pig-and-hook February 17

La Matanza – Rural living in Andalucia

For days afterwards, the smell of onions permeated everything; it was in my hair, on my hands, impregnated in my clothes. My hands were cut to shreds and fingers stained dark brown from the onion peelings. Despite everything, I was glad that I was able to have been of some help in the preparation for […]

the-onion-peelers--muma February 16

Know Your Spanish Onions

I think I must have downed at least four sherries whilst sat in the bar with Antonia, pondering on what to do with the mysterious icons. I weaved my way back to the house, went upstairs and gathered them up from the table where I’d left them after Anna and Antonio’s visit. Fortunately Miguel was […]

snow-in-olive-groves---las-pilas February 14

Mysterious Happenings At Bleak House

The novelty of camping in our new home ended the moment the builders arrived. Up until that point we’d been coping well; it was basic living, but we were managing. Within days of their starting work, the whole house looked like a building site and nowhere was spared the thick covering of dust, rubble and […]

colin-et-moi-uno January 30

Introducing Colin Snout. Rescue Me!

The chocolate brown eyes looked lovingly up at me from inside Manolo’s coat. ‘Oh you little darling’ I said, lifting the puppy from Manolo’s arms and taking the furry bundle into my own. ‘He is a gift for you and Pedro, a house warming present’. I looked at Manolo and smiled. It was very kind […]

hare January 27

My Cup Runneth Over

Within a week or so, quotes starting arriving for the various building works that we urgently needed to do. So far we’d been lucky with the weather. Although it had become cold at night, each morning the sun would burst through the cracks in our bedroom shutters, heralding the start of another warm, sunny day. […]

the-artist January 26

Which Juan? That Juan? Or This Juan? Or The Other Juan?

Looking on the bright side, having a car with a mind of its own did mean that we got to meet most of the villagers on our first day. Perhaps not the most orthodox social introduction to the people whose lives and work revolve around the olive trees and groves but it was a good […]

village1 January 24

The Joy Ride

Paco seemed most amused at being the bearer of bad news. He watched the shock on our faces as our eyes scanned the empty parking spot where the car had previously stood. He started laughing, a raucous, great belly laugh. ‘Oh dear’ he said, wiping the tears from his eyes ‘You’d better follow me’. Out […]

ensconced January 22

Buckets Of Fun

It must have been around 1.30am when I woke up needing a pee. I rolled over to get out of bed but some force of gravity pushed me back down into the centre of the mattress. I could not remember there being an enormous sag in the bed that Antonio had gifted us, but then, […]

evening-light January 08

Our Baptism Of Fire

< Irishman squeezed my hand lovingly. This was it, our baptism of fire. Our initiation into Spanish village life was about to begin. We parted the beaded curtain and walked into the dimly lit bar. There were some men sat playing cards but they were too engrossed in their game to notice us. Not so […]

house-keys---four-inches-long January 06

The Road From Bilbao

The first roundabout we encountered outside the Port of Bilbao proved something of a challenge. Just for the record, we went around it 10 times. ‘The road map, Lottie, where’s the bloody road map?’ ‘ I don’t know! I thought you’d put it in the car?’ ‘NO! You said, that you were putting it into […]

ferry January 04

The Bucket List

The last of the bags, bedding, and essentials, had been crammed into the back of the car. All that remained for me to do the moment that Irishman’s back was turned, was to smuggle in two plastic buckets. The minute I thought he wasn’t looking, I whisked them out of their hiding place and wedged […]

knife October 15

Eid al-Adha Jakarta 2013 : The Feast Of Sacrifice

I must warn you that this post contains graphic images of animals being slaughtered. If you are vegan, vegetarian or in any way squeamish, then please do not read it. If on the other hand you are interested in learning about this special day in the Muslim calendar, you are in luck; your South-east Asian […]

rude-goat October 09

Glue, Codeine & Beer – The Perks Of Packing

God only knows what goes into the glue here but it’s good! I’ve been up since 5am packing and my back is now knackered. A fistful of 30mg codeine, a few cans of beer and I’m now feeling stoned. The shippers arrive tomorrow to whisk our worldly goods away to Spain but I’m feeling so […]

