115. Thinking about the handbag.

It’s downstairs right now. The handbag.

By downstairs, I mean in Yves St Laurent. I’m in the Kris Lounge a floor above it, killing five hours at Changi Airport.

Should I get it?

I work hard. God I work hard. But I have big mortgages to show for all that hard work. So big. And I need to pay them off so I don’t have to work so hard.

Of course I have just come off two weeks working hard to simplify my mind, which should have an immediate and direct correlation to my life – a life which doesn’t need another handbag in it.

Right Jill?

I read a fascinating piece of non-news recently centred around a piece of research that identified the top ten items that give women a ‘buzz’ when purchasing.


Some basket case paid 12,000 pounds for this.

Handbags, of course, were the winner on the day. Because handbags are basically the crack cocaine of the fashion world. You buy your first good one and you’re addicted forever.

Second on the list was shoes.

For fucks sake, they didn’t need to pay a researcher to tell us Daily Mail readers this.

The one thing that I thought was vaguely interesting is that underwear is down the list at number eight… but it was the winner of the most spontaneous purchase award if there is such an award to be given. I thought that was just me, but it turns out I’m as common as synthetic lace.

I’m giving myself an award right now. I’ve been in the Singapore Airlines lounge for two hours already and I haven’t been up to the bar. See how I’m simplifying my life already?

Or maybe I’m just making room for the bag.



114. Regret and other useless emotions.



Posing. Not meditating. As usual.


It seems to me that regret is the sugar of emotions. You know it’s bad for you, but you just keep going back for more.

I always feel jealous of people who emphatically say they have none. Whether that means they’ve learned, recalibrated and moved on or they’re just really good at discarding what doesn’t help them travel light, who knows. Or maybe they’re just assholes, that could be it too.

I’ve reached the age now where there is more behind me than ahead. So there’s plenty of material to pick over. And yes, I know looking back gives you nothing much more than a crick in the neck but I am a thinker and thinking ahead can prove even more exhausting at times.

Staying in the present is the true task for me – a daily endeavor.

I’ve just come back from a sixty-minute meditation class. This is a lot less impressive than it sounds. Beautiful Italian Angela runs two early classes a week from Desa Seni’s yoga platform. She breaks the class into bite sized pieces, kind of a confectionary counter of meditation tips and tricks. There goes that sugar analogy again.

Every minute of it challenges me, I’m not going to lie. But my mind is always clearer after the event than before.

On resurfacing into my actual life on Sunday, I vow – once again – to fit meditation of some description into my daily routine. I have an app installed already, but the routine I have practiced to date is to discard its daily notifications.

A Buddhist teacher gave me a powerful visualisation a few years ago.  Celebrate the tiny change. Visualise it as a drop. Now put a cup under it, to catch the drop. Pretty soon you will have half a cup of change.

How sweet is that.

112. Stumbling towards enlightenment.


O is for oblivion?

Desa Seni has been taken over by white people, like 40 of them.

I’m not being casually racist. Each of them is literally and compulsorily dressed head to toe in white.

There’s a 30-day Kundalini Yoga training programme on at Desa Seni. Called by practitioners ‘the yoga of awareness’, it aims ‘to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others’.

To achieve this they’re all up and wafting by 430 every morning. I have no doubt, there will be plenty of remarkable new awarenesses happening in the pavilion this month. And don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for them all.

But so far this is what I’m aware of: put 40 people in a small space together and within 12 hours they lose all awareness that there are people here who are not on the same ride.

I was in early yoga yesterday (put me in a white robe why don’t you) and I could hear primal screaming in the distance. Righto, I though, bit of an over reaction to a stubbed toe.

When I came back to my small poolside community, however, the stories were of the white-robed zealots high on new awareness, oblivious to anyone else. Apparently, there was chanting, howling, screaming, hugging, gong bashing and a full-scale pool side takeover of multi coloured emotion. At 8 am – exactly the time you’re looking for scrambled eggs.

My friends were outraged. I was a bit sorry I missed it.

Although that said, I was not keen on scrambled emotions being on the breakfast menu all week, so I meditated on the problem for 35 seconds and took a little quiet action.

I suggested to the manager the awareness people could possibly be made aware there were others here not on their journey who were being made very aware they were now outnumbered. And perhaps they could practice the compassion and consciousness needed to allow us the continue to have the holiday we came here for. And they could practice it every day.

I skipped out of early yoga this morning for an early walk around the streets pre-scooter takeover, so I missed their breakfast break. Let’s hope a little ‘noble silence’ was on the menu. Or is that mixing movements? Fuck me, this enlightenment business is complicated.

110. To be a DOGGESS.


This morning I went for an early walk on the beach. It has to be early for a redhead or I’d come back crispy fried.

