Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sydney and Alzheimer's.

The kids and I are in Sydney and are juxtaposed between the joy of fresh air plus western supermarkets and the anguish of living with Alzheimer's. It is really tough to put it mildly.

I am stuck in the suburbs this week...I have not been to a mall in many weeks :(
Next week I should have a hire car and have some time out with the kids:)
And maybe some shopping time............

To end on a positive note, I got my uni grades:- two High Distinctions (the highest grade) and one Distinction (2nd highest grade). I have added a Science Communication major to my B.E.D degree, I will eventually be able to teach science and information tech/communication from year 1 through to year 10 as well as all primary teaching.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sambolo Sanitarium

We just got back from a wonderful 4 day weekend at Sambolo.
We had Christmas carols, decorations, crackers and dvds!

I really needed a chill out!

Jakarta has been driving me crazy the last few weeks, probably why I haven't written too much on the blog lately......
  • The lack of any wine under $50 a bottle,
  • alot of imported foods gone,
  • Exponential price rises across the board,
  • The blonde tax.........times the price by 1000 for the 'bule' (westener) mentality,
  • Trades people who fix a leaky toilet by painting the ceiling.
  • Doing all the washing, cleaning, ironing, cooking etc in a 3rd world country while working part time and studying full time----very different to doing it in Australia.
(yes, I have no staff........January I will be looking for some help)

I do not like to feel so negative!

I need a break so I can come back and rediscover all the joys of Indonesia!

The kids and I will be spending a few weeks in Sydney over Christmas, we all can not wait to go to a supermarket and gaze at all the available foods (we will feel at home as the local fruit shop sells imported tropical fruit including durian!)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The six seasons!

I mentioned back in November that we were starting class focus on the six seasons...yes there are six seasons, well at least if you are in my classes lol.
Here in the tropics, it is hot and wet or hot and dry. For the kids who have grown up in this part of the world, spring, autumn and winter are unknown seasons.
We have had the best fun learning and researching about seasons and making our display.
It is a big concept for the kids to grasp that December is winter in the Northern hemisphere and summer in the Southern.

Our next bit of end of year fun was 3d snow flakes. I found the instructions on Becks blog last year, but I can't find the link now:(

Here are instructions from another source)

I can not tell you how many of these cute things I have made, how many instruction sheets I have handed out, how many have been made in the playground or at kids homes.........but I would guess at thousands! We have found that using recycled paper makes a great looking snowflake; woman's magazines and newspapers work well. In Australia we will be buying some red and green paint and splashing old newspapers to make snowflakes then decorating with them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Picassa 3, from Google

Look what I made...great idea for Christmas cards.

I have loved Google's Picassa program for ages, especially their grid collages, but this new collage feature is the best.I have seen a few of these collages around Jakarta recently, all framed wonderfully and have been tempted to make my self learn PS, but Picassa has rescued me!

I can teach you how to care, manage, program and operate most Noritsu machines from the last 30 years. I am well versed in the setup and use of Noritsu's photo editing soft ware, and because of this I am totally unable to use Adobe Photo Shop (well I suppose I could if I tried.....).

This took me under a minute to create and looks wonderful printed. As you can imagine, I take a lot of photos and have physically run out of room/walls/shelves to display them all. These collages look fantastic enlarged and framed; you get the benefit from all the photos in an eye catching wow look.

The best thing about this photo editing software is that it is FREE, and from a known and reliable source. It is also very simple to use.

( I am in NO way associated with google, this is just a personal opinion)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Termite invasion

We were sitting in the dark recently, chatting away about our days when I suddenly realised how quickly we have become used to new ways of life in a different country.

We are in the plague season in our suburb. Surprisingly, in a city of 25+million people, we have about 5 vacant plots of land around us, all covered in thick jungle. I think this contributes to the abundance of critters around here. (I haven't mentioned about another snake in my Jakarta garage have I......mmmm I am trying to block this memory. What is it about snakes and my homes? These links are to the stories and photos about snakes (plural!!!!) in my Australian home)

On dusk about 2-3 times a week we get a swarm of flying ants.
The staff call them rayap, which I translate as termites.
Here are some links.

