Saturday, 12 June 2021

6-12 June 2021

Sunday and Swedish National Day, hip hourray!

Today has gone by so fast, Lucas did his Business Studies exam and then came home, only to keep studying for tomorrow's exams... I worked all day on the opposition I have to do on another academic essay. Luckily I got one with a subject that is really interesting, so I'm happy.
Nathan went to work so the kids and I took advantage and had pancakes, again.

Monday and no exercise in the morning as I had padel planned for the evening, for a change! Instead I had coffee with German Karin, and kept researching for the exam opposition. The padel game was at the courts in the city, so a long drive, but worth it! GREAT play, some of it with our newfound British friends and a lady who got some bad news and had to leave in the middle of the game. So the rest of it Coach Carlos gracefully stepped in as the fourth player, and gave excellent coaching advice during the game! Came home to tacos for dinner.

Tuesday and school runs, treadmill and studies during the day. Then I went to a farewell dinner for two friends who are leaving Abu Dhabi for good very soon. Fun, but no fun, always sad to say "so long".

Wednesday and no exams for Lucas today so he had a study day at home. Time for PCR-tests though, so we had those done after Linnea got back from school. Me too actually, as I needed a fresh test because I have LAD tours on the weekend!
Minute steak, veggies, wedges and chili bearnaise for dinner, yum!

Thursday and D-day for both Lucas and myself. Last mock exams for Lucas, and opposition on my academic essay. It all went well (I think!) and now - it's DONE completely! 

Now I just have to wait for the grading, but just passing is really all that matters, and I'm pretty sure I'll do that. We went out for fancy dinner for a bit of a celebration, at the lush Buddah Bar, suuuuper nice! Yay us!

Friday and while Nathan went to work, I had a well-deserved sleep-in. Not really time to relax with three LAD tours ahead of me the next few days, but it still felt nice to be able to put all the Art History books back in the book shelf (for now), store the essay, and throw away all the notes I have frantically made the past few days in preparation for the opposition.
Today was a very chilled home day for the rest of us, and when Nathan got home from work we tried a new take-away from the new supermarket café down the road, which was surprisingly good!

Saturday and yay - I went to WORK! Oh my, I sure was a bit rusty after all this time, but it was just SO MUCH fun! It was with a Swedish group, and I enjoyed it so much.

Best thing is - I get to do it all again tomorrow, for a Danish group!
I got myself some beautiful flowers to celebrate this great week, we had baked potatoes and sausages for dinner, and yippie-yay - Lupin is back on TV!

Friday, 11 June 2021

Tooting my own horn

1994 I studied my first term at University, in Skövde. I was unsure back then about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I enjoyed languages, so I started with French. I studied up to and finished a C-level course in French eventually.

During my time in Copenhagen as an air hostess, I also studied a bit on the side. I went back and forth (back then with Flygbåtarna!) to Lund University in my spare time, and followed courses in Nordic Languages, English grammar and translation, Danish, Linguistics and Modern Greek.

During the past two years I have enjoyed studying remotely via different universities in Sweden. I have joined courses which have enriched my knowledge for my work, such as Material culture in Museums, Non-European Art, Ancient History and of course - Art History.

Yesterday I completely closed the book on the B-level of Art History. Via Zoom, I had the opposition on my academic essay and I'm so confident that it went well, that I am already celebrating! Sure, it is "only" a Bachelor of Arts, but it is a University degree - and considering it has taken me 27 years to finally finish it, I am so very, very proud of myself right now! Yay me!

I will keep studying in the fall, mostly because I enjoy it! There are so many interesting courses to join! But who knows, maybe while I'm on a roll, I'll continue on with a Masters degree!

Saturday, 5 June 2021

31 May - 5 June 2021

Sunday and Swedish Mothers Day. I got no flowers, nor balloons or presents (booo...), but at least I decided I didn't want to cook. So while Nathan was at work I took the kids to a new restaurant in Masdar for dinner. I had heard about their robot waiters, so I thought it was a fun thing to try. 

