Another hard day

Phew! Another tough day. I’m gradually disposing of things and the clutter is reducing.

My TV souvenirs went today, to the Australian Museum of Motion Pictures and Television (AMMPT). Just a camera tube, a dichroic prism, a transmitter valve, a couple of 2″ VT ACR25 carts and a couple of 1/4″ audio carts. And some books and manuals. All totally obsolete now! I’m thinking of starting a “Bring Back Analogue TV” movement. Heck, why stop there? Bring back valves. They made the pictures feel so warm, didn’t they?

My friend Andy has generously agreed to store two pairs of speakers that I can’t bring myself to part with. I may take them to Bali in the future, but they’re rather large and heavy at the moment, so they can wait.

I’m preparing for my garage sale on Sunday —

I’m putting things out to save the effort on Sunday. Maybe someone might come and take them during the night….? I hope.

Barry the salesman had a night visitor of his own a couple of nights ago. He was awoken at about 3am by a noise and found a young guy about 16-18 trying to remove a window and get in. The kid got his phone before Barry chased him down the street in the nuddy(!) but he got away. The police came with dogs, but no luck, nor were there any fingerprints. A phone probably sounds like no great loss, but for a real estate salesman, all his contacts were in the phone.


Gettin’ serious

Oh my Dog! Look at this!

I’m out!

Barry has decided that the house isn’t going to sell while it’s still full of my stuff. So he’s turfed me out.

No, it’s not as bad as that, but he says we need to lighten and brighten the place, so he’s volunteered to paint it for me! How’s that for service from your friendly real estate salesman? Keith has pitched in, as he always does, bless him, and they should have three rooms and the passage done by the end of today.

Reminds me of the day I moved in – September 1, 1986

But all the furniture had to come out, so it forced me to make the hard decisions and clear all the shelves. I’ve made a trip to the Vinnie’s shop and to the Save the Children book donation depot and filled several more boxes bound for Bali. The aim is to make the place look as big as it is.

A long gap

Main bedrooms, my new villa. You can see villa 3 upper bedroom peeking over the roof.

 Back again, after a long break, sorry. Not much happening, except still trying to sell the house.

We’re getting a few people through, but no offers, so we’ve decided to lower the price. I start paying interest on the outstanding balance for the villa from 10 April, so for every week or month the house doesn’t sell, it’s costing me money. I just want to get moving.

I’ve decided to have a garage sale next weekend, probably Sunday 3 April. Never done it before. Bit nervous about it for some reason. I have a vague feeling it’ll get out of control, I guess.

Meanwhile, I need to redouble my packing efforts. Barry reminded me yesterday that if a cash offer were made for the house, settlement could be in 3 weeks, rather than 6. I’d better be ready!

He also reminded me that when shipping overseas, I’ll need an inventory of everything that’s in the boxes. That means the boxes I’ve packed and sealed will need to be opened and unpacked again!! Urrrggh.

Fancy a bath in the rain? Better use an umbrella.

Back in Perth again

Ooops, sorry for the long gap. I came back to Perth on Sunday morning for various reasons, including not wasting my air ticket. We had a fast flight. Somehow, we arrived nearly 40 minutes early. I guess it must have been a favourable wind, but blowing from north to south?

Because I was one of the first off and had no bag, just my cabin bag, I was through and out in 20 minutes. It was 4am and I couldn’t face 3 hours wait for a lift, so I got a taxi home. Wow, $60 hurts after $10 fares in Bali.

Back to the heat! Will this never end? I was cooler in Bali, definitely.

Back to the depressing job of packing up. I can see an end to it, but it’s still a way off.

My new villa: beds 1&2 on left, beds 3&4 on right, pool in background

Click on the photo for full sized image.

Reverse view showing the living/dining/kitchen block and the pool.

I hope to plant a big spreading shade tree in the centre, but I’ll need to check carefully for a type which doesn’t get too big, or drop too many leaves, or have invasive roots…


I awoke during the night to the sound of a piece of timber falling, “Whack”, but that’s all I knew of the earthquake last night at 1.08am. I’m told it was 26Km off the east coast, but 560Km deep in the crust, so although people felt the swaying, it caused no damage. I can’t find what the falling timber was. Maybe it was part of the flat-pack wardrobe I’ve been putting together.

I slept right through it. People said they saw the water in swimming pools surging back and forth. Exciting.

Crumbs, Friday already.

My plan to stay longer is not as simple as I thought. I only brought enough of my tablets for two weeks, and even then, some are missing fom the second week’s container. Most don’t matter too much, but two are “don’t stop suddenly” types.

I’ve managed to get 10 days’ supply of one of them today, but not the other one. That one consists of three tablets a day, so if I just take one a day, they’ll last longer. I’ll try again tomorrow. I can last until next weekend (19/20 March) but better head home then.