These critters are attracted to the light, so all lights go off and we sit in the dark for about 15 minutes and then it is time to clean up. The floor is usually littered with hundreds of wings.

We now let the kids get out the bug zappers and they run around zapping hundreds every minute.

Another interesting tidbit from life in the tropics.......

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Imported goods and Electricity in Jakarta.

This is an extract from a great newsletter I receive weekly, anyone can subscribe, it's free and it lets you know about upcoming events.
This is how we find out about some of the fun things to do in Jakarta.
This is the web site:

Hello again fellow Jakartan's!! We are sure that we are not the only ones in Indonesia wondering when the current alcohol-crisis will finish? Rumors have it that there are 60 containers of imported alcohol sitting at Jakarta's port. Apparently customs have imposed an excise tax of 300% per bottle – at which importers can't and will not pay. Trying to buy quality imported spirits is like a quest suitable for Indiana Jones – and when one does have the opportunity to buy some they are forced to pay 4 or 5 times the normal retail value. Wines can be found more easily but again you are paying in most cases 5+ times their normal retail price that you would pay at the origin location. We assume all this means very healthy financial times for the beer companies. In what is supposed to be a free market economy it seems some very monopolistic practices are the root cause here. Further to this, we have also heard that there is already some enforcement of restricting the import of foreign made goods if similar goods are manufactured in Indonesia. This extends to a large range of food items including cheese. (and brown sugar and heaps of other imported foods!!!!!!!!!!!, fruit has nearly doubled in price, I spend nearly $50/week on fruit alone) It is probable that this has been enforced with view to protecting local industries in the wake of the current financial crisis around the world – however such protectionist and isolationist measures could have a counter productive reaction from other countries who may consider retaliatory measures against Indonesian exports. For a country that boasts of a free & open market economy concept and that embraces Western investment and tourism, it surprising that these issues are occurring – and with very little media attention that we have seen thus far. Lets all hope that good sense prevails sooner rather than later. Otherwise a lot of people will be sadly missing having the brandy added to their Xmas puddings this year! Anyway over the next week there is plenty happening around town to enjoy – so celebrate over the next week with your friends around town this week & enjoy what this wonderful (but almost alcohol dry) city has to offer! Anyway bye for now and enjoy the rest of your week!

The cost of living is becoming enormous for us here.
I think our electricity is being stolen, goodness nows how long that will take to get sorted!!!!
We have really cut back our consumption, yet the bill keeps climbing. Last month the bill was 4.9 million Rupiah...just under AU$640.(US$410.)

This is for ONE MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is another thing that the scrooge company that GJ works for doesn't contribute to, we pay all cost of living, tax and majority of education. GJ needs to get into oil, gas , banking or mining, much better packages!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I will be finished uni exams at 11.40am on Wednesday the 19th November.

I might be able to reclaim my life then.

Here is an excerpt from a recent email that sums up my mental state.......

My uni exams start next week and I am beyond stressed, not really even human.......GJ just smiles at me and nods at what ever I say.....clever man!
Nearly 17 years of hard labour (whoops marriage) has taught him well....
It is prohibition here at the moment....all imported food confiscated because of the Chinese milk scandal (not really, it is an election in March and with the financial crisis there is a lack of funds, so every one taking every thing and you have to pay bribes to get it back........). So no decent food and the only thing to drink is cask wine..........
Our list of wants in no particular order:
roast lamb with rosemary
BBQ roast chicken
wine in a bottle
champagne with bubbles
fresh meat
GXXXXXXXX (famous local Indian shop) butter chicken
junk mail
Christmas carols
frankfurters/cheerio's/little boys
real sausages
lettuce that won't kill
shoes.......BXXXXXXXXXX will explain the importance of this one..........
honey beef and beans, yes your mums recipes, still one of my FAVOURITES!
I would like a bit of non mosque loudspeaker time too...if I can mention this with out sounding whingee.......
Speak soon

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Latin Ball, Shangri-La Jakarta

We had a wonderful night at the 30th Latin Carnaval Ball at the Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta.