Food was a bit average, and as we were the only ones there it felt a bit lonely, but the robots were cool! They both served us the food, cleared our plates and danced for us - the future is here!

Monday and kids back to school, yay! I did my treadmill workout and then went to Al Bateen for lunch with Linda.

She had a place in mind she wanted to try, and luckily the food was really delicious because we were the only ones there (seems to be a thing for many places in AD at the moment unfortunately...), so not much ambiance. I can imagine it being lovely when crowded and busy.

I made pancakes for dinner, as Nathan was at work, and then I took the kids back to the mall to get Lucas some jeans as well, as the current offer was so good and he was in desperate need of trousers. Mission accomplished - two pairs for him, and even one for me! Score!

Tuesday, treadmill and back to the ENT to try and sort out the issues with my sore throat. They actually seem to be something Gastro-related, so across the hall I went to the Gastro-specialist straight away, and booked in for more tests in a few weeks.
Picked up the kids, had a short afternoon nap, and cooked something carbonara-like with spaghetti for dinner.

Wednesday and we got a padel game going today as well. It was slow (over 70% humidity!) and sweaty, but fun as always. Nathan cooked ribs, corn-on-the-cob and potato salad for dinner and then he went to watch the cycling with his mate Murph, so I watched Swedish TV by myself.

Thursday and I woke up with a headache. Couldn't have coffee to fight it off as I was going in for a small medical procedure, and the headache ended up lasting all day. So I spent most of the afternoon after coming home from the hospital on the sofa, feeling a bit sorry for myself before I managed to do todays treadmill session.
Nathan did the kids school runs and also took Linnea for a (scheduled) vaccination, and then - because Thursday - we had pizza for dinner.

Friday and I woke up with a headache, again, so it took a while for me to get my day going. But did my exercise, had a nap (...) and then Linnea and I went to IKEA to pick up my new desk top for my desk, a wider but shorter one. Cooked some dahl and rice for dinner. Then I started moving things around and realised the desk top wasn't going to work, so I will have to go back to IKEA again tomorrow...

Saturday and up even earlier than on a school day to go play padel! Lotta and I got our butts kicked by some of her British friends. I guess this shows we need to be playing more with different people, to learn and evolve.
Nathan went to work and I took the kids to the dentist, and then back to IKEA to exchange the desk top for a bigger one. Grilled chicken salad for dinner, gearing up for next week which is the big exam week, both for me but more importantly for Lucas. Mock exams coming up.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

June Covid status

I had barely hit 'publish' on the May post saying nothing had changed, and then from the 3rd of May we got new entrance rules into Abu Dhabi as fully vaccinated; quarantine is currently reduced to five days for us. Baby steps, but in the right direction. The list of "Green Countries" have been extended too, but so far Sweden is still not on it.
A few weeks later we also found out that quarantine will disappear on the 1st of July, although we are still waiting on more information about that. There will most probably be a new batch of rules and restrictions in its place, let's see.

Other than that, I can't really think of anything else that has changed lately, which is depressing in itself. We are one of the countries in the world with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated amongst the population, yet, no relief in restrictions yet.

Here are the numbers from today:
* 1968 new cases, from 215,689 tests today. Numbers still seem high after Eid.
* 1954 recoveries today. Total amount of deaths in the UAE stands at 1684.
* We have had a total of 572,804 cases here, globally it's close to 170,8M cases with 3,5M+ deaths.

Today 97,163 doses of vaccine has been administrated which brings the total number of vaccine doses in the country close to 12,9M.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

23-30 May 2021

Sunday and we are back to e-learning. Silver lining is no school run, or lunch boxes... but everyone would rather be at school, even Linnea this time around.
I had padel this morning, another really fun session, although very hot. 'Hot padel' - maybe that's a new thing, like hot yoga? Ha ha! We have been the only ones playing in the mornings for well over a month already.

