Thursday, 29 April 2010

Your opinion counts!

Ok, let's ask your opinion (and at the same time see how many people reads this blog..!) about the reading corner - I'm trying a poll for the first time!
What kind of side table do you think we should go for? (Scroll down to see the photo of the reading corner!)

Let me tell you what's the vision with the reading corner:
It's supposed to feel like it's own "room", a bit different to the rest of the living room. We want it light but cosy. The table will be placed on the same side as the lamp, between the chair and the window.
We have found these two tables we like (well, some of us like one more than the other...) and now I wonder, what do you think?
Please vote in the poll in the sidebar!

The reading corner

Finally, I've accomplished something I've been planning for a long, long time - I've got a reading corner!
There is this corner in the living room we haven't been quite sure what to do with since we moved in. One plan have been to place a bar there, and we started already when we moved in by putting the drinks fridge in that corner. We just never got around to finding a bar (all I suggested got poo-pooed...) that we liked.
This is how it's been looking for a very long time..:

I got sick of having just a drinks fridge in the middle of the living room, so I started to plan something else for that space - a reading corner.
I really just wanted somewhere to sit, without having to sit in front of the TV. Somewhere to read or just relax, a cosy corner.
It took me a while to convince Nathan this was a good idea, but finally yesterday it all happened and I came home with my lovely chair and footstool.

Some new paintings and lanterns has also been mounted on the wall, and all I need now is a little table to put my tea cup on (we're not agreeing on that either, so will probably take a while...) - and it will be perfect! Love it!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


This morning Nathan had an odd schedule, with over 2 hours between his flights. So after he came back from Kota Kinabalu, I met up with him at Delifrance at the airport for a coffee and a chat.

I like this coffee shop, they have nice pastries and coffee; and I also like the setting just by the arrivals, since I like people-watching!
Lovely to catch up with Nathan too like that during his work day, a little bit of bonus time!

Lest we forget

The last two weeks have been a bit special on the Hash. We've celebrated two big events in the expat community.
Last week it was the St George's hash, organized by the all our English hashers. We had the on-on at the Yacht Club, which was decorated all in white and red; got red hashing socks as a gift, fish and chips for dinner and tea and biscuits to round it all off!

Last night it was the ANZAC hash, organized by all the Aussie and Kiwi ladies. I had looked forward to this one especially, since I remembered last years fab Anzac run and on-on. This year was no disappointment, we had a great night!
On-on was at one of the ladies' house, and it was all decked out in Aussie and NZ flags and decorated with different paraphernalia from their countries. We got gifted a t-shirt and last but not least - we were treated to the most fab food I've had in a long time! Mmm...!

I do enjoy taking part in and experiencing different countries traditions like this. It really broadens your horizons a bit.
Anna and I have already laid a hash where we served Absolut Vodka shots, meatballs, Daim and played ABBA music - now we have to come up with a new idea..!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Back to Bukit

I have a love/hate relationship with Bukit Shabandar. While we were training to climb Mount KK, we tried to do it 3-4 times a week (that was two years ago), and after that I went completely off it, understandably. It took me a good while to return again.
But it's really good exercise, and I love being outside and in the jungle, so in periods I've been trying to do it a couple of times a week.

Now, I can't even remember the last time I did Bukit? Must have been September-October sometime, before I started to get serious with the running.
Well, now that I can't run, I decided to come along to Bukit this morning! And puha, it was hot!

It took us nearly an hour to get around, as it's up and down those nine bl***y hills, but it went ok! I didn't feel my leg, and I burned twice as many calories as I normally do during an hour running, so that's all good! :)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Pippi Långstrump?

It has been another busy weekend, both days and evenings.
We entertained at our house Friday night, and went to friends for dinner yesterday. We spent all afternoon yesterday at the Yacht Club and today Nathan and Lucas took the boat out to take part in the Away Day to the Spit that the Yacht Club organizes every now and then. (See here when we were all participating for the first time last year)
They were gone all day and had had a blast!

Me on the other hand, took Linnea for another birthday party. This was a really lush one at the Jerudong Polo Club. One of her little class mates turned 4, and it was a (long...) crazy afternoon!
Amongst other things, they played lots of party games. The objective of one was to partner up with a friend and stand on a newspaper together, only to have to fold the newspaper over at every step of the game to make it smaller and smaller. To win you had to keep balancing somehow both of you, at the ever shrinking piece of newspaper.
Check out Linnea and Eoien - at first, no problem!

And then - no problem either! :)

We have a very strong little girl!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hashing hashing hashing

I'm still walking, this week as well (at least) before I'll try any sort of running.
Yesterday though, I also managed to complete the whole hash! Yay!
I was actually (pleasantly) surprised I didn't feel anything during, or after, because it was twice up Serasa Hill yesterday (big hill!). I guess, taking it easy is the secret - there was no running involved at all yesterday.

I'm just happy I'm back into some of my exercise groove.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Forces of nature

I've been following the news intently the last few days and I'm sitting here thinking of all the people stuck all around the world. All these people not being able to get home to Europe due to the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud that is the cause of the airports shutting down.

Imagine I'd been planning to travel back here one week later... I would have been stuck in London!!! For how long... who would've known. And imagine trying to get out of London on an ID-ticket once the airports opened again... *Shuddering*

Gosh, it could've been weeks, or more! I'm really feeling for all those people stuck, but I'm so glad it wasn't me...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Great morning!

This morning we went to see this movie:

It was great! All of us loved it!
Unfortunately Brunei isn't equipped with any cinema theaters that can do 3D just yet, hopefully it will come... soon... (ha ha) - but the movie was still very cool!
If you haven't seen it, do!

Run For Water

Today at the Kids Hash, it was not just egg throwing going on (tradition at the Easter Hash!) but we also ran today's hash in the name of "Run For Water".
All over the globe today, runs have been organized to put focus on how so many people lack proper water supply. The runs organized are normally 6k, which is the average distance many women and children walk every day to secure water - although we did our usual not-so-long hash, considering it was a Kids Hash.

This 'Run For Water' happening that has taken place in many countries all over the world today, is the largest worldwide water initiative on record to help combat the global water crisis.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

More home improvement

Our home is ever changing.
Mind you, in my opinion, a home is supposed to be developing and changing and not just be static. I like homes that "grow". Little by little we add new things to our home, take some away, move some around and find new and alternative uses for some.

Today we mounted a new shelf for Linnea's room. She has really been missing somewhere to put her little trinkets and things, in her room. Most of her things have been kept in the playroom, but I wanted her to be able to play with them in her room and make certain things feel more just "hers", and more special.
So (thank you IKEA!), here is the new addition:

We had to shift the bed towards the window, but I think it's good to change things around a little bit every now and then. Linnea feels like she has got a brand new room!

1st sleepover for Linnea

Yesterday our little friend Ben celebrated his 4th birthday with a big birthday bash at his house in the afternoon. It followed the usual program with bouncy castle, finger foods, party games and a gorgeous Ben10 cake:

Ben10 got totally slaughtered, ha ha:

Afterward we stayed on for a bit of a BBQ, and the kids were playing nicely and watching DVDs upstairs. One thing led to another, and before we knew it the kids had arranged to stay over for a sleepover!
It was the first time for Linnea, so I warned Tash that she might wake up in the night (as she does), but then again they didn't go to bed until very (very!) late, so we hoped for the best.

Well, she had hardly moved during the night apparently! They had woken up after 7 this morning, and had been playing nicely all morning, until we came to get them...
It was such a strange feeling not to have any kids in our house! And, it was very quiet this morning!

Air conditioning heaven

Sometimes I get the question how it is to live in a country where the temperature is constantly between 28-34 degrees. Aren't we just hot, hot, hot all the time??
Well, in a way, yes. But only if we are outside!

If you don't want to (or have to), you don't need to be in the heat. You can just move around from indoors to indoors - from air condition to air condition, via your air conditioned car, and you'll be fine!

We don't run our A/Cs all the time, some people do. We only turn ours on if we have guests over or have been outside and need to cool off a bit; but only in the room we are at the moment. We don't have any fans in this house, as we did in our previous one, that used to be enough otherwise.
The houses tend to be rather cool anyway, but it's sure nice with some extra cool air if you've been outside running around in the heat.

We do run the A/Cs all night though, otherwise we would overheat completely. It's noisy, but you get used to it, it's kind of soothing!
So when we wake up in the morning and pull the curtains, the windows look like this:

In a way it's easier to escape the heat here, than f.e during a hot summer in Sweden. You just go inside and turn the A/C on here! In Sweden, there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, houses there are rarely equipped with A/C.
I remember the summer holiday back there two years ago, it was so hot. No matter what you did - hot outside, hot inside, hot while you slept whether you opened the window or not, the air just stood completely still. It was rather uncomfortable...
Thank god for air conditioning!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Walking walking walking

I'm walking.

