Saturday, 30 January 2021

Corona Diary, Day 325-331

Day 325, Sunday 24 January
I like starting my weeks by having Padel coaching. Today both Petra and I were a bit off though it seemed. We hit harder - but not really better - shots, ha ha; and the rallies didn't really happen. Ah well, I guess all sessions develop our game somewhat, even if we don't feel it ourselves at the day.
I also went to have my 2nd jab of the vaccine, so now I'm all done. Feels good.
An easy one-pot chicken pasta for dinner and Linnea, Nathan and I spent the evening trying out our new board games.

Day 326, Monday 25 January
Grey and foggy morning, and a grey and foggy mood. I have slept really poorly the past few nights, don't know why. Exercise, lunch, Uni-work, nap and Uni-lecture today. Nathan cooked dinner, pork loin with mash and veggies.

Day 327, Tuesday 26 January
This morning we had Study Group with the LAD-girls again, for the first time in a long time. We had a break over the winter holidays, and then with the exam our focus changed a bit; but now we are back on track again!
Nobody wanted to cook so we went out for dinner. It felt like we needed a mid-week pick-me-up, so we went to Friends Burger.

Day 328, Wednesday 27 January
Padel in the morning with some of the other Swedish girls. Good games today, and a nice chat over coffee after. I think I managed to finish off this weeks assignment for my Museology-course today, at least the bulk of it, still have tomorrow to polish on it some more.
Having ordered groceries online for the past many weeks I decided to do a Carrefour-run late this afternoon for a change. So then we got 'Sushi & Shawarmas' for dinner, he he!

Day 329, Thursday 28 January
Nathan went to work today, so I had the whole day to study in peace. Sent in my assignment and sat and read for most of the day. In the evening the family had pizza for dinner and I went to hang out with Jennifer, Linda and Sara.

Day 330, Friday 29 January
Lucas had volleyball again today, and Linnea hung out with a friend. That's pretty much it. Nathan went for a bike ride this morning, I spent 1,5 hr on the treadmill; and then it was Uni-studies all afternoon. Lucas was kindly invited out for dinner for his friend Yazan's birthday and the rest of us had sweet-and-sour chicken and rice for dinner.

Day 331, Saturday 30 January

Today after I spent another 1,5 hr on the treadmill I tried cooking the okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) again for lunch. Hm, tastes ok, but execution and presentation still is not quite there.
Linnea was invited out in the desert with her friend Kashmira, so it was just the three of us for most of the day. I had lots of studies to do, so my afternoon was mostly about that. Nathan was on his bike in the Pain Cave, and Lucas was gaming. Swedish meatballs for dinner.

Thursday, 28 January 2021

More Art Space

The Art Space at Yas Mall changed last week, and a new artist has been unveiled. Now you can experience the works of another prominent Emirati artist named Abdulrahim Salim, born 1955.

This small exhibition is an extension of his current solo exhibition at the Cultural Foundation, called 'Between Serenity and Chaos'. A series of abstract paintings on different themes.

The painting series you can see here at Yas Mall is called 'Formations'.

Salim is exploring the story of his muse Maheera, who is the central figure of all his paintings, represented in different ways, for example through the symbols of a square, a circle and a crescent moon.

How I love the use of space in this way, in a mall!

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

How you doin'?

Nobody had planned anything for dinner today, and nobody felt like cooking. Plus it's been a few days of blergh-life lately, so I thought we could use a mid-week pop-out for a change and packed everyone in the car and took them for a surprise outing.
I had seen this particular place on a friends Instagram, and since especially Linnea (having watched all seasons a few times over during Covid) is a super fan I thought it could be cool to visit - Friends Burger.

It was a rather small place, but it had the Friends-theme. 


Not too many details, but cool enough for us. We enjoyed the setting and got a seat in the big orange sofa.

Ordered burgers and fries which were quite good, got fed and got out of the house. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Part of the 60,991

Today I had my second dose of the vaccine against COVID-19. So I make up one part of these 60,991 administered doses in this country today (click on it to make it bigger, or check out current stats on the official NCEMA homepage here):

As of today, 25.15% of the population in this country have received at least one out of the two doses of the vaccine, which brings the UAE close to having administrated nearly 2,5 million doses in total the past few months. Second to Israel, it's the fastest vaccination drive in the world.

