Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Happy Chinese New Year

The fact that the Chinese New Year is here has meant my IM has been quiet the last couple of days. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Year of the pig. Hmm I like it already, yum yum!

The weekend was a bit of a surffest here in Bali.

First Sanur on Saturday, We drove through Denpasar looking at car yards, we are looking to buy a car instead of paying someone a couple of million a month, as we do now. It was hot and we had the boards on the roof so it made damn good sense to slide through Sanur and see what's what.

Tide was low getting lower so we parked and made our way to a warung on the beach. We sat and ate. Then off we went. Damien and Maxi headed for this left and right peak just off shore and I went out to the reef in front of the Grand Hyatt. Ok I cut the hell out of the bottom of my feet but to tell you the truth, it was worth every slice. This would have to rank in my top 5 surfs of all time. I read yesterday that Indo Surf rate it as one of the top 10 right handers in the world.

So here I am, it's a slight breeze across the wave, the sneakers are 5-6' and there is me and a kiwi out there! Go figure. I stayed for about 2 hours, actually I paddled in when we were joined by a third. I was spent. I had caught about 20 waves in the two hours. The adrenalin high is still with me and today is Tuesday!

So on Sunday we got in the car and headed to Medewi. Well looking at the map one can be fooled to think it's a short drive but you get stuck int behind trucks and cars that should have been relegated to the scape heap eons ago and well you have to just wait to get around them. The road is like all Bali roads, insufficient. The amount of traffic is huge. All containers etc have to come down this road from the ferry port. In fact everything from Java that is shipped in and out would come along here.

Anyway 3 hours later, just when people in the car were starting to get edgy we arrived. We drove down to the beach some 100m from the main road and feasted our eyes on this amazing left hnder that just seemed to never end. It ran along the point and down into the bay. I was drooling, especially since I was still on the high from Sanur. We decided once again to have lunch. This strategy had served us well the day before and we headed into the restaurant right on the point. The food was good and the hotel we were in would let the kids swim in their pool for 20 000 a piece so it looked like we were all sorted for post eating excursions.

The entry into the water is over millions of stones, round like river stones. Except they had barnacles and sea sludge which meant your foot sort of slid in between until it got caught. On already sore pins I endured the walk out (Just so you do not fret, I bought Reef Booties yesterday!) So I slip past two guys in wellies fishing and finally start paddling out through the white water.

Did I tell you that there was no one out there at this point? Sorry i should have. I paddled out to where the take off spot was and rested, it was a hard slog just getting this far!. After about 3 or 4 minutes a set came in, I wasn't quite out far enough so I paddled over the first and heading out into the slot for the second. Whoosh! This wave was an easy ride. Damn shame it was on my back hand.

I started paddling out and having missed paddling onto another wave got caught inside. And guess what happened? My leg rope snapped! How different! That is 3 in 2 months. Argh! One wave. That was all I had caught. Here is a guy I snapped a little later on to show you what I missed out on. Urmm... Bugger?

The other shots above is of Gabi the boys and their uncle Damien at the drink stall right on Medewi point. The shot from the point back across the bay at the village itself. It is what one thinks of when you think of Bali. Boats, terraced rice fields, mountains and as the grey clouds were soon to show, rain.

Anyway there is a nice swell running at the moment. This morning I dropped the boys at school and headed down to Canggu for another session. Perfect lefts and these sneaky rights that only Andrew and I had spotted were coming in. What more could you want?

To say my surfing has improved a hundred fold since coming up here is a slight understatement. But I am loving it and seems to balance the workload.

So I will upload this, which is a long winded process in it's self and write again soon.

Take care and thanks for taking the time to read this.


Friday, 16 February 2007

The rains have arrived.

Although Jakarta has suffered from flooding etc in the past week we have been left to bake under the unforgiving tropical sun like some forgotten sausage on a BBQ. Not today. It is dark like dusk and the rain has been teeming for the past hour. I was beginning to htink the movies were all wrong. Wasn't it Forrest Gump, while he was in Vietnam that had the scene where it started to rain one day and just kept raining for 3 months and then stopped. Perhaps I shouldn't use films for educational content.

I started a blog the other morning so here it is, no use wasting these words. Seeing as I hardly write anymore. I know, I know, slack bugger aren't I.

Been researching the fesability of getting a tad greener. It troubles me sitting in paradise that we are still part of the problem.

Just been looking at a friends website, lets call him John and for the sake of this post lets call his wife Sussy.

