Swimming before breakfast. What a great way to start the day. However it ended up a messy morning with various boring banking things we had to do. Mostly it was Broni embroiled on that, so I went down to the little pavilion overlooking the ricefields again to sketch.
I think my brain may have been elsewhere. I had a headache. I opened my sketchbook and changed my mind about where to sit. Without realising, I reopened my sketchbook upside down and began to sketch. Once I had made a big enough mess, I realised the problem. It wasn’t recoverable, so I decided to abandon that drawing and move on.
HOWEVER, then I moved on two pages! It’s the first time I have mentioned this, but not the first time it has happened. I am using a handmade sketchbook from Fabriano Artistico 200 gsm. My sketchbook at home is the same paper. I had this problem with that book too, so I left home well aware of the problem. It is one thing in your ordinary sketchbook at home for things to be not consecutive, but in a travel sketchbook it’s a disaster. Even though I was aware of it, I did it three times. The other times it was recoverable, because I went back and did extra sketches on the same day. This time no. So I have glued together the two pages of the upside-down sketch, and in the blank pages I have glued business cards I wanted to keep.
For previous travel sketchbooks I have used Canaletto paper, which is 300gsm. I have NEVER turned two pages at once. I like the way that the paint moves on the Fabriano, but for travel sketchbooks I am going back to Canaletto. A shame really because a book of 200gsm paper is a lot lighter to carry.
So, after our boring business type stuff was done, we treat ourselves to a driver to Bali Kopi House. I tried the Green Bubble Tea and Broni tried a drink with crunchy bits in it. After that sustenance we walked back up the Monkey Forest Road (including the steep bit – it’s getting easier now) to the hotel. Almost immediately we went right back out again, also walking, up through the market for some more panic buying. This time I was buying a couple of extra silk scarves to make book-cloth for sketchbook covers. I got GORGEOUS ones.
On we went to Mumbul Inn which has a new name but is the same place I have always loved. We had a late lunch of duck pancakes. Sensational. And BEST KRUPUK (prawn crackers). More about these tomorrow.
That evening we went to the opening of an exhibition of our friend Michael Paris. Michael is the American photographer I met at Villa Kitty back in February. Do have a look. His portraits are wonderful. Michael had the exhibition because he was leaving Ubud the same day as us, and to raise funds for a disabled schoolgirl who is a volunteer at Villa Kitty. I now am the proud owner of this photograph
In a sub-plot, my oldest friend Nyoman texted me early one day that week to ask if I could help him. He had found a wallet in the streeet and he wanted me to help him trace the owner. He came over on his motorbike as soon as he finished work, and I emailed the lady and sent her a Facebook message also. It wasn’t long till she was in touch, and because of our busy social calendar she ended up picking up her wallet from the reception in the hotel while Broni and I were out. We had exchanged details of our whereabouts hoping to catch up. It turned out that she was a photographer from South Australia, so she decided to come to Michael’s exhibition, so we met both her and her husband. Elizabeth from Villa Kitty also came, and the editor of the Ubud Community magazine was there so it was an opportunity to meet him too. That’s also Michael’s photograph on the cover of the May magazine and I have a postcard size print of that too. If you were to read the magazine, you would even find my name hidden in there somewhere. Quite a social gathering.