Hec and Mrs Hec are having a great time renovating The Cage. Well, it was something they said they'd never do back home in Aussie. But the new digs come with a view - right up to the Banyaks, as Hec is wont to observe from time to time (and he promises an explanation of 'Banyaks' in this context later) - and that view must be accompanied by a measure of comfort not currently offered.
Thus The Cage, which is situated high on the hill at Ungasan on Bali's fabulous southern Bukit with fabulous sea outlooks to match and pleasantly cooling breezes all year round and which enables Hec to indulge in his second most favourite occupation, watching aircraft, is in a mess at the moment.
There are tradespeople everywhere, and a lot of really sticky red dust: the latter because the terracotta pavers had to be refurbished, didn't they? That involves employing a small Indonesian and a large - and very noisy - gizmo wotzit thingo that blows the resulting mess everywhere. And that's just after the expensive new venetians have been installed on Level Three of The Cage and equally pricey anti-solar screens on Level Two. Not to mention the new boudoir fittings in the bedroom suites. Hec thinks they call this planning. He vaguely remembers majoring in murphyism when he was but a fledgling student, many, many seed bags ago.
To finish the project by Christmas - ha! ha! ha!, but perchance no ho! ho! ho! - now involves, Hec is informed, an arrangement under which the work crew will live in the garage so they can start work early and finish late. And get it finished before the Christmas crib gets its extra occupant. Well, that's the plan. It's a good one, as long as Hec remembers not to run over any of the workers sleeping on the job when he and Mrs Hec get back from one of their renowned arak nights at De's Bar down in neighbouring Nusa Dua. It might even work (the plan, that is).
Not that there'll be much flitting over to Nusa Dua for a little while, anyway. It's been taken over by regiments of climate change experts for the big gabfest about how we're all going to die in thousands of years because it's got a little warmer of late. Hec's planning Christmas Drinks anyway (at De's Bar). His formula for beating global warming is to put another ice cube in his medicinal Jack's.