Sunday, 11 April 2021

5-10 April 2021

Monday and even though it's still Spring Break, I like it much better when it's normal days. Nathan was back to work today, and I took Lucas to play padel this morning. We played with Petra and Valle, good fun (us Mums rocked!) In the afternoon Linnea and I went for a quick walk at Yas Mall and brought home roti for dinner.

Tuesday and today I had the first seminar in the new UNI-course I'm doing parallel to the thesis. It's called 'Non-European art, architecture and design'. Because why just study one thing... time is all I have at the moment, better use it wisely!
Kids went to see their friends in the afternoon so Nathan and I were home alone when he got back from work. We had dinner Belgian style, mussels and fries.

Wednesday, padel and studies. So bored, so bored, so bored. Get up, get through the day, have dinner, go to bed.
Lucas went to the mall with his friend Yazan so the rest of us had pasta (or cauliflower rice for some)  bolognese for dinner. Easy and yummy.

Thursday and we got up rather early for the kids to go get another PCR to get ready to get back to school on Sunday. Then I drove all the way up to Saadiyat to drop Linnea off for a friends small birthday celebration at the beach. I took the opportunity to take a quick walk around the LAD as I was there, which was nice. But mostly today I have spent it in the car, driving here there and everywhere. It doesn't make it any more fun considering the whole of our neighbourhood is one big workplace at the moment, they are literally working on EVERY road around us and some days it has been near to impossible to get home or where you want to be, with all the roads being shut off at the same time. Extremely annoying.
Vegetable skewers and pork sausages for dinner.

Friday and finally a bit of a break from the routine. We were invited out on the boat with our German friends, and spent all afternoon bobbing along just off one of the small islands just outside the city. The tide was high when we arrived, and when it changed the beach appeared just in front of the boat. Lush afternoon.

Saturday and I stayed in bed really late. Lovely! Then I caught up with some Swedish TV while on the treadmill, before a very late lunch. Lucas had volleyball this afternoon and I had Game Night. Tomorrow it's all back to school, let's see for how long..!

Saturday, 10 April 2021

There are no bad boat days

Yesterday we were invited out on their boat by our German friends, Holger and Karin. It's always so lush, as we don't have a pool nor a beach in our compound or near us.

We only went about 10-15 minutes outside the city and anchored up a little bit off the beach of one of the islands. 


We stayed on the boat to start with as we could still swim from there, the waters were shallow around us. Holger and Karin also had a new toy, a SUP which we all tried our luck on, in different ways:




The tide was high to start with, but during the afternoon the sandbanks started to appear and quite soon we had a prime spot by our own piece of the beach.


Tried to create some social media content and promotional shots for our Sidehustle Brews, not sure about the dude vibes of the model though... ha ha!

It was quite busy as it was a Friday afternoon, and the weather now is absolutely PERFECT - not too hot in the air, not too cold (or warm) in the water. Lots of boats, lots of people, lots of annoyingly noisy jetskis... but still - such a paradise. 


As Holger said: "There are no bad boat days, there are good boat days and fantastic boat days." I think this one rated as one of the more fantastic ones, at least for us!
Such a gorgeous and relaxed way of spending an afternoon! And look at the views going home again in the afternoon sun, aaahhh - Abu Dhabi, you are amazing.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Easter 2021

Yes, another Covid-Easter, just like anything else at the moment, with just us.
Nathan was actually off both Easter days, and I had suggested going away, maybe to Liwa, or at least doing a bit of a staycation here in AD for a change to the routine. But there was no big interest so we did what we do all other days - stayed at home. 

For Påskafton Nathan sorted our Easter dinner and cooked yummy lamb. Then he introduced the kids to 'The Life of Brian', which he thought was suitable entertainment for Easter.

For Easter Sunday we had the very traditional... Chinese take-away for dinner.
At least the kids got a big chocolate Easter egg each, so for them I guess Easter happened. For me, meh.

Friday, 2 April 2021

28 March - 2 April

Sunday and apart from it being Spring Break which means the teenagers don't surface until closer to lunch time, it was a normal day for the rest of the family. Nathan off to work early in the morning and me off to padel. Hot hot hot, I'm starting to get a serious tan by now, after all these hours in the sun every week playing.
I decorated for Easter today, about time, but the days got away from me a bit with the exam writing last week. At least now the house is bright and cheerful with chickens, pastel colours, eggs and Easter bunnies galore! Macaroni and cheese for dinner, with some left-over steak.
I managed to convince everyone to play our new game 'My City' today, which is a legacy game that changes each time you play it. Not sure we'll make it through all 25 chapters though...

Monday and padel. Again with the Argentinian girls. They are very good, challenging us in new ways! I start my final syllabus for my Uni exam this week, so I spent most of the day mulling over what subject to choose for my thesis. Unfortunately I'm no closer to a decision, but hopefully soon.
Swedish meatballs with - a bit unconventionally but we had to empty the fridge - sweet potato fries and corn for dinner.

Tuesday and I started the day with a long session on the treadmill. Had TV to catch up on! Then I went to the LAD to try and find some inspiration for  the thesis. Instead I got a bit stuck in Ch 11 as they have recently rotated that, and there was so much new art! Time to study some new artists I didn't know before.
Salmon and potato salads for dinner before Nathan went to see his friend Stefan, and I had a well-needed Zoom-call with my friends Linda and Anna.

Wednesday morning usually sees a big group Swedes play padel. This week again, there was just four of us, but at least we got a game out of it!
Linnea went to the movies with some friends, and the rest of us had Mee Goreng Mamak off the Cookidoo platform for dinner (not a hit, will not be doing that one again).
I had the first seminar for my thesis for 2,5 hours tonight, and my subject is now decided: The Germination artwork by Giuseppe Penone at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Thursday and last padel session for this week. Hot and humid today. But fun! After Nathan got home from work we went to the beach for a swim with the Nordins. Nice temperature in the water now.

Friday and Nathan off to work, and the rest of us doing our usual things, each by themselves. Saffron, prawn and chorizo paella for dinner while some watched the new 'Kong vs Godzilla' movie, and some didn't.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

April Covid status

April is here, and what have changed in Abu Dhabi since the last big update? Quite a lot as it turns out, it seems we have turned some kind of corner this month, positively so.

Some things don't really affect me personally, that hotels for example are now allowed to host events (under strict restrictions) and that the movie theaters have opened again, at limited capacity obviously. I do celebrate every positive thing though, whether they matter to me or not in my daily life. They are all small steps in the right direction!
News that I really enjoyed was the ones from just last week when we were told we are now allowed to resume tour guide activities (with restrictions of course, too many to list here...) - now we just need some tourists..!

There has been changes in the mask wearing rules. We no longer need to wear them in the car if we travel only with people from the same household (yes, we have spent a year wearing masks in the car, even when it was only our family...) or when we exercise (before during sport we could only "lower the mask to catch our breath").

It has also been clarified that if you are fully vaccinated and have the coveted 'E' in your Al Hosn App (which means that you have had a negative PCR test within the last seven days), you don't need to show anything to cross the border from Dubai, nor take the day 4 and day 8 tests after entering back into Abu Dhabi. The price per PCR test have also been reduced, again, to now 65 AED.

Already in the middle of March, the UAE reached their goal of vaccinating half the population, 2 weeks ahead of time. Great stuff!
Actually all the numbers are looking really good, daily recoveries have been exceeding new infections for over two weeks and there has been a noticeable fall in the number of deaths the past two months. Here are the numbers from today:
* 2315 new cases, from 237,240 tests
* 2435 new recoveries. Total death toll 1499.
* 463,759 total cases in the UAE. Globally it is 130M+ cases with 2,8M+ deaths.

And from the UAE Vaccination Drive:
* 82,833 doses administered today, in total 8,4M doses.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Back to Maya Island

Today we went on a holiday!
At least that's how it felt as we went back to Maya Island! 

It's just about a 15 minute boat ride off the coast of the city, but it feels like you are on a resort in a foreign country somewhere - it's lush, lush, lush! I really enjoy it there!
We went out for the day together with Friday, Calle and their three kids; made ourselves comfortable in one of the cabanas and had a great time!



We spent the day playing cards, swimming, lunching, playing football, and enjoying the sun and the sea. It has just about got warm enough for me now to get into the water again, even if - I admit - it took a little while to get in..!

This is the only kind of Corona-situation I like!

The gazelles were grazing just behind us, it truly felt like we were in the middle of some safari park! So beautiful, and even though they keep their distance, they don't seem too bothered when you approach to snap a photo or two.

Can you spot them there just behind me?

This time we stayed until sunset, so pretty!

21-27 March 2021

Sunday and I seem to wake up with a headache most mornings lately. It's an easy fix (with coffee), but nevertheless, it's not very nice. I'd rather fix it before going to bed so I can wake up with a clear head, maybe it's dehydration?
Anyhow, we had a great coaching session today at padel with three of us for a change. Good fun!
Unfortunately my headache came back again after lunch, so it wasn't a very nice day. We cooked hoisin and garlic chicken and rice for dinner, and I actually went to bed before 9pm, with lights out not long after that - while Nathan was hunting our extremely noisy cricket in the kitchen... (Don't ask...)

Monday and today marks the start of a big week for me. This morning I had the renewal exam for my Tour Guide License, which I passed, phew! Good to guide for another two years - now we just need some tourists! Then the Uni-exam for the Landscape painting syllabus came alive, and I have been working all day on that. It has to be submitted on Thursday night, so will be working on that every free minute this week! Linnea baked some banana bread and Nathan went flying. Didn't want to waste time cooking, so oven-pancake for dinner.

Tuesday and I dove straight back into the books with my morning coffee, and a part from a short break for exercise I studied the whole day. Nathan was off, so he handled the ground service today. Steak and veggies for dinner.

Wednesday and padel time, although for some reason only three people out of our big group could play today, so I brought Nathan as our fourth player. Bad idea though, as instead of impressing with everything I learnt since last time we played, I sucked and played my worst ever. And with a bad attitude, as he got on my nerves... ha ha.
The rest of the day I dug my heels in to finish my exam, and I think I did. Will let it rest until tomorrow and submit after checking it through again with fresh eyes.
Chicken and bacon pasta for dinner.

Thursday and Nathan was off to work early in the morning. I had not one, but two padel games this morning, so prepared accordingly with my normal two cups of coffee, lots of water - and the right outfit, ha ha! I played both with the Swedish girls, and also a game with some new friends, two Argentinian chicas. So much fun!
Then it was time to send in my exam and bam - just like that, all three exams of this week are done! Wii-hoo!
Lucas went to play basketball with some friends in the afternoon and I took the opportunity of stopping in at the drive-through and pick up some Spring Break KFC for dinner after having dropped him off.

Friday and a bit of exercise for me in the morning while Nathan was at work. 

I surprised the family by having ordered some special Kiwi treats for snack and then I took Linnea to the hairdresser, she decided to get a darker toner again, and cut some curtain bangs (!). Nathan in his turn took Lucas to fix up his "haircut" before Lucas was off to the movies with his friends in the evening.
The rest of us had homemade burgers and curly fries for dinner, I had got some nice veggie burgers for me, yum.

Saturday and it was time for a bit of R&R. We went back to Maya Island, today together with Frida, Calle and family. Lush lush lush! Picked up some take-away burgers for some on the way home.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Spring Break!

And that was it! We have reached the end of Term 2 of this school year, time for Spring Break!
But for the second year in a row, we will not be traveling anywhere, which feels rather sad, and very weird. Usually we ALWAYS travel for Spring Break. Also it has now been two years since we went to NZ, and who knows with the current state of the world, when we will be able to go again. :(

I'm not quite sure what we will be doing instead. We have talked about maybe going up to Dubai for a few days, after Linnea have reached her 28 days after the vaccination and got her E-status. But I must admit during this whole Covid-time I have developed a bit of a fear, or at least an unease around traveling. All the different rules and regulations that keep constantly changing, the risks of accidentally raking up thousands and thousands of AED in fines if you get something wrong, the multiple PCR-tests that can show whatever and so on. It all gives me anxiety just thinking about it.

I guess we will see what adventures we can make happen. I have to leave my safe little bubble sooner or later! After a week where I have submit two Uni exams and passed my Tour Guide License renewal exam, I do feel a bit worn out, so just like the kids, I'm just looking forward to a bit of a break - even if it's all just here in Abu Dhabi.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

14-20 March 2021

Sunday was a Sunday like most other Sundays at the moment. Started with padel, although not our best coaching session. Continued with studies, managed to finish off my Museoloy assignment and will let it rest now a few days before polishing and submitting. Picked up kids, cooked dinner  - Smokey BBQ chicken fajitas - and watched TV. We had an early night, all went to bed before 10pm.

Monday and everybody up, Nathan off to work and kids to school. I jumped on the treadmill before continuing the studies for the other Uni course, yes, it's a lot at the moment because it's all culminating this week and next. Later in the afternoon Uni lecture on Zoom, last one for this course; and fish parcels, corn on the cob and oven roasted veggies for dinner before I had a bath and watched Greys Anatomy.

Tuesday and another day on the treadmill and in front of the computer. Nathan went flying and I took the kids for another PCR-test for school in the afternoon, and cooked pasta and Swedish meatsauce (no tomatoes) for dinner.
I spent a really long time trying to figure out why the Roborock all of a sudden didn't want to return to dock after cleaning, tried all the tricks; until Nathan came home and saw that the cord that says "Do not unplug" had indeed been unplugged... (Someone had plugged the iron in to iron their uniform, so they were forgiven though.)

Wednesday morning, Nathan went flying, again. He is working what feels like all the time at the moment! I went to padel, as every Wednesday morning. It's nice to have this game scheduled in the middle of the week each week. Nice to play of course - but also nice with the coffee after!
Today we had chicken katsu and rice for dinner which was yum, but the evening turned into an evening of bad news. One after the other, which ended with the announcement that the kids whole school have to move to e-learning with immediate effect. Bugger!

Thursday and back to e-learning. Looking at the bright side, we got to sleep an hour longer in the morning, and I had no lunch box or school-run to do. I had padel in the morning, and in the afternoon I went for a walk at the mall and finished off by getting groceries.
Lucas was hanging with his friends in the evening and while they had Shake Shack for dinner, the rest of us had sushi. Yum all around.

Friday started rather slow, I didn't get started with my exercise until after lunch. Nathan did it the other way around, spent the morning in the Pain Cave, and then he went flying. I spent the afternoon getting through the ironing mountain while catching up on some TV and Linnea spent it with a friend. Kids ordered pizza for dinner, and I had soup and bread.

Saturday and exercising first thing in the morning-ish. Nathan off to work again, Lucas had afternoon volleyball and I went for dinner with Jennifer, Linda and Frida. I was a good wife and mother and prepared a Cottage Pie for the others before I left. Another week done and dusted, next week is last week of this term. It's also exam week for me, so Spring Break will be much needed for all of us. Bring it.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

15 days

15 days at school was all that Linnea got. Yesterday school told us they would close with immediate effect, and move to e-learning for the rest of the term until Spring Break. Argh!
It wasn't disclosed exactly how many cases emerged from the latest testing, but it didn't sound like there was many. It was actually a bit surprising that the whole school got shut considering all their protocols, and how well and how fast they dealt with the positive cases and their close contacts. But in the end, it's up to the authorities, and I guess they think "rather safe than sorry".

Luckily the kids are so used to the e-learning and the routines for home school are there already. They both truly are superstars for adapting so well through all these constant changes. The transition this morning was pain-free, even though there was mixed feelings about having to stay at home again just as they had got used to face-to-face learning.

This really brought down my general mood, it feels like five steps back again, just as we were seeing the light in the tunnel. Booo. It's a never-ending story this Coronapocalypse...