Inspired by this shot taken by a friend, which I think is amazing, not only is it my favorite drink but also the reflections are so cool. I went out and attempted to do something similar. I found a lovely place called D Sawah, which means rice fields, and so sure enough, we found ourselves at a table with a great rice field view:

20160727_175357 They did not have wine on the menu, so I ordered a coconut water instead. The glass was therefore not quite as fancy, but I tried a few shots of the view through the glass


not quite the same, but interesting none the less


Here is a shot of a lovely little boy coming home from his bath in the river where he also washed his family’s clothes. His face is so expressive, I could just imagine how heavy those wet clothes were. Just a small reminder that not everyone has a washing machine, or even an indoor bathroom. Many people are still living in very basic conditions

Natural lines

Bali is well known for its terraced rice fields, they are absolutely fascinating, in that they are so well constructed, to ensure that every single patch is able to access water. At times, the city water system is redirected to these fields in order to make sure the rice will grow undeterred. Unfortunately, more and more rice fields are being sold off to make way for new buildings. It is so short sighted as there is now not enough rice being grown in Bali to feed the people here, and rice is having to be imported in.

Thankfully there is one particular area near our village that has been protected against any building, and the rice fields are preserved for now. It is the most beautiful view on the island, and inspires hope that at least some of the natural elements will remain, and not all disappear under a sea of hotels and restaurants

These are my favorite natural lines and they can be found in Jatih Luwih:

muddy fields


Its fun to play around with size, and here are various interpretations of the theme:

I love this one where my daughter appears to be tiny under the foot of her cousin:002

and these two  where I have the sun in my hand

scale sunscale sun 2

and then my husband next to a huge statue in Taman Nusa:scale statue

and finally my husband between our two small he seems compared to them!scale boys


Bali is shrouded in mystery, there are so many things that go on here which are inexplicable. Black and white magic are used on a daily basis, to attack and protect. People seem to be able to go in to a trance at the drop of a hat. Dancers can stab themselves with a knife and be unharmed, and dance over hot coals without feeling a thing, all with the encouragement of frenzied chanting, as can be seen in this photo below:bali superstitions

Next is the belief that if you feel sick, it is because there is too much wind in your body, which can be expelled through the use of cups, or horns, as can be seen here:agus masuk angin

or the burning of incense to keep away bad spirits:


and the biggest mystery of all, is how these structures that are paraded around the streets every year and then ceremoniously burned before we all hide away and meditate for 24 hours can bring peace to the island


However, it is this mystery that brings people back to Bali again and again, it holds so much mystique and intrigue, and for those like me, who call this island home, it has an inexplicable draw. So much so that going back to England just is not an option.


Bali is always warm,even when it rains, the temperature rarely moves far away from 30 degrees. The midday sun can get a bit too hot for me, so my favorite times of the day are sunrise and sunset. The colors are amazing, and when reflected against the ocean there really is nothing better. 20160520_17474520160601_173508

Balinese Architecture

One of the many things I fell in love with in Bali is the amazing architecture here. Sitting on the bus driving from Java to Bali, I was struck by the attention to detail in every aspect. The roofs of simple houses all had little details on the edges, the doors are intricately carved, and the temples are works of art. Here are just a few images, although I could add so many more.


family-temple-black and whiteimg_8035joglo black and whitelayers

Full Moon in Bali

Last night it was a full moon. This is one of the most sacred days in the Balinese Hindu calendar, as the moon is believed to be extremely powerful and magical. The Balinese celebrate this day every month by holding temple ceremonies and various other rituals. My family all went to our village to offer our prayers at our family temple.

It was a very dark night, despite the full moon, and it was raining hard. It seemed everyone was on the roads, traveling to their various temples, dressed in the traditional white clothing. Parents and children piled on one motorbike, huddled together, trying to shield each other from the cold rain. It was a slow journey, which became even slower once we hit the village path. We were slipping from left to right as we tried to keep on the tiny concrete path. All I could think was thank goodness I am not driving! My husband managed to keep the car straight and we finally arrived at our destination.

We bundled in to our house, trying to keep dry under an umbrella, but meanwhile our feet were squelching in the mud under foot. The flowers and fruit offerings had already been prepared by the villagers earlier in the day, and were all laid out ready for us as we stepped through the door. The priest arrived not long after, in his flowing white robes, and turban like structure on his head. He smiled his warm smile, and swiftly got down to business, blessing the house and temple area, ringing his little bell, and muttering mantras under his breath.

As if by magic, the rain cleared, and we were able to stand out by the temple to receive our blessings from the priest. There are various rituals involved in this, none of which I completely understand, I just do as I am told. It starts with holding our hands palms up, while mantras are whispered and various sticks are passed over, we are then instructed to place our hands palm down, while more rituals are performed. A young coconut is produced and we are given three sips each. We offer up our prayers, holding various colored flowers, and finally, we are blessed with the holy water, and rice is placed on our heads, and flowers in our hair.

All through the ritual, I am saying my own silent prayers to my own idea of God. This is what I appreciate about Balinese Hinduism. There are mantras, but there is also quiet time for us to create our own connection with the higher being. No preaching, just being. This works perfectly for me.I do not claim to be an expert, I only know what I have experienced, and observed. By the end of the whole procedure, a feeling of calm had settled on us, and we stayed a while, enjoying the calm of the village, before venturing back to the craziness of the city.


A pop of color

Bali is such a colorful place, it is almost impossible to isolate just one color. I did my best, but it seems a shame to leave the other colors out!!

My favorite flower is the frangipani, and here are a few floating on the water:20160309_073623-1

Yesterday was full moon, and we had a temple ceremony in our village, here is one of the offerings that was used:


I was in Gili Trawangan a few months ago, and took pictures of the colorful umbrellas there:


finally, a shot taken at my favorite time of day…sunset