Last night we had our neighbours Alistair and Melissa Scott for sunset drinks at our almost-finished house in Pererenan, then had dinner with them at their home, Villa Mako. When they arrived at our place, Bruno was in a hot debate with our Javanese carpenter about upcharges on the cabinetry. What was eccentric about this was that Bruno was speaking English and French, and Manu was speaking Javanese. The two have no languages in common, yet they manage to have long discussions. This is beyond eccentric.
So heated was their dialog that Bruno completely forgot that having neighbours for drinks means having drinks in the house, and we had none. At T-minus five minutes I had to rush out in rush hour traffic to find some wine. Problem is, there are no purveyors of alcoholic beverages for miles around, so I drove like a bat out of hell all the way back to Seminyak, from whence I had just come. I snapped up three bottles of cabernet at Best Wines & Spirits, across the street from the Kerobokan jail (home of Schapelle Corby, and former home of the Bali bombers). As I rushed out I wondered how much custom they get from the jail, where guards can be easily persuaded to do inmates’ shopping. Schapelle surely gets her tipples from Best Wines.
I tore back at warp speed to Pererenan dodging dogs and speed demons all the way, arriving just in time to see the sun sink below the horizon and to give our guests a glass, before we went up the road to their place, Villa Mako, for dinner.
Villa Mako is one of many madnesses that have marked the life of the illustrious Alistair Scott (below). In 2005 he abandoned a super-lucrative career at Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong to become a Shakespearean actor in London. His acting experience and credentials prior to this midlife madness were none whatsoever, but Alistair was undaunted and went on to succeed on stage and the small screen. Eccentric to say the least.
Alistair’s acting resume is equally eccentric, ranging from a title role in a John Mortimer play to a fuming commuter in a recent IKEA commercial. Amid all of this madness he managed to marry a vivacious and unsinkable lady from Cairns Australia of all places, adopt a pair of impishly gorgeous Chinese girls, and create a dream villa on the outskirts of Canggu in Bali. Eccentric. Villa Mako was a large but somewhat distressed property created by a trio of gay gents in the nineties. Alistair and Melissa bought it and put the place into rigourous rehab, morphing it into an elegant, colonial-chic home of Big Family proportions. Three cheers for eccentricity.
The dinner was delightful, as was the company: Alistair, Melissa, their daughters, and a niece from Florida who is heading off soon to study anthropology at the East China Minorities Institute in Chengdu. The eccentric final act of our multi-course dinner was Bruno’s bad-boy drunken stumble up the grassy path. Alistair maintains a very civilised life in Bali, along with a well-stocked cellar. When he and his family are not in residence, which is most of the year in fact, Villa Mako is let to discerning travellers by BHM Luxury Villa Management.