Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pick n' mix

There are a few different supermarkets around here in Brunei but it's still hard to find everything at the same place unfortunately. There is no such thing as a one-stop shop; like ASDA, Bilka or Coop.
If you want fresh milk, there is only one place - SupaSave. SupaSave have the most choice of expat groceries, and is the only supermarket with especially imported fresh milk (most people here use the longlife milk). Unfortunately since most of their stock is imported from Australia, UK and other places, the prices reflect that too...

Another popular supermarket chain is Giant. It's a Malaysian chain that is now spreading in Brunei, having opened up two new branches just recently. It appeals to the locals with low prices and lots of non-branded products.
They also have this:

A slightly different kind of 'pick n' mix' than I'm used to..! Not for me though...

Boy or girl?

I've had this question more times than I would be able to remember by now... Back when she was 1 1/2-2 and still had no hair, it used to be daily. I could kind of accept it, if I had her dressed in something red, blue and unisex - but when she was in pink, truly girly outfits? I never understood where it came from.

Here's a photo from today:

So... Linnea is nearly FIVE years old, dressed in a skirt and a girly yellow-pink-purple top, butterfly Havaianas and sporting a pony-tail. She walked in to the restaurant carrying a HSM magazine; and still the waitress asked:
- Is boy or girl ma'am?

Well... She's wearing a skirt for starters!!

Sometimes I think they are just trying to make conversation. That's what I choose to believe anyway.

More 空手 (=karate)

This morning it was time for karate again. Since last week, Lucas' karate suit had arrived, so he was really happy today when he got to wear it and look like the other students.
Before leaving home he recapped on what he learned last week:

There was a lot more kids at the dojo today. We left pretty much straight away because there is not really any spectator space in the dojo; but we came back to see the last ten minutes, and that's when they do sit-ups.
Lucas is at the far end, so a bit hard to spot:

This is where Sensei walks around and tests their tummy muscles. She barely touched Lucas, but she stepped on (!) some of the other students:

And then, the 'plank'... Both on their knuckles and on the side of their hands! Quite hardcore for a six-year old!

Coming out of class, he looked like a proper little fighter! (Yes, and very cute too!)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

THE wheels

Especially for Bruce, Craig and who else might be interested in this kind of stuff, here are the wheels. (Although I have a slight suspicion that these pictures have been emailed, Whatsapp:ed or mms:ed through already..!)

Cake time!

A few of our friends came around yesterday to celebrate Nathan's birthday with coffee and cake. The kids had come with me to choose the cake, and it was a very yummy chocolate cake on a crunchy hazelnut base. Mmm!

Group hug:

Got some help with the candles:

Cutting it proved tricky as there were a lot of "helpers"..:

I'm bad, I'm bad

Lucas' friend Malthe got a Michael Jackson CD for his birthday at the beginning of this month, and since then Lucas has also discovered the Michael Jackson movie 'This is it'.
So now, he wants to listen to Michael Jackson all the time in the car, he walks around humming his songs and tries to do some of the moves - and every time he and Malthe are together, they want to watch MJ on DVD.
Yesterday was no exception:

Friday, 24 September 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

The kids have been excited for days - because we've prepared surprises for Daddy's birthday today! Getting out of bed this morning was easy, it was singing time, and they could hardly wait!

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

They had wrapped the presents themselves yesterday, carried them upstairs and hidden them under the bed. Pretty well done, considering one of the gifts was a very big box (containing bike wheels).
There was also some gifts all the way from Sweden, from Mormor and Morfar:

This afternoon we are doing coffee and cake with our friends. Mostly for the kids' sake, they really wanted Daddy to have a party (just so they can get party bags, I'm sure...). We went and ordered a really nice cake yesterday, so we are all looking forward to the celebrations now!
Check back later for more photos!

Funny looking food

Saw these at the supermarket the other day:

This was something I've never seen before! They were sold next to the onions and the garlic, looked like slugs but were hard.
Very weird looking... veg??

Well, thanks to Google, I could find out that it's actually an aquatic plant that bear these fruits. Apparently you boil these and eat them as snack - Chinese Water Caltrop.
I'm not sure I want to try... they didn't look very appetizing to me...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I wouldn't mind

I wouldn't mind some rain, grey skies and crisp, clear air right now.
I wouldn't mind wearing boots, jeans, scarves, woolly cardigans or even mittens and a hat.
I wouldn't mind drinking warm, tasty tea or hot chocolate, and lighting candles in every corner.
I wouldn't mind talking a walk in the woods, admiring the amber, golden nature shimmering in every colour imaginable.
I wouldn't mind some autumn.
I wouldn't mind being somewhere else right now. Somewhere slightly cooler.
I really wouldn't mind.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


During the summer holidays the school have updated their playgrounds with lots of new equipment. Yesterday after school, there was a BBQ held down at the big Junior School playground, with bouncy castle and everything.
It was organized for new families to meet and mingle with the already established ones (for free!), and for anyone who wanted to come along. A rather relaxing afternoon.

We went for a while to let the kids play and to have a bit of a chat with some of the other parents. Here's Linnea and her friend Ruby in front of the new climbing equipment:

Deep concentration

Linnea started a new ASA (After School Activity) this term, "Jewelery making". This ASA is open for girls from Kindy to Y2, and she was sooo excited to go off, by herself, to this class yesterday after school.

I arrived a little bit early to pick her up, and found her together with her friends making bracelets. All very, very quiet and all in very, very deep concentration. :)

Linnea did a double bracelet with airplanes on it! Very beautiful!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Wax on... wax off

Lucas started karate today at the Martial Arts Dojo here. We thought this would be a good outlet for him, to burn some steam off and also to learn concentration, discipline and how to listen and channel his energy.
His Sensei doesn't tolerate any clowning around, if the students aren't into it they get sent outside to sit!

As Brunei is still in Raya-mode, there was only two more students there today so Lucas got a great start with lots of attention. We were there in good time too, so at first it was only him.

His skipping skills really need some practice:

He seemed to have enjoyed it a lot, both the physical exercise and the karate moves; so we signed him up for 8 more lessons straight away.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dressed for success

Today we went to another Open House for Hari Raya festivities. It was a very busy Open House, it seemed like half of Brunei was there - the whole house was buzzing!
Here's the 3/4 of the family who looked the part in traditional clothes:


And, I had to take this photo of the garage at a neighbouring house - I wonder what's their favourite colour..? ;)

Piece by piece

Thursday morning was Mosaics morning again. I continued working on my coasters, and started a new project that I think I'll enjoy even more - a bowl.
I shamelessly stole (after asking her permission!) one of the other ladies' idea of a mirror pattern in the bottom. Can you see what it's supposed to be?

I wanted something a little bit extra as decoration, and something to remind me of Brunei so I thought this was a great idea. I hope the result will be as I envisioned. I still haven't decided on the colour scheme for the rest of the bowl, but I'm sure it'll come to me!

Kellie and Misuzu came along this time too. Whereas Kellie did like the rest of us and started off with "easy" coasters, Misuzu was brave and jumped straight into in the deep end by starting with a mosaic ball!
I can't wait until next Thursday!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Hari Raya party

Unfortunately Lucas doesn't get to dress up much in school anymore, it gets more and more serious and in Year 2 you apparently don't do class parties much...

Linnea on the other hand, had a Hari Raya party in school on Wednesday. It was the usual setup - bring a plate and dress up if you wish. I got a new baju for her, since we have a few more Open Houses to go to anyway, so she'll get good use out of it.
She picked it out herself at the shop:


No, we don't have a Starbucks here in Brunei (one of the most googled phrases that brings people to this old post on the blog is actually 'Starbucks+Brunei', ha ha!) - but we have something similar (although not as good) and pretty alright, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

The other day I was running around town, and all of a sudden found myself with about 40 minutes to spare before school pickup, so I treated myself to this:

Cinnamon & Caramel Cappuccino... mmm...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


It's been rather quiet in here for a couple of days now.
Life sure is in full swing for all of us and fun things are happening.

I just needed a little time to reboo(s)t.
I'll be back. Soon.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The best exercise...

... is the one that you do!

Even if it is at home, on the floor, to an old fitness DVD..! Go me for being eager!

At Taiyib

It's the second day of Raya today, and we had our first Open House invitation for this afternoon. We went to my friend Maria, who was hosting her open house together with her parents, her sisters and their families.
It was a lovely Open House. It's Maria's sisters who runs the baking business I've used so many times for the kids birthdays - and of course they had mini cupcakes, mini Pavlovas, Tiramisu and other goodies to offer... mmm!

Here's Maria:

Misuzu and Oliver came along too, and Oliver (true to tradition) was dressed up. We wore matching colours!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Selamat Hari Raya

Sunday dinner time!

Well, it's actually not Sunday... nor dinner time... But it's Hari Raya which means kids are off school, and Nathan had a big nig... well, DAY out yesterday - so he thought it was suited with pizza for lunch to start off our long weekend! Fine by me!

Crafty morning

I decided to try something new yesterday, something I've never done before. My friend Paula is hosting mosaics classes at her house and I thought I'll give it a try. I like crafting, so why not?
I had a lovely morning with some other creative ladies and got started on my first project, some colourful coasters.

Paula has a whole little studio set up at her house. She gets the materials in and she lets us use all the tools. There were so many gorgeous colours to choose from.

Here is Paula, starting me off on the gluing. I had actually chosen the colours to match the rest of the colours in our living room, but Paula thought they looked Swedish... Ha ha!

Next week I'll be grafting these, and starting my next project! Stay tuned!