Saturday, April 30, 2011

CHAPTER 2: Getting Sorted!

So the first couple of days were not anything like we had expected, it definitely was not a holiday! We had to sort our villas out and get the kids settled.
Kate and her family were staying with us, as their villa was not finished yet and to be honest looked like being a good month away! Every time we went over to ask the builders how long? They would say, "4 days" then laugh, so we really had no idea?
The first thing we had to sort out was getting our air conditioners installed and fridge for our food and drinks, because I can tell you its pretty bloody hard to live in a tropical climate without those two things! ha ha (i know i am being a princess!)
So two days later, which is straight away in Bali time we had some men rock up with their hand chisels to install our air conditioners and they also bought our fridges and stoves which were just dumped in my lounge room for us to install.
Next thing on our "To Do List" was defeating the bats! Everyone we spoke to about our problem laughed and said "ya ya one or two bats, no problem!" BUT there was not just one or two bats, it was awful! So our landlord sent a Balinese man around to hang about 30 CD'S from my ceiling, he climbed a long skinny bamboo pole and tied them to the rafters with fishing line. This is supposed to deter the bats, they hate their reflection.... Bouboummmmmm!!! No, the bats loved them, they now thought it was a bat play ground! Next I googled and apparently they hate "napthilene" which is found in moth balls, so i went out and bought 15 packets of moth balls and guess what...that did not work either! It just made my house smell like St Vinnies! Then I went out and bout some fluro lights..because they HATE fluro lights too! But guess what? Yep they loved the light as well! So the last resort was, not to get the pest controllers, but to go straight to the top and get the local "Holy Man". This had to work for sure! He came at midnight with a following of about 10 other people, bringing with them a midnight feast of chicken and rice. He did some awesome speed reading of his holy book for an hour, Kate stayed and watches and said it was amazing. Then after the feast, they collected all of the chicken bones and buried them in my garden! We waited in desperate hope for the next sunset to fall to see whether this holy ritual had worked. To our huge frustration and disappointment the ritual had failed and the bats were angry; they returned the following night, faster, louder and even more of them!

The only thing left to do was to buy some tulle netting to have like a curtain around or lounge room, we effectively turned our villas into wedding marques! ha ha...We had one of our local builders tack about 15 sheets of the tulle around the edge of the roof, it is certainly not attractive, BUT It worked! We could now sit in the lounge room in peace, no bats!
Our week settled down a little, every day Kate and I would go out in the car looking for furniture, bedding and house hold nick nacs. Its funny because I have always loved shopping, but this was hot and exhausting! We had to get EVERYTHING! Towels, sheets, knives, forks...EVERYTHING!

There were fun parts to this week though! Like the first time Kate and I drove the car to get groceries! It was so nerve racking and funny! We had no idea where we were going! We ended up getting to the shopping centre ok, but by the time we came out it was dark and I got sooooo dis orientated! We ended up pulling over and paying a taxi to drive home so that we could follow. The funniest part was, about half way home he pulled over and got out, walked over to our window and said "ok, so now you get in my taxi and show me how to get to your house." We just cracked up laughing and said "NO NO, NO, We are following you because we are lost! We dont know where to go!" he hopped back in his taxi, did a u turn and started driving the other way where we eventually got home!

There were also days where we bought so many things that we totally forgot we also had to fit in the car, so we had things hanging out of the window and could barely see! ha ha

The trips on the motor bike were also so much fun! You just feel so free when riding through the rice fields! The kids think its pretty special too! They sit and sing as we are cruising along. It also makes for a great family outing to the beach! And best of all to fill up our tanks it costs about $2.50! yey!

So this first week panned out ok in the end....... Stay tuned for week 2, starting school!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Where do I start? Bali chapter one...

CHAPTER ONE: THE MOVE: Bali; Paradise?

Bye Bye Currumbin House!

Ok so we havent been the greatest bloggers this year and I have so much to catch up on! Three Little Trees has given us so many opportunities, but i can safely say that moving to Bali has been the most life changing eye opening experience that we could possibly give our young family. Please keep in mind while reading each chapter, that we are totally happy now and Bali is a wonderful place
I am going to back track a few months until we can catch up.

Ok so the long 7 weeks of the Christmas school holidays was spent packing, cleaning, beach, renovating, more packing and then finally we moved! This felt very strange as we had lived in our house for the past 7 and a half years and it was the only house my 2 children knew! I think Lily realised what was going on but I think Kai felt that it was going to be one BIG holiday and I was getting worried about when reality was going to set in! We left our house and spent the next few weeks like modern day gypsys! We had sold our family car and were now driving around in what was actually my first car that turned into my husbands surfing run about! It had no air conditioning, rust and only 3 doors...which isnt very practical with 2 kids! ha ha
We went from one friends place to another trying to slip into their households without causing too much disturbance. We then met my best friend at a holiday resort for 5 nights to try and break up the visiting. I remember one day stopping at the traffic lights and looking out of the window of our rusty mobil the few days before we left thinking, "omg this is so embarrassing!" I had a washing basket with clothes and towels on the front seat, a few pillows and a doona and an esky in between the kids in the back. The windows were all down because we were so stinkin hot and we had no air, so we were all red faced and dripping of sweat! On top of that school had gone back the day before so it also looked like we were homeless and my kids werent even going to school! ha ha..... maybe i was getting just a bit paranoid!

We woke up very early the morning of The 1st February 2011...this was it..this was the day we were leaving Australia indefinitely and moving into the unknown of Bali!! The kids were so excited! Our airport transfer was picking Kate up at 4.30am and then us at 4.45am! The trip started very smoothly.. laughter, smiles and beaming faces.....

The flight 5 hours later wasn't quite as enjoyable! We had 4 kids that had been up since 4 am on a 6 hour flight smack bang in the middle of the day, the week that school went back so there were absolutely no other kids on the flight! I can tell you now that over excited kids in a 2 m squared space does not work!!!! OMG by the time we got to Bali Kate and I were ready to kill them! BUT all i kept thinking about was seeing our gorgeous new home and sitting down and having an ice cold drink by the pool! aaah breathe we were now in Bali all will be ok in an hour!
So after a 50 minute taxi ride we were here! I opened the front door and looked up...there was a pile of furniture in the middle of the lounge room, unmade beds with plastic and dust still over them...and worst of all there was no fridge and no air conditioners installed as per the lease agreement! It was 5pm and the kids were hungry thirsty and tired! Thank God for a very generous American friend, Nikky from down the road who welcomed us shortly after arriving with a hamper of fresh fruit, muffins and nibbles. It thankfully bought us enough time to unpack a little before thinking about going to dinner.

With no car, we walked to the cafe dragging our feet ate quickly so it wasnt too dark for the walk home; the kids were now wasted...we just wanted to go home and put them to bed and chill out with a Bintang. Bali however had different ideas....we got home to a lounge room full of darting, flying, squawking, rabies infested bats! ha ha...we thought the day could not get any worse! We tried clapping, screaming and swinging the pool scoop around but there was nothing we could do, it was like they had inhabited our home for the past 6

months and there was no way they were going anywhere. So the end of our first day in Bali was spent ducking through the hallway, being head butted by the fury little vermont creatures into our bedroom, where we tried to sleep in the sweltering un air conditioned stuffy heat.

Stay tuned for the Chapter Two...getting sorted!

The freaking bats flying around our ceiling! look closely.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I know that we are the shittest bloggers that ever did live but just a quick update - we are moving to Bali in 11 days!

Once there we will be living a calm cruisy life so I promise to "try" to become a better and more regular blogger!!

Catch you all soon!..xxxx

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's been a while!

Woooow I didn't realise how long it has been since we wrote on our blog - so much for the every day post that we talked about a while ago..

Life is crazy at the moment, so much going on. My husband is working in Karratha for 4 - 6 weeks at a time and comes home for 6 days in between stints. Our summer stock gets here any day now so we have been busy preparing for that. We are moving both of our families to Bali soon so Jac has been over there looking for houses etc.

On that topic - we move on the 1st of Feb so we didn't know what to do about Christmas this year. It can't be a big one because we can't take much with us so last night we sat down and emailed Santa to tell him our's what happened:

From: Kate Samson []
Sent: Monday, 13 September 2010 4:44 PM
To: Caroline hamilton (AKA kate's mum, AKA Santa)
Subject: santa cheque
Dear Santa,
I hope your getting excited for christmas time. We were just thinking, and because we are moving to Bali and cant take much stuff on the plane, we were wondering if it would be ok if we got a santa cheque instead of some toys? Because then we can buy some toys in bali.
I promise ill be a good boy and good girl..well maybe she wont be good but i will the way do you still go to bali? I hope you do. How are the elves?
See ya, bye
can you please email me back if you have time

From: Caroline Hamilton (AKA kate's mum, AKA Santa)
Subject: RE: santa cheque
Date: 13 September 2010 8:58:06 PM

