Sunday, 30 June 2013

Rainy day at the Yacht Club

It was a rainy, gloomy afternoon today, but that didn't stop Linnea and me from going to the Yacht Club. I didn't get the sun I was hoping for, but swimming in the rain is just as fun!

As Kim is off tomorrow morning, this was their last day, and she wanted to spend it with her good friends. We all had an early dinner together, it was really nice.

I gave Kim the photo album I'd made for her, since I figured she would want to pack it down in her suitcase. I had filled it with pictures from all the different things we've done together during her time here, Zumba, CrossFit, Bukit Shabandar, Hash, parties, High Tea, running, dinners etc...

 Then it was time for the "last photo shoot":

Silly faces!

The kids all said goodbye to each other, and it was very emotional, as goodbyes are. But what a great last afternoon we all had together!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Finally Jackiefied

The Blonde is back!
It had been 8 weeks since last time, yuk. For the first time my hair and the way it looked in the end, was really bothering me this last week before my hair appointment tonight.

But now it's back to normal, it's all good again - I feel great, yay!

Jacky, my hairdresser, flies in from Singapore every 6-8 weeks, to do hair here. You'll know when she's in town, because all the girls look so fab all of a sudden - we've all been "Jackiefied"!

Too many lasts

It's a weekend full of lasts, too many... boo. This morning Kim and I did Bukit together, which was going to be her last jungle stroll.

We walked really slowly, tried to take it all in - the noises, the views; and stopped to take a few photos here and there. 

After we were done we had a coconut, turns out it was Kim's first! She didn't seem to impressed though, ha ha!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Canada Day at the Hash

We had a really good Hash on Tuesday. A bit of a special one; it was the first one we've run at that particular site; it was Canada Day Run; I had four Scandinavian guests with me - and, it was Kim's last run... Boo.
The run itself was beautiful, we had quite a view at one point, despite the haze, and certainly got our fair share of mud too!

Hash Flash having a bit of fun!

Back at the Canada-themed red-and-white decorated tent, we all got lotto numbers to get exchanged later for very special Canadian gifts, brought back from Canada by Kim's husband. I got a hat!

It was also Mother Nurture's last jungle run, so she got to wear the bells in the jungle!

My new Scandinavian friends - comparing muddy shoes?

When it was time for Mighty Maple and her fellow hares to get their down-down, Kim decided to scull her drink, for the first time! Go Kim!

She also got presented with her leaving certificate. She has done 68 hashes while she's been here! 
She arrived on a Saturday, and already that first Tuesday she was dragged out into the jungle by one of our German hashers!

We got treated to a typical (?) Canadian meal, baked potato & beans; and yummy red and white treats for dessert. I chose to feast on a nanaimo bar, as I've had them at Kim's before, and they are divine..!

All in all, it was a(nother!) GREAT Tuesday night at the Hash! (Thank you Hash Flash for these photos!)

Hello and Goodbye

I'm exhausted, it's been a busy week, and it's not over yet! FIVE kids parties this weekend! It sure is farewell season!
But I've also got to say a big 'Guten Tag' to an old Brunei friend: Claudia from Germany! She left nearly 2 years ago, and now she has come out for a week's holiday together with her kids. It was really nice seeing her again, we caught up over lunch yesterday.

This morning her kids, Judie and Louis, came to school to meet their old friends. Louis is a year older than Lucas but Judie used to go to the same class as Linnea:

But - it was also a sad day, as it was Mallory's last day at school. She had brought some cookies to share with her friends, Canada ones as that's where she's from, USA ones as that's where they are going (Denver, Colorado).

Last time Kim would sit with us at pickup and wait, and chat, at that school wall...

And this is how the bigger kids say goodbye to their friends. Mallory's big brother Scott getting his shirt signed:

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Assembly taster

For some reason, parents are not invited to the End of Year Assembly this year unfortunately - but this morning we were welcome to come watch the last practice for the Nursery-Year 2 classes.
Every year group sang a few songs, and played some instruments, all according to their ability; and we were also treated to a few very cute ballet performances.

Here's Year 2, Linnea and her class waiting their turn, while another Y2 class is playing:

Linnea and her friends playing:

Singing the 'Candyman' song:


Follow me

My favourite app on my iPad is Flipboard. Mainly because I use it to read my blog roll on it, thanks to the Google Reader function. It's like reading a magazine!
Unfortunately, Google Reader is getting shut down on Monday, for good. I have no clue why, but after a bit of research, I have now started using Bloglovin instead.

Don’t use Google Reader as your reader? Then you’re fine! But if you do, I recommend switching to Bloglovin, it was really easy. You just create an account and in the process it asks if you want to import the blogs you read on Google Reader to your new account.  Click the button to import and that’s it. There is also an app you can install on your phone or iPad, if you prefer keeping up with your read on the go.

