Saturday, 13 October 2007


I can’t remember when I last blogged. That’s the effect ‘Dreamland’ beach has on you. Everything slows to the pace of the waves metronomically rolling on to the beach. There’s absolutely no way I could squeeze breakfast, lunch, dinner, two surfs, a snooze, a bit of reading AND write a blog. Never mind having to leave the suspension-of-reality that is Dreamland to embark upon the 10 minute slog up to the main road where the internet lives. I’ve only just managed to prepare myself for that expedition.

On the second night here I joined a beach bonfire party and began generating my first hangover since departure. The party’s instigators where some a-whoopin and a-hollerin american frat-boy types who despite being in their mid to late 20’s displayed the full gamut of intoxicated masculine emotions I thought had been confined to my mid-teen forays into the magical world of booze. We were treated to arm wrestling, fire-jumping, chase-me, and other such acts of bravado deigned to alert the local females of their presence, followed by cringe-inducing awkward jerky shuffle-dancing to gangsta rap whilst following no discernable rhythm before the overly desperate lunges at anything remotely feminine culminating in a brother on brother fist-fight — the result of which was their heartfelt vows to disown one another — and the rest of the fraternity passing out in the sand.

Backdropped by this diversion I met some funny, well-balanced English lads, a Swiss man, an Austrian, some French folks, 2 German girls and a gaggle of English traveller-trail girls who almost equalled the americans in ther national stereotypical displays and were therefore equally entertaining to engage; the pretty one who was desperate to liase with an equally attractive other, despite gary-back-home, who frowned and stropped and needed attending to by her courtiers when her advances on a french surfer were rebuffed. The chief courier, a plump, older geordie lass who was actually very nice and some assorted other girls from the Isles clinging deperately to the diminishing dregs of the wine box.

I’m staying in an amazing bamboo-built losmen at the south end of dreamland beach, terraced into the hillside. My room is open on two sides and if I prop myself up n my elbows after one of my naps I can see all the way down to the southernmost prominentary of Uluwatu, a temple site and the most famous surf break in Bali. Before that is Padang Padang, Bali’s Pipeline, Impossibles, Bingin and closest to home the fast shorebreak right of Dreamlands. If my foot was alive I would be dangerous.

By the way, do any medical types out there know what I can do to help regain feeling and movemenet in my foot. The action I can’t do is drawing the foot up towards the shin. I have no control or power there so I can’t stand on my heels, for example. Any ideas greatly received.

I’m moving up the beach today by about 250 metres which will be a bit of a struggle but I’m sure I’ll manage it. It’s a bit of a shame because this place is spacious, the views are jaw-droppingly good and I know a few of the local residents, but it will be a bit like going home moving to Eric’s place. Some of the English inmates and I are going up to the ‘big road’ to watch the footall this evening in a bar which should be fun. I’m now off to mentally prepare myself for the big move.

(btw - i surfed Uluwatu today for those who know)


sis said...

wow to the view...
will come back to you about foot..will ask around..
how is your disc?
I have moved into the barn at Tilton and discovered a steam runs underneath my bedroom.. I found a hole at the back of the building and lay on my stomach and shone a torch down it and saw a shoal of tiger-striped carp.... it is strange to thinkof fish swimming undernetah you int he sussex countryside... Jupiter was - as ever - my trusty assistant... nothing else to report..

Emma said...

Wow - those pictures look amazing - I remember the Dreamlands effect well. I dont know how you manage to fit surfing in when it was all I could do to fit in 3 snoozes and a couple of Victorian novels per day, oh and of course various food sessions (although not one jaffle or Bintang passed my lips in two weeks). I'm trusting by the time you read this you will have seen the rugby highlights and so I feel safe in saying "Nous gagnons!"
Ali - yoga any time? Let's speak soon. Perhaps jupiter can join in? xxxx

Mum said...

Welcome back Edward. I can see how difficult it must be to leave that view behind to write a blog. It's like paradise. We're all concerned about you pesky foot. I couldn't sleep on Friday night so got up to read my book. About 4:00a.m. I realised that my left foot was totally numb!! Very disconcerting feeling. Then I had an "Alexandra moment" and decided that I was drawing away your pain and transferring it to myself as any good mother would.The feeling in my foot gradually returned after a few minutes so it looks as if my powers failed. Sorry darling.

Mark said...

Ed - you have a Foot Drop. This is an abnormal neuromuscular (nerve and muscle) disorder that affects the your ability to raise your foot at the ankle. Drop foot is further characterized by an inability to point the toes toward the body (dorsiflexion) or move the foot at the ankle inward or outward. Pain, weakness, and numbness may accompany loss of function.

I had this many years ago and had to have surgery to remove the part of the disc which was impinging on the nerve.

An MRI is really the most conclusive way to diagnose. The best thing to do is take pain killers, anti inflammatories, see an eastern healer/naturopath and and more rest until either the inflammation around the nerve subsides, or if the disc is herniated,(bulging)the inflammation around it subsides.

Walking becomes a challenge due to the patient's inability to control the foot at the ankle. The foot may appear floppy and the patient may drag the foot and toes while walking. Patients with foot drop usually exhibit an exaggerated or high-stepping walk called Steppage Gait or Footdrop Gait.

Drop Foot/Foot Drop: A Symptom

Drop foot is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying problem. Depending on the cause, drop foot may be temporary or permanent. Often drop foot is caused by injury to the peroneal nerve deep within the lumbar and sacral spine. The peroneal nerve is a division of the sciatic nerve. The peroneal nerve runs along the outside of the lower leg (below the knee) and branches off into each ankle, foot, and first two toes. It innervates or transmits signals to muscle groups responsible for ankle, foot, and toe movement and sensation.

Peroneal Nerve: Causes of Injury

The peroneal nerve is susceptible to different types of injury. Most common is nerve compression from lumbar disc herniation (e.g. L4, L5, S1),

Surgery may be an option to correct or alleviate the underlying problem causing drop foot. For example, if drop foot is caused by nerve compression from a lumbar herniated disc, then a spinal surgical procedure called discectomy (disc removal) may be required to relieve or 'decompress' the nerve.

The best course of action, if this does not clear up in the next few days, is to come to Brisbane, where we can sort you out.

Call me on 07 3260 6263 or email to

sis said...

Just to reiterate my findings today:
Dr Bond ( Nicky's london Doctor and top London GP) said that your disc and foot can heal without surgery - especiallyas it has before. The fact that you are no longer in pain is a good sign. However there are two things that signal potential nerve dmamge

sis said...

sorry .. that went on by mistake ...

yes there are two things that signal nerve damage 1. numbness int he saddle area (bottom)
2. stool or urniateing problems

either of those suggest you should see someone assap..
her advice was that to see how it goes .. if it keeps improving... take gentle exercise everyday... and when you get to australia get it checked out with mark...the australians are far better at this sort of thing that us... she said... and there is no reason why you cant surf in a couple of weeks if you take the rest now...

so... happy birthday bro....

p.s. I also think this will not be your one and only chance to 'go around the world' .. Dad did it when he was sixty?!

sis said...

bad spelling day