Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Just a few pictures today of our local Starbucks, a significant location for me as it is the only place close by with Internet.  While waiting to be connected in our apartment, I head here for a daily dose of the information superhighway.
Meet my new friend, the local Starbucks with Internet service.  At the moment, this is my venue for staying in touch with everyone, using wifi for whatsapp, facebook, my blogging, checking emails, and surfing the web.
This very seat is my location of preference, because the comfie chair is immediately adjacent to the electrical outlet.  Lots of times though, this primo location is not available.  My computer battery is not like the energizer bunny that keeps on going, so I keep my eyes peeled for this chair to open up, and grab it when I can-hopefully this is before my computer dies. 
I try very hard to stay away fom these calorie rich, sweet drinks full of caramel-goodness.  Looks tasty, but I am sticking to a mug of tea or my skinny flat whites.  Of course, I wouldn't dare use their chair and table and internet without buying coffee.
I like the artwork, and the friendly staff, (and the latte donuts - who said that??).  It's quite comfortable for my purposes.  We are organizing wifi in our apartment soon, and although Jaksbux has been a handy spot to keep in touch, working from home will be a great improvement!
It all comes flooding back...when I lived here last I was Ibu Merry, Mrs Merry.  I must remember to live up to my name, and be of good cheer and wear a happy countenance!  Ms. Merry Indeed!


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Oakwood

I am settling in at the Oakwood Premier Cozmo, a lovely apartment complex in the heart of the Mega Kuningan district of Jakarta.  It's a sky scraper, next door to more sky scrapers. Our neighbours are the Ritz Carlton, the Hotel RW Marriot, and other fancy addresses such as the Bellagio and Menaro Primo.  It borders 3 significant thoroughfares that can get you anywhere you want to go, as long as you don't expect to get there quickly. I like the 'Cozmo' bit to the Apartment title, especially after Rob telling me that his Indonesian drivier's license was re issued last week, in the name "Robert Cozmo Bird"! 

So, here are some photos of our (new to me) place:

Our living room with its' very pretty view. 
It's all very comfortable, and Desi comes in each day to clean it!  Bonus!
The Main Lobby.  What I can't capture via the photo is the lovely fragrance of the fresh flowers!
Very friendly and attentive staff swipe key cards on our behalf, open doors and greet politely.  In this instance though, their smiles became very stern and formal when they posed for the picture.
One of the working sniffer dogs.  So pretty!  Panda is her name.  This being Jakarta, it is important that security be vigilant!
This boy's name is Pinka.  Shame on me, I cannot remember the Security gentleman's name.  We must have our bags inspected, and walk through a metal detector before entering the premises.
The boom gate where security has a look in the boot and under the bonnet and chassis of all entering vehicles.
Good to go mate!
At ground level there is a small shopping centre.
Ranch Market is a grocery store that sells both local and some highly sought after imported foods.
And...Starbucks, but more on this "toko" next time. 
Thanks so much for having a peek at our new digs.  I am settling in nicely! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Selamat Datang di Indonesia!

Welcome to Indonesia!  Rob met me in Bali, where the Farmout Forum Indonesia 2012 was being held at the Conrad Bali.  What a lovely, relaxing weekend getaway after a busy exit from Perth!  The Conrad is located in Tanjung Benoa, north of Nusa Dua, and far away from the hustle and hype of Kuta, where we have often stayed in the past. The surf here does not attract much attention so the jet skis, banana boats, parasailers, and fishermen have free reign of the beach and sea.  

the pool seemed to sprawl all over the resort
our breakfast view out to sea
these beach bales could be snapped up early am for use during the day
While Rob was busy with the Scout Check, I did lots of walking along Nusa Dua Beach and the long stretch of Jalan Pratama.  I love the lush, tropical flora with its' vivid greens and jolts of colourful  blossoms.

such vibrant waxy petals
I love this shade of "hijau"
Getting a bit of a late start, I would not set out until after 11am.  While this was the hottest part of the day for walking, with the sun being high in the sky, it was also the perfect time to catch the pretty display of shadows casting their lacework patterns below the trees.
One evening, we found a perfect little beachside restaurant that served the local delicacy Mahi Mahi and we ended up returning 3 times during our short stay!  Late one afternoon, one of the staff began to create a huge chessboard effect in the sand by hand watering large square sections.  It cools the area for evening diners and the gridwork is pleasing to the eye!  I couldn't imagine such a thing coming from Peth with all of its' water restrictions! 
So after being spoiled on the lovely Island of Bali, we catch a quick 1+ hour flight to Indonesia's Capital, Jakarta and head from this...
...to this...

the view from our apartment window
More on life in the Big Durian next time.  Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 16, 2012


Families are unique, and the flock at the Birdhouse is no exception!
Sometimes, but not always, our family looks like this:

Robbie, Anna, Mary, Leah and Robert Bird.  Christmas 2011
Sometimes, we borrow another member from a sister and brother-in-law!

