It’s my first stop. And although I’m missing a fundamental part of my family (that would be my husband and daughter) I think I’ve found us a home (not like an actual house – that would be getting ahead of myself). I mean a place I think we could call home for say, three months of the year. I keep thinking, that was easy, shall we get a refund on the round the world tickets? But like I said, I think three months at a go would be enough. I doubt the view would be so good through monsoon clouds. But I reckon three months here, say three months in Bali, three months in the states and three months back home, maybe, that could work. I’m inspired by this pattern which an Indian/French couple do year in year out. They seem utterly blissed out by it.
I’m staying in a room with big high ceilings, pink walls (Lula will be sold) and a balcony the size of a football pitch overlooking palm trees and the beach. But forget the room, forget even the hammocks and the waiter service to the hammocks, here are the things that are making me want to live here for part of the year:
- Every morning I get up and eat fruit salad and drink chai under a palm tree looking out over the beach and I think about Starbucks and London Bridge and snow before burying my toes in the sand and smiling.
- Every morning I go for a mile swim in the sea where there have so far been no drownings or shark eatings and I think about Beckenham swimming pool, the people who swim fast in the slow lane and chlorine (and life guards. Which aren’t such a bad thing).
- The best restaurant in town has plastic chairs and no menu but you can eat a thali for 90p which is about £3 cheaper than a 3 bean salad from M&S
- There is a Steiner school up the beach which charges about £60 a month. Which is about what it costs to send your child to a nursery in London for ONE day.
- There are a zillion children on the beach of every nationality running around naked. You don’t see that in Croydon Rec. Well actually you do sometimes but it makes you tut.
- I’ve been here a week and a half and am already on tabs at half the shops. There’s trust here. Can you imagine walking into Sainsbury’s or the pub and saying, ‘Oh, I forgot my purse, can I pay you later?’ and being told, ‘yeah, sure no problem.’
- Home makes the best cakes you will ever, ever eat in your life. EVER.
- There are no cinemas BUT that’s ok because the dvd man comes by about six times a day with the latest releases for 50p a pop.
- Beer costs 40p
- Boats to Butterfly beach cost £10 for private hire. A travelcard to zone 6 would cost the same and not be half as pretty though maybe it’s as hot.
- I’ve managed to write 40,000 words in 9 days. I probably managed that level of creative writing in 9 years at work.
Ok, here’s the bad side:
- Most of Notting Hill seems to relocate here for the winter months. But they are quarantined at Harmonic the yoga place on the hill. And they don’t slum it in the backstreets of the village.
- There are way too many yoga bods. I think I’ve mentioned this already but I mention it again because it’s seriously depressing.
- There’s too much nasal cleansing going on for my liking. And too much talking about the nasal cleansing.
- There are no life guards.
- There are no percy pigs. (But who needs my little pink friends when there’s chocolate fudge caramel mousse tart?)
I think the good outweighs the bad. Don’t you?