Friday, 29 October 2010

"Broken Toasters, Ice-Cream and Beer"

Our toaster is broken. Our cheap, canary yellow Indian manufactured toaster no longer works. So I gave it to our landlady and asked her to get it fixed for us and said we'd pay for it. She smiled and said, "I clean toaster. I not use it when you are gone."

"I know!" I tried to reassure her. "I just was wondering whether you could get it fixed for us and whether we could pay you?" I was starting to falter here. I had the distinct impression she thought I was accusing her of having made shed loads of toast while we were in Bali for five months and blamed her for the breakdown.

She smiled, took the toaster and disappeared inside. The toaster hasn't been mentioned again, and that was several days ago, so I suspect our current method of dry-frying bread in our saucepan is going to have to suffice for the next few months. Which is a shame of course because toast is one of our staples.

Isn't it funny how certain environments engender certain eating habits? At home, I might have peanut butter toast once in awhile, but here in India, the husband and I have it almost daily. And take beer for example. I despise the stuff. Always have, always will...or not it would seem. Since we've been away I've regularly consumed both Bintang (Indonesian) and Kingfisher (Indian) beer with the husband. So I blame him of course. But I wouldn't dream of ordering beer in a pub back in England (I draw the line at a half pint of Guinness now and again, but that's a totally different matter), or cracking open a cold beer in the heat. Gross. No way.

So why do I suddenly take to sipping it nightly with meals as if I've been a Pilsner Babe all my life?

The only thing I can think of, is that my particular surroundings are conducive to such brew-friendly behaviour. Everyone else on the beach seems to drink it (peer pressure is never a good excuse but I'm just saying...), and there are only so many fresh lime soda's a girl can drink in a day, just seems like it would be wrong not to.

At any rate, Eggs and Dumpie appear to feel the same way - but in regards to mango juice and ice-creams. Egg bawled his eyes out for a good ten minutes last night because we passed the Baskin Robbins without stopping in for a chocolate chip mint cone. And Dumpie has taken to walking up to wait staff and simply ordering his own Maaza's (mango juice) if we deny him. Come to think of it, Egg does too.

Unfortunately the boys are so persuasive that the local shops give them ice creams when they wander in and tell them that their Mama and Dada will pay for them later, and then the husband and I are surprised to find that we have tabs running at various beach shacks. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

Mind you, Dumpie is currently on an ice-cream ban after cutting my beloved earphones in half last night. I was SO angry that I banned him from ice-cream for the rest of the year. This morning the first thing he said to me was "I have ice-cream today Mama?"

I looked into his adorable, twinkling eyes, smiled, and said, "No way."

I will NOT cave in. I will not. (I won't. I think.)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

"Thank Goodness For Gadgets"

In hindsight, it appears as though all the hanging out in malls in Kuala Lumpur was justified - at least where the newly acquired portable dvd player and refurbished Nintendo DSi are concerned (though not so much the super-duper-fake-eyelash-mascara purchased on impulse after being preyed upon by a gaggle of extra zealous sales assistants sporting 'trannie' lashes).  

Anyway, we took these gadgets for a test drive the other night at dinner...and guess what?  I'll tell you what...the husband, myself, and our dining companion enjoyed a lovely, civilised repast, with nary a whine, scream, disturbance or interruption to be heard.  Seriously!  Dumpie appeared oblivious to the hovering onlookers, transfixed by the mini screen playing out Star Wars episode IV (or 'Epo Four' in Dumps-speak).  Even the presence of a local cow wandering in mid-meal wasn't enough to distract Dumps from the Steven Spielberg saga or Eggie from his racing car game.  Result.

With a bit of a grumble, the boys have started school again, and this time round Dumpie's German teacher is heavily pregnant, which has predictably excited Dumpie's curiosity about how the baby is going to come out.  I let the husband handle that one - instead worriedly focused on the whole breastfeeding issue and wondering how to prevent Dumpie from incessantly quizzing his teacher on the intimate workings of her 'nipples'.  

I forgot how beautiful the light is here in Goa.  From mid-afternoon onwards there's just this pure, beautiful glow that descends, turning the scenery all 'story book' and making it feel like a crime not to sit it out on our front porch, fresh lime soda in hand, musing on how lucky we are to experience this bliss for more than just a two week package holiday this year.

Of course this self-same sun can be bright and blindingly severe in the mornings.  As I found out during my first run in several weeks which I unfortunately embarked upon too late this morning - resulting in a rushed, most unfortunate dressing error which saw me delivering Dumps to his kindergarten sans pants (and I'm not appropriating the North American vernacular here folks), trying to shield my nether region with Dumpie's knapsack on the way there, and hobbling shamefaced in retreat as fast as my mosquito bitten legs could carry me.  When will I ever learn?  In what universe do I remember to cover my lips in cherry pink lip stain, but forget to don undergarments??

Ah well, perhaps this season in Goa I shall turn over a new leaf as it were:  take up yoga, eat nothing but lentils and curd, and become a serene beach goddess...

On the other hand, I may just continue improving my G&T mixing skills, get on first name basis with the Baskin Robbins ice-cream man, and continue to deplete the local dvd shop of all its kiddie flicks - the better with which to mesmorise the monsters whilst the husband and I dine out nightly under romantic skies, uninterrupted by bored, restless progeny and ponder how to extend this great adventure we're on...for like fifty years :) 

That's kind of 'serene beach goddess' territory isn't it?  Or at least a step towards it?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Welcome Back To Goa...The Beach Bums Land On Indian Soil"

So here we are in Goa again.  Much like slipping back into a pair of old, well-worn, faded vintage Levi's which hug your curves in all the right ways, so have the past couple of days back on the Indian sub-continent felt like 'coming home'.  The monsters seem pretty happy to be back too - but that could just be down to the mango juice drink ('Maaza') which they are addicted to and which is served in every single eating establishment here.

We found our little primitive beachside cottage to be exactly how we left it.  Literally, I mean, exactly how we left it.  No painting or cleaning had been done in our absence, and traces of our scurried rush out of there five months ago were still evident.  Of course not everything was the same.  Waiting for us on our blue-tiled porch as we pulled in late the other night, having battled torrential monsoon rains from the airport, was 'Uncle Chancey' - a dear, dear friend of ours who had made the nine hour journey from London strictly to supply us with duty free boozes, chocolate and all the gossip we've been missing in London town these past eight months.  (Okay, maybe he also came to acquire a killer tan, eat chicken tikka masala nightly and watch pretty sunsets but still...)

Thankfully, the tropical deluge lasted merely a day and now we're firmly ensconced in sunny skies, even sunnier smiles and the wicked vibe here which signals the start of the new tourist season.  Although some are fans of the laid-back tail end of the season, there is something to be said for the optimistic attitudes of the beach hawkers, restaurant workers and fellow long-term tourists who are settling in for another glorious stint in the Goan sun.

Mornings have quickly resumed their usual routine:  up at 7am, strong coffee a deux, feed monsters porridge/cornflakes/eggs, chase Dumpie around the yard to get him dressed (whilst trying ones best to avoid being soaked with his newly acquired water gun), snatch and grabbing Egg's Nintendo DSi with one hand while trying to spray him with sun lotion with the other, then herding them out to their respective schools just before 9am.  

We do find we're missing our Bali mates.  A lot.  Only thing for that I suppose is to get them out here for a visit.  So to any 'Bali-ites' reading this, you've heard the clarion call.  Sort yourselves out...Air Asia yourselves over to the Arabian Sea and we'll do our best to make you feel as welcome on our turf as y'all did on yours :)

I confess I was sorely tempted to do a post about our two-plane-two-taxi journey over here from KL...but I realised it was the same old horror story as always - just the details differed.  Dumpie held the plane hostage (if not physically then in every other way) so much so that the husband, Egg and I found ourselves squished in a three seater row right behind Dumps who had somehow wrangled the three seats in front strictly for himself.  He spent much of the five hour plane journey standing up and pacing, laughing and whipping stuff back at us when we wouldn't pass up treats on demand for him.  Or just because he was bored.  And that was on the first flight.  On the second, (thankfully only a 50 minute journey from Mumbai to Goa) we had to go to our 'happy place' and try and ignore Dumpie's constant wailing of, "I hungry!  I huuuuuungry!  I HUNGRY!!!".  

