Tuesday, 30 November 2010


This will be us, me and the kids, very soon!

We're off to the North, and to the snow! No more flip-flops or Crocs for a while, better wrap up really warm though, it's going to be cooold! (Yay!)

Monday, 29 November 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Our tree is up!
We couldn't wait, decided to surprise Nathan on his return from NZ with a fully decorated house, tree and all.

Pretty pleased with their work:

Nathan got to put the star on the top though when he got home, that's tradition. Here's the finished result:

And all in the Christmas spirit, I've changed the colour scheme on the blog for the month ahead, I thought that could be nice!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Meanwhile in the Abode...

While Daddy is in NZ whizzing around on his bike, life keeps rolling on back home in the Abode as well, and not in any slow speed might I add... Again I just have to say, November is always busy, but these past two weeks have felt hysterical!

This weekend, we had the Christmas Party Friday afternoon, then I was invited to the neighbours to participate in a blessing of their house; Saturday Linnea and I did our haircut and Lucas had a playdate, straight from that to a Farewell pool-party, this one for our other (Malaysian) neighbours, at a hotel and in the evening I went to a Goodbye-Cocktail for a friend of mine who's off in a few weeks...
Today we went to karate, but it was canceled, so instead we spent quite a few hours at the Yacht Club, actually relaxing (!) before we went to the movies this afternoon.

You see, Lucas' class are going to the movies on Friday as a treat for the end of term. (Brave teachers taking three classes of 6-7 year olds into the Mall..!) Obviously Lucas will miss that, so we went to see the movie they are going to today instead: 'Rapunzel, a tangled tale' in 3D. It was lovely, a true Disney saga!

A great weekend - but we sure look forward to Daddy coming home tomorrow!

Mini chop

I went to the hair dresser yesterday to get trimmed before the trip. I always time it so I'll have a fresh haircut when I'm off somewhere, makes you feel really good. Linnea really needed one too, so I took her along.
She had for some reason decided she wanted her hair shorter (!), so after asking her many, many times if she was sure, Jacky set to work:

And Linnea seemed to approve to the result:

She looks very cute!

Race Day - Granddad's story

"What a GREAT DAY!

The "fast guys" - Nathan, Will and Colin launched from home at 6:30 as they had a 7:15 start time. No punctures this year but Colin had to return too base as his Garmin had packed a sad. The two Bruces left at around 7:30 and Michael at a leisurely 8ish!!

The "fast guys" were still on the line when the Bruces arrived, once again the main drag in Taupo was end to end bike riders. The Fast Guys launched at 7:45 and the two Bruces jumped the queue into the 4:40 too 5:10 group leaving at about 8:05. The plan was that Bruce Martyn "Donkey" was going to ride with Granddad and Granddad was going to unleash him at an appropriate time! BUT Donkey being Donkey was last seen by Granddad at the top of the control gate hill on his aerobars 10 meters off the front of the bunch "smoking"!

Conditions for the ride were perfect. Everyone had a good ride.
Unofficially the times were:
Nathan 4h45. That's SMOKING and a really good effort. That's MY boy!
Bruce "Donkey" Martyn around 5h10
Granddad 5h15
Will around 5h16
Colin Kyster 5h20
Michael Under 6 hours

So a good effort by all.
Post ride Bruce M and Colin partook in a massage while the hardy Kiwis cycled home up that Goddam Marpara Hill. We made it too the garage and when the others arrived home the Kiwis were sitting on the garage floor drinking beer - that's as far as we got.
Prize giving was a little drawn out this year and blimmin' hot!
After that we retired to a bar in Tuwhertoa St for a few pints of Tui, then dined at the Lotus Thai where Bruce's wife Nucha ordered up a fine Thai meal.
As per last year the noticeable weariness amongst the combatants set in around 10 so early bed.

Today has dawned another fantastic day so we will do the scenic thing today for our visitors.
Yvonne is planning a Kiwi roast lamb dinner and breakfast this morning will be accompanied by the All Blacks playing Wales.

From the Cycling Capital of the World Cheers -


Saturday, 27 November 2010


A little screen shot from Nathan's Facebook page:

Well done Sweetie!!! Very proud of you!

Today's the day

"Well today's the day. Great day here, no wind, cloudless, a little chilly right now at 6:30. Every one up. All fit and well. Report Later on the event." [Gran Dad]

(Tihi, I really like this guest blogging! Makes the blog so multi dimensional, you get to see what's going on both here in Brunei and in NZ, at the same time! Thanks Gran Dad)

Friday, 26 November 2010

YC Christmas Party 2010

After I picked the kids up from school today we went straight to the Yacht Club, to get a good table at the Christmas Party!
As it turns out, I didn't spend much time at that table, as I was busy keeping an eye on the two little rascals...