Having a hard time with the kids not being allowed to go to school (while everything else is open...) at the moment; at least I'm thankful to live in a country where the vaccine is free and available to all, and the rollout has been super fast and efficient.
If you are in doubt about whether or not you should get the vaccine, please do your research so that you can make an informed decision for when it's your turn. Personally I do believe getting vaccinated is the way forward, hopefully it will work they way it's intended and we will see an end to this Coronapocalypse very soon.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Corona Diary, Day 318-324

Day 318, Sunday 17 January
Oh how I had hoped today was the day the kids were going to get some normality back in their lives by getting to go to school, but helas no... As Nathan says - it is what it is, unfortunately.
I started my day with a nice walk in the sun with my friend Frida. 


It was well needed as life really doesn't feel much fun at the moment. A lot of disappointing changes, not just about school but regarding travel restrictions too. My neck hurts from constantly shaking my head in disbelief, I fail to see the logic in the decision making.
Made Linnea's favourite Mexican Stack for dinner.

Day 319, Monday 18 January
Another few hours on the treadmill today. Everything else feels really meaningless at the moment.
I started the new Uni-courses, but unfortunately the main lecture is scheduled for 4pm my time... zzz... not my most focused time of the day! Felt good to get stuck into a new subject though.
Salmon, veggies and okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage "frittata") for dinner and then I had made 'semlor' for dessert after seeing way too many of them in my social media feeds lately. So proud, they came out looking real good, and tasting even better!


Day 320, Tuesday 19 January
Super foggy outside these days in the mornings. Quite happy actually I don't need to drive anywhere, it's like milk out there! Instead I did some exercise, read some articles for Uni, took a nap - and then went out for a Ladies Night with my LAD-ladies! Still only able to sit four per table meant we were a bit spread out, but it was really good to catch up in person, as a change to our weekly Zoom-calls.

Day 321, Wednesday 20 January. Birthday!
Started the day with presents and balloons, then Nathan made the kids pancakes while I set off for some padel. Lucas had asked for roti for lunch, and then we had another semla as dessert. In the evening we went for sushi at a place we hadn't been before, with a view over the Maqta Channel. (All the photos are in our birthday-post from earlier in the week). All in all a really good day.

Day 322, Thursday 21 January
It's crazy how different the weeks are at the moment. Some I don't even leave the house for four-five days in a row, then this one, I've been really busy every day!
Today I went for another walk with Frida over in Al Zeina. 5 km around her neighbourhood and a coffee at the beach afterward. Better make the most of the perfect weather while it's there, although this morning I wore my hoodie for almost all the walk as it was 14 degrees when we started.
Then off to the hair dresser. I had planned to have my hair done before my birthday, but unfortunately they had to reschedule me for today, so I didn't get to look all pretty and fresh last night, but hey.
I was so pleased with the cut last time that I was still real excited for today. Decided to stick to the slightly shorter style as I had so easily been able to style it this time around, a real good cut apparently.

Nathan thinks it's a scam and that I'm little by little cutting it all off..! Ha ha, not quite, but I enjoy this shorter length. Pasta Bolognese and a G&T in my new glasses for dinner.

Day 323, Friday 22 January
Another blank day, at least for most of us in the family. Lucas had his school volleyball thing at lunch time, and tonight he was out having dinner at Yas Marina, and monster shakes at Black Tap, with three of his friends as a bit of a birthday celebration. The rest of us, well, we just made this day pass, and had honey mustard chicken and rice for dinner.

Day 324 Saturday 23 January
Today I turned my daily schedule upside down, and spent the morning working on the first assignment for my Museology Uni-course. Linnea and I did a little excursion to the Game Shop in Al Wahda Mall during the afternoon, and I got myself some belated birthday presents.

Then I did todays exercise in the early evening as I wanted to have a bath after, and inaugurate my new bath-tray! The pillow and the tray worked great - the G&T-glass dried out real fast though...

We also had birthday cake today instead of the other day, spreading out the goodies over the week a bit, ha ha! But you shouldn't miss out on blowing out candles for your birthday, so better late than never!

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Day 21 of year 21 of the 21st century

Oh, of course I had to write a post today on this special day - I love symmetry and numbers that look good together!

