Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Sign of Life

I just realized today that I haven't posted in here in over a week! That must be a new record?!
I'm sorry. We have been slightly busy...

We are still in Sydney with the family, just a few days left now so making the most of it. I will be back as soon as we get home to our own little corner of the world, and upload some photos and tell you all more about it!

So long!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Good news and bad news

Today was a big day! After having spent almost nine months in the awful, hard and very uncomfortable beds this house were equipped with - our new beds arrived today, from IKEA in Singapore! Yay!

As Nathan was working the amah and I joined forces, and managed to mount them without too much trouble. Then I made them up and now they are standing there looking oh so inviting. I tried them out briefly, and yes, they are so soft!

(Picture taken from

The only downside to this is that as we are leaving for Sydney tonight we wont be going to bed here today... We will have to wait two whole weeks, to inaugurate our new, soft and supercomfy beds. Life is so unfair.

Sport time

Yesterday it was time for the Kids Hash again. It's only once a month, so better make an effort when it's on, to go. Nathan was off yesterday, so we could both go with the kids, which was nice. (Although yesterdays run was a lot easier than last months run, where we had to carry the kids through waist-deep water etc.)
Here is Lucas, Adam and Malthe in the jungle:

The kids really enjoyed it yesterday especially since all their little friends were there too. They were all really clever and kept looking for "the white paper". They did all their walking, even Linnea. And she really looked the part this time too, so cool:

What they seem to enjoy the most is all the play afterwards - and the hotdogs of course!

This morning, Anna, Maria and I did a Bukit together - with full backpacks! It was actually really hard (at least for me) and I thought I had overpacked mine, until I felt the other girls backpacks at the end of the run, and realized mine was not even half as heavy as theirs...

Well. I keep telling myself, that at least it wont be this hot up on the mountain. We will be fine. We are actually in very good shape by now! My mantra is "we can do it, we can do it"...

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Can't keep up!

I can't keep up! The days are spinning by far too fast for me to be able to fit everything in at the moment.

Tomorrow we are off to Sydney for two weeks (and I haven't even started to pack yet!) to hang out with the family, celebrate a birthday, go to Hunter Valley and taste wine, join a few Scrapbooking classes, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, do some sightseeing, visit the Zoo and see some Swedish friends.

By the time we get back, it's time for my Scrapbooking talk at the big meeting, and hopefully I will be able to kick-start my new scrap-adventure. (More about that later). The week after the meeting, it's already time to hit off to KK for the climb of Mt Kinabalu !
It's only three weeks left in school after we get back, until the next midterm holidays, and then just another five weeks until the long summer holidays!

Hopefully, by then we should be getting ready to move in to our new house, and then off to Europe for a break at the end of July.
When we get back in August, it will be a new chapter for us, with a big house finally, and both kids in school! Someone - pull the brakes, I can't keep up!

(Photo borrowed from

Friday, 18 April 2008

Linnea right now

Linnea is almost 2 1/2 years old now. For those of you who haven't seen her in a while, this is who she is at the moment:

Favorite movie: Anything Astrid Lindgren (apart from "Emil", his Daddy is too scary!)

Favorite food: She likes rice, a lot - or anything the rest of us are eating

Favorite clothes: At the moment it's all about getting dressed and undressed, she likes going through all the clothes in her wardrobe, putting them on and taking them off, over and over again

Favorite drink: Apple juice, always

Favorite book: Emil i Lönneberga (yes I know, but in book form he's not so scary!)

Favorite song: Lille Katt, still

Favorite friend: Lucas. And Daniel, and Jemimah, and Scarlet...

Likes: Dolls, teddies, painting; playing anything with Lucas, running around being silly, dancing, having picnic outside

Dislikes: Not to get her way, she has quite a temper!

She can... count to ten, the alphabet-song and other songs, dress and undress herself, construct full and grammatically correct sentences in both swedish and english, puzzle really well; amongst other things.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Book Week Parade

This week in school, they have "book week". Everything evolves around books, and today they kids were supposed to bring in their favourite story, and if possible dress up like a character from the book.

There was a lot of princesses, ballerinas, fairies, different superheroes - and even a camel, amongst other figures!
Lucas was dressed up like "Little Kiwi", from the series of "Little Kiwi"-books. He had his AllBlack-shirt, AllBlack-trousers and a cap with a beak stuck on to it. He thought he looked really cool and was very proud of his outfit.

Linnea and I stayed on for a bit after drop-off and took part in the morning assembly, where Alice in Wonderland came and read a story to the children.
We also saw the parade, where all the kids in Kindy showed off their beautiful outfits! I really enjoy these endless opportunities they give the parents to participate in all the things they do at school. It's great to come along and take part, and the kids love having their mums & dads there too.

After school activities

Yesterday after school, we took the kids down to the Empire for a quick swim. We went to the "Kids Club" part of the pool, which is a bit off, hence we have never made it down there before!
It's quite nice though, with a playground, a shallow pool area and a small water slide. The kids had a ball! It's lovely to go for a swim just for an hour or so in the afternoon, so relaxing.

Monday, 14 April 2008

A doorshaker

Yesterday evening we had a big thunderstorm placed right on top of our house. And I mean big - it was a real doorshaker, and we haven't had one of those for a while!
The kids seems to have gotten used to the thunder though, they slept through the whole thing, although Lucas was curled up like a little ball under his duvet.

Made it nice and fresh at Bukit Shabandar this morning. Well, compared to how it normally is! It was a good one today, we even had some breeze coming at us at some parts, really enjoyable!
I have stopped feeling like a dress-up every time I put my sports clothes on, now it just feels good. I crave my exercise. We are stepping up the training a bit this week with only five weeks to go until the mountain climb - on Thursday we will do a double-lap at Bukit!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

A nice surprise!

Lucas always comes home from school with quite a few drawings and other things he has made. They always do a lot of different projects at school.
Imagine our surprise though the other day, when we all of a sudden realized, that all his pictures now had his name - in his own handwriting - on them!

He can write his name!
That's so cool!

Kindy Mouse Class Photo 2007-2008

Here is Lucas' class photo from the Kindy Mouse Class, school year of 2007-2008. It was taken in January, just before we left for Sweden:

Unfortunately they took the individual photos while we were away, so Lucas doesn't have any of those this year.

He is looking a bit of a goofball on this photo, but we actually don't think he was trying to be silly, he was probably just putting on his best smile!
He is standing next to his two best buddies, Gil and Malthe. Note how all the kids are sitting nicely - they are just not smiling very much! :)

Kindy Schedule 14-18 April

Term 3 Week 2 - Book Week

Next week at school, the whole school is having "Book Week". Even in Kindy, everything is about books the whole week.
They will be talking about different types of books, peepo books, touchy-feely books, counting books etc; and have lots of children from the Junior School to come and read and share stories with the class. Us parents are invited too, to come and share our favourite stories, so I will have to find a good one to read!

The famous author Anne Fine is visiting the JIS school this week and although it's mostly the older kids that are excited about this - she will come and read to the Kindy class as well.
On Tuesday they have dress-up day, where they can come dressed as their favourite book character, and will bring the story to match the costume. We are still negotiating with Lucas about who he will go dressed as...

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Boating with the boys

Since there is no progress at all with our own boat at the moment (and don't ask me why, I don't know), Nathan went out to boat with the boys on a friends boat on Thursday.

It seemed like they had had a fantastic day out on the sea! They went snorkeling and wakeboarding and had a few beers as well. There was six of them on two boats, and three more of our Airbus-pilots were out on their boats - so I don't know who was actually flying that day?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Scrap Happy!

I have got a new gig! And I’m so happy!

In the beginning of May, I am going to do a presentation at a BCL-meeting about my passion for scrapbooking.
BCL, the British Community Link, do meetings once a month, where people (mostly the ladies) get the chance to meet and network. They offer coffee and snacks, and they invite a speaker each time to talk about an interesting subject.

They've had all sorts of different presentations: by Body Shop, one from a lady that talked about different walks around BN, one from a Dr that talked about cosmetic surgery (and did a botox injection live on stage!), one from a chef talking about what you can do with the local groceries, one lady talking about benefits of yoga etc. The list goes on and on.
Now they were ready for something crafty, and they contacted me. Of course, I was up for it, but I felt that I didn’t just want to stand there and talk about this fantastic hobby, and get people all hooked and interested - without being able to offer them a chance to try it!

So, I have thought about doing classes for people, starting out with ”Basic Beginners Scrapbooking” and continuing with different workshops and other small projects, such as mini-books and cards according to season.

I hope it will really take off - maybe I have a new career in front of me?!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Maisy Travel Journal - Scrap style

I was printing out pictures to finish up the Maisy Travel Journal today so we can pass Maisy back to class, and she can go on to visit one of the other kids.
There was no big pressure, some of the previous pages were even made by the kids themselves (by the look of them!). You just needed to glue the photos you had been taking into the book, and scribble a few words down about your week.

But, I just couldn't help myself... being a scrapgal, I went slightly overboard:

Here's a closer look on the left hand side (click to enlarge):

And the right hand side, notice the little bling-detail around Maisy on the football photo (click to enlarge):

V is for Vegetables

Today's Tuesday Theme is "Mat" (=food); and very appropriately, today's adventures included a vegetable market!

Lucas' Kindy class was going on an excursion with the bus today, to the Sengkurong vegetable market. I had offered to come along as a helper, and of course I brought my camera!

We were actually six parents coming today, so plenty of adults to help the kids pick and choose their veggies. We each took a few of the children around the market.
We had such a great time!

I had Lucas and Malthe in my little group, and they had $3 each to shop for, which equaled a fortune at the market. Especially since they only bought two or three pieces of each vegetable, and actually got most of it free! (They normally sell them by kilo of course.)
We spent about $4.50, and got all sorts of veggies: potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, salad, carrots, beetroot, green beans, bananas (not a veggie, I know...), aubergine, orcha, tomatoes, pumpkin and some funny-looking ones we bought just because they looked funny - I had no idea what it was!

Tomorrow the kids are going to use the vegetables to make a vegetable soup, and also do some veggie printing I think.

($1 = 4,30 SEK/3,40 DKK/€0,45/£0,35)

Monday, 7 April 2008


Nathan ordered a new speakersystem quite a while ago, from Singapore. It was going to get shipped over here and he has been waiting eagerly. Today it finally came - and he was sooo happy! That was, until he unpacked the boxes and realized... it was the wrong speakers...

Strangely though, in all the email conversations he has had back and forth with the shop previous to the purchase, it's always the correct speakers mentioned, even on the PACKING slip that came with the boxes upon delivery, the right ones are listed; so how on earth did they manage to send us the wrong ones?!
God knows, but this is how it looks in our otherwise already totally cramped livingroom/diningroom/playroom/office at the moment:

We haven't heard back from the shop today - but we are eagerly awaiting a decision on how they are going to resolve this matter. Nathan more than me obviously, I can make do with the old system... but I do feel sorry for him. He was so happy...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Slow Sunday

We have come to the end of another week and today have been a real
S u n d a y, even in our house. A very nice and slow day.
Poor Nathan had a super early start this morning with a 04.30 check-in, but then he was back home again at about 09.30. We just hung around at home for most of the day - I was scrapping, Nathan watching rugby, Lucas playing with his Lego and Linnea, ehm, just being Linnea - until late afternoon. We then had to go and get some more printer cartridges and decided to have dinner in town. Pizza, yum.

Otherwise it has been a good week. Of course, my Singapore-trip was lovely; Lucas had been to football that day, but again without really taking part. He says he is scared, because "I'm just a little boy". Ah well, we will keep taking him at least until the midterm holiday. He will hopefully warm to it.
The kids have had a good week a part from that with a few play dates, always nice.

I've been doing my workout and hash of course, and the Team also had a meeting with a girl who has been climbing Mt KK three (!) times. It was really good to talk to a woman who had done it, she had some clever things to tell us that all the guys hadn't mentioned.

We've spent some time at the Yacht Club too as usual. Here is Linnea the other day, doing her best shark impression which comes with the hand in front of her and a *duh-du, duh-du*-sound (the theme from "Jaws"). She is funny!

And here she explains what she did in the water:

This is Lucas and Adam, playing hide-and-go-seek with Thomas who is hiding:

Next week is another really busy week - Junior School is having a Treasure Hunt in Bukit Shabandar on Sunday, I'm going to the hairdresser on Wednesday, tomorrow I'm having an important meeting after having lunch with a friend; plus the usual playgroups, play dates, hash, exercise and other activities. Nathan is having one short, one long day at work and one late split duty where the rest of us hardly notice he is gone, cause it's overnight.
This is it - Life in Brunei!

Kindy Schedule 07-11 April

Term 3 Week 2 The weather/Storms
Focus activities:

Letter of the week – V for vegetables
Weather Bear – What will he wear today?
Role play – TV weather presenters / weather reports
Feelings – how does the weather make us feel?
Stories about storms and their effects - Stormy music – Composing stormy music with percussion instruments
Story – Mr. Wolf’s week – Days of the week; what clothes for different types of weather & times of day
What clothes do we wear for different activities?

Next week they will be talking about vegetables at school, since the letter for the week is v. On Tuesday the class is going on an excursion to the Sengkurong Vegetable Market, and I have offered to come along as parent helper this time. It's going to be fun to see how they kids all behave!
They are all taking their own money ($3), to buy and choose their own vegetables to make vegetable soup with on Wednesday in cooking.

Use the force you must

Not only does Lucas have a lot of Star Wars Lego (or Star Horse, as he says..), he also loves to play the Star Wars Lego-game on the Wii or PSP. It's been the nr 1 game for a while now.

The latest is to watch the real Star Wars movies, together with Daddy. Some of them are a little bit scary, but he really likes them, and loves to play Star Wars and let his little Lego-men fly around in their space ships all over the house.

Today we thought, it was probably time to turn off the DVD for a while though, when he turned around to Nathan and said:

- Hmm... grapejuice I want.

Another house

One thing at a time, we are so happy the housing situation is sorted. Now when it comes to the boat we are not really making any fast progress at the moment. Progress yes, but slowly.
It's still not ready to go in the water, but lately it has got a new trailer and a new "house". It's our boat that is under the blue garage. Now we just need a new motor!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

"Det flasker sig"!

After eight months, we are making progress regarding moving out of our temporary accommodation and into a proper house. We have got a house, finally!

It's a great house, in a great location, so we are very happy.
The house has a garden with both green areas (for trampolining etc) and some cemented areas (for biking etc) and it has a separate amah's room with it's own entrance.
There is a big, big room downstairs which is both the entrance, lounge and dining room all in one. The kitchen is big enough to room a table, and there is a huge washing/storage room, and lots of extra storage space in a big cupboard off that room. The downstairs has a nice "flow" to it, with two doors to the kitchen, so you can run around and around... which the kids love!
There is also a downstairs toilet, and a guest room with it's own bathroom downstairs.

Upstairs there is a big landing which will be the playroom for the kids; and four bedrooms. Three of them with each their bathroom, and a small fourth one which will be the office come scrap room!

The people who are currently living in the house are not RBA people, but the landlord are renting out three other identical houses in the same simpang (=street) to RBA-families, so he was happy to let us have this one when they move.
We know all the people in the neighboring houses, and they are all nice people, so it feels good - knowing that we are moving to a good area!

The current tenants wont be leaving until in the beginning of July, but hey - time flies really fast at the moment, and at least now we KNOW that we will be moving soon, so it feels great!
"Det flasker sig" (=things are "bottle-ing"?) as they say in danish, when things go your way. Det flasker sig!

Hay doe!

Guess what? I'm having Svensk Hällakaka (=arctic bread) for breakfast, with Kalles Kaviar (=creamed smoked fish roe) on it! What a good start on a day!
I can have this wonderful food this morning, because I went to Singapore with Anna & Maria yesterday for the day, and we went to IKEA!

Actually, Maria had to go to get a new passport and as you know our closest Embassy is in Singapore. So Anna and I kindly offered to come along and keep her company, as good friends do!
The stop at the Embassy didn't take long, they were very efficient. We did call in and say hello to our buddy the Ambassador though, and he was really happy to see us.

Then we went along Orchid Road and did some powershopping. Didn't buy many things actually (had just been shopping in NZ, all shopped out believe it or not!), but it was nice to browse "proper" shops, and just hang out. We had a lovely civilized lunch with WINE (yes, you do feel like a teenager sometimes here "he he, alcohol, he he let's go for it!) at a fish restaurant and then on the way to the airport, it was time for the highlight of the day -

We browsed the marketplace, which is the best part and got some bits and bobs; and of course went to the food shop and stocked up. We had brought a cooler bag each full with ice packs, just for the occasion.
We brought back not only Kaviar, but also Daimkaka (=Almondy cake), Prinsesstårta (=Princess cake), Hallonsnören (=candy strings), Ahlgrens Bilar (candy), Hushållsost (=cheese) and other things.
I also managed to try out and buy me and Nathan some new beds (talk about powershopping!) and get them organized to be shipped over here, soft, soft, new beds... aaaahhhh...

We came home very late and very tired last night, but very happy! Had a lovely, lovely day - thanks girls!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Maisy Mouse

We are having the honour of Maisy Mouse at our house this week. She is the Mouse class mascot, and she has been travelling to different homes and places all school year. The kids have taken turns in having her home with them.
You are supposed to bring Maisy along around your everyday life and take pictures of what you are up to. Along with Maisy comes a scrapbook/travel journal where the kids are encouraged to draw pictures, or stick in the photos of your week.
They then use the book at sharing time, it's quite nice!

We are almost last to have Maisy, so she has already done a lot of exciting stuff. Plus, we are not having anything special planned this week, so the pictures will be quite ordinary - but it doesn't matter. Lucas is enjoying having her, and reads her a story at night, sleeps with her, and is very conscious to take her along to whatever he is doing. Tomorrow for example, she will be going to football in the afternoon. (And I'm looking forward to scrapping their page on Sunday! :))

Handla mat

Linnea loves coming along to the supermarket when it's time for grocery shopping. She has her own little list of what we need to buy:

Handla mat


(=shop for food, candy and lollipops)

Yup, that kind of pretty much sums it up!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Hardcore training ahead

Our climb of the Mount Kinabalu has been brought forward a couple of weeks, since the half-way huts at Laban Rata were fully booked the weekend we had planned to go.
That's ok though, I'm happy as long as the climb happens and we get up there - but... that also means two weeks less time to train for it... Yikes! Got to get into it now, really hardcore!

Jag är så spelig!

Another thing Lucas says nearly every day on our way home from school, is:

-Jag är så spelig. (I am very "play-y")

Spelig is not a word that really exists in swedish, but I must admit he is kind of logical anyway in his creative wordinventing - since you can be hungr-ig (=hungry) and törst-ig (=thirsty) then why can't you be spel-ig (="play-y")!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

I will whip you a secret

Lucas often comes to me, and wants to whip a secret in my ear. Yes, att viska (=to whisper) and att vispa (=to whip) is treacherously similar in Swedish...

Anyway, his secret almost every time is to ask me, whispering, if he can play some Wii. When I tell him to ask his Daddy, he says with a sad voice:
-"But Daddy just says no".

Unfortunately he seldom gets a different answer out of his Mummy either. Life is tough.