Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween

And a big happy birthday to my baby brother.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Beware Bali Beautician Brow Burns

I had my eyebrows waxed at a seemingly reputable beautician in the Paris end of Seminyak a few days ago.

She did the oddest thing after ripping out my hairs by the roots. She applied a potent alcohol solution that had me wincing in pain.


Brow burn.


Until tomorrow, stay cool.

Grace xx

Friday, 29 October 2010

Another one bites the dust

Feeling sooooooo sick.

I can't believe I contracted the dreaded Bali bug on my last day. Pat kindly took this photo of me at the Japanese restaurant in Denpasar airport (probably revenge for the photos I took of him). Needless to say I didn't eat a bite - I just wanted to rest on the lounge chairs before boarding while Pat filled his belly.

The flight home was horrible with too many trips to the bathroom. Note to self: NEVER book an overnight flight again. EVER (unless of course it's business class and I can sleep on those flat lying beds).

When I got home I headed straight for my bed and slept for what seemed an eternity. I woke up burning and the thermometer was just under 40 degrees Celsius. So it was a trip to the doctor this afternoon followed by a visit to the pharmacy to pick up some pills. I've got everything I need to help me get back on track.

Looking forward to getting better and life returning to some normalcy.

Until tomorrow, remember to be thankful when you're feeling well - feeling sick really does suck!

Grace xx

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Bali Brief - Last Night

We had a celebratory dinner last night at The Cat & Fiddle in Sanur with our MTB tour partners.

Great bunch of people.

Tonight we board an overnight flight to Melbourne.

Hopefully we'll leave behind the Bali Bugs and bring home the daily sunshine and evening rain. What a perfect balance.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Bali Brief - Private Villa

Tour's over.

Found a brand new private villa that the owners are promoting by offering the entire 3 bedroom place for $100 a night.


Chillaxing by the pool.



Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bali Brief - Candidasa

Wish you were here xx

Monday, 25 October 2010

Bali Brief - Carrying Sand Bags

The headache cleared and in its absence came some perspective.

Scoffing at swan-fashioned towels and complaining about a not-so-white nightgown in a place where local women walk around carrying cement bags on their heads for not much more than $5 a day makes me feel like one of those indulgent pop stars that stipulate preposterous insistences like having all green M&Ms removed from the packet before serving. Ridiculous.

It's amazing how one's view is skewed when one is feeling unwell. Headaches have come and gone this trip. Possibly due to not replenishing the water I've been sweating out in this balmy heat.

I'm still on an emotional roller coaster about turning 40. I don't know what it is about this particular number that's playing havoc with my mind. It might have something to do with the fact that I planned my mother's surprise 40th at the tender age of 16... and here I am at the same milestone. It's bizarre.

Tour going well. Last day tomorrow

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Bali Brief - Bali Scenes

Heading to Batur crater today and staying the night.

No wifi there.

Hopefully it doesn't erupt like Pat's tummy and my temper.

Hopefully will reconnect in Candidasa in a few days.

In the meantime, here's some typical Bali scenes.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Bali Brief - Swan Towel

I've had a cracking headache all day and consequently have the grumps.

I am perplexed why staff spend so much time making towel swans and flower arrangements, when all we really want are for things to be cleaned properly.

I know it's a cultural thing, but I'm rather deflated over my crisp white cotton nightshirt returning from the laundry a rather dull, dirty-looking grey. How do they do that?

At least when the team returned from their mountain biking adventure, they had good reason to be dirtier than before they started. Not so with my former white nightshirt.

Here I am in sultry Bali. I have a headache, am lying on a bed adorned with a brown-toned cloth bird and perfumed flowers whilst wearing a nightshirt that looks like it was used to wash the bikes.

So how was your day?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bali Brief - Bali Buddha

Today is Day 1 of our RIDE International MTB tour.

It is the arrival and welcome day.

Pat took clients out for an intro to Ubud.

I took scooter to drop off our laundry.

Had breakfast at Bali Buddha.


The hard work starts now.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Bali Brief - Sari Organik

Pat's feeling much better today.

After two days of not eating, he felt hungry today (despite being up all night watching a rat prance about our room while I slept in ignorance).

We moved rooms.

We hired a scooter.

We drove along a narrow steep path along rice paddies to reach Sari Organik, where I had the BEST organic strawberry lassi I have ever tasted. Ever.

Pat thanks you for all the well wishes, it must have worked.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Bali Brief - Pat Sick

Pat starts to burn up and shudder.

I freak out and take him to 24-hour clinic in the wee hours if the morning.

He has loads of tests.


Very high white blood cell count indicating bacterial infection.

Waited for Pharmacy to open.

Got antibiotics.

Pat's stabilised and feeling better.

Back in Ubud.

Rest all day.


ps. Bloody Pipeline iPhone photo uploader posts current to old.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Bali Brief - Virgin Beach

It's warm and sunny

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sunday Sentence

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by its breathtaking moments"
- Michael Vance

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Friday, 15 October 2010

The Colour Purple
Shining the Light for Gay Youth

After devouring our delicious meals at 'The Kafe' yesterday, Patrick and I promptly made our way back to our Ubud bungalow. We had a team meeting scheduled with Clare, the tour operator we've been collaborating with for next week's MTB tour, and Pat still needed to assemble his bike.

We dropped into a general store en route to pick up some local incense, which we've since used to disguise the damp smell that our bungalow has acquired over a lengthy rainy period. Whilst in the store, I stumbled across the biggest gas lighter I have EVER seen in my life.

I immediately knew that I had to take a photo of it for my blog and whipped out my iPhone (am beginning to love it more and more). Out of all the colours that lay before me, I was particularly drawn to the colour purple. This is quite unusual for me, as I'm not normally a purple kind of gal (I love the colour as it appears in nature, but rarely wear it - perhaps it doesn't work with my complexion?).

Interestingly, upon returning to our room I received an email from a friend who asked me to consider writing about "Wear it Purple" - a movement created to raise awareness and support for gay youth who are at a higher risk of abuse and suicide. I've never had a blog request before, and was honoured to receive such an invitation over such an important subject.

My friend is the mother of a gorgeous teenager who is not only having to navigate his way through adolescence, but also through the expression of his sexuality. From my memory, the transformation from youth to adulthood is difficult enough as it is without having to deal with those that have an opinion about your sexual persuasion. I think that everybody has the right to be who they are without the threat of violence or injustice.

This post is dedicated to all the young people that not only face the trials of being a teen, but also the tribulations of being gay...

Though the road before you is challenging, know that there are people that love you, support you and cheering you on. Be who you are, ALL of who you are, and do not compromise yourself. Your journey into self expression is more testing than that of your neighbours. Your honesty towards yourself and your sexuality is a testament to your strength and character. You are courageous, you are brave, you are worthy. Do not underestimate how amazing you are. Do not undervalue how important you are. Do not oversee how loved you are.

As for the biggest purple lighter in the world (pictured), I thought it was an apt metaphor for the gay youths that touch our lives. You are a beautiful light - protect your flame and shine on.

Until tomorrow, wear something purple today and spread the love.

Grace xx

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

In Ubud

Here we are and I am about to tuck into my favorite salad of all time - yay!

Until tomorrow, bon appetit!

Grace xx

In Ubud

My favorite salad of all time - Meg's Big Salad Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Night Before

We are heading to Bali tomorrow and have so many boxes to tick before we board the plane and where are we? In a pub in Fitzroy waiting for our dinner.

Pat needed some last minute bike work to be done and I needed to check out my party venue... So here we are with our iPods, doing our work while we wait to be fed, and a bike wheel to be built.

We have become one of those couples you see, completely engaged in our gadgets to sustain a conversation. If only they knew we're flying to Bali tomorrow and still have so much work to do - like pack!

Until tomorrow, take advantage of small moments to get things done despite what it looks like on the outside.

Grace xx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Blues Strike Back

Have you ever had an ailment or chronic condition that disappeared in response to medication or lifestyle modifications, yet you didn't realise how far you'd progressed until one day it all came back?

Well, that's what happened to me this week.

Since adopting a low GI (Glycemic Index) diet several months ago, my moods have stabilised and I have generally been feeling positive for days on end. I cannot remember a time when I felt content day after day, week after week, even month after month. A miracle really.

This ongoing cheer was particularly surprising when I returned from our European summer to a cold and drizzling Melbourne winter. I kept waiting for the bubble to burst and the blues to return, but I managed to keep it at bay. That is, until Sunday.

I woke up Sunday feeling flat and gave myself permission to rest after a succession of hectic weeks with trips to Adelaide, my brother's wedding, fairy parties and numerous dinner dates. I didn't feel much better yesterday and today I can say I honestly feel the blues. This is particularly perplexing since we depart for Bali on Thursday. Shouldn't I be full of rapture and delight?

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my healthcare practitioner who diagnosed me with high insulin levels earlier this year. I am interested to see if there is a biochemical explanation to my current blueish state... or perhaps it has something to do with the big four O coming up in three weeks time. Not that I'm upset about the number, but perhaps I thought my life would be different to what it is today. Who knows.

Until tomorrow, take time to acknowledge how far you've come in health matters and pray they do not return.

Grace xx

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Monday, 11 October 2010

My lounge room

Yesterday I inserted this photo of my lounge room in an attempt to portray me resting in a time of restlessness, the Sunday Sentence theme. Then I realised how funny it must look to those with a savvy sense of style in interior decor.

For those who don't know, I live a very bohemian existence. We reside in what were once offices above a factory. My brother lived here several years ago and converted it into a living space. After he vacated, it was used to store all my grandparents belongings when they were relocated to an aged care facility.

Because Patrick and I are transient, we've never taken our abode too seriously. There are many tongue-in-cheek touches to amuse ourselves and bemuse our guests. The space is now a combination of old, new and completely bizarre. It is extremely kitsch, makes me giggle and I love it.

Since all my grandparent's have now passed, I feel comforted by being surrounded by their stuff. Just like smells take you back to your childhood, so too does an old photo or piece of fabric. Our place is by no means minimalist and chic, but it has soul - and a fabulous sense of humour.

Until tomorrow, never be too chic and loose your soul.

Grace xx

PS. The photo hanging top left is of my family's hometown in Italy. It was taken around forty years ago by Giuseppe Bonfito, my father's godfather, and is framed in a masterpiece lovingly crafted by my late Nonno. The painting top right is called 'Traffic Jam' by Australian Artist Samantha Lord. We purchased it the night after we returned from travelling 355 days around the world.

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Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday Sentence

"Sometimes the cure for restlessness is rest."
- Colleen Wainwright

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Saturday, 9 October 2010

Fairy business

What are the chances that on the day I dress up as a fairy I require the services of another winged sprite, one who is the patron pixie of the dental realm? Before you answer, let me just back track a bit...

In yesterday's post I mentioned that today marked the third birthday of my niece - who also happens to be my goddaughter. We had the most wonderful and magical fairy celebration, which was truly fabulous. It was a dress up affair and you know me, saying the words 'dress up' is like waving a red flag to a bull. I just couldn't help myself.

I managed to colour co-ordinate a set of wings with some flowing fabric, a sparkly wrist wand and few thousand feathers. Add the bling of a twinkling tiara and diamante-encrusted shoes to the ensemble, and I had all the trimmings of a bona fide fairy godmother. Perfect.

I was not surprised to discover that I was the only adult, other than the 'professional' entertainment fairy, that had dressed up for the occasion. This did not bother me. Being the birthday fairy's godmother (for real) gave me all the one-liners I could wish for to back myself up, and I used a fair few of them.

Anyway... getting back to the question at the top. What are the chances? I don't know. All I know is that I innocently bit into a carrot and lost half my tooth in the process. There I was using Bugs Bunny's favourite food to scoop up a delectable roasted garlic hommus when I felt an almighty crunch. I raced to the powder room with toothpick in tow, and two rather large chunks of MY TOOTH were wedged in between two other teeth.


I have often had dreams of my teeth crumbling in such a manner, and with the reflection of my fairy self in the mirror I almost thought this was such a dream... or rather, a nightmare.

I placed the broken pieces into a plastic bag and am now in search of a tooth fairy who can help put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Or at least try.

Until tomorrow, beware of extra crunchy carrots... you may have bit off more than what you ought to chew.

Grace xx

Friday, 8 October 2010

Funeral, Friends and Fairies

What a bizarre day I've had.

I woke up this morning rushing to get ready for a funeral. My late Nonno (grandfather)'s sister passed away earlier this week and today we said good bye.

As soon as I returned home, it was a quick change to pick up my friend and her gorgeous 6 year old daughter for a girlie fun night in (Patrick is in Canberra for a world MTB event).

Then, after making strawberry gelato for dessert, it was fairy wings and imaginary happenings as my little friend played with tomorrow's costume - I'm dressing up as a fairy for my niece (and goddaughter)'s third birthday.

I am feeling so much better within. It's amazing how funerals, friends and fairies make you appreciate the magic in life.

Until tomorrow, let sparkly magic liven up your day - even if it starts at death's door.

Grace xx

Thursday, 7 October 2010

How to bounce back after feeling like your head's been stuck halfway up your butt

  1. Let go of the shame
  2. Go out into the sunshine
  3. Take things easy till life readjusts itself
Until tomorrow, may we all get through life's crappy moments.

Grace xx

PS. Thank you for all your encouragement and loving words of support during this last week.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Another feather in my cap?

I am beginning to question my sanity in keeping a daily blog when I'm feeling so crap (emotionally and physically - quite possibly related).

Without much to say other than I haven't crossed over into the light, I'm wondering whether each post is becoming little more than another feather in my cap?

I am actually questioning a lot of things, though perhaps I shouldn't make any judgements till I'm feeling half human again. Apparently some virus has caused one of my ear drums to bulge, thus creating loss of balance and the feeling of being a space cadet. That coupled with coughing like someone who smokes 50 cigarettes an hour has me feeling less than human. There's more but I can't keep going.

Until tomorrow, may all pesky viruses curl up and die.

Grace xx

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Somebody call the nurse!

Still feel horrible today. Got distracted for a while when a friend dropped by for a little visit. Now I'm on my own again, I feel dreadful and completely drained. I'm not one to run to the doctor at the slightest ailment, but this has gone on long enough. Tomorrow I go.

Until then, bear with me if you can.

Grace xx

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sick as a dog

I am feeling so sick at the moment. On the couch. Burning up. In pain. Signing off.

Until tomorrow, I pray for wellness.

Grace xx

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunday Sentence

"Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends."
- Harville Hendrix
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