Thursday, 14 October 2021

Sliding into the Midterm Holidays

We made it! The whole term so far - IN school! This is something you actually don't take for granted anymore, so great stuff! But now, we have all deserved a week to chill out, with many, many sleep-ins. It has actually been quite a start to the year, it feels like we accelerated straight to fifth gear after pottering around in first and second gear for a year and a half. So a bit of a break now is welcomed.

Another flown by week, which has seen me go to WORK - yes, twice even!! I have also organised an Americano tournament, submit the first Uni exam for the Costume- and Interiorhistory course, been to Game Night and played around with pottery. Nathan has mostly been on stand by for work all week, and the kids have been to school.
Lucas is off to a friends birthday celebrations tonight, where they are going to play Paintball and eat sushi. Linnea is busy planning her own birthday celebrations for next week..!

Finally, I have taken a few photos of some of our food this week, starting with this weeks favourite, pecan crusted cod with green veggies:

Next up garlic prawns, rice and veggies:

We also cooked chicken with rosemary potatoes and sundried tomato sauce:

This was yakitori beef and cous cous salad:

We have also had pasta bolognese and beef spare ribs with corn, and TGIT pizza delivery tonight - but no photos of those!

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Not quite like in 'Ghost'...

Yesterday I participated in a SwedishLadiesUAE activity at the Manarat al Saadiyat, a pottery introduction. I was happy to get a spot as this activity has run already last term, was really popular, it got full almost immediately.

So we were 18 ladies getting a very short introduction to pottery making, and then we got let loose in the studio for a few hours, to play around and try and be creative.
We either got to choose a ball of clay or a slab of clay, and could try the pottery wheels, or create on free hand; use all the tools they had. There was no sighting of Patrick Swayze though, disappointingly!

I was busy socialising and talking (...) and even if I did try, I have to confess I was one of the ladies ending up with nothing to show in the end, I gave up. It was a bit like the Swedish folktale 'Mäster Skräddare': "Vad bidde det då då?" - "Det bidde ingenting!".

The others made lovely things, my favourite creation of the day was this lady Kia's fabulous Santas! So cute! I am excited to see how they come out after they have being burned.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Hot, hot, hot

Stop this now please! This is not how October is supposed to be!! It's way too hot still!! Can someone turn down the heat??!

This morning it was really humid and rather warm, and I had organised a padel tournament at the new courts by the Cricket Stadium. I had convinced seven other chicas to join in for the Americano, so it was a brave group optimistically setting out on two hours play.

We managed to finish all seven games, just about, as it was so, so hot - extremely hot! No shade at all, 30 degrees and 85% humidity..! I could wring out all my clothes when I got back, I was soaked all the way through!
But, it was worth it, so much fun!

Friday, 8 October 2021

Dragon & Phoenix

For every new temporary exhibition at the Louvre Abu Dhabi I say: "This is my favourite exhibition!", this time no exception..! The new exhibition which premiered this week, is really, really beautiful!
We are so lucky to get to welcome all these special exhibitions here.

This new exhibition is about the long history of cultural interactions and exchanges between the Chinese and Islamic worlds.

Amongst other things, it talks about the shared imperial bestiary of dragons and phoenixes; and the shared iconography of lotuses, cranes and deer. It also talks about the passion for Chinese ceramics in the Islamic East versus the influence of medieval Islamic metal ware on the Chinese ceramics.

The massive installation of flying paper birds in the middle of the room is so impressive! Love it!

In total there are 250 artworks, and the exhibition beautifully tells the story about how 'the Dragon' (China) and 'the Phoenix' (the Islamic world) exchanged ideas, goods and technology from the 8th to 18th century, with a new universal perspective.

This exhibition is at the museum until the 12 February next year, so you have ample time to come and see it. Don't miss it!

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Posh birthday lunch

Yesterday I spent my afternoon with Linda, as it was her birthday! We went into the city to have a 'business lunch' at Café Milano. It was very posh and very tasty, full of business people in sharp suits - and us!

Happy 45th!

After lunch we went to have some birthday sweets in the form of a pretty pink macaron each. Mmm!

Six weeks done

This has been another very happening week!
Exam week for me, so I have been head down in the books, studying 16th century dress codes and interiors. Funnily enough I have still had time for lots of other activities: a visit to the Expo2020 on Sunday, Korean lunch on Tuesday and padel that same evening. Yesterday I celebrated Linda and today I had lunch with Frida after having played padel this morning. In between all that I have managed to finish the exam though, so now it's onwards and upwards with the next syllabus which starts on Monday.

