Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Wedding - Ubud Bali

Peta and mum having a special treat

Excitement is in the air….the Bride, her bridesmaids, flower girl, mother and mother-in-law…. What a powerful combination of women all here to help celebrate Peta’s wedding to Ben. There is lots of laughter, anticipation, emotions are everywhere….. Three Balinese women are preparing all the women, makeup, hair, champagne is flowing freely…. Of course with the obligatory water to keep us hydrated in the humidity of Bali.

The pool had floating candles down the centre: and there were a hundred candles on the stairs leading to the pool area:

The last minute fixes….glue for shoes, cotton for dresses, hairspray and lippie: wouldn’t you know it the air-conditioner decides not to work or is on overload and not working properly… time to get an industrial fan to keep all the women cool… in more ways than one and it worked a treat….

Months of planning for Peta and the families (saving and working extra hours) have culminated to this moment….the anticipation is great….the stress of making sure things will come together on the day have finally come to fruition. Invites, music, wedding dress, flights, bookings, reception, food, drinks, legalities, the list is endless….. The bridesmaid dresses have been a tale to the end…. Starting with the first design/color not being available, to the dresses being completed and not to everyone’s satisfaction…then choosing a dress two days before leaving off the shop floor rack… another issue was two of the bridesmaids are from interstate… however with internet shopping this was not a problem…. however last minute stitching was required on the day…. All makes for added excitement and the all out effort to make it a brilliant day that the bride would enjoy and be stress free………………my personal opinion is that there is always a degree of pre wedding jitters… otherwise you would not be normal…….after all it is an enormous rite of passage as a promise of a new generation looms upon us…………. And lives that are forever changed, not to mention new families for everyone. The next generation begins…………….

a Frangipani carpet:

The setting was so romantic…. Ubud Bali the Alila Hotel was perfect………Peta walked down an isle of frangipani flowers with her proud father escorting her, led by 6 bridesmaids… to be greeted by her loving husband to be Ben and his 6 groomsmen, and waiting guests. The day threatened to rain… however held off until very late into the night…… was humid however we were saved by a cool breeze According to Balinese law you have a religious ceremony first followed by the government one, all very special. The service was delightful… and very emotional. There was lots of kissing by the couple egged on by the guests… it truly was delightful. Peta’s gown was exquisite she was absolutely beautiful………………… a very proud day for all the parents.

The reception was fantastic… a great menu…food was delicious, drinks superb company divine…candles everywhere…………what more can I say a romantic evening was had by all. It was time for family and friends to congratulate the happy couple and spend time together…eating, drinking, listening to music and dancing.

The children had three baby sitters, which allowed their parents to enjoy the evening without having to constantly worry about the kids…as for Ian and I it was a very proud day…we also missed the family that for whatever reason could not make the wedding and passed on their good wishes to the couple… speeches were short, sweet and poignant…… and finally if there is a pool that usually means someone gets in it…. For this wedding it was me… after a long day it was fitting after all the formality of the day was over… time to change and have a swim… for a couple of others it was in clothes and all…A fitting end to a perfect day.

Congratulations Peta & Ben and wishing a long and happy life together with many children to keep you company in your old age.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The monkeys of Ubud:

Our Villa

What a beautiful natural place Ubud is, high up in the mountain area of Bali, and our hotel Alila is a perfect escape, a small piece of Heaven. We have a gorgeous Villa which is totally secluded & romantic. We have a balcony and are surrounded by forest, in the late afternoon early evening we are surrounded by a troop of monkeys. Every day you experience different wild life…. And you see all sorts of creatures… at night you can see fireflies… it’s just wonderful.


Our first encounter was one afternoon we had finished swimming and we walked back to our villa, Ian had left several minutes before me so when I had reached the top of the stairs I could see a rather large monkey heading around the corner towards our door, I shouted to Ian as I thought he had not seen him. I think they were both equally surprised….the monkey saw Ian and growled at him… the closest thing to Ian was the umbrellas that stand next to the door for the occasional time you need them for the tropical rains…Ian picked up the umbrella as if it was a sword and stood “on guard” the monkey who looked like he was the boss of the troop (stood about 2.5ft) and they momentarily eyed each other off… the monkey growled at Ian then sauntered past him and then jumped into the trees above our villa… Ian then said “it’s ok darling, safe to come down”…. I was not so sure…. There is a narrow enclosed rock wall about a meter wide and 10 meters long to get to our villa balcony…. And the tree hangs over it… I looked and could see all the monkeys in the trees swinging and talking to each other…. I was a little bit scared… never the less I decided to run the gauntlet…… and the bastard monkey shook the tree and called out as I ran under the tree, the berries, leaves and sticks fell to the ground and my feet didn’t touch the floor…. And I never looked up….it was funny clever animals….he must have smelled my fear.

What a life these male monkeys have…. We spent quite a bit of time watching them, as they are resident in the trees near our villa. The monkeys visit us in the morning and evenings. A few of them sit on the balcony…usually a male, female and her baby… it is so interesting watching them… the female sits and preens the male and he sits and enjoys every moment……he changes positions and the female tends to his every whim… she picks the insects and eats them, the baby clings to mother often attaching itself for a feed….. The little monkeys swing from the trees, chasing each other; there are about 6 mothers with babies…. The babies are so cute… you never see them leave the mother and when they swing from the trees they do it in pairs and if the baby looks like falling there seems to be another monkey standing by ready to catch…. Just amazing animals there expressions are so human like, however there cuteness wears off when they smile and you see their teeth, they can be very aggressive…

smile let us in:

I have enjoyed watching them at close quarters, we’ve seen it all, the poor female just gets jumped on from behind and it may just last a few minutes if that….We always make sure the doors, windows are closed and when we go to bed that the blinds are down… don’t want them watching us………if you get my gist! Lol…..

Monkey's watching us through the windows!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ubud: Pre Wedding:

The flight was quick, the grand kids were very good, Dylan loved the flight and Bella was great she even managed to get a sleep together with grand pops. I had the best view of Perth city when we left, fantastic. On arriving in Bali I was not sure what to expect, it was humid and hot walking across he tarmac, we had a smooth transition through immigration and customs, our luggage came through relatively quickly and when we went outside we were hit with the humidity, it was like a sledge hammer…thankfully we were greeted by a driver and a lovely garland of frangipani, smelled lovely….and so the one and half hour car trip to our hotel in the mountains began…. Thank God for air-conditioned cars.

Denpasar was grubby, my first impressions, the people are friendly but conditions are tough quite third worldish…. I suppose because I know a lot of people have been to Bali I expected it to be more modern, but it is not. On our journey up to Ubud, I kept thinking that we would pass a shopping centre, but alas no shopping centre as I know them to be, I know there is more to life than shopping.

The country side is very green, tropical, lots of mangie dogs, many scooters on the roads, and the roads are very narrow, lots of pot holes, there are many mad drivers and lots of tooting goes on, it’s really fun on the roads, no way would I like to be a scooter rider there is always a car up your ass or coming straight for you, how there are not more accidents I do not know, a miracle really. Its judgment by the horn, move to the left, right or centre.

Market Shopping is a new experience for me, I hate bargaining…… I am not cold or hard enough for the job……the currency is another issue, working out exactly how much something is worth in Aussie dollars is another area of frustration…. All in all I am enjoying our holiday.

Our beautiful welcome drink at the Alila

I have to say the saving grace is the beautiful Hotel Alili and the exceptionally friendly Balinese staff. The only problem I have come across is the wifi and internet is not brilliant…..having a lot of problems… which for me is catastrophic. The breakfast has been delightful, good choices and decent coffee.
All ways on my mind is the woman I am caring for through her pregnancy (38 / 40) when I left…. Well guess what…. Yes you did she has gone in to labour……………….It is very difficult for both of us because now the care is being provided by someone else. It is very frustrating being so far away, it is a lesson of learning to let go and trust all will go well…………………………so watch this space. A few pink gins always helps relieve the stress.

Today was exciting because we were trying to catch up with all the family who is spread all over Ubud and I have to report that the telephone system is not ideal.

So the in-laws and we plus Faye, Brendon and the kids all hired a driver for the 5 hours to tour the mountains of Ubud….. it was very interesting….lots of street hawkers….which can become problematic…..’We went to Kintamani which is a volcano..that has spectacular views across a magical crater lake…on the way up we stopped to see the valley of rice paddies and the village was full of arts and crafts. Unfortunately when we stopped the driver locked the keys in the car and we were then stranded for an hour and half with many street hawkers and humid hot weather.

Dylan made friends with the local children, I bought a patch work quilt and Brendon bargained for some sarongs for Faye and myself… It was all very interesting and beautiful…however after an hour our patience was running thin… we were hot and tired of saying no to street hawkers, eventually the driver had to break the window to get to the keys…finally we were on our way. We had a lovely smorgasboard for lunch…. Poor Bella was burning up with a temperature…. The lunch was over and we decided on the way back we would stop and look at some silver…… by the time we got back to the hotel we were all hot and tired….nothing a lovely swim and drink didn’t fix.

