Lembongan Diary: Saturday 7 October 2023

An increasingly hot and languid week, these past few days leave you exhausted by early afternoon.

Rainy season isn’t yet upon us but each day feels as though the hot heavens may open at anytime.

Walking up to the village store earlier this week a few drops fell but Lembongan’s minature landmass can’t generate enough energy to create any rain so we will have just have to wait a while longer.

Art Joglo is increasingly turning into the Durrell’s TV series.

Something I had  secretly hoped for. Ever since watching that show every Saturday night during Sydney lockdown it has become  a dream to live as they were potrayed to on the telly.

The last two days have seen a particularly randy cockrel in the garden doing more than bothering the patient and now exhausted hens. If there were a such a  thing as a chicken Me Too moment it would have happened this week in this garden. There may be a reason for Mr Cockrel’s behaviour as I noticed in the farther flung corners of Ceningan yesterday a couple of makeshift  tent affairs and a lot of mopeds which can only mean one thing, gambling and the form gambling takes in this part of the world is setting roosters upon one another as discussed in my last diary entry.

Also on the avian front, there is now sitting on the bamboo desk on the porch under a bright red plastic clothes basket a small chick with broken wing who i’m hoping to nurse back to health. Spotted absolutely motionless on the path up to the road this morning it looked as though it was dead but a flickering of life proved otherwise. It now has some water, rice and papaya and an ikea style ready made nest from garden grasses, which i hasten to add jumped into in the same fashion i’d jump into a bed with freshly laundered sheets.It has already tried to clean itself after a very long sleep, so, luck may be on our side. We shall see as to whether there’ll be more updates, i can’t be sure but it looks as though it has a broken wing, but how broken is the question.


This island gives up its food secrets very slowly. The lady at the fish market never has any tuna, only a particulary oily type of mackrel and fish that look as though they have been dynamited off a reef. All the island’s restaurants do  have tuna  but they do tend to cook it to a cinder. Yesterday I found out that Andy Roti the local baker up the road has, unsurprisingly, a cousin who is a fisherman so now the freezer has enough tuna for half a dozen meals at about a quarter of the price of buying 1 tuna dish at a local warung or euro styled cafe.

Talking of the market, i have almost given up with it. It was never very Rick or Tony in its aesthetic appeal, the women who shop there take a certain pleasure in pushing the male bule out of the way with more than a little vigour. The stall holders can barely hold a smile and charge 30% more than the local shops. Chicken, Pork & Spring onions are now the only reason to visit and as time moves forward i’m finding myself  settling back into the vegetarian eating habits i abandoned 6 or 7 years ago. Meat once every 10 days is ok but i can soon see myself giving up on it entirely again. Not a bad thing in the scheme of things.

Bought a sythe at the Ceningan night market earlier in the week or actually as i was corrected on facebook by a former housemate, to be exact, a sickle. Sadly the blade is already falling out of the handle and has to be forcefully banged back in regularly but it allows me to keep the grass a bit shorter as the whippersnipper has been returned to its rightful owner, I also need to regularly cut back the ferns that cannot be killed and make sure the vines don’t strangle the frangipanis  This week i alsonoticed that a small branch had been severed off one of the smaller frangipanis, i’m guessing by a chicken hopped up and sat on it. I have replanted the cutting and within a day a new bud had appeared. I have never planted a frangipani before so am a little excited to see what will happen.

That about concludes todays activities. Back to the fridge to fold the hand picked mango, raisin & bali honey ice cream made using condensed milk.Tip: condensed milk ,as i have learnt, means that  your simple ice cream popped in the freezer doesn’t go all icy. It worked well with the banana ice ceam and the previous batch of plain mango ice cream. Last night i bought Chocolate almond ice cream on a stick I only mention it because according to the packaging it comes 100% approved by Lionel Messi. I wonder what he would make of the home-made mango ice cream .