Monday, 27 June 2011

Busy


"Don't you ever get bored"?
That is a question I often get asked and the truthful answer is No, I don't. For me there is not enough hours in the day. I love the freedom I have down here on the island. I can start reading a book, knowing that I will be able to finish it.
Busy...
I love the fact the most days are spent outside pottering or in the water or in my "studio" cranking out necklaces. I love the sunsets down here and I love the whole healthy living thing, (let's face it even if you wanted to live "unhealthy" you'd be struggling), and the fact that you never have to "stress" with what to wear. Bikini/boardshorts is the uniform here.
...busy...
I love the fact that there is no pressure on you to look a certain way, (besides from fitting in to that bikini), to dress a certain way, you don't have to try and "fit" in and people embrace you for who you are, not for what you do. I get to meet people from all walks of life who are all here for the one thing: Their passion for surfing.
...busy...
And I love the fact that my creativity just seems to go into overdrive whenever I get back to this island.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Deco ideas?

On our trip to kite board beach we go through a few villages.
Charming houses that sometimes are done up with wallpaper on the outside walls...
...to houses that have their fronts painted in funky colours but as soon as you see the side it is the normal wood. (They used to do this in Norway years ago. They painted the front of their houses but could not afford to pay for the whole house so the sides and back where often left unpainted).


The local petrol station/garage is a real treat where it is not unlikely that you see the guys hang around with ciggies in their mouth re-fuelling their motorbikes. (Done the old fashion way with a funnel and a sieve).



The road to kite board beach


Would you call this a road?

It is getting more and more tricky and dangerous for every trip that we take down to kite board beach. The road that used to be a road is now a dirt track with deep canals from the wet season. This is also the main road for all traffic such as trucks, motorbikes and pushbikes which continually keep pounding this road.

Maybe it would be a better idea to spend money re-building this road instead of spending it on a surf competition?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Chai Tea


So while John is busy with either surf or climbing up and down a very rickety ladder varnishing the bamboo, I've been busy finishing up the guesthouse and making some more necklaces. It's really windy here so with the wind comes the big chill factor and I've been downing tea like it is going out of fashion.
Ever since Sally introduced me to Chai Tea at Biku Tea house in Bali a year ago I've been totally in awe of it. I still remember us walking in to the tea house, me ordering a Ginger Tea and she this Chai Tea that came out in a beautiful never-ending tea pot, while my ginger tea was served in a glass and downed within minutes. (Until this day I still regret not ordering the Chai latte).
Ever since then when I go back to Biku I will always order the Chai Tea and I will be back in July with my camera so I can show you how awesome the place is.
Nevertheless, I found a recipe on how to make it so this morning I've been able to enjoy my own Chai. (No where near as good as Biku's).

If you want to try it here goes:
1 black tea bag
1 stick of cinnamon, (5-10cm long)
2 cups milk/soy milk
2 tablespoons raw sugar or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 peeled ginger cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

:In a small saucepan combine tea bag, the cinnamon stick and 1/2 cup water. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 mins. Remove and discard teabag and cinnamon stick. Stir in the milk, sugar, vanilla, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture is heated through. (Do not boil). Pour into mugs and serve. (This recipe makes 2-3 servings, or 1 big one).


Varnishing of the house


Still windy but the last couple of days I've seen surfers walking around with big grins on their faces. Yup, we had a bit of a swell so everyone's happy.


John decided to varnish the rest of the house, "out-of-office" hours as he's been spending most mornings in the office, (the surf), so by the time my folks hit the island the house should be looking almost brand new. It needed the varnish as the constant sun and salt is taking it's toll on the wood.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Sunday lunch at the resort


Every Sunday at the resort they have proper hand made hamburgers for lunch. It has been over a month since I've eaten red meat, most of my diet down here consists of vegetables, seeds, nuts, brown pasta and I must say I do not miss the red meat much.


But every once in a blue moon it feels awfully good to tuck into a proper burger and these ones are as good as they get.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Project guestroom



It is now exactly one month until mum and dad will take the trip from Norway down to our little island. I'm super excited and cannot wait to see them here again. They were last here in 2006.
There is one tiny little problem though:
Our guest room has turned into surfboard storage, garage, work shed and it looks like a tip at the moment.

So I've decided to re-paint and clean it up so that when my parents finally arrive here they'll have a nice, clean and tidy place to sleep. Also figured now is a good time to start the renovations as my two surf buddies Karine and Mikaela have now left the island and I'm not keen on doing the whole sole surfing thing until it gets a bit warmer and calmer in the water. (I'm guessing for that comment I'll get kicked out of Norway). So far I've spent three days scrubbing, removing spiderwebs and painting and by the look of things I reckon I have at least a week to go. I'll keep you posted with the "after" image as soon as I'm done, which at the moment feels like IF I ever get done. What have I gotten myself into?


