Years ago when I lived in London, I realised the value of planning a break for February. Firstly, to help get through a very skint, grey January. And secondly, cash permitting, to get some much needed sun.
This year I’m in luck. A friend of mine from Donny works as a flight attendant for Virgin Atlantic and offered to put me on her staff travel for a three week trip flying Upper Class to Bali via Hong Kong – YEY.
You can take the girl out of Donny but you can’t take the Donny out of the girl.
In true Donny style we tried every cocktail on the menu, you know cos it’s free. So ended up getting absolutely smashed. Needless to say I don’t remember much of the flight but I do remember how rough I felt on the connecting flight from Hong Kong to Bali.
Arriving in Bali there was only one thing to do. Get back on it. Some mates from London had a Penthouse suite in Seminyak, complete with a private roof top swimming pool. They text to see if we wanted to pop round for sun set drinks – HELLO is the pope catholic. A few sunset beers, a swim in their pool and a bottle of grey goose later, we head out for a night in Seminyak. Where I had one of the best cocktails ever in Shanghai Baby – a must if you ever head to Bali.
As luck would have it, Barnsley born, Hot Since 82 was playing at Ku Da Ta for free. Being the Donny birds we are, we said hello and told him where we were from. Embarrassing maybe, but who cares, he’s a right hottie. Other nights we drank sunset cocktails at Potato Head, think Nikki Beach Marbella. Then being hungover most days, OK, every day we ate like right fatties. Stuffing our faces with burgers, noddles and pasta washed down with bottles of local Bintag beer.
A new found sympathy for men with beer bellies
Normally I drink wine or gin and tonics. So a week of drinking eight beers a night took its toll on my tummy. And as every northern girl knows there is nothing worse than getting back from a holiday and people saying…
“Oooohh you looked like you enjoyed yourself, or you’re looking well” – Every wise girl knows this is code for, you’ve put on weight.
My Dad on the other hand will give it to me straight, likely saying ‘by ek love you’ve pu’on some timber’. There was no way this was happening given I have already put on ten pounds, with what the Aussies call the ‘Heathrow Injection’ of refined carbohydrates that plagues the UK. So, over the next week Island hoping Nusa Lembongan and Gili Trawangan even though we were still enjoying sunset cocktails, we ran and swam if off every day.
Undoing the damage in Ubud, Bali
To end our time in Bali we went all Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. Or in the words of one of Sazzy’s Donny mates, to be “healthy bastards” in Ubud.
In Ubud I happily reconnected with my Aussie self. Exercising, meditating and doing yoga everyday. We swapped beers for green tea and coconut water. Eating the likes of Quinoa porridge (surprisingly yummy), poached eggs, avocado and raw coconut noodles.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a big night out and have no intention of giving up the booze completely, anytime soon. But a week of healthy eating, exercising everyday and getting nine hours sleep a night have made me realise how good it feels to wake up alert, excited for the day ahead and full of energy. And the very best bit about our healthy week in Ubud – I now fit back in my skinny bitch shorts, no starvation or diet required.
So fingers crossed when I’m Back in Donny next week all people will say to me is “god, you’re right brown, you”. BDx.