Saturday, 30 April 2016

Walpurgis 2016

Pia and I realized a while ago, that it had been forever since we had done a Dubai Day - just us, no kids, no husbands, no plans, no stress. Aaaahhh, lovely - and did we have a fantastic day!

We started at the Gold & Diamond Park, surprise, surprise. Pia was picking up a certificate for a friend, we got our rings polished, and I wanted to have a look at a few pieces I had been eyeing up on Pinterest. I ended up scratching some off the wish list, determine a firm favourite as "what I'm getting next" - and also get a little something, that had been on the wish list for a while.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Dubai Garden Center. They have a really lovely café there, with nice healthy food. We've been there before and it's quite a favourite:

We then went to Mirdif City Center, another favourite, my favourite mall in Dubai. It has all my best shops, and some! We managed to cover it all, shop a few essentials and have a well needed coffee break at Cinnabon, even though we only had a few hours.

In the late afternoon we went out to the Swedish Church to take part in their Walpurgis Celebrations.

This last day of April spells Walpurgis Eve, or Valborg, in Sweden. Spring is traditionally greeted with songs and bonfires at public gatherings all over the country.
Even here in the UAE we celebrated with a bonfire (in the 35+ degrees still at 6pm!) - and a small choir singing the traditional songs!

Lighting the bonfire:

Quite a few Swedes had gathered to celebrate, of course there was also Swedish 'fika', with yummy pastries; and different activities for the kids.
A rather lovely end to a great day, although I always get a bit sentimental on occasions like this. Singing along to "Vintern Rasat..." was no exception!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Another week gone

Another week has come and gone. Life rolls on. This week was a "normal" week, nothing out of the normal routine happened. Nathan worked, kids went to school, I had a few Zumba classes; those kind of things.

Nathan and I finally got on with sorting things in our bedroom this week. We both have not been sleeping well at all lately, so we went to IKEA to get a new, softer mattress pad; AND we also got a new chest of drawers, for all the things we (well, Nathan mostly) store up there.
Initially we had bookshelves, but I couldn't stand looking at all the mess all the time, so now we have a chest of drawers. Not only does it swallow more stuff, it also looks a lot neater. It was a big one though, so it was a bit of a marriage tester to put it together, it took us a whole morning! Lots of boxes!

Continuing in the spirit of tidying up, I decided to go through all our wardrobes and cull through ALL our clothes, sort out anything that is not being used, or not in the right size anymore. Especially Linnea seems to have changed size lately, all of a sudden NONE of her shorts fit (must have all been bought around the same time and in the same size). I was really thorough so my sorting out generated a lot of bags. Some will go to friends and some will be donated. Feels so good.

A new thing this week was me going to... the GYM! Yes, really!
Etihad has their own gyms in a few different places in Abu Dhabi, and one of them is in Etihad Plaza, just 5 minutes away. Employees and spouses can use them, for free! I've been before, only a few times, but not for a while. Now I'm on a new mission, going to try and keep a good exercise routine up all the way until the end of term. This week I went three times so I'm feeling good!

Lucas had a friend over for a sleepover, and Nathan took them to the Adventure HQ in Yas Mall last night while Linnea and I went to the movies to see the Jungle Book:

Today the sorting out and tidying up continued. Linnea and I attacked her room which was in dire need of a clean-up. This is when we had got about half-way, and started to loose speed a bit...:

We have decided to move her furniture around to change it up a bit, but we didn't manage to finish it all today so watch this space!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Best day in a long time

Today we got a taste of the good life here in Abu Dhabi! We spent a day on the sea, invited by our German neighbours to do a trip with their boat, out to a beach not far from downtown Abu Dhabi. This was the first time for us seeing that part of Abu Dhabi, the Corniche, the Emirates Palace and the coast line, from the water - gorgeous!

They have their boat down in the Emirates Palace Marina, beautiful, beautiful place to set off from.

Obviously we got a good look of the Emirates Palace, here with the Etihad Towers in the background. (All familiar views for fans of the 'Fast and Furious'- franchise, these buildings featured in the latest movie.)

Emma the boat dog:

Kids had a fab time together with Leni:

Look at the colour of that water...!

We set up camp on the beach, had picnic and enjoyed the sun, sea, sand and the breeze:

Gazelles roam free on this piece of land. This picture is not very good, but they are there, in the far..:

It was easier to spot their footprints!

Karin, Emma and I, and Holger driving the boat:

Beautiful views of Abu Dhabi:

The beautiful Presidential Palace:

I feel like I've been on holiday, for a day! Such a great day, just what was needed to recharge the batteries for another week, and to fight off the spring blues for a little while longer. Aaahhh!

Most improved player of the Year

Here's a little clip of when Linnea received her award yesterday:

Harlequins Award Ceremony

Rugby season is over and yesterday the club gathered together at the Novotel to celebrate this years achievements.
Every year group got together, the coaches got to say a few thank yous and sum up the season, and the players all got medals. Also three awards were handed out in each year group - 'Player of the Year'-award, 'Spirit of Rugby'-award and 'Most improved player of the Year'-award.

Here's Linnea and her big group of U12 Girls, led by Coach Eileen, who unfortunately will be leaving Abu Dhabi this summer. Such a huge loss for the rugby club, she has been so committed and involved, especially in her U12s. 

All the players got medals:

And guess who picked up an award in her year group?! 'Most improved player of the Year'! SO surprised, and SO proud!

Linnea and Coach Eileen:

We had time for some lunch and some play, before it was Lucas' turn. Pizza on the grass, with a lovely breeze, quite a nice Friday lunch:

Lucas U12s team was not so well represented, it seemed like only about half the squad was there:


Group photo on the beach:

A great ending to the season!

Friday, 22 April 2016

Birthday fun at the Splash Park

Yesterday we were invited to come celebrate the 5th birthday of our favourite twins, at the Khalifa Splash Park. What a great place! I didn't even know it existed, only a few blocks from us - big open spaces, a playground, a splash area, a sports court and big lawns.

Mind you, our kids might be slightly too old for this type of playground to go there and spend an afternoon on their own; but together with a bunch of other kids, like yesterday - perfect!

Actually, for being end of April, the temperatures in the afternoon some days are still rather enjoyable. We had a lovely time, kids playing in the playground and participating in party games on the grass, eating pizza and devouring birthday cake.

Look at this amazing Peppa Pig cake, complete with ferris wheel and all!
Happy Birthday little ones!