I must say, it was organized perfectly (we've been once before and they tend to stick to the same programthough); with games according to year group, colouring-in activities and carol singing together with the choir - but (there's always a but...) there was just too many people!
It was absolute madness and total chaos, out of the pure fact there was far too many people there!
I guess they say no to no one, but they just can't cater for so many people, there's not that much space! Gosh, it was so crowded, nearly a bit scary, when you couldn't get up or down the stairs at one point!

Well, the kids had a great time, and that's the main thing, really. Everybody was there, Santa arrived on a speed boat (only in Brunei!) and they got to see him and get some nice presents! (They got a cuddly Proboscis Monkey each, the same as we gave to their Danish friends last week when they left; both Lucas and Linnea have been onto me they wanted one too ever since.)

Here are the photos:

A taste of the longhaul life

As you have figured out by now, the Watson family are apart at the moment - the kids and I are still here in Brunei doing our normal stuff, but Nathan has spent this week in NZ, training for the big Lake Taupo Race tomorrow.

So, that means I've been experiencing a bit how life is for my friends who have husbands who do the longhaul flying, and are away weeks at a time.
It's no fun.

It's not the "doing-everything-myself" that tires me out. I do that mostly anyway, I like being in control..! I don't mind that, I keep just as busy as always, if not even more, and time flies. (Even though I do many,many things that noone ever notices, and how I hate spending all those kilometers/hours in the car every day driving here and there...)

It's the being alone part. It's boring.

Under construction

It feels like our life is really in "under-construction-mode" at the moment. Not only are we literally living in the middle of this major construction project behind our house - the noisy work on the road behind our house continues... E v e r y day, 7 in the morning until 7 at night, sometimes even longer... It is driving me absolutely insane, but what to do lah...

But if that wasn't enough, school as well is one big building site, and has been for quite a while. It seems to just get worse and worse though!
They are building a new Art Center and also now since after the summer holidays, a new 6th Form building. It's causing quite some disruption at school, especially when it comes to the parking situation.

This week was the first week we started to use the new entrance to the school, and so far... well, it's chaos more or less. They have many people on hand to help direct the traffic, but there is just such an overload of cars especially at drop-off in the morning, it's just overflowing.
I guess you'll have to remember the big picture, and that there is thought behind it all - once it's ALL finished, it'll be superb. But, that's a long way away still...

This is the queue we had to join when we arrived this morning:

And this is not even IN school yet, this is the line to get to drive into school... Then you have to struggle to find a park, or even maneuver your car around in the new drive ways... *Sigh*
It's all fun and games! I can't wait until it's all finished!

Day 2 from Taupo

"Day two was spent completing an easy ride over the Hatepe Hill (the biggest climb in Saturdays event). No demoralizing encounters with the 8 timers this day! We saw several of them going the other way on their 3rd or 4th lap, considerably subdued they were.

On top of the Hatepe Hill Will decided to go into leg saving mode so Granddad happily obliged and volunteered to ride back towards Taupo while Nathan and Colin (Colin is an Korean Air colleague of mine who hails from the US and lives in Honolulu. He completed the Florida Iron Man recently in around 11 hours, no mean feat believe me) decided to ride on and "look" at Saturday's accent of the Hatepe Hill. They must have been smoking on the way back as Will and I could not see them on the rise up too the airport when we could see a good mile back down the road, and then the next thing they were right there. 5 hours or under I think for those two boys!

We spent the rest of the day dealing with Craig. Nathan has changed his gearing (Craig has lent him a 11-25 Dura ace cassette) and he has been having trouble with the gear shifting, finally sorted at 4 pm!
We visited the Great Lake Center where there were bargains galore but supposedly closed until tomorrow morning. We did get a peek though at the new Avanti Team issue of Nathan's bike - $16000!

On the way home the new NZ pro cycling team Kiwi Black were on a training ride up "our road" all decked out in their very NZ black strip riding the new Avanti bikes that we had just seen.
Of course we then had to have another tactical discussion, reload the beer fridge and in Jeremy's absence Granddad cooked seafood pasta.

Tomorrow is a big day.
Sign in day, the "Donkey" arrives. Then the criterium racing around the streets of Taupo tomorrow night. The weather is fantastic, cool in the mornings although it's 7 am now and quite pleasant. About 24-26 during the day. Lots of sun block will be the order of the day tomorrow.

Here are Granddads picks:
Nathan and Colin 5 hrs or just under.
Granddad 5:20 -40
Will bit of an unknown right now.
Donkey... Well "What are you doing now Donkey?"