The Bali dogs are a signature of any outing around here, but the beach dogs are something special.

To watch a dog decide to hit the waves, cavort and swoon and thrill then run back onto the sand with a massive toothy grin is to witness the meaning of happy.

Release. Own. Be thankful.

But on this particular beach, on this particular morning, I found out why so many of them are so stoked to be alive – and healthy.

I met a beautiful lean blond Canadian girl standing around with a wee puppy on a rope leash. The puppy was shivering and shaking and lying prone on the sand, while she stood serenely.

Turns out she has a whole Bali movement to take care of the dogs; she is literally a DOGGESS.

She was working with the wee girl to get her used to a lead, to grow trust. The aim is adoption, especially for the puppies that don’t look like they’ll survive on their own wits, so an understanding of social manners is important.

While we were talking, some foreigners walked by with a poodle, a Labrador and a shaved chowchow. The street dogs went ape shit.

“They don’t understand the domestic pet,” my DOGGESS friend said calmly, as the dogs established the pecking order.

With that many homeless dogs in Bali, I have a hard time reconciling to the need for a shaved chowchow myself.

108. Flight or fright? We get to choose.


I have been beautifully befriended by another solo traveler and yesterday I tagged along on her sightseeing trip.

This was pretty much an ideal outcome for the lazy tourist I am.

All the research was done, the itinerary planned, guide booked. All I had to do was turn up with my legendary wide mouthed frog smile at the correct time.

It was a great day out.

We were a study of complimentary opposites, my travel companion and me.

While she patiently waited for the view to clear of tourists to capture whatever monument we were visiting, I was snapping the faded glory of the adjacent playpark.

While she was framing out the tribe of selfie stick wielding tourists, I was taking photos of them.

While she was keeping a respectful distance to the posed group shots, I somehow got invited to join them.

In the car, she was bristling with snacks for the ride, I was bristling with tunes for my portable speaker – the BaliBali soundtrack I’m adding to each day.

This kind of random day is what I love about being somewhere new where no one knows my name, my history, my anything.

You can learn about yourself as you learn about someone’s life in Vancouver Island as you learn about the place you’ve both decided to be at this exact time of your lives. You can be bold with your admissions, honest about your regrets and ambitions in equal parts.

I look back at the random connections I’ve made while traveling over the last few years and, without exception, they are memories that make me happy. The truth is if you think someone is a gift to you – whatever it is they bring to the table that particular day – then they’re a gift. Simple.

Flight or fright? We get to choose.

107. Unsubscribe.


Along with the negative self-talk that sometimes plagues me, one of the things I’m spring cleaning on this wee vacation is my inbox.

I’m not getting into an inbox competition here, but that thing is full enough without random brands I once pashed / flirted with / okay maybe even slept with adding to it.

I’m not doing an exact count, I’m not a very exact person, but I’m kissing goodbye to easily a dozen a day.

 Here’s a new dress that looks exactly like all the rest of our dresses!

 Spend what you don’t have and save your self-esteem for as long as the hit lasts this weekend!

 Baked Easter Lamb will make you want to go vegan as your body tries to digest it over the next five days!

 15% off the reset mini juice cleanse fatty!

 Linkedin in Marketing solutions you have absolutely no need for!

 Are you ready to unleash the power of Data?

 Yes, actually I am. I’m also ready to unleash the power of the Privacy Act.

It’s been great, but I’m not looking for a relationship* right now.

*apart from with you net-a-porter

106. Gandhi and me.

IMG_3474.JPGI do travel a lot, there’s no denying it. So why am I still so shit at packing?

I turned up on this yoga holiday with no clothing that was remotely suitable for actually doing yoga.

I did bring a lot of pretty dresses though, that I won’t wear. Did I forget how hot hot can be? Yes. Again.

The only top that comes close is this one I have pictured, which I bought at Target in California for five dollars a couple of years ago. It’s a  conversation starter if nothing else.

So guess what I’m wearing twice a day on the yoga deck? Blending in is clearly not my priority.

Pants? I had to buy them dammit. I went to the shop, only one shop it’s fair to say. I’m not here to shop. I thought it would be bristling with yoga gear, and I guess it was if you think Gandhi’s last twenty items of clothing he was seen in were yoga gear.

The only, I repeat, the only pants that fitted me were a gray drop crotch number that stops at the knees. They’ll be really quite ideal when I’m 90 because no one will be able to tell I’m in adult nappies under all that swaddling.

Ironically they are perfect to practice yoga in, all soft and billowy and cooling in the heat.

So if you come by and you’re looking for me, just keep your eyes out for the basic witch swaddled in Gandhi pants.