10 Things – The Week That Was

Observing that (by some miracle), he might actually be growing to like the beach, but knowing that verbalising this observation is not a good idea. I’m happy if we all just keep pretending I’m dragging him there against his will, if that’s what it takes. On this particular visit to the beach, after a swim in the ocean I went for my usual ‘treasure hunting’ walk along the sand. I was gone for quite a while, and when I returned – this is what I found. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is the guy who hates sand.. IMG_8615 (1)  The waves were huge – breaking right on the shore, and constantly threatening to engulf his sand sculpture. He protected it with his body at first, lying in the path of any encroaching waves and getting covered from head to toe in sand in the process. He didn’t appear to be phased by this, and I was gobsmacked. I wanted to point out that he had sand in his hair but I refrained, knowing it was best just to act as if nothing out of the ordinary was unfolding right before my eyes. If we hadn’t been the only two people on the whole beach, I’m sure I would have felt the urge to double check and make sure I had the right guy. IMG_8628 Frustrated at so many missed photo opportunities. There have been way too many this week. Too slow to point the camera, wrong lens, wrong settings, too shy.. all of the above. Kicking myself often. So many wasted opportunities.

Cringing at the memory of yet another food related meltdown. There were even tears. I have only had a couple of complete meltdowns on this jungle island. One memorable one was internet related, all others have been due to the complete lack of fresh fruit/veg and healthy eating options. Oh, and there was this other time a gecko fell on my head, and I had a bit of a girly moment, but I was home alone – nobody else was there to witness it, so I don’t believe that should be counted. IMG_4849-copy Feeling amazed at the difference a week can make. My wounds have all but healed, infection was avoided and once again I am experiencing a relatively pain free existence. Not being in constant pain makes everything ok. You really don’t appreciate that fact until you find yourself living with pain every day. It wears you down. Sparing a thought for people who suffer chronic, relentless physical pain around the clock.

Seeing all that is wonderful in nature. There is so much beauty all around us. Look up, look all around you and breathe it in. Life is beautiful. IMG_4783 Collecting beach ‘treasure’ despite the fact that Lenny the maid made it quite obvious that she doesn’t consider it ‘treasure’. On Friday, she bundled it all into bags and put it outside. As soon as she was gone, I brought it straight back in, feeling awkwardly like one of the Bobolas family. (Google them). I plan to blow her away with some mixed media creations in the near future, but until then I need to find a hiding place for my ‘treasure’. IMG_8753-copy Noticing my improvement in the swimming pool. I’ve never been big on swimming. It’s not that I can’t swim – I can. It’s more about some of the feelings that surface when I’m doing laps in a pool. I had a teacher in primary school who thought that throwing small children (who weren’t confident in the water), into the deep end of the pool was a good idea. I remember too well that feeling of panic in the water.  I remember being completely exhausted, inhaling water, and reaching up for the edge of the pool, only to have my little hands crushed purposefully under the shoes of this nasty teacher.

There is a 25m pool just a short walk away from our house, and when we arrived here I decided it was time to try and change the way I feel about swimming. I’ve been swimming 1km every time I visit the pool. I started off doing 90% breastroke as I’d find myself exhausted quickly doing freestyle, and the same feelings that I once experienced as a child would start to surface. I’ve been building up my freestyle laps every session, and now I can alternate with one lap of breastroke to the deep end, and freestyle back to the shallow end. Never the other way around. Since my first attempt, I’ve cut 18 minutes off of my time. My last time was 27 minutes. My goal is 20 minutes, freestyle all the way. IMG_4852-copy Attending my first ANZAC dawn service. Early mornings are really not my thing. In fact, concerned that I would miss the occasion altogether, I lay awake the whole night in anticipation of moment my alarm would go off. The service was up on a hill near the port. I loved arriving under the stars, and watching the first light of dawn spread over the surrounding hills. It was a beautiful service however I could barely keep my eyes open throughout, and I was thankful for a hot breakfast and coffee as soon as it was finished. Untitled-2 Learning that caffeine is not a good idea. I thought I had already learned this lesson, but it seems I needed reminding again. I am somewhat sensitive to caffeine, and unfortunately for me, I chose to ignore that fact whilst I indulged in an early morning coffee at the dawn service breakfast. Caffeine makes my heart race, my hands shake, and even a beverage seemingly harmless as a green tea has been known to keep me awake for days at a time. After I returned home from the service, I found myself in quite the caffeine-induced coma. I really wanted to paint some poppies, being the 25th of April and all, but with hands that were shaking uncontrollably – the results were a little abstract.  IMG_4869 (2) Looking forward to escaping this island next weekend. We’re only hopping across to Bail for a few nights, but I cannot wait to catch that seaplane out of here. I can’t remember the last time Barry has had a full, uninterrupted day off of work and I’m looking forward to having 4 whole days away with him. IMG_4833-copy-2 Ok let’s be honest, I can’t WAIT to go SHOPPING!

10 Things – The Week That Was

As you may have noticed my blogging schedule is somewhat random and erratic. Ok, lets be honest – there is no ‘schedule’. I write when I feel like writing, hope you’re ok with that! In all seriousness though – if you find yourself checking back here regularly and not finding any updates, I’d like to suggest that you scroll down a little and look over to the right sidebar. I’ve recently installed a little box there where you can subscribe by email, that way as soon as there’s some action here, you will get the post delivered straight to your inbox.

I’ve been blogging on various platforms for about 6 years now, and I’ve never had any success in committing to regular posting. So I already know what I’m up against, and history suggests that I am setting myself up for another failure to follow through, but I’m feeling the need to implement a regular weekly post. A weekly reflection of sorts?  Every week here on this rugged island brings new challenges, experiences and lessons. Different feelings arise, new questions pop up and sometimes answers appear. I’ve started writing things down. They’re random notes – there are no life changing epiphanies here, but I think I’ll enjoy having the little reminders of each week ‘that was’.  IMG_4732 Feeling physical limitations. I’ve been wanting to climb up to this lighthouse since we arrived, and when I realised our Hash run was taking us up there last weekend I was so excited. We bounded off into the jungle at a cracking pace and powered up the first hill – at the front of the pack. At the top of this hill however, was a steep descent into a valley and I was reminded that my knees no longer descend with ease. My pace was reduced to a painful hobble, one by one our competitors overtook us and I struggled the whole way with the sad realisation that my climbing/trekking days might be over.

IMG_4593 Learning that buying at the local markets can work out to be a much more expensive exercise than the shop at townsite if you:

a) have white skin
b) carry a fancy looking camera
c) can’t speak Indonesian, and therefore are unable to negotiate yourself a good price
Seeing that there is a very good reason everyone says ‘don’t eat the fish’. *Vomit*. IMG_4603 ________________________________________________________________________________
Wondering if this was really necessary. Seriously. IMG_8488 Dear Almighty Ocean,

I believe you have made your point. I do have to question though, whether your point could have been made without leaving me looking (and feeling) like a victim of a tiger attack?

Anyway, I look forward to one day being able to get comfortable again. I’ll be back.

Peace out. x
Loving sunny mornings and dark, rainy afternoons. The wet season was supposed to be over, but it’s been pouring almost every afternoon. Because we live under a canopy of jungle trees, even after the rain has stopped it still sounds like it’s raining. So peaceful. IMG_4711 ________________________________________________________________________________
Baking using the ingredients available to me. Coconut is the one ingredient readily available here in the jungle. Using coconut sugar gave this cheesecake a beautiful caramel flavour, and making a butterscotch sauce with coconut cream worked surprisingly well. The cheesecake received a lot of attention, and it didn’t last long.  IMG_8553 Sadly there is no longer cream cheese available in the shop, and as much as I’m getting comfortable with improvising in the kitchen, I’m not sure that I can produce a cheesecake without cheese.
Noticing all of the butterflies. So many butterflies.

Thinking about all the things that a butterfly represents. Joy, freedom and transformation. IMG_4688Remembering the way I used to chase butterflies as a child, for no reason other than being enchanted by their vibrant colours. I never caught them, the joy was in chasing them. Moving so playfully. Now I chase them with a camera.
Making something from nothing. Last week I impressed myself with my own ‘make something out of nothing’ skills, piecing together this little sailing boat from some burnt driftwood, a length of bamboo, a couple of twigs and some fabric scraps. I have so many ideas in my head, and my collection of ‘rubbish’ (as Barry calls it) from the beach is growing. IMG_4818
One last thing. Maybe that makes it 11 things, oh well who’s counting? This moment. These words. live-in-the-sunshine