It’s now six months since I left Indonesia on the 4th April, and it is 4 weeks since I arrived on Badu Island in the Torres Strait. After a 2 week holiday, tomorrow, 5/10/21, I return to my Grade 1/2 classroom and will teach my delightful group of 19 students for the next 10 weeks. I’m loving this experience.

My home for 10 months.

Badu Island is my home until the end of June, 2022. I have my own two bedroom duplex with open plan kitchen, dining and living room. It has a veranda along the front that faces a very natural treed garden and beyond this the school.

I feel very spoilt to have my own space. With good wifi, it allows me to keep in contact with Bali and my friends and staff there. It is also an idyllic space to create short stories and my latest memoir. I really have landed on my feet.


Last week, I visited the Badu Art Centre and met with Joseph Au, the chairman of the board for the centre as well as being one of the artists. I tutored Joseph on Thursday Island 30 years ago. There’s a huge number of works on display and they are predominately lino-cuts and screen prints. All are of a very high standard. If you are interested in knowing more about the centre or to see artworks, just click on the link below.

Writing news.

I received good news a few days ago. Here it is.

Dear Stephen, We have pleasure in informing you that your short story My Mum, My Genealogist has been shortlisted for the 2021 E.M. Fletcher Writing Award.

I’ve entered four short stories in competitions this year, and this is the first time I’ve made the short list. Next Saturday, I am on a ZOOM presentation with the 130 people who entered as well as the judges. Ten of us made the short list and they will announce the winner and the runner-up. I sure would like to win the $1,000 prize, but I’m not counting those chickens yet. Here’s hoping.


I’m still walking an hour a day and loving the scrub land that lines many of the tracks. It will enjoy a good wet season. Not sure about weight loss, but I’m still being careful with my eating. I’ll buy a set of scales soon and hope I’m not in for any surprises.

Happy surprises.

Whenever I go to the shops or coffee shop, I’m greeted with smiles and conversation. Sometimes it’s friends from twenty years ago, welcoming me back and other times its people interested to know what I’m doing here. There is a genuine warmth.

Last week, my neighbours dropped me in four fresh Coral Trout fillets. They’d been fishing and I was one of the lucky recipients of their excess catch. They were delicious. The same neighbour baked a few days later and I was gifted two chocolate eclairs. Yes. I am spoilt.

Until next time. Have fun and stay safe.

6 thoughts on “SIX MONTHS ALREADY.”

  1. This is wonderful, amazingly wonderful news, Steve. I am so glad to hear how things on so many fronts are going well for you. But to be short listed: WOW!
    My daughter is teaching a first/second grade in Harlem. Both of you are with the adorable and still malleable little ones where you can make such a difference in their lives. Enjoy this experience to the fullest.

    1. Hi Mandy, Great to hear from you as always. I am loving this adventure and opportunities but it comes at a price. I miss Bayu, Bali and all my friends there. It is complex to love one place so much and to be in another. But, if I must be in another place, I’m glad it’s Badu Island. I start back to school today after a 17 day holiday, so head down and tail up for the next 9 weeks until our long summer holiday. I hope the move has gone / is going well. Stay safe. Steve

  2. It’s wonderful to hear news from you and dear Bali.I look forward to a time when we can return and enjoy the energy and activity there.
    It is great fun to hear of your adventures so keep writing. Keep me on the list of new updates about “Bali of my Heart.”
    Cheers, stay healthy and happy!

  3. Your delight in Steve 4.0 makes me so happy. You are the perfect example of lemons to lemonade. You made me look up that animal! Really what a strange creature. Do they have platypus there. Barry always sent me articles when the made the news. Carry on and keep the delightful stories coming. 💋

  4. It’s a bit surreal to leave behind a beloved place and dear friends only to find yourself in another special place where you’re welcomed and appreciated. I remember being afraid I could never love another child as fiercely and completely as I loved my first. But lo and behold…I had two more and my heart stretched, expanded, enveloped them as thoroughly as it had that first. May our hearts be ever broadening their scope to include all the goodness that comes our way.

    1. Sherry, life is strange. I really am enjoying Badu Island. I want to be in Bali, but I can’t dwell on this, otherwise I will ruin this experience and sour everything. So I count my blessing, of which there are so many, and tell myself to enjoy every breath, and I do. Bayu is on the same page and this really helps. I hope you keep enjoying your family experiences. You’ve waited long enough for them. Hugs. Steve.

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