The Solution to Bali’s Traffic Problem?

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Traffic is a huge problem in Bali. In fact, we try to avoid going into Ubud in the car at all during the busiest months of June, July and August because it can take an hour or more to get across town (a couple of kilometres). There have been numerous ideas for a solution to the problem in Ubud such as pedestrianizing roads and creating an out of town car park for the tourist buses, but like most ideas here, they go nowhere.

I have my own transport issues. I’d love to be able to have more independence and get out and about with the kids. I’ve talked before about how I really want to get over my fears of driving a motorbike and just get on with it because it would open up so many opportunities for me. However there’s no getting away from the element of danger when you’re on a motorbike, especially when the kids are involved.

My friend recently moved to Bali and immediately started taking driving lessons. Good on her but I don’t see myself doing the same any time soon. The idea of driving a car terrifies me even more than driving a motorbike. There’s so much more to be aware of plus cars are harder to manouver because of their size and the roads here aren’t exactly built for large vehicles.

So I was actually pretty fascinated to read about this new i-ROAD technology from Toyota, that’s being tested in Japan (of course Japan! everything cool starts there!). It’s basically a kind of eco-friendly cross between a motorbike and a car – it’s easy to handle and takes up less space like a motorbike but offers more protection than a motorbike (and would be much more pleasant to drive in the rain!). I’d feel totally happy about putting Maya or Kiran in the back of one of these without worrying about getting in an accident or them falling asleep and falling off – i’m never quite at ease about them being on the motorbike.

The iROAD is designed for short trips in cities as a kind of alternative to public transport. The idea being that you can drive your car as normal to an out of town car park and then use one of these vehicles for the last part of your journey (some cities have bicycles you can borrow, this is the same concept just with a cute electric futuristic car!)

I think this would work great for Ubud and i could totally see myself driving one, unlike our big car/minivan thing, which i dont’ see myself EVER driving!

Plus the fact that it’s electric means that it’s greener,  so less pollution, less breathing in petrol fumes and no stressing about petrol running out (which it does here, frequently).

What do you think?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Toyota. The opinions and text are all mine.

10/52

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WOW this is a late post. You know what’s worse than having no internet? Having internet sometimes. but it’s very slow. and keeps disconnecting every 2 minutes. So instead of closing my computer and going to do something else, i sit there refreshing the browser window every 30 seconds in case the connection is working again and basically wasting my whole day. i’m so behind with work it’s quite laughable and i just can’t help think that someone or something is trying to stop me. anyway more on that later.

So i’m actually cheating with this one as I had no photos of Kiran from last week so his is from the week before having a bath in the garden. Maya is at her very first art class and having a great time despite being horribly overtired (we did have a bit of a wobble and have to leave a bit early). I have lots of things i want to take maya to but it’s hard without having my own transport. more on that later too.

Last week i loved this kiddo in the sky, these beautiful light-filled portraits and these adventurous siblings.

A very late birthday post

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Yes, i’m still clinging onto my “world’s worst blogger award”. I have many reasons for my absence, none of them good ones. Apart from maybe the fact that I’ve been mostly without internet for well over a month. Which impresses my freelance clients, I can tell you! Actually I have about 3 posts sitting in draft form on my computer and a new design in the works – I finally got hold of the .com version of my domain after many patient years of waiting (and a not small chunk of cash) so I think a whole new launch is required. Stay tuned!

Anyway, my littlest turned 2 at the end of January – I can barely believe it! I don’t have a baby in the house any more :( Time for another one? (only joking. maybe :p)

Kiran had not the slightest clue that it was his birthday but he was impressed with his Thomas the tank engine cake anyway (which looked better before the head fell off but it still tastes yummy). We started the day with new Trikes from grandad (for both of them because well… you try explaining to maya why she doesn’t have a trike too). I’m continuing the theme of gift simplification and got him a book… ok that sounds mean when I got Maya a doll house for her birthday but really they share all their toys and they’ve got so many already. I was planning on building a sandpit but didn’t quite get around to it in time. Still haven’t. I’m winning mother of the year award here right?

Anyway we had a little gathering with pizza and nasi goreng and many hyper children running wild in the rice fields. Kiran doesn’t do well with crowds so he was happy to sit and play on the ipad while chaos ensued around  him.

Love you Kiki!

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8/52

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Kiran – running through the rice fields at dusk. I am so grateful every day we’re here that my kids get to live out their childhood like this.

Maya – she never stays still so i so rarely get an eye contact portrait like this. Taking a break from colouring :)

Last week I loved balloons in the snow, these black and white portraits, and these moody and gorgeous shots.

Linking up with Jodi

7/52

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Wow am I becoming the world’s worst blogger or what? Here are a couple of beachy portraits from last Sunday’s afternoon on the beach. I’m finding myself working increasing long hours and spending less quality time with the kids so I’m pledging to take Sundays off for some pure family time every week. There’s nowhere they’d rather be than the beach – digging in the sand, splashing in the sea and chasing each other joyously until the sun goes down.

last week I loved bubbles in the snow , these gorgeous kids and this funny expression.

Linking up with Jodi

5/52

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Maya – a little fairy in the rice fields

Kiran – birthday boy, new tricycle, intense concentration

Last week I loved this little walker, this golden halo, and these little cuties.

Linking up with Jodi.

Wanderlust: Istanbul

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There are many places in Europe that I wish I’d taken the time to go and visit before I left the UK. One of the places on my wishlist was Istanbul. I’m fascinated in general by countries that are a mix of countries and Istanbul is unique as it is the only city in the world to be in two continents – one foot in Europe and one in Asia.

Turkey has always seemed exotic to me – a European country with that middle eastern influence of fragrant spices, eclectic markets and jewel-like colours everywhere you look.

To be honest, I think these days shopping would be one of the main attractions for me. I love the Turkish and Moroccan bohemian style of interior design with mosaic tiles, lots of textiles in many different colours, carpets and cushions piled on the floor and gorgeous glass lamps (like the ones above). If I ever get the time and money to decorate this place, that’s definitely the look I’m going for. Pinterest is a wealth of inspiration – easy to get carried away!

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in the world. Full of amazing things to buy! Just come with empty suitcases and come home ready to decorate!

Turkish food is also amazing of course and I’m not talking about kebabs! I could quite happily eat meze style dishes forever and never get bored and then there is Turkish coffee and desserts – baklava anyone? I’ve just managed to make myself very hungry….

Istanbul also has a great selection of places to stay from grand and lavish big hotels to modern and funky boutique hotels. I always like using the Wallpaper guides which feature some of the best designed hotels, along with great places for shopping and eating. I can rarely afford to stay in such hotels but I like to dream anyway!

Turkey has always been a popular holiday destination for Brits but most people tend to head to the coastal resorts. Personally, I always find cities more interesting, particularly when they’re as dynamic and have as much to offer as Istanbul does. I swear that one day when the kids are older, I’m going to do a grand tour of Europe and visit all these places that I never got around to travelling to before :)

Photo credits: jaime.silva / Özgün ERDEM / druidabruxu / Kıvanç Niş / laszlo-photo

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