Last day

River at dawn 1a

Paris, the city of love.    (C) PJ Croft 2008, 2016

Having trouble sleeping again, dammit. It’s 3am and I’m trying to wind down. My feet are painful (diabetic neuropathy), my back hurts a bit, I have a mild headache … I’ve taken some Tramadol but it takes a while to work. I didn’t want any dinner, having had a bigger than usual lunch, so I just ate fruit and nuts.

The fruit came from a bowl I found in the room when I arrived, with a note attached addressed to me. Very nice. I will be giving this hotel top marks on the web site reviews.

Internet radio, fantastic. I’m listening to the ABC as if I were at home. I even listen on my phone while I’m in bed. I shouldn’t, of course. And damn Facebook! Once you start using it just a little, it kind of reaches out of your computer with tendrils and pulls you in. Friend requests, posts from people you know, political comment from an unusually perceptive guy who used to be at Channel 9. I’ve never met him, but I feel we know each other now.


I’ve made no secret now of my new love, Miss V as I call her, Veronika Prull-Elnrieder from Vienna, Austria, but I don’t think I’ve said how it all started. If I have, sorry to repeat but I want to tell the world.

I caught a Kura Kura shuttle bus at the Kuta Galeria at about 4pm on  a Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago. Veronika was the only passenger as I hauled myself up and sat behind her. She swivelled and said something to me, I replied, and we just talked all the way to my hotel, the Taksu. V needed a place for her friend Surya to meet her to drive her back to Lovina, so she got off with me. She took the initiative and asked if I’d have coffee with her in the hotel coffee shop. Of course I would, and we talked and talked for an hour or more until Surya arrived.

When it came time to say goodbye, I couldn’t help myself, I made a split second, spontaneous decision and gave her a hug to say goodbye. She seemed surprised, but has told me since that this was a big factor in her feelings toward me. We’d both felt the sparks while we were talking, and I could see it in her then.

So next day I plucked up a bit of courage (it didn’t take much) and emailed her asking if we could meet again. I got a very nice reply, and that started a chain of emails, and more talking. She was back in Lovina at that stage, over the mountains 3½ hours away.

Then I said I was doing a trip around the south and east coasts, Candidasa, Amed and points north and west. V asked if she could come with me. Oh yes, yes, yes. Marvellous.

She came the day before I was due to leave and stayed with me. We went for a walk along Jalan Cemara and I showed her the villa that I nearly bought. By chance, there were some Australians there as we peeked through the door, they saw us and asked us in. I explained that I was the brother of the owner and how it all happened, and we had a brief look through. That’s the first time I’ve seen it in five years. There were six people renting it and we had a nice chat. The lawn needs mowing!

Then we left and walked down to the beach and along to a nice bar. Veronika is a strong swimmer and had worn her bathers, so she went off for a short swim. The water was a bit dirty, she said, so she was soon out.

We finished our Happy Hour drinks there and walked back on Jl. Sudamala, and came to the Linga Longa Bar which was serving babi guling, roast pig. We partook, along with some of their Happy Hour drinks too. They had a really good live band, really good. Soon the cuddles started and life stories started being explored, and that was it. I think V had made her mind up. Yah! I didn’t need any more to make up my mind. I shot six minutes of great 4K video of the band, by the way.

So that’s how it all started. We met purely by chance on a public bus, we were the only passengers, and we got off at the same stop. If either of us had missed that bus … it’s as if the forces of nature conspired to bring us together. We just meshed from the beginning, and it’s been all good news and better and better each day since then. We share so much in our likes and attitudes, it’s amazing, right from the start. Two lonely ships passing, happened to come together on Kura Kura bus. Amazing. Both of us had felt that we’d missed the last bus of life, so to speak, yet this bus brought us together and we caught it. Amazing.


 ABC News:  “With the number of depleted home solar batteries being thrown away tipped to rise over the coming years, one Australian company is taking on electronic giants such as Tesla and Panasonic with the launch of an easily recyclable power source.

“Brisbane company Redflow says it has developed the ZCell battery that, unlike its competitors, does not use lithium and is more recyclable than its competitors.

“The active parts are plastic, aluminium and steel, the fluid electrolyte can be removed and cleaned and put in the next battery so the whole thing is very recyclable,” executive chairman Simon Hackett said.

“The battery is designed to store 10kWh of electricity — enough to keep most homes running for a day or two.”

I’ve always been an optimist when it comes to technological problems. Things might seem difficult, frightening or impossible, but I’ve always believed that science and technology will come up with solutions.

Well, the above looks exciting to me, and the fact that it’s an Aussie company makes it better. I’ve wondered about the world’s supply of lithium. It’s obviously finite and you can’t manufacture it, it has to be mined, with all the negative implications of that.

So I’m pretty enthused by this Redwall company. Go Aussies, go. But watch them being either bought out or crushed by a foreign giant.



4 comments on “Last day

  1. Alan says:

    Fantastic Pete, so happy for you. To live, now has purpose!! What a pleasant surprise for you mate.

    • Pete says:

      Yes, hi Al. Pleasant surprise is right. This trip, I’m bringing back the biggest, best souvenir ever. And it’s duty free! You’ll meet her for sure, soon I hope. She’s been to Margaret River once before, but we’ll do a drive asap. Or maybe you’ll be in Perth? Thanks and I’m glad you’re reading. CU soon.

  2. Sally Fay says:

    Very happy for you Pete you sound so relaxed and happy.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Sal, yes, you don’t know what this means for me. So many lonely years, so much pain, but I think I’ve finally hit the jackpot. I hope she’ll be here in the next week or two and we may be able to see everyone. This is it for me, and I think for her. Thanks again.

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