• Bob Taylor

Musings - Day 52

Day 52 – 16th February 2020

Not far now – last leg starts in four days, Thank you all.

I awoke this morning to the sad news that Caroline Flack had taken her own life. She was forty. A beautiful young woman, who seemed to be bubbly, lively and full of the joys, with in immense talent in front of the camera. I remember her fondly winning Strictly Come Dancing in twenty fourteen, with tremendous pride evident from her family on her victory. She was a joy to watch and listen to, her enthusiasm for dance never waning. Her private life woefully emphasises that you can never really tell what lies beneath.

Seemed like such a nice lady - just so sad that she made the choices she did.

Last night after writing the blog I went out to get some late supper. I met an Australian couple by the names of Bob and Bridget from Melbourne. I was sitting behind them, at a bar that strangely transformed from an ordinary bar celebrating peoples birthday and a bit of karaoke, into a drag set by three different artists. The audience were mostly Australian families, which made me realise by their responses, just how much this kind of entertainment is a totally acceptable part of their culture. I don’t know whether these drag acts were good or bad, but the audience seemed to love them. He asked me to join them at their table after a brief chat, and the following couple of hours passed by so quickly as all good times do. There are kindred spirits all over the world. Bob told me with no indignity or vanity that he is a recovering alcoholic. He said that it was only ever beer but he found that he couldn’t live without it. It had cost him two marriages, but thankfully had stopped in time to meet and start a life with, his lovely partner Bridget. It had now been two years since his last drop. Dependency on any substance is undeniably a terrible thing but as Bob demonstrated with proficiency that you can come to terms with it and you can change your course in life. An everlasting Aussie dictum befits him so well, ‘Good on yer mate!”

This morning I went to fetch my laundry, that I had left yesterday. They had done a grand job, but she hadn’t packed it, so the lady asked if I could come back in ten minutes. I agreed and indicated that I would be next door taking breakfast. The thought of an omelette and coffee were large in my mind. So that order placed, the coffee sent over to the table quite quickly. I had temporarily forgotten how Indonesian coffee needs to rest. They grind it fresh enough, but they don’t in the main, use filters. The result being the spinning hot soot, that stays in your mouth for a long time if you try to drink it too quickly. My teeth must have looked like I’d eaten a Dalmatian. It settled around about the time they brought my omelette out. Now when we talk about lost in translation, it is difficult make the leap from omelette to chips. Very nice lady served me with a plate of neatly arranged French fries with three different sauces, two slices of cucumber laid on a solitary piece of lettuce. I did not have the will to complain to her that it was wrong. So yet again a new experience, this time chips for breakfast. All was well, I suppose. I noted because I was replete and had left four of them, that they had attracted the attention of four individual flies, each landing on their own chip. Each content to meander the topography of their own potato slice. Because it was a Sunday I named them, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I really must get out more….

I was suffering today, having a little too much sun during yesterdays surf trials. So my shirt was not coming off under any circumstances. Not that the sun was particularly fierce today. During the night there had been tremendous thunder and lightning that had woken me a couple of times. When it rains here, it becomes a real Hooley by virtue of the volume of water expressed by the bursting clouds.

Best meal in Indonesia - grilled salted snapper £6 plus salad - when the boat comes in!

Tonight I plan to find a sports bar showing the live premiership game between Villa and Spurs. Bearing in mind that I am eight hours ahead of English time, it is due to start at ten o'clock. Another early one, I suppose… So I just got in after watching a 93rd minute goal beat the Villa. Not a night for many words. Except to say hello to my new mate Gordon the Gheko who was found drunk in a glass of wine earlier. Everything deserves a night out now and again.

Position: 08°42'06” N 115°10'42”E – Miles completed: 13869

Location: Kuta, Bali 00:14 - 17th February 2020 - Journey 52 days 23 hours

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