Dear Xaviah,
Thank you for your email, Mrs Claus told me it had arrived, I am still not very good with computers so she is helping me and the elves are trying to teach me as well!
Yes, I am very excited that Christmas is getting closer and soon we will be very busy checking all our lists and getting everything ready. The elves are working hard but they seem very happy, they love making the toys for all the children. The reindeers have had a lovely rest since last Christmas.
Wow, are you moving to Bali? I love Bali, yes I still go to there, it is very hot so Mrs Claus made me a nice summer suit to wear. I will write on my list that you will be there not this Christmas but the next. You are so lucky to be going to live in Bali, wait till I tell the elves and Mrs Claus they will be so excited for you.
I think a Santa cheque is a really good idea, yes a very good idea, then you can get your toys in Bali and won’t have to leave them behind in Australia when you leave. You will have to tell Mummy and Daddy what you want with the Santa cheque when you get to Bali. I have just a couple of small things here for you already, so I will still bring them on Christmas day just so you know I haven’t forgotten you!
Xaviah I know you will be a very good boy, you have been such a good boy for Mummy since Daddy had to go away to work, I am very proud of you… as for that sister of yours…..sometimes I can hear her get a bit cranky…she is loud isn’t she? Could you tell her about the Santa cheque and that I have a couple of small things for her as well that I will bring on Christmas day because I know she is going to be a good girl.
Well my dear Xaviah I had better go and tell the elves all the news about you and Maya, have fun living in Bali, I have heard there is a really fun school there called “the Green School” maybe you can get Mummy and daddy to have a look at it if you haven’t already chosen a school to go to, it looks really cool.
Hope you and Maya get something you love with the Santa cheque.
Lots of love

Xaviah has a nasty virus at the moment and didnt want to get out of bed this morning but after I read him this email he was ecstatic. He has since then made me count his pocket money in his money box because he wants to "be a saving boy" and save his money to put with his santa cheque. He said "ooooo mum do you reckon Santa might even give me "a 50 buck"?"

So cute!

Friday, July 23, 2010


More from our China Trip..... We started and ended our trip in Hong Kong. Its funny when we first arrived, I really thought "Wow, this is what China is like!" but after going to China then coming back to Hong Kong, I realised what a huge difference there is in their culture, language and even appearance! Hong Kong was a fantastic, fun experience.

We arrived early on the Thursday morning after flying all night and caught the train from The Airport to Mongkok station. My first thought was that "everything is so clean! and not what I had expected at all" we then caught a little red taxi to our hotel "Langham Place" which we would highly recommend! The taxi driver couldnt fit our 3 HUGE suitcases in the boot, so they were hanging out the back of the boot with straps holding them in! The taxi drivers have a very strange way of driving over there! The 3 of us were cracking up laughing because the drivers kept putting their foot down on the accelerator heavily then lifting it off...putting it right down and then lifting it off! So we all kept flying forward, then back, forward then back!.

The hotel had amazing views out over the city, even the bathroom had views. Kate and I were laughing, because we shared a room and the wall of the bathroom was glass with a thin white blind! It made going to the toilet and showering a little bit awkward until we made sure that you couldn't see through the blind. he he.

We ventured out to have a look at the shops and walked down to the food markets. Kate is just about vegetarian, so it wasn't a very pleasant experience for her! It was very interesting though to say the least. The shops dont open until 11am in Hong Kong and stay open until late at night, so we had to wait a while to start spending our Hong Kong dollars. Kate had downloaded the "LUXE" Guide onto her iphone, which is a great little tool for any city guide so that you enjoy the experience and go to quality restaurants and sight seeing venues. It recommended that we catch a cab to "Stanley".... so we hopped in a taxi and drove 40 mins to Stanley. I honestly felt like I was in The South of France, it had beautiful promenades, old heritage buildings, cute little pubs and tea houses and boutique style markets. We LOVED it!

Time kept getting away from us while we were there, we even forgot about dinner most nights, because we were shopping until 8 or 9pm! On the trip home, Kate and I took a walk up to The Bird Markets, which Kate's mum had recommended seeing. Mum was a bit tired after a busy week in China, so she stayed in her room and had a nap. On the way to the bird markets we came across a really cool clothing and accessories market!! We were so excited...because just about every stall we looked at, had really great stuff! we had to control ourselves though, so that we could go back and get Mum. We passed through the flower market on the way to the bird market which was gorgeous, I love the smell of fresh flowers! They also had some stunning bonsai plants too. Its just so interesting though, each street and area are for different products... there is a gold fish street, a "bunnings" street (well thats what we called it), a food street etc. The bird market was beautiful, Kate bought a wooden bird cage, which she really wanted to get for decoration and for our up coming photo shoot (it was such a mission to get home though!!! well worth it!) and some cute little hand painted bird feeding dishes. We dashed back and got mum and then headed back to the clothes market to do some serious Hong kong shopping! ha ha. We have NEVER shopped so much in our lives! It was overwhelming! SO MUCH FUN...WE CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK!

Hong Kong was nothing like I imagined and I could easily spend 2 weeks there sight seeing and of course SHOPPING!