I was writing an email to my friend telling her all about the ball and the thing that most sprung to mind as my favourite part of the night was that the ball room was non smoking and the rule was enforced.

It was so nice to have fresh air!!!!!!

The Spanish Speaking Womens Association did some awe inspiring dances, they were fantastic. There was a professional dancer that managed to move her hips in ways that I did not think was possible. I would love to be able to dance like that!

I met a new friend from my blog: Hi James, welcome to Jakarta!

We left relatively early, we had to catch a taxi home and I did not want to be roaming the streets of Jakarta on the night they executed the Bali Bombers.

It is going to be an interesting few weeks in Indonesia now that they have been executed, there are already reports of an angry mob at the burial sites.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

One Word Wonders meme

This meme was from my bloggy friend Kaci at Wipe the Seat.....

I have to answer one word questions.

1. Clothes: Like them, like them a lot.

2. Furniture: I would rather buy furniture than shoes!

3. Sweet: Only GOOD chocolate, never lollies. No sugar added to anything.

4. City. Jakarta now, previously Brisbane and Sydney. On my wish list: China (Beijing, Shanghai), Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, St Petersburg, Vietnam, Boston, Seattle, Canada………

5. Drink: Soda water, water, coffee, white wine. That’s it…..nothing else, oh and at least 4 litres a day.

6. Music: very eclectic… favourites: Ella Fitzgerald, George Michael, Chris Isaac, Robbie Williams, Karen Carpenter (I know very embarrassing to admit, but of her voice is wonderful). I have nearly 9000 songs on itunes, yet I listen to the same stuff over and over.

7. TV Series: Just discovered Weeds, how could I have missed this for so long. I love Torchwood, Lost, Outrageous Fortunes (
New Zealand), Little Britain. I watch all on DVD, with no commercials. I don’t actually watch live TV.

8. Film: Hardly every go to the cinema, DVD’s are available with in a week for less than a dollar.

9. Workout: what does this mean???????????????????? Work, study, kids……when?? Occasionally on my treadmill.

10. Pastries: no, almost never.

11. Coffee: I love it but only instant coffee, Moccona by choice. No cappuccinos, frappothingies lol. Just quality, freeze dried instant. I live in Java…the home of coffee…….yet I buy my coffee in
Australia and bring it here in zip loc bags.

Please consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A library tree.

My little classroom is actually an annex/sun room at the end of the library. It is lovely spot, it feels very welcoming and relaxing. Instead of student desks I have a proper table and chairs where we sit side by side in a group.
In September we noticed a a little green thing growing up through the carpet, over the next week it grew 10 cm (4"), we had a tree growing out of the floor!

It became the big tall could our library tree grow?
We wrote sentences and stories about it, we made predictions about its growth and we theorized about how it got there.
Finally our tree got too big and it was in danger of causing damage to the walls and was removed. Our tree had reached over a meter tall.

I have found a new topic to cover in my classes, I try and have a theme per term and get it to cross over to the needs and ages of all students. I work with kids in year one right through to year six.

This term I am doing phonic blends and this week we concentrated on two sounds: au, aw, or and oy, oi.

One of my examples of au was autumn. I was astonished to find that most kids could not tell me the seasons in order or even know what they were.

In the tropics it is hot and wet or hot and dry.

Next week we are doing seasons.

Our school is secular, ie no religious focus at all, and as such there is no craft or lesson focus on Christmas (or any other religions special occasions). No trees, tinsel etc not even Christmas stories/books.

But...if I am doing seasons I might be able to do a few colorful snow flakes....

Jakarta Opera, The Magic Flute

The girls and I attended the opera on Saturday night, Georgie is now a huge fan. Chelsea lasted until 10 minutes before the end......luckily she had her iPod.

We went to a magnificent theater at the British International School, the theater was opened earlier this year by Prince Andrew, we half wished the Prince Charles might come, but no he didn't.

