A new era

Sunset beach 16x9

© PJ Croft 1990, 2018

My friend returned to Bali on Wednesday evening after five weeks with me. If I say she originally booked for three weeks, but extended her stay twice, you would be entitled to assume it was a very happy visit.

For myself, I feel as if I was in the eye of a hurricane during her time here, but in a good way. She’s a bundle of energy much of the time and ‘organised’ me quite a bit. It certainly made me much more active than I usually am, and we even managed a couple of good walks around the lakes, and she did the walk to the beach and back from here. It’s only 1.3km on paper, but is uphill going and coming back. I must do it myself, … one day, soon …

But having so much good food available made me gain a little bit of weight, which I’m now having to try to lose again. It’s successful, bit by bit. My friend loves to cook and really enjoys my kitchen, so I ate more than I usually do, but it was good.

She’s made up her mind and now sees Perth as a better home than Bali, especially as the heat here is even better for her condition. A move here is being planned for later in the year. There are many decisions to be made and goods to be sold in Bali before the move. Not least a car. It was brand new in January and it would be nice to bring it here, but I think making it compliant with the ADRs would make it impossible.

The winter cold here might be too hard for her, so trips to Bali mid year will still be needed. That’s ideal, eh? We’re looking for a place to stay for 2 – 3 month periods, maybe.

What a change! I never dreamed that at 71 I’d be entering this new phase. Talking to my friends at the school reunion and afterwards, we all say we just can’t believe we’re this age. It just doesn’t feel like we’re “old”.


That raises the matter of a car again. We’ll need one each, so I think I’ll be keeping the Magna. It’s going beautifully, has just turned over 150,000kms and has no trade-in value. I’d be mad to sell it. So what to buy, if anything? Hmmm, a Lexus SC430 beckons.



One thing my friend realised is the ready availability of all the special foods she needs or likes. Compared to Bali, she’s in food shopping heaven in the supermarkets here. And she can find clothes in her size, which she can’t do in Bali.

She says Hardy’s has closed down in Bali! Wow, that makes a dent. Carrefour is good, but not as convenient.


My friend has never actually seen the Monty Python series. She has trouble getting the jokes with the strong Pommy accents, but gets some good laughs. We share many likes in TV and movies.

I’ve got the UHD version of Blue Planet II which is also in HDR (High Dynamic Range). To me it just looks like the whites have been driven into clipping and the blacks pulled down into a coal hole. I had to switch it off.

Nonetheless, it’s marvellous. The camera work is magical, and it brings new discoveries of animal and invertebrates behaviour. This is new science. I’ve only seen the first two episodes so far, but it left us gasping.


Dolphins off the north coast of Bali.  © PJ Croft 2018




Stone the crows, cobber! Can’t a man play bocce without a nosey crow interfering?

My partner introduced me to the game of bocce (in Italian), or boules (in French), today. That’s the game like lawn bowls, except you play on a rough surface at a random distance from the small wooden cue ball, with four heavy steel balls each.

Anyway, we were playing away down at Jindalee beach today and hardly noticed a crow that was taking an interest in us. Suddenly the crow hopped down from the low wall and snaffled our cue ball, flying away with it. It flew up to a nearby fence and sat there, no doubt deciding whether this round thing was good to eat.

My friend went over to the fence to see if the crow had dropped the ball. It had, but it flew down, picked it up and flew away. To add injury to insult, it loosed a poop which landed smack on my friend’s right eyelid!

Cor blimey mate! We’ll have to find another small wooden ball now. Or find another use for eight heavy, shiny steel balls.


We’ve also been to two quiz nights on Wednesdays at my local pub, just 100m walk away. We call our team “Back for more punishment” because we’ve come last in the two we’ve done so far.

This is a very British migrant area and the questions are too UK oriented, as well as being aimed at people who grew up in the 80s onwards. Typically, “What football team with colours white with red stripe made the European Cup final in 2008?” Or, as a science question, “Which 90s band had a chemist as a member?” or something like that. All the music questions were about heavy metal, or 80s Liverpool bands and so on. We enjoyed the nights and won a couple of beer glasses last week, but it’s lucky we didn’t have to pay to play. It’s also extremely hard to hear the MC and the snippets of music he plays off his iPhone into the mic.

Anyway, last week a group of non-playing guys between us and the MC were shouting their conversations to make themselves heard above the MC’s PA system. That meant we were battling to hear.

Eventually my bold friend went over to them and asked them to pipe down a bit. She came back unscathed, but they were directing dirty looks over at us.

I’d had to walk past them to take our sheets up for marking, and in doing so I’d had to squeeze past a young woman on their table.

So, after a few minutes of dirty looks from them, a tough looking guy in his thirties swayed over to me and said, “Why were you touching people just now, mate?”

“Huh?”, I said, “Touching?”

“Yair”, he said, “Why were you touching people?”‘

“I wasn’t touching anyone”, I said, “I was just trying to get past!”

I don’t think he was capable of getting another set of words out of his skull, because he turned away and swayed back to the group. They packed up and left soon after, to our great relief.

But how about a 30s age group goon wanting to pick a fight with me, an obviously elderly 71 year old? Revolting. My friend was not impressed.


As you may have gathered, she’s still here after two extensions of her stay, coming to appreciate the climate, the location, the fantastic shopping, the food and the warmth. She went out for lunch with my neighbour, also a German speaker, today at Mindarie Keys marina. Both of them enjoyed it and had some great conversation in their native tongue. Excellent. My friend has another nine days here, but will be back later this year for sure. I’ll probably make a trip up there (Bali) mid year.


That’s assuming I can get my blood sugar back in control. I’ve been having trouble recently and the leg ulceration is back. It’s not too bad, luckily.