That evening we went into Ubud to me Danny and co we enjoyed some cocktails and a lovely meal. It was a lovely relaxing evening… poor Danny and family had a 2.5hr wait to get through immigration and customs at Bali, not good with three little kids in a hot and humid airport…We came back to the hotel and retired for the evening.
Ubud has many temples and this weekend is the festival of Kuningan: the Kuningan holiday, the last day of Galungan celebration, believed to be the ascendant day of the central holy spirits and Deities to Heaven after sojourning for several days on this material world. It’s about good and bad spirits, it is a Hindu festival and specifically Balinese. I think it is a good omen for a wedding.

Well folks that’s it for now…… wedding is on Saturday… this space….

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Holiday time.... off to Bali for a family wedding....

At last, it’s finally holiday time. We are going to Bali for a family wedding at the Alila Ubud in Bali. Life has been extremely busy, as usual, with the Adelaide Conference and the semester coming to a close it is constant work. As well as that I am trying to complete my Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Teaching. I have completed two units this year and am currently completing the third unit, which is visual learning. The assignment is due on Friday, so I will be completing in Bali and posting it back….. The Joys of study, I think it is referred to as continuous learning or life long learning. When I return home I then have all the papers to mark from the student’s last assignment. Of course my husband thinks I’m completely insane…. Taking work with me, but he ought to know by now he married a workaholic.

I am excited and saddened by the prospect of being on holidays, the sad part is I am looking after a pregnant woman who is currently 38 weeks and I hope all goes well. The woman is now hoping that the baby will wait until I return…… in two weeks time. She has been well prepared so I am not worried. However when you have spent the last 38 weeks looking after them both you want to be able to share the wonderful experience with them. We all now that babies never come on their due date, they come when they are ready, so here’s hoping that “Jack” comes at 40+1.

I will be taking my laptop so that I can be inspired by the pool and begin to write my memoirs which is a life time ambition of mine. I have started with a timeline of events throughout my life; I have found this to be beneficial in being able to link events. Every one has a story to tell they are all different and as important as each other. I love reading people’s stories and thinking what a wonderful life they have had. I’ve read several amazing stories and couple that come to mind…”Three cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin and “The hospital by the River” by Dr Catherine Hamlin, amazing stories and amazing people.

We will spend the second week in Nusa Dua and there will be the obligatory game of golf, thats the payoff for taking the laptop, its a small price to pay.

I also have to keep up to date with Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Emails, and friends also show the photos from the holiday and most importantly the wedding. Unfortunately some of the family will not be able to make the trip, so need to keep them updated. Goodness I don’t know what I would do without my gadgets.
Most importantly I need to spend time with my husband and family (even though I am taking my laptop). I am really looking forward to watching the grandchild experience something different from flying to seeing another country and another lifestyle. Life needs to be enjoyed; we need to take what life has to offer with both hands, as we come by but only once.

Bali here we come!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sailing Solo around the world at 16yrs, what do you think?

An ethical dilemma or is it?

Like many of you watching the news today, it has been dominated by the on going debate of Jessica Watson's decision to sail around the world at 16. In fact over the last several days this issue has been debated at many levels.

Why are we making such a big issue of a 16 year old girl making a solo trip around the world? is it that we are a paternalistic society? do people think she is to young to make this decision or trip? why is it such a big deal?

Jessica is an accomplished sailor, she has been sailing from knee high to a grasshopper. (I do hope that she has been prepared correctly for this trip, which has not been reported). Her parents are supporting her to realise a why is the world not saying, "great Jessica" and wishing her all the best. Instead many people have been pleading with her and her family to call off the trip. I wonder why?
Here is someone who is willing to undertake this task realise her dream, who is well aware of the consequences of her actions. Why is it such a big debate?

When we consider the law in terms of consent to medical treatment for minors,(clarifying that a minor is under the age of 18) the minor has to be able to understand the consequences of their actions. This means that the child understands the illness, procedure, outcomes, pros and cons and consequences of the action. This in English Law is considered "Gillick Competent", therefore the child does not need parental consent. There is a proviso within Gillick Competence and that is, a child can not refuse life saving treatment.
If this is the case for medical treatment, do we not consider that Jamie is Gillick Competent, therefore capable of making her own decisions and living or dying with the consequences. The question I think you have to ask, is it in Jamies best interest to do a solo sailing trip around the world?
I hope that Jamie realies her dream and becomes the youngest woman to sail around the world.

