Thursday, 29 November 2007

Bonus pics from NZ

As promised, here are some more photos from our trip. This first one is from the small town (can't remember the name) closest to the Parrott family. We stopped there on the way out into "the sticks", because there was a circus! The kids got to visit the elephant and the little ponies!

Here is Lucas and Liam, on their way to feed the horses with some carrotts:

Linnea with their horses, carrying her Dora-bag, that has come with us everywhere this trip:

Selfportrait, taken at the house with the view of Lake Taupo in the background:

Grandma and Linnea singing in the kitchen:

Linnea was totally smitten by Kiwi, she kept patting him every time she passed him, giving him kisses and cuddles - and Kiwi was so patient. Good dog!

And, one last comment about McDonalds in NZ - look at this McDo restaurant!! You sit and eat IN the airplane!!! Isn't that just so cool?

The trip home

The trip home yesterday went fantastic! Business class was almost empty, there were only a few other passangers apart from us, very nice. Linnea watched movies and played with her Schleich-animals, played peek-a-boo with the crew, saw some movies and had some long naps.

Lucas spent the whole trip, and I mean the whole trip (apart from a 40 min nap at the end!) playing the Lego Star Wars game on Nathans PS3!

He was getting seriously good - passing through levels Nathan didn't even know existed! He just needed a little bit of help every now and then, but mostly he did it all by himself!

Today he said he wanted to go back to Grandma's house, and when I asked him what he wanted to do there, he answered "play Star Wars". So all he wants to do really, is go somewhere, anywhere - so he can play PS3!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A weird first

Today was the first time I came to Brunei, as in "coming back home". It was a bit weird, didn't really feel like coming home, yet - everything felt so familiar and comfortable.

I must admit, I did a lot of thinking on the plane, and wasn't really looking forward to coming... home (?). Maybe because we are still where we are, and it just feels like we are living in some apartment complex on a long holiday. (I really wish we could find a house of our own, soon...)

I realized I missed coming home to the UK - to our house there (that I loved so much), our life, our friends (and the TV, I miss my XFactor etc!!) and that homely feeling I still don't really have here.

Anyway, the kids are happy to be back home with their toys and familiar things; and the trip went really good. Our kids may be loud and rowdy, but they sure do know how to behave themselves on an airplane!
Hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow, so we can go swimming where the water temperature is decent! :)
The homely feeling will surely show up, in a couple of days when we are back into routines. (At least I hope so...)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Leaving on a jetplane

"Our bags are packed, we are ready to go"...

We have done a little more shopping than we actually realized...
I really had trouble fitting it all in whilst packing the bags, although we did take the BIG suitcases. I had to pack an extra small suitcase plus a cardboard box! Oups!
We are lucky we don't really have to think about the weight though, otherwise that's ususally the trickiest with airplane travel.

Have had a fab time here with the family, in the lovely weather. Now it's back to "reality" (ha ha), and another week in school for Lucas, before the winter break.
Will try and put some more photos up as soon as we get back and have unpacked all our bags, which might take a while!

Ta, ta for now!

Monday, 26 November 2007

My next challenge

I have tried something down here in NZ this time, I hadn't done before - I have played tennis!
Well, played might actually be a little bit too much said, but at least I have been on the court, hitting a few balls!

I have been reluctant to try for a very long time, although I have had plenty of opportunities. I always thought I wasn't going to be able to even get the ball over the net. I thought you had to be a lot more strong and fit to play tennis, than what I am.
But no, I actually didn't do too bad!

So, now I have decided to get signed up for tennis lessons as soon as we get back to Brunei! I seem to really enjoy it, and I think it will be a perfect way of getting fit and staying in shape - while having fun!

On another fitness note, I was offered to come with Grandma to her spin-fit class this morning. I should have gone of course (all in line with my new regime, trying out new things, keeping fit) but I didn't.
I didn't for the simple reason that I didn't want everybody to know that I'm not even half as fit as my mother-in-law... ;) She is one tough cookie you know - spin-fit class this morning, and this afternoon she was out water skiing!

More photos from International Day

Please click here to have a look at the school's slide show from the International Day.
There are a lot of pictures of the dressed up children, the stalls and the parade!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Some photos from NZ

I'm sorry that I haven't been uploading so frequently while we have been down here in NZ. We have really been busy just relaxing, enjoying the family and the nice weather - outside!
Yes, even though we do live in eternal sunshine, it is not the same. Here the weather is like the most beautiful Swedish summer day, around 25-27 degrees. Nice and sunny, with the occasional breeze. Perfect weather for being outside and play, jump on the trampoline, play in the play house, go for walks, play at the playground, be on the boat etc. All the things it's too hot for in Brunei.
Of course, we have also done some shopping!! Had a few things on the list, which we can't get in Brunei. So we have been busy, busy, busy!

But here are a few pictures from the past week. The first one is from Raglan, where we went with the Parrotts, our Kiwi/Swe friends we stayed with in the beginning of the week. This is Liam, Lucas big mate. They are the same age, and great friends!

The other day we went to this lovely cafe called L'Arte, for lunch. It is like a coffee shop and gallery in one - they showcase lots of sculptures and art, and it's all for sale. Lovely surroundings to have your lunch in!
Linnea, eating a lollipop-stick.

Beautiful mosaics.


Today (Sunday) we had a whole day on the boat. Took it out just before lunchtime and went around to a little bay, and had picnic on the beach. Had a little sleep under the umbrella and an ice cream, fed the ducks and almost had a swim (it was too cold!). On the way home we did some fishing. No fish though. Boo-hoo.
Grandma and Linnea on the boat.

Mummy and Linnea on the boat.

Here is Daddy with his new toy, a wake board! Apparently a must living in Brunei, and now he has got his own, plus all the extra gear - so he will be ready for our return. Of course, he had to try it out here, and it looks good!

This is how you ski, on a calm lake, with the snow-topped mountains as a back drop!

Feeding the ducks.

The family on the beach, having picnic. Kinloch.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Summer holiday

Yes, as you might have guessed, we are on a little trip to NZ at the moment!
It is such a luxury, to be able to just "pop over" when Nathan can get a week off, and not have to plan the trip a year in advance. Of course, everything is relative, but for us - a two-sector flight of 6+3 hours is not very long, comparatively.

We came here early Sunday morning, and have been visiting our friends Alex & Ulrika out at their farm, near Hamilton. They live in the UK half the year, where he plays polo, and here half the year where they run a stock farm.
It was seriously in the middle of nowhere, or as you say here in NZ: Out in the sticks! About 50 minutes from the nearest little village, and 30 minutes of that trip was on gravel roads that just became narrower and narrower until our last way point "the big yellow letter box"!

Their house was lovely though, so calm and peaceful with a great big garden and all the sheep and horses just down the hill. The most wonderful views, with big rolling hills and great fields as long as your eye could reach.
We went to visit Raglan, a famous surfers spot along the coast, and just enjoyed each others company. It was really nice to visit their home here, and good to see the whole family again!

Now we are at Grandmas house, waiting for Granddad who is showing up today.
The weather is absolutely superb, gorgeous summer weather with all day sun, but not too hot or sticky. Yesterday we had dinner outside, with a little breeze coming through. Lovely!
We have been doing some shopping, mostly for Christmas, but also some other small things that we have missed in Brunei. It is always cool to be in a "new" place and shop!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

McDonalds - Around the world

Guess where we are at the moment?

Well, it's kind of easy and most of you already knew anyway. I just thought it was funny to put this photo up, to compare it with the "Green bean McFlurry" of my country! I would choose this dessert over the other one any day though.
Here is another local McDo speciality:

Friday, 16 November 2007

International Day 2007

Today we celebrated International Day at school. It was such a nice day!
Lucas was dressed up in his Swedish football kit and he looked so sporty and cool! Unfortunately I didn't have any special outfit, will have to get one for next year - maybe I should be a Viking then? :)

The day started with all the kids from Junior School in a great parade in front of all the parents.
Later on the Kindy kids came for a trip around the world at their playground - where all the mums had set up different tables and stalls, with all the countries the kids are from represented.

