Thursday, 31 December 2020

It wasn't all bad

So 2020 has finally come to an end after what feels like 438 months and counting... Many people recap their year when we get close to the New Year and this year is no different, I have seen quite a few posts and memes wrapping up 2020 in different ways.
If you read back this first post I wrote of 2020, it was so full of anticipation and excitement for the new year - I almost feel like I jinxed it right there and then!

No for sure, there will be no magic big bang at midnight making it all go away. But now finally seeing an end to this godforsaken year brings at least a little bit of comfort. It will get better. One day we will be able to hang out and spend more time with each other, and HUG (!) each other again - and with each day passed we are one day closer to that day!

This year sure has been challenging in so, so many ways we never expected, but I do think it's still worth to be celebrated, for the simple things that happened or for what we learned. If I have realised anything this year, is that life is all about the smaller things. ♥︎

And remember - even if you didn't turn pandemic-productive and learn a new language, how to bake sourdough bread or redesign your backyard; even if all you did was to get through each day - that's OK too, and certainly worth celebrating!

For the new year I am wishing you all love in your life and hope in your heart.
Happy 2021!

Corona Diary, Day 297-300

Day 297, Sunday 27 December
Petra is out of town, so this morning I brought Lucas to padel coaching instead. We had a really good session! We have rather different strengths and weaknesses, but the coach got us to practice a fair few strokes, and play some games too. Fun, fun, fun!
Then it was time to take the kids to the drive-in center to do their PCRs for returning to school.

No... they are not going back in person until in two weeks time, so not quite sure either why this early. Every school had got a specific day their students were scheduled to do it. Just ticking the box I guess.
Linnea cooked tuna pasta for dinner. Happy not to have to cook myself, but really starting to think we should teach her some more signature meals she can revert to when it's her turn.

Day 298, Monday 28 December
Nathan went to work this morning, but the rest of us have been having a day at home. We have had a house guest though, so it was a bit special anyway! Really nice to have Emma, it had been a while:

I got started on my next Uni exam today, finally. It's really hard to get into gear, into the "now-Christmas-is-over-lets-get-back-to-routine"-feeling, considering every day has been pretty much the same for the past 10 months... But now I've started, yay. Only a few weeks until it has to be submitted.
McDonald's for dinner. Because Monday. Or something. Blergh.

Day 299, Tuesday 29 December
Padel again this morning, wii-hoo! Today we just played a game, Lucas, Nathan and I together with one of Nathan's colleagues, Murph. He had never played padel before but turned out to be a bit of a natural and completely outplayed me. I am a very sore loser. So I was in a foul mood for the rest of the day... Not so much for losing actually, but for not being a natural talent me too.
I took my foul mood and went to the LAD for a bit to cheer myself up. Needed to do some quick research for the next Uni exam due very soon.
Then I went to see 'The Seed' with a colleague of mine. The show itself was surprisingly short, only about 15 minutes, but it was nice to enjoy the sunset from the beach and with that view; and the show was rather magical.

Came home to Nathan having cooked a spinach and chicken lasagna, lucky me!

Day 300, Wednesday 30 December
Another padel morning, today Nathan and I played mixed with some new friends, Lotta and Simon. We had a really good game and have already booked in another game for the end of the week.
Linnea has been ploughing through all the 'Harry Potter'-movies the past few days, and today Dobby had died when we came back from padel, so she had a few tears.
We spent the afternoon and evening with some friends, good food, relaxed time and lots of chat and laughter, best evening in a long time!

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

The Seed

Last night I went to see 'The Seed', a temporary artwork installation situated on Jubail Island, floating on the water in the middle of the mangroves.

This installation was made by renowned British artist Es Devlin and it was part of the virtual celebrations for National Day 2020. They were only attended in person by the UAE leaders, but broadcast live on national TV earlier this month. Now you can come experience it for yourself, in this newly created beach area, where everybody is seated safely with social distance, of course.

I went with my colleague Termy and her family:

We arrived on site just after 5 pm and it was really lovely to sit there on the beach and just relax and enjoy the sunset over the floating cube and the Abu Dhabi skyline.

The work of art represents the evolution from seed to shoot, to flower and propagation:

The glowing cube moves and rotates, and the show is accompanied by music and projections on its surface.

The artist Es Devlin has got an impressive body of work which includes immersive installations, creative runways and stages for opera houses and theaters. She designed the London Olympic Closing Ceremony in 2012 and she has worked with artists like Beyoncé, U2 and Billie Eilish. She is also developing the UK Pavilion for the Expo 2020, the first woman to be commissioned to design a pavilion by the UK since 1851.