Thank you all for being such loyal readers. Now go get your read on and follow my blog! (Click here or on the Bloglovin icon to the right!)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Close enough

We were back at the Yacht Club on Sunday for the first time in a long time. Nathan and I spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool, and the kids were playing with friends.
At one stage Lucas comes and tells us, very excited: "There is SWEDISH people on the beach!!" I asked him, doubtfully, if he was sure and he said: "Yes! I understand what they are saying!" Ok then, I thought I'd better go and investigate!

Well, it took me 2 seconds to establish that these (yes, very Scandinavian looking) new people came from - Norway! Close enough! (I was impressed Lucas had understood them though!)
We had a big, big chat. Turned out they had come on two boats, both currently on an around-the-world sailing adventure. One boat housed a family of four who had been out already for three years and the other, two girls who had been out nearly two - both of them planning to return to Norway by next August. Respect.

As they were going to stay for another few days at the Yacht Club I invited them along to last night's Hash, and they also brought a Danish girl, who sailed on another yacht with her Kiwi boyfriend!

It was a great night at the Hash, and my guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves! The run was great, nice jungle, a bit of a view and good trails, perfect for first time hashers. The after was Canada Day Run, so we all got Canadian gifts from Kim, Canadian food and Canadian desserts (Nanaimo bars, mmm!); and we also had all the usual happenings of course.

(Thank you Lotika, for these photos!)

The girls were impressed about how our Hash happens like this, with a tent, table, chairs, dinner etc  every week; and they also kept gushing about how friendly and nice everyone was. They really had a good time, which was lovely!

When I took them back to the Yacht Club after, we finished off the evening with a coffee and a bit of a chat. I didn't get home until about 11pm - check me out, I've never come back from the Hash that late! 
It was so interesting to hear their stories from their sailing adventures, and nice just to chat with some fellow Scandinavians, it had been a while! It truly was a great evening and I'm very happy to have met these really nice people.

If you are curious about these guys, about where they have been sailing etc, you can check out their web pages! Here you can read about the Norwegian family sailing on 'Hero'; here is the homepage from the two Norwegian girls on board 'Flow' and this is the Danish girl's blog about life on 'SY Sophia'. Enjoy.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Superduper SupaSave

While down in Seria the other day, we also went to visit their new SupaSave supermarket. Well, it opened in December last year, so it's not totally new, but it sure seems really new and modern, compared to our two branches here in Bandar... Oh, how I wish we had one of these SupaSaves up here... oaaahhh...

It was big, with wide aisles, lots of stock, different things to here, nice and fresh produce, an appetizing meat counter, a dairy counter three times the size of our one and - it was super clean and designed a lot more logically than our ones.

We managed to fill a trolley, even though we didn't really "need" anything! But they had so many things that have been out of stock up here for ages, so we took the opportunity to fill up our cupboards with favourite staples!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Our first Highland Games

Friends have told me about the Panaga Highland Games previous years, that they've had a great time there. We've never been, so this year we made an effort and drove the 100k+ down to Panaga to check it out. I have never been to any kind of Highland Games, and I wasn't aware that although there are over a 100 of these games in Scotland, apparently there are not so many abroad.

A few of the different teams, there was a German team, Dutch team, Kiwi team, a team from Nigeria (?), English and Scottish teams; and of course Bruneian teams:

This year was the 22nd Highland Games here in Brunei, organized by the KB Scottish Community. This is an annual fixture for the expat community down there, and I was surprised hardly seeing anybody from "our side of the country". There was only one other family we recognized, and a few of the participants out of the Kiwi team - apart from them it was all new faces to us!

Such a shame, because I often hear "nothing ever happens in Brunei". Well, it does! This was an excellent day out, for the whole family.

Apart from the happenings of the games themselves, there was a motorcycle display, bouncy castles, water play, reptile exhibition, dance performances and a lot of different vendors selling everything from Penan baskets to candy floss!

The army was also represented, displaying helicopters, different military equipment - firearms and other boys' toys. Lucas and Nathan had a good look.

The main reason to come is of course to support the competitors. I mistakenly thought this was just an event for fun, but how wrong was I! These competitions were taken very seriously! Very!!!
We watched quite a few of the running events, they had both 4x100m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m races. Here the 1500m I think - gotta love the man in kilt running for it!


 We also saw quite a few matches of the ever so popular tug-of-war.


The Scottish ladies:

There was special activities and mini games organized for the kids. Here Lucas is watching a rugby game. Watching yes, because he was very hot and didn't want to participate.

Linnea got herself a henna:

The Clan Kiwi team:


The Dutch team, if you hadn't figured that out..!

 The bagpipes were playing each time the Scottish team entered the competition area:


 Lucas and his friends:

I didn't realize that these games actually continued all throughout the whole day, with a lunch break in the middle. Had I known we would've come down only for the afternoon; because that's when they were doing the caber toss, the Wellington throw and the shot put competitions. I really would've liked for the kids to see these somewhat more original "sports"!
But it was just so hot on Saturday that we couldn't handle anymore than the morning, when they broke for lunch we were ready to go home. Next year - we'll come again!