Monday, 27 June 2022

Copenhell

I have completely forgot to write about Nathans recent holiday trip, maybe no wonder, as the only photos he sent me from it were the below three..!
Nathan went to Denmark to go to the Copenhell Heavy Metal Festival together with Thomas. A four-day happening, and Thomas and Nathan mustered three out of four before they ran out of energy.


Nathan brought Lucas along, and Lucas brought along his Hungarian friend Dominik. Dominik had never been to Copenhagen before, so Lucas showed him around all over, from Tivoli and Nyhavn to the Royal Castle with quite a few stops at pølsevogns on the way.


A really good time was had by all! Scandinavian summer with beautiful weather, music, friends and beer; AND total freedom, with no Covid-related restrictions.

Graduation family photos

Another little throwback to a month ago! They had arranged an official photographer to be at the Graduation ceremony at school, so we queued up and took some photos, as there was no obligation to purchase. (Usually these photo packages are extortionately expensive.)
But then we saw the photos... and - we ended up buying them all! Well, you only graduate once after all, so this is a really lovely memento to have!

The Graduate with his proud parents:


The Graduate with his little sister:


And, I LOVE this family photo!
Mostly because the photographer made us "huddle" forward, so us parents actually don't look as tiny in this photo as we did in many of the others, ha ha!

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Inspiring young minds

As we are approaching the end of the month of June, we are also approaching the end of the school year, and for me - the end of the season. Normally I actually don't work much at all during neither May nor June, but thanks to my position within the Education Department at the museum, I have been working steadily throughout every month this year. 

This week I reached another milestone at work, as I delivered my very first school tours! Kids scare me more than the adult visitor do, so this was a big deal for me. Also, not only was it the first school tours I did, but I did them... in FRENCH!
But you know what - it went really really well! Yay me!
Yes, thoroughly tooting my own horn here, but so proud of myself as I got glowing feedback directly from the teachers. As a bonus - I actually had so much fun and really enjoyed the interaction with the kids! The visits this time were with groups of Grade 6s (12y olds), and they actually impressed me a lot with their thoughts and input during the visit. They inspired me just as much as I hope to have inspired them.


Today was my last work day in the museum before summer holidays. Luckily I was scheduled to spend it with my partner-in-crime, my best colleague and work wife, Kathleen. We had such a lovely day, as we truly share the same love for this job!
We are both already looking forward to coming back and sinking our teeth into the next season! Ha ha, after having done school visits - in French - we can do anything!

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Midsummer 2022

This year we celebrated Swedish Midsommar at home in the company of our friends the Astings. My trusty IKEA-wreath is still going strong!


We had made it very easy for ourselves and ordered some catering from the Scandinavian Smørrebrød restaurant in Dubai.



The food was delicious (although we were a bit confused about the beetroot salad and Janssons, which to us is more of Christmas food..?) and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Om nom nom!




We even had a little bit of snaps, not the real deal but some flavoured vodka, but a snaps-song was sung and merry times were had!

Strawberry cake for dessert, of course!

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Our own Mona Lisa

A few weeks ago a new series of paintings turned up in the lobby of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. A familiar face to most, but in quite a different version... recognize someone?


These larger-than-life paintings are from 2008 by Chinese-French artist Yan Pei-Ming, and they belong to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. I find them rather striking here in the lobby, as the very first artwork you see before entering the galleries. They are so big that seeing them almost turns into an immersive experience.


In 2009, this series was displayed in the Louvre in Paris, right next to the Da Vinci Mona Lisa, for an interaction between classical and contemporary art. That was in fact the first time that a follow-up Mona Lisa had made it into the prestigious museum; and of course, this dialogue between artists from different times, suits the narrative of the Louvre Abu Dhabi really well.
The way Pei-Ming has portrayed hid dead father as alive, and himself as dead, plays with the idea that in order to enter the Louvre, an artist must be dead.


There are many stories to tell around these paintings, and I really find they have found their space here at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The eternal discourse around Mona Lisa continues here, but in a completely new way.

Monday, 20 June 2022

Zuma

This weekend I finally got to experience the brunch at Zuma, one of the best brunches around. It has been on the bucket list for a very long time, ever since our dinner there a few years back, but we have never managed to make it happen. Until now!
Brunching outfit, new dress and hand-embroidered hairband from India, my new obsession:

The brunch at Zuma is a little bit different to the normal brunches around here. At Zuma you don't have to leave your table, all the food is brought to you. Less of the decadence, more a fine dining feeling. First a selection of appetizers, that you share, and can repeat, as much as you want:



It never ended, the plates kept coming, with hot and cold dishes, sushi and sashimi, oysters and other delicacies; and it all tasted fantastic. Flushed down with non-stop prosecco, of course!


You each choose a main course, and even though by now we were extremely full and content, we all went for the famous Zuma signature dish, the 'Black Cod', and it was absolutely divine:


And can you imagine, we actually also managed some dessert! Well, we had to, didn't we - when it was presented this beautifully?


What a spectacularly fantastic brunch! Good food, good company! The perfect goodbye to Frida and Petra, oh how I will miss them here in the sandpit..!

Once I got home and had washed off the makeup and changed into something more comfortable, I spent the rest of the evening here; with sparkling water instead of prosecco, feet up and 'The Bold Type' on TV! Such a good Saturday!

Monday, 13 June 2022

Swedish summer breakfast

There is three weeks left of this term, the countdown is seriously on and today I had a goodbye-for-the-summer breakfast with some of the Swedish girls. Most of those without school children have already left for the summer, so there wasn't a big group this time, but nice to have a bit of an 'end of term'-gathering and celebration, even for us!


We went to a place down in Al Bateen, where I hadn't been before, 'Brunch & Cake'. Let me tell you, I will be back! It was most certainly the prettiest breakfast I had ever seen - and yummy too! Mind you, the portion was so huge I sadly only managed half of it!


Such an Insta-friendly café! Everything was gorgeous, from the interior to the food! I mean, look at these amazing plates of avocado toast, salmon bagel and charcoal eggs benedict! Definitely cooked and prepared to be enjoyed with all the senses!



Saturday, 11 June 2022

First losers

Last night Nathan and I went to a celebratory BBQ at the A-Team padel club, as Nathan and Bevvan had taken home a prize in their tournament that had run the past few months.
They came second in the C-category, and won a Summer Pass so they can play free all summer!


Yay, well done! They also got a nice award for being "First losers", as Nathan said.


All the prize winners in categories C, C+ and mixed:


BBQ in the middle of June was a bit hot, but every now and then there was a little bit of a breeze, saving us from melting completely. These kind of nights, where you just accept the "glow", really brings me back to Brunei.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Museum of the Future

Yesterday Frida and I had another Dubai day planned, gotta squeeze in as much playtime as we can before she is leaving! We also had to go back to the Goldman, to pick some orders up from last week.  

Our main goal was to go visit the Museum of the Future, the latest new, big landmark in Dubai. A very expensive attraction to be honest, the entrance ticket cost 180 AED!


We had been really excited about going, but I must admit, we actually felt rather let down by the whole experience. A bit surprised by this we agreed, that maybe if we hadn't been to Expo2020, we would've experienced it differently.
There wasn't really anything here that impressed us, it felt like we had seen it all before. Like getting a bracelet to check in, so that you get greeted with your name in the displays in the exhibits - done already by the German pavilion at the Expo f.e.


The architecture of the building itself is nothing short of stunning though, and really impressive!
This torus-shaped marvel, partly conceived by robots, is covered with stainless steel which reflects the light beautifully. The facade is inscribed with quotes and messages of hope for the future, from the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed. It is designed and written in Arabic calligraphy by the Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej.
A really lovely way of connecting the past with the future.

The inspiration for the architecture apparently came from Feng Shui, and the museum is made in three main parts - the hill (representing the earth), the building itself (representing humanity), and the empty space in the middle (representing the unknown). I must mention that it in fact made us a little bit dizzy at times to walk around inside, ha ha, as the only horizontal surfaces in the whole building are the floors.

This motorized flying robot-dolphin turned up in the atrium as we waited for our turn to enter. That was pretty cool!


The museum has six floors of exhibits, where you start with taking a virtual trip to space and the OSS Hope, to see exhibits focusing on potential futures of outer space. You get to see how life is imagined in the year 2071.


We could apply to be a part of the mission, I became a Asteroid Fleet Pilot and Frida was accepted as a Luna Robo Driving Instructor:

Further on there was for example a digital beach, a futuristic spa; and a multi-sensory and meditative space called The Center. This was something we didn't really understand. To us all of this felt a bit out of context here?

The only part where we were really wowed, and where we spent the most of our visit, was the big room with the 'Vault of Life', or the DNA library. Here they had around 2,400 models of species, in a very cool colour-changing display:

We got to borrow a small device that could scan each exhibit to learn more about them, and also learn if they are going to be extinct, and when.






We also found the terrace, and managed to take some nice photos:



All in all I would say I really don't like museums that won't let you explore in your own pace. I don't enjoy being shuffled around. Just like I didn't like the pavilions that had different parts you had to enter and exit together with your designated group. I want to take my time, and wander as I please.

I also don't think the museum experience was as mind-blowing as I had expected it to be, nor did I think it was value for money - again, especially not when comparing with Expo2020... But even though we left feeling rather underwhelmed, we still had a good time together!
An even better time was had later in the day going for sushi lunch and doing a bit of shopping in a small mall down in the Jumeirah part of town, where we hadn't been before. I came home with some beautiful things wrapped in silk paper, which made me happy!