This is a good test of whether I can get the pharmacy items I need here.

Unfortunately, I was too slow changing my AIrAsia ticket. You can change your flight up to 48 hours before, but I left it to today, so I’ve missed my chance. $124 lost, but it can’t be helped.

Yudhie has suggested I should rent the villa out while I’m in Perth, until I’m here full time. But to do that I’d have to spend a lot of money – two more beds and mattresses, about $800 all up; a table and chairs, another $500 or so; a lounge suite, maybe $350; a TV – another $500; some bedroom chests, another $500. Ouch. Not to mention bed linen, cutlery, crockery, appliances.

I’ll have to spend this sooner or later, but I’d rather do it at my own pace.

It’s now 5pm, after a bit of rain this morning, but a nice afternoon. I have no trouble handling this climate. Sure, you get a bit sweaty, but cooling off is easy with just fans. I’ve got two now and I’m no longer using the aircon at night, just a fan.

Time for a swim, then some nice cold beer from my new fridge and a cheap meal down the street. Most meals are about $8-$10, and you get a bit sensitive to price. 100,000!!?? How much??? Er, that’s $11. Fabulous. Then a movie on the laptop from my collection of over 200.

Speaking of which, I took a tumble after slipping on some mud on Wednesday night, and the laptop crashed to the bitumen. It’s got some nasty scratches to prove it.

When I first tried it next time, it wouldn’t boot, saying there was a disk error. Uh oh. I let it do its complete disk test for over an hour but it said it couldn’t recover. Thing is, I did a complete backup to an external hard drive on the day I left last Sunday, but the hard drive is still sitting on my table at home! Dumbo!

Never give up! Never believe Bill Gates. The computer had turned itself off, but I tried once more and bingo, up it came, good as gold. Phew.


The Villa is Blessed

Making the offerings

 Today was the blessing ceremony and feast and although it was supposed to start at 11am, we waited and waited until about midday while they got ready.

I was required to wear the sarong.

Lots of serious looking ladies and gents arrived in traditional costumes and tables of offerings (the small wicker baskets) were set out. They included eggs, stones, a dead bird, flowers and various fruits and palm leaves.

A small fire was lit in the lawn of villa 2 and some chanting was done, accompanied by a constant dinging of a bell. I’d hoped there might have been a gamelan orchestra, but not today.

Then we owners in turn were required to dip our forefinger in various pastes and make a sign of a cross on the frame of each doorway, first outside on the Balinese doorway, then inside on each bulding and the gazebo. Each time, we had to use three pastes and a hard fruit, then shake water off flower petals three times on the cross we’d just drawn.

Maxine, Patricia, Yudhie, dan Pak Pete

I have no idea of the meaning, but it was an honour all the same.

Then it was into the feast – babi guling, roast suckling pig, chopped up into small pieces and served with rice and pork sate. Washed down with plenty of beer.

I have a confession to make. I’ve changed my mind. I’m not buying the two storey villa after all!

After spending a good part of the day in villa 2 today and seeing it in a different light, literally, I’ve realised it’s much more practical for me. The lift was actually going to cost more than I’d be prepared to pay, so the stairs may well have become a problem in future years.

Switching to villa 2 means I don’t have stairs to cope with and there’s much more room. I’m actually in there now, the guys having moved all my stuff, bed, mattress and all, with no hint of complaint. All the villas are quite different and I’m happy with my decision. The villa costs $40K more, but that’s not as much as the lift was going to cost.

So after watching the housekeeper’s family move back to villa 3 (wow, so much stuff! Like the Tardis, bigger on the inside than the outside), I had a swim and was able to get out by hanging onto the gazebo post near the pool steps.

And I might stay on! I was asked, why such a short trip? I had no answer. I hadn’t thought of staying, but why not? It doesn’t cost me to stay, so as long as my dog is OK, I’ll stay at least another week, maybe more. What a strange concept.

Fridge and microwave oven tomorrow. And I’m sunburned.

Monday 7 March

We apologise for this break in transmission. Normal programs will now be resumed.

Sorry for the silence over the past few days. Nothing much was happening at home, but now I’m in Bali again for the villa blessing ceremony tomorrow morning, Tuesday 8 March, at 11am. I won’t be able to post this until after it’s happened as I don’t have internet access at the moment.

First, I think we got our strongest house sale lead yesterday, Sunday, as they spent half an hour looking and talking and said they’d phone back. It doesn’t mean any certainty, but it’s promising.

After that, Barry took me to the airport and Steve and Pam came out to see me off, which I’m very pleased about. Thanks, Steve and Pammy! Very chuffed indeed.

When I checked in, the lady saw my walking stick and asked if I have difficulty with the stairs. I said, yes, I hate ’em. I said I’m not disabled, but my legs are weak and I have to go down one at a time, slowly. In that case, she said, use Gate 3 instead of Gate 5 and we’ll take you down in the lift. Which they did. I was led down the aerobridge all alone, and escorted to my seat as the first to board. Since I was in 1C, first row, I was seated and ready to go while the rest filed in.

But I didn’t realise that the solid sides to these first row seats are constricting for my size, so I probably won’t do it again. But once more, I had a row to myself and was able to move to the window seat, so that was better. I seem to be getting these rows to myself quite often. Good!

This time I used the VIP meeting service at Denpasar. Wow! First time, and it’s unnerving. You’re met by an off duty policeman who is known to the airport staff and just escorted through. “Follow me”, right through the Crew immigration counter without stopping! No queueing, just a smile from the immigration clerk.

Then to collect your suitcase, through the X-rays still, but no questions asked. Then the cop asks for your passport and forms, takes them to an office and returns with the visa and stamp. You pay him his fee and he pushes your trolley outside and that’s it. Good stuff! I’ll do that again.

Ian, Yudhie and Wiwin were there to meet me and it was fantastic. Wiwin gave me a garland of flowers and a big hug and I felt a great welcome.

Back to the villa and it was like coming home. The bedroom windows were all clouded up by the cool aircon. The bed base was there and Ian helped me inflate my airbed, and after some talk, we hit the sack about 1am.
Airbeds are soft but they want to make you roll into the centre all the time. It’s very hard to sleep on your side. I had a reasonable sleep, but woke many times. I got quite cold at times, but the aircon remote was somewhere out of reach so just had to pull the sheet higher. However, I felt ok at 7am.

I climbed the stairs first thing and managed them OK without having to pull myself up. Gotta keep doing it.

I wasn”t going to spend another night on an airbed if I could help it, so today we set out on the great mattress buy. I met Greg and Maxine in Villa 1 and they showed me their good mattresses, so I followed their advice and went to the same shop. No worries. They only had one of 1.6m width in stock, but that’s what I wanted so I bought it immediately. Dellivery hari ini, ya? Yessir.

I was worried that they wouldn’t live up to their promise, but they did, and at about 5pm, a little red truck drew up outside my garage and there it was. It’s fabulous – coil springs under, with a layer of latex foam on top. Acid test tonight, but it feels OK.

Then to Lotte Mart where I spent three miillion! Rupiahs that is. A fitted sheet, pillow cases, a wardrobe (in flat pack form), two folding tables and two folding chairs. Plus four pillows. Loooxury.

It was all aided by Made Latra, our most obliging van driver, full of good cheer and very helpful. Nice bloke. He’ll get more work from me.

Oh, and we bought a small flat trolley to transport them all up the lane. It worked perfectly. Ian was a huge help, so by 2.30pm we had it all done and were back home.

Then we discovered the power was off. Connections were being made at a nearby building site. Back at 6pm they said. Gloom. No aircon, no fans, no fridge but most of all, no water. I hadn’t realised that the power is needed to pump the bore water, so no power, no pressure. That means no toilet flushing. We solved that by bucketing pool water!

Therefore a standby generator is going to be needed sooner rather than later. No problem.

Ian left for the airport at about 7pm to go back to Perth, so in one of the most spectacular thunderstorms I’ve seen or heard, I had dinner at Madam Putu’s (not much good) and walked home in the rain. One lightning stroke was so close it left my heart pounding.

It occurred to me that if Minnie were here, being terrified of thunder as she is, what would I do? Stay home at night to keep her calm? Tie her up to ride it out in fear? These thunderstorms are nightly occurrences. It would be a real problem.

An idea was floated involving a transfer at sea from an Aussie boat to an Indo fishing boat, but it’s too risky. All things considered, I think Minnie will have to stay in Australia.

On and on and on and on…

So goes the heat. Another hot night last night (Minnie slept inside again), another hot day today, another forecast for tomorrow, even hotter on Friday. Will it never end???

The house was open today from 2.30-3.30pm to try to catch mums picking up school kids. One quite hopeful prospect came through – knew about renovations, was looking for this area, etc etc. We can only hope.

Or can we? I’ve fallen off a cliff, I think. Is this such a great idea?


Minnie got a professional bath today for the first time in a long while. I’ve washed her myself but it’s hard for me. Now she’s back to soft and golden fur, just beautiful. For an 85 year old, she’s a youth!

Now I’ve cleared all the CD-ROMs! Tossed out duplicates, ditched surpluses, ousted old rubbish,… Cabinets and shelves are empty. Makes me wonder why I kept a lot of this stuff. Well, I don’t keep it now. I’m quite looking forward to setting up a central RAID 5 server, as I said, with a proper folder structure, all indexed. Ha! How ridiculous.

Well, Ian should be installed in my villa by now (7.15pm). Have a good night.