Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Big girl desk

Linnea's room has had yet another make-over recently. Now that she's going into Middle School she needs less space for her little trinkets, and more space for her school work. There was no way the old desk would have room for her laptop, school books and notes etc all at once. So we sold her old desk, and got her a bigger one.

This was how it was before, although since this picture was taken we had also removed the collection of Schleich animals, and the shelving is now housing photos and decorations.

 And now:

Much better!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Oh, the places you'll go

Today was a big dag for our Linnea, it was her Graduation Day from PYP to MYP (=Primary School to Middle School). The teachers and staff had prepared a wonderful Promotion Ceremony for all the Grade 5 kids, and the auditorium was full to the brim with proud parents and other family members.
We had been out to buy a new dress for the occasion and we got up extra early this morning to put the hair up in a pretty bun with blue flowers.

The auditorium was decorated with fairy lights, silver and blue stars and balloons and a long red carpet as the theme was "Oscar-style". There was a few speeches from the Head Master and a few of the teachers, and also we got a recap of the EY1-Grade 5 years, by the students.

Then they were presented with their certificates:

A short movie clip of the receiving of the certificate:


Also we got to listen to "Oh, the places you'll go", recited by all six Grade 5 classes.

A glittery confetti rain to end the ceremony!

After the ceremony we were invited up to the Grade 5 classrooms, to continue the celebration and have a look at a lovely student tribute, prepared by their teachers:

The whole ceiling was covered in the Grade 5's baby photos, and all their aspirations for the future, very cute!

Proud parents:

Linnea with her Grade 5 teacher, Miss Kim:

It really felt like the last day of school with all these festivities, but no, we still have a few days to go before school is out next Thursday. 

We took one happy little graduate for lunch though as they were dismissed early. Nutella pancakes seemed fitting to celebrate the big promotion!
Bring on Middle School!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Midsummer at sea

Last night I was invited to celebrate Swedish Midsummer with the Hiebsch, who hosts a Midsummer party every year. My trusty homemade IKEA-wreath came out again! (This year I might actually even wear it for our "proper" Swedish Midsummer (on the 23rd) - IN Sweden!)

The Hiebsch' Midsummer party tradition stretches 13 years back through six different countries and this was their third party here in Abu Dhabi.
Last year we celebrated on their huge balcony, but this year they had organized for us all to have the Midsummer dinner on a dhow, at sea. It was absolutely lovely!

Of course we had to wait for the Ramadan cannons at sunset to be able to dig into all the lovely food, so in the meantime we all helped decorating the boat in blue and yellow colours:

Swedish girls and their flower wreaths, with Johanna:

All the ladies:

 And all the guys:

Happy Midsummer!!

We sailed out from Yas Marina, and further along the coast for about an hour before we turned back. Enjoyed some delicious food and drink and some sing-song sing-a-longs to Peter's guitar, and of course traditional strawberry cake.
Thanks to the breeze, it didn't really feel like the 37 degrees it still was even at night.

Together with Linda and Johan:

Returning into the marina you would've thought that the Viceroy knew we were having a Swedish celebration, as it was all lit up in blue and yellow too!

We had quite an interesting taxi ride together with the Midsummer pole... it had to stick out the window a little bit on one side to fit..:

Annica and I at the after-party:

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Majestic Princess

Yesterday we finished off the cruise season here in Abu Dhabi by receiving the huge cruise ship Majestic Princess as it docked in Abu Dhabi for the day. I was hired together with 44 (!) other guides, to take some of the 3600 passengers on a city tour.

The arrival of this ship marked a first for receiving a ship this far into the summer, AND also during Ramadan, which obviously was a tough one for the guests who were mostly elderly people.

The reason this ship came so late in the season was that it is on a special one-off trip. This ship only launched in March, and this trip was scheduled to move it from Barcelona to its new home port of Shanghai. It has passed through Europe, Aqaba in Jordan and Dubai on the way and after Abu Dhabi it will be continuing on to India and further throughout Asia, to eventually end up in China.
Some of the guests were going to be on the ship for the whole trip - 57 days!

Yesterday was a very hot day, 43 degrees, but all my guests took it in their stride and they had a lovely visit to the Grand Mosque, the Heritage Village and the Fish Market amongst other sights. I do believe that they enjoyed the drive-by sightseeing from the air-conditioned bus the most though..!

So that's it for this season!
I hope that next season brings a bit more work for me, so that I get a good routine going. I so enjoy guiding, but mostly I enjoy the encounters and the conversations I share with the guests.

Monday, 29 May 2017


It was a big day for Lucas yesterday, after 1 1/2 years he was finally getting rid of his braces!

He had a canine which didn't come down properly, so he had braces fitted in October 2015. He has been so good with them, never complained or whined; brushed really well, sorted out his bands himself and always happily went to the orthodontist at each checkup.

He was really excited to finally see his teeth again, and a bit surprised about how it felt in his mouth without the braces.

He hadn't told anyone at school as he was excited to see today if anyone noticed, hence why I had to wait a day to blog about it..! He was so proud checking out his new smile, made my heart swell.

One down, one to go. Once we get back after the summer holiday, Linnea needs to get fitted too as this stubborn canine seems to run in the family. Although as she has a one-sided cross bite, she needs to have that adjusted first, before the actual braces can be fitted to sort out the canine.

Grand is an understatement

Today I would like to repost one of my best shots of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, one of my absolute favourite places here in Abu Dhabi:

I just read yesterday that the Grand Mosque was just announced to be ranked, once again, second on the popular travel site TripAdvisors Travelers' Choice list of most popular landmarks around the world. (It was only beaten out by Angkor Wat in Cambodia.)

Every year TripAdvisor let their users vote on the worlds' top hotels, airlines, beaches, museums, restaurants, attractions etc; and according to their users, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the 2017 second most popular landmark IN THE WORLD.

So what are you waiting for? Book a flight, come stay in our guest room and go visit the most beautiful mosque in the world!