Saturday, 31 January 2009

{365:31} Homework time

Homework time.
Doing it outside, really nice.

Bippidi boppidi boo!

I had two fairies visiting today - a Pippi-fairy and a Spiderman-fairy. They were very cute!

But soon they weren't that friendly with each other, and the Pippi-fairy tried to enchant the Spiderman-fairy...

... who was having none of it. :)

Friday, 30 January 2009

Swimming Gala 09

Today it was time for another eagerly anticipated annual event at school: the Swimming Gala. All the kids in school take part in swimming competitions in the morning, all according to their ability of course. Linnea's class just splashed around, Lucas class did races - but everyone got a medal!

Linnea and her class mates were split in two groups, and came over to the shallow pool:

I was impressed to see that she actually swam for about 2-3 meters under water, all by herself!


Lucas and his year group were also split up in different groups, and they did four different heats. First normal swimming:

Then "back kicking":

Supporting the friends:

Linnea receiving her medal:

Noodle riding heat (Lucas is in the black and yellow swimsuit):

Waiting for their turn (the school has a really nice swimming pool):

Ringo heat:

It was a nice morning and I really think the kids appreciate that we are there to support them. I certainly am happy that I have the opportunity to take part in all these activities they do!


There are special times every year, when my home sickness accelerates. Usually it's over the holidays, like for example at Midsommar (=Midsummer), and even skolavslutningen (=end of school celebrations) and it definitely peaks at Advent (=the 24 days in December before Christmas).

Especially around Advent it's really hard, and I don't enjoy my blog roll as much as usual because I get so jealous of everybody decorating for Christmas, enjoying candle light lit evenings and cosy nights in with lussekatter and glögg.

But hey, now it's my turn to enjoy! At the moment it's just grey, cold and boring back home. The stories on the blogs are full of wet winter overalls, chilly weather, heavy skies, soggy footpaths et. Everybody seems to be waiting eagerly for spring (which is still far away in their corner of the world) and being tired of the dark days. It's a bit gloomy on the blogs to say the least - and I can revel in living in constant sunshine! :)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Chinese New Year in Kindy

Today it was Linnea's turn to celebrate Chinese New Year in school. All the kids came to school dressed in Chinese clothes, and all the Kindy classes had organized a lovely parade for us parents to come and watch.
They got separated into three groups, Linnea was in the music instrument group, who was supposed to play music really loud (to scare away the dragon!), there was one group who banged on pots and pans to make even louder noise, and the last group was making out the dragon itself.

They had also made special hats which they wore, and mini-dragons they were waving around:

Here is the amazing dragon they had made:

Leaving the classroom, first the dragon...

... then the noise-makers...

... and Linnea:

They were absolutely adorable, paraded around the whole school.

Some of the audience on their way:

Here they are passing by the Reception classes, all the big kids were outside their classrooms watching the parade and applauding them. Lucas said to Nathan later when he came to pick him up: "I saw Linnea, I loved her doing that!".

The dragon's body was made out of hand- and footprints by the kids, very decorative:

Afterward they had a Chinese party, with loads of food - and they also made some more Chinese decorations, and each got a candy-orange and an Ang Pao (red envelope) with them home. Another great happening at school!


I'm a number freak. I like nice number combinations, like this one. (It still annoys me that Linnea wasn't born a day earlier, 201005 (or 051020) would have been such a cool birthday combination!)

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Lucas and his class mates enjoyed some Chinese fortune cookies at school today. This was the prediction he came home with. Could it be any more to the point? :)

Sharing the love

I asked Linnea the other day if she liked her new class mate. She answered "yes, he's my best friend!" (which basically means she likes him). Then she added with a troubled look on her face: "... but he doesn't like the hugs and kisses!".

Our poor little affectionate girl, trying to spread the love! Ah well, all we can say is keep trying girl, keep trying! :)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


We took the dogs to the vet today. First visit. (Even for me, when we had our pet rabbits when I was young, I never came to the vet.) They behaved very well, they got their claws trimmed and got wormed, and in two weeks time we are going back for vaccinations.