Had some appointments at Mediclinic after training, and after those were done and lunch was eaten I had a quiet afternoon as the pressure is off with my Uni-work, at least for this week. Nathan cooked steak and baked potato for dinner.

Monday, Nathan went to work, and I had no plans. Once training was done I decided to submit my thesis (academic essay? not sure what the right translation is), as I was done. Felt good, but also, what do I do now with all my time?!
Pulled pork for dinner and lonesome time in front of the TV for me as everybody else disappeared upstairs. Just a whole day of loneliness really. Booo.

Tuesday and still no plans. Actually, apart from my exercise, I spent all day in bed. Yup, one of those staring-into-the-wall-kind of days. I guess they will be coming more often now we are back to indoor living for the summer. Nathan cooked some kind of pyttipanna with chicken and potato for dinner.

Wednesday and started with padel. Always makes for a better day. I spent the afternoon at the mall, getting a reading lamp for the sofa corner, and another one for Linnea's room, having a coffee with me, myself and I; and doing the groceries. Then came home and cooked Beef Stroganoff for dinner, mmm.

Thursday and treadmill time in the morning while Nathan was out riding his bike. Then off to lunch with the SL group, at a Pakistani restaurant in the city. Super yummy (and cheap!) lunch, and nice conversation!
In the afternoon I was Taxi Mum for Linnea, going to do some school work with some of her friends, and in the evening the kids had pizza at home while Nathan and I met with Stefan for some Maifest German dinner at the Westin.

Friday and started dinner preparations straight after the morning coffee, slow cooked lamb shanks, mmm! After a huge session on the treadmill and an afternoon nap it was almost evening time and we enjoyed our lamb with some mashed potato and the 'Friends Reunion' episode.

Saturday and Nathan was up early again for a bike ride. Treadmill for me, and then we went to do the PCRs for school, again. We decided to have lunch in Al Bandar, as we were already out and about all of us. The plan was to got to the Thai restaurant there, but as it was full we ended up at the Art House Café which was also nice. Linnea and I went to Yas Mall on a mission to find her some jeans and check out the newly opened Urban Outfitters shop; and we also met with Petra for a quick fika. It took a few hours, but mission accomplished, got three pairs of denim on the half price sale for Linnea! Take-away burgers for dinner while we took another stroll down Memory Lane and watched the 'Friday Night Dinner' 10 year-special.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Little Lunch Trip - Pakistan

The Swedish Ladies UAE have started a version of "The Little Lunch Trip" in their monthly program, and I used to enjoy those events so much I decided it was worth the long drive today, even though the chosen restaurant was as far away as it could be downtown. But I also certainly felt in need of some socializing, and neither the food nor the company did disappoint.

It was a Pakistani restaurant in behind Marina Mall, Lal Qila, and we had their extensive lunch buffet. I must say, very very good food, and really well priced too! Bummer it's so far away, otherwise I would be back every week!

We were far from the only customers, the whole restaurant was full and buzzing! Seems to be a very popular place, and I certainly can understand that! It gave off a really nice authentic vibe, without all the OTT glitz and glam that we have in abundance here.

Thank you ladies for a lovely lunch trip!

Monday, 24 May 2021


Can you see it, there on my desk? There it is - my academic essay (=B-uppsats) in Art History! It's finally done, I submitted it today! Celebraaaaaaations!

I actually have more time to work on it as we just got a one week extension (today!), but I decided to submit it anyway, because I was done. I have proofread it, over and over again; my friend Frida, my friend Erika - and also Carin in Rome of course, who is doing this same course and also writing her thesis at the moment - all have read it too; and I felt done.
In the end I just kept moving commas and full stops, changing paragraphs and adding, exchanging and removing words; so I thought - I better submit!