Fraser Mac joins us in Perth Dec'11 - Aug'12

Or borrow two, for that matter...
Gillian MacKinnon flys to the Birdhouse Jan - Apr 2012

Sometimes we say goodbye to our firstborn because he wants to make the Great White North his home!

Congratulations on your win Robbie!

Sometime sisters have to travel over 16,000 kms to have a visit, but family does that for one another.

Saying goodbye after an amazing 2 week visit from Nan and Sandy 
Sometimes the daddy works away in another country,

Relaxing at the Villa San, Ubud
So it's just the girls that live at home...

Mary, Leah and Anna keep the home fires burning in Perth

...With these boys but not those other boys...

Bower Bird (back) and Bob Bird (front)

And sometimes, The Momma Bird has to leave the nest and say goodbye to her babies.

Mary heads off to Indonesia, Sept 6, 2012

For me, 2012 has been a huge year with a focus on Family - having family visit for short holidays and for extended stays, watching family leave, meeting family in far off lands, and ultimately for me, leaving beloved family behind as I relocate to Indonesia to be with  Robert. It's usually the kids that leave the nest, so this has been a challenge to move away from my sweet girls.
However, Rob and I are setting up a nice place in Jakarta where we want anyone to feel free to come and visit.  First, of course, are the girls, arriving 1 October!  Cannot wait!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2 months later...(continued...)

Some internet troubles made it necessary for me to publish my last post without quite finishing. So,here continues the post on 'Favourites and Highlights' from our trip overseas.

 Favourite 'Look Twice' Moment:
Kathy and I were hiking a craggy, rough, rutted trail up from Collioure in the Pyreenes area of France, to Fort St. Elme.  The going was steep and demanding.
Suddenly, to our great surprise, we saw a cyclist travelling down this same path.  Shake our head, blink our eyes, is he really travelling this terrain?  And, if he is coming down, did he really cycle up?
He stopped to chat, a friendly, young Scotttish Adventurer. He assured us that although the path was difficult, he loved the challenge, and encouraged us that we were nearly there. 
Congratulations to Alistair (I made that name up) for accomplishing the impossible!

My 'Greatest Accomplishment' - Hiking the Cinque Terre:

It was a real test of my fitness, my fortitude!  It was the most physically demanding thing I have done since... giving birth??  Five hours of climbing, mostly uphill.  It felt like 5 straight training sessions from my personal trainer, Melissa.  The tourist guide books all suggest taking the low-lying paths from village to village.  But no, we decided to head upwards into the less travelled terraced hills on a hot, humid day.  "Leave early in the morning, to beat the heat" the book suggested.  And we left sometime after 10:30am.  oops!
The first 3 hours we set out from Vernazza and hiked towards Montorossa.  The resulting views were exceptional, and well worth the effort!
At some strategic point along the climb, we happened upon a natural spring.  What a Godsend!  "Water from the rock is what I needed!"
 We cooled off, filled out water bottles, and set out again!
Ahhh... heading downhill!
We had a break for lunch and set out again, this time from Vernazza to Corniglia.  That second half of the day I thought I would perish!  But the very good news is that I did it!  I persevered and pushed onwards and upwards.  I nearly gave up, but we finally crested the top of the climb and it was downhill then to this-
I would like to visit the Cinque Terre again.  I hope I have an opportunity to do this!  Possibly in 3 or 4 years time I can do these hikes as a fitter, smaller version of myself, with Robert, and Kathy and John!  Here's hoping and praying, (and training!).

'Favourite Photos' of Each Traveller:
She is such a charmer!  Kathy loved meeting people!  She never hesitated to approach someone for some information or just a chat.  She made a point of attempting a photograph with a man in uniform in each city.  Her new friend here is happy to drop his guard for a quick moment and pose with her.


So relaxed and relieved to be in this idyllic setting - a sparkling clean, quiet, 16th Century Auberge, Cote Loire, in the peaceful town of Blois in France. 

Love, love, love this!  Look at my beautiful girl!  The colours in that scarf do all the right things for Anna.  And the ecclectic mix of Bohemian glass, jewels, and treasures in this Prague souvenier shop are a lovely backdrop. Between them, Gill and Anna bought 15 cashmere/silk pashminas for "friends gifts".

Typically, I had trouble finding a pic that I liked of myself.  But 'Mary Bird in Rome' was such a concept, that I ended up choosing this one.  I had to pinch myself that this city experience was really happening to me!  (By the way, I became so sick of wearing that top that I threw it out on our last night in Frankfurt!)