There is ONE other Swedish mum at Kindy (nice, because apparently we are only five Swedes total in Brunei, according to the Consulate!) so I didn't have to do it all on my own. We were very proud of our table, and our chokladbollar (=chocolate balls) proved to be a great success!
We had some Swedish children's books on display, a soft toy Pippi Långstrump with her horse, a Bamse, a Swedish flag, some Swedish Christmas decorations, some photos of snow and some information sheets about Swedish music artists, Swedish sportsmen, Swedish brands and Swedish inventions.

All the kids wandered around the stalls with their little "passports" and got stamps from every country they visited. They also participated in making small Eiffel Towers, colouring in flags, getting their hands painted with henna, trying local instruments and receiving some souvenirs and yummy local food to eat. It was great fun!

Here is a little slide show from today:

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Monkey buisness

Today we finally got a good closeup view of some wild monkeys! They do live everywhere around here in the jungle, we just haven't spotted more than one or two at a time yet.

Actually, it wasn't just some - it was a big troop of them, probably around 20 or more.
They were sitting in a field, just next to the road, just outside the Rimba compound. We stopped to have a closer look, but that frightened them up into the trees. The kids thought it was great though, and waved at all the monkeys.

I tried to take a photo, but they were too far away - can you spot any?

Wake up little bunnies!

Linnea's favourite song for a while now, has been "Sleeping Bunnies". She loves it and gets all into all the movements that go with it.

First you have to pretend you are asleep, which she does brilliantly, closing her eyes and everything...

Then you wake up and jump around, like little bunnies - hence the somewhat blurry photo...

"See the Little Bunnies
See the little bunnies sleeping till it’s nearly noon
Shall we go and wake them with a merry tune?
They’re so still
Are they ill?
Wake up little bunnies!
Hop little bunnies hop hop hop
Hop little bunnies hop hop hop
Hop little bunnies hop hop hop
Hop hop hop hop hop"

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Who needs IKEA anyway?

Nathan had seen this article in the newspaper the other day, and we decided today to go and check it out. We went to The Fountain in Kiulap and Linnea and I had "Swedish Meatballs" with lingonberry jam and cream sauce for lunch - yum, yum!

They were not bad at all, we will definitely come back! If only they would start selling furniture too...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Kindy schedule 11 - 16 November

Term 1 week 11
Where we come from / Journeys / International Day – Focus activities:
Letter of the week Jj
Focus story: The Gingerbread man
Counting and matching numbers
Making gingerbread men, by adding all the body parts
Stories from around the world
What do we pack in our bag, for a specific journey?

Music with Mr Instone
Extra perceptual motor lesson with Mrs Carter

ICT – Interactive whiteboard activities
PE with Mrs Carter
Friends Assembly with Mr Jolly


Cooking: making gingerbread people.

Library with Mrs Mann

International Day, please wear traditional wear from your home countries
Parade 08-09.00
Class activites 09.00-11.30
11.00 – Kindy Journey around the world & food fair – please come and join us in this fun journey – children will make a passport and then travel to the different country tables and collect stamps and stickers in their passports, look at items from various countries, play some traditional games and taste food from that country.

Tuesday Theme 13 November - Sverige idag, ute

I have skipped the photo for todays Tuesday Theme, since it is a bit difficult for me, for obvious reasons. The theme is Sverige idag, ute (=Sweden today, outside).
Here is a little bit of 'Sweden outside' though. I wouldn't mind having a bit of snow too, just for one day or so!

First time at the gym

Yesterday when I came to the Country Club, ready to participate in the BodyPump workout, I found out that our instructor was away, and the BodyPump had been replaced with yoga.

I will try out yoga, some day, but wasn't really set on that yesterday. So instead, I went into the gym, and worked out at the machines, with my friend Anna's help.

This wasn't just my first time at the gym here in Brunei, it was actually my first time EVER working out with machines..! (If you don't count that one time several years ago I did a gym session in CPH. I had bought a yearly membership, and got shown around - but I never actually went again, it was one expensive workout...)

Anyway, it was surprisingly ok. I have always thought it was going to be far to monotonous for me to do machines, but I kind of enjoyed it! I will definitely do more of that in between my classes - and bring my iPod next time!