Today was another good day, after yesterdays lovely birthday. I have kept getting birthday messages from friends near and far on my social media, which has been really lovely, even more so in these crazy times I guess. Each cyber hug made my heart all warm and fuzzy! Very suited as today also seems to be 'International Hugging Day', ha ha! But as much as I appreciate virtual hugs, I can't wait to spend time with my people and hug all my friends again. Long and hard, and FOR REAL!

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Our Covid-birthday

So today it was Lucas' and my turn to celebrate a Covid-birthday. Hopefully this was also the last Covid-birthday in this house, by the time Linnea's birthday rolls around again in October, I do hope the worst is well and truly behind us.
Although, to be honest, giving that today was a normal day, our celebrations didn't look much different to any other year, with the difference that Lucas' friends didn't get to wish him happy birthday in person in school.

We started the day by waking Lucas up...

... then me!


Lucas got some sports clothes for padel, some nice smellies and fresh underwear; and Linnea had got him some cool LED lights for his room. He also has the new PS5 coming, as soon as we can get our hands on one!
I got G&T glasses and a tray that goes across the bath tub to keep the iPad (and the wine glass!) on, bath bombs and a bath pillow!

Linnea had gone through a huge effort to decorate the house, so there was tons of balloons, and pancakes for breakfast!

I went to padel, and coffee, with a few friends:

We had roti for lunch upon Lucas' request; and lunch was topped with some more 'semla'!

The afternoon was spent with free play, I answered all the messages I had received on text and FB etc. Then we went for an all-you-can-eat-sushi-night at Tokyo Grill at the Venetian Village for dinner.

We got sung for too, to Lucas... big joy, not. He he!


Spectacular views of the Maqta Creek from there, although we had to ask for the heater half-way through our dinner as it got a bit chilly..!

All in all couldn't have asked for more, a really lovely birthday!

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Corona Diary, Day 311-317

Day 311, Sunday 10 January
Padel coaching this morning, although I wasn't playing well at all today. I wish I could say I have the technique down, but I still have to think so much about how to hit some shots, that I miss other easy balls. Ah well, Coach Javier insists we are good enough now to participate in the tournaments... ehm, not sure about that.
Home and work a bit more on the exam, then off to Hudayriyat this afternoon to go for a walk with Susanne, and enjoy a lovely coffee in the sunshine by the beach. Have I said lately how much I love winter in the UAE?

Came home to spaghetti bolognese for dinner, lucky me!

Day 312, Monday 11 January
This morning it was time for the yearly renewal exam for my Louvre Abu Dhabi license. Intense, but now it's done! I had to wear my SOCKS inside today, it's winter and so cold on the floor, but actually quite nice to feel a bit of a chill, cosy! So it's been a home day, in socks!

Linnea cooked us dinner today, chicken tortilla wraps.

Day 313, Tuesday 12 January
Exercise in the morning, so that I would be able to take the kids - again - for their back-to-school PCR-tests in the afternoon. This time our school were scheduled to go to another center without drive-through, so we weren't sure how long the queues were going to be. Turned out it was super well organised and we were in and out in less than 10 minutes. Kids are certainly getting a routine of these tests by now.

The family had pork ribs for dinner and I met with Sara, Jennifer and Linda for dinner on a night out.

Day 314, Wednesday 13 January
Morning exercise again, always good to get it done first thing. The rest of the day was spent studying and reading, huddled up in our hoodies and sweatpants. Comfort food for dinner these days since it's so cold, today chicken noodle soup.

Day 315, Thursday 14 January
Another blank day in my calendar. Nathan is still resting his foot so he's not up to much either.
Last day in school for this e-learning week, hoping that it was indeed the last e-learning week as school is supposed to resume face-to-face for all students on Sunday. Oh, I can't wait...
Tomato soup for dinner.

Day 316, Friday 15 January
Lucas had organised to play volleyball today with some friends from school, as part of his CAS. I drove him there and took the opportunity to go for a walk in new surroundings while he was sporting, instead of  driving back in between it was time to pick him up again. Nice weather to be walking outside, even at 12 noon. Love winter here.
Since I sent in my Uni-exam on 'Portraiture' a few days early I was so lucky as to get the results back already today - passed! Although I missed 'distinction' with only 1p, so a tiny bit disappointed, but still - passed! Next unit 'Landscape' starts on Monday, plus a short course called 'Material Culture in Museums' that I'm going to study parallel to my Art History course for the first part of the term. Double the study, double the fun - bring it!
Chicken sausages and roast veggies for dinner.

