Build diary 30 – From bad to worse

Frustration reaches boiling point! Tensions explode!


Wow! It’s been an eventful fortnight. The sh!t hit the fan a week ago. Where to begin? For a few weeks we’d been very annoyed that there were not many workers on site and often they weren’t doing much. Truthfully, I don’t blame the workers at all. They are young guys, who live onsite in basic conditions, and don’t earn much for doing hard physical labour in the hot sun. If I were in their shoes, I doubt I’d be very motivated either.

However, it’s the role of our builder Agus, and his foreman, Doni, to keep them on task. We’d spoken with Agus and he promised to rectify the problem. Again, we popped in to check on the build (we’re often going twice a day these days) and the workers were sitting around, with no Agus or Doni on site.

This was clearly unacceptable – we’re running over schedule as it is – they need to be hard at it! My husband was furious and arranged to meet Agus. A few weeks of tension exploded and he was very mad at Agus. Hubby wanted to deliver his message in a way that left no doubts. In a previous life, he ran large educational institutions, so he’s had a lot of practice at dealing with naughty students. He reached deep into his past and summoned his inner angry drill sergeant…..


Laying down the law


The law was certainly laid down. A new routine has been set. We’ll pay week by week, and only pay for the following week if all the last week’s work has been completed. Hubby and Agus will meet everyday at 9am to review what was done yesterday and plan what is to be completed today. Either Agus or Doni must be onsite at all times. No excuses. If this isn’t followed, we’ll change builders. No more chances.

On a slightly less important note, we found a solution to the problem with our cabinets. They had been painted the wrong colour. We used paint stripper on the hard wood, and then repainted it. But the plywood would bubble if we used the same method. So instead, we put a new layer of the correct colour plywood on top of the wrong colour. Hey presto, new colour – albeit slightly thicker – but still looks great!

Bali Interiors Build diary 30
Bali Interiors Build Diary 30
Bali Interiors Build diary 30
Bali Interiors Build diary 30
Bali Interiors Build diary 30
Bali Interiors Build diary 30

Mini holiday with hubby


After all this stress, I needed a break. Fortunately, one of the benefits of living on a tropical island is that there’s always somewhere great to visit. Hubby and I needed a night away.  We headed off to Bingin beach. Most days it’s simply gorgeous. Nowadays, it’s also almost completely empty.  The place is simply a dream.

The one downside is it’s a long way down the stairs from the parking area to the beach. Well worth the hike though. Just 2 days away were enough to recharge and reset. Definitely need to do this more often!




After a relaxing swim and a walk around the rocks to the next beach, I spent a little time thinking about the design of our build, especially our courtyard. Trying to sketch the the features I want. On the way back, we stopped in at a cute cafe and I saw a great outdoor sofa bench. It looked very similar to what I want in my vision of the courtyard. I snapped a few pics because it’s always good to be able to show my build team what I want them to make.

Bali Interiors Build diary 30 holiday with hubby
Bali Interiors Build diary 30 holiday with hubby
Bali Interiors Build diary 30 holiday with hubby
Bali Interiors Build diary 30 holiday with hubby
Bali Interiors Build diary 30 holiday with hubby
Bali Interiors Build diary 30 holiday with hubby

Sheila the interior designer?


I am not an interior designer, but I do know what I like, and what I don’t! After meeting Lindy Rama-Ellis online for our podcast and having a lovely chat, she invited me over to her amazing home to weigh in on some modifications she’s planning. I’m usually the one using my friends as a sounding board, so the shoe was on the other foot this time. I love interiors so I love looking for ways to maximise a space’s potential.

Bali Interiors Build diary 30 Lindy
Bali Interiors Build diary 30 Lindy

Surfing with my kids


My little man, 5 year old Phoenix, has become quite the little grom surfer. He loves it! So cute to watch him stand up and ride the white water to the shore. His joy-filled giggles as he high fives everyone after a long ride are a pleasure. Canggu waves can be a little too gnarly for this mini-surfer, so we’ve been heading down to Kuta for some empty waves. It’s certainly a topsy-turvy world when Kuta (of all places!) has the empty waves. These days it’s a quick and easy drive in to go to the beach, so I’ve been there more times in the last few months than I had in the last 5 years.

I think I need to up my game and get on a board too so we can hit the waves together!




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