Monday, June 29, 2009

I got my uni results!

I scored all Distinctions!!!!!
I was very close to High Distinction grades (1% and 4% off ) on both subjects but a pass is a pass and I am very happy.
I got 85% on a maths exam that I didn't even have time to finish, if only the exam was an extra hour longer :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dr Fish, a fish pedicure.

We tried something new this week.....a fish pedicure.

I'll be the first to admit that it sounds creepy, (and for the first 2 minutes it felt spine-tingly creepy) but this was surprisingly fun and effective.

Chelsea had actually heard about it and then seen it in Singapore and wanted to try it. There is not much I won't try (except dancing on night club bars and bungee jumping) so off we went to D'brascos, a local factory outlet in Jakarta.

Chelsea and I went in while Georgia watched and squirmed in horror. Ben sat on the edge and after nearly falling in for the 4th time took his shoes off and came in too.

Georgia desperately wanted to try it yet was freaked out by it, but after some coaxing she gingerly stepped in and then didn't want to get out lol.

The tank is right at the front of the shop, by the entrance/exit, so of course we were the highlight of the day for many strangers. We are all used to being stared at 24/7, but this was a new high (it is Indonesian school holidays at the moment as well).

The fish create a tingly feeling, much like holding your leg/foot over a spa jet. The fish, Garra rufa have no teeth and live on dead and diseased skin. They can not bite nor tear skin and just suck off the old stuff. Once you get your head around the fact of live animals feeding on you it becomes quiet relaxing.

Here are some links:

This cost 35 000RP each for 15 minutes (cute 5yr old boys are free), this is about US$3.50 or AU$4.20. Chelsea decided to see if the fish would tidy up her scabby knee (this did and still does gross me out lol), they did!

We thought this was a nice way to get soft feet and will definitely being going back.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kids view of international travel.

My kids are having a very different childhood than mine. I don't think I went on a plane ride or even left the state of NSW before I was 15.
My kids think international travel is what everyone does and that the only way to travel is with their friends. We stayed at Le Grove Apartments.

It's a tough life for a kid at the Singapore science centre, Sentosa Island, Underwater world and the Night Safari

Saturday, June 20, 2009

About a year ago we discovered that one of our American friends was (and still is lol) a fully trained and degree qualified health educator and as a result, a group of us decided to organise a class for our girls.

The class was, Puberty from your Toes to your Nose! and is designed for tweens (roughly 8-12 years old) girls.

In Australia, when my friends and I grew up, puberty was a taboo topic. You worked it out yourself and it was never discussed, at home or at school. In light of this, we wanted it to be different for our girls, plus having professional help and a group setting made it a hilariously fun time for the girls.

The classes started with the moms and daughters together and then we separated and all worked through different activities. We could hear the girl’s screams of laughter through the closed doors when the green food dye in bowls of water, eyedroppers, tampons and pads came out. The classes worked through all the physical and emotional changes that occur though out puberty and how to cope with them. The subjects were all handled in a frank and professional manner and were completely age appropriate.

The class finished with the girls making beautiful cards for the moms and the mums presenting the girls with bouquets. The girls all received a goody bag each and a copy of this book: My Body, My Self by Lynda and Area Madaras.

The classes were a huge success; we have decided to do follow up courses on female reproductive health and the big S education later on in the year. Our friend has many years of experience and can run small group courses (min 5 max 15 girls per group) or tailor it for schools. If you or friends are interested, please feel free to email me for contact details.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Heather Jansch, Sculptor

I found a link and followed it from ::Lime in the Coconut::: and found the magnificent work of Heather Jansch.
These wonderful sculptures are made from driftwood.
Click on the picture to see how the sculptures capture the essence of the horses and then click through to read about Heather and how she found her definitive style.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iceberg cake

Chelsea's class has just completed a term topic study on Antarctica. The kids were paired up and had to research four topic questions and then present the results to the class in a fun and informative way. Chelsea and her BFF made an iceberg cake to tie in with the theme of what early explorers ate in the Antarctic.
One child in the class has an egg allergy, so they created an egg and dairy free cake and transformed it into an iceberg floating in a sea of blue jelly with cute little penguins frolicking.
They had heaps of fun, and although we definitely won't be winning a cake decorating contest, it was a huge hit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Changes in international travel costs from Indonesia

At the start of the 2009, a few changes were made to costs associated with international travel for Indonesian citizens and residents.
Prior to January 2009, every adult resident or citizen had to pay 1 million Rupiah (about $140 AU) Fiscal tax every time they left the country, as well as 50 000RP ($7) departure tax. For a family of 5, it was just too expensive to leave often.