The kids have started their Extra Curricular Program at school this week. Lucas is participating in a course about Business Quantitative Techniques on Sunday afternoons and Linnea is playing netball, on Wednesday mornings at 06.15. Yes - before school... So extra early starts for us those days.

Menu this week was:
Lamb meatballs with ratatouille
Salmon with sweet potato, tzatsiki and salad
Tuna pasta for some/Left overs for others
South African curry with geelrys
Pizza for some/Left over for others

The Little Lunchtrip - Korea

This months SwedishLadies lunch trip went to Korea, but actually three years ago I went along to another "Little Lunchtrip", also to Korea. A different restaurant though, but just as nice this time.

We were in a private room around one big, long table; and the food just kept coming... and coming... and coming... So. Much. Food.

I had a ramen soup menu, and the lady next to me had order some Korean ribs. The server very nicely came and cut them for her, with special scissors! Great service!

Monday, 4 October 2021

A first look at Expo2020

Brace yourself - here comes a looong report from my first visit to the Expo2020 in Dubai. Yalla!

Linda and I went to the Expo2020 for the day yesterday, it actually only takes one hour to drive, from door to parking. So it's not that far away really.
It was actually rather emotional to arrive at site yesterday, finally seeing this enormous showcase now open and in action after being a year delayed because of the pandemic. Expo2020 is an amazing achievement for this young country, being the first World Expo staged in the Middle East.
The delay has also now caused the Expo to happen the same year that the United Arab Emirates are celebrating their 50th anniversary - so expect massive celebrations for the next six months to come!

I loved this big entry portal! There are three of them and they are designed by Asif Khan. The pattern is based on the traditional mashrabiya pattern so often used in designs and architecture here in the UAE.

The Expo2020 site is gianormous! Apparently this World Fair covers an area TWICE as big as Monaco - or if you prefer, 600 football fields! The theme is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" and the three sub-themes are Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. As both the Swedish and NZ pavilions are situated in the latter of these areas, it was natural to make this first visit to the Sustainability part.

The Swedish Pavilion is right by the entrance, it is called the 'Swedish Forest', and the pavilion itself is really spectacular! The patterns in the casing of the pavilion, again, is reminiscent of the mashrabiya, and that combined with the woodland inspired design with the thick, tall trunks of wood is really cool.

If you are interested in keeping up with what is going on in the Swedish Pavilion, you can click here.

One of my favourite photos from the day! This part of the pavilion made me just want to stand there... and breathe... aaahhh...

We were at the Expo for about five hours, but we only managed to visit a total of five pavilions on this visit. The area is not only vast, but it was very, very hot as well.
One of the special pavilions, not belonging to any country, was the Women's Pavilion.

I really liked this pavilion, it highlighted women innovators and the impact women has made on society, in a variety of different fields, like here - art:

The heart of the whole Expo2020 is the Al Wasl Plaza which is dominated by this massive dome featuring an immersive 360 degree projection surface. This is where the inauguration took place last Friday, and many, many more shows and showcases will take place during the run of the Expo. It is situated in the middle of the three sub parts.

The UAE Pavilion is designed to look like a falcon taking flight, with the wing-looking roof panels made to open and close. One of the biggest pavilions on site, and one of the most popular ones.

These photos are all from the outside of the pavilion as the inside was very dark, and crowded, and I actually experienced something close to a panic attack when we were squeezed into a small, badly lit tunnel space, and were told to wait - I had to ask to get let out through an emergency exit! It got way to crowded and claustrophobic for me!

This is the big Expo Water feature. Really cool with water flowing up and down the walls, in rhythm with the music playing.

The Garden in the Sky, an observation tower and flying park all in one, offering 360 degree views over the Expo site from 55m up. I will have to try this next time!


We also went to the New Zealand Pavilion, with a facade that is moving, making it a "living" building. The inspiration for the design comes from the Whanganui River, and the facade ripples and moves, just like water. It is made from a unique kind of mesh and the whole facade only weighs 85 kilograms.

The theme for the NZ Pavilion is 'Care for People and Place' and every element of the pavilion is interconnected, the idea is that we are indivisible from the natural world.

Finally, just before leaving for the day, we squeezed in a visit to the Singapore Pavilion, which quickly became one of our favourites, it reminded me of Gardens by the Bay. It was an immersive 3D greenery experience, where you walked through the vertical gardens higher and higher on a canopy walk inside the building. Very very cool, and refreshing to not be cooped up inside for a change.

As you can see, there is A LOT to see at the Expo2020 - with 192 nations represented PLUS all the special pavilions, and happenings, shows, displays, parades, celebrations and much, much more... I have got a Season Pass, so I'm expecting to come back many more times! It feels like I have only got a whiff of what there is to explore - already looking forward to next time!