third world than anywhere else I've seen on the island. Hoards of tourists packed in endless buses snake their way up to take their happy snaps of the volcano and the lake below. The hawkers here are loaded with sarongs and carvings and amongst the most persistent of any in Bali. They literally climb into the car after you when you try to leave. I was driving and had a key to the safety of  the car, but whilst recovering from their assault I neglected to open the door for my friend. Engulfed by a press of  bodies, and too bound by western politeness, compassion or first world shame to use the rudeness required to claim her personal space, she was locked outside, wondering why I had not leapt to her aid. Once I realised and let her in we both laughed, but desperation stayed begging at the window.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


5pm Thursday
"You know that shit load of gravel on Monkey Forrest Road?"
"Well that's what we're moving tomorrow."
"Mmmm, that's a lot a gravel."
"Sure is, I just hope I can get all my offerings organized before the morning, cremation time is so busy and the truck will be picking us up at 7"
" Yup, but will  I see you at the market 5?"
" Sure, see you there"
9.30am Friday
"Looks like we are the entertainment for the  brekky crowd girls, smile for the camera"
I've just slept in till 9, thrown on a few items fresh from the laundry and left the bed unmade for the pembantu.  I smell too strongly of the fragrance that they use in the rinse cycle and am glad to have it blown behind me as we scoot into town for a nosh up brekky.  The omlette has cheese which is a rarity on  my budget so I am feeling particularly spoilt. Real coffee, toast and butter, a mixed juice and sides of fried tomato and mushrooms. The next thing on my agenda is a massage. These women have
been toiling past our window all through breakfast and yet my grin is still not as wide as hers.

Parallel Universe

In the parallel world outside my bedroom window, in the world that is Bali, women walk like ants across the rice field with baskets of bricks balanced their heads. A new Villa is about to claim another section of the sawah. The farmer in his pointy hat shouts across the morning to his neighbour, words indecipherable to my foreign ears and brown bodies, sinews and leather stand in mud, bend backs in early light and send plumes of clove scented cigarette towards the volcano peering through its cloudy wrap.

If they look in across the broken glass embedded in the wall that separates us they see me. Propped on pillows with my laptop, way past the hour that they would ever stay in bed, writing. The ceiling fan is blowing its helicopter hurricane, prayer flags flap across my mirror and fresh brewed coffee sits beside me as I wonder, wonder what they think of bule in their bungalow peninsula protruding through the field. Which of their cousins, now idle as our rent releases them from their muddy drudgery, are cursed? What envy, rampant in the national psyche, oozes through the paddy to press it's face upon my window pane? Or do they really care?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rat Wars

9pm. 27 degrees. Lying in a sweat, menopausal, tropical, pungent. My neck itches from constant damp, my hair like a salt laden mop. Outside lurking.........the rats. Before I go to bed the trap is set by the gap in the front door that lets them in. Every drawer and cupboard in the kitchen closed or we get up in the morning to rat piss in the cutlery drawer or rat monsters in the tea bag box when we go, delirious from their night time gnawing's on our bedside table, to make a cuppa at breakfast. Too many nights, armed with a shoe chasing rodents as they straddle gaps between wardrobe and wall, painting and tiles, shelves and floor. Three dead of shoe, one by wardrobe and one by tea bag box thrown roughly to the floor. Each body disposed of in the toilet conjures images of zombie rats in sewers taking their revenge on our bare arses as we sit, poised for flight. They are everywhere!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Muse? What Muse?

Are you my muse? asked the tentative writer newly emerged from the Cryogenic Suspension imposed by the "Get A Real Job, Academic Achievement Party"

Party representatives, cleverly disguised as primary school teachers had been identifying potential creatives for decades. The children who had not succumbed to their mind control techniques by the time they reached highschool were whisked off to the Creativity Extraction Unit to have their inner writer or artist or actor "dealt with". Sadly for the Unit's Budgetry Department the troublesome parts could not be completely eradicated without seriously damaging the host and, whilst parents were all too willing to send their children to have the cryogenic procedure, they would not comply if any serious harm were to come to their beloved progeny. Hence pubescent creative energies had been in cold storage for decades, the worlds creativity fed only by the offspring of those subversive parents who had managed to evade the system and set up marginal groups of pathetic arts panderers.

Now as the wheel of fortune would have it, emergent in the GARJAAP, was the notion that perhaps their economic agendas might be better served by thinkers that were able to apply creative solutions to the problems faced by industry and business and the sciences. Small control samples of Creatives were being released with a view to harnessing their errant tendencies in the service of the GARJAAP. But now, the question on the lips of every waking creative was the same. Are you my Muse? GARJAAP officials had no idea how to respond to the wide eyed entreaty of their captives and scurried post haste to Google, Wikkipedia, and other sources of reputable knowledge to try to fathom the answer.

Monday, June 28, 2010


The house is infested with rats, David and I have Bali bung eye and are barely able to see. On the other side of the ocean my nearest and dearest struggle with the third friend to suicide this year and deep chasms of emotion stream through my bloodshot eyes. Such a tragic loss.
In the rice fields that surround me the earth has been ploughed and raked, the remnants of last seasons crop returned to the earth as fodder for the new. This morning the tiered waters that surrounded us have been planted by bands of bent backs, straw hats and limbs muddied to elbow and knee.
New shoots, like hope, greening still waters. The light of love will see us through.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Legitimately illegitimate

My camera has broken and I cant find a pic in my previous stash to inspire me. I want to know who is reading this anyway and why I am pulled back to it again after 2 months of traipsing across the globe to bury my mother, lose miserably at golf, and tennis and archery at some Club Med in the Whitsundays and catch up with nearest and dearest in Oz. What makes me think that anything I might be writing on the topic of writing and living in Bali might be worthwhile? Or is "worthwhile" just some erroneous concept that I need to ditch completely and stop bogging myself down with the ridiculous need to legitimise what I am doing.? Illegitimate blogging...that's what I'm doing. Although secretly I wish, like in the case of several other peoples stories I've heard, that my blog would get picked up by some publisher or film maker or something and become a huge "success". Legitimised. On second thoughts....I think I might have a picture that fits my headspace right now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The surety of ducks

It's harvest time. The ducks are in the rice fields and drying stalks alternate with paddies of fresh turned clods. It smells like a pig farm for some reason, the earth is dark and dense and strewn with rotting matter and stagnating water. The ducks love it. Hundreds of them, herded by their master with bits of plastic bags tied to the end of a bamboo pole. He flicks and waves and they quack and waddle searching for I have yet to find out what, in the shallow waters. I love them. I love the whole scene. Straw hats, bare chests, stalks and clods and ducks. The afternoon storm adds a purple to the day and throws banana fronds and coconut palms in sharp relief to a sky, moody, moist and full of portent. I had not thought to find such peace at the end of the rutted path that leads away from the manic motorbikes and hustle at the other end of my lane. On a day like today, when everything feels precarious, there's a kind of surety in ducks

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For Catherine

Today it is 3 months since my mother died and there are several things for which I am incredibly grateful. Bintang, altho It does nothing to help my rounding menopausal midriff, clove flavored cigarettes, except for the obvious deleterious health effects, and my friend Catherine. She, like me is on the ecstatic though sometimes arduous route to writing.
As often as we can, we meet online. She in Burringbar, Northern NSW and me in Ubud, Bali. Our journeys are surprisingly fraught with the same demons of insignificance, flashes of brilliance and needs for support, and across the reaches of cyberspace we have a bond; a pact, to read and write and bully and support each other on our ways. For the last 3 months we have bounced infidelities, moral dilemmas, disgust and celebration from terminal to heart space and back again, and in the undercurrents of my grief, she is my lifeline.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Poor Neglected Blog

How is it that after packing up a life, burying a mother and leaving the country to write, that I can look here to see that mylast entry was over 2 weeks ago. Who or what are the interminable interruptions to that which should be my primary focus?????
I am soooooooo tempted to beat myself up right now for, well....... human frailty, I guess!If I was more focussed or more determined or more evolved or more disciplined or not such a pathetic excuse for a.........writer, or perhaps even more fundamentally, a person, then absolutely nothing would stop me from pumping out the measley 1,000 words a day that I have completely neglected for the last two weeks.WHAT am I doing all day??????????? And where is the line between grace and reprisal? A little help please Mr. Owl.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Paradise Lost

I was going to start today's blog by complaining about the people who have recently moved into the abandoned hut across the river. My beautiful quiet has been disturbed by their squawking child, rowdy boys and recently acquired rooster! All this I have managed to let go of in a live and let live kind of way, until today they started chopping down the bamboo that has at least allowed me to maintain my visual anonymity. And of course when I saw one of them going down to the creek,sludgy litter ridden affair that it is, for a shit, I was less than impressed.So,as I said, I was going to complain but something still stops me from having an all out whinge. Who cares what my neighbours are doing anyway and why bother complaining here? This is supposed to be something that puts my writing out for people to see and gathers interest in my book. But sometimes it seems that even paradise has its limitations. I did manage to put out 4 short stories today despite my visual invasion I suppose,and regardless of my intentions to the contrary it seems I have just complained about the neighbours

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Politics of Evil

Do you think it's Ok to have a favorite demon? There were 30 of them gathered at the football field in the middle of Ubud on Monday night and I have seen as many again in the streets of various Bajung around the area, but when this one was lifted into the night sky with it's eyes flashing and hair flowing out behind it somehow spoke to me.
Don't get me wrong there were magnificent creations all around. The community spirit and creativity of the young men who have been working for weeks on these masterpieces has been a joy to behold. But, this is the monster that spoke to me. The one that captured my sense of all that is bad, if I was going to be a demon, I would be this one. If for one brief night I could rant and roam the streets of Ubud before being taken to the cemetery and burned I would do it as him. And if there is a demon in my psyche that needs exorcising, or integrating then I bet it is this one. Next time I am writhing in the torment of my mind I will remember how I watched him burn!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


It's Balinese New Year and given the way my year started on the Australian calendar I am pretty happy to have another crack at it.
For the last few weeks public spaces in all the villages have been crawling with the boys and young men who construct the Ogoh-Ogoh monsters. The nightmare manifestations of imaginations fuelled by centuries of Hindu mysticism, have produced a ghoulish array the two story high, big breasted, long penised, bulging arses of mohawk wearing, claw fingered and hairy demons soon to be set ablaze in cemeteries and sacred places across Bali.I have watched as small boys clamber up dodgy scaffolding to rub the tits and slap the arses of their creations and had carloads of tourists almost cause accidents as they come to an oblivious halt in the middle of the road in order to take a photograph. As the monsters reach completion everyone prepares for a day of silence inside their homes. No lights are to be used and movement in the streets is limited to those who have emergencies only. As all the demon images are destroyed tonight, the inhabitants of Bali lay low tomorrow to stop them returning to an apparently empty island. Lets hope I can put a few of my own demons out as well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

On Feet

I’ve never really been one for feet. In fact, most of my life, the size of mine have caused me considerable embarrassment. In my younger days, before they started making a few shoes in larger sizes, I was regularly subjected to the downward stare of disapproving shoe sellers. Centuries of foot binders past echoed in their derisive,
“ I’m terribly sorry Madame but we don’t cater for those sizes.”
Or later, once the manufacturers twigged and started issuing one pair of sizes nine, ten and occasionally eleven to a few stores.
“Oh I’m terribly sorry madam but we sell out of those sizes at the beginning of the season.” Like the only way for hefty feet to be shod is if they line up on opening day and trample all the other ample footers for the limited edition concessions to their deformity.

