Friday, October 1, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

EAT, PRAY OR LOVE?















From the Tolkien Trees in Avesbury to the Giants Causeway in Bushmills I'm still generating feelings of serenity and calm. Meditating feels nice, really nice. It's seriously blissful. Nearly as blissful as chocolate or sex ;) It's easy to see how it can turn into a total addiction for some. I've heard of people getting hooked on meditation retreats and travelling the world, just as Elizabeth Gilbert, in search of higher and highers planes of consciousness. Apparently ashrams, orange robes and eating only papayas blisses you out so much that you believe you are enlightened enough to contemplate becoming a spiritual guru and enlightening others. And then they come home form their spiritual odyssey and are suddenly overcome with a deep depression. Remind me to stick to my trees, hills and cliffs, wearing black and eating whatever I feel like!! Forget the eating and praying, I think it's the love part which is the gift that leads to enlightenment. Love is something you give, not something you look for.

Monday, September 27, 2010

FETISH

So.....I seem to be developing a fetish for hats, headbands and noggin coverings. I picked up a couple more yesterday. Ones that will actually cover my ears as they've been getting a little bit chilly.




















I bought a hair colour yesterday too and applied it last night in the hotel bathroom but it hasn't turned out exactly as I had planned. It's simply dark again but the red is hiding! When I've got more time to hunt out exactly what I'm looking for I'll continue this mission.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

FUNK MY HAIR

This is the longest time I've ever gone without a haircut, colour or some funk with my hair. I feel boring and like a plain ol Jane. I'm at a crossroads as to what to do with it. Do I get a haircut and keep the short, shaggy look or do I continue to let it grow wildly out of control? On one hand, this is a great opportunity for me to allow it to get longer, something I haven't done for a long, long time. And since I'll be wearing a hat, beanie or some other form of warmth on my head for a while yet, it really doesn't matter that there's no shape or texture to it. Perhaps, a bit of colour could do wonders? Something outrageous like red or purple. Since no-one knows me here and knows what my "normal" (lol) colour is, it might just be a goer. Before we left Chipping Campden I let Sofie go to town with it a couple of nights to try and create a masterpiece that would work for me. What'd ya think?


Friday, September 24, 2010

FEELINGS ON LEAVING

I've been pondering today how I feel about leaving Chipping Campden tomorrow. Do I feel the same as when we left Bali? Is this a place we could live indefinitely? Did it meet our expectations? We're the people as we wanted?

I think I have to say that as much as our time here has been wonderful, it didn't live up to our expectations or deliver what we wanted from the village. We didn't really get known by the locals. I mean I come to the Noel Arms Hotel most days to log onto their wi-fi (which I have to ask for a code) and not once did any of the staff ask my name, how long I was here for (I could have lived here for all they knew), nor any other info about me. The closest we came to making friendships was our "night out" with some younger locals at another Pub. In their defence perhaps they get sick of speaking to people all the time who are mostly tourists and here for just a fleeting visit.

The town itself was fabulous. It had everything we needed. I used to grab my recyclable bag of a morning and walk the 50 metres to the fruit and veg store and the small supermarket which had almost everything we wanted. Church was beautiful. The gym served it's purpose until I gave it the flick last week opting to get more fresh air into my days.

I think our time here allowed me to dive deeper inside of myself also. I've had time to ponder life in this peaceful setting.

The weather sucks big time though and sadly, for me, it's only going to get worse :( I really like warmer weather, a tan, and being cleanly shaven. I've even resorted to trying to harvest a forest on my legs and arms to insulate me (lol).

Anyhow Chipping, you've served your purpose. Thanks for the memories. Ireland awaits.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NUMBER WORSHIP ISN'T WORKING

These days, it seems there is a "right" number for everything: the right weight, the right cholesterol levels, blood pressure, grades in school, salary, square footage in your home. Moreover, if you have the wrong number, the assumption is that you are wrong. You're somehow bad, dysfunctional, and less valuable as a human being.

Indeed, we tend to glorify numbers to the point that we look to them almost exclusively for information on who we are, how we're doing, what we're worth, and what the future holds.

Thousand of people are standing upon a tiny machine each morning - the scale - and asking it "How should I feel about myself today?" People are counting calories and fat grams all day long, leaving very little room for the deeper explorations of body wisdom, body awareness, and the enjoyment of food.

This way of living and thinking is inherently stressful, and therefore counter productive to healing of any kind. And so...it's time to "De-number" the world.

At the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we believe in putting numbers in their place. We certainly notice numbers and value the information they provide. However, we put a much higher premium on the data and insight gained from body wisdom, the journey of the soul, and intuition.

Marc David
Institute for the Psychology of Eating

MEETING MENNA

Menna had been sick. In bed for the past three days with stomach cramps. She was feeling uneasy and something told her, in that moment, to get up and cycle into town, feeling unwell and all, to the van where her husband, Artur, would be selling his famous falafel wraps. She didn't know why but a "feeling" informed her. At first I arrived somewhat disappointed to not see Menna there. After all, it was her that has inspired me to master the expression of my brilliance. I wanted to say "thank you." To tell her what an inspiration she is. And in the three minutes it takes Artur to assemble his specialty she appeared, as if by magic. I wondered if it was her, a little scared at first to ask. But then without hesitation, as we connected eyes, communication was made. She told me she very rarely goes to the van and has been at home writing her next book for the past three months. According to Menna I'm an excellent manifester. I should continue on and forge ahead, sharing with me a name in the business. With the signing of my (her) book, "Congratulations & Good Luck!! With love Menna x," our encounter was over. Such a pleasure meeting you Menna.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

MY GROOVY LITTLE GUY

On the weekend, at Woolacombe, and the first swim Dave took the camera out into the water a bit whilst I waited on the sand. The water being too friggen cold for me. In a split second he snap off this pic and it wasn't until we downloaded them that we seen what Jayden was actually doing. So cute and even with the right fingers. Did you know I was told once at the Australian Institute of Meditation in Brisbane that you don't use your index finger as this in the finger you pick your nose with - charming!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

M, M & C once more

She told me to believe in myself and be bold and I was. I took a month off work. I wrote a book. I tried to get it published. And I failed. I failed to become a writer.

I don't think you can say you've failed to achieve something until you're dead. Or until you've tried everything; and you haven't really tried everything until you've died. So you might have given up, but you certainly haven't failed.

You should be bolder. When life doesn't work out the way you want it, it's not a sign you should give up, it's a sign you should be bolder.

I think your main lesson is courage. I think you need to embrace being totally courageous. When you've really done that you'll achieve your purpose. When you take on and triumph your challenges you'll be rewarded with the life you long for.

If a publisher simply accepted your book, that wouldn't have required any more courage from you.

You need to keep stepping into life until you couldn't be any more courageous. I think you'll discover that your true happiness comes from being the bravest, most glorious being you can be.

It's time to take another courageous step. To start becoming the magnificent woman you were put on this earth to be.

Menna Van Praag

Bolder and more courageous I shall be!

WORD OF MOUTH

We were heading to Evesham again this afternoon and whilst at the library Dave googled and found a lovely little vegetarian/vegan cafe and asked me if I'd like to go there for lunch to which I replied, "I'd love to."





























I had a falafel burger and soy chai latte. The were absolutely delicious. The whole family enjoyed their meals. Maybe I'll convert them yet (lol).



















THE HILLS ARE ALIVE

I've been spending the past few mornings on top of Dovers Hill taking in the scenery and meditating. The stillness up there really is something else. In fact, it's the stillness in any form of nature that I adore and takes away whatever needs to go. I'm definitely a nature lover now and would prefer to spend my days in the great outdoors rather than cooped up inside. Yesterday, after lunch and my lunchtime nap ;), I took the family for a walk up there. I wanted to show them the little forest like area I've found where I've been parking my arse. For me, it was a kid-like experience. We played "stacks on" Dave. With our arms spread out wide to the sides and turning around ever so slowly we sang in our best and loudest voices ;), "the hills are alive, with the sound of music." We sat in a patch of clover and tried to find a four leaf one, to no avail I might add. And just before we left for the trek home we sat for a while and took in the views whilst I scratched Dave and Sofie's backs and we chatted about nothing in particular. It's so true that kids live moment to moment with not a care in the world. I want to be a kid again!

Friday, September 17, 2010

M, M & C continued

As long as you hate me, her body said, I will be heavy, carrying the burden of that pain. Fill me with love instead of hate, for love is light while hate is heavy. Take care of me, nurture me, cherish me, love me absolutely. Begin exactly as I am, and I will put down the burden, I will let the weight go, and I will become as beautiful as I was born to be.

Menna Van Praag

I've heard this before, Karla Cameron!

TRIVIA

Sofie is reading a book called "Why Do Farts Smell Like Rotten Eggs" by Mitchell Symons. It's a fascinating book about all kinds of unknowns. Why we burp? Why vomit always contains carrots? Why is dog poo sometimes white? Why does cream go stiff when whipped? And are we the only creatures to pick our noses? She's been reading five crazy facts to Jayden and myself each night in bed before lights out. And now I have a question. My question is "Why does eating asparagus make your wee stink?" Any guesses? I've googled and came up with it's because of chemicals that they break down when ingested, which your discriminating kidneys see fit to dump into the bladder. The effect is harmless and apparently only occurs in some people. So there you have it. Some interesting trivia for ya on this fascinating Friday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

M, M & C

We're all born with hearts that hold our dreams and speak to us about them. As children we follow our hearts all day long, we live according to our instincts and intuitions. But one day we stop listening to our hearts and start listening to our thoughts instead. That's when people stop focusing on their dreams and become lost in their minds. Then the colours of life start to dull, and our excitement starts to die. Until you're trapped in a prison of your own making, looking out at life instead of living it.

Menna Van Praag

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MEN, MONEY AND CHOCOLATE

Maya spends her days dreaming of a perfect life; a life filled with love, success and pleasure. She tries to find fulfilment in the pursuit of men and money, and when this doesn't work she looks for comfort in chocolate. But this only leaves her feeling empty and lost. Then Maya meets a mysterious, magical stranger and is set on a spiritual journey to discover what she's been missing all this time......

www.menmoneyandchocolate.com

MY MINDS' EYE

Sometimes I go to bed at night and lay awake, my mind racing with all kinds of thoughts. About others, writing pieces, dreams for the future. I am unable to switch off, even with focusing on my breathing or counting sheep, as I was told to do as a child. I succumb, as I have done many times before, to rising again. Afraid that if I go to sleep, without recording my minds' eye, and wait till the morning, my visions will be lost, just as the day gone by will slip into the past tomorrow. It feels like when inspiration strikes I have to grab it by the balls, with both hands, and run with it. I imagine all the other greats before me doing the same. Working endlessly throughout the nights in order to finish their masterpieces. In the dark, with only a glimmer of light from the moon above through the bathroom window, I slowly and would like to think steadily make my way down the stairs. But my mind is elsewhere and thinking I've reached the last step miscalculate and fall to the ground with a groan. So much for trying to sneak down quietly! Dave comes to see I'm alright. Nothing broken I moan. Just a freaked out, startled shoulder. I flick the kettle and wait for it to boil. Damn, out of chamomile tea. Peppermint will have to do. I love me teas. And sitting at my computer I can download my data in order to be able to enter shutdown mode.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MISERABLE

The weather, today, is miserable. The kind that wants to make you stay in bed all day with a good book and a bottomless cup of hot chocolate. I'm unmotivated. Sleepy. And bored. We've been out for most of the day and upon returning home I just want to cuddle up in front of the fire watching a soppy chick flick with a jumbo bag of maltesers. I declined going to the gym with Dave, instead sitting here writing on my laptop with my second cup of green tea trying to warm up. Why is it I get so cold? Once upon a time I would have said it's because I don't have enough fat on my body but I can't very well use that excuse these days. I rug up with my scarf and corduroy coat that I bought a long time ago when visiting the snow in Canberra whilst the rest of the family get around in just a t-shirt. How does that happen I ask myself. We as mammals are supposed to be warm blooded but I swear I must have been a frog in my former life. I wish the gym was open in the mornings but as it's part of the school it doesn't open till 3.30 pm after school has finished. I've never been much of an afternoon exerciser except for walking and talking with friends when I felt that if I didn't go, on the days I didn't feel like it, I'd be letting my friend down (hi Nicole). I've been forcing myself to go 2 or 3 days a week, just to keep my foot in the door, and once there and I get going that "I'm on fire" feeling kicks in and I leave happy I went. Today just wasn't one of those days unfortunately. I couldn't be arsed. I didn't walk this morning either. I woke to the alarm at 6 am, listened to the outside and heard the wind, and thought "fuck that" and dozed back off to sleep. Even gentle exercise makes me feel great and without it my day just isn't the same. Maybe tomorrow, if the rain pisses off.

Monday, September 13, 2010

LOTS OF FUN, FUN, FUN

Off the top of my head, in no particular order, over the past three days I have:
  • Got pissed
  • Got stoned
  • Smoked a couple of cigarettes
  • Had wild sex
  • Lifted some weights
  • Walked lots
  • Slept heaps
  • Read two books
  • Ate chocolate
  • Got chatted up by an Irish tour guide
  • Laughed with some locals
  • Eavesdropped on local happenings
  • Witnessed a car accident
  • Went to Church
  • Found new inspiration

Saturday, September 11, 2010

READING

I'm reading a book at the moment called Bread Body Spirit, Finding the Scared In Food by Alice Peck and, as usual, certain pages have spoken to me.

Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis in Food As Sacrament writes:

"Our present cultural experience of food has degenerated into food as fuel, for supplying the energy for our insatiable search for that which will fill the hungers of our soul. When we understand that food is not a metaphor for spiritual nourishment, but is itself spiritual, then we eat food with a spiritual attitude and taste and are nourished by the Divine directly."

and Marc David in How We Eat writes:

"What nourishes? What is it that truly feeds us and provides the satisfaction we seek? We believe that good nutrition nourishes us, and it does, yet it is easy to lose sight of all that nourishes and focus on nutrition alone.

The question of what nourishes is often difficult to answer because our dietary notions change constantly. What we thought was good to eat yesterday is not always what we think is good today.

Most nutritional assertions that originate from authoritative sources have a brief shelf life. Our nutritional information is not based on what is ultimately good to eat, but what we believe is good to eat at the time. Within this unstable state of affairs, one thing does remain constant - the connection between our relationship to food and our inner world. How we eat is a reflection of how we live. Our hurrying through life is reflected in hurrying through meals. Our fear of emotional emptiness is seen in our overeating. Our need for certainty and control is mirrored in strict dietary rules. Our looking for love in all the wrong places is symbolized in our use of food as a substitute for love.

The more we are aware of these connections, the greater the potential for our personal and inner satisfaction. For in changing the way we eat, we change the way we live. By focusing attention while eating, we learn to focus attention in any situation. By enjoying food, we begin to enjoy nourishment in all its forms. By loosening dietary restrictions, we learn to open up to life. By accepting our body as it is, we learn to love ourselves for who we are. And by eating with dignity, we learn to live with dignity."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

GUIDED MEDITATION















I'm a big believer in meditation and it's ability to still ones mind and calm ones body. It's a spiritual practice I engage in most days. It affords me the authority to listen, to hear my inner wisdom and receive answers to the questions my conscious mind asks. Although I do not always heed the questions nor hear the answers I want to hear I am often brought back to these moments in the future. Some time last year I was told to "trust yourself" and I've never forgotten it although when I need these words most I don't tend to remember them (typical)! Yesterday, whilst amongst the spirited stones in Avebury I was led on a guided meditation by the audio commentary we had hired. I like to hear the history of what I'm seeing, to feel their life. Otherwise I'd just be looking at bloody rocks! It was amongst, what is referred to as, the Tolkien Trees I sat. I was asked to imagine the tree roots, where I was seated, connecting me to the earth, a light being channeled from the top of my head to the sky above. To feel the spirit of the stones surrounding me and hear their words of wisdom. As short and sweet as they were I will remember to "keep trekking and trusting." There are many different forms of meditation. I tend to flicker between them all not practising one specific kind. It is my time to tune out of the world and take time to simply just "Be." I am able to get in touch with my innermost essence and be fearless and free. Whereever I go or whatever I do I can then carry this stillness within me rather than the turbulent mind that once was. Oh, how my life has changed!