Photo taken from Google Images. September 29

Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas – Lottie’s answer to learning Spanish

I know Irishman meant well and was only trying to offer encouragement by telling me that Thomas Jefferson  taught himself Spanish in nineteen days, but did I really need to hear it? I’m pretty sure that the 3rd President of The United States Of America did not have the advantage that I do of a […]

Yes, we’ve arrived in Jakarta! (Looking Back At My First Post)

Originally posted on Lottie Nevin – The Rioja Diaries:
The Prelude In the past week we have travelled over 17,442 miles. We’ve both laughed and we’ve cried. There has been a divorce and a marriage proposal, all in the same morning.  We’ve drunk ‘probably the most expensive lager in the world’ in the middle of…

I think I need to read this book. September 17

Lottie’s Survival Tips For Big Girls In Jakarta #2

I rarely wear knickers so buying skimpies in Jakarta hasn’t as yet posed a problem. Unfortunately, though I may get away with going commando, I cannot for health and safety reasons abandon my büstenhalter. Since living here, my bosoms have grown from a trim DD to a whopping 36 F and still my cups spilleth […]

eat-my-buns--pete-and-lottie-nevin-wedding-day September 14

Memory Lane – Two Years Down The Line

Two years ago today, I received an anxious phone call from our removal company. ‘Mrs. Nevin, we have an 18 tonne articulated lorry parked outside your house and 4 packers ready to box your things for shipment, where are you? At first I was a little confused but then the penny bounced. ‘OH FUCK!’ I […]

face September 12

Lottie’s Survival Tips For Living In Jakarta #1

Before I leave Jakarta, I feel honour and duty bound to write at least one post on vittels. This post is therefore dedicated to fellow lushes and curry freaks, especially the ones who find them selves here in Jakarta with a trembling hand and a burning desire for a hot madras. In the great Durian, […]

Lottie on Orgasmo-lav September 05

Plato’s Cave In Jakarta

I’ve not written about my bowels for ages, months in fact. There was a time when almost every post I wrote had some reference to having the shits or being rendered housebound by flatulence or a combination of both. I even wrote about my ineptness at aiming straight over a squat toilet. Remember the story […]

Mount-Agung-bali August 24

Rare Sighting Of Unicorn In Bali

“Visitors flocked to the Kintamani area of Bali yesterday after hearing reports that a unicorn had been sighted earlier in the day” “We are told that the unicorn caused quite a stir. Babies screamed, and children ran crying into their mother’s arms. The normally unshakeable bullish women hawkers threw down their baskets of tacky, overpriced […]

nelsons-column August 22

Taking A Left Turn Or, How The Other Half Live

After arriving at an ungodly hour of the morning at Soekarno-Hatta airport, I checked in for my Emirates flight back to London via Dubai and then went to find a cup of coffee. As the noisy tannoy spluttered and gurgled the announcement for my flight, I made my way to the boarding gate. Handing over […]

L-shaped-room August 18

Holding My Nerve And, A Near Miss With A Rabbit Hutch.

Before I venture any further with this story, it might be helpful to first explain why in the end we decided to focus on Spain rather than Portugal as a place to re-locate to. Having previously waxed lyrical about the Eastern Algarve and living close to the sea, we soon realized that we were about […]

lemons-andalucia August 17

Lottie’s Project – House Hunting In Andalucia

Two weeks ago, I was flying off on a mission. Armed with a motley assortment of Irishman’s maxed out credit cards, airplane tickets, vouchers for hotel and car hire in Malaga and whatever clothes I could stuff into a cabin bag not much larger than a pencil case, my brief was to find and buy […]

jakarta-pancoran-sunrise July 12

Just A Bit Of Fun – F/2.8

A spectacular sunrise greeted me the other morning as I stumbled bleary-eyed from my bed. Keen to capture this rare treat for posterity (there is normally too much smog) I grabbed my camera and went out onto the balcony to record the event. In my doziness I never checked the settings and so just snapped […]

IMG_4385 July 11

Fancy A Walk?

