Category Archives: Current Columns


When I see the way some wounds are dressed here it makes me shudder. It wasn’t long ago that the only dressing available here was a roll of gauze and a bottle of bright red mercurochrome. Thankfully the mercurochrome is off the shelves. As the name suggests it does contain mercury and this is why many countries banned the antiseptic solution. Even today I see open wounds dressed with gauze, that adheres to the lesion, ripping the wound open every time the dressing is changed….ouch! Even some supposedly reputable clinics have no idea how to dress a wound in such a way to promote ... [ Read More ]

Diagnostics: Singapore vs. Hong Kong Lion City clear winner by cost & expertise

A good annual check-up is common sense at any age. Over 40 you’d be a fool not to, and at my age you almost deserve anything you get if you don’t. That said, do I follow my own advise? Foolishly I do not.   I’d lay odds that I’m not alone in this, particularly here in Bali where a relaxed attitude to such things is not unusual among foreign residents and local diagnostics hardly cutting edge. My wife, who has way more than her fair share of health challenges, needed a simple procedure, that normally requires an overnight hospital stay, and a check-up. ... [ Read More ]

June 21, 2017

*Health pointers: Topical index of alternatives to medicines from Acupuncture to Zenreiki: *Teach your kid how to ride a bike by having her practice riding down a grassy hill. *The Community Health Care Center’s website ( is an invaluable source of information on pregnancy, prenatal care and childbirth on Bali. *Mata beras (coarse rice powder) promotes digestion and can be used as a laxative when constipated and as a bulking agent in the same way that Psyllium seeds can; grind rice seeds in a food processor and mix with a tablespoon of water. *To stop a nosebleed, pinch the nose firmly ... [ Read More ]

Cardamom and Pistachio Biscotti

We have been making the same almond biscotti for years. I suddenly got a hankering for cardamom, lots of cardamom. Pistachios were a natural addition and so changes were made to the original recipe. These are heavenly! If pistachios are too dear, you can substitute cashews.   Makes about 36 cookies   Ingredients: – 1 1/4 cups shelled whole pistachio nuts – 1 cup oat flour (see instructions below) – 1 cup spelt flour – 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder – 1 pinch salt – 4 eggs – 1 cup castor sugar – 1 Tbl. lemon juice – 1 lemon rind grated, the yellow part only – no white – 11/4 tsp. freshly ground cardamom seeds (the ... [ Read More ]

June 21, 2017

Finns Recreation Club Throws Open its Doors to Food & Fun Chances are, if you’ve ever found yourself in the ‘Gu’, you’re sure to have sailed past Bali’s premier sporting and entertainment venue – The Canggu Club. Originally designed to provide a haven for the island’s expat community with access on a strictly members only basis, The Canggu Club has undergone numerous changes over the years and now perhaps its most exciting development to date! This sprawling, colonial style estate set on over four hectares in Bali’s latest hotspot is about to become a whole lot more accessible and everyone’s invited! ... [ Read More ]

The Intestines of the Soil

‘Dear Garden Doctor, I have no worms in my garden soil. I just started my first compost pile, my friend tells me it won’t work as I don’t have worms in my garden. I have lived here for 2 years and have rarely seen any. My husband says there won’t be any worms to get into my bin and I should buy some. Do I need worms to start composting and why do people associate worms with good soil? Totti, Bali.’   Aristotle described worms as ‘the intestines of the soil’ which is essentially what they are. Earthworms slither through the soil, ... [ Read More ]

June 21, 2017

Hit Parade It’s always good fun to read the local Bahasa language press, as well as informative. Some people like to criticise the media – well, no, everyone likes to do that – and that’s no less common in Indonesia than anywhere. One of the things about critics is that they always know how it could have been done better, or that you’ve missed the real story, possibly on purpose. In an earlier life, one of the Diary’s jobs was to write back to critical readers and gently massage their egos while telling them politely to go get a life. ... [ Read More ]

Disconnect to Connect with You

Have you been feeling really tired and you don’t know why? Are you doing all the right things like exercising, eating right and getting at least eight hours of sleep most nights? Maybe you have a busy life, but you’ve always been busy in the past, but never felt so worn out like you do now. So what’s going on? Why can’t you seem to get your Mojo back? Me, like most of you who are reading this column have something in common – we are all ‘plugged in’ nearly 24 hours a day to technology. Our phones haveinternet packets (I ... [ Read More ]

June 21, 2017

HAR’S TREE HOUSES For a real environmental treat, visit Har’s Organic vegetable garden in Junjungan, take a lesson in organic gardening, and stay in one of the tranquil tree houses he has built behind the garden, overlooking the river below. Hartonolo Kodjoyo, a Javanese gardener, was brought here a few years ago with two other young farm workers, for a big new organic farming project. When that went bust, his friends went home, but Har had become committed to organic agriculture, so decided to stay, lease a ricefield from a Balinese owner, return it to organic status, and try for himself. ... [ Read More ]

Sri Purna Widari: Labor Activist

Sri Purna Widari was born in Denpasar. From an early age, her parents prioritized her education. She studied English literature at Udayana University’s extension program, graduating in 2007. Sri won the Bali Tourism Ambassador award in 2006. Sri has worked as a sales executive, translator and interpreter, freelance real estate broker, recruiter in an employment agency and as a secretary in an adventure company, but the issue that she always has been most passionate about are economic equality and social justice. Her role as a mediator has exposed her to many labor issues that receive little public attention. Sri now ... [ Read More ]