In Sydney before getting on our flight

Kate at Stanley


Me on the fairy

mmmmm! fresh meat!
Kate on the train from the airport
The beautiful fresh fruit at the markets

The amazing view from our room

The Glass wall looking into the bathroom

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bali street dogs

I think it is really important for children to grow up with animals in their lives. I teaches them so many things...

We don't currently have a dog here in Australia because we have a cat "Smokey" that is too much of a prince to handle having a dog around and we also have 2 little finches "Stormy and Rosie" that are out of their cage more than they are in it and I don't think they would appreciate having a dog either. As it is they have to take turns with Smokey for indoor rights, day on day off! So I have promised Xaviah and Maya that we can get a dog when we get to Bali, they are very excited. It's sort of like a little bribe in our household to make pulling them out of school and taking them away from friends and family a little bit easier.

I have been looking around and found B.A.R.C. (Bali Adoption Rehabilitation Centre). Their aim is to help the street dogs of Bali and relieve suffering, starvation, abuse and neglect of the many street dogs that are there. Anyone that has been to Bali would have seen at least one street dog I'm sure. My heart sank when I had my first encounter - so skinny and starving, looking through piles of rubbish for any type of food they can find.

This is the quote from the B.A.R.C. website that really got me:

"There are no words to describe the suffering of these dogs, they cringe at the sight of a human, we are, the enemy, the abuser.

They hide, from detection, they live in fear, they have never known love or affection, or food given freely. When we get them, usually their spirits have been broken, we hope the love and meds, warm blankets and a pause from the rigors of a very hostile world will mend each one.

Slowly they do trust and respond lovingly to humans."

I have already fallen in love with the beautiful girl below "SUZIE".

Above is Suzie waking up from her coma

Suzie was found in a rice field with no food or water, just left there. To survive she ate rocks, grass, insects and her own faeces. When she was rescued she was in a coma for a week. No body thought she would survive. But she did and she is happy and healing.

Suzie now

I hope that Suzie find a loving home really soon but the selfish side of me hopes that she can stay at the shelter for just a couple more months so that the loving home that she finds is our home!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Winter days

When Summer is here my family and I are at the beach or outdoors everyday.....

When Winter comes around we neglect the outdoors way to much.
Winter days on the Gold Coast are so beautiful and I've decided to make the most of the wintery feelings and get out there before we move to Bali! I know, I know - it's not as cold as some places....but I am not a Winter person AT ALL. I do still think it will be hard for me to be in Bali heat all year round...I know that maya will have sweaty wet hair all day long and X will smell like a smelly little school boy......

......but I say bring it on!!

more of china

Hi Everyone,
I hope you have all had a lovely weekend! We have had a super busy week or two that has just passed....Kates little girl "Maya" turned 3 on the 8th, her little boy "Xaviah" turned 6 on the 13th and my little girl Lily turned "6" on the 15th....HECTIC!!! Its really funny, because we both have to schedule in our parties each year...Mayas was last sunday, Lilys was Friday night and Xaviahs was Saturday!! ha ha. They have all had a ball.....way too much sugar though! As we speak its 9pm and my little boy Kai is still wide awake! For the past 4 mornings he has woke up asking for lemonade and a lollie bag. Lily had a Disco party on friday night that was so much fun; we hired a DJ and decked out our double garage with helium balloons and streamers.... it was fantastic. We used "Cliffhanger DJ's" from the gold Coast, he played plenty of games which kept the kids entertained and had all the special effects, like the bubble and smoke machines and strobe lights. I was totally exhausted on Saturday morning, I am so glad that July is just about over.

I thought I would pop some more pictures up tonight of our trip to China last month..... We visited this amazing island, which was just off the coast of "Xiamen"..... it was like no where else that I had ever seen! The buildings were over 400 years old, there was a quaint little seaside village with little boutiques and restaurants, it was not at all what I expected to see in China! It was like a little holiday getaway hot spot. Kate and I kept saying "Imagine being able to have one of our photo shoots here!!!" Anyway, take a look at the pictures:

The fairy ride over, looking back at Xiamen

A lovely lady guiding her blind son through the town beggng for money :(

Inside one of the village boutiques, an old wooden bike that had a pet bird on it.

One of the gorgeous villagers with my Mum

A chinese fortune teller!!

A laborer on the island

A local lady waving to me out her window

One of the little lanes

a busker

The beach on the island

Kate in front of one of the cool old doors

Some more old buildings with so much character!

A beautiful old door

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bubble London

A few weeks ago, while we were in China actually, our wonderful agents Domino Baby who look after UK and Europe for us took part in Bubble London.
Below are some pics of our stall...

I wish we could have been there to help them on the day! Maybe we will be able to get over there for the Jan 11 show! We will be Indonesianites by then so a trip to a cooler climate might be in order!

All of the clothes you see in these pics will be available on our shores in September - the other side of the world has to wait a bit longer!