The good thing with the gym here is, that even though it's a state-of-the-art gym with all the latest gear, it is for the "normal" people like myself. The people who come to workout are mostly expats who just wants to keep fit, not bodybuilders. Mums with some extra wobble, just like me!
Oh, and then of course, there is one of the Sultans brothers, a Prince, and his wife the Princess (have never really caught her name...), who come every morning as well. So I'm working out with the royals, pretty cool, huh!

This is the view from my gym:

Alarm clock failure

Ever since we got here, we have had a little alarm clock called Linnea coming in to our bed, early every morning. (Because she can, before we came here she was in a cot. Now she is in a normal bed.)
Usually it's about five o'clock, which of course is far to early to get up. She tends to come in, cuddle up and go back to sleep though, most days...
(If we are unlucky, she sits in our bed and tells us "waking, downstairs, gå ner, frukost (=breakfast)!!" over and over again in a loud voice, while she pokes us in the face...)

Today the little alarm clock came in, woke her Daddy up and declared she had done a poo (!), and needed new diaper. So, she got changed, and came back in to our bed and fell asleep again.
Apparently very deep, because I woke up about ten minutes before when we normally leave the house..!

Fortunately, I had everything packed and ready since last night, both Lucas and my gear - so we could shoot off to school and the gym without getting late at all, and we even had time for breakfast first!

Maybe it is time, to set the normal alarm clock too by now.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

School excursion

Here you can see a slide show from Lucas school excursion last week, to a very high tower!

Apparently they sang "Humpty Dumpty" on live radio!

Translation skills

The other day I overheard my family while the kids were in the bath and Nathan was cleaning them.
Linnea was going on and on about wanting to brush her teeth, but in Swedish: "Nea borsta tänderna, Nea borsta tänderna!" (=Linnea wants to brush her teeth etc).

Nathan didn't seem to pay her any attention (don't know if it was because he didn't understand or because he just wasn't listening...) so after a while Lucas looked at Nathan and said loudly and with irritation in his voice:
-"Daddy!! Linnea wants to brush her teeeeeth!!"

That was the first time I realized that Lucas was actually translating for her!
This means, he knows when they speak which language, and he knew that Nathan didn't understand what she said, because it was in Swedish!

Saturday, 10 November 2007


This is heaven!

I think this is the first time since we moved here, both of them has actually taken a nap at the same time!
I turned off the tv, the ac and everything else that made noise and just sat down and enjoyed the silence... so lovely.

Playing outside

As we live in a complex that is gated, the "street" is a really safe place for the kids to play here. No one ever drives at any speed here.
Usually in the afternoons, all the kids from the complex come outside and play tag, go on discovery walks and ride around on their bikes and scooters. They have great fun!

Here is Lucas on his bike he got from Granddad and Grandma for his 3rd birthday. It has finally reached us, via Seoul and Singapore...

This is Bon, who has been living just next door, and also has been going to Lucas Kindy. They have been the best of pals, and have been playing almost every day - so it was a sad day yesterday, because Bon moved away. His family is going to Macau where his Dad is starting a new job. Good Luck in your new home!

Here is Linnea and Scarlett, another one of our neighbors. It is so great with all these kids around us!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

In between feeling quite lonely down here, I am also really busy, and this week has been hysterical!

Monday I did my workout at the gym in the morning, picked Lucas up from school and also had to pick Nathan up from the airport and then pick up the second car that we have bought (a "bucket", just to drive to and from the airport in) and then off to the beach for the Guy Fawkes Night.

Tuesday, I did my workout at the gym and then my weekly shopping. In the afternoon I picked Lucas up from school, and went for a coffee at a friends house and in the evening the normal chores with the kids.

Yesterday Linnea was visiting Kindy in the morning, siblings day. Then her and I went to the Christmas Fayre the British Community Link was organizing and on the way to pick Lucas up we had to go shopping for some things I had forgot the day before. In the afternoon I had the neighbour over for a play date and then we went to some friends for a BBQ in the evening.

Today I have had my swimming lesson this morning, followed by my coaching session. Then I took the kids to the Yacht Club this afternoon and this evening I have been on a Private Viewing of the work of a local artist, and having coffee at a friends house.

Tomorrow I'm taking Linnea to toddler group and after that I am going to the gym. We might go and see a house, and in the afternoon Lucas is having a play date over...

*Phew*... Life sometimes is really busy!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


I think it has finally happened, it is all paying off... I can see it now! YES!

See what?!
A change.

You know, even though our (I'm writing our, because it is affecting the whole family) whole lifestyle change is about more than just my weight issue, it is of course part of it.
I can't see it in any big way on the scales yet (must be because muscles are heavier than fat, right?) but I have been feeling it for a while - and today, I do think I actually can SEE a change in my body too - lovely feeling!

Mind you, going from doing absolutely no exercise at all in the UK - to working out at the gym three times a week, having one swimming lesson and one swimming practise; plus eating a lot healthier, must give a positive result!

Maybe it is just my attitude that has changed, but one thing is for sure, something is happening, and I am starting to feel happy about myself again.
I am longing for Monday mornings, to go to the gym, to workout. I was so down last week when I was sick and had to cancel my swimming lesson and couldn't do any workout. I really enjoy my exercise!

I still have far to go, but it is happening!

Some school trip!

When I was about 9-10 years old, my class spent a whole term in school collecting money in different ways, to go on a school trip. You know, we made our mothers bake bread and cookies to sell, put on shows, held tombolas etc.
Then we went about 80 km south to Borås, and spent a day at Borås Zoo, that was our school trip! (As far as I remember, it was a great day by the way!

My friend Anna's daughter Amelia has just been on a school trip too - to Australia!!!
Yes, she is 10 years old, and she and her classmates has just been away for a whole week, in Darwin. That's a 7 hour airplane ride away, and another continent..!

Now, that's what I call a school trip!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Tuesday Theme 06 November - En/Ett

Today's Tuesday Theme is en/ett (=one).

There is just one of me - I am unique.

Guy Fawkes 2007

We went down to the beach last night with a few friends, had a bit of a bbq and lit some fireworks to celebrate Bonfire Night.

Around the bonfire.

Linnea, Amanda, Nathan & Lucas

My family

Will and Luke lighting "the big one", or at least trying to, in the rain.

It was really, really nice - apart from the small details that Linnea was scared of the rockets and Lucas afraid of the dark.., and the rain became heavier and heavier...

Here I am, in the dark, completely soaked! It is Lucas under the stripy-green towel and Linnea under the dark green one in my lap..!
We didn't stay long unfortunately, but found out today that the others had packed up as well, just after we left. The rain won sadly.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Kindy schedule 5 - 9 November

Term 1 week 10
Babies - Big & Little – Focus activities:
Letter of the week Ii
Focus story: The Story of Rama and Sita (Deepavali)
Comparative mathematical language – big/bigger/biggest & small/smaller/smallest
Counting and matching numbers - 10 little indians
Babies are small - we are big

Music with Mr Instone
Extra perceptual motor lesson with Mrs Carter

ICT – Interactive whiteboard activities
PE with Mrs Carter
Deepavali Assembly with Mrs Lewis

Baby brothers and sisters welcome to visit until 9 am.

Library with Mrs Mann

Swimming 10.00 – 10.30.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

EFIT - Saturday 03.11.2007

08.30 Time to get up, after a lovely sleep-in.

09.30 After breakfast, jump into the shower!

10.30 Look what came in a parcel for me! My Ordning&Reda calendar for next year that I had ordered! And how pretty it is... *sigh*

11.30 Cleaning up after Halloween.

12.30 - 15.30 Regatta-time at the Yacht Club. We went up there for lunch and stayed the whole afternoon. Got so relaxing I forgot to take photos these hours *shame on me*.

16.30 Someone we didn't know had a birthday party, but fortunately there was cake enough even for our kids..! No more spoons though, hence the extra messy face!

17.30 One last G&T for the road (not for the driver though).

18.30 Linnea is really into her animals at the moment. Especially lining them all up.

19.30 Labeling my "bread-stuff" for the bread machine.

20.30 Starting my uploading, doing my blog round, emailing, Skyping... will be at it for a while, so no more pictures tonight!