As the husband later pointed out, on a crowded flight full of mostly Indians, what shame it was to have a child advertising the fact that he was not being well fed...and by parents who could well afford it.  Oh the shame.  (Never mind that the husband procured an overpriced limp 'cheese sandwich' from the cabin crew early on...Dumpie was having none of it....and while Egg obediently chewed the less than appetising sarnie, Dumps merely took a bite and spat it across two rows straight into my lap - and onto my expensive, newly laundered All Saints cardi.  Urghhh).

Disembarking, we waited till most passengers had exited the plane, on account of having smuggled in double the amount of hand baggage allowed, and being unable to move without bashing people on the head from both sides.  And as everyone passed, there were murmurs of 'hungry boy' and affectionate pats of Dumpies head as everyone got a look in at the starving child up in row 13.  Oh the shame.

Anyway, we got here in the end and thankfully there is to be no more plane travel for a few months at least.  And the school hours are slightly longer here.  And we have procured portable dvd players and fixed the broken handheld Nintendo.  Daresay the husband and I might be enjoy relatively civilised dining beachfront under the stars soon?  Ah bliss.....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

"The Mall Rats and KL"

Last night I was privy to a rather unusual sight.  We took the monsters to yet another sprawling mega-mall here in KL in attempt to kill two birds with one stone:  let them run wild and expend some energy before bed...and feed them dinner.  

While waiting for the lift I spotted a young woman clad in full Burka attire, the tiny strip of an opening across her eyes the only visible clue of the woman hidden beneath a voluminous shroud of black.  What caught my attention was the hardcore eye makeup, reminiscent of a drag queen or perhaps a run-in with an over zealous assistant at a Mac counter?  But then she stepped saucily out of the lift in what looked to be six inch stillettos, and following her husband, she cheekily grabbed his arse and gave it a squeeze.  Wot?!

However I was only momentarily distracted as seconds later I heeded a frantic call of help from the husband who was across the way, busy chasing Dumps past Gucci, Coach, Jimmy Choo, and Prada.  He motioned frantically for me to go the other way and try and cut the little road runner off from the other side.  I was only partially successful, for although I managed to grab hold of Dumpies shirt, he wiggled out of my grasp and went spiralling back in the direction from which he came, giggling and screaming with delight.

Luckily the mall wasn't very busy at this time of night and the boys didn't manage to knock over any old ladies or anything like that.  However they did put on a rather riveting performance for the people eating in the surrounding restaurants...though I'm still not sure whether the stares were amusement or horror based.  

There wasn't too much time to ponder this however, as we were on the sixth floor (of a really POSH mall I might add) and Dumpie somehow managed to duck into a restaurant and avail himself of some ornamental stones which he then proceeded to whip at the husband's head as he was closing in on him from the side.  Had they gone over the edge it could have been lethal for an unsuspecting shopper several stories below.

I was torn between wanting to laugh hysterically on one hand, and keeping my husband from divorcing me on the other...(for laughing hysterically with - no sorry at him).  He was NOT amused.  He told me moments later (after we had managed to round them up and were holding onto the wriggling, near hysterical rugrats for dear life) that he was 'so over this stage' and 'needed time away from his family'.  Hmmm...  I can't help but feel that the sheer amount of condensed 'family time' this 'Family Gap Year' has afforded us, has been both a positive and negative thing for him.

He has expressed several times (usually during meal times in crowded restaurants when Dumpie is under the table squirting ketchup onto an unsuspecting Eggie's ankles, or Egg is wandering back into the kitchens, barefoot, asking when  his food will be ready) that he is almost 'ready' to going back to work.  I think he finds the sheer intensity of 24/7 child rearing fairly hardcore.  As do I.  But hey, a burden shared and all that.... :)

I suspect it has become abundantly clear why in the past, upon returning home from a hard day at the office, he may have, on occasion, found me perched at the top of the stairs, clutching a half-empty bottle of wine and looking completely shell-shocked after a shambolic day of child-rearing...