Not that I am foot phobic like some people I know. Baby’s feet are cute; especially the way they do that little rabbit pawing thing at your belly when they are on the breast. And I do like rubbing feet with my lover when we are wrapped up close in each other, to connect from lip to toe. But mostly, feet and I have never really had much to say to each other.

Until moving to Bali that is. Until the only way for me to get around is on the back of a motorbike in this madness they call traffic. Lately my feet have a whole lot to say! Apart from insisting that I wear my heaviest sandals before I walk out the door, they have developed a knack of sucking all the blood away from my ankles for the duration of any ride. To be fair, I guess they have been indoctrinated by the boots and leather safety set back home, but I left all those trappings behind, knowing how ridiculously hot it would be over here. And I suppose there are rabid dogs, pot holes and maniac drivers around every bend, so I can’t discount their convulsions as completely irrational. But no amount of pointing out sarong wearing, side saddled, thong flapping pillions would convince my feet to either release the blood back into my ankles ( a particularly uncomfortable sensation I have to say ) or to uncurl their toes from the foetal positions they had taken up at the end of my sandals. What to do?

As with many things, time has managed to minimise the trauma to an occasional, "only when under direct threat" affair, and to be honest, the rest of my body is similarly contorted at those times. So we have come to a bit of a truce on the whole motor biking thing. And, the other day, now that they have been lulled out their hyper vigilant, red alert rigidity, I actually managed to sneak out the door in my thongs, and get on the bike before they noticed.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Dark Side

I’ve never seen an automatic weapon before. And seeing one across the street last night, confirmed that I never want to see one again.
I can remember the first time I saw a policeman with a sidearm. Melbourne 1972, the shopping mall at the end of my street, where we went to perve on boys and look at jewellery after school. I felt as though some irreversible tide had turned, that the violence I never had believed possible in my world, had crept in unawares and lodged itself squarely on the hips of the establishment.
Last night was different. I had just stepped out of the Padang after a meal. He was just a civillian. No uniform to lend credence to the menace at his side. What was he doing there with something like that in the main street of Ubud?
Lately the outward peace and harmony of Bali has been eroded by information about historical massacres, rebellious youth and stories barely whispered about those who have “disappeared”
The man with the gun was waiting just across the road, his firearm in plain view, held pointing downwards at his side. I couldn’t help but stare but realised it might not be a very good idea. Dread, unlike any I have felt before, averted my eyes.
A car pulled up and man and gun got in the front door. The back windows were tinted, the gun was now upright between him and the driver. It and lodged in my memory with a kind of chill. Now it seems that Bali wants to show me her dark side.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Birds

There's a cacophony of birds today. My usual jungle scene, carries only the inanities of doves in an undertone of frog or cricket; these accompanied by the cyclone of ceiling fan I need to keep the menopausal sweats from driving me to the shower all day! But just now a raft of sound along the river. Strange bird calls back and forth, interspersed with louder exclamations from another breed. A luscious mix of exotic sounds dart past my open doors. I have leaned as far as the window ledge and terrace will allow but there is nothing to be seen till an awkward duckling crashes in to the bamboo stand. It is clearly not the origin of what I hear, although a duckling in a tree strikes me as absurd. Now, as I return to write, whatever stimulus they found has gone and just the cyclone sound remains. No clue as to what Balinese beauty has sung to me today, no clue if they will return, suburban jungle mysteries keep my foreign senses tuned.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coming Home

