All’s Well That Ends Well

20111010-203725.jpgDone and dusted! The 2011 Ubud Writers Festival draws to a close with a big shin-dig at the Blanco Museum. Not quite the white walls and empty room I was expecting…Come on, it’s called the “Blanco” Museum! Instead, we were greeted by an enormous statue and a monumental building enmeshed within an ornate exotic garden. Spectacular!

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After the speeches, we were entertained by fire dancers and possibly the most amazing band on the entire island! Gotta find out who those guys were, because man, they were sensational. Lucky Oceans was a guest member on slide guitar, but the main singer had charisma, charm, energy, a booming throaty sound like velvet and blues and was an amazing trumpet player as well. A really awesome night to end out the festival.

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Foreign Correspondents

preparations.jpgOur final day of volunteer events at the Ubud Writers Festival. This time, I’m MC-ing a Literary Lunch with Alexander McCall Smith at the magnificently exotic, Maya Ubud Resort and Spa and Fiona is assisting with checking tickets at the door. Jaw-droppingly A-mazing place, nestled away in the mountains of Ubud…(insert “drool” here).

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This is my most nerve-racking of all our events, because Alexander McCall Smith is one of their biggest draw cards. He’s written over 60 books! More than I’ve read in my entire life!! (Who am I kidding?…10 books is more than I’ve read in my entire life…8 maybe?). He’s most famous for his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which has now also been made into a TV series. Remarkable man, and very amusing.


The other highlight for me, is that the moderator leading the conversation today, is none other than renown respected Aussie journalist and TV Host, Jennifer Byrne, and reading her resume, you could easily confuse her with G.I. Jane! What an incredible life she’s led. And super lovely, smart and approachable…but that’s enough about Fiona 😉 (Who am I kidding?…there could never be enough of Fiona).

I feel incredibly privileged to be rubbing shoulders and working with such respected and inspiring people, at least, that’s what they said about working with me 🙂


Show us your Betelnuts!


A lightning dash to Ubud in the rain at night, for our 2nd official volunteering event, the Sounds Of Seasons with Paul Kelly Fundraiser, raising funds for next year’s Ubud Writers Festival.

We’ve only just had time to breathe, finishing up our earlier event at Biku in Seminyak,


then dashing up to look for and check into our hotel in the wilds of Ubud, the Casa Ganesha Hotel (once again, Google maps and Ubud; like Kate Moss and donuts – they just don’t mix. And frankly, where’d you find a glass big enough?), then high-tailing it to the event at Betelnut – Noodle, Satay Bar & Music Lounge. Which was infinitely better than the music bar and noodle lounge. You can’t believe how difficult it is sitting on a lounge made from noodles, especially in white pants!

But we’re buzzed and charged, because we’re spending our night with Paul Kelly!!

Nina, the event coordinator, placed us specifically in this event because she knew what great fans we are. How nice…and cool, of her. She said it’s mostly all Aussie volunteers on that night, so you should have a blast! And what a night it was!!…

…(insert crickets “chirping” here)

Turns out, she had us running the silent auction…outside…the venue! What the? So all us Aussie’s, specially placed so we could have a blast with Paul Kelly…ended up with a just a breeze from the local drunks, outside. Awesome!!

Mind you, it did have it’s perks. We did meet a myriad of weird, crazy and lovely people. Basically, we had all kinds of donated prizes that people would stagger out and write down a bid on. At the end of the night, whoever had the highest bid on that item, wins that prize. So, we had all kinds of people to talk, laugh and poke fun at…but that’s enough about me 🙂

Lovely people, like 70yr old, Sally Sweetapple (yes, that’s her real name). And the crazy woman who almost bid on everything and damn well almost won everything (last seen fleeing from her husband and trying to eat and swallow all her credit card statements). Me old mate, Steve Bisley, wandered out for a chat or two and we did make friends with another Aussie in the group, a professional photographer named Sally.

As I said, it did have it’s perks because running the silent auction meant, we could bid on anything we wanted. And so it is, that I won a 4 hour music studio session and night for two in a beautiful villa, for a measly $100. Watch out for my demo, coming soon!!

Did you ever know that you’re my hero ….

So my lovely husband has of course always held hero status in my eyes but today has moved up to super-hero status. Let me explain …

If you read the previous post you would be aware that Justin had a cheeky spew by the side of the road today … after a very yummy breakfast of Omelette … (yes you can thank me for the visual) … Nasty tummy bugs seem to have no regard for timing or location.

The reason though that he achieves superhero status is that he then rode us all the way to Ubud … and back on the motorbike.


Festival signage on the way to Ubud

So here’s the thing … I know what it feels like to need to vomit … uggghhh … granted, for me it has generally been self-induced. If you are going to be humiliated about street spews Bali is probably on ok place for it to happen, people are very understanding of the tummy bug issue … not so much on the streets of LA or the London Underground or even a Parkdale driveway … but that is a much longer conversation about my mis-spent youth … (and yes this past year does count as my youth in the Parkdale story – sorry Alex I blame Kylie) … fear not though 40 is just around the corner and consequently behaviours will be modified.

However I digress.

Point is … I understand the horrible feeling of needing to be sick, add to this needing to be sick in the heat .. add to this driving to Ubud on a motorbike (an hour drive away) and back … in crazy Bali traffic,



just lugging a wheelbarrow around on the motorbike ... no problem

and some tyres ... as you do.

on pot riddled roads, wet roads from Ubud rain … and back …

..after trying to be professional and sociable in a room of 80 noisy people.

Justin's lunch - digestive tonic, nausea tablets & antibiotics - none of which stayed in him for very long 😦

And your wife finding funny photo opportunities ….


at lunch ... look closer ... magazine in background ... baahhaaaha

So yeah … I’m married to a super-hero 🙂