Kiwi Deterrent: New Zealand has just produced a defence review. The fearsome Maori haka is apparently at centre stage in NZ’s new forward strategy. See item We'll See You Off, below
Seen Bali (in
EPL) and Want
Openings at Ganesha Gallery, at the Four Seasons Jimbaran, are always good value – the latest, on Thursday last week, was an exhibition by American Bali resident Joanna Cutri; her works are well worth a look by serious art lovers by the way - and not only for the art. General manager John O’Sullivan always makes sure guests sample some passable wine and taste his plush resort’s famed canapés and other goodies. Plus you get to talk to some people who really are interesting instead of just thinking they are.
The Diary spent a little while chatting with Silvia Irani, Four Seasons sales manager (whose card tells you that in Russian too). She is from Sumatra but went to school in Singapore and speaks English with the attractive sing-song accent of those affiliated with the Lion City. We almost expected her to tell us to please mind the platform gap.
Among other things, Irani said Four Seasons is experiencing an EPL rush. The movie starring Julia Roberts (the name is a universal cue for a swoon, it seems) is apparently all the rage among the moneyed travelling classes. Well, that can only be good.
Artist Cutri, by the way, is also staging an exhibition in Melbourne. When we spoke at the Ganesha opening she was on the point of leaving for that other Four Seasons city – Melbourne is notorious for its habit of delivering winter, spring, summer and autumn all in one day – but will be back to enjoy the sybaritic warmth of tropical Bali later this month. We’ll catch up with her then.
Some people seem to think that because The Diary (and The Bali Times) has a serious disagreement with the Bali Animal Welfare Association and others over how to suppress dog numbers (immediately) and thereby reduce the risk of rabies remaining endemic and therefore a threat to human life, that we don’t care about doggies at all.
In part this misapprehension probably springs from the bubble effect hereabouts: the so-called leading lights in the expatriate community tend to live in their own artificial atmospheres (not to mention galaxies) and are not subjected to critical attention, except by The Bali Times, which is a newspaper.
But just as life is a curate’s egg kind of thing – a mixed bag if you like, to scramble the metaphor – so too with individual and collective endeavours: BAWA does a great job in looking after Bali’s street dogs – which the local Balinese community completely fails to do, apparently on religious and cultural grounds (so convenient as another excuse for not bothering) – and deserves credit for doing so.
It also needs money to finance its programmes and that’s why the annual Bali Nights cocktail party and fundraising auction held in Melbourne, Australia, is such a good thing.
Sue Warren, surely an exemplar as a charity worker, tells us her 2010 event, held at the Melbourne InterContinental The Rialto (a swank hotel) on October 15, attended by 300 people and hosted by local TV personalities Pete Smith and Brodie Harper of the Nine Network, raised l A$44,625 – goodness, that’s US$44,875 in today’s depressed greenback values – which, as Warren says, is a great result.
It will ensure that BAWA’s desexing team, paid for by the Bali Street Dog Fund, stays on the road for another year. Warren notes: “More than ever we need to continue desexing as a very important part of rabies control.”
This year’s event was the sixth annual Bali Nights function to raise desperately needed funds for Bali's street dogs.
De Rig? De Rigueur
Susi Johnston, who seems to have added style adviser to her Jacob’s coat array of gifts, observed on her Facebook the other day that Janet de Neefe has great dress sense. She does. Elegance is a great thing.
The comment related to the fetching rig De Neefe wore to the King of Peliatan’s huge cremation ceremony on November 2. Sanat Kumara’s enterprising travel-culture-accommodation website had posted a photo of her. Johnston’s point was that you should always ensure you know the dress code for whatever event it is that you’re going to, especially in a culture that is not your own.
No one could fault De Neefe on couture; or Johnston, who notes that no one should go about looking like a wreck. Hear! Hear! To that advice The Diary would simply add this: It doesn’t do, either, for a gal to go around in public in something that looks as if it belongs in bed, from which the wearer must have just emerged or is about to leap into in hot company. If the latter’s the case, good luck to the lady concerned; but it’s nobody else’s business.
Some readers may have seen the line at the bottom of The Diary that says it can also been read on Hector’s Blog and giving the required URL. His site is frequently visited, chiefly by people who want to read his scribbling. This is sensible. There’s precious little point in going there if you don’t want to read it.
It was therefore a matter of great mirth the other day to find a feedback comment at the bottom of The Diary of two weeks ago – which was otherwise uncontroversial but for a little snit about a Certain Luminary of Ubud’s illiterate activities – posted by Anonymous. After taking in vain the name of the deity it said “... you’re p-p-pathetic ...” (it said some other amusing things too).
We sent back a cheery response to Anon: “D-d-do we know each other?”
Of course, it is clear that Anon does know your Diarist, though slightly. Anon does not know him well enough to understand that he has always believed the staccato approach is a show-stopper. A moment from long ago is treasured and remembered with pride, when, on officer training in the army of a country not very far from here, he won a special award for finding a new and novel way to confuse the enemy’s attempts to intercept and interpret radio traffic.
We’ll See You Off
The life of an inveterate delver is never dull. A browsing session last weekend turned up a Lowy Institute commentary on New Zealand’s new defence posture – primarily of interest in these parts because it fails to mention Indonesia – and it ran with the lovely photo reproduced at the top of this week's column.
Much of the world is familiar with the Maori haka. The Kiwis, whose rugby skills are second to none despite the fact that they let the Australians beat them occasionally, traditionally scare the daylights out of their opponents with their special pre-match warm-up.
It might have a modern military application, too, it seems. The photo is of the New Zealand Army Band just prior to a (musical) performance at this year’s Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland.
Hector's Blog appears as The Diary in the weekly print edition of The Bali Times,
Bali's only English-language newspaper, out Fridays, and on the newspaper's website. Print edition copies are available worldwide through NewspaperDirect.