Gotta be happy for the little things, I might not be able to run just yet - but I'm walking. I can exercise!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Tonight was for Lee

It was a special hash night tonight. It's been exactly a year to the day today that we lost one of our front runners, a fellow hasher and good friend Lee in a tragic accident. Tonight's hash was dedicated to her.

We all got a little 'dish cloth' when we signed in, as that was Lee's signature attribute at the hash. A nice touch, and it brought a lot of memories back.

After the run, and the usual on-on, there was a candle lit in front of a picture of her, and a few of her closest friends said a few well chosen words.

It was very beautiful, quite teary and emotional; but it was nice to be together at the hash this day. Even though all of the hashers might not have known her all that well, she was a big part of the hash and the hash was a big part of her life.
We still miss you Lee.


Yesterday Nicole and I went for a walk. This might not seem like something really worth to report, but for those regular readers of this blog you know I haven't done ANY exercise since my injury in Hong Kong, six weeks ago!
This was the first real exercise I'd done since then, and boy did it feel good!

I was a bit nervous as I can still feel it in my leg. It's not sore or painful, but it's there, and it's not 100%. I was mostly curious about afterward, what the exercise would do to it, but actually - it almost feels better than before, so that's all good!

I still wont overdo things, just stick with the walking for a couple of weeks before I try some slow, careful jogging. I do have the race in Singapore next month to train for, but I guess I'll just have to resign to the fact I won't be reaching any amazing results before then. I'll just be happy if I can complete it I guess, in whatever time it'll be.

Monday, 12 April 2010


Have taken kids to school and returned home for breakfast. Today I'm enjoying self-imported (yes, carried all the way by Lucas actually!) Lingongrova and prickig korv (=a sort of thin sandwich sausage) together with my morning coffee.
Best breakfast ever!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

A hasher through and through...

Let me introduce you to Glamour, one of the most veteran hashers here in Brunei. In fact, this photo is from a very special celebration of hers just recently - her 1000th hash! Did you get that..? She has done one thousand hashes! She has been hashing since 1966 (which is well before I was born!), her first hash was the second ever H3 hash actually!

What an achievement! It's so impressive!
Even more impressive is that she is still going strong, still hashing every Tuesday!

For her celebration, she got a cape and a tiara as suitable for true hash royalty; she was also presented some different hash souvenirs and best of all - golden hash shoes on a velvet pillow!

Right back into it

We were thrown right back into Brunei life today with a birthday party at the Yacht Club, quite a standard weekend happening! One of Linnea's little friends turned 4, and Linnea wore her new, puffy skirt Daddy had bought for her in NZ, and her new shiny sandals we'd bought (not in the picture) in Sweden. She was looking rather cute!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

More makeover

I had also got a few things for the master bedroom while in Sweden. It too needed a makeover desperately. It's so huge it's really difficult to get that cosy feeling in there.
This is before:

And here is after:

Still a few things to organize but I'm one step closer to a cosier atmosphere!

Spring makeover

I gave our living room a little bit of a makeover today. A friend told me a while back that our sofa area lacked in colour, so while in Sweden I planned a make over and shopped for beautiful, colourful materials.
It's true, this corner was a bit "gloomy" with everything in the same colour scheme: brown sofas, light brown curtains, beige carpet, dark brown table, beige/gold paintings, black tv-bench, brown, beige, brown... boring.

So, I bought a lot of different patterns in my materials, but they all had the same saturation and strong, bright primary cololurs. Mormor then kindly made the pillow cases, twelve of them to be exact!
I didn't use all of them in the sofas though, not at once anyway. I've put a few in the bedrooms as well, and am planning to switch them around every now and then to refresh things. A little bit of colour, and such a big difference:

I also finally took down the New Year disco balls and gave the Cult a spring feeling!

Friday, 9 April 2010

The long day

We're home. We've been some since this morning, arrived a little bit earlier than scheduled in Brunei which meant we could actually walk in the door at home 5 minutes after we were supposed to touch down! Thanks to the small airport here, and that there is just minutes to drive to get home.

It's been a long, long day today. The first day back always is. The kids have been busy playing with their toys and just enjoying being home, I've been unpacking and just enjoyed being home!
I was amazed unpacking at how much stuff I had been able to bring back. Those suitcases really can carry a lot! Also, it was quite an odd variety of things this time...
I took the opportunity to bring back some more "things" than I normal can, since we didn't bring so much clothes there and back.