Day 317, Saturday 16 January
So we had set the alarm an hour earlier, the uniforms had been ironed, extra masks were packed and lunchboxes planned. It was supposed to be the grand return to school tomorrow. PCR-tests were taken (again), and we were all ready. Only to take another big blow today in the form of last-minute changes and the extremely disappointing news that schools all over the country have to continue with e-learning for another THREE WEEKS. And this whilst EVERYTHING else is open in the emirate, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! Huge events are happening, sports competitions and massive expos are going ahead... but school, nooo.
I was on the treadmill when the news hit, and I just couldn't get off it. I just kept walking and walking for nearly two hours... didn't see the point anymore in anything. An absolute rock bottom day.
These poor poor kids. This is so absurd and upsetting that I find no more words.

Linnea and I went to get groceries and Nathan and Lucas cooked dinner. Pork fillet, rice and homemade bearnaise sauce for dinner.

Friday, 15 January 2021


I got laughed at for the photo of my socks the other day on Instagram, but I wasn't wrong actually in feeling the chill - apparently the UAE is currently experiencing it's coldest January EVER!

There has even been, up in Raknah in Al Ain, an all-time record low of -2° C recorded! That's up in the internal parts of the country, closer to the mountains of course, but still. Even out here by the coast we have been having minimum temperatures between 11-17°C in the early mornings lately.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Corona Diary, Day 302-310

Day 302, Friday 1 January. New Years Day
We were all a bit tired this morning so it was really nice to gear up, have a good lunch (yay leftovers!), and go to the padel court and be outside for the afternoon. Lucas, Nathan and I were playing with 5 other Swedes and Linnea hung out with her friend Lovis.
Then we spent the rest of the day on the sofa, with more leftovers for dinner and the new 'Croods' movie. Isn't that what New Years Day is all about?

Day 303, Saturday 2 January
I had planned a quiet day at home today, to work on my upcoming exam some more. Although it didn't turn out very peaceful as the maintenance crew were here all day, and made a great mess... So I took the opportunity to pack the Christmas tree away as well as that's also quite a messy job. You would think we have a real tree though with the amount of needles falling off it..!

Last day of the winter holidays, so on Lucas' suggestion we had pizza for dinner. Thought that was a suitable lazy way of ending the hols.

Day 304, Sunday 3 January
Early start today! Back to school!
Padel coaching for me and Petra. Fun fun fun! Today we advanced into working out our positioning, and also practised the volley. A lot to think about, grip, technique and positioning... if I'm lucky I get two out of three, but I'm not quite there yet. But getting better every session!
We managed to finish just in time - before the rain came! Joy! It had been a while!
While the kids were at school and Nathan on his bike (in the Pain Cave), I went to get the first dose of the COVID-vaccine. Now I feel like a super hero!
Homemade beef shawarma and spiced cauliflower rice with sweet potato and nuts for dinner.

Day 305, Monday 4 January
Home day and another exam writing day. I try and get through this one a little bit every day, it's going very slowly though... I'm good at procrastinating though, so today I took on another project we had planned for a while - adding a drinks fridge to the storage room. It actually didn't take long since all helped out.
Burgers and left over cauliflower rice for dinner.

Day 306, Tuesday 5 January
Upside of today is that it seems like I have finally got my mojo back about HIIT and strength workouts. I totally fell out of the groove with those kind of workouts after the summer, so am happy I am now finding them fun again. I'm back to enjoying the combo of a quick HIIT or weight workout and the treadmill.
A bit of LAD Study Group on Zoom today and a bit of exam writing, a bit of dinner cooking (Greek keftedes and souvlaki with a green quinoa salad and beetroot gnocchi) and a bit of 'Cobra Kai' on TV - and another day is gone.

Day 307, Wednesday 6 January
I think I'm almost ready with the exam, or at least, the most part of it. Needs some polishing, but feels good to be mostly done well ahead of the deadline.
Other than that not feeling life at the moment really. This week has been rather gloomy. I actually haven't left the house since I got back from padel Sunday morning and not looking on leaving it again until I go back to the padel court on Friday... That's how it is when I'm tired of being the motor, and planner, and executor. If I don't plan and organise anything, and nudge the people around me, days just roll by, at the house. Nobody else seems unhappy about it, and obviously it's my own responsibility to look after my own mental well-being, but sometimes I just don't have it in me. Hopefully it'll come back soon.
Pasta alla panna with left-over salad for dinner.

