Sunday, 7 July 2019

Summer break

It's time for summer break here on the blog as well.
I will back log our summer once we come back again as per usual. I need something to do during that dreary September.


For now if you would like to keep up with our summer shenanigans, have a look at my Instagram account, where certain summer snapshots certainly will show up! @watsonabudhabi


Mission complete

It seems like every year before the summer holidays I take on a new challenge. I guess it's a combination of being incredibly bored from no work and being housebound due to the heat, and a desire to get off to a good start, before the summer gluttony...
A couple of years ago I did a sugar challenge and cut out ALL sugar, last year I did the Couch-To-5-km program and this year I bought myself a treadmill.

To make sure I'd use the treadmill I made a pledge to go on it for 5 km a day, every day from when I got it until the summer holidays.
Well, we are off to Sweden early tomorrow morning, and as of today I now count a solid 31/31 days streak, of 5 km a day! Well done me!

I have gone by the distance of my Apple Watch and not the treadmill itself, which means that I've probably gone further than the 5 km every day (since my watch isn't calibrated to my actual stride). Actually this last week, I've more or less run the first 5 km, and then walk another 5 km every day..!
So a grand total of 190 km means I've done 4,5 marathons over this month! How cool is that!?

Unfortunately (and surprisingly!) my efforts barely show on the scales. Even though I have been off both the wine, bread and desserts and very good with the rest of my food. Booo.

So I still haven't decided what my summer challenge should be. Keep doing daily workouts but aim for 30 minutes a day (to be real), or try with longer workouts but maybe just 3-4 a week? Or keep to a certain distance a day, or maybe a week? Set a total amount of kilometers to hit over the whole summer?
Anyways, while I think about that I've made sure I've packed my little train-at-home-kit of resistance bands, so that I can get some workouts in during the holidays as well.


Maybe I'll just stick with "closing my rings" on my Apple Watch? That should be spurring me on enough, but leave enough room for different activities. Any other ideas?!

Friday, 5 July 2019

Summer holidays coming up

Wi-hoo! It's summer holidays! No more alarm clocks or lunchboxes... which is what I'm actually most happy about right now, ha ha!
To be honest, it's not really as school goes full power all the way to the end unfortunately. On the contrary, it's been slowing down ever since Ramadan; especially since many students leave early throughout the last few weeks of the term. So it's not like they are going out with a bang. Actually, I've always found the lack of a "ceremonial last day" rather disappointing. It's certainly one of the things from my own upbringing that I'm most sad my children will never experience.

So, I've always made sure we celebrate anyway, so after picking the kids up from school yesterday we went to have some serious slices of cake! Om nom nom!



Well done kids on completing Grade 9 and Grade 7! Now let's enjoy those long summer holidays!

Friday, 28 June 2019

Zwifting

I've shown you the set up of my treadmill in the middle of the living room already, but since the first few sessions I've upped my game a bit. Or rather, Nathan has upped my game. That's what happens when you are married to Mr Gadget!


Yes have a look, I still have the fan going but also I have the Zwift on the big screen and the ironing board with my current tv-serie on the iPad next to me. It's all go go go! It's actually rather motivating to run around f.e New York, I keep thinking "let's keep going to that next light pole, let's keep going to that turn in the road" etc. (Zwift is a multiplayer online cycle and running program which enables users to train, compete and interact in a virtual world.)

To make it even better, while I was on my treadmill inside the other day, Nathan went on his trainer in the man cave outside. And for a short time (enough to grab this photo, ha ha!), we Zwifted together in the same world!


Zwift for the win!

Benorix Hur

Last night it was finally time for us to enjoy Linnea in her school play. This term she too wanted to try the drama production and signed up for the Grade 6-8 production of the original play 'Benorix Hur', written purposely for Raha International school.


The story, inspired by 'Ben Hur' and 'Asterix and Obelix', was about the girl Benorix, dreaming about becoming a chariot racer and defending her Gaul village against the Romans.


Linnea was one of the extras, first playing a villager, then a prisoner and finally a citizen.


 Here she is front right, as a prisoner rowing the boat:



Time for the chariot races! Linnea still on the far right, as a citizen in different parts of the play:



The curtain call - great job guys! A huge cast of over 70 performers!


I really enjoyed this play! The past few drama productions we've watched at school have been musicals and the music have been rather overpowering. Not only was this easier to hear, but the story was really fun. Well done all involved!

Monday, 24 June 2019

New smile!

After first six months of adjusting her cross-bite and then a year and a half of wearing braces, today was the day when all the contraptions finally came off and Linnea got a new smile!

For once she was actually very excited to go see the orthodontist!
Before going, one last look of the braceface:


And after:


She will still need to wear a loose retainer for quite sometime, but it's see-through so wont affect her looks. She's so happy now!

