Monday, 30 April 2012

Walpurgis Eve ♥

Monitoring the monitor

On Sunday we spotted through the window this little (or not so little, he measured at least a meter..!) monitor lizard in our garden:

We have seen a few on the other side of the fence, and the dogs often bark at something down the drain which we think is a monitor.
This one had somehow got himself on the wrong side of the fence, and was desperately seeking a way out, without success.
We locked the dogs away before they spotted him, or it would have been rather messy... Then we spent the next good half hour just watching him, to make sure he would find a way out.

He kept walking up and down the fence, trying to stick his head through but would get stuck by his shoulders of course, and as our fence is doggy-proofed.. he was out of luck, no holes big enough.
At one stage he got halfway through and was actually stuck for quite a while, but then managed to wriggle himself back again, phew. Finally, after walking up and down and up and down over and over again, he found a hole under the fence where he could slide through, and off he went.

Don't think he'll be coming back in here!

Friday, 27 April 2012


When I read the newspaper today, I glanced at the article about the 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting that has taken place in Brunei over the last few days - and all of a sudden I discovered our own Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, amongst the many participants!
I was somewhat surprised to see that he had come all the way out here from Sweden. Not that I'm all in the know about the political relations between Sweden and Brunei, but still, Sweden is a very small country in Europe and Brunei, well, is an even smaller country in Asia!

I thought it would be nice to make the small Swedish community here in Brunei shown, so I tweeted a little message - and would you believe it, just an hour later he actually took his time to answer me! Go Carl!
Twitter is fab!

After the rain...

Some friends of ours have recently moved from their small appartment to a new, BIG, house. This afternoon we had a play date at theirs, and as we drove there it wasn't just raining, it was bucketing down! :/ The plans to go for a swim got put aside for a while.
Ah well, after a bit of play inside the rain stopped, the sun came out, and the kids could finally attack their pool. They just never get enough of swimming.

It was such a lovely, chilled afternoon - kids were all getting along and playing so nicely although they are all in different ages. They got ice cream and us mums feasted on some fabulous gazpacho. My friend Isabel is from Spain, so it was very authentic!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Happy babies!

Our CrossFit session today contained 20 burpees, 70 Russian lunges, 100 squats, 210 triceps dips, one round of Tabata with Russian crunches and to finish off - a wall-sit challenge! Let's just say after all those squats I wasn't going to beat my 5+ min record, ouch...

It felt extra nice to stretch out afterward today, especially during this pose - Happy Baby - which is a great release for the lower back, inner thighs and the hips, aaaaaahhhhh...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Remember this post from the beginning of the year? My first flat tyre since I got my drivers license - over 20 years ago.
Well, believe it or not, but today I got another one! Again, along the coastal highway, actually nearly in the same spot... *Sigh*. At least today I stopped right away, having my suspicions about what that noise was, and unfortunately I was right.

No lay-by close by at all, so we were stranded right on the highway, where tons of cars kept coming at full speed. Luckily Nathan was getting ready for Hash, so he and Andrew came and rescued us on their way there. Lucky us that he wasn't already in the jungle, or at work!

I have no photos of today's rescue operation though. It didn't really feel like the best Kodak moment; two guys bum up on the side of the highway changing a tyre, and a crazy blonde woman (luckily I was in Zumba gear, so really colourful!) vigorously waving a towel at the cars to get to the other lane.

What an afternoon!

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Toy Box

Last Friday it was Linnea and her classmates turn to do their Assembly at school. We had known about it for weeks, as very extensive practicing has gone it to it. Linnea was one of the narrators and they have been rehearsing every day the last few weeks, "with microphones and all Mummy!"

Nathan was unfortunately flying on Friday but I was very excited to see how it was going to turn out.

Class getting prepped by Mrs Harris:

Linnea and Sofea, the narrators, in place:

Linnea in action:

The children acted out a story about a group of kids from our day who, thanks to a magic key, ends up back in time, where they have no chargers or batteries for the toys. They meet some children and start playing with them and their toys, skipping ropes, balls and other "old fashion" toys and discover that it's actually super fun and they don't need their Nintendos and PSPs!

After the little play, they sang us a song about what's in the Toy Box:

They also organized a memory game for a couple of the Year 5 students. Photos of 15 different toys were shown on the screen, and they had then to remember as many as possible of them in one minute.
Since when is an iPad a TOY though..?? :)

And, of course, they finished off with the obligatory video of what the class has been up to lately.
I liked this one a lot though, the video was the children singing, and acting out, their own version of the Sound of Music classic "Favourite things".