I’m taking you on a walk today. You’ll need to be nimble, have 20/20 vision, good hearing and a sense of humour. Kick off your kitten heels and put on your flatties, I can assure you that you’re going to need them. The roadside thermometer reads 36c and 75% humidity outside but don’t think about […]

MrandMrsNevin July 09

Some Marmalade, Madam?

Since Tavira is only 18 miles from the Spanish border, it would have been rude of us not to have paid a visit to Spain during our short stay in the Algarve. How fortunate then that Seville, Andalusia’s magnificent capital seemingly built by the hand of virgins, cherubs, and angels, is just an hour and […]

boat July 05

Sardines, Madam?

Enough of the glums, they are banished! And creative constipation can go hang because I’m determined to get this post out today – there’s a lot of catching up to do. Spike Milligan (one of my all time favourite people) famously said ‘We haven’t got a plan so nothing can go wrong!’ and I have […]

the-wave-jakarta June 01

The Other Side Of The Coin

This photographic challenge that I’ve set myself is proving an interesting exercise. As with most of my creative endeavours, I start with an idea but never quite know how it will end up. So far it’s not going the way that I had hoped. That’s not to say that it is a failure, it’s more […]

butterfly-bali-images May 30

Arachnids & Kids

Having been spoilt rotten and spent the past 8 weeks in Bali, it’s a bit of a rude shock now being back in Jakarta. The two places are as different as chalk and cheese. Each have their good and bad points as anywhere, but they may as well be two different planets from a living […]

hair-wash-bali-river May 27

Inspirational Women

Down by the river the ladies of the kampung bathe themselves and wash their clothes. They were very sweet-natured and kindly allowed me to take these photos. It was an intimate moment as the young woman with the towel around her had been stark-naked just moments before. I asked them how long it takes to […]

cock-fighting-bali-rural-life May 26

Two Men And Their Cocks

I met two men yesterday. Within 5 minutes of being introduced to me they’d got out their cocks and were proudly showing them off . Anywhere else in the world this might seem rather forward but this is Bali and on Bali things are done a little differently. I was delighted to see their cocks […]

jalanjalan-bali-padi-fields May 23

Lost In Bali

Yesterdays trip back to the kampung turned into something of a family outing. Wayan’s 83 year old mother, Wayan and her 17 year old son, wanted to join us on the outing. And why not? The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. I hired a larger car to accomodate us all and made […]

laughing-bali-kampung May 21

Real Bali

Away from the busy tourist beach resorts of the south and the choked streets of Ubud there lies a very different Bali. Here there are no bars, restaurants, hotels or hawkers. Just miles and miles of terraced greenery and jungle stretching as far as the eye can see. In this oasis of verdant calm, life […]

foxinsnow May 15

The Day That You Were Born.

Isabel helped to bring you into the world Theo. She was my midwife. When she wasn’t delivering babies, she’d be delivering lambs or calves on her own farm. She was a large, strong, Yorkshire woman, down to earth and practical. I reckoned that if she could pull a calf out, she wouldn’t have a problem […]

beerglass-bali-sanur May 07

I Spy With My Little Eye

It looks like the rainy season is now behind us. Apart from a short, dramatic downpour the other night, the regular pattern of rain every afternoon has come to halt. I’m no weather girl but I’m prepared to wager a bet that the dry season has arrived. Another most welcome arrival is that of my […]

Ubud, Bali. Indonesia, Kampung, Babi May 01

Reaching Out And Connecting

These days it’s not unusual for me to find emails from people that I’ve never met in my in-box. They are not spam messages; these are from people who have found me through the Contact Me button on this blog. I’m always delighted to hear from people who genuinely want to know more about re-locating […]

bunga-ratna April 26

Bunga Ratna Or Purple Friday

I took these photographs earlier this morning. I was in a sulk waiting for the rats to finish having noisy sex in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. All night long they had kept me awake playing kiss chase in the ceiling above my bed. To top it all, Mr Ratty then decided to get […]

stewart April 19

Spin The Bintang Bottle

Here is a virtual trip down some streets in Jogja (Yogyakarta) yesterday. They are some of the worst pictures that I have taken and I do apologise. In my defence, they were taken at high speed (lol) sitting in a bajak. I should also confess to having had 2 large bottles of Bintang beforehand. Potholed […]

