Not a replacement

Last weekend, as promised…

Saturday was by far the less eventful day, as all I really did was go to a life drawing class and buy a helmet. The life drawing was great and it was the 1st time I’d tried straight watercolours/brush ink in life drawing. Sooner or later, I’ll hijack the scanner or give up and take some photos of the work I’ve been doing.

Having a job and a life again leaves me with less time for things like writing and drawing, and the tropics seem to sap me of energy. Once I’ve set myself up with a desk and got my drawing paraphernalia in order, I’ll get back into it more seriously. There’s a story idea that’s begging to be worked on, once I can set aside the time.

Sunday was the biggie. Nina, Ollie and I set off at an ungodly hour of the morning to go and meet their friend who lives in a small village up a mountain surrounding Lake Batur (one of the biggest lakes on Bali). They were one bike, I on another; only the third time I’d ridden a motorbike. Considering my lack of experience, I think I did quite well, especially given it was 2.5 hours up and 2.5 back. There were two minor incidents and no injuries. One wasn’t my fault and one was just me being crap. No, I don’t care to elaborate, thank you.

So, after the monster ride there, we met their friend, Pak Yodi, and headed straight up a very steep mountain to where Pak Yodi’s village is. It’s a big climb that the locals do, often several times a day, sometimes laden with large bags of rice, onions, etc. Beautiful views straight down to the lake and across to other mountains, so at least they have stunning scenery for their toil.

It was quite an experience getting shown around by Yodi, who is basically in charge of a whole village up there, who have it pretty rough. It’s a poor farming community, earning nothing from the tourism trade that most of Bali runs on.

After visiting the temple, his friends, his home, the holy well, the new school and his unfortunately unwell mother, we had to head back, hoping not to ride too much through the darkness and needing to return the bikes. The only photos were from the ride home, because somehow, it didn’t feel right busting the camera out up there, though I’m sure it would’ve been fine. Sometimes, rather than document physically or digitally, it’s good to simply commit the experience to memory.

It was an pretty exhausting trip, both mentally and physically, which took me several days to recover from, but it was all worthwhile. The concentration and stress of riding the bike for 5 hours was pretty draining, without the mountain and all the rest.

When we got back that night after the hours of inexperienced motorbike riding and precarious steep mountain paths, there was one last danger in store. As I was relaxing and preparing for bed, I went to pop outside to turn the outside light off. Opening the door, what should be nestled up against it but a snake. It was night, so the little fella was cold and slow, plus it was quite a skinny little thing, so I snapped some shots before it slithered groggily on it’s way. But you’ve already seen those photos, so I essentially ruined my own story. Good on me.

This week it’s been all work and meetings. I’ve decided to introduce musical interludes at least once or twice a day now, to keep things up-vibe interesting. Yestreday’s selection was ‘Love Will Bring Us Back Together’ by Roy Ayers (shout out to Dave). I think today, in honour of Nurock & Cystem‘s ‘Gangster Friday’, some Little Wayne might be on the cards. Meltdowns, Meters and Curtis Mayfield might be on for next week…

Happy Birthdays to Sunaree, Peta, Jesse, Ollie, Brad and whoever else I may be forgetting.

Rest in Peace to my iPod. You served me well for many years and I thank you for all the good times and tunes.

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