The group shot afterwards - Well done Linnea and friends! Proud of you!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Linnea's stats

Linnea came home from school the other day with a full size drawing of her body, detailed with measurements and all! They do such cool stuff at school!

Old fashion fun

These days with all the techno gadgets the kids have access to, and all the fancy toys - it's quite nice when they discover that "old fashion" things can be fun too; like hula-hoops, drawing with chalks on the ground or skipping ropes.

This week the kids have been outside every afternoon, practising their skipping. Fab fun!

Pretty treats

The Creative Crew had reasons to celebrate yet again on Tuesday since it was Paulines birthday this week.
Beenal had made some fabulous looking cupcakes, nearly too pretty to eat... but, hey - we sacrificed ourselves..! :) They were yummy too, with some buttercream just under the domed top... mmm!

Have I said it before? I LOVE my Tuesdays!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The next level

Zumba is not just Zumba Fitness.
Actually, Zumba has developed a lot of different specialities like the 'Zumbatomic' - a special program designed for kids (the training I took in Adelaide last year); 'Aqua Zumba' - working out in the pool; and the 'Zumba Gold' - for the elderly. The most recent speciality is 'Zumba Sentao', where you use a chair as equipment.
But, the one I've always wanted to know more about is the 'Zumba Toning', where you use lightweight Toning Sticks in the workout.
So, this weekend I went to another training, this time in Singapore.

I went over a day early, for one to make sure I'd get there, but also to do some power shopping..! :) I spent the whole day, a full eight hours on Orchard Road and I did really well and got nearly everything on my list. Result!

Saturday it was time for training, and the whole day was spent Zumbaing away together with about 30 other ZINs (Zumba Instructors) from the whole region; some like me, had flown in from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. It was a great mix of people, and we had a super day together.
I really like these trainings, not only because you get to learn new skills and get new inspiration for you Zumba, but for the networking and the new friends!

These girls had come from Manila:

My group. Can you spot me?

And here's the whole new batch of Zumba Toning Instructors!

Zumba Toning sure is different to "normal" Zumba. I've realized it's not something I can just start teaching straight away now, it'll take quite a while to practise and get right. It's a whole new ball game, a whole other way of working out. It's not easy, and it demands a lot more from you to provide a safe workout for your students. I'm sure keen to sit down and take in all the information we got at the workshop.
But, I do believe that this might be my thing... Well, time will tell!

It's a hard life

- but someone's gotta do it!

Another lush, relaxed Sunday afternoon at the Yacht Club.
Life is good.


I headed to Singapore on Friday for a couple of days. It was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies and I got a nice seat by the window. Also, I had RBA's coolest Captain flying me over! ;)
"Seats for take-off":

I always enjoy flying in and out of Brunei in daylight. You get such good views of the country:

Below you can see the Sultan's palace - Istana Nurul Iman. From the air you can really appreciate how big and grand it is, and beautiful of course, with it's golden dome:

Totally Team Work

Today Lucas took part in a big inter-school football tournament arranged in Panaga (a town an hour down the coast). Quite a few schools had sent teams along, in Lucas' year group they were 8 teams.
It was his first tournament experience, and he came home absolutely beaming after a great morning.

Lucas and his team played very good and did really well. They won their pool and made it to the final where they drew 1-1 against ISB, after extra time. It was decided to leave the result like that, since it had been a very long and hot day.
He got a diploma and a medal that he now has placed "somewhere really safe". It was a very proud (and tired...) little footballer the very proud Mummy got to tuck in tonight!

Here are a few snapshots that Nathan took:

Adam receiving the medals for the whole team:

Nr ONE!!!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Chin up!

At this mornings CrossFit session, our trainer Chu took us outside to do some chin-ups. Ehrm... no, that didn't happen! He forgot that he's dealing with veteran ladies here... ha ha! We all tried, but none of us could even do a single chin-up! Sad... I know...

Instead we did leg pull-ups. This week he let us do these...

... next week it'll be knees to elbows and then feet to bar!
Yeah well... you gotta have goals, right!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter Cupcakes

The little chefs of the family has been wanting to bake "something chocolatey" for a while, so why not on the last day of Easter make some Easter Cupcakes!
We didn't have any yellow food colouring at home, but decided it worked just as well with green!
Proud little chefs with their masterpieces:

Very nice looking chocolate muffins with green cream cheese icing and little Cadbury chocolate eggs on top:

Some got packaged for the lunch boxes tomorrow: