Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Oh, so ombre

My hairdresser is in town and I had an appointment on Monday, perfect timing, the day before school started and everything. But now it'll be nine weeks until she comes back, and even though I really like my really blond hair, I hate the ugly dark regrowth even more.
I had googled for inspirational photos of the ombre effect on shorter hair as you normally see it more often on girls with long, luscious locks and I didn't know if it would work. I managed to find quite a few though and decided to go for it. Since Nathan doesn't like it when I cut my hair short, I thought a slight colour change could be fun too!

As my hair didn't really take to the first application of the dark colour, it took well over four hours on Monday before I was done. Jacky curled it for me as I was going out that evening, and this is how I looked:

I wasn't totally happy though, it hadn't turned as blond as I wanted in the ends and it felt really, really dark. So I went back today, to have the ends lightened up a bit more:

Now there is more of a contrast between the dark and light, still with a nice graduation, and the ends are much lighter - I love it! Quite a daring change for being me, and I'm not sure I'll stick with it for long, but it's fun to look a little bit different every now and then. What do you think?

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Gyldendal and me

With the kids back at school, I'm back to my translation assignments. To my help I have my new best friend - one of the 'Gyldendals Røde', a Danish-English dictionary that I bought while in Denmark this summer.
Yes I know that "they come for the iPad you know blah blah", but I happen to enjoy the smell of the books, and the old-fashioned feeling of flicking the pages to find the right word!

At the moment I'm working on a couple of Christmas features, which kind of puts me in a funny mood for being in August. It even made me put gingerbread syrup in my coffee this morning!

Happy Dance Day

So, after 7 1/2 weeks of summer holidays, today the kids went back to school. A day that has been highly anticipated by all I think, the kids have missed their friends and we've all been looking forward to seeing everybody again.
Lucas is starting Year 5 with Mrs Rickell and Linnea is starting Year 3 with Mrs Fowler-Watt.

Junior School has been split this term, into Pre Prep, which is Nursery to Year 2 and Prep, which is Years 3-6. So both the kids are now supposed to be in the "proper" uniform:

Although of course I had waited until last minute to try everything on, so Linnea's skirt is a bit long - even though this is the short version! Plus, I couldn't figure out this morning how to take the pleats out, ha ha, so we will have to sort that out this afternoon.

And, since my friend Kim wasn't there to do it, I did the traditional "back-to-school happy dance" all by myself in the parking lot, before I went home to have coffee in my peacefully quiet house!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The story of the suitcase that went around the world

This is not just any ordinary suitcase. This suitcase has been traveling for eight days all by itself, and some of that time we had no idea where it was! Guess if we were happy when it actually made it to Brunei yesterday, four days after we did!

To make a long story short is impossible in this case, so here it goes: "The long story of the suitcase that went around the world":

Most of my shopping this time around happened in Scotland, since that's where we went first this summer. I had already before we left said to Nathan that this was probably going to be the last long trip I managing to pack in only two suitcases for the kids and I now that they've grown so big and their things fill more - and surely, already on day three did I actually have to buy a new suitcase!

The more we shopped, the more we started to think about how we were going to transport it all around for the rest of our trip, and Nathan's brother-in-law Kieran came up with a bright idea:
He was going to come to Singapore in August, we could leave some stuff behind for him to take out there, for Nathan to pick up when he went over for his SIM. Sweet!
Although, soon we realized there was going to be a fair bit, so Nikki said she wouldn't mind flying it down and meet up with us in our hotel in Heathrow on the way back.

So we shopped and we shopped, and since the suitcase was going to be delivered personally, we left quite a lot of things in it. Not valuable as such, but a lot of stuff: school uniform, school shoes, Nathan's gifts for his 40th, Linnea's gifts, clothes and shoes we didn't need, presents and souvenirs from Scotland etc. We ended up leaving behind a full 23kg suitcase. All was good until Nikki couldn't make it anymore, and had to courier it down for me... that's when the "fun" started...

I was only going to be in the hotel one night, and when she phoned the hotel to make sure they would accept it for me they said they would only hold it one night. So she had to wait to send it until the Friday for an overnight delivery, and then I would turn up Sunday - to go back here Monday. Only thing was, the courier company failed to let her know they didn't do deliveries on Saturdays... so come Monday morning, the suitcase was still in Aberdeen!! I was sitting in my hotel intensely following the tracking page, and 8am Monday morning I could see it was finally picked up from the Aberdeen depot. Even I could figure out that there was no way it was going to make it to the hotel before 2pm when we had to leave..!
Time for Plan B.

Worst case scenario would have been that the suitcase would have either got stuck at the hotel forever, nobody knowing who's it was; or that they would refuse it and it would get sent back to Aberdeen, and then how would it get here?! Or, that it would go lost somewhere, so many things could go wrong... And they did.
In a way I was lucky though (since we now know it all came together in the end!), lucky we know people most places, and lucky we even had friends traveling into LHR just this week.

I had to ask my friend to go to my hotel after I'd left, and when the suitcase supposedly should have turned up, pick it up, and arrange for it to get back here for us. That was after I had had to convince the hotel to hold the suitcase, even though I wasn't in the hotel anymore...
Only problem now was, after that Monday morning 8am timestamp - the suitcase hadn't been timestamped for another 40 hours! Nobody knew where it was!!

I had by then made it back here, and tried to get help from the courier company via their internet live chat, but only got fed with standard textbook answers, all cut-and-paste from their manual. It only made me increasingly frustrated and angry. Thanks to jet lag, I was up most of the following two nights, and could benefit from the time difference to terrorize the help center every couple of hours, asking for news.
Finally, on the Wednesday evening, they had located the bag, and a helpful supervisor changed the delivery address - and hallelujah, Thursday morning (on day six!!) it got delivered to our friend!

Once it was in his hands, I was more calm, although it wasn't until I actually could lay my hands on it here I became totally happy! I had made a list of the things it contained, and I had remembered most of it, but also forgotten a lot... so it was good to see the things again after over a month!
Man, such an intense week, but all well that ends well!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

F*ck cancer

I bought this bracelet in Sweden. Cancer have struck twice in my family. I'll support the research for a cure any way I can.
After coming back to the sad news of two of my friends having recently been diagnosed as well, I'm wearing it even more proudly.

Lucas though it was very rude, with the f-word on my arm. But when I answered him that "Cancer is rude, killing off so many people in the world", he thought it was ok for me to wear it.

(If you want to buy one for yourself, to support the research, you can get them here:

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Order restored

We are home.
All Linnea wanted to do when we got home, was "play airports" (the rest of us had kind of had enough of that "game"!) and Lucas wanted to get home to his Xbox.

As Nathan is in Singapore for his SIM, the Turners kindly picked us up from the airport. They left us to it last night, to settle down, unpack and deal with the jet lag - but this afternoon Ben & Hannah are here for a play.
Order restored.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Full last day

We had a busy last day today. Our initial plan was to go for a last bike ride, and "say goodbye" to the playground for this time; but they had said it was going to rain, so we changed plans.
We went to Skövde, and first had lunch at Max (yum!), then we took the kids to the indoor playground 'Stellas Lekland' where we spent 3 1/2 hours..! Still, they weren't quite ready to go home...

Then it was time for "lördagsgodis" (=Saturday candy):

We picked up pizza on the way home. Swedish pizza, and above all the Swedish pizza salad, really is something else, mmm!
And in the evening, we had the traditional magic show:

Morfar was doing some mind reading:

Bags are packed, we are ready to go. As Lucas said, and I think we all feel the same:
- "I'm excited and happy and sad, all at the same time."

Happy Birthday

My granddad would've turned 90 today. Unfortunately he died only months before his 80th birthday that he had been looking forward to so much. 
Today we left some flowers, to remember him and his birthday. 

He didn't get to meet Lucas unfortunately, but at least I had just been in Sweden that summer, and I had just shared the baby news with him. 
He wasn't so much looking forward to becoming a "Gammelmorfar" (=Great-Granddad) as he was looking forward to my Mum becoming a Grandma! :D

Even though I miss them, I feel very blessed I got to keep all my grandparents until I was an adult.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Little Red Riding Hood

My cousin's girlfriend has her own hair studio in town. The other day she and Lucas discussed we should come in before we leave to get a cool back-to-school-haircut. 

She did a really good job, and Lucas was mostly impressed when she styled it with some wax, and he got to choose a colour to finish it off. 
As you can see - he chose red!

He thought he looked totally cool, but it will wash out, unfortunately. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Across the generations

Lucas got really happy the other day when he was allowed to use Morfar's laptop to play Minecraft. (Apparently it's a lot more fun on a computer than on the iPad...)
Lucas got busy teaching Morfar all he knows about Minecraft. 

A journey back in time

This afternoon we took an excursion with Skara-Lundsbrunn Järnvägar. It's a museum railway line, and only in traffic twice a week during July and August.

The line which is used by these museum trains, was opened in 1887; but due to the increasing road traffic, all lines around Skara were slowly and steadily closed and the last regular passenger train left Skara in 1970. All the lines around Skara were narrow gauge, 3 Swedish feet = 89,1 cm.

The kids have actually been on this train twice before, we all went once a long time ago when Linnea was only a baby and they went once in 2008 only with Mormor and Morfar while I was in Stockholm. None of them remembered either trip though, so we decided to do another one today, on the last scheduled trip of this summer!

Unfortunately today they couldn't man the old steam engine due to sickness, so instead we had to go with the diesel engine. Didn't matter much.

It's all very authentic with old carriages, wagons and coaches and even the tickets were stamped with a date from years ago - 15th of August 1953!

The distance is just 12k from Skara to the end destination, but at only about 30k/h it still took us about 30 minutes to get to the little village Lundsbrunn. 

There it was time for an ice cream, and for the engine to swop direction. 

- "All aboard!!"

Time to go back, the conductor flicked a few switches, and then we were on our way!

On the way back we decided to sit in one of the open wagons. This rail trip is really such an enjoyable experience, not just the lovely views but also the soothing sound from the rail joints.

On the way we passed another railway - SNJP, Skogsmarks PutteNutte Järnväg. A private little railway  built by a true railway enthusiast. It only has a gauge of 60 cm. We were even so lucky that he was out driving around in one of the engines when we passed!

Skara views:

A nice afternoon excursion in the late summer sun.