FOND MEMORIES

This morning, on my walk to a neighbouring town, Broad Campden, 1 3/4 miles down the road I was reminded of Pokolbin, the vineyard district of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. In all my time I lived in Singleton, only a 15 minute drive away, I really didn't get to see very much of its beautiful landscape. I guess babies, breastfeeding and later, as they grow into children, tends to deter you from partaking in wine tasting events, which usually end up smashings, and the like. And I wasn't really interested in admiring and appreciating the land back then. Of course I do have many fond memories of occasions in the vineyards, my proposal from Dave being one. That's another story though. Here, I walked past a big, old, stone house and the sign out the front says "Malt House, A Country Guesthouse" and I recalled a time that brought a smile to my face followed with a giggle. A group of us had rented, for the weekend, a huge guesthouse in Pokolbin, just like the Malt House. We'd all pooled our money in and someone did a group shop of food that would feed us heartily for our stay. Copious amounts of alcohol were purchased and brought along. There were lines of coke snorted (I didn't do this) and joints smoked freely (I certainly did do this). I think we had prepared for this event with an afternoon of rolling spliffs at my place or maybe that was for another event (lol). Those days were still somewhat complicated at times but a different kind of complication. I think as we grow older, and some say wiser, we tend to over complicate matters rather than being young and free as we once were. Dave and I were still kinda new at being a couple therefore I'd already done the stupid young marriage thing but was rewarded with Jason as the outcome of that so I had to be responsible and motherly every second weekend. Perhaps that's why on every other weekend I was wild and reckless? I was still in my early 20's justifiably. My two accomplices, whom I shall refer to as J & J, and I were the smokers in the gang. Cigarettes that is which also meant that we were the main tokers also. I don't remember all the intricate details other than us being as stoned as they come, laughing our heads off, and somehow me being caught sitting in front of the fridge, with the door open, consumed with the munchies, ripping the skin off the barbecued chook and eating it. J & J, looking for me, busted me and we all rolled around the floor laughing before they too joined me in the chicken munching. We had some of the best times together. I fondly refer to those days as some of the best days of my life. Melancholy? A little! We all have these fond memories. Perhaps not the pot smoking, drug induced coma ones but we have something. Sometimes though, sadly, they seem to get buried under all of the shit and when the shit gets scraped away we're left with the better days that make us who we are today.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

SINGING LIKE A BIRD

A Rumi poem says, "I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying who listens or what they think." I, sometimes, feel like that bird singing my song with attitude not knowing or caring who is or isn't reading my words. Ever since I started, I have loved writing and allowing my creative juices to flow, although I may not be deemed good at it. But who determines what is good or bad? I find it very therapeutic, calming and tranquil. Writing allows me to participate in detaching, allowing me to let go of any ideas I may have about how things should or should not be. I can then enjoy all the fun, mystery and magic in every moment in the journey of my life and remain open to all possibilities, and embrace the uncertainty of my future.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

TOUCHING MY SELF

The English countryside is breathtakingly beautiful, specifically The Cotswolds, as I have probably said so many times before. It is just as I had imagined all those months ago. Hypnotic, gentle and serene. It is here, atop Dovers Hill, I have come today to get in touch with my Self through meditation, to put pen to paper and see what unfolds. Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. I am brought back to the present moment to dwell on what a wonderful moment it is. I have been reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, brushing up my mindfulness skills using conscious breathing processes to truly be alive in my present experience and reality. This "adventure" was also a spiritual quest for me. A time to hear what makes me tick. I'm using warning signals such as church bells, traffic lights, washing up and children's laughter to bring me back to my true Self. I once wrote that we are "spiritual beings having a human experience" and it is now, more than ever, I feel the most profound satisfaction sharing this again. The air is cool, crisp and fresh and blows gently, swaying each blade of grass. There are birds chirping their language and communicating with another. Tourists pass by photographing the rolling hills that lead to the vales beyond. I smile at them and they smile back. There is no need for words up here as there is no need for thinking. We can just "Be" and encounter the beauty of everything just as it is. I wonder how I will ever return to a big city and all of the chaos associated. Come back Shelley, come back. Here and now, here and now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

YOU KNOW WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THESE

Besides the fact they taste delicious?











































The cute little bumble bee with a message just for me.





Monday, August 30, 2010

VOICING NICER WORDS

So after my piss talk on Friday night I really haven't had too many writing ideas. Perhaps I killed a few brain cells (lol). Anyhow I used my voice to speak nicer words yesterday and even got my bit of karaoke in. In case you haven't guessed I'm talking about Church. I try to go to Church as often as I can. Bizarre really cause I would never have guessed that I'd end up a church goer and actually enjoy it. Well, really love it. There's a certain stillness, a peacefulness that washes over me, like water over a sandy beach, the minute I step foot into this place of worship. I don't care too much for what religion or anyone elses beliefs about God. I have my own of those which are mine and personal. Last Sunday, the first Sunday here I attended Holy Communion in the morning. Yesterday I slept in and missed the morning service so attended last night. As there isn't too many attendees in the evening which is called "Evensong" I was invited to sit in the pews with the choir. It felt welcoming being amongst the elderly folk. It seems which ever Church I go to I am always the youngest, by a long shot. Why is this? Is it because I am one of the few my age to realise there is something greater than ourselves out there? Am I still seeking and searching? I've had this discussion with a male friend of mine before leaving Brisbane as he, himself, was entertaining the thought of going to a Church and was asking me about the Church I attended in Ashgrove. It did happen to be an Anglican church, which religion I am baptised but it was not because of this I went there. Purely and simply it was because I felt I belonged there and because the Reverend was very entertaining and thought provoking in his sermons. Every week the Reds (rugby) were mentioned. And although, so far, the Ministers here have been very much old fashioned in their delivery I find it intriguing to hear their voices, their opinions on bible stories. Another reason I liked Ashgrove's 7.30 am service was there was no singing and although here I'm not belting out tunes such as "Gimme Head" or "I Will Survive" I'm allowing whatever comes to flow freely, in or out of tune. There's little differences I'm noticing in the order of the service too. Like when the Priest says, "Peace be with you" I'm the only one to reply, "And also with you." I'm also asking the question "Where's my wine and bread?" and according to the lady sitting next to me last night they don't always do it. It depends on the Minister. And rarely at the evening service which is delivered from the old testament (1662). I take back all the times I called people with a religious fish on their car windows a "fish fucker" because now too, like them, I'm very happy I've found this enhancement to my life. If you're not already doing so, you should give it a go. You just never know! If fear of turning into a religious nut turns you off you just have to think of me cause did my previous post sound anything of the kind?

Friday, August 27, 2010

KEEPING IT REAL

In the theme of keeping it real I'm gonna type as my brain dictates. I'm in the pub, 50 metres from home, and up to my 3rd glass of NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Some days they go down better than others :) I usually come here of an arvo (whilst home is well and truly racking out the zeds) and have a glass whilst blogging. Most days I don't give a fuck, some days I do. Today is a "I don't give a flying fuck with added benefits." Dave just walked in and I flicked screens. He said "what are you doing?" and I showed him and he said "there's nothing wrong with that." Why can or do some people think this way and others don't? Guess what I did today? You'll never guess. I had a pooper scoop, a de-poop, colonic hydrotherapy. Of course, as a family blog, I wasn't gonna broadcast it on there. Honestly, I'm a huge fan of them. I can see you screwing up your nose imagining a hose up your arse but seriously it's not that bad and not like what you imagine at all. I once used it as a weight loss strategy and gave them a break for a long while whilst I sorted my shit out but before I left I treated them as a "taking good care of myself" measurement. And was even offered a job as a Colon Hydrotherapist when/if I get back. And I'll seriously consider it. Another blanc at five pounds fifty - highway fucking robbery! I think old mate the barman is keeping tabs on me ;) Weird how alcohol dampens your appetite. I'm currently thinking fuck dinner which is already prepared from last night (vegetable and brown rice stir-fry). Gosh, I love England but I especially love when I hear a group of guys sitting behind me continuously saying "fuck." It's a great word isn't it? You can use it in so many contexts. Fuck me, fuck you, I might get a fuck tonight (lol), fuck this is awesome, fuck I love my life, etc. Here come some more English men and women. C'mon, let's liven up this fucken party! Where's the music for fuck sake? In Aus, you wouldn't dare be at a pub on a Friday night without some form of fucking music - jukebox or live band. I want me karaoke! There's a guy at the bar scratching his arse. Why do men do that in public? And adjust their balls for that matter? There's some Melbournetonians and Americans within ears reach. They're talking about global warming for fucks sake. Get a fucking life! I've switched drinks - vodka, lime and soda. I'm feeling pissed and I have to listen quite intently to the barman who asks "add it to the tab?" I'm trying to act cool, calm and collected but quietly I just want to go fucken crazy! Am I a bad mother for leaving Dave at home to deal with the children and get them dinner? Aw fuck em. Dave's now joined me and we're checkin out facebook. Fuckin shit isn't it? Right, I'm off now and gonna get me a good fuck!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CLASSIC

Jayden: I'm going to the toilet.

Me (laying on the lounge in front of the fire reading): Can you go for me please?

Jayden: Okay I will but I still don't get how you go for other people.

A SPIRITUAL PATH

When you open your heart.
You bare your soul.

When you bare your soul.
You learn to love.

When you learn to love.
You start to live.

When you start to love.
The world is your oyster.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SURVIVING

You know how you get those shirts that say "I survived ......." like I survived the tower of terror or some other freakin scary ride. Well, I'm thinking I should get a shirt that says "I survived Cadbury World." Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE chocolate. I've been known to down a few in my time ;) both consciously and unconsciously. Every morsel that entered my mouth was consumed mindfully, sometimes closing my eyes and feeling it as well as tasting it and by God it was good! I've said it before and I'll say it again "everything in moderation" and "it's what you think and how you feel."

In other Tuesday news, I joined the Sports Centre for 25 pounds for a month giving me access to the gym, pool and fitness classes. I never thought this would happen but last night I had a crack at the "Boxercise" class and blimey love, it was fucken brilliant! I met some lovely ladies, chatted, punched, laughed and even sweated a bit too :) I walked home on cloud nine basking in the endorphins and commended myself on getting involved in something new. It's been a long time since I've done a group exercise class. Tonight is "Circuit Training" and tomorrow night "Fitball." Laughing at what Matt would say about that (hahaha).

Monday, August 23, 2010

FALLEN INTO A FAIRYTALE

It feels like I've fallen into a fairytale. The timeless elegance of Chipping Campden is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I am surrounded by its beauty which is magical and yet somewhat surreal. I have never seen anything like it. Overlooking the whole town from Dover's Hill in its stunning simplicity I am mesmerised and wait to wake up from a dream. You cannot appreciate the age old beauty of Chipping Campden and The Cotswolds until you are placed smack bang in the middle of it. Carol Cottage which we now call "home" for the next five weeks is a mere 50 metres from the main street where everything needed to live simply exists. The butcher, Drinkwaters Fruit & Veg, The Co-operative General Store are all within 100 metres from home. Church is a five minute walk away as is the sports centre containing a gym with a few fitness classes and a pool. I am undoubtedly in love with the village already. Lack of internet access is allowing me plenty of time for other, more important things like breathing in nature. I cannot believe my eyes walking through the streets. The "wow" factor overcoming me emotionally. I wonder how I could be so lucky to be experiencing such a wonderful life. What have I done to deserve this? I feel free. I am at peace.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

CRAVING

I'm craving some routine, as is Dave and moreso the children. Hence my little hissy fit yesterday. London has been wonderful but hectic with no rest days as were scheduled in Bali. Traipsing around with tired children and sore feet starts to get on your nerves a bit after a few days. This is why this adventure was not about being tourists as such but moreso about experiencing how others live which is why we've based ourselves in places for weeks at a time. I'm craving a little bit of normality such as daily walks in nature, home prepared meals, meditation, reading and prayer which have fallen by the wayside in the past week. That's ok. Life still goes on but these things enhance my life and make me really, really, really happy. I did, however, head out for a walk again this morning just as daylight was breaking, which was refreshing and tranquil.

You can see my furry friends here.


























Friday, August 20, 2010

DFC

God, there's some dumb fucking cunts in the world isn't there? My ex-husband is one of them. I made the overseas call today to discuss the son situation and you know what the fucking knob said? As far as he's concerned if Jason has made the decision to stay at my Mum's then he won't support him financially anymore. You selfish fucking childish arsehole. I don't give a flying fuck what went down. He's your son and I'm of the opinion that you support your children until they reach adulthood and/or are able to stand on their own two feet. He's only 16 and a half and still at secondary school you moron. Hate is a powerful word which I'd rather replace with love but sometimes I hate you so much and wish you never entered my life. I know, I know. Fucking shit about everyone you meet and interact with is for a reason, to teach you something but the only thing you taught me is to recognise a dumb fucking cunt when I see one.

POOING IN PEACE

I can't wait to get to Chipping Campden so that I can poo in peace. One bathroom/toilet does not work for a family of four. I could never understand how and why Dave could sit in the toilet, smelling his own stench, for what seemed like hours but now I totally get it. It's another escape from reality, from daily mundane tasks, from duty, a kind of relaxation if you will. I often sit in there with my writing pad and pen, writing out my lines, my affirmations. Sometimes I even get inspiration on what to write for the day. More often than not I can be found reading my latest book, currently Frangrant Rice by Janet De Neefe. A true story about her continuing love affair with Bali containing many traditional Balinese recipes. I think to myself I'll just read a few pages and then something really interesting will arise and I can't or don't want to stop. I'm also the kind of person that will not put a book down part way through a page and even then I have to read both left and right pages so that when I place my bookmark in I know that the next time I open the book I start reading on the left hand page. It is these idiosyncrasies that make me unique ;) It's kinda like which way does the toilet roll have to sit so that the paper rolls off either under or over. Also whether you are a scruncher or folder. I'm an over and folder girl myself :) Call me quirky but as they say you can take the girl out of the funk, but you can't take the funk out of the girl.

BANGERS & MASH

I had to do it. Bangers, mash, peas and gravy. But imagine my surprise and to my delight when on the menu was vegetarian sausages, Lincolnshire and leek. Apprehensive about the taste I was pleasantly surprised that they were bloody beautiful. Quite salty in taste and combined with the gravy even saltier. Luckily I had a vodie to wash it down with ;)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

FUCKING FASCINATING SHIT

Today I learnt some really fucking fascinating shit at the Natural History Museum. I've never been into all that nerdy stuff but I actually enjoyed the learnings. Don't ask me what I learnt cause I can't remember now. In one ear, out the other, but at the time it was very thought provoking. I likened some of it to my more personal experiences of the recent past.













































My conclusion? It doesn't matter what happens in life and your circumstances. Nothing ever stays the same. It's all a continual process of change. Some good, some bad. Whatever happens, happens. Let whatever be, be.

HYDE PARK

I did it! I got out for a walk/run this morning in Hyde Park, London. And, it was amazing! Finally my body has adjusted to local time and there's no more of this waking for good at 2 or 4 am bullshit. Although I did wake I was able to get back to sleep and since I wasn't completely shagged last night got my clothes ready so I didn't have to root around in my bag in the dark and wake Dave up in the process. That's the difficulty in staying in a hotel which is pretty much all one big room with a wall dividing us from the kids and a bathroom off to the side. I try and sneak around soas not to wake them. They're unlike me. Definitely not earlybirds. They like to sleep in, at least an hour or so after the sun has risen. That's another thing I love about London. The days here are so long. It doesn't get dark until around 9 pm and it was already light when I left the building this morning at 5.30 am. There was no need to worry about safety at that hour either. There's hundreds of people out walking, running and cycling. And there were so many different tracks you could take. I stuck to a main one and went for 1/2 an hour in one direction before turning around and heading home ensuring I didn't get lost. I headed on the Princess Diana Memorial Walk and guess what I seen? Little baby squirrels bouncing around. They were so cute. Of course, I didn't have the camera with me. Maybe tomorrow. Anyway, I'm home now and the family are up so down for breakfast we go before the crowd gets there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WHOLE FOODS MARKET

At my request, first up this morning we headed to Wholefoods Market in Soho, London for me to do some shopping in preparation for The Cotswolds. That place seriously fucken rocks! I could have gone fuckin crazy in there. Oh wait, actually I did, just a little bit. I restrained myself a bit too though and just bought the items I knew I'd need and just a few others to try. Seeing new products in a new country is hard to resist not buying and trying them all. Again, it was a case of reading about the market long ago and there was no way I was coming to London without going there to check it out. I shopped with no respect for money or the exchange rate so it cost me a fucken bomb but then again I've always been of the opinion that I don't care how much food costs if it's good for me.















In the basket was almond milk, rice milk, brown rice protein, pea protein, vegan protein, greens powder, pom juice, coconut juice, oats, brown rice, psyllium husks, goji berries, agave syrup, peanut butter, almond butter, himalayan pink salt, tamari and a few raw food bars. I was pretty stoked with my purchases.






























In other news we ate lunch here today.















Pret A Manger is a really cool place. A fast food joint selling delicious tasting natural food. I opted for the Butternut Squash and Spinach Soup and it was de-lic-ous! These places are everywhere which is awesome and a step in the right direction in terms of fast food chains.

THE BUFFET

The buffet, in the past, was always my nemesis. The mere sight of a buffet was like an open ticket to Bulimiaville. But, nowadays, I've successfully negotiated it. I've worked out a little trick that works for me. Day 1 - eat a little bit of everything including the non-healthy variety (muffins, croissants, hash browns, etc). From then on I know what it all tastes like and I can choose only that which gives me pleasure, pleases my senses, delights my desires, and has me feeling fab-u-lous ready to start the day. There's no need for me to join the gluttony group, I've been there and know it feels fucking shit. A friend once told me she pretends the buffet is a menu and off the menu, after looking at each dish, she chooses just one thing, just as she would in a restaurant ordering a-la-carte but fuck that, there's too many yummy's and I like to have a little nibble of each which has been including eggs (yeah, back eating chook's bums), mushrooms, tomato, baked beans, orange, pineapple, little seeded rolls with banana, peanut butter and honey. On another note is it stealing when you take a little bit extra and put it in your handbag for Ron? Say, like a few pieces of whole fruit (apples, bananas), boiled eggs, muffins, croissants. I've a couple of zip lock bags to put the eggs and muffins in and the croissants get wrapped in a serviette. This all gets packed in our day bag and we're set for morning tea or even lunch. Am I a genius or thief?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

POT POWDER

When I took the brakes off and put the pedal to the metal on my dieting days, what also flew out the window was the use of protein powder. For ages I didn't have any but then I starting using a little bit again here and there, just to ensure I was getting some protein, especially since I'd gone down the vege, plant eating route. I used Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein, Tony Sfeir's Cacoa and Pea Proteins; all natural, no artificial anything. Blah, blah, blah I'm not gonna go into my reasonings or justifications or anything of the kind. I'm looking forward to settling in at Carol Cottage for 5 weeks and getting back into my green smoothies and yesterday, at a GNC store in London, found some Hemp Protein Powder, which I'd read about a while ago, and of course isn't available in Aus. Wonder if I'll feel stoned (lol)?


Sunday, August 15, 2010

WRITING SHIT AND TITS

Waiting, waiting, waiting. At airport for airplane. No doubt the first of many flights cancelled. We've been put on the next flight to Kuala Lumpur but we'll still make our connecting flight to London, just (phew). I feel like writing some shit.

I wept silently as we drove away from the hotel towards the airport. I knew this trip would be life changing but didn't realise it would happen so soon. Dave commented that I was quite chilled packing the bags but underneath I felt flooded with stress. I kept it to myself. Stage one down. What will stage two bring? I have learnt so much more about myself and the way in which I fit into the Universe in just three short weeks. Believing and trusting my thoughts and judgements that little bit more each day. Amazed at my strength of character. I'm committed to my search for freedom and know that I will find it! And I'm still getting the tattoo when the time is right.

There's a freedom kind of feeling when you don't give a fuck about what people think. A sort of anonymity. Yet, I know you're out there reading and probably got me on "wanker alert" but I couldn't give two shits. I care about you but don't care what you think of me :) I'm over trying to impress others. I'm me and this is who I am.

Not sure about blogger rules but figured I'd best be on my best behaviour and add the adult content warning upon opening. Did you get excited about that?

I've always loved being tanned but I'd have to say that this one even beats the solarium days. Got the tits to prove it.















The last of the pampering happened yesterday. The boys went to the pub to watch the football. The girls to the spa. Package 2 - Full Body Massage, Body Scrub, Facial - 2 hours - 130,000 rupiah ($16). You want medium or strong massage? Medium please. Okay? Little bit more strong please. Okay now? Very good. Thank you. I soaked up every last bit of relaxation like a sponge begging my body to hold onto the calmness. Lying face down, in all but my undies, I am coated in a mud like substance and left to dry. Then, with the bare of her hands, rubbed until the mud rolled into little plasticine type worms and off my body. Turn over please. I am covered by a thin sheet which is lifted to reveal my legs firstly. I wonder what will happen when she reaches the top but I do not have to wonder long for the sheet is removed and there they are, my tits. Out there and happening. She spreads the mud gently over them completely and once again I'm covered with the sheet and left to dry. Removal time and I have to use all of my might to not crack a smile for fear of her thinking I'm getting turned on by her touching my breasts. I'm laughing under my breath and thinking thank God Sofie opted for a hair wash rather than a body scrub. She'd be freaking out right about now. God, I hope my nipples aren't erect. Wonder if she realises I have implants? Would she even know what they are? Lucky I've got my knickers on. Do they do brazilians in Bali? My thoughts are interupted. Shower please. Lastly, my face is relieved of all the grease from sunscreen. I've felt like a grease bucket all week breaking out in a few pimples which could also have been hormone pimples from the early arrival of TOM. I'm thankful there's only a need for a surfboard now and hence no changing corks over smelly, dirty dunny's.

Going surfing now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

THE TIME OF MY LIFE

Now I've had the time of my life
No I never felt like this before
Yes I swear, it's the truth
And I owe it all to you
Cause I've had the time of my life

I can safely say that this had been my best holiday ever. And it's only just begun!

Sampai jumpa and Sampai ketemu lagi Sanur and Bali. Love you. I'll be back!

I can tell you it's sheer relief to be leaving on such good terms and in such a good headspace. It feels like I'm experiencing whatever it is for the very first time which seems new and wonderful. I have been calmed by the gentleness of Bali. The warmth of the people wrapping me up in a blanket of kindness. A layer of understanding has started to surface. I have been guided by the unknown. Blessed beyond belief. I wish I had more time here to listen to lessons of life, humanity and self-respect but it is not to be, just yet. Balinese have a fundamental belief that only three relationships matter in life: your relationship with God, your relationship with nature, and your relationship with mankind. This is their secret to inner power. Thank you for teaching me this.

Look out London, here comes Shelley Stark.

ABOUT EATING AND THE BODY

Food for the offerings, which has been cooked in the early hours of the morning, must be set aside before the people eat. The Balinese believe that food must be shared with the spirits so that harm and bad fortune will not come your way. You should wash and tidy the kitchen in preparation for the first meal of the day. The Balinese sit close to the ground at mealtimes, most of the time, preferring contact with the earth, rather than the comfort of tables and chairs. Unlike in Western cultures there is little talk as spiritual nourishment is received from the soul of the food (rice). The food on the plate is like an offering and given to share, a gift of God's bounty, and deserves great respect. Like praying, you have to prepare yourself for the food that provides fuel for the body. Eating time is considered a private time and a person must not be disturbed when engaged in a meal. They prefer to eat in quiet places. Food and rice, at mealtimes, is scooped between the fingers on the right hand and placed into the mouth with very little mess being made. This makes for slower eating which results in more thorough digestion. The core of good health is said to be good digestion. By not talking aids the process by allowing the body to steadily assimilate the food. Whilst we as Westerners would think eating with the hands is unhygienic, some Balinese think the same about cutlery. They say that their food tastes more delicious when eaten with the fingers and that cutlery creates an unpleasant steely coolness and interferes with the tongue and tastes of all the spicy flavourings. A meal prepared with loving hands should be eaten with loving hands. In reverence to God, ceremonial food is ALWAYS eaten with the hand.

The idealism of female beauty is a body with a slim hourglass figure with tiny waste and slim arms, just as in many other countries. An overweight body is a sign of imbalance and lack of harmony. It is only people without faith who need to "find themselves." They pay great attention to personal hygiene and cleanliness using an aromatherapy ritual, after washing, as an act of what we call self-care of self-love. The body is the vehicle of the soul.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'M SORRY

My divorce from my first husband was a difficult one. Difficult in the sense there was a young child involved. Jason was just one and a half when it all happened and has grown into a wonderful young man, now starting to make decisions of his own. One such decision in the past couple of days was to move out from his Dad and Step-Mum and go stay with my Mum, his Nan. It was under argumentative circumstances, I think had been brewing for some time. Here I am, no-where close by feeling helpless and perhaps guilty once more. Our initial child rearing arrangements between his father and myself worked wonderfully for some time until I had more children with my now husband and I had to make a tough decision to move in the direction with my new family and also do what was best for Jason which was for him to live more permanently with his Dad therefore spending less time with us. As a Mother this is a difficult thing to do. You love your children so much and only ever want what is best for them but at the same time you pine for your own loss. I'm actually feeling for his Dad now too. Does he choose his wife or his son, his only child? The uneasiness is between Jason and the Step-Mum; a personality clash of some kind. And adding teenage male hormones to the mix probably isn't helping. I desperately want to wrap Jason up in my arms, take away any pain and confusion, say I'm sorry for doing this to you. Growing up from a broken home is fuckity-fuck-fucked. Part of the reason I was fucked up. But I will not go back there. That was then, this is now. I can only do what I can from afar. It is times like these that I really appreciate my Mum and all that she does for me. I could go on forever this morning but I'll stop here for now. There's a brand new day in Paradise waiting for me.

SOME THINGS

Some things the Balinese could teach the Aussie's:
  1. Hose your bum hole after pooing.
  2. Massage arse cheeks when giving a full body massage.
  3. Eat rice with your fingers.
  4. Slow down. Life will wait for you.

Some things Aussie's could teach Balinese:

  1. Smoking in restaurants, especially when others are eating, is fucking disgusting.
  2. If we say "no, thanks" we mean no fucking thanks.
  3. Cooking with a lot less oil is much healthier.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I LOVE BALI

There's a great big, exciting world out there waiting for me but this morning on my walk I was sad thinking about leaving Sanur. I love Bali; the sun, the water, the friendly people, the relaxing atmosphere. It feels safe here. I've found my rut, another comfort zone and although it doesn't frighten me to move on, I don't want to lose what I've created here. Dave says I'll feel the same about every place we go, when it's getting time to leave. We've only been here just over two weeks but it feels much longer. Surprising how one adjusts so easily to new surroundings. I reckon I could get used to this kind of life. In fact, I think I might just do that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

AM I A GOOD COOK OR WHAT?

Shelley style:

















- Mie Goreng


















- Nasi Goreng















- Coconut Curry



IN MY DREAMS












In my dreams I own this house and have renovated it, with the help of Balinese tradespeople, restoring it back to immaculate condition full of Balinese architecture. I live here with Dave, Sofie and Jayden. Jason comes to stay every school holidays sometimes bringing his girlfriend or a mate too. Our families visit often, as do some of our friends, so there is never a shortage of people in the house, ensuring lots of fun and laughter. We have a handsome maid:




















who does all of the cleaning and cooking, making us delicious healthy fare. He is a gentle man whom the kids adore. We are very grateful to have his help. We own an electric blue Yamaha scooter with which we transport the kids to school. They are attending a local school, translating English for them, but also learning the Indonesian language. They love school, even though they attend six days per week, as they finish at lunchtime each day leaving plenty of time for swimming in our pool and massages by our therapist who arrives at 3 pm each afternoon. My early mornings are spent walking or running along the beach front sometimes accompanied by Dave or one of our guests or some of the local friends I've made. I'm teaching our friends the joy of exercise and how to lift some really heavy shit. They, in return, are teaching me how to walk straight and tall so that I won't let my basket fall. My Indonesian is coming along nicely. I can communicate enough to get by which has been of great benefit when learning with my spiritual teacher whom speaks little English. He once told me that "death is easy, life is hard." As each day passes I'm making sure that I'm living a meaningful life, one full of adventure with no regrets.

Have I forgotten anything? I'm not nutso. I did say it was "in my dreams." A girl can fantasize can't she?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

THE TOILET EXPERIENCE

I've made it a habit to always carry tissues in my bag when venturing out for the day. I've been caught a couple of times and had to "drip dry" which isn't what I'd call a special experience. I did, today however, experience a new toileting experience. The look on Sofie's face said it all so we went in together giggling like school girls. "I'll go first. You hold the bag." With tissues neatly folded in hand, shirt pulled up and doubled over between boobs, so I could see what I was doing, I carefully took a couple of steps backwards so that I was positioned directly over the target. I dropped my daks, and with one hand held them out of the way, the other hold holding the tissues and Sofie's hand so I didn't slip or fall over in my squat position. When the flow had ceased and a quick blot with my saving grace loo paper I was relieved that it turned out just fine.


Friday, August 6, 2010

LOVE YOU SHELLEY

I'm just someone who has been where you are, just as many before me have gone where I am going.

Occasionally, I'll receive an email from someone and my response to them astounds me. (no reference to persons has been made to protect the innocent).

"In the end I think it's just a patience thing and it really is very simple. We tend to overthink and complicate matters. I needed to learn to "love myself fat" and take good care of myself. I believe that it takes time for you to trust yourself and therefore your body to follow suit. What's helped me tremendously is writing affirmations the old fashioned way (pen and paper) just like writing lines at school when you were in trouble. I writes things such as "I am worthy, I deserve, I am, I can" statements. It takes just 5 or 10 minutes each day and I actually now believe what I'm writing, whereas once upon a time I didn't. Sometimes I don't recognise the person I now am and am thrilled with myself and who I am these days."

"The hardest thing is making a start and you've done that with the walking so don't let anyone or anything stop you from doing it if you enjoy it. Of course, every now and then, there may be times where you simply can't fit it in and that's ok also, it's life and sometimes life gets in the way."

"When I get upset about others Dave has a saying that helps me which is simply "it's not my problem" and although you are and will always be there for her "she's not your problem!" You need to say it over and over and over again - "it's not my problem, it's not my problem, it's not my problem." Of course, you love and care about her and her well-being but you can't get her out of her depression. She has to do that. You can offer suggestions - counselling, reading, self-help books, meditation, writing affirmations, gentle exercise (walking, yoga), etc but she has to take the action and get the ball rolling. The small things add up to big things and it's the small things that gain momentum so just something as simple as walking can lead to something greater."

"Although I'd love to be thin I will not allow my body shape or size to determine how I think, what I feel and how I live my life. If I can be happy now I can be happy at any weight."

Love you Shelley xxx

Another fruit bowl with note left in our room:

"When we take time to notice the simple things in life, we never lack for encouragement. We discover we are surrounded by a limited hope that's just wearing everyday clothes."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

GUESS WHO

I sit around the pool, comfortably on my sun lounge with my blue and green striped beach towel on top. I like to try and guess the nationality of the other guests. You can pick the Aussie's a mile away. I see them walking towards me with a carton of Bintang under his arm and over her shoulder, a green environmentally friendly Woolworths bag - bingo! To the right of me sits a family. Dad, Mum and two teenage girls. I guess they are French. The Dad has that typical Parisian look or at least the look I imagine Parisian gentlemen to possess, one of sophistication. I wait, listening for them to speak to see if I recognise any words from my French lessons in Brisbane before we left. But there is only silence among them each one reading a book. Obviously Stieg Larsson fans as this is the Author of three of the four books being read. I see a "De" and a "Maison" and think I could be right. Immediately next to me on my left is a lady, currently eating lunch. Some sort of wrap and fries with a freshly squeezed juice. She was here when I arrived pool side, soaking up the sun and reading a magazine. She has a bottle of Evian water and a well used plastic bag labelled Matahari Department Store on the ground beside her. German perhaps? Swiss maybe? Fuck knows! My "guess who" game is interrupted by Jayden who has just finished his snorkelling lesson. He wants to know "why did you smoke in Bali?" I answer "just for fun." Why I'm doing anything in life from now on - just for fun!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

RELEASING THE REBEL

It's been another AWESOME day out today. Too tired to write too much about it tonight other than to say that the Bali countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. It is simplicity at it's finest!

This was on our table today at the coffee/cocoa plantation. Pure tobacco (no chemicals or nicotine)




















So just for shits and giggles I got Gustik (our guide) to roll me one.



















Then after dinner, at home, lit that sucker.




















And sucked it all down. Now I can say I had a Balinese ciggie :) Positive I won't be taking it up again anytime soon (cough cough).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TEACHERS

I've come to realise that teachers are worth their weight in gold. That all the teachers strikes for a raise in pay were actually for a good cause. The future of the next generation is dependant upon our children's education. I mean who else is gonna teach the kids to read and write? It's not a simple task I tell you. How do you explain to a six year old things such as "i before e except after c" and c can sound k as in cat or s as in race? The English language is fucked. I like my Dad's way of writing, just as it sounds. And don't even get me started on grade six stuff. Pentagonal prisms, persuasive essays, diarama's. Do you even know what they are? I fucking don't. We're only doing an hour or two of schooling each day so how much more do they actually learn in a whole school day? We were told by the School Principal that the kids would learn far more through life experience than what they ever would in a classroom. I can only hope this is true as I can't see me getting "teacher of the year" award anytime soon.

MORNING SIGHTS

Of a morning I walk/run along here and see spectacular sights such as these. The little differences are truly beautiful.



Monday, August 2, 2010

RIPPED OFF

If I was writing today's post in our family blog I'd title it "Kunts in Kuta." What started out to be a wonderful day trip ended in boiling my blood probably exaggerated by the fact that I was tired and ravenously hungry. Hunger doesn't scare me anymore, not like it used to. I've learnt it comes in waves and I can deal with it, usually. I always carry a raw cacao food bar in my bag, just in case, for those moments where I may have to wait a bit. We'd had a great day down on Kuta beach. I love the sun, I love the water, I love the sea air but I HATE the friggen sand. Always have and probably always will. I do it (the beach) though for the kids and Dave who love it. Sometimes I'll have a swim, but mostly I sunbake. Today was hot, really hot, like burning hot in the sun so I took the bags and went 100 metres backwards into the shade where I was swarmed, like honey to the bees, by the Balinese women. "You want massage Madam?," "I give you pedicure," "t-shirt for girl - I give you good price, good for me, good for you." I surrender to a seated back, neck and shoulder masssage (so I can keep an eye on my two backpacks), a pedicure, an eyebrow and lip pluck, and a t-shirt for Sofie. Total bliss really. Love being pampered. The kids are hungry, as am I. We walk to a resort restaurant on the beach. Exuberant prices for Bali but we're all so hungry that we don't care. There's something on the menu both Sofie and Jayden like so Dave and I agree here it is, we'll eat anything. There is, however, no vegetarian on the menu. I ask if they can do something for me to which they reply no. So, I take some money and go for a walk a bit further up to see if I can find something to no avail and I come back and ask them can they do me just some boiled rice and veges. Now they can! Dave and the kids eat, I sit there waiting, waiting, waiting and then decide it's too long, I can't be bothered waiting so we pay the bill minus what I'd ordered and walk up the street. I'm thinking I'll get something up here. We stop to change some money as we're now running low. We've been warned about how to go about it. Always be the last one to touch the money. Count it out yourself. Don't take your eyes off it. We'd been diddled already once in Sanur so we're onto them. $100 is all we are changing which equates to 819,000 rupiah. We know what's going to happen when we're dealing with 20,000 rupiah notes. We both watch carefully as it's being counted. Dave double counts it. I give him 1,000 rupiah to make 820,000 even. We think it's all good, shake hands and walk away. Toilet stop next in McDonald's for Jayden to do a number two and Dave counts the money again just to make sure. Fucking c*nt has ripped us off. How the fuck do they do it? They're so quick. We felt like we watched them like hawks. I'm dileriously hungry by this stage and now absolutely furious. I find it surprising how hunger can turn you into a raving fucking lunatic, even though I now know I'm not going to die from being hungry. I know my next meal is just around the corner, blah, blah, blah. I tell Dave we're going back and storm up the road all the whilst trying to hold back the tears. If there's one thing I hate it's dishonesty. I take a deep breath and approach him. "You remember us? We just exchanged some money with you and you've ripped us off." He asks to see and we give him all his money back. He counts it and then tries to tell us some bullshit about commission. I say "NO" and he gives us back our Australian $100. He knows we've got him. Still mad and unfed I say we're going home. "Transport?, transport?" "Sanur, 50,000, no bartering, I'm mad and I just want to go home." First man no go, we keep walking, second man agrees and we go home where I've now eaten, rested by the pool and calmed down.

DIRTY LITTLE PRICKS

When I was a schoolgirl if someone in your class had nits they were dirty and disgusting. It meant they were dirty and didn't wash their hair which is why they got nits. I've never had them but poor Sofie has been plagued with them whilst in Brisbane. They ran rampant in her class/year and if someone else had them then Sofie was sure to end up with them. It is from this that I have realised that the little fuckers don't go for the grots because Sofie washed her hair daily, if not every second day. The last douching with head lice solution was the week before we left which meant we had to bring the rest of the solution with us to reapply 10 days later. I'm not sure how many days we're up to but Jayden has been complaining of an itchy head so last night, whilst I was fast asleep, Dave did the nit search to find some big suckers crawling around his head. Fucken dirty little pricks playing "tiggy" on his scalp. It's the first time they've been able to run and hide on his short back and sides. How's your head? Itchy? Today, we'll need to find a pharmacy or somewhere to get some more anti-lice to ensure we're rid of the bastards before we get to London.

It occurred to me this morning that I was whingeing over having to wash the dishes the old fashioned way, in the sink. Other than the cooking, which I've now minimised, and clothes washing I'm doing jack shit. Every morning the doorbell rings and we're greeted with "selamat pagi" by our gorgeous housekeeper. He makes our beds, cleans our bathrooms, delivers fresh towels, handtowels, teatowels, washers and bathmats and sweeps and mops the floors. If only I could take him home. So, no more whining from me. It's the least I can do.

I've got some basic lingo down pat. Dave was impressed yesterday when I had a very mini conversation with the kids club carer, Yugi:

"Pagi."
"Pagi. Apa kabar."
"Baik-baik saja. Apa kabar."
"Baik."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BUSTED

It was bound to happen, eventually. We got busted doing the do, jiggity jigging by Sofie. The kids were happily watching tv, I'd just cooked them pancakes and we got a bit frisky in the kitchen. The moment heated up and we figured we'd quietly sneak into the bedroom. We're going for it, getting close to that moment, oblivious to anything other than what we're working to achieve and Sofie knocks on the fucking door. I jump up/off and ask "did you lock the door?" He says "I think so" and in walks Sofie, smiling. It's obvious what we're doing. She's had the talks at school only recently. And the fact that neither of us have pants on and my top's up round my ears. She's not fucking stupid! So, with a smirk on my face say "go out, what do you want, yes you can have Daddy's pancake." She leaves, I make sure the door is locked this time and we finish what we started. Do you just leave it and not speak of it? Do you try and explain/excuse it? We've done what most parents would do. Laughed our arses off and vowed to always double check the door is locked.