The new regulations waives this charge if you are a tax payer.

As we are tax payers in Indonesia we don't have to pay!

The departure tax has now risen though to 150 000RP per person, so we still have to pay this 5 times if we all leave (just over $100 AU).

Tiger air, a budget Singaporean airline, have started to fly routes out of Jakarta, which is great news as they have made trips to Singapore within our budget. Twice this year we have picked up $US6 flights.

(small print...once you add all seat and luggage charges plus tax's it does work out to be quite a bit more than $6, but nothing like the $1000+ it would be on Singapore air or Garuda Air)

The global banking crisis has had an extreme effect on the price of accommodation in Singapore, the cost of a room has dropped back to the affordable levels of 2006 and early 2007. Just about all hotels will not let you have a family of 5 in one room, you need 2 rooms, which is why we always try and get an apartment. Apartments have the advantage of kitchens and laundries which are very budget friendly. We recommend Le Grove apartments .

These 3 factors (fiscal, tiger air and accommodation costs) all mean we can do some more exploring in SE Asia. I have never been to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia, I'm hoping that will change as soon as possible!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

British Womens Association Fashion Show, Jakarta 2009

This was the first time we attended the annual BWA fashion ball, it won't be the last!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

I love books, always have.
I can't live without a stack of them surrounding me.
I so am pleased that the kids have inherited the love of reading from me.

Just before we left Australia a new book shop opened close to us, they constantly had a table filled with bargains. I picked up the first three books in Stephen Kings, The Dark tower Series for about $4 each and never got around to reading them.

I can not believe I waited nearly 3 years to read them.......

It took me many bookshops (across 3 countries lol) to find books 4-7 and oh, it was worth it!!!!

Stephen King wrote the books between 1970 and 2004......Thank goodness I started to read them once the series was completed...can you imagine having to wait 34 years to get to the conclusion!

I haven't read Stephen Kings books for years, I am not usually a fan of the horror genre, but I really enjoyed this series (I would not classify this as horror at all). Many characters, including himself, have been woven through out this story. I am curious now to go and read some other books to find more of these links. I have read on the web that TV/movie rights have been picked up:

IGN Movies has reported that a film adaptation is in the works; whether it is for a movie or a television series is unknown. J. J. Abrams, who has been behind shows such as Lost and Alias, is supposedly attached to produce and direct.[5] Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, also affiliated with Lost and J. J. Abrams, have optioned the Dark Tower series from King for a reported nineteen dollars, a number that mysteriously recurs throughout the Dark Tower series of novels.[6] According to issue #923 of Entertainment Weekly, King "is an ardent supporter of the desert-island show and trusts Abrams to translate his vision" into a film franchise with Lindelof being "the leading candidate to write the screenplay for the first installment."[7]

In April 2009, both Abrams and Lindelof revealed that they would most likely begin adapting the series when Lost concludes in 2010.[11]

In May 2009, rumours emerged that Christian Bale was the top contender to play Roland.[12]

The creator of Lost doing The Dark Towers....I'll be watching it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bar Bar Black Sheep, Singapore

The wonderful above photos are from Ms C. at the

GJ had to do a some work on our last trip to Singapore; whilst he was in the Singapore office he was told repeatedly that we all had to try out this outdoors bar and bistro.

It was great advice!

The bar is at 879 Bukit Timah Rd, about an 8 minute taxi ride from the Orchard road district.

There was a great selection of beers at very reasonable prices, but no wine. Don't worry though, a half glass of sprite/7up and some ice cubes can make beer palatable even for me!

(don't try this at a German Oktoberfest......eyes will bulge, especially when you stick a straw in!)

There are three bistros you can order food from, Hamburgers/western style, Thai and Indian. Between us we all had something from each and all were delicious! We went mid week and got the 2 last tables; it is very popular.

We had all the kids at one table while we grabbed another one, very civilised!

Here is a link with some great photos.

We didn't have time to go back for a second visit, but next time we are in town we will be there!

Friday, June 05, 2009

University exams are finished!

My exams are over for this semester, wow, what a relief.
I'll find out at the end of the month whether or not I will maintain my High Distinction (the highest- I am very studious lol) grade point average.
It is now time for a few weeks of fun, relaxing and socialising as well as blogging!!!!!