Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Muddy waters

I'm feeling very good after having laid another successful hash today!
As I wrote a while back, we had to regroup and do it a bit differently than first planned, since most of the jungle where we wanted to lay our trail, was no more.

So, we planned a road run along the roads where I usually take the dogs and go running. It took us nearly two hours in the scorching sun this afternoon to lay it, since we had to secure every piece of paper with stones (it's rather different on the road than in the jungle where you just drop the paper as you go) and it was close to 6k long.

We had told the hens to wear running shoes, but had planned to include a short water crossing after our last rekkie. On Sunday that crossing was clear and shallow - today (after last nights heavy rain) not so much so... it had turned muddy and deep! So change of plan, again!
We had to make it slightly longer, but no one seemed to mind the "long" run - quite the opposite, everybody had just nice things to say about the run! *Pat on the back* for us!

My fellow hare Nicki managed to fall over though when her feet got stuck in the mud... bless her! She then had to walk all along the main road back home, looking like this:

Friday, 24 February 2012

Hm... which one..?

The other night we had a grown-up goodbye dinner for the Roses (yes I know, we've made sure to see them off properly!) at Li-Gong, the Chinese restaurant at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.
There was 14 of us who enjoyed an all-you-can-eat a la carte dinner; we ordered in a huge selection of very tasty dishes and just kept eating, yum!
As dessert, Misuzu had organized a super delicious white chocolate and passionfruit cake. She had asked for a special greeting on top of it, but I guess they ran out of space...

Ha ha, we spent the rest of the night discussing which one of us would be that friend..! :)

Sushitastic goodbye

Where else to go for our last Brunei lunch together with the Roses but to our favourite sushi place! Such a given!

It was such a nice lunch, and then we spent all afternoon at the hotel where they were staying, having coffee and swimming. A good goodbye.
It's so, so sad that they have now left (I kept pretending until the last day it wasn't really happening...), but at least we know that we will see each other again already in a month, when we are coming to Singapore at the end of March.

We also know that this friendship is one of the lasting kind - no matter the distance between us, or time between when we see each other.
Some people you just keep in your life, and close to your heart, no matter what.

Sport Relief 2012

Today it was time for a special event at school, the Sport Relief Mile Run 2012. The kids could choose themselves if they wanted to take part or not, it was all done for the Pusat Ehsan Charity here in Brunei.
Lucas was more than happy to run, since it wasn't a race - no winners or loosers... Linnea wasn't too keen but in hindsight knowing that she actually wouldn't have to run the full mile, she should've. She would've like it too. Ah well.

First some words from the Head of Junior School, and also from the JIS Principal:

Warm-up was done by some fitness instructors from a local gym. Lucas is in front of the lady in purple, in his yellow shirt and beige cap:

Quite a few parents were taking part too together with their kids. I made Nathan run with Lucas..!

The route:

Rearing to go! Junior School ready:

And they are off!

It was a bit crowded, so it was a slow start for some, which was ok since it wasn't a race but a fun run.

There they go!

Lucas and Nathan did the orange route, twice. (Still not quite a mile, but don't tell him that!) They were on fire! Here they come after the first lap:

Here they are second time around, time to finally pass that finish line!

It was SO hot!

After all that running, it was time for a well deserved soft ice:

Also they had the usual food stalls with pizza, ice cream, drinks and hotdogs; and Beenal was there selling gorgeous cupcakes:

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Zumba, zumba, zumba - zumba!

The Year 1 classes are learning about how to be healthy as their IPC topic this last part of this term.
They approach this different ways, for example they've had a visit from a dentist; they have been talking about healthy food to go in their lunch boxes and they are also doing some extra exercise. They do aerobics once a week - and Zumba once a week!

I got asked if I wanted to help out and take all three classes for a mini session of Zumbatomic for this special topic, and sure I did - what fun!
So every Wednesday at the moment, just before school pick-up, I have around 60 (!) Year 1 students for about 15 minutes of Zumbatomic - it's fab! We have been doing fairly easy (and repetitive) routines of course because of the limited time, but the kids love it!

This week we did "El baile del gorila" (=the gorilla dance) and the favourite so far: "Chihuahua", they are all getting down with it!

A little princess!

Even though I'm not a huge royalist, I do enjoy following the life of our young Swedish Royals; and lately I've been waiting, as many others, to hear the news about the first Royal baby of our Crown Princess and her Prince Daniel.
So, early this morning a little Princess was born!

I can't help but wonder if being who they are, they will manage to get the peace and quiet to enjoy those first very special days as a new family?

That time in the hospital when you slowly start to understand that life will never be the same. When the big love starts flowing over you and you all of a sudden realize how vulnerable you've now become, forever.
That time when you can't stop touching the soft cheeks, can't stop looking at that sweet little face and into those eyes that already seem so wise and full of knowledge.
That smell of... baby body, that smell that is so special and can't be described.

I hope they are enjoying all this right now!
And maybe also some 'Prinsesstårta'! :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Those were the days my friend...

I feel like I'm living in a snow globe right now, which has been shaken around vividly the past few weeks. I know that things will fall into place, eventually. Probably not the same place, but it will calm down and become something else, eventually.
Right now, it just feels like chaos.

Lots of people have left Brunei for good recently, and this is not really the normal time to be going - usually people try to go at the end of the school year.
I've lost my hair dresser, I've lost my favourite squash partner, I've lost my Zumba sister and tonight at the Hash we bid goodbye to two very seasoned hashers who are leaving this week too.
Even though it's not people I've had in my daily life, it's still friends that have all played their role in my life here in Brunei. A life that suddenly has changed a lot in a very short period of time.
Lot's of "lasts" at the moment, it's all very sad.