jimbaran-bali-children April 16

Happy, Smiley People

On Saturday morning we made our usual pilgrimage to the fish market at Jimbaran. Little did any of us know that a few hours later a Lion Air plane was going to crash into the sea, just a few 100 metres from where all of these photographs were taken. Mercifully there were no fatalities but […]

balangan-bali-surf-shack-baby April 09

Beautiful People

The following photographs were taken over a period of 24 hours. Half of them in Bali, and the other half on Gili Trawangan, an island just off Lombok, Indonesia. I have got over my hang up of asking strangers if I can take their photos. I’ve become quite bold in asking if they would mind […]

petals April 02

Métis, Monet & Nelumbo nucifera

On Saturday evening, I was treated to dinner out by friends who have been staying with me here in Bali. Donning our best bibs and tuckers we headed over to Métis in Seminyak, arriving just before it got dark. I’m so glad that we caught the last of the daylight, as the grounds of this […]

IMG_0058 March 24

Fritz & Otto: Why They Didn’t Move To Indonesia.

Originally posted on Lottie Nevin – The Rioja Diaries:
It was a heartbreaking decision to have to leave our two dachshunds behind when we moved  to Indonesia 18 months ago. The truth is that they would have hated it here. The heat and humidity, the nowhere to go for nice walks, the traffic and noise,…

doves--bali March 24

Cowboys & Cisterns

When Irishman and I first started stepping out together I had no idea that his bathroom was to become the bane of my life. The first weekend that I stayed at his house, he told me that under no circumstances was I to flush the toilet. Slightly perplexed by this I visited the bathroom and […]

ships-mate March 20

A Potted History Of Indonesia & Why I Love It

You would need more than a lifetime to fully explore the length and breadth of Indonesia, this extraordinary country in S.E Asia that has been my home since leaving London in 2011.When our plane touched down on the melting tarmac at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, I had no idea what life in Indonesia had in store for me. Nor had […]

Lottie-Nevin-Pete-Nevin-Jakarta March 13

What Is Love?

What is love? What does it feel like? How does it happen? What makes us fall in love? I’d never planned on writing a post about love, there is plenty enough written already by wordsmiths infinitely better qualified than I, but yesterday and then again this morning, some sort of synchronicity happened that moved me […]

borobudur-indonesia-stone-relief2 February 28

On The Road To Magelang

No trip to Jogja would be complete without at least one meal that included Gudeg and of course, a visit to Borobudur. This magnificent Mahayana Buddhist temple was built in the 9th century and was a site of worship and pilgrimage for many, many years until suddenly it vanished. For hundreds of years it lay […]

jogja-kraton-bandstandb February 25

Currants And Sultanas

The days of hedonistic pleasure rooms, fountains and water gardens may be long gone, but there is still a Sultan, and his lady wife residing in the Kraton, a fortified city within the heart of Yogyakarta. There is no mistaking the thick white walls which mark the boundary of this huge palace built around 1755. […]

yogyakarta-taman-sari-queens-pool-steps February 24

A Saucy Sultan, Bathing Beauties & A Palace Of Pleasure

Oh how I would love to travel back 250 years in time and visit Taman Sari in it’s heyday. What a glorious place it must have been with its palaces, waterways, pools and pleasure rooms, not least it’s18 water gardens, pavilions and lakes. This once vast water and garden complex covering several acres, was built […]

gravatar2 August 28

My Pelvic Floor And Our Move To The 12th Floor

I’m meant to be packing up our apartment in Dengue Villas today. It’s hardly a big deal as we are not actually moving out of the building, merely up 7 floors. To look at the place though you’d think it was. Empty packing boxes are strewn around the sitting room and piles and piles of […]

578966_10151532004771944_494516719_n December 14

Driving The Vicar

About 13 years ago, I moved with my first husband and our five young children to a small, pretty village on the edge of the Dales in North Yorkshire. We had previously lived in a remote farmhouse high up on the windswept moors and I tended and ran a 40-acre Organic smallholding. We kept goats, […]


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