30th May

It’s the day before the bulk of people arrive. Things are getting exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.

People have slowly started filtering in; Vanessa and Amy arrived yesterday and today we’ll catch up with Dot and Lindsay as well as a long-time friend of Emma’s, Katherine.

We have lots to do today; the final arrangements for the wedding and get some shopping done. We spend our morning in Legian Rd recharging the phone credit, stocking up on water and general supplies and generally TCOB.

We wrap up the running around with (yet another) massage; this time at one of Miss Em’s favourites; Chill in Jalan Kunti. Where the earlier reflexology action was very relaxing, this stuff is more medicinal, but it’s still a great 90-minute ‘treat’ and we leave well and truly refreshed.

Once again, the weather is looking sensational, but we’re strangely guarded that it will change by this afternoon.

When arrive back at the Pelangi, the weather seems to have remained great. We head to the pool and catch up with our man (he’s everybody’s man, really) Agus. Agus hands out the perfectly chilled Bintang’s and the afternoon is off. Agus reassures us that the weather, although getting grey and dark, will hold out. We wait and see. Sure enough, within the space of an hour, the clouds break up and the sun makes a welcome reappearance. Like I said, Agus is THE man.

Shortly thereafter, some wedding guests arrive at the pool and for the first time – with no disrespect to Stuart and Faye – we really feel like the ‘party’ is getting started. It’s great catching up with Katharine, Dot and Lindsay in this setting; the sun finally out, the humidity relaxing, Agus handing out the Bintang’s and G&T’s and the real Bali emerging from underneath the clouds weather-wise. It’s one of those days where the amount I’ve been drinking catches up with me and before you can say satu lagi, I realise I am good and shickered. Emma and crew are leaving the pool to head out for some dinner. As I’m not hungry I let them know I’ll be staying here, which everyone is cool with.

If you ever want to see how responsible serving of alcohol should be done, you really do need to watch Agus in action. We’re chatting for maybe an hour or so after everyone has left, and while I have been drinking it’s been at a nice and steady pace. Before I realise what’s happening, Agus starts packing stuff away and simply says to me; “okay Big Boss, I think you should be heading back to your room and getting ready to see the night. It’s going to be a beautiful night, you should go sit on the beach” and gets me to sign my tab closed. Outstanding. It has been a wonderful afternoon indeed.

With the weather finally hitting the right notes it is a cloudless sky and a very starry night indeed. When we’d been at Karma for the tasting, I’d enquired about celebratory cigars for after the formalities. Lauren comped me a nice big Cuban from their humidor to try. For the first time since we’d arrived, it was the perfect night to head out on to the beach and relax with the cigar and a quiet meal under the stars. I parked my carcass at LaPlancha just near the Pelangi, get the cigar set up and, sitting in the awesome beach Warung that is LaPlancha and their famous beach-bag layout, I spent a good couple of hours sitting quietly under the serene, starry sky, smoking my cigar (not a euphemism) and taking the sounds, sights and smells that I’ve come to love about this place.

I’ve umm’d and ahhh’d about having my buck’s night here at LaP or at another of my favourite places in Seminyak; SOS. If the weather stays like this, it will be a no brainer to bring the guys here, but if we get stormy weather, we’ll head to SOS. At this very moment, LaPlancha is leading by the length of the Flemington straight!

I’m still nervous about the upcoming celebrations and hoping that everyone enjoys themselves, but for the few hours I’m sitting at LaPlancha I feel as though everything is as it should be and what will be, will be. That’s why I love this place the way I do and perhaps strangely, this appreciation is only truly understood by people who have been here and experienced it first hand. I’m sure people feel like this about a multitude of places in different parts of the world, but this is a special place for me… and for a lot of other people. Hopefully we get to share that kind of quan with our guests on the wedding night and in the lead up to TBN (the big night).

Nicely chilled, its time to get back to the room and get set for a big Friday as the bulk of our guests begin to arrive.


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