The moss covered alley to my door sprouts tourists, French and German, as it meanders through the gateways and tailor shops off Monkey Forrest Rd. I side step leaf trays of offerings and red hot incense protruding from the doorposts and sweat my way past peace lillies and muddied ponds where gaping fish mouths churn the waters of their silty baths. Back to write,back to push my hand into the lucky dip of stories just below the surface of my day to day. The darkness wrapped inside the parcels that I pull from there surprises me.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I'm a bit sick of all this peace and bloody watery reflection. This book is supposed to be about gypsies and whores and whirling skirts lifted in the face of tut tutting Madonnas. It's supposed to be about rebellion and struggle; to scorn the powers that be and yet since landing in Bali I haven't even been dancing,got drunk or lashed out on anything extravagant. The interminable zen of it all needs a damn good shaking. Look out Ubud!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Yesterday there was an earthquake. I was sure the bed was shaking when I woke up before dawn but perhaps it was just David on the other side of the mattress scratching at some mosquito bite. I wouldn't have mentioned it except he had woken in the night as well, imagining that some lizard war was unfolding on my bedside table. There was a flapping sound he said like something in the throes of death. Apparently he had turned on the light and got up to see what was happening but there was nothing to be seen. Later when he went to order breakfast there was a large moth beating its wings against the upstairs window trying to get out. In a place where omens and auspicious events proliferate I can not help but wonder what might be stirring in the nether world. Today I woke in tears. Subterranean currents bubbled loss and grief to the surface of my morning. Change always means letting go and right now my empty hands need holding.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Green Collage

Outside my sliding doors,
two metres of veranda drops
into jungle
The green collage
stands motionless except for
butterfly or squirrels tail.
But then a gentle tipping starts
and fingertip of frond and leaf
respond in motion to the rythm of the rain.
Like a childs first taps on piano keys
they all dip and rise in harmony
until the sunshower moves away.
A symphony of leaves.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Who said that?

It's been interesting playing around with the idea of voice over the last couple of days. Most of what I have written in the past has been in the first person and I am not sure that for the particular story which seems to be emerging that that is the way I want to go. So yesterday I rearranged several pages of text to be from a narrators point of view, which openend some new perspectives that I quite liked. Now I find the narrator has developed a character all of it's own and the story is now being told by a kind of guardian angel/sylph type being that I had never even imagined to exist until it appeared this morning.And boy does she ever have a lot to say!
I love having the freedom to play with this stuff

Coffee and vanilla bean

I have developed quite a taste for Bali coffee with half a fresh vanilla pod and a dash of honey and milk. Vanilla pod was always one of those luxury items that never made it to my shopping trolley but the spices at the markets here throw their scent through the cellophane and are an irresistible enticement of colour and promised flavour. The last time I was here I lusted after them but knew I would not get them home through customs. Now as my kitchen capacity grows I plan to celebrate their availability. Who has a great recipe for star anise?
I am enjoying my days at home. Afternoon thunderstorms, morning massages, the ever watchful workers who come and clean the room the minute I leave the house. Lifestyle is so affordable here, and I am enjoying the ease, the cooked breakfasts, the cleaner and groundskeepers. Yesterday I went out to take some clothes to the laundry where they are washed and dried and see four or five of the workers here tending the garden. They were trimming the lawns with hedge clippers, and cutting banana leaves to use for their ceremonial dishes. The idea of using a noisy lawnmower because it was quicker was a joke for them, Bali time is quiet time.
My writing has started to find a rhythm and the story has begun.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


There was a huge golden orb weaver hung in space off my balcony this morning.
Balinese pancakes are green, and breakfast on the terrace is divine.
It looked a little off kilter, I thought perhaps it was injured but closer inspection revealed that it was actually pulling silk from its abdomen to construct a new web. It was balanced precariously on the tenuous threads of it's beginning. By the end of the morning it had completed its task, sunlight threw golden shimmers across its masterpiece. But the thing that struck me was the change in the creature at it's centre. Poised, legs spread as it read the vibrations along every strand. it was in perfect balance. No longer an ungainly creature struggling in space but connected contained and engaged.
Slowly in Bali I feel similar threads weaving a new life for me. New connections to bring balance to the places where I have struggled to maintain equilibrium, to find a foothold. All my familiar threads are broken but there are new beginnings and my tentative limbs are now open to the vibrations of another web.
Today I sorted through all my writing and the forest showed me how to start my story. I had three warm and unexpected displays of affection from local people I have met and am reassured by the gentle spirit of this place.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Well, today's the day!
The tedium of shopping and house hunting and currency conversion complete I have a whole day, alone, in my room, with my laptop...........
Hmmmmmmmmm, daunting really when you get what you want.
For more than two years I've been saying I want to write a book. I want to stop work so I can stay focussed and inspired. I've wanted to write since I was five.
Well. Here I am.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A room with a view.
A place to write and hideaway.
The housing goddess has been good.