Here are a few of the things I'd packed:
A gigantic foam frisbee, twelve pillow cases, two packets of Bearnaise sauce, nine secret presents and two baby gifts, five books, a whole training outfit including GPS watch, hydration belt and extras, four silver lanterns whereof two with hooks, five outside solar lamps, two huge easter eggs and two smaller ones still with candy inside, a toy doctors kit and other toys, four months supply of contacts, Lego, five pillows, two golf umbrellas, ten packets of dry yeast, a super king sized bedspread, three bouquets of fake tulips (for next spring!), different Cult parts for my candle light holders, a valance sheet, six Iittala latte glasses, a diversity of Easter decorations (again, for next year), two tea mugs, six tubes of kids toothpaste and four kids toothbrushes, a coolbag with prickig korv, leverpastej, Kalles Kaviar and Wästgöta Kloster cheese; a painting, two packets of electrical tea lights, Wettex cloths, tea - and oh yes, some clothes and four pairs of shoes too..!

It's a lot more fun to unpack, that's for sure!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Off we go!

We are all set for our big journey back to the Abode of Peace. Hoping for a slightly less eventful one this way...
See you all when we are home, sweet home!

The Easter eggs

Better late than never, but to be honest I wasn't awake when the kids found their Easter eggs the other day (in my family we have always just left them at the side of the bed, to be found in the morning) as it was very early...
Mormor was awake though, and took some pictures.

Lucas got lots of fun stuff in his egg! He got 'pruttlera' (=farting play-doh. I know... have a look here f.e.) and a super traditional Swedish 'Kalmartrissan' - that he was most excited about. He had just seen it a couple of days earlier in a shop, how could Easter Bunny know he wanted that..?!

Linnea also got a few different things in her egg, a little box of beads to make necklaces with and some hair clips f.e. But the absolutely best thing was a pink stationary mini-kit... she was overjoyed to have her own tape! :)

And this is Lucas later in the day showing Nathan his gigantic egg, over Skype. Nathan also got a full demonstration of every item in the egg, of course..!

New toy

We found a new toy today, to bring back home - because as Lucas said "he had never seen a frisbee that big before!". He also insisted we'd test it before packing it down into the suitcase.
We saw some really cool moves:

Even Morfar played along for a while!

Got milk?

This is how strong you get from milk!

Linnea has hardly drunk anything else while we've been here, just milk, milk, milk. I don't know if it's because the milk here taste different, or if it's just a new idea of hers. Anyway, I like it, milk is good for you!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A nice surprise

We got a nice surprise when we opened the local newspaper this morning, and read about the Easter Parade - look who's in one of the pictures:

Both Lucas and Linnea got super excited about being in the paper, and spent a long while just looking at their picture!
It said in the paper that around 400 children took part on Saturday, so it was really lucky they ended up in one of the photos!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Swenglish issues

While driving through town the other day, Lucas was looking out the window and commenting things as we drove past. All of a sudden he says:
-"Look, that's where the bad people are!"

I didn't really get it at first... until he pointed at the house we just drove past:

This is a photo of the main hotel here in my old hometown. (Those of you who came to our wedding will remember this, you all stayed here!)
The glass in the middle is the main entrance and most of the hotel is situated in the part to the right. To the left is the old city swimming halls, 'bad' = bath(s); where now a posh gym is situated...
Lucas obviously can read very well. :)

Rotorua to Taupo 100k Flyer

As you know, only 3/4 of the Watsons are in Sweden at the moment. But the last 1/4 of the family have been busy too. Nathan was off to NZ last weekend for a short trip, to take part in a bike race, the 100 k Rotorua Flyer.

He did a good race, in a lot of headwind, but still enjoyed it a lot. Here are the photos I've been sent, from before the race.
Here's Grandad, Nathan and Michael, a family friend; looking swanky:

Easter Lunch

We continued to celebrate Easter with some of the family yesterday, down in Göteborg. We met up with Mormor's siblings and their families and had a bit of a pot-luck Easter lunch. There was so much food, and everything looked so yummy I had to try it all..! Mmm!

My cousins were really nice with the kids, they played with them both in the house and out in the garden. Swinging, playing tag and hide-and-seek, and Sara was painting with Linnea:

Simon and Lucas:

Simon, trying to keep the jacket on Linnea:

My uncle was "suffering" a bit after lunch as well... had to lie down on the kitchen couch. But of course, there is a special tummy for Easter candy!

Easter candy, there is never too much!

Mormor has done research in geneology for over 25 years, and has over the years collected immense amounts of information about our ancestors.
We spent a while looking at a bunch of old photos, both really old ones and some of my Mormor and Morfar. It was both nice, and a bit sad.
My cousins are all quite a bit younger than me, so they don't have a lot of memories of our grandparents. I do. All good ones.