Saturday, 28 September 2019

My two hats

I checked my calendar the other day and could happily notice that the season for me this year has started over three weeks earlier than last year. I have already done a few tours even though we are not even in October yet! Wearing both my "hats", as a Tour Guide, and as a Louvre Abu Dhabi Guide.

I did an Architectural Tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi the other day. It was a group that wanted a visit on the building, the area and the concept rather than the art. First tour with that specific focus for me, and I had lots of fun researching and reading up on all the technical info (that we normally don't include in a General Visit tour), and the tour went really well.

I really enjoy the new temporary exhibition currently at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, 'Rendez-vous à Paris'. It's covering the years from the turn of the 20th century to the WWII, when Paris was a hive of creativity and attracted artists from all over the world to come and get inspired and work there; focusing on the immigrant artists, like Van Dongen, Chagall, Delaunay, Modigliani, Brancusi and many more. Here below Picasso and Max Beckmann:

One of the two cool live performing art creations roaming the museum at the moment, to highlight the temporary exhibition. This is Cocteau, created as a tribute to the 1917 ballet 'Parade' for which he wrote the one-act scenario, Picasso created the set and costumes and Eric Satie the music:

I also had my first "normal" city tour this week, a full day private Abu Dhabi Tour with one guest. Yes, having just one guest could sometimes be heavier than having a whole bus load, but this lady was wonderful and it was like showing a friend around. Another good day at work!

So now I have got my feet wet after the long summer holiday, both here and there. The brain is switched back on and I'm in work mode. I can almost physically feel how my whole existence is slowly cranking up a gear or two, and - I LOVE it! Bring it!

Friday, 27 September 2019

Happy Birthday

Nathan's 46th birthday came and went this week. Unfortunately without any big celebrations as it was a working day for him, school and work day for the rest of us as well.
But we celebrated him in the morning at least, as per tradition:

(We had slept in the guest room as our AC decided to pack up in the middle of the night...)
Singing, presents and confetti, and pancakes for breakfast! All you need to make a day extra special!

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 too, 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:

Monday, 2 September 2019

First day of school 2019-2020

Unfortunately we had to brave what I call "hell-on-earth"... the uniform shop... only a few days before school start this year. It is always a pain, firstly it's out of the way to get to, plus always full of people, all kids are cranky because they need to try on all the different pieces of uniform, which never fit properly. But we managed, and I got the kids all new uniform for the year to come.

Luckily I'm still allowed to take their picture for this yearly occasion, but I was told this time "only at home Mum, not at school!" Ha ha!
Time for Grade 8 and Grade 10. Good luck, study hard!