My theory for the sudden resurgence of super-naughty spazzing in public areas, is that for the past several months since we've been in Goa and Bali, the monsters have been so starved of consumerism in the form of bright, shiny tantalising showcases in malls, that they simply can't resist running spastically about, clutching and grabbing everything in sight before chasing each other down concourses to discover even more 'delightful things'.  (Hey, I wasn't so far off from this behaviour when I had my first mall outing in month back in Bali one glorious afternoon.  Just ask the Topshop attendant.)

I was quietly negotiating the cost of a new holdall in a rather upmarket luggage store today, when the worried looking Malaysian shop girl informed me that one of my children had 'taken' a bag from the window display and run out of the store. 

"Oh never mind" I said calmly, "my husband will catch him and bring it back.  Now, about that discount?"...

Later, Eggie came running out of a department store clutching a lovely new t-shirt and proudly showed it to us as we head towards Gap Kids.  "Look Mama, isn't this shirt great!"  I had to run back in quickly, dodge the security guard, and toss it onto the nearest table before quickly dragging him out and giving him a crash course in property theft.

Dumpie has no such qualms.  I watched him make off with not one but two 'Ben 10' children's watches today, and nearly died of embarrassment when he broke the clasp of one and simply tossed it on the ground saying "Don't want this one. It's broken".

Ahhhh....malls.  I DO miss malls.  What can i say?  I miss shopping, browsing, bright colours, new clothes, pretty, lovely, shiny new things all laid out in an orgy of consumerist gluttony.  What a treat it has been indulging my more superficial tendencies and traipsing around Kuala Lumpur's numerous AIR-CONDITIONED cathedrals to materialism, taking it all in and sighing with pleasure at all the new fashions...ahhh...

Even being trailed by a pissy husband and two surprisingly spry little monsters hasn't been enough to dampen my enthusiasm.  I'll miss KL.  It's a rocking city.  (And that has NOTHING to do with the fact that I managed to have a sneaky Zara run the other day, have indulged myself in gourmet lattes day in and day out, and have been imbibing wine the past 10 days like a camel about to go into the desert.)

Goa...I'm almost ready for you...but not quite yet.  Have one more day of decadent gluttony to get through then I swear I'll hang up the designer threads, wean myself off the espresso, put down the pinot grigio and settle in for months of simple beach living.  I swear.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

"Cocktails and Kiddies...DO Mix!"

The husband has suggested (not unkindly I might add, but ever so slightly despairingly) that given the subject matter of many of my blogs, readers might perhaps get the wrong impression about our level of 'socialising'.

Okay, by socialising I suppose I mean drinking wine, having cocktails on the beach and general frivolity...(ie. acting like the teenagers we definitely no longer are).

But to those who would scorn or deride us for such indulgence, for attempting to enjoy ourselves, and for 'making hay while the sun shines' (quite literally), let me say this:

Life is short. This is evidenced by the totally incongruous way my biological age seems to have sped miles ahead of my 'internal age'.  I still feel 21 or thereabouts.  The husband does too.  And given that we appear to be successfully raising two very happy, healthy (okay slightly naughty - but what do you expect with their gene pool?) little boys, I can't believe that it's a sin not to try and enjoy this stage of our life.

All too often we meet parents who have sacrificed their own desires and happiness in order to fully give themselves over to role of parenting.  We admire them...we discuss how short we fall in the comparison stakes...and then we smile at each other and breathe a sigh of relief that we are NOT them.

You see, just because you become a parent, doesn't mean that your life should matter any less.  Yes, of course you should take your children's needs into account every second of every day, and ensure that they are kept safe, healthy and happy.  But I've always believed that a happy parent makes a good parent.

And the husband and I like to have fun.  We like to socialise, travel, meet new people, have adventures, bury ourselves in books, write, make music and generally indulge in many of the pleasures life has to offer.

And...we've discovered that some imagination, a bit of juggling, and a 'risk it all' attitude to future employment and financial security means that we can take that step out of modern life, pack our bags, and take our shambolic family 'on the road'...thus reaping certain benefits.

Everything is a trade-off in life.  Yes, we've just spent five months living in paradise, eating gorgeous food, walking amongst rice paddies and hanging out with amazing new friends.  And now we're headed back to our lovely Goan hideaway to swim every day in the Arabian Sea, sip fresh lime soda cocktails at sunset, and nibble on homemade samosas.

But (and it's a big but) we don't know what we're going to be going back to when our 'Family Gap Year' ends early next year.  And we've just found out that our rental property needs a new boiler.  And our children now approach meal times with the phrase, "This isn't what we ordered" when we plonk down something in front of them which they don't like.  And Egg thinks it's perfectly normal to slip off his flipflops in a restaurant or department store and wander around barefoot...

Need I go on?

So back to the life is short thing.  It really is.  And I don't want to be older, look back on my life and wish I'd done more, had more fun and really enjoyed it.  And there is no reason why YOUR life has to end (the social, fun side of it anyway) just because another life begins.

A little modification is all that's required.

Oh, and some childcare help now and again never goes amiss.

And some good friends to share happy times with.

And a lovely beach upon which to have cocktails and contemplate your next great adventure...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

"The Morning After" (Champagne and Coffee Tales in KL)

You know that clever commercial, created somewhere in Scandanavia i think, where a frenzied parent in a crowded store tries to deal with his screaming, out of control children...and it's advertising birth control?  Well this morning could have been another follow on commercial for condoms - advising young people to pause mid-lust and reconsider the repercussions of an unexpected pregnancy.

The husband, monsters and I are in Kuala Lumpur (or 'Palla Lumper' if you're Dumps) for just shy of two weeks, waiting for our Indian visas and security clearances to go through, so we can head back to Goa. An old friend from London kindly invited us to stay in his lovely, centrally located three bedroom apartment for the duration, and we have been ever so grateful for his hospitality, but nevertheless have reserved a room at a local hotel from tomorrow, so as to leave while still on a (sorta) high note, rather than have him hating us and tearing up future Christmas cards from us forever more.

To be fair, I guess the worst they've done is have a shower fight with the hose in his ensuite bathroom, help themselves liberally to his miniature KitKat supply in the fridge, and totally commandeer his sofa for their dvd-watching pleasure...but still.  Any minute now it could be ink stains, broken knick knacks or chucking something over the third floor balcony (a favourite pastime of Dumps).  So we're getting out while the goings good.

But this morning was another matter.  Last night (in celebration of our soon departure?...but can't be sure) a gorgeous bottle of Dom Perignon was opened on the balcony and enjoyed with blissful sighs of appreciation.  As was a gorgeous bottle of red.  And a killer blueberry vodka concoction.  And some ice cold beer (this is round about when yours truly bowed out of the festivities...deciding that when every other word was proving too difficult to pronounce let alone understand - even for me, the utterer - then I should leave before the contents of my stomach ended up somewhere in the vicinity of a pink porcelein bowl).

Sometime after that the whiskey apparently came out, and then who knows, another whole booze-iacal rotation may have been set in motion.  But what is known is that the husband woke me up while crashing (and i do mean crashing) into bed this morning sometime between the hours of 5am-6am.  I lay awake, unable to get back to sleep for the next hour and a half.  At which  point the monsters arose, and with it, any chance of nursing my hangover with the respect it deserved.

A game the husband and I are known to play, a game of 'who is least capable to do childcare right now' thus ensued...and damnit...I lost.  (Knew I shouldn't have bowed out so early last night.)

So the husband snored on, oblivious, and I fashioned an emergency breakfast out of a few packs of raisins and some semi-stale Ritz crackers, while throwing a dvd into the the boys newest gadget - a mini dvd player bought at one of KL's millions of malls a few days ago.  All the while I attempted to hold the contents of my head in, and maintain a coherent ichat with my sister across the world - amused but by no means surprised to hear how once again I wasn't coping too well.

So all I'm saying, is that if someone had filmed 'the morning after' when you HAVE children, and a lie-in is an impossibility, i bet you anything those pre-teens queuing up to sprog littlun's, might just have a re-think.