Here is a link to another attendee, with better photos, and a interesting commentary.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween in Jakarta

Halloween is not such a big thing in Australia. The kids love that in Jakarta, the expat community organizes a few parties.
The kids were all allowed to wear their costumes to school on Friday and then we went to another International school for a Halloween disco.
We had Georgia as a grim reaper, Chelsea as a devil and Ben was a pirate during the day and black spider man at night.
I was a biker chick....I forgot to take photos of me...I had these cool sleeves that you can buy in Bali, that are like flesh covered stockings that are covered in tattoos. From a distance it looks like you really do have arms completely covered in tattoos.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Septic systems in Indonesia verses a biocycle

I took these photos about 2 months ago but have been too busy to post.

I was shocked to discover what happened to our household sewerage.

We have lived in rural locations for the last 12 years and have always had a BIOCYCLE unit.
A biocycle is a home waste water recycling unit. Ever drop of water that is used is recycled in to clear water.
You can not drink it, but is safe to use on the garden.
This is a small scale version of a modern city sewerage system.
These units are expensive to purchase but are very environmentally friendly.
They operate by mixing good bacteria and oxygen (very simple girl

The only draw back is that you have to be very careful about the product you use, eg no antibacterial cleaners, alkaline cleaning products, napisan, washing powder with enzymes etc.

You can read about my Brisbane one here (from 2006).

I was always careful to keep the unit balanced , if the bacteria levels went down I would have to add bicarb soda in, about 1-2 kilos, as well as some garden fertilizer (yes stinky blood and bones.....). To add this I would have to flush it down the toilet........nothing like fertilizing your toilet LOL! (or I could just give GJ and his mates a huge feed of meat curry...that would boost it up too!).

So I was use to the idea and operation of a septic system or so I thought....

A lot of the public toilets in Indonesia have signs and bins for used toilet paper, the systems can't cope with it, it certainly adds a lovely aroma to the already strong smelling bathrooms.Now I know why.

The owners maintenance man came and told me they needed to do some work on the septic, I just assumed it would be the old sludge removal thingy.....I just asked that it be done while I was a work and the kids at school.

I now know what a Jakartan septic system is; its a hole in the ground with a bit of bark in the bottom.
So the contents of the toilets just goes into a pit and eventually wanders off into the water table.
This is about 6 meters from where the well is sunk for our tap water .

Can you imagine what the ground water is like in a city of 20+ million people......

All other water goes into a open ditch roadside and eventually gets to the river.(here is a description).

So live at the top of a hill and don't drink the tap water, or wash your vegetables in it (and don't think about anything as you shower....)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

nearly back.....

I think I might of just finished my last essay for this semester.....
Now just exam revision, oh and all the lectures I haven't had time to listen to because of essays.

I might have time to blog...soon.

I might also have time to read the 1500+ blog posts in my Google reader...........

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oktoberfest 2008, Jakarta

We went to the 20th annual German Oktoberfest in Jakarta last night.

Boy, do the Germans know how to have a good party!

This is my good friend M and I.
I actually managed to drink that stein of beer...It took me nearly five hours but I did. I totally horrified the young men next to me by tipping ice cubes and sprite in my mug all night long. (I had to, half a glass of cask wine cost 106 000rp.... around AU$16, but beer was free flowing all night!
M had a great time and enjoyed showing us how the Germans party, on the not really, just on the benches.

M is starting to get an Aussie accent so it was great for us to have a chance of getting a German twang!

We stuck around to win the grand raffle prize of flights to Berlin......we wanted to win and visit our lovely American friend on her new posting in Germany (hi Shannon, we thought of you and Dave last night, hi to the boys!), unfortunately we did not win........

There was the most amazing om-pa-loom-pa (I have no idea if this is the right word- a traditional Bavarian band) band playing all night long.

They were fantastic!

There was German drinking songs, conga lines- although they have a different name, as well as old favorites.

We danced to Status Que, inserted swear words into the classic 'livin next door to Alice' and by the end of the night I was singing in German!

The funniest party of the night was when the MC asked everybody to reminisce about what they were doing twenty years ago in 1988 (this was the 20th anniversary of the inaugural Oktoberfest in Jakarta), I realized that twenty years ago I was actually in Germany!

