Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

Thank you 2013 - you've been absolutely fab!
We are about to welcome 2014, and it sure is going to be
an especially exciting year for the Watsons..! 
All I can say it - bring it on!

Happy New Year to all! ♥

Thursday, 26 December 2013

On our last Brunei Christmas

I had thought about doing a little speech at Anna's on Julafton, somewhere in between the herring and the ham - but the amount of people, and the lump in my throat, made it totally impossible. I knew that I would bawl if I as much as tried to say anything slightly deep, so I let it be.

What I wanted to say was... that I feel so blessed, that we have had this great group of friends here, to celebrate our Christmases (and any other big occasions with) during these nearly seven years. When you are an expat, you have to make your own traditions, and you also kind of make your own "family" - Christmas here has always been spent together with good friends.

I feel especially lucky that the kids will bring with them many lovely memories of our yearly Swedish Julafton; having been celebrating Swedish Jul the same way each year.
I am so grateful to Anna for giving the children, and me, those memories. Thank you.

I also feel lucky to have been seeing in Christmas Eve the same way, and with the same people - at the Morris house, each year too. Being someone that loves traditions, I am sure going to miss these traditions we have created for ourselves here, and most of all, all the fantastic friends we are leaving behind. Maybe especially at Christmas times to come...

So, on this last Brunei Christmas of ours, I just wanted to say thank you to all of our friends here in Brunei, for having made all our Christmases here so fabulous! ♥

Christmas Day 2013

The rest of Christmas Day was celebrated in the company of the usual gang, Scotts, Morris and Turners - around the Turners new pool! Very chilled and relaxed... aaaahhh.

Will prepared some of his super tasty lamb and beef, and we had that as a lovely Christmas dinner together with some yummy salads, and left-overs from the previous events. Mmm!

Tash and her outdoor Kiwi Christmas tree!

Tequila time!

Ha ha, I think the overall theme for this years Brunei Christmas could probably best be described as 'honkey-wonkey'..! ;) Eeeh-yooore!

Christmas morning 2013

Our Christmas morning started with some very patient children, who after having been told "just give Mummy and Daddy another half an hour sleep..." - did!
Then we attacked the presents! This is before the carnage:

And this is about 5 minutes later, when it was all done!

Daddy got some Canterbury swimmers and a t-shirt from Grandma and Granddad in NZ, and a Lego Burj Khalifa that the kids and I had bought in Dubai:

Lucas also got some NZ clothes from Grandma and Granddad, and All Blacks t-shirt, he was very happy:

Linnea got Monster High dolls and things, books, swimmers, hair things and clothes, amongst other things:

Lucas had also bought her a Hexbug habitat:

Then, the usual Christmas Day activity - Lego building! Linnea had got two big sets of Lego Friends that she dug into and completed in no time:

Lucas took a more chilled approach to his two big Star Wars ships...:

Christmas Eve 2013

Later on Christmas Eve, the kids made sure that Santa and his reindeers had something to snack on when they came back; and Linnea left Santa a little note:

Us adults gathered again, at the Morris' as usual, for some delicious dinner and Christmas pudding:

The hostess, and the lovely food - thank you Pippa, always such a treat!

Ladies in red:

 Time for the pudding:


And when we got home - Santa had been..! All ready for Christmas morning!

Julafton 2013

Christmas Eve lunchtime - always a traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord at the Scotts place. We attempted a family photo in front of their tree, but not all were equally collaborative:


This year there was about 40 of us, 20 adults and 20 children. Although most of the "children" are actually teens by now, so they would probably not really count as children really any more!
At first they were lined up very nicely, on the sofas...

But finally someone broke the ice and they started playing cards:

The slightly younger crowd had fun too:

Yum, yum, yum! I had made the beetroot salad, the Janssons and the meatballs, as per usual. Anna had made all the rest, salmon, prawns, ham, ribs, cabbage and much more... Oh, this is my favourite meal of the year!


Anna, giving her spiel about the order of the food:

Thanks to the new cards, the singing was great this year!

 Waiting for Santa!

So many kids!

Santa was so kind, this year too. The girls got hair clips and little badges, they boys got flash lights and badges.

Testing out the hair clips:

And once we got home from our Christmas lunch, Santa had been to drop off a few gifts from our Scandinavian friends and family! The kids got some circus accessories, juggling balls, plates to balance and devil sticks: