110. To be a DOGGESS.

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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.

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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.

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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.

105. Just doing a whole lot of flakey zoning out

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I dated a guy for four minutes a while ago and he used to describe yoga as ‘zoning out’. ‘How did you enjoy your zoning out?’ he would say.

Did he think I was off down grading a cell phone plan?

While it’s true the mind is somewhat set free during yoga, should I for a moment ‘zone out’ I would find myself toppling fast towards an inelegant collision with the man or woman to my left. Or my right. The toppling would be random.

While yoga is mainstreaming faster than electric cars, there is still much swirl around What Actually Goes On in those classes.

Another conversation – as recently as last week – revealed a thoroughly modern man’s active decision to ‘stay away from that flakey stuff’.

flakey

adj.,to be unreliable, and/or absent-minded, flightyfickle. Generally unresponsible.

Bob said he’d bring beer and instead he invited his friends who brought no beer.And he used to be into punk and now he likes disco. Dude is totally flakey.

Truth is, I can be absentminded. I can turn up for a flight 24 hours late. I can turn up to a restaurant 24 hours early. I have no idea what’s in my diary on any given day till I look at it in the morning. If you ask me what my car registration number is, I have to go look at the car. Again.

But, when I want to, I can also have a focus so laser pointed, it could scare small animals.

Ramping up the yoga, as I have over the last year, is firming muscles in my mind and my butt in equal parts.

So the laser focus is occurring more often, and the ‘Brinsdon moments’ (as my sons like to call my randomness) are becoming more infrequent.

This can only be a good thing.

104. I can ooom with that.

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I’m off somewhere in the world, to get better at yoga, to get better at me.

The flight airlifted me out of my life at midnight, and I’m still in the sky. Whoever said time flies wasn’t in a long haul plane at the time.

I said no to a cocktail on takeoff, and made one of my own instead – one lorazepam, two melatonin. If I did that every night after work I’d lead an extraordinarily relaxed life, but it possibly wouldn’t have much in it.

My first thought when I came out of my coma was one of great clarity. I didn’t pack any yoga clothes.

You would think this would have been a high priority for me, heading off as I was on a yoga holiday. You’ll be pleased to hear I did pack my own mat, and some underwear and a few assorted other things that are probably completely wrong for where I’m going.

I’m going to have to be chipper about this, and let the locals bum fuck me with Lululemon pride. Or they might talk me into something made from hemp, some wildly patterned tights for my wildly abundant thighs.

On the bright side, I do have a new season Prada dress sitting obediently at my feet. It’s fresh off the runway in Europe, fresh out of Queen Street Prada, fresh out of the Collection Point confessional at the airport, fresh out of my credit card and not yet out of it’s tissue.

The combination of these two events means I won’t have much rupiah to splash about for the next two weeks but as it’s inner wealth I’m seeking, I can ooom with that.