GJ pointed out that most of the other people in the room probably were too, lol.
But I chose to be special as I am Australian!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Villa Kampung Seminyak, Bali

These are some of the photos we took of Villa Kampung.

We had a wonderful time in this villa, the service and amenities were exquisite.
I loved all the antiques and curios throughout the complex.
We all loved the Boshe stereo system that was wired through the whole complex that we could plug all the iPods into (mine was banned...Ella Fitzgerald and then Frank sent every ones head spinning).
I loved the library filled with books in many languages as well as the complementry clothes washing and drying.

We had seven adults and ten kids in total, and could of fitted more......

These are the photos I collected months ago from the web when we were booking.

We booked through Paradise property, they arranged our last Bali trip and were very proffessional. Prices are negotaible and there are residents discounts. |

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Georgias 10th Birthday

Georgia has made it into the double digits!
We have managed a few celebrations so far...
The first was a party at Ultimos Italian restaurant in Seminyak, Bali last Saturday night.
The next was at Hard Rock cafe in Kuta, Bali while we waited for our flight home.
Today was cup cakes at school.
The party is in the planning stage still...I will combine all the birthdays into one big party later on in the month.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What do kids remember?

I think it is the fun, games and family time that makes the best childhood memories.

My kids might not remember the fancy villa we stayed in in Bali, but they will remember 9 days of fun with their friends.
We were treated to nightly shows of gymnastics, swimming, plays, parades and fun. Ten kids all on holidays together makes for a great time.

Interesting things I have seen this week.

This drawing is on the wall at Ultimo's Italian restaurant in Seminyak. The more you look at it the more you see. It is simple yet very complex.
This is the way GJ drank his beer the other night.
GJ normally never drinks beer, a very unusual Australian male species. He added a glass of ice to make it more palatable , next he will be adding a straw and a slice of pineapple.
This truck has driven on a soft spot and the road has collapsed under it. This is common, what grabbed my attention though, is the women unloading the truck of concrete bricks. They were stacking a huge amount of weight on their heads and walking down a lane.

Friday, October 03, 2008

What are the odds?

Three friends go for a walk....
have a quick stop at a dress shop...
all come out of the change room.....
In the same print, lol.
Two out of three brought a dress but not this shade.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Jen at the beach in Bali

Bali shock

We managed to get every one back to the beach and in the water.
This was very important as the children (and adults!) were all severely traumatized from the rip, pounding gigantic surf, rescue, resuscitation, and hospitalization of some of our group on Sunday.

But all has ended well with everybody healthy and happy and home at the villa.
I still can't bear to talk about the details.

Happy news to follow....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Anza Ball, Jakarta 2008

The annual Anza ball was held last Saturday at the Ritz Carlton (20.09.08). We all had a wonderful night! It was a credit to the organizing committee.
These kids were from the New Zealand school and kicked of the show with an amazing Haka performance.

The entertainment was very diverse; Dr Harry Darsono performed and showcased his Haute Couture collection, the Batavia Dance Group were wonderful, as were the Salsa and Flamenco dancers. Opera singer, Christine Tambunan voice was breath taking, truly wonderful.

DJ Kate was wonderful, she played music that was perfect for the majority of guests...mostly over 30+ lol.

It was nice to be able to walk and dance at this ball, last year I was in a wheel chair with a broken ankle....We just made it home by 3am.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My very first uni result

I just received my first result (still waiting on 5 more) from university.

I am doing the happy dance, I got a high distinction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is going to be a very costly result......the very 1st person (ok I told my BF at the same time LOL) I told, sent back an immediate reply of:You are trying to hard.

Now after this debacle, and now this comment there is some serious crawling to do.....
Pack mule aka Jackass is still in deep trouble.

But OMGoodness, I got a high distinction!!!!!!!!!

I have started a private (you need my permission to view- I will share) blog of all my uni work, called originally:

Bachelor of Education, Primary

Monday, September 15, 2008

Frequent flyer points

Frequent flyer points...are they worth anything?

I saved up all my Ansett point for years and lost them all when they went under in 2002.