As for me?  Well, it's late afternoon now and we're bandying about the idea of taking the monsters bowling.  Though to be honest, what I'd REALLY love to do right now would be to take my laptop, earphones, and go next door to 'Gloria Jean's Coffee' (a fab gourmet coffee place - I can always sniff them out) and pretend that the frazzled, pained-looking man following behind, dragging two screaming children and trying desperately to hide from the hot midday sun behind some battered RayBans, is NOT my partner in crime...and not requiring my assistance to get through the day in one piece.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The 10 BEST (and WORST) Bits of Bali...Away We Go (sniff-sniff)

We're leaving today.  We're finally leaving Bali after five months of blissful tropical living.  That might be one of the reasons i haven't been so prolific these past few weeks...I've been soaking it all in.

So here is my (kinda) definitive list of the best and worst bits of Bali living:

* the food...cafes abound with scrumptious fare on which to gorge oneself
* the lattes (the crack of the caffeine world - wouldn't have been a functioning adult w/out my daily dose)
* the people...we made some brilliant friends who make parting such 'bitter' sweet sorrow :(
* our cook/cleaner/pembantu...time to get my hands dirty - again...get those soft elegant hands reacquainted with soap detergent.  and poo.  and crumbs.
* our digs...jungle treehouse living on lush huge grounds takes some beating...might be the nicest place we ever live (so says le husband....should i be worried?)
* the weather (aside from unseasonal nightly torrential rains during the 'dry season,' Bali weather ROCKS)
* the school (Egg and Dumps had the chance to go to the glorious 'Pelangi School' where the sweetest teachers and adorable playmates in the most idylic setting, made school seem like something out of 'The Truman Show'!
* Monkey Forest (nuff said...I mean how cool is it that everyday my walk into town meant traversing a forest full of hilarious monkeys?!  Beats a Bugaboo-saturated London Common hands down I'm afraid)
* the scenery (rice paddies....ahhh bliss...picture perfect loveliness complete with ducks and cute frogs)
* $1 dvds

* the dogs (Rabies huge problem here at moment...sick to death of snarling four-legged creatures)
* the mosquitos (urgh, urgh and more urgh...esp. the tiny ones that come out daily at 3pm)
* the traffic (Ubud is a single lane town with often too many tourists...traffic jams are epic...and suck)
* they've recently opened a big Starbucks (a sign of things to come?  I mean come on...)
* the dampness (my leather is destroyed and ALL my clothes smell of wee - and I'm NOT incontinent)
* the kitchens (trying to cook meals on a hotplate and a toaster oven loses it's appeal after awhile)
* the rats (I should have known the day I spotted the huge Rat Alarm in the kitchen...they are big, ugly and unrepentant - and the sole reason I couldn't step foot in there for a week after my latest spotting)
* expensive reading material ($7 for a used paperback...are you serious??)
* the horrid road by the boys school (everyday on the back of the scooter, the four of us perched precariously, I was always tensed up and ready for an accident on the gravel strewn non-road...urgh)
* the fact that eventually you have to leave (sob...sniff...sniff)

So here I sit, typing away, self-delusional about the piles and piles of possessions which sit homeless in great heaps on the floor, around our already stuffed luggage.  Oops.  Now all those sneaky little sundress purchases and my penchant for dvds seems misjudged.

I could try layering I suppose.  I've been known to do it before (hey, suffer for fashion and all that).  I could literally try and wear say ten dresses on top of each other, look like a total moron and willingly portray myself as obese.  Or I could leave some clothes with Kadek our 26 year old Pembantu (though face it - I can't really see her rocking the mini-skirt look somehow).

The worst part will be if we have to do a frenzied 're-shuffle' later today in the middle of a crowded airport and the husband clocks how many clothes his wife has, and the fact that she has insisted on packing the tupperware.  (I'm sorry, but in India it's inferior and i NEED my tupperware damnit!)

Okay, I'm off.  Bali I'll miss you...people in Bali I'll miss you too...and feel the luckiest girl in the world for having had such a brilliant experience.

Kuala we come!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

B-B-B-B-B-Blubbering For Bali...