So John and Sussy have started up a permaculture farm in teh south west of West Australia. It is there aim to become a repository oif information on it as well as a training centre. I know John has already undertaken serveral (being more than one) courses on the subject as far a field as Holland.

I Love the idea of a permaculture farm and if indeed they become the font of all things in this area, which I have no doubt of course, we will visit their site often to see if we can not take up some of these practises.

For the last two days I have been researching solar panels to at least take my office off the grid. Electricity is one of the big expenses here and if I could half the bill, so save 500 000RP a month which is 6 mill a year or a couple of hundred shy of a grand. I am certain I could pay for siad panels in about 3 years. Thats a plan isn't it!

What is aparent to me, whether it be permaculture or solar power, thermal aircon etc.. all of these are the type of things that needs to be taught to the people here.Hell we should all be learning to tred a little lighter on this fragile orb.

We were in discussions with this guy who has a solar water purifier from SA that we are looking at bringing up here. If we could cure a few cases of Bali Belly a lot of people would be happier. I for one, and Maxi, when he wakes would surely second it. Gabi and Damien, although I am not so sure it was that what they had, would welcome anything that helped in them not spending the last 3 days in bed.

Maxi is laying on the couch opposite me, his belly has had him dancing from the bed to the bowl all night and he is listing in an uneasy slumber. I am on the other couch, one foot on the coffee table, laptop splayed across my lap drinking my morning coffee to the sounds of the cockerels which seem to be completely surrounding the house and thereby giving us this weird THX surround sound. The only other noise is the rumble of the waves as they crash in the shore dump at our local beach. There are punctuations of low CC motorbikes every now and then but not many, it’s still early.

Gabi & Oscar have just left. Oscar starts school at 8 and Gabi starts her school at 8.30.

Although she only complains about the amount of vocab she has to learn, I know she is enjoying her time at the school and the whole process of learning Indonesian. I am unable to dedicate the time needed to make a go of it, due to my work commitments but I am thinking of doing it in April or May. Plenty of time. The good thing I am absorbing a lot ot the words now from Gabi, although I do not know how to use them they will make the process easier later I am sure. She has met some people which is a very good thing, from them I hope she finds a friend. One good friend would be great as we all know they are as rare as hens teeth.

So it is time to wander down the yard and into the shed (AKA Guest house) where I have my computers set up. My brother is in there and needs to be awakened. I need to get some work out, as does he!

Funnily enough just after I wrote this The pool down the yard erupted as he dove in. He’s up! Which is good, his turn to make the Latte’s.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Our one month aniversary

While it is one of my elders birthday today, good on ya Pedro, it is a more important date tomorrow with the big hurdle of one month here in our oasis.

We must be settled as Max wanted to fain sick this morning and lay in, just like he would in Oz.

But things haven't been without the learning curve. I am sitting here on the road to recovery of an incapacitating lergie know the world over simply as Bali Belly.

You wouldn't want to wish it on your worst enemy. Especially when it always seems to hit in the middle of the night and make you go to the little room which one shares with 50 billion mozzies at this time of the day. Ouch!

Also there is the electricity. Last Tuesday I was flying to Sing in the evening, Well the power in the whole of Seminyak went out at about 10am. Right when I was doing something for someone. Not to mention all the work I still had to drag off my desktop for the meetings in Singapore. Argh! I paced around the house. I walked over to the language school where Gabi is studying Indonesian, came home fretted. Finally Gabi said go surfing! Why hadn't I thought of that. There was nothing I could do.

So I disappeared off for a couple of hours and it was fantastic. Not the surf, that was average, but I would have just worn the tiles waiting for it to come back on. About 3pm it did. I was home by then and able to suck everything I needed off. Looks like we have to buy a UPS and a small generator.

My younger brother Damien is here to help do some work. I didn't get him to get into it until yesterday, he actually arrived an hour after I got back from Singapore last Thursday. I waited out at the airport and we shared a car home.

He's spent today working on images for an event in Vietnam next month. The mock-ups of what the dinner will look like. Looking good to. They can get sent out tonight.

Tomorrow I will get him to start on signage for an event in Chiang Mai in April. We have a wide and varied assortment of work to get through.

It has freed me up to get on with some design work for the Vietnam job as well as some conceptual imagery work for two suites (boxes) we do for the HK 7's.

So we are in no need of more in that department. In actual fact I have to get a more ordered life and to stop working on weekends. I have a bad habit of doing it.

I'll work on that!

So that is enough from me but it was a week ago that i last wrote and i know how eager you all are to read these musings.

Take care.