Monday, 31 May 2010

The medal

Here's my second running medal!

This time we didn't get them in the race pack though (...), but after the actual race, after having passed the finish line and picked up our water and our banana! These also had ribbons, so we could carry them proudly around our neck!

The Singapore Sundown 10k

Saturday night's race was Nicole's 1st and Misuzu and mine's 2nd race (she did her 1st in NZ at the end of March).
We built up our excitement during the day, and all had a good feeling when we got in the cab to get out to the starting point.
See how we were all colour coordinated! Ha ha!

Unfortunately our experience started with a very stupid taxi driver who had no idea what the Sundown Race was, and took us to the completely wrong place. Luckily we had plenty of time, so we made it to the start with just over an hour to spare anyway.
We picked up our race kit and mounted the time chip on our shoes. Something that wasn't as easy as it seemed:

We dropped off our bags at the bag place and had time to take some pictures:

Picked up our light sticks that would "keep us company through the night":

We checked out the starting area:

We agreed that at least we would be easy to spot amongst all these other participants - most of them all being short, dark haired Asians, all wearing the official race top. We kind of stood out with our colourful wear and headgear:

We didn't run the race together, already after about 1k I fell behind the other two and Nicole took off at about 3k so after that we were all on our "own" - well, together with around 5000 other women!

I must say we didn't do too shabby - at least not the girls! Nicole got in on 1h07 and Misuzu on 1h09 (ranking nr 332 and 425). Really well done girls!!

I tried a different approach to this race, as my main goal was not to beat any time but to finish the race without ripping up my injury again. I applied walking breaks this time, in intervals of 5 minutes running/1 minute walking. It worked quite well and I managed still to keep up quite a good pace for the first half of the race. Unfortunately I got a stitch at 7k and had to walk for about 1,5k until it had passed and I could run again. I think that's what sank me. I didn't manage to pick up the pace again after that.
My time was a not very impressive 1h15 (rank 862) but you know what - I DID IT!!!
My leg was ok afterward, and I felt fine too. Not too exhausted or sick or anything, like after the Hong Kong race. All in all, a lot better experience!

We won!

Ha ha, well maybe not quite!
But we got medals!

Happy girls after having completed the Singapore Sundown 10k on Saturday night - "Race the night".

♥ IKEA ♥

I vividly remember being a child and having to go to IKEA with my parents. There was absolutely nothing worse! I hated it! With a vengeance!

Now, it's a very different story - I was so giddy and happy all morning Saturday, and when we got there I just got this homely, familiar feeling. It smells so good in IKEA, and it looks just like it does back home. IKEA rules!

We had decided to take our time, and we had set aside most of the Saturday actually to do IKEA. We all had different things on our shopping lists and spent quite a lot of time walking around, thinking, considering, measuring, making decisions...

Of course, there was also time for Swedish meatballs!

When we were done, we were really lucky Jason came to pick us up - because we had so much stuff! We had bought a glass lamp, Ribba shelves, photo frames, my Ulsberg side table (for my reading corner!), towels, a rug, bed sheets, lamp feet, plastic boxes, a bread box, tea lights, a step stool, a lamp shade, cushions (yup, that was me!), cushion covers, a wooden train set, a kids' Lömsk armchair and many other things...

We managed to get it all into his car, then it was up to us to get it all in our suitcases and onto the plane..! (Which we did, of course! We're professional packers!)

At Casa Fox

Since we came over to Singapore a day earlier, we didn't have any hotel booked. Luckily our good friends Jason & Maki happily took us in, and we spent a lovely evening at their place chatting away and enjoying gorgeous red wine.

The next morning we had time for a quick breakfast and a bit of a play with their son Ruru before we took off to the day's adventures.

Misuzu and Ruru got along splendidly:

The Fox family live in a really nice neighbourhood, with a playground just outside their front gate, a spacious house and a lush garden area with lots of greenery:

Sweet memories

All the flights to Singapore were really full this weekend, and since it was important for us to get over there in time for the race we decided to try already on Friday evening to get seats.
To our great relief - we did! The Captain was kind enough to release the jump seats for us.

Two of us had to sit in the flight deck, which we didn't mind of course, Misuzu and I went out there. It's been quite a while since I last traveled in the flight deck and it was really nice to be out there again. Misuzu and I had the best view of the flight, for sure!

When the flight attendants brought out our meal I couldn't stop smiling..! It really brought memories back from my days in the air, balancing the tray on your knees while enjoying some coffee from a double plastic cup! Those were the days.. *sigh*...

Great fun

We are very pleased with the kids' school, and with the teachers they have had and are having. Linnea this year f.e, is having a great introduction to "proper" school. She has had a super fun year with Mrs Moran in the Kindy Panda class.
They do so many fantastic activities and so many things are happening every day - the kids have a blast!
When we come and pick them up, there is always a little note outside the class room that tells us what they have been up to - on Friday it covered two pages! :)

They also display all the photos from all the different excursions and different special happenings, for us parents to see. Here are the board of photos from the Policemens' visit, Linnea is in the left photo in the middle, trying out the helmet:

Some of the bikes, from their biking activity on Friday:

It's getting really exciting now, with only weeks to go of this school year (this week is Midterm holidays, and then only five more weeks!) - to see in which classes and with whom they will end up, and which teachers they will get for next year..!

Face painting

Here are some photos from Friday and the face painting activities. It was Year 1 who was doing this to raise their part of the money for the Fund Raising. They had a little face painting "studio" set up in one of their class rooms, and kids from all the Junior School year groups could come and get their faces decorated.

Here's Linnea getting "girly things" on her face, by Mr Jolly - Lucas' teacher:

And here's Lucas, we caught up with him during his break time:

The kids did really, really well - all through last week they manage to raise in total $2800, for the children with Special Needs!

Friday, 28 May 2010

We're off!

So, we are now off to Singapore for a girlie weekend. Yes, and for the race too, it's a small part of the weekend - IKEA is actually the main part, for me at least! ;)

I have decided not to take the computer, yes, it's true.
So don't expect any updates until I'm back in the Abode again after the weekend.

So long!

Oh happy day!

Finally today, Nathan could go and pick up his brand new truck, a Nissan Navara. Happy day!

Some other firsts

Here are some other first birthdays.
Lucas 1 year old - Jan 2005:

And Linnea 1 year old, October 2006:

It definitely feels longer than just a few years ago... How time flies!

Thursday, 27 May 2010


Our youngest neighbour, Oliver, celebrated his 1st birthday today. It was done in style, with a huge party in "Old McDonald"-theme, really well planned by his parents.
There was a paddling pool with ducks in it, soft cows and horses to play with, a ball tent shaped like a cow and the most amazing balloons in different farm models, especially ordered from Singapore; amongst many other things! Everything was farm-themed, it was really cool.

The kids were asked to come in dress-up, of course, considering Oliver is the "King-of-dress-ups" around here! Oliver himself was dressed as a - duck!

Neighbour big brother Lucas had promised to help Oliver blow out the candle, and he stood by his promise, of course:

It was a great party!
Happy First Birthday Oliver!

The chop

Those of you who know me in real life, know that I'm not very adventurous with my hairstyle. I've kind of had the same length, style and colour to my hair, for the last 25 years! Just blond, straight down and longish (only with some strange colouring experiments in my late teens...).
It's just a few times I've actually tried something different, and I mean FEW times:

* I had a short bob once - 13 years ago.
* I had it layered a bit, with a side-swipe fringe - 7 years ago.
* I had it toned dark brown for a very short period - 5 years ago.

So, maybe it was well due time, for this:

Truth is, I've been wanting to cut it off and create some sort of style for quite a while. Probably for nearly a year, at least! But every time I've been to see Jacky, my hairdresser, I've wimped out and asked her "just take a little bit off the ends, please"... Today was the day though, and it feels so good!

This was before:

And here is some more after:



... is what I've been up to this morning!

Busy week in school

You would think they would wind down a bit this last week of school before the holidays, but no! Instead it's a really hectic one for the kids. There are so many things going on!
Lucas is studying a "Day & Night"-theme at the moment, and to initiate that, he was back at school on Tuesday afternoon between 17.20-18.45. They were having a "Midnight Feast" in a room they had made all dark, watch the sunset together outside, and listen to ghost stories. They were to bring flashlights, and it seemed like they had all had a great time!

Linnea is studying "Transport" at the moment, and they have been talking about different ways to get around in her class. They had a bus in the classroom last week, that magically transformed into a space ship for this week! And on Friday all the Kindy kids are bringing their bicycles to school, to ride around on for a bit on the school grounds.

Also, the school has chosen this week to be this terms Fundraising Week. Every now and then they perform different activities at school in order to raise more money for the children with Special Needs here in Brunei. With the money raised this time, they will be able to present some children with equipment to help them with their learning.
During this week, each of the Junior School year groups are working together to raise money for this cause. They all do different things, and us parents are then supposed to support the cause with a few dollars here and there.

Linnea and her Kindy friends had breakfast at school this morning, and all came dressed in their PJs for the occasion! Even the teachers - great fun!

Lucas' year group is doing face painting; and there has also been a bake sale and an ice cream sale, one year group is having "bad-taste-dress-day" and another one "punk-rock-dress-day"..! Plus tomorrow, Reception is organizing a disco to raise their money - and all the other year groups are invited!

And if all this was not enough, today is our little neighbour Oliver's 1st birthday and this afternoon he is having a big party. Something which has been eagerly anticipated for a very long time in our house..!
Busy, busy, busy!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Our simpang hash!

Today was the day, ALL our hard efforts were going to pay off! Today was the day of our simpang hash!
We went out in the scorching midday sun to lay it earlier, and it took us over 2 hours... It was hard work in that heat, and I'm glad Nicole had remembered to bring a 100plus, because I really needed that halfway through. It was so hot!

Here's our run, the red marker is our simpang and we laid the hash on the other side of our big road, Jln Muara. It actually started and finished at the same spot, the green marker.

It felt so good when it was laid, finally - and then, we could just wait...
While we set up the tent and got everything ready for the on-on, the rain came and our thoughts went to all the poor hashers who had set off and were now trekking through the jungle in this thunderstorm... Luckily it stopped nearly as quickly as it started, and when they got out of the jungle, it was dry again.

It took the front runners an hour, just as we had estimated, and the last people were out after about 1h40, so we were pleased! No one got lost, and no one got hurt!

The on-on was a roaring success! We got complimented for our Japanese style outfits we had had made, for the yummy punch we served, for the chopsticks in our hair and last, but not least, for the food we put on: Japanese Buffet.
Of course, Misuzu had organized most of it, but at least Nicole and I could take credit for some of the cakes... :)

Here we are getting our down-down, as hares:

On your head!

We had sushi, both salmon and vegetarian; gyozas, both pork and vegetarian; chicken birds nests, spring rolls, Japanese curry, chocolate cake, carrot cake and Hello Kitty shortbread! A true feast!

Great job girls! We rock!