Full Moon

It's midnight and the moon is up...
Full moon was two days ago and we even had a full moon eclipse, which I missed since it happened around 0400 in the morning.


Waaay to early to even be thinking about getting out of bed.


The winds are continuing to blow strong and it is pretty fresh in the mornings before the sun gets up.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin Pie


It's been incredible windy here on the island this last few days. So windy in fact that the fast ferry was cancelled and left 15 or so people stuck here. And it is cold. I'm having to wear a spring suit, 1mm in the surf and am still cold. We only have cold water in our shower so today I boiled up some hot, hot water in order to wash my hair.
Then I made Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin Pie as it has some lovely, warm spices in it.

Single Crust Pie:
1 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
4-5 tablespoons cold water

:Stir together flour and salt, cut in shortening until pieces are pea sized.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the flour mixture, gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl, repeat moistening flour mixture using 1 tablespoon at the time until all the flour is moistened.
Use your hands to lightly flatten dough, roll from centre to edges into a circle of around 12 inches in diameter.


Caramel-pecan Pie
1 recipe Pastry for single crust pie
2 slightly beaten eggs
500g mashed pumpkin
1/4 cup half-and-half, light cream or milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon/lime peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter

: Prepare and roll out the single crust pastry.
In a large bowl stir together eggs, pumpkin, and half-andhalf. Stir in the granulated sugar, flour, lemon peel, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry lined pie plate. To prevent over-browning cover edge of pie with foil and bake at 180 for 25 mins.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl stir together the brown sugar, pecans and butter until combined. Remove pie from oven and remove foil after 25 mins, sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top of the pie and bake for another 20 mins or so until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean and topping is golden and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate within 2 hours.
Enjoy!




Saturday, 11 June 2011

Visitors

We average about 5 - 10 visitors per day, although in the busy season, (July-August) it is not unlikely to have 20-25 visitors come by in a day. I've given up on making tea/coffee to our visitors as if I did I'd be drinking tea the whole day. Some people are just random passer-by's who want to check out our house, thinking it is a bed and breakfast place, whilst others are our neighbours and friends. (The expat community down here is getting bigger every year). I've had complete strangers waltzing in demanding to know where the reception is in a very snotty manner, and I must say it gives me a huge satisfaction when I inform them that this is a private property and to bugger off. I made a sign up the front last year with "John and Hildi" written on it, so luckily we don't get too many of those people here anymore.

Today I had Sally come down for a cup of coffee and it is always great to catch up with her. Even though she only lives about 15mins walk on the beach from my house I had not seen her for over a week. (It is amazingly scary how confined you get within your own property and how hard it is to get out and go visit other people once you finished with your surf).

She brought with her magazines today, which is always a welcome treat as we are starved for mags down here and a special treat: almond/date/honey/nut cake. Yummy galore!


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Breakfast at Sama Sama


Today we had the luxury of having a gourmet breakfast aboard this beautiful boat, the Sama Sama:


This is def one of the highlights of the year. The table is laid with freshly baked, still warm bread, fruits, muesli, yoghurt, salami, cheese, tomatoes, onions, tea, coffee, juices you name it they have it.


We spent well over three hours at the breakfast today and it was excellent.


Their sailing boat, Sama Sama, is a big one, probably 80 foot long, (I'm guesstimating), beautiful and is a charter boat that normally holds 6-12 surfers on it.


Today it was just John, the owner Gerfried and his partner Susannah and me and their crew. Bliss.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A brand new world

The kittens are slowly getting bigger and every day is like an adventure tour for these little fellas. They know us well now and every morning when we open up the "gudang" they will pop out from their little hiding places and we are met by four very playful soft purring individuals. Soo tiny and so loving.


Most of the day they are sleeping but the hours they do not sleep is spent in full-on activity.
They love exploring and you can almost imagine what is going through their little brains.


This particularly gutsy kitten decided to check out what was on the end of the blue wall but as she came to the end of it she realised she was too far away from her mum and came running quickly back.


I have luckily found one good owner for two of the cats so that is a relief! Hoping this brand new world will treat them well once it is time for them to leave the nest.....

Friday, 3 June 2011

Flowers in bloom

After the extremely wet wet season and surviving goat and pig attacks some of our frangipani trees are now in full bloom. Which is a true delight. They smell absolutely awesome.
The red one started flowering when we got here and is still going.
It is my favourite and the same flower my bridal bouquet was made out of way back in 2006.

In the back where our guest room is and where I keep my healing bench the bouganvillea is growing like a weed and is forming a living green wall which provides me with the shade I need when I am "working".