Day 308, Thursday 7 January
Today I decided to beat the slump and went outside for a walk. It helped, even though the scenery around here is not exactly pretty, it changed my mood. I let my exam work rest today and sorted some of the kitchen cupboards instead. Mongolian Beef for dinner.
I got a late call to do an Express Tour in the museum tomorrow, and of course I said yes! So the rest of the evening I spent going over my notes to refresh and to plan the tour. So exciting!

Day 309, Friday 8 January
I was up bright and early and got ready to get to the museum in good time before my tour. How good was that to be "back in the saddle", aaahhh! Made my week! Then straight from the museum to the padel court, my two favourite things in one day! Nathan and I played Simon and Charlotta.

Ordered pizza for dinner and watched a few more episodes of 'Cobra Kai' - what a good day!

Day 310, Saturday 9 January

Woke up with a massive headache that luckily got cured by coffee. Love coffee, by far my biggest vice, would never give it up!
Another homely day. Nathan hurt himself playing padel yesterday, so he has been mostly resting his foot on the sofa. Made chicken shawarmas for dinner, with homemade slaw, chili sauce and  hummus. Yum!

Ten months later

Late Thursday evening I got a call from the Louvre Abu Dhabi for a last minute tour Friday morning, and being the kind of "jump-into-the-deep"-person that I am - of course I said yes. For obvious reasons, my last tour was over ten (!) months ago, so I did get a little bit nervous, but also so so excited!

It was the best feeling ever Friday morning to get to suit up, put on some make-up and dress nicely for WORK, and I made sure I got to the museum first thing. I wanted to have time for a quick walk about to double-check if anything had changed since last time I was there.
New glittery socks for the occasion!

The tour was a VIP tour with one guest who was really lovely, and it went really well!
Of course I had gone through all my notes the night before in preparation, but I still was amazed at how much information was retained in my head once I started looking for it! Sometimes when I don't "use" certain information, I feel like it fades away.

It was SO much fun to get to conduct a tour again, to see some colleagues, to be with the guests (with distance of course), to present the museum narrative, to educate and discuss, and tell the stories of the artwork. I had missed it so, so much.

Can you envisage that big smile behind the mask?
Oh how I LOVE this job!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Coronacleaning, round 2

In the beginning of the pandemic, last spring while we were in lockdown, I went through the whole house and gave it a real clear out and clean up. Felt real good, but - since that's been a while already, it's time to start all over again!

This week we got stuck into a project we have been discussing for a while, to get an extra drinks fridge to free up some space in the normal fridge. You know, for actual food and such..!

We wanted to keep it in our storage room but weren't entirely sure how to go about it, so in the end we pulled everything out of the storage room to sort of start from scratch. It was a good thing, because we haven't really cleaned under those shelves since we put them there years ago.
Seeing all the stuff out of that room made me wonder how it would all fit back in though...

But of course it did, it's like Tetris! Found a good space for the fridge and took the opportunity to reshuffle a bit to optimize the use of that room. So pleased now!

And the new fridge got stocked real quick! Cheers!

Monday, 4 January 2021

1558 km

Yes, the school holidays are over for the kids, but for me there is honestly no big difference in the rhythm of daily life. Every day is pretty much the same, as it has been for the last many, many... many months now... I basically only leave the house these days to go play padel, other than that we try to do most of our shopping online, both for groceries and other things, and many days I don't even go outside at all.

My exercise streak is very much alive though, I'm "closing the rings" every day; usually by walking on the treadmill (such a good buy!) while watching Swedish TV. On Saturdays I get to watch the 'På Spåret'-show which aired the night before in Sweden:

Out of curiosity I tallied up all the kilometers I walked last year, both inside and outside but yes, mostly on the treadmill. I managed to walk 1558 km in 2020! To my surprise when I was looking for something that distance, I realised that the length of Sweden is 1574 km!!! Argh, had I known I would've pushed for those last few kilometers..! But close though! Next year I'll go the whole way!