ETHICAL MEAT

Eating meat is so politically incorrect these days. Especially here in Ubud, where the population of gluten-free vegans per capita is probably higher than anywhere else outside south India. Many would argue that the term ‘ethical meat’ is an oxymoron. There’s abundant evidence that commercial meat production is highly damaging to the planet and cruelly […]

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THE SKIN WINS

Recently a friend from Morocco visited me, bringing gifts of lovely natural body care products: rose water, orange flower face tonic, argan oil, frankincense. I was delighted to present her with some of the locally made, natural personal care products available within a 20 minute stroll of my house in Ubud. Over the years I’ve […]

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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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