The rain runs quicksilver down the frog green corrugations of a banana leaf at the edge of my balcony. Workers from the rice paddy, just over the river gully in front, dash under similar fronds to their next work station and we sit squashing mozzies and enjoy the fading light. Should probably close the doors now it's that time of afternoon but the air is too refreshing to shut out.

The last few days have slowed down, we nurse Bali belly and dip occasionally into the pool between bowls of miso soup and other easily digestible fare. We stink of the garlic liberally applied to last nights meal in an attempt to kill off whatever it is that has lodged in our guts.
Turmeric tea and 3 tablespoons of papaya seeds are the local remedy but the rain and lethargy have not made sourcing either very appealing, maybe tomorrow.

The last week means that I can last now for about 20 minutes without overwhelm and tears when I converse with strangers. We have a place to stay for 2 months and the inside info on how to extend our visas without leaving the country. We have caused a scandal on 2 separate occasions and have talk in the marketplace about us in relation to our innocent blunders with the locals but the Balinese are ever smiling, very forgiving, (outwardly at least) and it appears no lasting offense has been taken.

Already we have grown a network of contacts, both locals and foreigners. People seem easy to meet in Bali. Dave has an artist's residency at a designer gallery that ships ceramics all over the world and I have just about thrown off the self recriminations about my lack of writing. Why is it so hard to allow myself some time to come to terms with the upheaval of the last three months?
It's not everyday your mother dies, your last kid leaves home, you pack all your belongings into a storage shed because your landlord wants your house back, you sell your car, give away your pets and take off to live in a foreign country whilst trying to manage menopausal emotions exacerbating all the other shit!!!!!! I reckon I can take a couple of weeks or more before anything even vaguely resembling either inspiration or concentration can be expected to emanate from my brain box. So there! Rain on banana fronds.....mmm,very soothing!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Bali is proving to be a very interesting experience already. Offers to help and guide and sponsor and support are coming from every direction. The great white tourist, the hope of Bali obviously embodied in us........scarry really, I've never anticipated being the great white hope of anyone, not consiously, although now I think of it, that movie with Barbara Streisand when she played the therapist and had her name chanted as a mantra by one of her grateful clients....."Lowenstien, Lowenstien"........did appeal I must say, back in the days when I was hoping to be the salvation of some of the young people that I worked with. Hehehehe, and then there was that soul collage card that I created, I'll see if I can upload the pic....of the woman holding up the light for the unfortunates cowering in the darkness. OMG, I do have a saviour complex!!!!!!
Better watch that I guess, especially now that I recall yet another story where some loony ( a politically incorrect term I know, and one based soley on my difficult experience with this particular individual)tried to co-op me, not without some appeal I might add, to join him and the other angels sent to earth to hold back the forces of evil overtaking the planet......cringe!!!!
That was in the early days of my Christian phase which will be further explored in my book...........stay tuned :0

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There's a book inside of me scratching to get out!!!

Three weeks since my last entry.
Not two weeks since my mother died.
One week ago I stood crying in the shopping mall.
My 2 adult daughters no longer visible and my fractured nerves post funeral unable to cope with being alone, out in the world after three weeks of confinement stroking the fading life from my mothers body, waiting for her final breath.
Now I sit on my third floor balcony, Ubud, Bali.
Mount Batur visible for the first time since our arrival, a clear cool day.
Gradually the stimuli from the outside world arrive without completely jarring and strangers, smells and sights register through the fog.
How long it will take to land and establish the routine I need to focus on more than just these few words I cannot say. But stay tuned as the journey unfolds