I’m still here

Sorry for the long silence. I’m at home in Perth again but I haven’t had much heart to write for a while.

I had to come back early on the 16th May as the depression in Bali was some of the worst I’ve had. Having Ian and Naomi there helped a lot – just having someone to talk to.

But it’s made me realise I can’t do this. Despite being on the market for 3 months, my house didn’t sell; my depression is a recurring problem and I felt completely isolated in Bali; and I’ve had another couple of instances of atrial fibrillation, which in theory is not daagerous but is unpleasant and can lead to clots and strokes.

It all seemed so simple when I started this process, but I completely underestimated how hard it is to “leave home”. Sitting staring at a blank wall in Bali, I thought, “Where am I most comfortable?” and the answer is, sitting at my table reading or watching TV, here.

Additionally,  I couldn’t get anyone to take Minnie, and I can’t leave her!

As my house was being stripped more and more, my anxiety levels were ratcheting up at a fast pace. I thought going to Bali for a month would fix me up, but just the opposite – it got worse.

So all in all, I’ve made a giant stuffup. I stand to lose my deposit, but that’s not the end of the world. However, my brother and his wife see the villa as the answer to their dreams, so they want to take it over. If they can do it, it would be the ideal solution. But finance is the problem of course, and it may not work out.

So I’ve crashed and burned. But on the bright side, I’ve made a great new friend in Barry Wood. He has helped me above and beyond the call, for certain. Likewise, Keith Geary. He has helped me so much, so often in the past few years that I am eternally grateful. I just hope I can repay them somehow.

Also thanks to those who’ve expressed their concerns about me – it’s made me realise I’ve got some wonderful friends.

Things are still pretty tough on the Black Dog front, but time is the great healer. We should know more about the future next week, I hope.


Dogs in Bali

Monday afternoon and I’m sorry to report that a very big, very black dog has descended on me. I mean the black dog of depression. I was feeling bad before I came and thought this place would fix me up, but it’s much worse. I’m having trouble functioning, unable to make any decisions or start any actions.

My brother and his wife arrive on Thursday and I’ll be very happy to see them.

I’m pretty certain I’ll have to come back early. Probably next Monday when they leave as well.

Barry Wood is here now and he found my villa yesterday after some phone directions. They had a much harder trip on Marco Polo than they bargained for, but they made it. He’s sore and tired, but OK.

I’ve told him to put my house sale on hold and he’s agreed readily. This is not working out.

Another bed

Saturday morning after a heavy, heavy rainstorm last night, with lots of distant lightning. No water intrusion into the rooms, though, unlike villa 3 in March.

The yacht race web site shows that Marco Polo, the yacht Barry Wood is on, is still 62 n. miles out and struggling for wind. They’re not quite last, but near to it. Looks like it’ll be tonight before they arrive. Apparently they were in the thick of the distant storm last night and lost a sail, so it must have been violent.

Ian and Naomi’s bed arrived late yesterday:

The guys who delivered it phoned me for directions and couldn’t understand that I don’t have a street number. I think I’d better invent one, or put up a sign at the Jl Poso end of Jl Blanjong.

Eventually, they parked their truck in Jl Merta Sari at the end of the laneway and carried the bed parts up the lane to the villa. Made sense.

But as you can see, it will need a proper mattress, not just an airbed or foam temporary mattress. I’m awaiting instructions.

Hmmm, what shall I do today?  Speakers for my mini hi-fi and a TV antenna, I think.

Oh, and one lucky break. I dropped one of my portable hard drives on which I’d laboriously stored 50 or so TV programs over the last few weeks. It no longer worked! I managed to get the drive out of the casing, which was pretty damaged, and this time when I connected it, it worked! I carefully made a copy of the TV programs folder on another drive. Phew!

Friday 6 May

Sorry about the long gap. I only have internet in the cafe, so it’s a bit hard.

Thursday in Bali and it’s turned a bit grey and threatening rain. Reasonably cool, though.

I was having lunch at the Gardenia Cafe today and overheard Aussie voices talking about sailing. Quick as a flash, I deduced that maybe they were yachtsmen from the Freo to Bali Yacht Race. Sure enough, I was right!

From the web site, I’d noticed that Marco Polo, Bob Kucera’s yacht with Barry Wood crewing, was still 164 nm from finishing. The guys reckoned it will be tomorrow (Friday) night before they get here. Somehow, I doubt I’ll be at the yacht club marina to greet them, because it could be any time. I’m sure I’ll see Barry at the Sanur Beach Hotel, or else he’ll come knocking on my door. They must be frustrated at the lack of wind.

Friday morning update: they’re still 104 nautical miles out and making slow progress. Not much wind. Time to break out the baked beans, I think.

I seem to be having a run of bad luck, if that’s what you’d call it.

When I lay down on the bed last night, there was a loud crack and the mattress slumped lower. I wasn’t going to get up and sort it out at that time, so I just slept anyway, on a sloping matress.

