Monthly Archives: March 2014

Dragons in my pot

Three Dragons in my pot. I feel a bit like Daenerys Targaryen, except I’m not a cute blonde and these are Water Dragons, not fire breathers. We had plenty of Water Dragons in the paddock until the vile and filthy dog next door killed a big male. Then they all did a runner for a few years, so it is great to see them back. Anyway, among all the mess around La Studio (all our garden gear is down there while groovy pad is being built) was an old brown pot that got rainwater in it. These three baby dragons must have thought is would be a fun place to hang out so they climbed in. The problem being that because of the shape, they couldn’t get out again.
But it is all too easy peasy for a big human paddock worker to tip the pot onto its side so that baby dragons could escape.
I guess the odds are not in their favour for growing into fine big dragons. There would be a number of predators looking for a feed on water dragon, but at least they now have a sporting chance rather than being stuck in a pot of water.
Here’s a nice picture of them:

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HHhH by Laurent Binet

Well, I can’t work out how I feel about this novel. It goes under the heading of historical fiction, but it isn’t written in the usual manner. Writers of historical fiction vary from those who research like crazy and write as accurately as they can. Take the Colleen McCullogh Rome series which can be difficult with all those Latin names and lots of characters with very similar names. Others take a few facts then invent a whole lot of stuff, keeping it simple and easy to read.
This guy seems to be obsessed with accuracy and can’t get the novel going. Instead, he gives us a sort of how I wrote this novel and where I got my facts from. So sometimes it seems like you are reading a novel by a smartarse who wants to show off rather than giving us a ripping yarn. And it is ripping yarn material.
It is about the assasination of Reinhard Heydrich a worse than usual Nazi. The story does get told in between the author giving you the facts as he knows them.
Don’t let me put you off, it is well worth the read. If you do read it, I would love to hear your comments.
Back to the weeds for me.

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Groovy Pad update

Well, it has been a long time in between blogs. After getting home from Vietnam and Bali, then the Responsible Adult finding out she had no work, plus the weeds took advantage of our absence to grow, grow, grow, there hasn’t been a lot of time.
Anyway, we got home to find the frame and roof trusses up. This made us very happy. Last week the roof went on. Don’t know about traditions where you are, but in Oz, roof going on means that the owner (your trusty Paddock Worker) gets to buy beer and nibbles. We then all sit around under the lovely roof and drink until there is no more light to see your stubby. So much happiness as we are closer to moving in to the groovy pad.
In the meantime, the Responsible Adult has scored a job selling rugs. Fortunately, it is not one of those purveyors of rugs that has poorly made advertisements on telly proclaiming to their own insanity at selling cheap rugs, well, cheap. She is working for a Chinese outfit that employs about 1200 people in China to hand make quality rugs. So far, she is loving it, and our bank account is loving her.
Back to weeding.
roof on

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Day thirty four Bali – home

It’s taken a while to get to this one. We decided to take the Havens’ late check out option – the Haveners Club. It cost US$27 each, but we got full use of the pool and an air-conditioned lounge with TV’s, afternoon tea, drinks, showers etc. So we hung around the pool a fair bit, then the Responsible Adult went off to have her hair and nails done while I watched some stupid movie. The afternoon tea buffet was big enough for about 20 people and the Responsible Adult had a couple of vodkas. Nyoman picked us up at 6.30pm and dropped us at the airport. We found out that there is an additional departure tax $30 each, but we got through the process OK. The flight was late, and they went through everybodys hand luggage thoroughly, but eventually we boarded our Virgin flight.
First time we have flown with Richard Branson, but it was very good. Free feed and free red wine……….how to make a paddock worker happy. Ended up in Bris about 6am and the smart passports worked nicely.
As it turns out, this may have been our last trip. More on that later. But we had a rip roaring good time. My preference is Vietnam, but there is sun, sun, sun in Bali so the Responsible Adult would always pick it for a trip.

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Day thirty three Bali

DSC02114_20140304230143110Our plan this morning was to check out the Haven beach club. We caught the hotel transport which took us at the way round the corner. It turned out to be a few daybeds on the beach in the shade. Fine for me but the Responsible Adult wants sun, sun, and sun. So after about half hour we headed back.A street tout hit us with the open the card for a free gift trick. We know better than to accept these but for some reason, the Responsible Adult took one. Two T-Shirts. Then, surprise surprise I got first prize, but it would only be revealed after the presentation. For some inexplicable reason we went to the 30 minute presentation. 5 hours later, we got to the contract. Let me cut to the chase. The contract is for 25 years. They can increase the price by whatever they like. You and your heirs can’t get out. They can cancel your benefits and sue you for whatever. No bloody way.
Finally got back to the hotel at 2pm. Message from Nyoman about problems with the bath. He came at 3pm to tell us they wanted a bigger deposit. Got him to phone them to see if they take credit card – no. Researched Bali ATM and found a good one. Got $1200 enough to fully pay for the stuff. Wahoo.
Our last night in Bali so we decided to treat ourselves to Potato Head. Many good cocktails, great music and decent feed. If you ever get a chance, go.

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Day thirty two Bali

Today was a work day. A hearty breakfast and a nice long rest around the pool got us started, then off to the bath shop. Unfortunately the English speaking guy wasn’t there. We had a Balinese lady with no English, not much idea of maths and not much idea on completing an invoice. She was fortunately happy for me to do the paperwork. Our builder advised us to get the resin which was double the price but the bath, 3 hand basins and two big planters was a touch over$1000, compared to$6,000 for just the bath in Australia. Then off to buy a stone carved basin for outside and I got baby boy a small stone Ganesh.
Then onto the place to buy the Buddha I saw the other day and I also bought a Ganesh for us.
After all that hard work, it was time for a late lunch at Sanaya beach. After that well earned rest, we went to meet our shipping agent. Cost will be$275 per cubic meter. So it looks good for us.
Home via Bali deli to stock up on essentials like Bintang and vodka.

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Day thirty one Bali

A nice rest day. Had a look at the local shops. The traders are asking ridiculous prices and a lot stick to it. The ones that do come down to about a quarter of their first price after dealing with the Responsible Adult. Swimming in the pool then a cab to Kuta to go to Hard Rock Cafe. It is a beach pool away from Hard Rock hotel. My first Bintang was a mug, so I asked for a bigger one and got a jug! Your paddock worker would have been very happy as a youth, but in my twilight years, it was a bit much.
Went for a wander down the street and found a shop selling fabulous Buddhist paintings.The mandala paintings were sensational. All done in monasteries according to the photos. Had to buy a small one for $200


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Day thirty Bali

After breakfast and the pool, we headed off to buy stuff for the new groovy pad that is being built down the paddock. I want a Ganeshe statue and we wanted to look at baths. Nyoman drove us a long way to where he thinks the expats shop. Oddly enough the first statute I liked was a Buddha. Had trouble finding a Ganeshe but saw one that was OK. The bathtub was easy. We should get one landed for under $1000, a bit better than $6000 in Oz.
If this works, the savings will pay for a big part of our holiday.

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