This experience was absolutely mesmerizing! If you have a chance, go see it - it's there until the end of January 2021.


So, a few days before the return to school, the physical school start was just pushed back another two weeks, "for the safety of the students, teachers and staff". A nice thought if it wasn't that there is already a number of restrictions in place which should be more than enough to keep the kids safe.
And what about their mental well-being? Being isolated at home (300 (!) days now, and counting) is really not doing any of them any good.

The same account which published these news, also published news about all the fireworks displays which will take place during the New Year celebrations, and about the Guinness World record attempt which will be at the big festival going on in the desert.
Everything else is open. Everything.
But letting the kids go to school under safe and restricted forms?? Nooo... that's too dangerous?!

It's really not making any sense. At all.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020


I checked my #TopNine from Instagram just before the Christmas posts this year, and these are the posts that got the most likes on my roll in 2020:

Considering what a year this has been, with not much going on, I'm happy to see that we have had quite a few celebrations anyway! My most liked photos have celebrated our wedding anniversary, the 20 years since we met, birthdays, someone becoming Swedish (...) - and greenery!

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Boxing Day 2020

Today we finally managed to have a big Zoom with the family in NZ. The time difference makes it a bit tricky, but this morning we finally got to catch up with them all and wish them too a Merry Christmas.

I also had a Zoom with the family in Sweden this afternoon. After a few technical difficulties it was really nice to see them all!

Other than that we didn't do much today. Nathan and I did a bit of exercise this morning, we all enjoyed the left-overs for lunch, everybody had free play and mostly chilled in the afternoon - just like a Christmas holiday should be!
We've been watching through the Die Hard-movies the past few nights, so I guess we will do the last one tonight, with more left-overs!

Friday, 25 December 2020

Christmas Day 2020

Christmas Day started as it should, with gift opening. Lucas looks a bit aggro, but I think it's just his concentrated face. He scored a game controller for his phone, the new AirPods, a book, a sports shirt and a t-shirt from Stussy, money - and a few other things which hasn't made it yet.

Linnea manged to look more happy. She got baking stuff, a cook book, sports clothes, money, new AirPods, Sims packs, a mug, a pencil case - and also a few other things that hasn't arrived yet.

And Nathan and I was there too! I got a new band for my Apple watch, a perfume (that Lucas had picked out because "it smelled like Mummy"); and a mug, a necklace and a Christmas decoration from Linnea.
Nathan got new white linen pants, a Rocket Book (a digital note book) and a mug too. (Plus I guess we should also count all our recent padel-related purchases as our Christmas gifts..!)

Linnea also got an IKEA trolley she had wished for, to keep her art stuff in. She had to build it by herself though, only needed some assistance in the very end.

Got dressed for the Christmas Dinner. Today I fought my new role as shortest in the family by wearing heels, although it didn't help much..!

We did a repeat of last years Christmas Dinner and ordered a Festive Hamper-box from The Westin, with a big turkey and all the trimmings already cooked and ready to serve.

Another fabulous meal.

I was going to redeem myself from my Pavlova Christmas Tree fail, and make a normal Pavlova for dessert. I'm not sure what is going on, but it didn't cook well today either! Aaargghh! So, we ended up having another Eton Mess looking dessert - crumbled meringue with fresh berries and ice cream. Still tasted great! (And as someone said - it's dark inside the tummy anyway!)

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

We decided to go out for lunch on Christmas Eve and save our Swedish Julbord to in the evening. I had seen that the café Linda and I went to a while back had gone all out with their decorations for Christmas, so I thought it was a good idea to go there to get a bit of a wintery feeling. 

Their decorations were really lovely, a Winter Wonderland in the middle of the desert! But unfortunately it seemed that their popularity had got the better of them as we had far from the same excellent experience as last time. Coffee was now served in paper cups and food was served with plastic cutlery; the things we wanted to order weren't available and the service was a shambles... a shame really, but there you go.

We ate and went back home to enjoy some afternoon snacks in front of 'Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul' at 3pm. As you should, if you are a real Swede (... or a real Swede over a certain age..!)

Did a Zoom with Mormor and Morfar, who were having their Christmas coffee in the sunshine!

In the evening we enjoyed my Swedish Julbord, and I must say - I was so proud of myself! Since IKEA didn't have any this year, I had had to cure the mustard herring from scratch (and it was sooo yum!). I had also made 'gubbröra', and Christmas spiced meatballs, a real Janssons and a really delicious salad with brussel sprouts, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and bacon. We also had ham and sausages, of course.

God Jul from us!