To Bali in 36 hours…..

Half way around the world, and some things are exactly the same. The climate ( although here is dry season ), the hustle and bustle, the trees, the vegetables in the market, even the indiscriminate dumping of trash, but there in my opinion the similarities end.

Panama has a lot of undiscovered natural beauty, but what knocks me out about Bali is the culture.

Everything seems crammed together, and the scale is smaller. Narrow, winding roads. One minute you are passing through rice paddies, with people impossibly bent over the crop, and the next second and next bend, brings a temple adorned with offerings, penjors (graceful bamboo decorations) and fabric-wrapped statues.

We were fortunate to arrive on the equivalent of Christmas day,  the Hindu festival of Galungan. It was a relief to leave the cold, dry air of the plane and walk across the tarmac in warm, humid air to the waiting bus.

Jim is here for a Bamboo Architecture & Building course, at Green School, Bali….

Looks like he will  be in the first class to graduate from Bamboo U!!





The Potting Shed

is how we, in the UK,  would describe a small structure somewhere in the garden. Traditionally the home of the gardening tools, plant pots, seeds being sprouted. Somewhere you’d go to hide from the stresses of the real world maybe.

In plan form it started as a storage space, but as the construction progressed, it has morphed. Included in the design are plans for a mezzanine sleeping platform, a tiny kitchen, and the possibility to add a deck and a second floor. It will be the perfect space to put friends and family in, even ‘workawayers’, and I suspect we’ll be sleeping there at some point in the future. But not this year. The rent for friends and family will be very reasonable. Tetley Tea Bags, Branston Pickle, Marmite, Cadbury’s Twirl or Flakes….. is everyone getting the message here?

The roof should go on this week, it will need secure doors and windows, and then we will fill it to the gunnels with all the ‘stuff’ filling the upper construction site :-). And when that upper house gets more ‘liveable’, space will become available in the Potting Shed, for our less intrepid visitors……

The big concrete pour

Our team arrived early on Friday morning, keen to get going before the sun burned off the mist. They were magnificent, hoisting thousands of pounds of cement ( BY HAND!) over a twelve hour day. I kept them supplied with food and drinks all day, that was pretty much a full time job too. Jim finally stopped ‘polishing’ at midnight, declaring he couldn’t move another muscle. It’s taken the three days since for him, and the rest of the crew, to recover. Thanks everyone, magnificent job !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Waiting to start..

Waiting to start..

the first load..

the first load..

mixer to wheelbarrow to bucket to wheebarrow to site....

mixer to wheelbarrow to bucket to wheebarrow to site….

everybody ached for the next two days...

everybody ached for the next two days…

sun didn't let up

sun didn’t let up

cement mixer broke down :-( briefly

cement mixer broke down 😦 briefly

levelling the concrete

levelling the concrete



something on Building

Steel and concrete! Where's the bamboo?

Steel and concrete! Where’s the bamboo?

Doesn’t look very eco does it? However once the foundations are laid you can expect to see a lot of bamboo in the beams and columns above. In fact depending on the speed of progress (don’t hold your breath) that bamboo might have been harvested from our own plants. Watch this space.