Friday, 30 September 2011

Heard on the radio

Even though I mostly listen to my Zumba music at the moment, both at home and while driving; occasionally we listen to the radio in the car.
Last night while driving home from dinner we were listening to this talk show program where the listeners were encouraged to call in with the right answer to some question and they could win a prize.
But not just any prize... apparently a very big voucher this time! The radio host was so excited and the anticipation was huge!
So what was the prize?? Well, they could win... $75 worth of front and back wheel alignment for their car!!! Ha ha!

Lucky it was front AND back, right? :)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sneaky publicity

Now that I'll probably be taking Zumba classes more regularly, I've found a way to get some sneaky publicity out there!

Linnea got a very special manicure today! :) Doesn't it look great? Zumbaaaaaa!

(On a different note: one of the ladies from yesterdays class told me today at school she could really feel all the squats we did in her thighs... And another one requested a track for Friday's class! It made me feel like a real Zumba instructor! Oh wait - I am a real Zumba instructor! :))

World's Biggest Coffee Morning

This morning one of my friends had organized this very special Coffee Morning, for cancer support. It's called "The World's Biggest Coffee Morning" and it's a yearly event, where people across the UK and further afield host coffee mornings, and collect donations, that go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

This morning was a success as Pauline raised $290 from all her ladies participating! Great job!

I'm always happy to support research or charities, anything for a good cause.
I also got extra happy when I approached the cake table and saw - Swedish Chocolate Cake! Mmmmm - guess where she got that recipe from..? :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

First one done!

Well, this is really not the most flattering picture of me I've ever published on this blog, but hey - this one is on me! :)

This is how I looked this morning, after I did a whole hour of Zumba - as the instructor!
Yes, I sweat a lot. Yes, I go very red. Yes, it was hard work..!

But, I'm so proud of myself!
I've been working really hard these last few weeks practising routines and getting it all together, and even though my class is still mostly low-impact (due to my own fitness level that needs to build up!) - the class worked out fab!
There was so many people this morning too, over 20 ladies, and everyone seemed to enjoy it!
Yay for me!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

House mice

Is that actually a saying in English? Well, it is in Swedish, for people who likes being at home; and we were proper little house mice today the kids and I, didn't even leave the house..!

I've always liked being at home, and especially Lucas, is just the same. He always has a good time, wherever we do go, but he prefers to stay at home.
Today we spent the morning lounging around in our PJs doing things around the house, and the dreaded last bits of the homework. Then the weather turned on-and-off on us and we weren't really sure what it was going to do, so we decided to just have an at home day all day long!
It was really nice actually. We played a few games together and a couple of board games, just took it easy. Lovely. I wish we had time for more days like this but our weekends are usually just as busy as the weeks, so I cherish these quiet days we do get.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Teacher's Day

Today we have an extra day off here in Brunei, because it's 'Teacher's Day'.
It's so nice with an extra long weekend, it's still quite hard with the early mornings and long days, we're all super tired still now in week 3.
The kids are as busy as always and their week is packed:

Mondays they both do an ASA, Linnea has Hip-Hop and Lucas is participating in the Junior School Production of 'Ali Baba'. At the same time I take the Zumbatomic ASA so we're not home until 4.30 in the afternoon.
Tuesdays Lucas is doing Ball Skills, and Linnea waits in the After School Care Club, we're home at 3.45.
Wednesdays Linnea is doing Dolphins swimming and Lucas is playing football, home again at 4.30.
Thursdays I pick them up normal time (school finishes at 2.30), so we're home at 3 pm and Fridays they are finished at 12, but with the current parking situation that arises when the whole school is out at the same time... we're not home until 1 pm.
Busy, busy, busy.

So today we've taken it very easy. We all lounged around in our PJs all morning, then went for a quick lunch before going to the movies and seeing "The Smurfs"; and now I've swapped Linnea for Ben, who's come here for a sleepover. It's great we still have TWO days left of the weekend!

Just like Beto!

Yes, I know, this blog has gone all "Zumba-Zumba-Zumba" lately, but to be honest - that's also what these past few weeks has been all about for me.

Ever since I got back from my training in Australia, and got the green light to go ahead with my Zumbatomic ASA, I've been Zumbaing like crazy.
Not only with lots of practise and preparation so that the Zumbatomic program would be fantastic and well organized; but I've also been coming up with, and practising routines for the "normal" Zumba, for adults; and gone to as many Zumba classes I've could.
A good friend of mine have let me do a few tracks every now and then at her classes, and that has been invaluable. A great way to get used to teaching, to practice with actual people and also through them being able to get some feedback.

The other day though, she had lost her voice and wasn't feeling all that. She asked me when I arrived to the Studio if I was ready - could I take the whole class? I said I was ready but unprepared, to which she answered me with a wink:
-"So was Beto, remember!"

You see, the story goes that Zumba was invented by a fluke by this Colombian guy called Beto. He was working back in Cali teaching Step/Aerobics when one day, he forgot the music for his class. The only music he had was a cassette of Latin music he’d taped from the radio. He put that on, improvised - and that was the beginning of Zumba! (You can read more about his amazing success story in an old article here.)

So the other day, totally surprised, I did it too! The whole class!
It felt a bit like being thrown in the deep end, but maybe that's the way to go, so that you don't have time to question yourself too much? At least now I know I can do it! :)
Beto, it's you and me!

Monday, 19 September 2011


It's week 3 at school and all the ASAs (After-school-activities) are starting up this week. When I got back from getting my Zumbatomic license in Adelaide at the end of last month, I offered school to do a Zumbatomic ASA this term, and they thought it was a great idea.
I had to decide myself on the size of the group, and since this is my first time instructing, I thought a smaller group would be more manageable and opted for a max of 14 kids. Guess what - I got a full class!

So today I held the first class, I had painted my nails in a glittery Zumba-blue especially! :)

Presenting your colourful Zumbatomic Instructor:

I was so pumped up and really excited, and so were the kids! The 45 minutes went by so fast and all the children really impressed me by picking up the moves and the choreography very quickly. We had so much fun, it was great seeing their happy faces! They all walked out bubbling to tell their parents about what we had done.

They did ask me why I sweated so much though... several times, ha ha! And in the end where I had planned a big group hug to finish off, most of them just wrinkled their noses at me! :D
I guess next week we'll just be doing a "all-hands-in-the-middle-shout-Zumba-thing"! Ha ha!

I got super feedback from the teacher assisting me as well, so I'm very proud of myself. *Pat on the back*. Gotta keep it up now, I'm already practicing the dance for next week and have to come up with some new games! Zumbaaaaaaa!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Back in the jungle

Yesterday we walked around a Zoo and looked at snakes and monkeys.

This morning when I stood in the shower I could see colourful birds peering in on me from the grid of the window and "our" monkeys swinging from the trees just outside.

We're back in the jungle.

We meet again

Our last night in Perth it was just me and the kids going out for dinner as pick-up was at 22.50 and Nathan needed a bit of sleep before that.
I actually really craved some creamy, cheesy pasta dish but the kids had their minds set on something else. Ribs. Again.

That, combined with the fact that I had no idea where I would get my pasta, resulted in us doing a repeat of our successful first night's dinner..! But hey, can't get ribs like these in Brunei!

Lucas comment when his dinner arrived:
-"We meet again ribs!"

I opted for a snack plate instead, had cravings for something greasy and fatty, and it sure hit the spot! Mmmm!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Perth Zoo

Finally today we made it out to the Zoo, and apart from a few, very light showers, we were lucky to have beautiful weather all afternoon.

It was a bit disappointing though, because many of the enclosures were closed for maintenance at the moment, particularly the Wetlands. Boo.
We didn't get to pat any kangaroos, but we got to see them pretty close up since they were roaming free in the Australian Wildlife part.

It's always a bit funny when you visit these Zoos, and you see parts of the exhibit that consists of what we have at home in our own backyard! The monkeys, the monitor lizards, the sun bears, the snakes... (One of our dogs killed another cobra in our garden on Monday!)

My favourite part of our visit was the elephant show we watched. They had two gorgeous females out that showed us lots and lots of tricks.

The best one was when one of them sprayed the audience! We were safely at the back, but Lucas purposely went all the way up the front, in his red hoodie!



And one of the elephants came for a walk around in the park:

BIG breakfast

This morning we got picked up by an old friend of Nathan's and his family, Ian. He and his family used to live in Brunei too back in the day. I've met them before once when they traveled through Brunei just before the summer - and now we met again, for breakfast here in Perth! So very international!

