Monthly Archives: April 2012

A special visit …


My sister came to visit me! For the first time since I have gone overseas to teach, someone from my family came to visit and I can’t describe how exciting it was. It is just so different speaking to them on skype and showing them pictures or videos to actually being able to show them around in person. Carla, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming all the way out here, on a tremendously long journey just to come see me and I am so glad you enjoyed yourself.

Carla arrived on the Sunday before we finished school so I felt so grateful she was able to come in and see my beautiful school and meet my class and see me working in my job. I think she might have had this rosy tinted view of me coming here and hearing of all my holidays around Asia to what sounds like amazingly exotic places, that my work was perhaps a pretty light load. I think she got a real reality check into how busy my day is and how much there is to do as a Kindergarten teacher. She said it was hard for her to keep up her enthusiasm and energy as well as a smile all day! I love my job but it is seriously hard work. I wouldn’t change it for the world but I work really hard and I am glad Carla saw me in my work environment doing what I love to do!

Then once school had finished, we travelled to the Gili Islands. Carla is a little (understatement of the year) of spiders/ ants/ cockroaches and actually anything that moved. She did try to deal with her phobias well but I guess she had to since Indonesia is TEAMING with insects. We arrived in a monsoon rain and got soaked looking for some accommodation.

I guess the first place wasn’t such a good choice because Carla found seemingly a zoo of creatures. We moved the next day and Carla like the new accommodation much better.

The Gili Islands are so beautiful and relaxing and it was a great few days there. Carla even tried a try dive and I was so happy she did because I love diving and wanted her to experience it. She was so excited to see turtles which are so numerous in the waters surrounding the Gili Islands, you can and we both actually did see them snorkelling not that far from the shore.

We enjoyed good food, some great books and some serious chill time .. I heart the Gili Islands!

Carla tried to pretend she wasn’t burnt … but once I took this photo, even she had to admit it. LOL. That’s what happens when you paste yourself with coconut oil in the Gilis. I told her this is serious sun, but did she listen? No!

Still at least she is smiling 😀 We ate lots of wonderful food, and we had a lovely meal on one of our last evenings. I had this goats cheese salad which was so YUMMY!!!

After the Gili Islands, it was off to Singapore which Carla liked very much because there were no insects! LOL. We had a great time and were fortunate enough to be able to meet up with my good friend Kerry and take the (very expensive for what its worth) Jewel Cable Car ride. Pretty enough I guess. We also wandered around Sentosa and had lunch at the beach with them. Carla was braver than I and held a snake for a photo opportunity and claimed ‘Snakes don’t bother me at all, just ants, spiders, cockroaches etc’. Hmmm, I’ll call on you next time I see a snake in my house! Carla to the rescue! We stayed near Clarke Quay when we were in Singapore and our hotel was lovely.

Considering this post has been in my saved drafts for about a month, I’ll just add photos here because otherwise it might never get published … Oops. Carla, thank you so much for coming to see me and I hope you had a lovely time! Much love x

Enjoying a very expensive and TINY cocktail!


Cello love!


Wow it’s been way too long since I updated this blog and consequently I have tons of posts I want to make. Having considered how much I want to write about, I thought I’d start first with an update about my cello.

So I ended up buying a cello in Singapore which I was so super excited to get home and play. Unfortunately the cello got broken by Air Asia on its journey back to Jakarta. How gutting. It was broken at the neck and what seemed initially not to be not such a bad break, turned out to be worse than my initial thoughts. I was so angry with Air Asia but at the end of the day, I really should have had insurance. I was angry mostly because I didn’t know how I was going to get it fixed and how long it would take and how desperately excited I had been to get home and start playing! I lost most of that anger once Asep, my new cello teacher had taken it to a luthier he knew and had it fixed at a very reasonable price in just one week! Amazing. I was so worried it was going to be super expensive to fix but he got it repaired for a very reasonable 1.75 Million Rupiah, just shy of $200. Not bad at all.

I include here a picture of the damage done during flight just to show you what happened. It was a  deep crack around the whole width of the neck of the cello.

Nevermind it is fixed now and although I can still see where it was repaired, it is not so noticeable and I have fallen totally in love. What a beautiful instrument. I feel so blessed to have been so inspired to start learning this instrument. I practice every day and love to pick it up. I’ve mastered tuning it myself which was a little scary at first, especially with the thought of a string snapping right in my face. Unfortunately the A string peg is rather loose so this is most likely to be out of tune every day. It does give me good practice in tuning my cello as well as my ear though. I’m able to play a classical piece (well play the notes, not sure its so musical yet) that my teacher helped me learn on my first lesson and also ‘Yellow Submarine’. I’ve got a few naughty habits from having played the violin for so long that I need to retrain myself with such as my blatent Violin bow hold. Still these are things I am looking forward to working on.

I thoroughly recommend taking up a new instrument to any adult out there who has ever wanted to play something. It’s great for the mind and the feeling of success is beyond belief. It challenges me every day and I truly look forward to getting home so I can practice. I feel like I’ve joined a whole new community, especially online having found some great websites and forums about Cello. I really recommend as a great forum for a new student to the cello.

I also include a video here of the piece I have been practicing since my first lesson. Second lesson this Saturday coming. How exciting. Enjoy!