Friday, 31 August 2012

5 years

Today marks the end of another year for us here in Brunei - that makes FIVE all together so far. Where has time gone?
We started with three, then another one, and then another one and then - ... another one?

We have a good life here, I'm not ready to leave Brunei, but at the same time I do feel ready for something new.
It might have something to do with the apparent 5-year cycles we seemed to have lived our life by so far. First Denmark, then the UK and now here. I might just be having the "relocation itch"! Don't we all at one stage or another, think the grass is greener somewhere else?

Anyway, today we close the book on year five and embark on our 6th year in Brunei. Bring it on!

Last of the first

Last day of school of the first week back. Done!

The jet lag this time coming back from Scandinavia was actually not as bad as usual, luckily, so the kids have been able to have a really good week.

You don't really notice when you are together with them all the time, but they have grown quite a bit this past year. Not only physically (new shoes and uniforms all around!) but they have also matured, especially Lucas.

Year 4 is quite different with a lot of new routines, and a lot more is expected of the students by now. They have to take a lot more responsibility themselves and I'm happy to see that so far Lucas is really stepping up to the plate.
He is looking after his things, remembering what the teacher is informing him about and bringing home all the relevant information so I can help him with what's needed the next day etc.

The only disappointing thing so far with Year 4 is that they don't have weekly swimming lessons anymore. Only for one out of the three terms of the year.
So we're looking into where to send him after school, because we still want him to do some swimming training every week.

Here's some photos I snapped this morning, with Lucas in the new "big-boy" uniform. Isn't he handsome!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

La rentrée

First day of school today. A very exciting day, both for kids and parents. We were all looking forward to catch up with our friends again, and to getting back into routine.

The Year 2 girl:

The Year 4 boy:

Despite our best intentions, we got to school a little bit late and didn't quite have time to play or talk to anyone before the bell went.
We had time to snap this photo at the parking lot though!

Lucas was actually in the wrong uniform today. From Year 4 he's supposed to wear long trousers (or shorts) and a white, proper shirt. So, I had to visit the uniform shop straight away this morning to sort that out!
More pictures will follow.

They both had a lovely first day and came home all electric telling us all about it. I hope the rest of the year will be just as good!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Swedish lasts

On our last day, Linnea wasn't feeling too well, so while she rode in the car with Mormor, Lucas and I took our bikes to town for this summer's last ride:

We did a last visit to the playground:

And in the evening, we had a last magic show!

Then everything was as it should be, and we were ready to go home.

A Danish icon

Nathan and I got a great surprise at our 10th Anniversary party, our friends had organized a little gift for us! It felt very special, and we were very touched. Thank you!
It was a Danish icon - the Kay Bojesen Monkey!

The original thought from the designer was to provide his children with an amusing coat hook, with this funky teak and limba monkey.
Since 1951, this classic monkey has graced the covers of trend magazines and rested on countless book shelves for the pleasure and amusement of thousands.

For now, our one is hanging in our staircase - and it puts a smile on my face every time I pass it!

Big bad Wolfie?

One day we went to visit my Aunt, and her dog Wolfie. He was just a puppy last summer but already then pretty big. He hadn't grown all that much, luckily. Funnily enough - he doesn't seem to know how big he is. He is all shy and reserved, and it took quite a while for him to warm to the kids.

Linnea got the idea to bribe him...

... and then they became friends!

At the blue and yellow palace

Even though there is no IKEA anywhere close to where my parents are, we still managed to get to one this summer too, on the way home from Denmark. Yay!
It really is a must to do an IKEA visit, as much when you are in Sweden as when abroad.

I did a few small purchases and enjoyed browsing around amongst the items from next years catalogue, that had already started to go on display.
And of course, we had meatballs for lunch!

Did you know that the IKEA Meatballs even have their own fan-page on FB?

Fångad av en stormvind *)

When the summer weather is good in Sweden, it's good.
It's lovely being able to be outside without having to sweat all the time, and it's great seeing the kids play with my old things and toys.

Here's Linnea and Lucas getting a puff of wind from Morfar. He uses this high-pressure air machine to blow all the grass of himself after he has been mowing the lawn. The kids thought they needed to be cleaned off too!

Trying to walk on stilts:


Being silly:

Ice cream break:

Playing croquet with my cousin Emma:

*) "Fångad av en stormvind" (literally translated as "Captured by a storm wind") is the 1991 Swedish winning entry to the ESC 1991.


Ok, so after a non-eventful trip we are back in the Abode of Peace. Even though it was long, everything went well, and we are all happy to be home.

I'm aware I slacked off a bit the last few days in Sweden with the blogging, I promise I'll catch up soon. I have a few more beautiful Sweden photos to show you.

But as always, I need time to "land". Time to physically and mentally get over the jet lag, and to settle back in. I'll be back. Probably tomorrow.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Green fingers

Here's Lucas helping Mormor out in the garden the other evening. He took his watering job pretty serious:

Winter storage

Morfar was busy in the garage this afternoon organizing a bike rack for Nathan's bike. The code words were reuse and recycle.
A bit of adding to an old coat rack and voilá - a perfectly cool wall mounted bike storage! Until they meet again!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

More badges!

Yesterday was a grey, cold and rainy day here. A perfect day to go swimming again at the indoor swimming hall. The kids were keen on trying for some more swimming badges, so we had a look if there was any more challenges they could take on.

Linnea went for the Bronze Shark, and also took it - she had to swim for 100 m straight.
Lucas wanted to try for the 'Simborgarmärket', probably the most well known swimming badge of all of them, and for that he had to swim 200m.
I wasn't sure he was going to make it, he was so busy clowning around just before and wasn't really listening; plus I thought he might had tired himself out going down the slide over and over again while we waited for the lady who was going to do the test.

But, he put his goggles on, stuck his head down and just swam! Super fast, beautifully and without stopping at all - eight lengths, 200m, without ANY issues at all! He could've gone even longer!
I guess when it comes down to it, he can do a lot more that he (or we!) think!

Unfortunately they were out of the 'Simborgarmärket' badges (?!) at the pool, so we couldn't get him one. I had to call all the other swimming halls in the region to locate one, and we are now having to make a special drive to Skövde to collect it tomorrow. Ah well, the things you do!

Anyhow, I'm so very, very proud of them, and impressed!
I hope they will thrive from that good feeling of accomplishment as well. Now they are on a mission, and we will keep going for more badges next time we come back to Sweden, that's for sure!

The last of the Lego?

Even though Uncle Thomas doesn't work for Lego anymore, he still had some big boxes for the kids to bring back.
Lucas couldn't wait to build his, and worked on it the whole morning one day. It took several hours, but he did it all in one go and nearly all on his own!
Here's some photos of the latest Lego Star Wars addition, and the proud builder:

Linnea got a Lego 3-1 box, with a light house as the main creation. She is a very good builder too, but didn't quite have the patience when it took a bit longer than she thought (it was a big box!), so she got some help from her big brother!
I enjoyed seeing the team work!