Monday, 26 January 2009

A totally non eventful day - aaahhh...

After having had crazy full schedules since the beginning of the year really, and now looking forward to another couple of full-on weeks ahead; this was a very much welcomed long weekend off. Today for the first time since I-don't-know-when... we had nothing on the program.

We have just been at home. Done nothing. Driven nowhere. We have relaxed and taken it easy, watched some movies, had naps, eaten together outside, played and caught up with different little projects just for fun.

What a lovely day, just what I needed. Time to breathe and unwind.


Have crafted something today, that someone is soon going to see more of. Secrets, secrets. Good to have some mojo, it had been a while.

Happy Australia Day!

Today is also Australia Day (big day today!), the official national day of Australia. Most of our Aussie friends here in Brunei are packing picnics and going out on their boats today to celebrate it together. (We are staying home with the puppies...)

(This is the cool thing with living in a small country like this. We are from so many different countries, cultures and religions and thanks to the community being so small, we really get the chance to get involved even when it's not our own holidays. I really love learning about other people's celebrations and traditions, it's so enriching!)

We wish all our Aussie friends a Happy Australia Day!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year, the first day of the new year, and will mark the beginning of the 15-day festivities, which will continue until February 9. According to the Chinese Zodiac, we are today entering the Year of the Ox.
The Ox, or the Buffalo sign symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work. The Ox year is a conservative year, one of traditions and values. This is not a year to be outrageous, it's a slow but steady year. This Ox year will bring stability and growth where patience pays off.

The typical Ox is a tolerant person with strong character, an Ox usually have strong codes and work ethics, which can lead to a tendency to be a workaholic. Ox people are usually strong and robust, and according to ancient wisdom, they should be blessed with long lives.

Some famous Ox people are: Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Anthony Hopkins, Princess Diana, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson and Barack Obama. And Nathan and I, we are both born in the year of the Ox!

Sunday, 25 January 2009


Obvious choice of motive for today. First day at their new home.

The new additions

Since there will be no more babies in this family, we have thought a while about adding to the family in another way - getting a puppy.
Both our kids are terribly afraid of dogs (we don't know why really) and we thought having a puppy would make them overcome their fear, and also - pets are good for children.
Plus, out here, having a guard dog is a very good thing. As they are very afraid of dogs out here, no one will come near our house if we had a dog!

So - say hello to...

... Jay and Mocha!

We picked these little sweeties up today, not quite sure who their mummy is. They were saved from a storm drain during the floods together with their siblings, seven of them in total.
Our plan was to have just one, but we figured he would be lonely, so we ended up with two little chocolate brown ones. Lucas insisted on one being named 'Jay', and when it turned out they were both boys Linnea had to change her initial idea of 'Princess' but couldn't come up with anything better, so we named him Mocha.

At the moment they are in our laundry, because they are still very young, but with time they will move outside and live outside and be guard dogs. Let's hope they grow up to be nice dogs!

Saturday, 24 January 2009


The birthday girl, with the birthday boy's cake.

Lucas' 5th birthday party (and my 25th! Haha!)

Another year, another birthday - can't believe our little boy is already FIVE though!
Today we were over 70 people here for the big party! (Lucky it wasn't raining on us!)
We had once again hired the pool-slide (why change a winning concept!) and we put on a big BBQ lunch with sausages from Perth, potato salad, burgers, spring rolls etc. We had a Spiderman cake & cupcakes, fruit and snacks and... goodie-bags of course!

It was a great morning, even though you kind of feel like you have been in the middle of a tornado after it's over! Here are some snapshots:

A special THANK YOU to everybody who came to make our day so special, and thank you for all the lovely presents!

Friday, 23 January 2009


Linnea is helping out with the goodie bags for tomorrow. A little assembly line formed, she was doing a very good job!

Chinese New Year in Reception

Today is the last day before a long weekend, the kids are off from school Monday and Tuesday due to Chinese New Year.
In Reception they are celebrating today, and Lucas went to school dressed in his new Chinese outfit:

Linnea also wanted to be in the photo:

Here are a few of Lucas' school mates outside their class. You can spot their beautiful Chinese mural behind the kids here, they have been painting on that all week:

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Flooding update

Today still many of our friends were without power. We have been having a little emergency shelter here for the "flood victims", they have been by to borrow the washing machine, put stuff in our freezer, use some internet and just enjoy some AC and coffee from the coffee machine!

The other international school here in Brunei has been closed, because of the lack of power; and hardly any traffic lights are working anywhere so traffic is absolute chaos. More so than normal that is...

Half of downtown is without power too, so the big Mall is in the dark and most shops and restaurants didn't even bother keeping open today.
Aarrgghhh, I hope the rain stops and everything gets back to normal very soon! I really feel for all these people without power and water. It's an unbearable situation.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Scary Mother Nature

As I told you last week, the weather at the moment is rather freaky. We sure are in rainy season, some days it rains and rains and rains, from morning to evening - it just never stops!

This has caused rather serious problems in some places, the (only) tunnel we have has been flooded and they have had to shut off a major link road in the middle of town; the top of our long road and several other areas around are on their second day without power (and with no power, no water...), causing heaps of problems obviously.

But the worst must be, that a few houses in an area called Kota Batu were hit by a landslide, and went down like the Twin Towers!! Luckily, it didn't happen in one go, and the tenants (some fellow pilots) had time to be evacuated and get their things out. Pretty scary anyway though!

We seem to live in a very good area - we have only had one (*knock-on-wood*) big power cut since we've been here, and we are not risking any flooding or getting swept away by any landslides or similar. Feeling rather lucky at the moment.

I wish that the rain stops soon though. I have had enough.


Mum has been busy.

Birthday report x 3

Well, I'm pretty sure I speak for all three of us, when I say that we had a really good birthday yesterday! (Well, Ida for sure - she finally came out in the open, and seemed pretty pleased with life when I met her :))

We started the day traditionally with waking Lucas up with singing, and presents in bed. He got so many nice things!

And then I went back to bed, and got sung to as well! And I got presents too! Five new charms for my Pandora bracelet, yay!

It was a bit of a crazy day yesterday with lots of driving around. After drop off I drove all the way in to town, to buy a cake (for myself) and one for Ida, then I drove home to have coffee and cake with a few of my friends. That was really nice, I got some lovely presents and had a great morning.

Then I rushed off to school to pick up Linnea, and we took the little cake, some pressies and balloons and went off to see the 5 hour old baby Ida at the hospital. Oh, she was cute!

It was a bit of a strange feeling, being back at a maternity ward, on the day exactly 5 years after I first stayed at one... It was very emotional.

We didn't stay too long as Anne was tired, and we were having a busy afternoon in front of us. We drove back in to town to pick up Lucas' cupcakes, and took them out to his school. His little class mates all sang to him (and to me!) and he got to blow his candles out and everybody got a chocolate fudge cupcake with Superhero designs on them!

After school, Daddy had promised Lucas that Mummy was going to build his new Lego... thanks... (Daddy of course wasn't home!) It was a Batman package, 8-14 years - so it took me a couple of hours!
Mix in that trying to manage a very eager Skype-phone and lots of text messages, and the afternoon was really busy!

I then left the kids with our amah, and went to the Hash. It was a really nice hash yesterday, a good run but above all a great on-on at a nearby house. They had music outside, and had put on a fab BBQ meal for us, the ambiance was great and I drew advantage of the fact that I didn't have to drive home and had myself some birthday wine!
Finished the evening off with a friend coming with me home and having a few Baileys and a good chin-wag, very nice!