At this level there is also a public examination and discussion and that will take place in two weeks time, where I need to "defend" my essay; and also read a fellow student's essay and discuss that. So I'm not quite, quite done with Uni for the term just yet..!
Still, this step is worth celebrating - essay: done!

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Time flies?

As we settled in for another week of e-learning from home, I was thinking this morning about time. Time is a very funny concept at the moment. I can't believe there's just a few weeks left of this school year.
Time flies, and at the same time I keep having the feeling we live the same Groundhog Day over and over again. Looking back, it's hard to pinpoint things in time, because it feels like the past 1,5 years have been some kind of parallel life, or like someone pushed the pause button, and everything just slowed down to almost a stand-still.

The other day I was scrolling through the Photos app on my computer in search of a specific photo, and all of a sudden realised how much I had to scroll just to get through one month of normal times! I had forgot how busy life used to be, compared to how it is now.
We do still try to put a silver lining on life, but it feels like when we are "being busy" it's all just an illusion. It might be because we have gotten used to such a slow tempo this past year and a half, that any happening - even the smallest - is a huge mood lifter. But busy, no we are not. Far from it. Time just... passes in some funny kind of way.
One day at a time still. One week of e-learning at a time...

Saturday, 22 May 2021

16-22 May 2021

Sunday started bright and early, as we are back to normal school hours for the last six weeks of the term. Or kind of, it starts 20 minutes later than it used to, so we have already revised our alarm time for tomorrow as today we were up way too early.
I exercised and then went to the shop, and then worked on my thesis. Digging my heels in now for the home stretch! Game Night and Butter Chicken, Palak Paner and Coconut, Coriander & Carrot salad for dinner. Sooo good!

Monday and Nathan took Lucas to get a vaccine (not Covid, that's already done), scheduled through school. I took Linnea to school and went to padel. Not too bad today, every day we can keep sporting outside is a bonus. Some more work on the thesis this afternoon, so close now!
Some aglio olio e peperoncino spaghetti (and sausages) for dinner, before Nathan went over to Yas to catch up with some ex-Brunei people who are in town, and I planted myself in front of the TV.

Tuesday and a long session on the treadmill this morning, working on the May challenge. Then I finished off they last assignment for my non-Western art Uni-course, about Traditional Aboriginal Art. I have so enjoyed this course! If only now I can get back to working... Nathan and I joined efforts and made fish pie for dinner, and then we spent the evening in front of the TV.

Wednesday and padel, of course! Lotta challenged us to continue until we leave for the summer... let's see how that goes! Today was ok, the little breeze made all the difference. Some studying until it was time to pick up the kids, and then Nathan and I went to ACE and Yas Mall to get a few bits and pieces, groceries - and sushi & shawarmas for dinner before Nathan took the kids for their school PCR.

Thursday and this week has gone past really fast! Treadmill this morning, other than that it has been a really quiet day. Nathan had a haircut and I did some sorting out inside the office cabinets, and some ironing for a change. Pizza for dinner, because weekend.

Friday and coffee in bed, best way to start the weekend. Summer is really here now, you can feel it when you come downstairs in the mornings and the house is already so warm and humid that you need the AC on straight away. A pretty quiet day all around in the Watson household today. Salmon for dinner.

Saturday and Nathan off to work after his week of leave. Linnea and I took on Galleria Mall for something different, and came home to the annoying news that the entire school is moving to e-learning next week. Aaargggh! Many schools seems to suffer the same fate, I guess it's the after-Eid-effect..? Hmmm...
Chili con carne for dinner and sad moods all around.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

The frame is now on The Frame

We couldn't get a frame for The Frame here in the UAE, so we had to order one in from the UK. Thanks to Shop&Ship it arrived from the UK Samsung shop in less than a week. So here's the difference between how it looks "bare":

And with the new frame!

We chose the beige one, as it looks like light wood and goes with the other decor in our space. I think it looks really nice when the TV is off, together with the artwork, although Nathan will need to get used to having a light frame around his TV-watching.