FINE FOOD FROM BALI’S FOUR CORNERS

It’s challenging enough to manage production in the island’s towns and cities; kudos to those who are bringing us outstanding food products while creating employment in remote parts of Bali. Over the past few years I’ve visited several of these off-the-beaten track producers.   Cheese… The price of imported cheese is eye-watering these days, which […]

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Lots of Legs in the Garden

 We’ve just come through the longest rains I can remember, with downpours so frequent and heavy that even the mosquito larvae were washed away. The roof leaked, shoes mildewed, clothes and sheets never felt really dry. Every morning Wayan Manis would arrive to work in her raincoat and hang it up to drip with a […]

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WATER, THE ESSENCE OF BALI

Gentle Reader, let us meditate upon the element of water. We have quite a lot of raw material to consider, given the constant downpours of the past few months. Deluge follows deluge. Ponds overflow. Trees topple, landslides scar the riverbanks, roads and walkways disappear under muddy lakes. Clothes and leather sprout acrid colonies of mildew. […]

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LIVING UNDER THE VOLCANO

Those of us living in the energy field of Gunung Agung have been holding our collective breath for weeks now. The first month of dealing with the reality of a grumbling volcano on the doorstep generated much anxiety and busy preparation. But you can’t hold your breath for weeks at a time. The  status of […]

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THE LIGHTER SIDE OF VOLCANIC ASH

I was in Canada when the rumblings began. Like so many other Bali residents I became an amateur vulcanologist, obsessively checking daily seismic activity and monitoring the Facebook earth tremor updates. I filled my suitcase with N95 masks and goggles to bring back instead of the usual interesting groceries. At time of writing we still […]

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One Car Too Far, One Tourist Too Many

There are no words to describe Ubud in August. Well yes, there are: crowded, packed, crowded, depressing, jammed, crowded, dirty, blocked and crowded. Did I mention crowded?  I know I’m being hypocritical. I was a tourist once myself, then I moved here and got all holy. But believe me, Ubud was never like this.  Until about […]

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The Invisible Yoginis

A few weeks ago I woke up to the fact that not only was I not getting any younger, but my sedentary lifestyle was having a decided impact on my contours.  I hate the gym, walking is difficult here and it’s too cold for aquarobics even if I had a pool, which I don’t. But there […]

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Swadaya – Stories to Inspire the Nation

Indonesia is so rich in natural and human resources that no one should be poor in this country. But with wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a few, millions of people across this vast archipelago struggle to feed and educate their families and live with dignity.  Increasingly, communities are finding solutions for their […]

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CLOVELESS IN BALI

Every time I’ve walked into my pantry for the past few months I have been beguiled by the rich, evocative aroma of cloves. There aren’t a lot of clove trees around Ubud. Wayan Manis’ mother planted one about 15 years ago just for the hell of it, and now harvests eight to ten kilograms a year. […]

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