Actually, we had breakfast just outside the city in a coastal suburb called Cottesloe, at a great place just by the beach. They had the biggest lattes, called "tubs":

And very yummy Eggs Benedict...

And pancakes with all the trimmings...

We were lucky as it was a beautiful morning, and I really enjoyed being by the sea, which today was rather rough with big, big foamy waves. Lots of people were out walking their dogs, exercising and enjoying the weather. Seemed like a poplar place to be!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Happiness is...

The weather is letting us down a bit here in Perth. We had planned to do the Zoo today, but since we had our breakfast in pouring rain (don't worry, we were watching the rain from the inside of a cosy café) we decided on plan B, which was more or less, just winging it! :)

Guess where?

We did some of the boring grocery shopping, got Nathan an early birthday present and then set out on a bigger mission - to get to 'Toys R'us'. We had in a week moment promised the kids they could use some of their saved up allowances today, if they were good.
This mission involved a longer ride on a bus and what seemed like an endless walk along a highly trafficked road, until we gave up; asked for directions and had to take another bus! But we made it.

Quite a while later, with two now a lot happier kids, we set off back to town. By now it was already time for dinner and we decided on another favourite - mussels! Mmm! My mussels were a bit on the small side, but they tasted good. And so did the man-sized beer Nathan had apparently.
Happiness is:

We are hoping for some steadier weather tomorrow so we can get to this Zoo! Would be nice to see some Australian wildlife. The kids don't seem to remember their visit to the Zoo in Sydney 3 1/2 years ago, so I'm hoping we get to pat some kangaroos and koalas here too!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

My legs are tired, I need a pee...

This has pretty much been the tune of today: "My legs are tired... I need the toilet... I'm hungry... I'm not hungry... I want water... etc...". Arrrghhh.

Perth is cool, but if I wasn't already happy I went - I'm now so glad I went to Adelaide, on my own. It's hard to appreciate and enjoy being away somewhere new when you are accompanied by two little people who doesn't quite value the same things you do.

We've still had a pretty good day, a few disagreements and pouring rain aside. We took on the nearby outlet mall 'Harbour City' after breakfast, and believe it or not - not a single thing in the many shopping bags we came back with was for me. Not one! (What's wrong with me?)

After having a little afternoon snooze at the hotel, we then checked out the center of town, the pedestrian streets and a few shops before heading to 'Tony Romas' for dinner.

It was ribs all around, for big and small - and for once the dinner choice actually pleased every member of the family and there was four totally clean plates at the end of the meal! Result!

Just like in the good old days

At 03.50 this morning I was sitting in a crew bus, sleep in my eyes, going from the airport to a hotel. It felt just like in the good old days, apart from the fact there wasn't a landing beer nor any water bottles full of sangria in sight. :)

We are in Perth.
It's actually our first time going down here with Nathan although they have been flying Perth on and off since we came to Brunei; it's just not suited before. This might have been our last chance though since RBA is suspending all flights to Perth by the end of next month.
We are lucky though, as Nathan got this long trip (we have three full days here) with great timing, just this week before the ASAs and homework and everything kick in at school from Monday. Perfect!

The other crew were laughing at me though when we unloaded the suitcases from the crew transport, as we brought three of them..! Well, one was actually all empty coming here, as I'm planning on filling it with groceries and stuff, like flour for making nice bread, freeze-at-home popsicles, youghurt bases for my youghurt machine etc etc. I'm on a mission and for once have (well, near to) unlimited weight!

Now, we are off to discover Perth!
Even though Nathan have been here plenty of times, he has never really seen Perth. Not the way you see things when you have kids with you anyway. (He has probably not seen much more than the Apple shop actually, ha ha!)
Pert, look out, here we come!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

RWC Hash

It felt so good to be back at the Hash last night, finally, after many, many weeks of absence (due to the holidays). It was a very good run, laid by some of the veterans. It had quite a few big hills - rather tough for someone still in post-holiday shape...

It was also nice because there were so many new faces! Funny what happens when you are away for a while, lots of people walking around feeling totally at home already (at "my" Hash!) - and I'd never seen them before! :)
In fact, there were so many people last night, there nearly wasn't chairs enough for everyone!!! Even Tana Umaga (famous All Blacks player) was there!

You see, the theme for the evening was very suitably Rugby World Cup, so the hashers had been asked to wear rugby jerseys for the on-on. Not many had read the Words though, so when it was time for price giving for best outfit, I was one of the lucky winners in my All Blacks gear!

Here's Maria and I, supporting our husbands' teams - with our prizes, rugby balls Brunei style:


Sunday, 11 September 2011


Where were you ten years ago today? What did you do? I bet you can remember.

Nathan and I were down in Tunisia. He was leased out for a month together with an aircraft from his then employer Sterling, to Tunis Air. This particular day we were down at the beach with a bunch of the other crew, reading, chatting and hanging out - as usual.

Suddenly one of the locals came running down the beach shouting that "The shit has hit the fan!" and tried to tell us in very bad english that an airplane had hit one of the Twin Towers. At first we didn't make much of that, he didn't seem to know what he was talking about and he had probably misunderstood the news, or we him. Why on earth would an airplane fly into the Twin Towers anyway?
But little by little we all got a bit uneasy and all made our way back up to the hotel, just to check it out. We ended up gathering in one of the rooms, since all the news we could get were in French, and I was the only one who could translate.

It didn't matter much in the end though, because we just sat there quietly together for the rest of the day, watching the same images rolling over the screen over and over again. The images of the airplanes flying into the towers, the towers collapsing, the dust, the chaos, the horror...

Little did we know that day how much these happenings would affect us all, not just on a global plan but even Nathan and I both on a personal level. Nathan was forced on part-time and I eventually even lost my job (and we had to leave Denmark and move to the UK) because of cut-backs... because of downsizing... because of the decline in airline travel... because of this...
Always remember, eleventh of September.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

It's ON!

A much anticipated event in this house finally kicked off yesterday - The Rugby World Cup. This time it's all happening in New Zealand, so double the fun really!
Rugby might not be a big sport here in Brunei as such, but as there are loads of Kiwis, Australians and Brits about - it's a big happening in the expat community!
Linnea and Lucas' teacher they both had in Reception, Mrs Williamson, had sent home a little present on Lucas' backpack yesterday - guess where she's from..?

(We are now pondering our revenge... It's ooooon!)

We watched the first game at home and had invited a few friends over to enjoy it with us. All the kids (and the Daddys) were dressed in their All Blacks gear of course, even little Luca:

The All Blacks first game was against Tonga, and we smashed them! Next the All Blacks take on Japan on the 16th, I wonder which gear our dear neighbours will be sporting then..?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Those numbers again...

The other night Linnea came into our bed a few times, and each time I took her back to her bed and tucked her in again. In the end I told her that she would be allowed to come into our room when her (digital) clock showed "Zero-Five...", but I said it in Swedish of course, "Noll-Fem".

I then went back to bed, only to be woken up again a few moments later when she was there by my side again tapping me hard to wake up, "whispering" "Mummy!". Annoyed as I got, I said with quite a stern voice "No Linnea, go back to your bed NOW!" to which she answered "But Mummy, I just need to know what number is noll..?"

Bless her, those numbers are all confusing...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Fast food, Asian style

There is no secret our favourite food when we go out here in Brunei is sushi. Normally we would go for sushi lunch at least two-three times a week, it's fresh, cheap, fast and so yummy! I never get tired of it.

Another favourite lunchtime hangout is our local Thai. It's a humble little place but with quite an extensive menu. Plus if you feel like something completely different that is not on the menu, they'll cook that for you too. The Thai as well has very fast service (the local McDonalds have no chance here, at all!) just like the sushi places, and is super cheap.

The other day we enjoyed quite a big lunch there, with two 'pad thai', a fried rice, some prawn tempura, a chicken curry plus some kai lan and a plate of squid - and it came to $30, for the four of us..! Reasonable, no?
Cheap and delicious food is certainly something I enjoy here in Brunei.

Check me out!

School has introduced a new system to sign up for the After-School-Activities, over the internet. It's really good as the web page has all the info you need, and it will make the sign-up process a lot more fair, first come first served once it opens on Saturday.

But more importantly, check out the last activity on a Monday..:

My first Zumba-gig! Jiha!
I'm so happy that school was keen on my suggestion for a Zumbatomic ASA, and I'm so, so excited to get started! I hope I get a full group of kids, I'll make sure they will have a Zumbatastic time! Zumbaaaaa!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Further improvement

Nathan has improved his indoor training set-up even further - he got a very bright idea today..:

And after training, it's time for some stretching: