Saturday, 16 January 2021

Corona Diary, Day 311-317

Day 311, Sunday 10 January
Padel coaching this morning, although I wasn't playing well at all today. I wish I could say I have the technique down, but I still have to think so much about how to hit some shots, that I miss other easy balls. Ah well, Coach Javier insists we are good enough now to participate in the tournaments... ehm, not sure about that.
Home and work a bit more on the exam, then off to Hudayriyat this afternoon to go for a walk with Susanne, and enjoy a lovely coffee in the sunshine by the beach. Have I said lately how much I love winter in the UAE?

Came home to spaghetti bolognese for dinner, lucky me!

Day 312, Monday 11 January
This morning it was time for the yearly renewal exam for my Louvre Abu Dhabi license. Intense, but now it's done! I had to wear my SOCKS inside today, it's winter and so cold on the floor, but actually quite nice to feel a bit of a chill, cosy! So it's been a home day, in socks!

Linnea cooked us dinner today, chicken tortilla wraps.

Day 313, Tuesday 12 January
Exercise in the morning, so that I would be able to take the kids - again - for their back-to-school PCR-tests in the afternoon. This time our school were scheduled to go to another center without drive-through, so we weren't sure how long the queues were going to be. Turned out it was super well organised and we were in and out in less than 10 minutes. Kids are certainly getting a routine of these tests by now.

The family had pork ribs for dinner and I met with Sara, Jennifer and Linda for dinner on a night out.

Day 314, Wednesday 13 January
Morning exercise again, always good to get it done first thing. The rest of the day was spent studying and reading, huddled up in our hoodies and sweatpants. Comfort food for dinner these days since it's so cold, today chicken noodle soup.

Day 315, Thursday 14 January
Another blank day in my calendar. Nathan is still resting his foot so he's not up to much either.
Last day in school for this e-learning week, hoping that it was indeed the last e-learning week as school is supposed to resume face-to-face for all students on Sunday. Oh, I can't wait...
Tomato soup for dinner.

Day 316, Friday 15 January
Lucas had organised to play volleyball today with some friends from school, as part of his CAS. I drove him there and took the opportunity to go for a walk in new surroundings while he was sporting, instead of  driving back in between it was time to pick him up again. Nice weather to be walking outside, even at 12 noon. Love winter here.
Since I sent in my Uni-exam on 'Portraiture' a few days early I was so lucky as to get the results back already today - passed! Although I missed 'distinction' with only 1p, so a tiny bit disappointed, but still - passed! Next unit 'Landscape' starts on Monday, plus a short course called 'Material Culture in Museums' that I'm going to study parallel to my Art History course for the first part of the term. Double the study, double the fun - bring it!
Chicken sausages and roast veggies for dinner.

Day 317, Saturday 16 January
So we had set the alarm an hour earlier, the uniforms had been ironed, extra masks were packed and lunchboxes planned. It was supposed to be the grand return to school tomorrow. PCR-tests were taken (again), and we were all ready. Only to take another big blow today in the form of last-minute changes and the extremely disappointing news that schools all over the country have to continue with e-learning for another THREE WEEKS. And this whilst EVERYTHING else is open in the emirate, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! Huge events are happening, sports competitions and massive expos are going ahead... but school, nooo.
I was on the treadmill when the news hit, and I just couldn't get off it. I just kept walking and walking for nearly two hours... didn't see the point anymore in anything. An absolute rock bottom day.
These poor poor kids. This is so absurd and upsetting that I find no more words.

Linnea and I went to get groceries and Nathan and Lucas cooked dinner. Pork fillet, rice and homemade bearnaise sauce for dinner.

Friday, 15 January 2021


I got laughed at for the photo of my socks the other day on Instagram, but I wasn't wrong actually in feeling the chill - apparently the UAE is currently experiencing it's coldest January EVER!

There has even been, up in Raknah in Al Ain, an all-time record low of -2° C recorded! That's up in the internal parts of the country, closer to the mountains of course, but still. Even out here by the coast we have been having minimum temperatures between 11-17°C in the early mornings lately.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Corona Diary, Day 302-310

Day 302, Friday 1 January. New Years Day
We were all a bit tired this morning so it was really nice to gear up, have a good lunch (yay leftovers!), and go to the padel court and be outside for the afternoon. Lucas, Nathan and I were playing with 5 other Swedes and Linnea hung out with her friend Lovis.
Then we spent the rest of the day on the sofa, with more leftovers for dinner and the new 'Croods' movie. Isn't that what New Years Day is all about?

Day 303, Saturday 2 January
I had planned a quiet day at home today, to work on my upcoming exam some more. Although it didn't turn out very peaceful as the maintenance crew were here all day, and made a great mess... So I took the opportunity to pack the Christmas tree away as well as that's also quite a messy job. You would think we have a real tree though with the amount of needles falling off it..!

Last day of the winter holidays, so on Lucas' suggestion we had pizza for dinner. Thought that was a suitable lazy way of ending the hols.

Day 304, Sunday 3 January
Early start today! Back to school!
Padel coaching for me and Petra. Fun fun fun! Today we advanced into working out our positioning, and also practised the volley. A lot to think about, grip, technique and positioning... if I'm lucky I get two out of three, but I'm not quite there yet. But getting better every session!
We managed to finish just in time - before the rain came! Joy! It had been a while!
While the kids were at school and Nathan on his bike (in the Pain Cave), I went to get the first dose of the COVID-vaccine. Now I feel like a super hero!
Homemade beef shawarma and spiced cauliflower rice with sweet potato and nuts for dinner.

Day 305, Monday 4 January
Home day and another exam writing day. I try and get through this one a little bit every day, it's going very slowly though... I'm good at procrastinating though, so today I took on another project we had planned for a while - adding a drinks fridge to the storage room. It actually didn't take long since all helped out.
Burgers and left over cauliflower rice for dinner.

Day 306, Tuesday 5 January
Upside of today is that it seems like I have finally got my mojo back about HIIT and strength workouts. I totally fell out of the groove with those kind of workouts after the summer, so am happy I am now finding them fun again. I'm back to enjoying the combo of a quick HIIT or weight workout and the treadmill.
A bit of LAD Study Group on Zoom today and a bit of exam writing, a bit of dinner cooking (Greek keftedes and souvlaki with a green quinoa salad and beetroot gnocchi) and a bit of 'Cobra Kai' on TV - and another day is gone.

Day 307, Wednesday 6 January
I think I'm almost ready with the exam, or at least, the most part of it. Needs some polishing, but feels good to be mostly done well ahead of the deadline.
Other than that not feeling life at the moment really. This week has been rather gloomy. I actually haven't left the house since I got back from padel Sunday morning and not looking on leaving it again until I go back to the padel court on Friday... That's how it is when I'm tired of being the motor, and planner, and executor. If I don't plan and organise anything, and nudge the people around me, days just roll by, at the house. Nobody else seems unhappy about it, and obviously it's my own responsibility to look after my own mental well-being, but sometimes I just don't have it in me. Hopefully it'll come back soon.
Pasta alla panna with left-over salad for dinner.

Day 308, Thursday 7 January
Today I decided to beat the slump and went outside for a walk. It helped, even though the scenery around here is not exactly pretty, it changed my mood. I let my exam work rest today and sorted some of the kitchen cupboards instead. Mongolian Beef for dinner.
I got a late call to do an Express Tour in the museum tomorrow, and of course I said yes! So the rest of the evening I spent going over my notes to refresh and to plan the tour. So exciting!

Day 309, Friday 8 January
I was up bright and early and got ready to get to the museum in good time before my tour. How good was that to be "back in the saddle", aaahhh! Made my week! Then straight from the museum to the padel court, my two favourite things in one day! Nathan and I played Simon and Charlotta.

Ordered pizza for dinner and watched a few more episodes of 'Cobra Kai' - what a good day!

Day 310, Saturday 9 January

Woke up with a massive headache that luckily got cured by coffee. Love coffee, by far my biggest vice, would never give it up!
Another homely day. Nathan hurt himself playing padel yesterday, so he has been mostly resting his foot on the sofa. Made chicken shawarmas for dinner, with homemade slaw, chili sauce and  hummus. Yum!

Ten months later

Late Thursday evening I got a call from the Louvre Abu Dhabi for a last minute tour Friday morning, and being the kind of "jump-into-the-deep"-person that I am - of course I said yes. For obvious reasons, my last tour was over ten (!) months ago, so I did get a little bit nervous, but also so so excited!

It was the best feeling ever Friday morning to get to suit up, put on some make-up and dress nicely for WORK, and I made sure I got to the museum first thing. I wanted to have time for a quick walk about to double-check if anything had changed since last time I was there.
New glittery socks for the occasion!

The tour was a VIP tour with one guest who was really lovely, and it went really well!
Of course I had gone through all my notes the night before in preparation, but I still was amazed at how much information was retained in my head once I started looking for it! Sometimes when I don't "use" certain information, I feel like it fades away.

It was SO much fun to get to conduct a tour again, to see some colleagues, to be with the guests (with distance of course), to present the museum narrative, to educate and discuss, and tell the stories of the artwork. I had missed it so, so much.

Can you envisage that big smile behind the mask?
Oh how I LOVE this job!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Coronacleaning, round 2

In the beginning of the pandemic, last spring while we were in lockdown, I went through the whole house and gave it a real clear out and clean up. Felt real good, but - since that's been a while already, it's time to start all over again!

This week we got stuck into a project we have been discussing for a while, to get an extra drinks fridge to free up some space in the normal fridge. You know, for actual food and such..!

We wanted to keep it in our storage room but weren't entirely sure how to go about it, so in the end we pulled everything out of the storage room to sort of start from scratch. It was a good thing, because we haven't really cleaned under those shelves since we put them there years ago.
Seeing all the stuff out of that room made me wonder how it would all fit back in though...

