Sunday, 5 February 2023

Oh hi there!

I can’t recall when I last went this long without blogging..! It’s crazy but time flies (finally), and we have been really busy lately - but I do promise to catch up here on the blog of course!

Lucas was still here in the beginning of last month, and only a few days after he left, Erika turned up for a visit. She stayed for a week, and after she left, Pia came for a long weekend (again!). Someone had a birthday and there was a housewarming; and last week the Scotts flew over from Qatar to see us. 
Both Nathan and I managed to be off for those four days, but we now feel we need a holiday from that “holiday”, ha ha!

I will get onto writing all about the last few weeks very soon. Stand by. 

Monday, 2 January 2023

Looking for my mojo

I haven't had much time for it up until now, but it is sure about time to start enjoying the perfect weather we have at the moment - and our new hoods! I have no more excuses, now my surroundings are perfect for getting out there and going for long walks.
This morning while Linnea was at school, Nathan at work and Lucas still in bed; I plugged in my ear pods and turned on a good podcast, and off I went to get some vitamin D!

This is our little piece of the beach - maybe I'll even make it down there one of these days?



Our new hoods from the other side of the water:



I walked for about 30 minutes along the water before I turned back and went home again. Glorious!


I am looking to get back into those great exercise habits I stuck to during all of 2020-2021, when exercise just came naturally day after day. I lost my fitness mojo somewhere along last year... which was truly a crap year when it came to sports and exercise for me. I need to get back into it again.
I haven't set the bar high, I just want to get some movement done each day again. A walk outside is perfect to get going.



Plus, better take advantage of the stunning weather while the temperatures still allow. Before we know it, we are cooped up back inside again because of the heat.

Saturday, 31 December 2022

New Years Eve 2022

We have never been big on New Years celebrations, and this year was another year when we couldn't have partied even if we wanted to because Nathan has stand by very early in the morning.

We celebrated by having our traditional fondue dinner at home. It felt pretty special anyway, being together just the four of us, and in our new home.

 

I had spent most of the day cleaning away Christmas, so the house felt light, fresh and ready for the new year.


Linnea made her very first Pavlova all by herself! A really good job!


Luckily they had decided this year to do the fireworks twice. There was already some fireworks at 9 pm, so we got to enjoy those together all of us. Then Lucas took off to Dubai with his friends, while the rest of us are waiting for the stroke of midnight, the next set of fireworks - and the new year.


This is a very different New Year to previous years. Finally (well, dare I say this with the current situation in China or am I jinxing it now..?) as it feels like we can look into the next year with optimism and joy. Finally life is back and the world is our oyster again.

Personally I feel like I can now exhale a bit after the past few months of complete full on and intense chaos. I have found a good rhythm and balance again, time for some TV, for some reading and even for doing absolutely nothing at all the past few days - and it has been glorious!

Bring on 2023 - I am so curious to see what joyful moments it will bring!
Happy New Year to all!

Liwa 2022

I have never been to the Liwa International Festival, but I have always wanted to go. Now even more, since Lucas went out there to the Empty Quarter the other day with his friends.

He gave me permission to share some of his photos, and it really looks amazing! Even though, the road there at some places looked way more green than I had thought it would!



The Liwa International Festival is a yearly event, the biggest of its kind in the Middle East, where you can enjoy concerts, motor sports, fireworks and much more.


The Tel Moreeb dune where the festival is situated, attracts all the petrol heads that take part in exciting challenges including drag races, motocross challenges, freestyle drifting and much more. This dune is considered by many to be one of the tallest sand hills in the world, over 300 meters high and with a 50 degree incline.



Lucas and his friends set up camp on top on one of the dunes, and enjoyed the entertainment from there. Looks great!



So jealous!

The best kind of visitors

I had a great day at work yesterday! For starters I was scheduled together with Kathleen, my Belgian friend, which always makes for a good day. My first guests who came via one of the Sheikhs' offices, turned out to be Swedish, so we had a really nice time.

And then I received these visitors in my lunch break:


The best kind of visitors! I just had time to walk them through our Impressionist exhibition, and show them some of the new additions to the permanent galleries. It had been a while since they had been, and it was a really busy day at the museum, so it was nice to get to show them how my days can look like.


They stayed and had lunch at the Museum Café while I did my next tour.
Thank you for coming!

Thursday, 29 December 2022

See you there!

Last night I went to a farewell for one of my friends, and also colleagues, who is about to close the chapter on her Abu Dhabi life, and move to - Sweden!

Karina, in the middle of the photo, is from the Dominican Republic. We did the Tour Guide training together many years ago, and later on she also became qualified to guide at the museum. Now her husband has picked up a new job in Sweden, so they are moving to Västra Frölunda, and she is so scared of the cold and the snow! Ha ha, it’ll be quite a change from Abu Dhabi for sure!