I went to use some of my Qantas points a few months ago and they had all expired.

So why book a mum traveling alone with three kids to the southern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere via the northern hemisphere???????
Especially when there is a direct flight at roughly the same price.

The answer is so she can get a few FF points.
What the...

So my schedule:

leave home to get to airport 2 hours @3.30pm

wait at airport for 2 hours

Jakarta to Singapore 1.5 hours flight (cross the equator) 7.35 pm

arrive Singapore

wait for 5+ hours until 12.30AM and fly to Sydney

let me repeat...

wait for 5+ hours until 12.30AM and fly to Sydney

and again for effect

wait for 5+ hours until 12.30AM and fly to Sydney

arrive Sydney 11.50 am

clear customs (nearly as bad as Jakarta), wait for shuttle bus and arrive home at 2pm

A total of 19 hours traveling with kids with out a pack mule/disciplinarian.

There is another option

Leave home at 5pm fly directly to Sydney and arrive at 7.20 am, and get there nearly six hours earlier.
But get no frequent flyer points.

Guess who made this not the office
No, the jackass who is not flying with his wife and his three kids.

I feel so much better now I have vented to the world LOL.

Friday, September 12, 2008

George Clooney's hair

I am going to have to practice just smiling and saying thank you.....I am over sharing this week.

The sun is shining through the pollution and putting a radiant glow on my head making my hair a halo of golden brilliance, or that is what people are saying to me.

I have shocked three different people this week by laughing out loud and telling them I am as grey as George Clooney and Herman (@ Entra a Mi Casa, JL Benda) is just a great hairdresser.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We tried out something new after brunch at the Ritz, ten pin bowling. Actually it should be Bubbles Bowling, because there had been a lot of sparkling wine action before hand.....
The joke is that now I have found my sport........Most of my friends are extremely fitness and sports minded. I could never be described in this way, ever.
I actually manged to knock over some pins!

As with lunch, the genders were segregated...

And the winners were:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Ritz Carlton, Jakarta,

Sunday Brunch.

We had a great Australian Fathers day brunch last Sunday. As usual, the Ritz Carlton was wonderful! We were seated in a new location (I know, it sounds funny to have usual seats at the Ritz !) as they made my reservation under Jamie Wayne......This doesn't even remotely sound like my name!
For some reason all the guys decided to sit at one table, while the ladies at another. It actually turned out to be a great idea. We weren't offended by the guys jokes and we could talk uninterrupted...

Kids club was fun as always- nail polish, tattoos, face painting, music etc

There is a special middle eastern theme this month in the Airlangga. My camera couldn't capture how splendid these dancers were, the lady was dancing with a lit candelabra on her head.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I survived year four

I have just completed my first teacher practical experience.
I survived an entire week with year four (8-9 years old)- they were gorgeous, but tiring.
The teachers took me out for after-school drinks, we arrived at 2.30pm and left at 9.30pm.
What a grand way to finish a work week.....
I have even managed to finish my 5000 word epic assignment on the prac experience.

I am now studying two very interesting laws (sic)- Boyle's law {P=a/V} and Charles law {V=bT}....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Janny got lost....

I had a huge stress attack last week when TanTan (sister) rang and emailed me to let me know that Janny (my mum with Alzheimer) was missing.

It is all ok...but we both had an hour or two of sheer panic.

Janny left a message at Tan's office that she had had her handbag stolen........We did not know where she was, if she had money, a phone, or ?????????.
We figured out that she had got somewhere safe as she had found Tans work phone number (she can not remember phone numbers).

Janny moved into the retirement village last weekend, and the phone has still not been connected.

It turned out that she had dropped in at the her old home and left her handbag on the lounge and then just she had her keys and went home to the village and asked them to call Tan.

We had the village staff looking for her, Tan in a mad panic to get home from the city and me.....sitting in Jakarta unable to do anything.

Tan found the handbag and has returned it. We have also taken some of the credit cards out of her purse...we are uncovering huge amounts of credit card debt.........Nothing we can't handle, but just another sign that the Alzheimer is getting progressively worse.

