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.

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