This morning as I awoke in our luxurious tree-house-like dwelling, I savoured the sight of the dawn, and the various chirping noises all about me in a 360 degree cacaphony.  Twas bliss.  Then I took a stroll outside, across the grounds (yes, we really do have 'grounds' here) and gazed fondly at the fish pond, the huge stone trellis, the riverbank, the gorgeous gigantic flowers and the majestic trees.  Our own private paradise.  Ah, how I'm going to miss this....

Still, I know it's time to go.  It feels like it's time to move on.  Five months (has it really been that long?) in Bali and our expectation level has catapulted skyward to such an extent, that deep inside I am aware of the rumblings of dissatisfaction waiting to rear their ugly heads once we return to London next year.

How shall we ever adjust to the (in retrospect pathetic) 'delight' we feel when a blast of sunshine penetrates the mirky London skies - and that's in the summer months even!

And how shall we ever fit back into our three bedroom London home - which though spacious enough - may feel like servants quarters compared to the grand scale splendour we currently inhabit (sigh)...

Ah....that's how life gets it bites you in the behind.  If you insist on tasting the forbidden fruit (in this case, a year chasing Paradise in Goa and Bali), then you WILL have to pay for it at some point.  And I suspect the payment is going to consist of a very hardcore, very humbling re-entry into 'real life'.  We shall have to adjust our expectations down to a more moderate level, and learn to be happy when we get a seat on the bus, or when our cleaner finishes her weekly clean and the place feels great for like, one hour.

We will no longer have two women hovering about, picking up clothes, doing laundry, preparing meals, washing dishes, making beds, etc.  If the husband and I feel like a night out we'll have to shell out a small fortune to some bored teenager who will slouch on our sofa, watching bad telly and texting her boyfriend incessantly all night while we try and get our money's worth out of the world's most expensive 'date night'.

I am so grateful that a week today doesn't see us flying back to London town but rather to the sand swept, romantic beaches of Goa. Downsizing to more moderate conditions will be a chore to be sure...but then we shall be across the road from the beach...and have the smell of jasmine in the air, hot sugary chai on tap, and the gorgeous Arabian Sea to frolic in day after day...after day....after day...

And as long as Havianas remain the footwear de my books...that's okay.

Friday, 1 October 2010

One Week Left In Bali...

It's raining.  Again.  In Bali.  (Go figure - and this isn't even the rainy season).

I'm living primarily on lattes and vegan platters, spending most of my time in the music studio here working on songs and taking advantage of the last bit of childcare before it all goes 'POOF!" a week tomorrow and vast swathes of free 'creative' ME time become nothing but a distant memory.

Saying that, yesterday i went on a jewelry making course.  It was fun.  Too much fun in fact.  I wonder, have i missed my calling?  I spent three hours fashioning a cool silver circular pendant, after which I stamped the title of one of my favourite tracks 'She's Come Undone' on the front.  But then I noticed the Californian blond to my left had made this gorgeous chunky stone ring and I had major simply little pendant looked rather - well, simple in comparison.  So I may have to go back one more time and make a knuckle duster worthy of a hardcore fashionista.

Dumpie's all excited because today at school they're making chocolate cake.  He and Eggie are counting down the days before we leave.  Not that they're excited to be going, but rather they need something to be able to talk about besides the Tom & Jerry cartoons they watch incessantly.

Dumpie:  "Who won Eggie?"

Eggie:  "Jerry won Dumps....Jerry always wins....stop asking me"

Poor Egg...poor long suffering Egg.  Not only does his nearly-four year old little brother trash his toys, steal the best ones and break the others - but he now requires a play by play of all cartoon animation on telly.  The two of them lie side by side on the giant green floor pillow, ignoring requests for bedtime, dinner time or brush teeth time.  

Oh well.  The little monsters may as well indulge because it's going to be a rude shock going back to having no telly in Goa.  However I'm secretly pleased.  Hopefully it will spell an end to the re-enacted fighting scenes Dumpie insists upon and the Ben 10 nightmares Egg sometimes suffers from.

That just leaves great chunks of 'family time' for us to fill up as we see fit.  Oops - that reminds me...must make quick pitstop at video store before we leave and load up on new movies.  If I see 'Chicken Little' one more time I'm going to lose the will to live.