But of course it did, it's like Tetris! Found a good space for the fridge and took the opportunity to reshuffle a bit to optimize the use of that room. So pleased now!

And the new fridge got stocked real quick! Cheers!

Monday, 4 January 2021

1558 km

Yes, the school holidays are over for the kids, but for me there is honestly no big difference in the rhythm of daily life. Every day is pretty much the same, as it has been for the last many, many... many months now... I basically only leave the house these days to go play padel, other than that we try to do most of our shopping online, both for groceries and other things, and many days I don't even go outside at all.

My exercise streak is very much alive though, I'm "closing the rings" every day; usually by walking on the treadmill (such a good buy!) while watching Swedish TV. On Saturdays I get to watch the 'På Spåret'-show which aired the night before in Sweden:

Out of curiosity I tallied up all the kilometers I walked last year, both inside and outside but yes, mostly on the treadmill. I managed to walk 1558 km in 2020! To my surprise when I was looking for something that distance, I realised that the length of Sweden is 1574 km!!! Argh, had I known I would've pushed for those last few kilometers..! But close though! Next year I'll go the whole way!

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Covid be gone

We are lucky to live in a country where the nationwide vaccine program allows anyone who wants to, to now have the Covid-vaccine. Frontline workers and others alike have been vaccinated already, and now it is available everywhere to the general population.

I know some people are sceptical, and I would advise you to do your own research. Maybe talk to your family doctor if you have questions, and read up about the vaccines beforehand, to be able to make an informed decision.
I do agree with vaccinations, so I decided to go for it.

I could have the vaccine here at the Etihad Medical Center, and it was a really straightforward process. Didn't take long, I felt really comfortable and the nurse made sure it didn't hurt at all. I am rather squeamish around needles, but couldn't even feel it. Next dose in three weeks, and then I'm covered.

Now I feel like a superhero! Feels good doing my part to beat this - #ForAllOfUs!

Friday, 1 January 2021

January COVID status

First day of 2021, and let's check in on the current COVID-situation, why not!

To encourage further testing, the price of PCR tests was reduced in early December to AED 85 in all SEHA screening centers across Abu Dhabi. That is quite a change from the initial AED 370 cost, which was reduced first to AED 250 in September, and a few weeks later to AED 180.

At the same day, 9 December, Abu Dhabi very excitingly announced that most restrictions would be lifted within the next two weeks (and we all crossed our fingers around what that would mean); and Sweden finally proposed a temporary pandemic law, to be able to better control the outbreak.
What it meant was that Abu Dhabi opened its borders again for tourism on the 24 December. Although only travelers from the 'Green List' (which currently only have 16 countries on it, Greenland being the only European destination) can come here without having to do quarantine. Tourists from the rest of the world still has to do 10 days quarantine. So not much "tourism" going on just yet.

Coming into Abu Dhabi from the other emirates has gone back to requiring only two PCR-tests now, one at the border and one after 6 days. Hopefully this will go very soon so we can go see our friends in Dubai, we miss them. 

Also, the school start for the Spring Term was just changed, with e-learning in place for all students for the first two weeks of term. My fear is that it will keep getting pushed back... and there will be no school face-to-face at all for the poor MYP grade students. It's all so frustrating, as EVERYTHING else is open. Everything. Large events are organised (yes, where people are urged to social distance, but come on...); and even more frustrating because life down the road in Dubai is so completely different to here - and we are supposed to be one country.

The numbers from today:
* 1,856 new cases today. Apparently the highest number of new cases since the start of the pandemic. Why they never present it percentage wise compared to the amount of tests, I don't know. This was from 145,163 tests.
* 1577 recovered cases, and 2 new deaths bringing the total of deaths to 671.
* Number of total diagnosed cases in the UAE stands at 209,678. Globally the cases are now at just over 83,5M with just over 1,8M deaths.


1st of January, a whole new book full of blank pages. Nathan always says start the way you mean to finish, so on the first day of the new year we spent most of the afternoon - down at the padel court!
There was eight of us playing so we had booked both courts and did a little mini-tournament, without it being all too serious.

Lucas and Valle teamed up and held their own against the adults, they won one match!
It was great fun! I'm really happy we have found this sport that we can play together, and I'm excited about having made all these new friends, and about all the padel we will be playing in the new year!

Happy New Year!

So here we are in 2021, so far so good!

Our New Years Eve was spent like most other nights this year, at home, just us. We had fondue for dinner, as per tradition. It always feels like a bit of a gamble, but no trip to the ER this year !


Best tradition ever by the way, I love not having to plan a special menu every year, nor does it demand hours of preparation. 

While waiting for midnight we played a couple of rounds of Pictionnary.

Then we grabbed our bread and our coins and jumped off our chairs into 2021 - Happy New Year!
Here's our first photo of the new year:
There was fireworks to see both from our balcony, we can just make out some of the highest fireworks from Yas Island, and on the TV, from the Burj Khalifa.

While some went to bed, some went to game - Linnea and I then finished our evening by watching the movie 'New Years Eve' until rather late into the night. Quiet but cosy New Years Eve!