Thursday, 31 May 2018

Last day of May

Five whole weeks to go before summer holidays still. Five. Time really seems to go excruciatingly slow at the moment, each day just drags on and on.
Someone has turned up the heat again, and above all the humidity, for real this past week. The temperatures are soaring. No more running outside here for me now, that's it. I'm glad I met my goal at least, but now the real challenge is to keep at it and not loose the fitness until I go to Scandinavia.

At least it's the last day of May. Finally.
It's been a painful month to spend on social media (what else to do when you are confined to inside living...), since my whole feed has been full of picnics, summer, greenery, lilacs, BBQ evenings, friends hanging out, boat premiers and everything else outdoorsy, summery and lovely. It's actually been the warmest month of May in Sweden since 1889..!
Of course I don't begrudge the Scandinavians some sun and warmth, they certainly deserve it after the long winter they had. But, somewhere inside of me a small, small voice is thinking "You just wait until October when you all are back inside, and it's all dark and cold... I'll be posting sunny pictures EVERY day!"

It's not great to wish time away, but May and June really are my least favourite months here. I feel like a zombie on house arrest and can't wait to start living again. Those summer holidays can't come fast enough!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

I did it!!

I am now officially a C25K-graduate! (=Couch to 5k) On Sunday night I finally ran the 5k, yay for me!

Yes, I've done it before, years ago I even did some 10k races. At that time there wasn't many events in Brunei so I traveled to both Hong Kong and Singapore to race, which was fun, but it was a rather short-lived interest. Running never really was my thing.

I still don't think it is, really. But I have surprisingly enjoyed my runs this time around. I've made it so easy for myself, just running around our neighbourhood. Very time efficient not to have to drive anywhere to work out. I've been listening to podcasts and enjoyed being outside. The first few runs I could do in the mornings, and lately I've been running after sunset.
It took me 5 weeks and 30 training runs to reach the ability to run non-stop for 5 km. I've documented each run with a selfie, here are a few from along the way, some happier than others..!

I'm not quite sure where I'll go from here, probably try work on the speed? I'm the slowest runner I know, but at least I don't stop! The issue right now as I'm getting fitter (and maybe even faster?), is that it's also getting hotter. So it all kind of equates each other and I don't seem to get any further in the same amount of time! On Sunday night during my run it was 35 degrees...
I guess my goal for these last weeks until summer holiday is not to loose the fitness, so that I'll be able to run while in Scandinavia too.

Maybe I should download an app with the 10k-program..?

Monday, 28 May 2018

My Mother's Day

Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy celebrating all the different special days in the calendar, everything from Valentines Day and Halloween to Easter and birthdays. I've created our own traditions for the first day of Summer Holidays and our house looks like Santa's grotto during Christmas time.
When it comes to Mother's Day it's a little bit complicated as there are so many different Mother's Days celebrated on different dates, but at least the Swedish one is the last one so the kids get a few reminders along the way. This year I might have dropped a few reminding hints as well..!

I had a lovely day, already from the morning when Linnea had prepared a surprise wake-up: "Follow the string"..! How exciting!

The string led me all the way down to my desk, where a flag, a home made card and a gift was waiting for me!

The rest of the day was celebrated with Linnea cooking dinner and with some yummy cakes for dessert - I had to do the dishes myself though; maybe next year I can wish for a Mother's Day without having to do any chores, ha ha!

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Swedish Midsummer - in May?!

Well, Swedish Midsummer normally always falls on the Friday closest to the summer solstice (19-25th June), but this year Swedish Midsummer happened already last Friday here in the sandpit! Reason being that our hosts are leaving for their summer holiday already this week, and didn't want to break tradition, so they had to host their annual party slightly early.

I don't think nobody did mind though, as the weather is still enjoyable in the evenings, so we could celebrate outside - on a yacht!

Me, Annica and Sandra:

Food, food, glorious yummy food!

It was a great boat trip! I had worried a bit about getting seasick, but as we only sailed back and forth along the Corniche there was no waves at all, smooth and nice.

And just like last year I somehow ended up in charge of bringing home the Midsummer pole... It was easier in my own car this time though, no need to stick it out the windows!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A big surprise

While the kids and I have seen in Ramadan this week, been to school, been running and just getting on with normal stuff; Nathan executed a big surprise that had been planned for a while. He is on leave this week, so he went on a flying visit down to NZ for Grandma's birthday.

Bruce & Yvonne sure were amazed when he all of a sudden turned up on their doorstep in Kinloch the other night, having arrived in Auckland and passed by his sister first, and then got a lift with a good family friend, Michael.

It's cold in NZ at the moment, but they've had a good time together. Gone shopping in Taupo town for some NZ necessities, enjoyed good food and each other's company. Today was the actual birthday, and I'm sure it must have felt extra special for Yvonne having Nathan there.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Monday, 14 May 2018


This weekend I did my, probably, last work days for the season. It was another huge incentive group, and our team of tour guides were hired to help out with the airport transfers, excursions and dinner transfers.
Here's a few of us doing airport arrivals the other day:

We also accompanied the guests on an evening excursion to a purpose built desert camp by the Al Maha Resort in Dubai. You can imagine it's quite a machinery shuttling 800 people around! Some guests had dressed up to get the full experience..:

Arriving in the desert they were met by a red carpet lined with lanterns, so pretty. As per usual the camp had a souk, some camels, falcons, henna ladies, BBQ food and entertainment in the shape of belly dancers and fire dancers. The guests all came back to the buses having had a great time.

This is a different type of work to my normal city tours. There is a lot more of managing with these big groups of people, and in general try to be on hand to be helpful. Also more socializing and answering questions, and less "guiding". I enjoy it every now and then for a change, at least when each work day passes without too many issues...

Sunday morning I took a group of guests to the Falcon Hospital, one of my favourite excursion spots. It was a great visit for the guests, they really got to be hands on with the falcons, and were all very pleased with their trip.

Even I got a photo with one of the falcons this time! New profile picture for my Instagram account!

Mostly I enjoy getting to see and spend some time with the other tour guides during these big events. It's a nice feeling to be part of a team, and it's a really fun bunch of girls. We've had such a good time this weekend!

Last night we did dinner transfers as the guests were all going to the Emirates Palace for their last evening, and a Gala Dinner in the Ramadan tent there. It felt like being at the Oscars when the guests  came out to the buses, so many slick looking suits and pretty dresses! A great night!
Although us guides didn't take part in the gala dinner itself, of course, we still got to enjoy the lovely atmosphere of the Emirates Palace for the evening.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Hey good lookin'!

I have been wanting to check out the new track at Masdar for a while, and mentioned to Nathan that I might take the bike over there one day. Lucas heard and wanted to tag along, so tonight we suited up and went for a little exploration ride.

He on his racer, and me on the mountain bike. And, might I add - me in a brand new kit (which has been hanging in my wardrobe for ages...)! All in blue and yellow Swedish colours, completely on purpose of course! Look how spiffy I looked!

I guess they are going to make the Masdar Track into a loop eventually. As it is now, it measures 4,2 km from start to end. We entered somewhere halfway coming from home, and went to the end one way before turning back and going to the start the other way.

The start is at the Masdar Park, not far from the airport. It's a really well maintained track, one side for bike riders and one for runners. We only saw a few other bikers, most people were running or walking, but quite a few were out, which made me happy.

You can follow your progress thanks to the markers on the track:

Along the track I saw four of these outdoor "gyms", with a few machines at each one. Great idea if you are running to do a few pit stops along the way for some strength training.

And the after-picture, 40 minutes later. A great way to spend some time with Lucas, although he thought I was way too slow for him...