Coaster mania

With not long to go before she leaves, I managed to finally get around a few times to Paula's this week to finish off my last mosaics projects; at her now very empty studio/house.
After my bowl, I wanted to do somewhat simpler things, so I stuck to coasters. Here are my creations - a seasonal parade!



And my favourites, Halloween:

My coffee table is going to look sooo good from now on, and very appropriately matched to each season! :)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Teddybear Picnic

This morning the younger classes in school all took part in a 'Teddybear Picnic' together. They dress in house colours, and bring their teddies in to school - also decorated in house colours.
Last night was a frantic preparation race before bedtime, to get everything ready for this. Lucas for some reason wanted his bear to have a guitar (too much watching Glee maybe?), so we made one for him; and Linnea wanted to carry her bear in her doll-carrier; quite a good idea actually.

Then they went roaming the school for "clues" that eventually lead them to where the picnic was held - this year they ended up in the school playground.
A nice activity that keeps the kids together, across the year groups.

Report from Gran Dad

I've got permission to publish the story of another guest blogger - Gran Dad!
All the boys are having a great time at the moment down in NZ, gearing up for Saturday's big race. Here's a taster of what they are up to, from yesterday:

"Day one. Will arrived today so we set out on a 44 mile ride up too the highest point on the ride. Bit demoralizing as several of the 8 timers passed us going up the road!!! One guy, an American, only had sandals on. Nathan commented that he was going to do the Jesus thing and walk across the Lake at some point.
When we got back Colin had arrived so we assembled his bike and Yvonne cooked a huge roast; as Colin doesn't eat meat we had a huge dinner of mussels, scallops and roast pork.

Our photographer needs lots of prodding and reminding to get the camera out. Perhaps Bruce's wife will be better!

Big day tomorrow, we have more bike tuning to do at Craig's bike shop and a ride down over the Hatepe Hill.

Great weather here.
Cheers from the cycle capital of the world.

A last 'White Tie...' photo

Here's one last photo from the 'White Tie & Tiara Ball' a couple of weeks ago:

They had had this awesome backdrop made, that we could have our photos taken in front of when we arrived. Apart from the fact that it looks like Nathan is wearing the hornbill as a hat - I really like this photo! We look so very elegant, almost regal! :)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Eager reader

Linnea is now done learning her whole Jolly Phonics. They've done 42 sounds since the start of the school year, and now they should be ready to decode all words.
So today, Linnea came home with her first reading book. BIG day!

It was a very proud reader who read me the whole book in one go. Good girl!

Monkey business

(This little story might only be funny for people who know Brunei, but I'll tell it anyway.)

The other day on the way to school we passed a little troupe of monkeys on the side of the road, something that happens every now and then here.

Lucas looked at them and gasped:
- "Oh no Mummy, they must have escaped from Monkey-SupaSave"!


Well, as I might have written about before, we have two SupaSave supermarkets here and behind the one that I go to the most, live a big troupe of monkeys up in the jungle. They often come down to the parking lot to find rubbish or get fed, or even steal food out of trolleys sometime!

Whenever we've had visitors, we've actually taken them to the supermarket parking lot just to show them the monkeys close up, as they are always there!
I guess Lucas thought that was their natural habitat! :)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Kids Xmas Hash

Since a lot of people shoot off during, and many already before the school holidays start; the Kids Hash is always doing their Christmas one in November.
It was really cosy at site today, the tent was decorated, lots of both the kids and the adults were dressed all Christmasy and the Christmas music was flowing out over the jungle.

Waiting to start:

Really muddy run today:

In the jungle:

Then Santa came!

In line to go and see Santa in his 'grotto':

Seeing Santa in his 'grotto':

All the kids got a gift (a red JH3 bum-bag), some sweets, a nice biscuit and a free drink and free ice cream!
Then after some play, someone needed a bit of a rinse off..:

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Last playdate

Yesterday we were lucky to get to bring the Dehli kids home after their last day at school, to hang at our house in the afternoon while their parents sorted out the last loose ends of their move.
The last playdate, here in Brunei anyway. Quite sad, even though the kids had fun and played around just like normal of course.

A last photo:

A hug:

And - the crazy photo!

Today we will go and say goodbye at their hotel.
I'm bringing the Kleenex.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Dispatching Rescue Patrol

This morning I got a phone call from Nathan while I was enjoying my morning coffee after school drop off - he was out riding with the boys, and they needed Rescue Patrol! :(
I had to jump in the jeep and drive off to get them down the coast road. Fortunately they were all ok, although they had got caught in each other and Nathan had fallen off his bike.
Unfortunately - Andrew's (brand new...) bike had taken a beating, since the bikes had tangled up and his carbon frame had broke right off.

Such a bummer, but I'm just glad no one got seriously hurt.