Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Life goes on

As much as you feel like the world should stop turning when something like this happens, it doesn't. Life goes on. We do to, get up in the mornings, get the kids to school, Nathan is working and I get on with my things. We do our best to keep up, one day at a time.

Last night I went for dinner with the tour guide gang. It was really nice to catch up again after everybody's been gone for the summer, even though it was also a sad occasion as it was a farewell for one of the girls; actually one of the best guides Abu Dhabi has - Anne. We will all miss her terribly, she's been like the Mother Hen of the group, always there with a good story, advice and support.

At least September is nearly half done, and I actually have my first tour of the season already this week. I'm so excited to get started again! It is a Louvre Abu Dhabi tour, so I have spent quite a few days lately recapping all the information, adding in the new knowledge I've acquired over the summer and studying the newest temporary exhibition there "Rendez-vous à Paris". I joined the training on it, run by the curators, really interesting:

They've rehung a few paintings and other pieces during the summer, and there is also a new installation 'Für die Air', now the big piece in the last gallery:

I have also spent a lot of time studying the building much more extensively this week, as the tour on Friday is with a group of architects.

Finally I am also in full swing with a university course I've chosen to enroll in this term. It's a full time course actually (not sure what I was thinking?!) at Uppsala University - Art History A. SO MUCH to read and learn, but so right for me - I love it! The Modul 1 examination is coming up in only a few weeks, so I'm working hard on that... reading... reading... I feel like my brain is on fire!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Tough times

This is a very tough blog post to write, during a very rough time for our family.
Even if this feels very private, it would feel weird not talking about this big, big loss we are experiencing.
Nathan's parents Bruce and Yvonne both passed last week, two days apart.

They both had been battling cancer for quite a while. Unfortunately there was only one way it was going, so they decided to stop their treatment instead of, like Nathan's Dad Bruce said "keep running a race with no finish line".
Nathan flew out to NZ, and was with them their last week.

As sad as it is, we are trying to focus on the fact that they are in no more pain now, and that they were together, until the end. I'm also so grateful that we have so many happy memories to cherish, both from here, Brunei, the UK and other places we've been together - but above all from our trips to NZ. I'm thankful the kids are old enough to keep remembering them. ❤️ We will miss them deeply.

Here are just a few of those favourite memories:

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Like a broken record

I feel like I should post again... as it's been over a week that we've been back. But as per usual, I'm not in the perkiest mood, so to make it easy for myself I'll just copy and paste from last year's return:

Thursday, 30 August 2018

That sad September

We've been back almost a full week from this years summer holidays, and I guess it's about time to write that 'Hey we're back!'-post. Not that I haven't had time, ha ha, time is all I have; more because I haven't really wanted to.
Last year, I experienced my return was different to the years before and I was feeling happy and upbeat. (In hindsight, it was probably because I had just spent nearly TWELVE weeks with the kids 24/7 more than anything else, ha ha!)

This year, I feel I'm back to square one, or even minus fifteen or whatever the expression would be - I am back to feeling exactly like I did in 2015 and 2016, and worse yet. The words ugly, blergh, prison, gloom, boredom, beige and loneliness still resonate very much with me.

We've been back a whole week, and I've seen one friend for coffee, the neighbours came over for a G&T one evening and... well... I've been to the supermarket once and to the movies once. The rest of the time, I've mostly been sat here, as per usual. Making time pass, trying to figure out how I'll get through this soggy September, before the weather calms down a bit, job picks up a bit and life happens again.

I've stopped being hopeful that things might change, instead I focus on what I can rely on:
I can rely on feeling better when I can go outside and not melt away; I can rely on feeling accomplished when I'll start guiding again. I also rely on knowing that I enjoy so much having guests, and since we'll have four different families come over during October and November it'll be a fun and busy fall.
I just have to get through "Sad September"...

- - - - - - - - - -
This year has been pretty much the same. I've been to the supermarket, I've had our neighbour Rory over as he's without family here at the moment, Linda has come for a quick coffee and I've driven the kids to see their friends. That's it.

Yes, I know, I sound like a broken record. That's just how it is this time of the year, it really isn't that upbeat and I just don't know how to turn that around. I guess with time I've just accepted it and I try to embrace it and most importantly just get through it.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Wrapping up the summer holidays

And just like that the summer holiday in Scandinavia was done and dusted for this year.

Time to say goodbye, in the rain, quite fitting, always a bit sad of course.

Thank you to family and friends for creating lovely summer memories with us! 💖

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

That one bike ride

After our little tour of Denmark and south of Sweden - where we after Hybholts also stopped in with the Robertsons in Helsingborg, but the only photo I took there was of their dog, Rafa - ...

... we returned to Skara for the last time this summer. Unfortunately we had to cut the holiday short, so what should have been a week there, ended up being only a few days.
Enough to go for that one bike ride though - take out and air the Boardman a little bit! We did my 15 km loop around Stenum and town together, in the evening sun. Lovely!

Monday, 19 August 2019


After a few days catching up with everybody in Copenhagen, we crossed over the bridge to Sweden and went to see our friends the Hybholts for a few days.

We are so lucky that they come seen us in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks each October, but it's nice of course to catch up and stay at theirs while we are in Sweden as well.

For some reason I didn't take many photos there either... Just these few.

Thursday, 15 August 2019


Well, this will be an odd blog post... as we've just spend four whole days in Copenhagen and somehow, I ended up not taking a SINGLE picture of anybody of our friends. How's that even possible?! I don't know, we sure was busy seeing people!
To be honest it was a bit of an unusual stay this time, for different reasons, so there you go - the only pictures I took were these:

 Candy factory:

It was Pride-week:

And food, glorious food!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Happy 17th

So we've been back to Mormor and Morfar for a few days, before heading south tomorrow to continue part two of the holidays, together with Daddy. The last night here for this time we went to have dinner at Pinchos in Lidköping, one of the kids' favourites.

In a way it was also a celebration for our 17th wedding anniversary! Even if Nathan wasn't there it's a day worth being festive! Happy Anniversary!

Friday, 9 August 2019

Heart full

And just like that, four days with this crew is over. But I'm grateful we managed to make it happen this summer as well, not always a given. My heart is full.

Thursday, 8 August 2019


One day we did an excursion to Borgvik. We lured the kids to come along with the promise to go eat some ice cream, but we also did some walking around the area.

Here at the Borgvik mill they started production of iron in the 17th century. The iron was exported to many places across the world, for example the Eiffel Tower in Paris is partly built with iron here from Borgvik.

Then we found a lake where the kids could go swimming for a bit. They really enjoyed jumping off this pontoon. It was rather chilly, probably our last swim for the summer I would think!