Saturday, 22 June 2019

La Perle by Dragone


We decided to celebrate Midsommarafton itself up in Dubai this year. I had to go see my Goldman to pick some things up before the summer holidays, and then I had sourced a (fairly) new Scandinavian restaurant - Smørrebrød - not far from the Gold & Diamond Park, where we had a quick dinner.


It was hidden away in the Al Quoz area, and even though this restaurant mostly does catering they offered quite a big range of Scandinavian goodies. And, they even had a Midsummer pole!


Linnea and Nathan had pyttipanna, Lucas chose Swedish meatballs and I had a open prawn sandwich, yum! After having cinnamon rolls for dessert we continued in to Al Habtoor City. We were going to see the famous show 'La Perle by Dragone', the first permanent show in Dubai.


La Perle has been going now, daily, since August 2017, and the plan is that it will keep running for at least 10 years in this purpose-built aqua theater. This venue was absolutely stunning! It's a round, 1300-seater, 10-storey theater, where everything is a projection screen, the seats, the walls, the floor and the dome.



It was a massive production, over 65 performers from 23 countries.


The performers jumped into the pool from as high as 25 meters height. Most of the acts were indeed aerial, or aquatic. It was quite amazing to see the performers emerge from and disappear into that pool. 


The pool at the center of the stage has a capacity of 2,7 million liters of water, it can flood the rest of the stage up to 30 cm, and that area can be filled and emptied in 90 seconds. The pool in the middle is between 5-12 meters deep.
The water effects were super cool, they had waterfalls by the stage, and even made it "rain" inside the whole theater at one point!


The experience was completely all-enveloping, mainly thanks to the loudspeakers which were everywhere, apparently even under the water in the pool, to help the performers; and also thanks to the 270 degree seating configuration.



We admittedly didn't really grasp the entire idea of the story line, but enjoyed each part for what it was. We were rather disappointed as we could see the 'Globe of Death' suspended in the roof, and impatiently waited to see the motorcycle stunt I had seen advertised - but it never came. The show was also 15 minutes shorter than announced, so I guess something wasn't working with the globe. I don't know of course, but a shame missing out on what is supposed to be one of the biggest acts of the show.


I'm more of a classic circus fan, but for what this is - a more theatrical experience - it was amazing! The water and lighting effects are absolutely magical, and the way they used the pool was fascinating. I would go back again if I have visitors who want to see the show.

Friday, 21 June 2019

More Midsummer

Yesterday I went to a bring-a-plate-type breakfast with a few of the SWEA girls. Only the ones with school kids are left here in the heat now, most of the rest have already started their summer holidays back home.


We celebrated Midsummer, and that at least the end of the school year is only weeks away now. Spot the Midsummer pole and the dalecarlian horse:


We also did a bit of a book swap. I had done a huge clear out, but that was almost to no point, as I came back with nearly as many books as I had donated..! Ha ha!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Shadowing

Last week and this week I've had the opportunity to shadow two of my colleagues at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, to see their tours and learn from them but also give some feedback.
Last week it was my friend Kathleen who gave her tour in English, to a group of us Tour Guides. She is Belgian so of course she stopped in front of some of the objects from her home country, like this tapestry from 1520.


I was the only other LAD guide in the group, so after we had all had lunch after the tour, Kathleen and exchanged knowledge, ideas and viewpoints. It's so so good to be able to learn from each other in this way. Every time I follow someone else's tour I learn something new!
Kathleen for example talked about this painting of the 'Good Samaritan' by Jacob Jordaens, an artwork I don't really talk about myself:


This week another friend, Termy, had actually asked for us two to come and listen through her tour,  as Kathleen and I both speak French. She also stopped at a few different pieces I normally don't use in my tour, plus she had a really interesting approach to the narrative in some galleries, which I really liked.


I hope I get the chance after the summer do give a tour to some of my colleagues, will sure need some more practice by then before the season starts again. 
And after seeing Kathleen looking so sharp in her suit on her tour, I managed to find myself a sleek, white blazer (something I've been after for a while), which I could inaugurate the other day in the galleries. Even though it's hot out there at the moment, it's always 21 degrees inside the LAD!

Friday, 14 June 2019

Midsummer 2019

Last night it was time for the traditional Midsummer celebrations here in the sandpit, organized as always by Annica and Peter. This year the party was held on a yacht sailing out from Yas Marina.


Drinks and nibbles, blue and yellow balloons, flags, music and dancing - and the Midsummer pole of course, which this year had got a new "dress" and was looking greener than ever!






This year the party people came from a total of 14 different countries! So much fun!





And my trusty flower wreath is still going strong..!