SUCKING BIG DOGS BALLS

I've always entertained the belief that if I don't exercise first thing in the morning it won't happen. Mostly, this is true unless, of course, I have someone to train with later in the day. When it comes to weight training though first thing in the morning sucks big dogs balls for me. I'm tired, I lack energy and I'm as weak as piss. Besides the fact that my hamstrings still hate me a bit this morning my neck is really sore. I think from one of the water slides where I got airborne and when making contact again smacked my head backwards into the slide. Neck doms wtf? So, after 25 minutes this morning I bailed and have decided to stick with my morning walk/run and a couple/few days each week after breaky or even later in the day go throw some weights around. Maybe Dave and I could do something together since he's been "having a go" for the past few days. We'll see about that one. I came home and grabbed the camera and went back to take some pics of the gym or what is called fitness here.







I was amused in the supermarket yesterday when I seen this. A stand full of different protein powders and such. I didn't think I'd see this stuff over here. I didn't buy any though (I'm int0 pea protein powder these days, without the added crap) and forgot to look at the price but if my oats are anything to go by I bet they cost a shit load. Can you believe I'm paying $11 for a bag of fucking oats?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

TODAY'S THOUGHTS

I had so much to write about but now I'm tired and have forgotten most of it. Dot points will have to do because I can't be arsed elaborating:
  • Blogger fucking pisses me off sometimes. Should have learnt Wordpress.
  • Fuck it, I've given up washing everything in bottled water. Tap water and drying with a teatowel will have to suffice.
  • I'm over cooking with minimal cooking instruments. It takes so God damn long to feed everyone.
  • I understand why, in the olden days, women spent most of their time in the kitchen.
  • I'm seriously considering living on juices, fruit and anything that doesn't need cooking.
  • Washing up 3 times a day sucks. Where's the fucking dishwasher?
  • My fear of getting pissed off with Dave by spending 24/7 together has, so far, been unfounded.
  • Dave and I work great as a team.
  • Walking/running first thing in the morning rocks my world.
  • Should be able to weight train again tomorrow. Soreness just eased today thank fuck!
  • I've successfully navigated my fanny region with a razor today :)
  • Razorblades in waterslides is another urban myth. Another childhood fear!

Note left in our room yesterday with fruit:

"Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness. Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you're lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love." by Adela Rogers St. Johns

Thursday, July 29, 2010

COKELAT

I fancied a bit of chocolate this arvo so when Dave and I went to Hardy's to grab some groceries I found these babies being a "fine selection of Indonesian cocoa beans home-made by Belgian Chocolatier."


A FEW CERTAINTIES

There are a few certainties in my life:

- My dream to be a wonderful wife and mother.
- My goal to pursue my creativity, whether that is in writing or otherwise.
- I believe that I will be successful and happy beyond my wildest dreams.
- One day I will conquer all of my fears.
- My desire for a long and fulfilling life with Dave, Jason, Sofie, Jayden and other family members and my friends.
- I'd like to keep caring more and giving more and keep myself aligned with my passions.
- My quest to continue learning about spirituality.

I've well and truly got my dose of Vitamin D yesterday and today. Shelley LOVES the sun and now has a healthy tan to show for it :) There's a certain kind of serenity in sunbaking. It's like the sun infuses every part of my body with a relaxation drug. I lay here listening to the sounds surrounding me. The soft music playing in the background from the pool-side restaurant, the water flowing from the fountains into the pool, the birds chirping from afar, the laughter from the children in kids club. I open my eyes to see the quiet and hear a rooster cock-a-doodle-doing in the distance. I notice the calm, stillness of the pool with not a body immersed other than the lady sitting on the edge, dangling her feet whilst reading a book. I look down to see sweat beading all over my body and decide it's time for a dip to cool off. But first I need to put my bikini top on as I'm currently wearing a strapless mini sun-dress trying to avoid sunbaking lines and alleviate the ones I attracted yesterday. I curse under my breath that topless sunbaking/swimming is not the norm and socially acceptable. They're only tits for Christ sake. For a brief second I contemplate diving in topless and wonder what the consequences would be, if any. But then, being the good girl that I am, do the right(?) thing and dress appropriately. I am immediately refreshed as the coolness of the water embraces me. I float for a while before leaving the safety of the water to lay back on my sunbed and start the sunbaking/tanning cycle all over again.

How many people do you think piss in the pool? I'm not talking kids, I mean adults? Really? I remember as a child being told if you pee in the pool your legs would turn blue. Something to do with a chemical that detected piss. And ever since I've always been too scared to, even as an adult when I'm not sure if it's fact or fiction. It seems such an inconvenience to leave pool-side and the comfort of the sun-lounge to relieve my bladder especially with wet boardies. It's like trying to get your tights up when you've sweated profusely from exercise. They always stick and there's a bit of wiggling and jiggling to get them up and into their correct position. I'm not about to test the theory though. Besides my fear of turning into a smurf I don't fancy contributing to the piss quota so I'll pack up and piss off to my room - literally!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LIFE NOT HOLIDAYS

I've had to remind myself that this is not a holiday, it's "life." Ever since I made the decision, only just a year ago, to never go on a diet again I've had the feeling that everything would be okay, an even deeper knowing. Occasionally, I still worry though which leads to unhelpful and unhealthy thinking and still sometimes emotional eating, although rarely. In the past holidays meant "hold out for as long as you can and then go for it" and although I'm far more relaxed about it all these days it is here, in our beautiful, relaxed, calm setting that I must live now as I wish to live everyday no matter where I reside.

At the markets this morning seeing and smelling all the dead animals turned my stomach and was a reminder why I'm now a vegan. I'm not saying I'll never eat animals or their products again but for now it feels good and right. God knows, in the past, I've eaten enough fucking chicken to last me a lifetime.

Fucken hell I'm sore. What the fuck was I thinking yesterday? It's all good though, with 1 hour massages for $5 on a daily basis I'll be walking normally again in no time. Tough life but someone's gotta help the Bali women earn a living.

I'm feeling much more settled this evening now I've gotten my bearings and feel like I can settle into some sort of routine. On the cards tomorrow morning is a run towards the main street heading for the beach.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

WORKED OUT

I did my first bit of exercise, since arriving, this morning. The resort has a smallish gym set up with benches, free weights, a couple of recumbent bikes, a stepper and a home gym which I checked out yesterday and decided this would suit me just fine to get the blood pumping first thing this morning and set me up for a fabulous feeling day. I stole the 7 July workout from Skwigg and adjusted it to suit me and the equipment available. I really enjoyed it. It was nice and quick and challenging also. Might do some more of these kind of workouts in the next couple of weeks.

Ask most girls and they'll all have a favourite make-up item. I'm guessing the majority would say lip gloss but for me it's mascara. I've not put a scrap of make-up on since we left Brisbane and have not done my hair other than put a brush through it after showering. I did however, use the hair dryer this morning trying to get the kinks out as naturally I'm quite wavy. I didn't realise how fair and fine my eye lashes are and even if I'm not doing the whole hog I'll still whack a bit of mascara on. So, adjusting to none is taking time.

The toilets in our apartment are quite different from home. They have a huge bowl filled with water so when you crap all the crap floats around until you flush. The beauty of this is you get to check out your poop before flushing so even if it's a beauty, the ideal sausage-like stool, it doesn't sink straight down the s-bend. And, c'mon, who doesn't check out the quality of their shit? There's such a thing as the Bristol Stool Chart which uses your bowel motions to measure your health and apparently it's one of the most accurate self diagnostic methods available. According to my shit, I'm one healthy chick :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

EATING IN BALI

Thank God I'm not all anal and obsessed about a high raw vegan way of eating/living. Eating raw food in Bali is a little difficult when you have to either wash everything in bottled water or peel it. Vegetarian/vegan food is easy to come by when eating out. Today at lunch I got an Indonesian dish of vegetarian nasi goreng. I asked for lots of veges but don't think they understood me or at least what "lots" means in Shelley language.