I am so looking forward to hearing what she thinks of it all, and hopefully I’ll see here in her new home when I come back for the summer.

We had dinner together at Asia Asia down in Yas Bay, which was gorgeous. It had been so long since we got together, so it was really nice, even though it was for a farewell. I always enjoy the company of these girls!

Return in rain

It was really nice to return to the museum after not having worked for almost three weeks. To be honest, the month of November, or even the last 6-7 weeks prior to the Christmas holidays were absolutely crazy (because of the move) for me, and disappeared in a big blur. At the end I could feel myself loosing the spark a bit, and it was nice to find it again the other day returning to do an external tour for a lovely French family.

I had woken up to rain, and it continued on my commute to work and even throughout the morning. Obviously, it got rather wet under the dome, since it is open, so you had to be careful while walking about even though they were frantically driving around with their clean-up machines. 

I love it though! It is so rare we have this kind of weather, I am soaking it all in (literally!), even the cold and the chills!

Tuesday, 27 December 2022

New Xmas additions 2022

I'm not sure when I'll be packing up Christmas this year. I might actually leave it until after Lucas has left, but on the other hand he might want to see the place not decorated. So I don't know yet.

But before I pack it all down, here is a quick presentation of this years new additions to the Christmas collection. First the yearly Santa from my Mum, a large Cult one this year:


In the tree we find the new bauble that Mormor gifted Nathan, once again a Craft Beer-themed one. Spot on Mormor!


A new bauble from the Belgium-trip Linnea and I did in March:


A circus elephant, because it reminded me of my childhood:


A decoration from Istanbul airport. Whereas Linnea and I technically didn't really enter Turkey, Nathan has lived there in the past so we still wanted to get a decoration. We couldn't find any baubles, but we thought this worked well anyway, with it's handmade hook and all:


While in Sweden I did enjoy visiting the 'loppis' (=flea markets) around Skara. Obviously there wasn't a lot of Christmas decorations left this late in December, but I still managed to get a few really nice (and cheap!) Santas. They need to do something, and have nice faces, for me to pick them out. Like these ones:


I also found this one, which I thought was a bit funny, as it looks like he is wearing sunglasses, something that makes him fit in rather well here.


And finally, let's see if I can show a short movie of the tree topper Santa plane in action. We saw this on a Christmas tree in a coffee shop we went to in Sweden, and decided to hunt down where they had bought it. Luckily it was in a shop in Skara, so we could pick one up for Nathan. Isn't it great! I just love it!
 

Christmas Brunch

The last few years we have opted for take-away Christmas, where we have ordered our turkey and all the trimmings and had our Christmas dinner at home.
Last time we went to a Festive Brunch I got rather disappointed, as it turned out to be not very festive at all; or rather, not very Christmassy. It was just like any other brunch.

But we decided to give brunching another chance this year, and went to the Westin with Linda & Johan, their kids and Linda's mum.

Obviously we had to take a nice family photo in front of their Christmas tree:



We had a table outside, in the shade. It was absolutely perfect temperature, so sitting outside was glorious.



My boys.


I'm not sure it was worth the money we had to pay (it being a Festive Brunch at all), but it sure was festive at least! The food was all really delicious, but was what especially striking was the presentation - stunning! So colourful and appetizing! A real feast for the eyes! Just look at all this:






Ice sculptures in the desert!





We had a lovely and relaxed Christmas Day for sure, not to have to cook (or clean up) is of course also worth something; but I think next year we will go back to our Christmas take-away. Christmas Day is more of a family day for us, not a party day as it was for most of the other participants at the brunch.



Merry Christmas from us to you! ♥︎

Christmas Day 2022

Christmas Day started a bit slow for some of us. So happy to have big kids, at least I didn't have to suffer an early start... just a bit of a sore head... (I blame that Margarita machine...)

As Lucas had already got a new iPad and a new phone earlier in the fall, there wasn't as many parcels for him as there were for Linnea. Although he still got spoiled, as it's fun to gift..! He got new sweat pants, a sweatshirt, a cap, a Santa, a miniature arcade game and some cologne.


Linnea didn't receive any big gifts this Christmas, but a lot of smaller things. She had wished for new, white bed sheets, a jewelry box, a 2023 planner, a Himalayan Salt lamp, a specific perfume, tea boxes and tea and money for books; all which she got. She also got some skin care, a puzzle, a book about tea and a Santa. Lucas had sorted his own gifts, and he had bought her a body spray and some jewelry.


For Nathan Lucas had got the new book about the story of the Mikkeller Brews. Nathan also got some new smellies, a pair of Vans, a t-shirt, a bike repair kit, a (beer) bauble for the Christmas tree and a new tree topper - a motorised plane with a Santa circling the tree! Just love it!


Somehow I didn't stick on any photos, but I got a new board game, some scented candles, a mascara and of course this years Santa from my Mum, a book about coffee, money and some other Christmas decorations.