Wednesday, 31 March 2010

What's up?

Linnea is checking out today's news:

Spring has sprung!

Yay - look! Beautiful flowers! Spring is here!

Big friends

Usually when we are here, we go and see one of my Mum's friends for a catch-up. Lucas has loved coming there ever since the first time, since her son has been a Lego-freak as well, and has always been really nice to Lucas.
Things change though and now there is no more Lego in his room... he is now 16 and I swear he must have grown half a meter since last summer! He's taller than me now, with his 183 cm!
Edvin is still just as nice to Lucas though! He had his cousin over yesterday (that took size 48 in shoes, at 18!) and they were playing computer games. They were more than happy to have Lucas join in and watch:

Meanwhile, Linnea got a bag of old toys to explore. They kept her busy for quite a while. She liked all the old McDonald's wind-up toys. McDo toys really are the best! They last forever!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Lushious lunch

Super sized salad, girl friend company and all the time in the world = lovely lunch!

Sunday, 28 March 2010


This is what we should have done right now - Premiärmilen. :(

I signed up for this race months ago, and I had really, really, really looked forward to getting a different experience to the Hong Kong race. 37000 participants vs 3000; +25 degrees (and 90% humidity) vs +3 degrees and rain...
I was so fired up for this!

Instead, I'm still suffering from my HK injury and will definitely not be racing today, nor in the near future...
It sucks.

Girls weekend

Every time I make the trip across the world, to go back to Scandinavia, I make a point of leaving the kids with Mormor and Morfar and going to see my girl friends, just me.
It's really a win-win situation. The kids like being with Mormor and Morfar and they enjoy each others company without my interference - and me, I enjoy being just Boel and not mummy, and get to hang with my girls!

Sometimes I do Copenhagen, but this time I went north and am spending the weekend in Stockholm with my friend Erika.
Although it's rather chilly and rainy up here, we are having a lovely time catching up and just taking it easy.

Went out for dinner in 'Gamla stan' yesterday, together with another old friend of mine, Jenny-Ann. It's truly a blessing to have friendships, where nothing have changed in nearly 20 years!

(A bit blurry unfortunately, it's taken with my phone:)

Saturday, 27 March 2010


We had a special celebration today, for Mormor. We went to town and bought a cake, as a surprise, and talked a lot about this secret on the way home. We all agreed that we weren't going to tell Mormor anything about the cake. It was very exciting to have a secret!
So exciting that the first thing Linnea told Mormor was, that "We have a secret for you!!!"...

Well, finally, after a long wait, it was time to present the cake. Linnea gave Morfar a hand:

It was very exciting:

Mormor was under orders to blunda hennes ögon (=close her eyes):

And then we enjoyed the lovely Prinsesstårta, mmm:


Lucas got mail yesterday. Yes, even here in Sweden! He's a member of the Lego Club, and every now and then a magazine turns up for him here.
This issue came with some cool 3D glasses, and a special story inside the magazine to read with those glasses. Lucas thought that was sooo much fun, and he made us all try on the glasses and check out the 3D images.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Running commentary

Since we had a couple of hours of driving to do yesterday, we were well prepared and had brought the kids' games. Lucas was playing his PSP almost all of the way, and while he was playing he was talking to himself and the game non-stop too.
It's quite entertaining to listen to:

-"So... we meet again Luke Skywalker..."

-"There! Ha! What's the Empire striking back with now, huh?



Today is Våffeldagen, Waffle Day in Sweden. It used to be a holiday, and was called Vårfrudagen (=Our lady day), in honour of the Virgin Mary - as it's celebrated nine months before the birth of Christ. Dialect corruption gave the name Våfferdagen, which later turned into the modern Våffeldagen.
This day is also seen as the end of the winter and beginning of spring. Yes please, bring it on!

We sure enjoyed some waffles tonight too. The kids thought they tasted a bit like pancakes, but where a lot yummier! Mmm!

Linnea was more interested in her "Peter Pan"-movie though...


We've been roadtripping today to check out Borås a bit. Took a stroll around the city center, ate at McDo (what else..?) and bribed the kids to keep going with a promise to visit the playland "Lekborgen" before going home.

We spent 1 1/2h at the playland, kids loved it and Mormor and I had coffee, and peace!

Linnea didn't stay still long enough:

Hep! Even I got captured on photo, the first one for this holiday!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Again, the choice of groceries here astonishes me. Look at this, some kind of new breed of sausage:

Apparently it's supposed to be like a cross between hot dogs and köttbullar. You kind of wonder though - why?

