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Dewa Putra: 50 Faces 50 Lives

17 February 2020 | 50 Faces 50 Lives

I’m in Bali and I’ve found the person who will be my driver for my 2 week stay. The first trip is to a local shopping mall. As he skillfully navigates the insane traffic with an air of quiet and calm he is warm and friendly without being too familiar. (Case in point he doesn’t say..”Where is your husband?”- an all too frequent question in this communally focused culture. Westerners get offended, yet it seems  a very normal question here in Bali. I always want to say..he’s a Russian spy and I can’t talk about it…!) But I don’t.

I have very clearly defined selection criteria for the driver I will entrust with my life in this traffic maelstrom.

No 1: Don’t kill me. There are motorbikes, cars, building materials carried on bicycles and chickens in bamboo containers riding side-saddle. Shirtless, tattooed westerners weave among the throng; helmet optional. “Beep and Go” is the only road rule in Bali. Dewa gets me to the Discovery Mall in Kuta in the comfortable, shiny black SUV. I feel like a princess. He laughs.

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50 Faces 50 Lives

Dewa Putra: 50 Faces 50 Lives

I’m in Bali and I’ve found the person who will be my driver for my 2 week stay. The first trip is to a local shopping mall. As he skillfully navigates the insane traffic with an air of quiet and calm he is warm and friendly without being too familiar….

17 February 2020 | 50 Faces 50 Lives

Geraldine Ryan: 50 Faces 50 Lives

As many Viva 70 readers will know my mind has been rattling around the idea of how to do something useful in the area of climate activism when the last time I was politically active was in 1970’s around the Vietnam War! So apart from becoming a more diligent recycler,…

20 January 2020 | 50 Faces 50 Lives

Terry Williams: 50 Faces 50 Lives

I’m winding along country roads to find the home of Terry and Jill Williams. Cows grazing, rolling hills, a tiny old brick church, now a private home. Google tells me to keep going. So I do. Driving past rural properties with their never to be understood exotic numbering system. House…

11 December 2019 | 50 Faces 50 Lives


Inspired by Nature: The Architecture of Sou Fujimoto

Have you heard of Sou Fujimoto? I remember his name from a visit to the temporary Serpentine pavilion in London when I visited the gallery there in Hyde Park. Like a spider’s web this beautiful building makes you gasp at the imagination and technical skill displayed. The main image shows…

6 February 2020 | Arts

Sex Education

Do you remember learning about the ” birds and the bees?” or about Storks delivering babies? My mother was a midwife and her anatomy books were the source of much of my early sex education…you can imagine how well that went! I was hearing  rave reviews for a Netflix series…

30 January 2020 | Arts

A Not so Beautiful Film

Do you ever have that feeling that you are definitely not part of the human race? An alien perhaps? Or at a minimum lacking some basic human responses? I do. Like my brain reacts to what others say is ” lovely” or ” heartwarming” by feeling irritated and nauseous! I…

27 January 2020 | Arts


Green School ……memories of the past and a vision of the future.

Education and learning is a well traveled friend in my life. In my 20’s I worked in an alternative school for 10 years, an innovative child – centred learning program where kids’ interests, not age, was the organising principle of the curriculum. Steiner school. Montessori, Summerhill, Preshil were all precursors…

11 February 2020 | Life-Style

Bali Tales: The Massage

It’s 3 pm and the sun has a gentler fingers as it touches the body and soul.  Clouds gather and a soft wind rolls in from the beach. My afternoon nap was blissful. But now its time to head down to the green tables under the trees for my massage….

7 February 2020 | Life-Style

Bali Tales : Let the Healing Begin…..

How well do you know your body and it’s needs? Are you able to read the cues and adjust your lifestyle, diet and thinking accordingly? Most of us romp through life knowing we SHOULD drink less, eat more healthily etc etc. But often it’s after a serious medical event that…

5 February 2020 | Life-Style

Living Well

Life and Death and the “Widowhood Effect.”

Two of my friends have died in the last two weeks. I’m here in Bali receiving messages from home. I remember my mother, who was famously caustic in her commentary on life, saying that at 80 her only social engagements were to attend funerals and do her weekly shopping. Both…

18 February 2020 | Living Well

Do our Holidays Change As We Get Older?

Last night I moseyed down to the beach club for sunset drinks,  which in my new angel status world means a slushy mocktail probably with more calories than a decent glass of wine. However I feel virtuous and I don’t miss alcohol in this very stress free world where the…

12 February 2020 | Living Well

The Rose – so much more than just a symbol of love

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day? I do… and I’m single! Forget the commercial spin on showing love by buying stuff….Perhaps it’s as simple as thinking about those you love in your life and the gratitude you feel about them being in your world- your family and dear friends. It’s also…

11 February 2020 | Living Well