Since this happened, a few other mini crisis's have occurred.

I am so thankful for communication technology....
Tan and I can use our mobile phones to talk (landlines don't seem to work at my house.....)
I can also emphasize with Tan for hours on Skype FOR FREE!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dapur Babah, Jakarta

We had a work dinner here on Friday night.
The decor was fabulous. I found the food only average, BUT, only because it was not to my tastes.
I would have liked to stay out later but due to being up before 4am to put the finishing touches on a 30 page (7200+word) teaching assignment I was a bit tired.........

Monday, September 01, 2008

Wii fit

The kids hardly got a turn...........I want the fit board........

I never play games, never!
But I do want to do all the wii fit stuff.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A great night at Anza

We had a busy day yesterday, visitors, studying, lots of kids. Late in the afternoon my friend convinced us to come out for a BBQ at ANZA.

You know sometimes how all you want to do is have a quiet night with a wine and be in bed by 8pm........It was one of those days; especially as I had finally completed a big science last!

It is just as well my friend won't take no for an answer!

It was a great night and we met lots of interesting, fun new people.

We couldn't get a sitter so we took the kids and luckily other people had brought theirs as well so there was lots of kids having fun.

It is the end of the summer holidays here in Jakarta and most of the new batch of expats have arrived. We got a chance to meet a few new families; it felt strange being an "old timer" in Jakarta after 18 months. LOL

After a few wines and lots of chit chat I hear a OMG your JenJen!!!!!!!! I was recognized from this blog.

I felt very special lol!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

iPod Nano

I have mentioned before that we are not quick to embrace new technology....

I have about 7 hours of lectures a week to listen to as well as many hours of research at my desk.

My bottom is protesting......and spreading........ So GJ surprised me with an iPod.

Georgia is pea green with envy.

There is just one problem...oh my goodness there is no instructions...well there is, you have to go on line to get them and go from page to page following links. With the annoying little question all the time of "did this help/answer your question" LOL

Once I work out how to load it, I might be able to work out how to listen to it. Then I might be able to get off my arse!

MMMMM I wonder if GJ can build a desk on my treadmill???????

Friday, August 22, 2008

I have a new addiction...(one that I find time for and not feel guilty about LOL)

Monday Nights on the Australian Network channel I HAVE to watch Outrageous Fortunes.

I think I saw one episode in Australia before we left (I don't think it presently being shown on Australian networks).

This is show about a New Zealand working-class crime family where some family members are trying to go straight and some are still very criminal.

The family members are so trashy and I love them!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Failing to correctly mother a boy child

I have forgotten a vital piece of information in regards to Ben's education.

I forgot to lay down the law of putting the seat down when he is finished.

I hope it is not too late to retrain him in correct bathroom etiquette!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I feel bad about not updating my blog...but in my mind how can I blog when I have essays and assignments due? Blog guilt......

I can't relax and enjoy a massage any more...not when TanTan is stuck in Sydney doing all the caring for my mum. Sister guilt......

(don't worry, I can still have a creme bath and blow-dry...I just take all my books LOL)

Lets not even start on the whole mother guilt thing...whether you work or don't work you still feel guilt!

Shopping..see #1 who has time???????

I hope I can balance it all out asap!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Indonesian Independence Day, 17th August 2008

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian mayor has ordered security officers in parts of the capital to go door-to-door on Independence Day to make sure people are flying the national flag.

Budiman Simarmata, acting mayor of South Jakarta, on Thursday cited a 1958 government regulation that it is the administration's right to urge residents to raise the flag, although there are no penalties for failing to do so.

"Residents should hoist the red and white flag three days before and three days after the Independence Day," he said in a phone interview.

Indonesia celebrates its break from the Dutch on Aug. 17, 1945, for several weeks each year, decking the streets in the national colors and holding concerts, fairs and parades.

Around 300 officers will be sent out in Simarmata's municipality of roughly 1.8 million people to persuade residents to show their patriotism, he said.

"We have to give the highest appreciation for our independence fought so hardly by our heroes," he said in a telephone interview. "I urge residents to report to the officers if there is anybody who did not raise the flag."

We won't be getting a knock on our door lol.

We love decorating for Independence day.

The streets are looking so vibrant this week. All the roads and buildings are covered in flags as well as all the colourful banners for the upcoming election. The city is alive with colour.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A crazy thing

I have done a very crazy regards to my workload.
We have signed up for Bahasa Indonesian lessons twice a week, a total of three hours per week.
This in in addition to working and studying full brain is fizzing!

I have a huge vocabulary of Indonesian words but do not know all the joining words
EG want, it, is, in, all, now, the, all etc.
I can ask simple questions etc and make myself understood, but is not speaking properly, just stringing words together.
I want to be fluent.

Friday, August 15, 2008

School Sports Day

We had our school sports day this week to coincide with the Olympics.
The kids all had a fantastic time and I was on official photographer detail for the day.
I would love to show all the photos but can't due to privacy issues.
The heat was horrendous, I didn't realise how much I need some time in AC each day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The kids didn't seem to notice at all, but I was drained by the end of the day and feel like I have a hang over today...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oobleck, a Non-Newtonian fluid

This is one of the experiments I have been learning about in my science unit.
Oobleck, named from a Dr Suess book.
A non-Newtonian fluid is a fascinating substance that, depending on the force applied, will act like a solid or a liquid.
You can roll it in your hands and create a solid ball, but as soon as you stop moving it will turn back to a liquid and ooze through your fingers.

You make this by adding 1 part of water to two parts of cornflour with some food dye.

This makes a huge amount of mess, but it is a lot of fun.

This last few weeks of starting an university degree has been a huge shock to my system. The amount of work and reading is HUGE. I don't know what I thought it would be like but I know i didn't think it would consume so much of my time.

Full time uni+ part time work+ no nanny= not enough hours in the day.

All the lecturers have assured me that if you make it through the first five weeks you will make it through the four years!
I hope so!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chocolate martinis

I tried something new the other weekend, a chocolate martini.

It tasted just like cough syrup with some sprinkles on it.

I won't be having another.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More of the wonderful Sambolo beach

We have had another wonderful few days on the west coast of Java at Sambolo beach resort. Sambolo is about 11km north of Carita beach.

This is the kids swimming around the corals and rocks at the beach. The water was lovely and clear, unfortunately with all the fires burning in Asia at the moment you could not see the horizon let alone the magnificent Anak Krakatoa volcano.
This rock formation was exposed at low tide and GJ found a little hole that formed a blow hole. The kids thought that it was AMAZING!!!!!
When the wave went out it was about knee deep down to the sandy sea bed.
When the wave came in, WHOOSKA!

I have mentioned that we have a strong family sun protection policy ( remember the stupid man and his rickets comment LOL) and everybody has to be out of the sun between 11am and 2.30pm. We keep thinking up new craft activities to keep 6 kids amused. This time we added play dough and jelly making to our usual painting, drawing, clay and dvd's. It was a big success and was devoured in 90 seconds flat.

We did our usual trip to the local fish market and this time took the all kids. All were entertained except poor Georgia who was very underwhelmed by the sights and smells.
Once everyone got over the shock of a car driven by two blondes with 6 blonde kids in the back they were all keen to advise us on the best fish and seafood for our BBQ. It was all divine......Red snapper, prawns, octopus, baby lobsters.
The only downside was I was unable to wind down the window to tip the road boy, while changing gears and listening to dancing frog at a million decibels (not by choice, mind you!) and glide out smoothly before being hit by a speeding truck....yes I did car bunny hops to dancing frogs in a black kijang...and missed all trucks and pedestrians.

I love these it is summer holidays (local schools as well as expats) the beach was deserted. We had our usual bungalow and were gob smacked when a bus arrived and set up outside the only inhabited section of the bay...right outside our bungalow. All was fine until until the motor boat arrived to cash in on all the new potential clients. This is a motor-sports free beach and my feisty friend was quick to remind them of this. Once the boat was gone the kids were able to safely get back into the water and make new friends.

More stories to follow....if I get the internet back on......