Monday, 22 March 2010

Fighting it

It seems like the winter is really fighting it at the moment. This morning it is -7,2 degrees again, brrr! Yesterday there was even a few snowflakes, but still - I think spring is stronger! Snow is melting, and if you compare to the photos I posted on Friday, it now looks like this:

Dirty, melting snow.
The birds are happy though, it's easier for them to get to the food, although Mormor & Morfar have been feeding them all winter, as they always do.
The snowman only took two days to turn into this:

It's still fun to play at the playground even though it's chilly, although it's a bit hard to climb and move about, with all these clothes on!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Shopping heaven

No - it's not what you think! It's not the "normal" shopping that gets me going when I'm here (well, not just anyway!), it's the food shopping!
(Actually clothes shopping sucks at the moment. It's nearly impossible, or at least hugely inconvenient trying on clothes when you are already wearing so much clothes...)

Food shopping on the other hand, is pure bliss!
There is such a selection here, of everything, from every corner of the world. Yesterday I embarrassed Mormor by taking photos in the supermarket, just to show you. Check this out, this is the pick-and-mix section of rice and pulses!

And this, this is the section for soft cheese. In Sweden we have a tradition of cheese spread on tube, and when I was a kid there were two kinds: with shrimp, and without. Now, there are tons of different kinds:

I really, really miss these proper food shops. The range of groceries in Brunei is not big, at all. Some days you are happy if you can get fresh milk even!
So I enjoy the food shopping, I go shopping every day - just to browse around the shops and take it all in!

Drip drop...

The snow is melting. We got here right in the nick of time to be able to play in it. Now it's about to go, quickly.
I don't mind, really although this must be the most boring winter weather you can have. The snow is now all grey, black and just dirty; so are the roads and the cars!

But I like the sound of dripping and melting. Now we just need some sun to brighten up the grey skies and some flowers to break through the hard soil and we will be able to experience the lovely vårkänslor (=spring feelings) and känna livet i oss (=feel alive - you need to know your Madicken to understand...)
Can't wait!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Blessing in disguise?

I'm still not well enough to start my running again. I can still feel the stupid injury from the Hong Kong race, and I'm not going to try and return to training before I feel completely 100%.
So, I have no high hopes I will be able to run at all while I'm in Sweden. I wont be doing the race next Sunday, that's for sure. At least not running but I'm actually not sure walking 10k is a good idea either, so we'll see.

In a way, it's quite nice not being able to run though... It's not really the gorgeous spring weather here yet that I'd expected. No sun, no clear trails, no birds happily chirping about spring, no pretty flowers...
It looks more like this along the roads:

Ha ha, seems like my injury has turned into the best excuse!

The snowman

Here is this years snowman:

Compared to the snowman anno 2008:

Another one of this years snowman, now with hat - and dog!

Fun in the snow

First day in Sweden, and we have been outside and enjoyed the snow both in the morning and in the afternoon. Here in the middle of Sweden, there is still a lot of snow on the ground. Even though it's "old" snow by now, and it's rather hard - that didn't stop the kids from having lots of fun.

In their snow outfits, Lucas in his new duffel coat, sent over from Scotland by Grandma. He's looking very dapper:

It's been over two years since the kids last experienced snow, winter and cold. I'm not sure how much Linnea remembers, but it's still a fascinating thing, for them both actually:

They tried to make snow angels, but that didn't really work out:

Lucas was wondering if the snow will still be there tomorrow? I could safely tell him that yes, it will. It's been here since before Christmas, and it doesn't look like it will melt any time soon..!

After Mormor came home, it was time for another play outside. This time Lucas got some extra trousers on, to protect from the wet a bit and allow him to roll around more in the snow. But it was Mormor who got to work:

The sledging didn't quite work either... the snow was too hard, and the kids too heavy... We only tried to get some photos! :)

Friday, 19 March 2010

The jungle kids in the winter wonderland

I don't blame the people in the train for looking at us strangely when the following conversation took place yesterday as we traveled up north through Sweden and saw more and more snow:

Linnea: - Mummy look! Snow!! Look! More snow!
Me: - Yes, it's nice, isn't it?
Lucas: - Why is there snow..?
Me: - Because it is winter.
Linnea: - What is winter?
Me - ... Well... :)

31 and 32,5

Hours that is, door to door - and degrees difference this time..!

It was a long trip, as usual. Funnily enough, the first two flights (8h40 and 7h40) are like a piss in the ocean compared to the last part of the trip. It took us 12 hours just from when we landed in London until we walked in the door at my parents house...

This time we had the added spice of arriving in LHR and finding out that our tickets to go over to Scandinavia wasn't valid (long story...)!! What to do lah?
Well, after a couple of hours of total distress, lots of expensive phone calls to Brunei and quite a few tears - I had to pull out the credit card and just buy new tickets...

We made it. We always do of course, but it is hard work to do it all in one go. Now we've had a good nights sleep all of us and are about to get suited up and go out and play in the snow!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Mamma, do dej know...

Linnea's language is in a developing phase at the moment, and she has a lot to say these days! I hear the statement above 100 times a day, at least! (=Mummy, do you know...")
She still speaks a great amount of 'swenglish' but the funniest thing is that she says she is speaking Spanish... Well, Spanish... Swedish... it's all a bit confusing I guess, especially when she is talking about it. She is very proud of speaking several languages, as is Lucas who always counts in the Mandarin as well.

They other day, one of the library books she brought home had poems both in English and in Spanish in it. So I read some to the kids in Spanish as well, just for fun.
Lucas then asks me where in the world they speak Spanish - and Linnea promptly pipes up:
- "I know that! In Dora-land!" :)

Monday, 15 March 2010


This injury sucks.

I've never been a sports person (when I was younger I was playing music and being member of the chess club...) so I've never suffered a proper sports injury before.
Apparently this one is one of the harder ones to rehabilitate, I've been told now it can take up to eight weeks before I'm good again! Well, I've realized it's a muscle you use a lot, since I keep hurting myself over and over again, straining it again, doing completely normal things like getting into the car or helping Lucas with his shoe laces.

This is about how I look inside my leg/groin:

I was really happy because I finally felt I was on the mend the last two days, not having done it again - but then today at the supermarket, I managed to somehow give it a pull again and was nearly in tears at the rice and pasta section.
Bugger. Back to square one, this will take time - and it sucks.

Packing 101

You would've thought after my years as a flight attendant, spending several winter seasons on back-to-back overseas trips, packing a suitcase would be one of my biggest talents. Well, that's not the case, at least not when I'm traveling for leisure. (Give me a 10 day Dubai-Phuket sling, and the bag would be packed in no time!) I always overpack, and to have two more people to pack for is also an added challenge.

Whenever I'm traveling on holidays, I fill the suitcases with loads of "what if-things". You know - "what if it rains", "what if it gets cold", "what if there is no beach towels at the hotel", "what if we get bored and need books to read/games to play/toys etc".
It's also tricky to pack for stays in places, where the weather is unreliable. Not even in the summer in Sweden can you be sure you won't need jeans, or a fleece or a rain jacket; and last December going down to NZ was pretty cold too, in "summer".

Along the years now of traveling with children, I've started to take it more easy and realized we always get by. I'm still not anywhere near the "traveling light"-trend, but it's getting better. I've realized that we usually don't need half of what I think we do, and if I would desperately need something I haven't brought - I can usually buy whatever it is on place.
So my routine is normally like this: I pack the suitcases a couple of days in advance, then the day before leaving I tend to take nearly half of the stuff back out! And it works most of the time!

This time to my surprise, packing for going back to Sweden while it's still winter, has proven super easy. Reason being, all of our winter clothes are already there and I don't need to bring nearly anything! (I don't have anything here to bring, that would be warm enough either..!) Easy peasy!

Thursday, 11 March 2010


On the positive side, this injury has actually brought one good thing with it: the realization that I might just be a runner after all.
Because this feels like torture!

Not being able to run, not being able to move much at all actually. I miss it, so much. It's so frustrating.
Every day I look dreamily at the track when I drive past, and it sucks seeing Nathan going off doing exercise when I cant.
I really, really want to get out there, now!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Spring cleaning!

I don't know why, but every time I'm off somewhere I go crazy tidying up before, sorting things and cleaning out. I mostly attack the kids stuff - both clothes and toys, but this time I have also had a long hard look in my own wardrobe and managed to sort out a big pile of clothes I never or will never wear again.

It's a little bit like spring cleaning! It feels so good! (It is really to make room for things I bring back, but still!)

It's amazing though how many broken and/or not used toys we have... It's always fun after one of my crazy tidy-ups to see the kids "rediscover" the things they have forgotten about! Maybe we just have too many toys?

Lucas must have had a growth spurt over the winter, because when we were off to Hong Kong we had to try on four different "airplane trousers" before we found one pair that didn't flag on his ankles!
Normally down here, the kids tend to wear out their clothes rather than outgrow them. Since we always have the same temperature, all the clothes get worn all the time. Apart from the "airplane clothes" (Lucas' name for them...) that is, because we only use them a couple of times a year it's hard to keep track of if they fit or not!

Anyway - must continue with the cleaning!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Some borrowed wedding photos

My friend Maria, who is the cousin of the bride of JJ's - have been taking part in several of the ceremonies during the past week.
She has kindly given me permission to borrow some of her photos to show you a bit of what I've been writing about. I'm very grateful, and she is an excellent photographer, so enjoy! (Thank you Maria!)

Here is the first ceremony, the hantaran (=gift presenting by the groom's family):

Then, on Friday, here are some pictures from the "tying-the-knot" ceremony in the mosque:

They truly are a beautiful couple!

And here they are finally, presented as man and wife at the bersanding yesterday. This was at the bridal party after we had seen JJ off. (You don't get to see this bit if you are only invited to the groom's side. A little bit odd that we actually never saw the bride, but that's the way they do it.)

The bride and groom, with my friend Maria and her family!

All the best to the newlyweds, may they live happily ever after! ♥