This what it means to “bed down for the night”

This morning, It’s clear what happened. The notched rail that holds the cross slats was just skew-nailed on the bottom edge with quite small nails and it had just broken off, allowing all the slats to collapse to the floor. As well, the two longitudinal slats had broken.

This is the bed that was custom made by a local company, and it’s CRAP. I’ve been trying to get them to replace the slats with better quality wood since March. We actually went to their premises on Tuesday to talk about having them replaced, and they said they’d be here yesterday about 10 or 11am. They didn’t show, of course.

Now Wiwin has phoned them and told them what’s happened. I’ve said I need it fixed for tonight. They were supposed to come at 2pm and it’s now 4pm with no show. It looks like I’ll be putting the mattress on the floor tonight!  I’d fix it myself if I had a drill and some screws, but getting some new timber would be a problem.

STOP PRESS: They came at 4.45pm and replaced all the slats with new, thicker timber. They only nailed the notched rail to the side, but with solid long nails, so I think it should hold. I don’t know why they couldn’t use glue and screws…

Then I found my computer had screwed itself up this morning and I couldn’t get onto the internet for email. I had to do a roll-back to fix it.

It also seems to be a random hit or miss whether it will show my movies via the HDMI cable to my new 24″ TV. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but I can’t figure out why.

Then my Bali map won’t show on my Garmin GPS navigator. I’m sure I’ve followed the correct procedure to load it, but no go. No problem, I thought, the Bali Navigator office is just down the street a couple of hundred meters. So I went there, only to find that the guy I’ve been dealing with is actually in Australia. I assumed he was here. So until I can contact him by email, my $110 map is useless.

There’s also only a very weak TV signal out of the wall socket in the villa. I suspect there’s actually no antenna connected to it.

And although I asked a couple of weeks ago to have my ADSL internet connected in the villa, that hasn’t been done either. So I can only do i/net at cafes.

And the “stainless steel” sink is rusty as hell.

I’m getting grumpy again, aren’t I.

On the bright side, I bought a microwave oven yesterday, a Sharp 22L for $135. Not bad value. And the beer’s nice and cold in the fridge.

Sitting here in the Art Cafe, I’ve just noticed that there’s a large bat hanging from a tree about 10m away. Apparently he’s a “pet” and gets fed from the cafe. Smart bat.

First day in Bali

Tuesday morning on a  glorious day. It’s not hot or even humid at 0915. Little bit rainy yesterday, but only briefly.

I was met at the airport by Wiwin and Yudhie, which was very good of them seeing it was nearly 1230am. Wiwin gave me a big basket of fruit. Thank you very much, Wiwin.

After a loooong drive to drop Wiwin home on the way, we finally reached my villa at 2am. Luckily, out of the multitude of keys (every door has a different key and I realise now that I’d mixed two bunches up), I managed to hit the right ones in one or two tries. It would have been pretty frustrating trying to sort that out at 2am.  It took me until 3am to finally hit the sack, so I was pretty zonked.

Breakfast (makan pagi) now in the Art Cafe Warung across from the Mercure Hotel. English breakfast, including fresh OJ and Bali Kopi for about $5. Terrific.

The first yacht in the Freo to Bali race has already arrived, breaking Rolly Tasker’s record. I’m afraid Marco polo, the yacht my friend Barry’s crewing on, is way back and looks as if it’s searching for wind. It’ll be a few days yet before it gets here. I’ll try to be at Benoa when it arrives, but judging when to be there will be difficult.

The villa needs a lot of cleaning. You wouldn’t think dust would be a problem here, but it is. Dust and dirt everywhere. As well, a lot of the metal fittings are rusting, even the “stainless steel” screws. The sink has many bad patches of rust. I think that might need to be a warranty item, because a stainless steel sink should not rust.

One of the taps in the second bathroom is faulty, too, so no water in the wash basin. Someone had conveniently turned the tap off, so it wasn’t obvious.

Out to look for a bit of furniture today. A table and chairs, and a couple of comfy cushioned chairs. Maybe a small TV, until I can afford/arrange a big one for the lounge room.

Finally, this from the Bali Times: “Officials shooting poisonous darts at stray dogs shoot a woman by mistake last week in Klungkung.” Oh dear. Maybe she looked like a dog.

Sampai jumpa.

Minnie’s re-homed

I took Minnie over to Keith’s this afternoon while the house was open for inspection. Only one visitor, I’m afraid, but Hadley said she spent a fair bit of time here and seemed interested in my redevelopment drawings. (Over the years, I’ve drawn up plans to alter the house at minimal cost to make it a three bed, two bath house. I’ve got two nice drawings. I can’t afford to do it any more, though.)

Just as I was about to back out of my carport, “Whack!!”  A golf ball had hit my passenger side window. That’s the side facing Hamersley golf course. It must have been a wild shot to have come right across Marmion Avenue to hit my car. I didn’t hear anyone yell “Fore” either.

I’ve managed to confuse or mislay the key to one of the padlocks on one bag. It’s not too important, it’s only a side pocket, but I may have to break it open when I get there.

I hope I’ll feel better when I get to Bali, because I feel bloody awful now. Flight’s at 8pm.