Why is there all this debate?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Adelaide Conference: Australian College of Midwives 16th National Conference

It’s been a while since I last blogged, and why? that's easy to answer, too much to do and caught up with Facebook & Facebook games.. Yes unfortunately I am guilty of mindless games.... I do find it helps me relax... however it was taking up too much time. You know the old saying...."everything in moderation".. Well almost everything.

The Adelaide Conference "Midwives & Women: A brilliant Blend" was excellent. The good thing about attending conferences is not only hearing the keynote speakers, presenters and looking at the trade / exhibition displays but the social networking with like minded people. Other midwives you've read about, wanted to meet, old friends, acquaintances and conference junkies, the ones you see at every conference. It's great...... you get to meet other midwives, students and in fact each new city you go to you increase your chances of meeting complete strangers... and strike up new liaisons. What a great opportunity we have as midwives to increase our profiles. It was good to meet up with Sarah Stewart and Lisa Barrett whom I met initially blogging, now we meet also at conferences. The break times was an ideal time for networking over a coffee or tea. Meetings took place anywhere people could find a comfortable spot. The food over the four days was splendid, great choices and enough for everyone.

Highlights of the conference for me: Welcome reception - renew old acquaintances and meet new contacts: The opening- Welcome to Country was performed by three Aboriginal males... was superb: Pat Brodie outgoing National President of the ACM, together with Dr Barb Vernon Executive Office ACM, are always inspirational. Hon. Sandra Kanck former Parliamentary leader of the Democrats (SA) her tenacity in politics did well for women and midwives of SA, she was memorable. Cheryl Boles, Midwife, Anangu Bibi Birthing Program...again inspirational.

As with all programs when it comes to the concurrent sessions its hard to choose which one you want to go to...and often there are two at the same time you want to attend, its times like this you wish you were Hermione Granger from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - Harry Potter movies and had a time piece so you could alter the time to attend everything you wanted- ah life in the movies.

Several concurrent sessions spring to mind: Angela Kellock Midwife her presentation on waterbirth had a very catchy title; "Swim with the Sharks" brilliant how appropriate. Amber Janowicz, a brave mother, her story reduces you to tears, and makes you remember why you became a midwife. Hannah Dahlen midwife, Homebirth and the National Maternity Review: Too hot to handle? politically motivates you and makes you realise how far we have come and how far we have to go... no rest for the wicked. Finally Devon Plumbley Midwife sang "We Dreamed of You" a song written and composed by Devon when she was a student midwife. The song is about grief and loss, the journey of bereaved families’ experiences. Devon has a truly remarkable voice a very talented young woman. All the concurrent sessions I attended were of an excellent standard and memorable.

This conference was different for me because I achieved two personal goals; that was to present a concurrent session and do a poster presentation, of which I did both. I was extremely nervous for my presentation; the room was full, standing room only. There were friends, peers, strangers, all come to hear what I had to say - however all like minded people thirsting for information and the sharing of ideas. After the initial nervousness I went into full swing and pretended they were all my family, relaxed and gave my talk. I felt it went well and would do it again.

On Wednesday night I was fortunate to be invited to the Fellows Oration... anyone that knows me, knows that I like a bit of pomp and ceremony...I am a bit of a Royalist have been to the Garden Party at Buckingham Place, so I was delighted to be going to the Fellows Oration. My friend and colleague was being made a "Fellow" of the Australian College of Midwives... what an honour, not sure what you have to do when you are a Fellow, I am guessing more work for nothing. No I shouldn't say that it was tongue in cheek... it is for the profession of Midwifery. Anyway it was pomp and ceremony, champagne flowing. Chris Cornwell Vice President SA ACM gave a brilliant oration - now I am really going to show my ignorance by saying I didn't know what an oration was until then "a formal public speech - a sacred story" Chris did a magnificent job, I was truly inspired by it and in awe of her ability to present it so well.

It was a busy four days, however we did have a fantastic dinner on Thursday night at The Pavilion Adelaide Oval Function Centre.... it was a sea of purple, pink and blue, the food was fabulous the wine flowed freely, good company, relaxing, dancing a good time was had by all. There was many a tale to tell the next morning... and I was one of them... and that’s all I'm going to say on the subject... except to say! You never know when you are going to meet someone, who knows someone you know.... in a strange city. Remember there is only 6 degrees of separation.....

This duck posed for my picture!

This shop has the best chilli hot chocolate I've ever tasted...worth a try.

Next ACM Conference: 2011 NSW

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