It was Mizusu's last 'Creative Crew' morning today, although she only made it for lunch since she was busy packing. Beenal had made a gorgeous cake especially for her:

It was also Matt & Mizusu's last day in their house today, all their things left on the moving truck this afternoon:

So now it's all empty and dark next door. :(
We are going to miss them so much.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Playhouse no more

Seeing our neighbours clear out and selling off most of their stuff the past few weeks (since they are leaving), inspired me to get rid of a few things here and there that we never use any longer.

For example, I realized there was a demand for 2nd hand playhouses - so sold ours fairly quickly to another family with smaller children.
Today the people they'd hired to transport it came to grab it. Well, maybe grabis not quite the right word... it turned into a rather big mission!

The came with a big truck, and lifted the playhouse in one piece onto it:

They were also moving Matt & Misuzu's playhouse from next door at the same time...

Huge entertainment for the kids who were watching from Lucas' window!
Finally both playhouses ended up at the back of the truck and off they went to their new homes..!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Holes in the jungle

It's my turn again to lay the hash in a couple of weeks. Another hasher, who lives just a few simpangs down from me, and I wanted to do a repeat on a hash we did a couple of years ago, just across the road.
It was a good one with a long, big hill to start, a bit of nice jungle and then a long stretch through an orchard that used to be the runners favourite part.

But when we went to rekkie it the other day, we were met by this in the middle of the planned route, a big "hole":

It's so sad! They're demolishing the jungle everywhere, all just to build more and more housing areas. We hardly have any hashing sites left. Certainly not this one...

Needless to say, there wasn't enough jungle anymore to lay the trail through so we will have to rethink and probably do a "runners hash" on the roads behind our simpangs instead. It'll be good too, just not as pretty as this one used to be...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

It's been a busy Tuesday here in Brunei, with all the normal Tuesday stuff going on. Exercise, scrapping, school for some, work for some, errands, school run, hash etc. We haven't been together today much as a family unfortunately, to celebrate Valentine's Day. Mind you, it's not really a big thing here in Brunei, or for us, really.

Although... I did get a lovely gift from my darling husband - and both Lucas and Linnea received Valentine's Day cards at school, and I had a heart-shaped cake as dessert at lunch at Creative Crew... so, I guess our Valentine's Day wasn't too bad..! :)
Sharing some blog love with you, blog friends - Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Special delivery

The other day one of the pilots who came back from London/Dubai had a special delivery for us, from our Danish friends the Dehlis: a birthday present to Lucas from Malthe (a cool football shirt!) and some yummy bread!! Mmm!

It tastes "Dubai" to us, since it's some of the bread we ate while we were there in December! So good, proper bread!
We've had open sandwiches morning, lunch and dinner so that we could enjoy this very special delivery. Yum! Thank you!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Family time

As I have previously mentioned, Nathan missed the fabulous boat trip last weekend, since he went to Singapore instead to meet up with his brother-in-law.

Kieran (who's normally based in Aberdeen, Scotland) had been traveling around Asia on business for a few weeks. He ended up in Singapore for the last few days of his trip and luckily it was perfectly timed with Nathan's off days, so he could go and see him.

I've been told they had a great time, what a treat to be able to catch up with family only a few hours away, somewhere where you can get both beer and ribs..! :)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Bugs & Bubbles

Saturday was my friend Anna's birthday and she had invited for a "Grown-up boozy lunch at Labuan"! Nathan unfortunately wasn't here (he was living it up with brother-in-law Kieran in Singapore!), but I really wanted to go because believe it or not, I hadn't yet been to Labuan so it was about time!

Labuan is a Malaysian island about 45 minutes away with boat away from Brunei (Muara):

It's actually a federal territory and best known for being an offshore support hub for deep-water oil and gas activities in the region. It's also a destination for people traveling through Sabah, scuba divers - and people from Brunei needing to stock up. The boys regularly take the boat over there for a day out, but as I said, so far I hadn't been.

We had smooth sailing on the way over, luckily. I tend to get sea sick if it rolls too much but there was no problems at all.

Arriving in Labuan:

The view from the restaurant:

The party crew:

We had such a fantastic lunch at this seafood place, yum, yum!
Food was amazing, fresh and tasty, and dirt cheap too! For the 10 of us, numerous beers included, it only came to 550 MYR (= 1200SEK, 140EUR, 225BDN)!!!

We had two whole, steamed fish...

... a huge plate of garlic kai lan, another huge plate of some other vegetable I didn't catch the name of, rice, a huge plate of "bugs" (some kind of small land lobster?)..:

... and also two plates of chili-garlic squid and a plate of chili-garlic chicken. Plus finally, and the best thing if you ask me, two huge plates of tiger prawns that them too were humungous! Mmm! They went so fast I didn't even get time to take a photo of them! :)

Anna and Pippa also enjoyed another... delicacy? They both ate a fish EYE! Why? I'm not quite sure...

After lunch, it was time to go shopping! What made me really happy in the shop was the selection of chocolates! It was huge!
I couldn't help but get some of the Marabou and Dumle chocolate they had, for the kids, of course... ;)

On the way back from Labuan, we anchored at the island of Koruman most of the afternoon, to do some swimming and enjoy some more "bubbles" - it was a birthday celebration after all!
What a hard life!