Sunday, 30 May 2021

23 - 30 May 2021

Sunday and we are back to e-learning. Silver lining is no school run, or lunch boxes... but everyone would rather be at school, even Linnea this time around.
I had padel this morning, another really fun session, although very hot. 'Hot padel' - maybe that's a new thing, like hot yoga? Ha ha! We have been the only ones playing in the mornings for well over a month already.

Had some appointments at Mediclinic after training, and after those were done and lunch was eaten I had a quiet afternoon as the pressure is off with my Uni-work, at least for this week. Nathan cooked steak and baked potato for dinner.

Monday, Nathan went to work, and I had no plans. Once training was done I decided to submit my thesis (academic essay? not sure what the right translation is), as I was done. Felt good, but also, what do I do now with all my time?!
Pulled pork for dinner and lonesome time in front of the TV for me as everybody else disappeared upstairs. Just a whole day of loneliness really. Booo.

Tuesday and still no plans. Actually, apart from my exercise, I spent all day in bed. Yup, one of those staring-into-the-wall-kind of days. I guess they will be coming more often now we are back to indoor living for the summer. Nathan cooked some kind of pyttipanna with chicken and potato for dinner.

Wednesday and started with padel. Always makes for a better day. I spent the afternoon at the mall, getting a reading lamp for the sofa corner, and another one for Linnea's room, having a coffee with me, myself and I; and doing the groceries. Then came home and cooked Beef Stroganoff for dinner, mmm.

Thursday and treadmill time in the morning while Nathan was out riding his bike. Then off to lunch with the SL group, at a Pakistani restaurant in the city. Super yummy (and cheap!) lunch, and nice conversation!
In the afternoon I was Taxi Mum for Linnea, going to do some school work with some of her friends, and in the evening the kids had pizza at home while Nathan and I met with Stefan for some Maifest German dinner at the Westin.

Friday and started dinner preparations straight after the morning coffee, slow cooked lamb shanks, mmm! After a huge session on the treadmill and an afternoon nap it was almost evening time and we enjoyed our lamb with some mashed potato and the 'Friends Reunion' episode.

Saturday and Nathan was up early again for a bike ride. Treadmill for me, and then we went to do the PCRs for school, again. We decided to have lunch in Al Bandar, as we were already out and about all of us. The plan was to got to the Thai restaurant there, but as it was full we ended up at the Art House Café which was also nice. Linnea and I went to Yas Mall on a mission to find her some jeans and check out the newly opened Urban Outfitters shop; and we also met with Petra for a quick fika. It took a few hours, but mission accomplished, got three pairs of denim on the half price sale for Linnea! Take-away burgers for dinner while we took another stroll down Memory Lane and watched the 'Friday Night Dinner' 10 year-special.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Little Lunch Trip - Pakistan

The Swedish Ladies UAE have started a version of "The Little Lunch Trip" in their monthly program, and I used to enjoy those events so much I decided it was worth the long drive today, even though the chosen restaurant was as far away as it could be downtown. But I also certainly felt in need of some socializing, and neither the food nor the company did disappoint.

It was a Pakistani restaurant in behind Marina Mall, Lal Qila, and we had their extensive lunch buffet. I must say, very very good food, and really well priced too! Bummer it's so far away, otherwise I would be back every week!

We were far from the only customers, the whole restaurant was full and buzzing! Seems to be a very popular place, and I certainly can understand that! It gave off a really nice authentic vibe, without all the OTT glitz and glam that we have in abundance here.

Thank you ladies for a lovely lunch trip!

Monday, 24 May 2021


Can you see it, there on my desk? There it is - my academic essay (=B-uppsats) in Art History! It's finally done, I submitted it today! Celebraaaaaaations!

I actually have more time to work on it as we just got a one week extension (today!), but I decided to submit it anyway, because I was done. I have proofread it, over and over again; my friend Frida, my friend Erika - and also Carin in Rome of course, who is doing this same course and also writing her thesis at the moment - all have read it too; and I felt done.
In the end I just kept moving commas and full stops, changing paragraphs and adding, exchanging and removing words; so I thought - I better submit!

At this level there is also a public examination and discussion and that will take place in two weeks time, where I need to "defend" my essay; and also read a fellow student's essay and discuss that. So I'm not quite, quite done with Uni for the term just yet..!
Still, this step is worth celebrating - essay: done!

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Time flies?

As we settled in for another week of e-learning from home, I was thinking this morning about time. Time is a very funny concept at the moment. I can't believe there's just a few weeks left of this school year.
Time flies, and at the same time I keep having the feeling we live the same Groundhog Day over and over again. Looking back, it's hard to pinpoint things in time, because it feels like the past 1,5 years have been some kind of parallel life, or like someone pushed the pause button, and everything just slowed down to almost a stand-still.

The other day I was scrolling through the Photos app on my computer in search of a specific photo, and all of a sudden realised how much I had to scroll just to get through one month of normal times! I had forgot how busy life used to be, compared to how it is now.
We do still try to put a silver lining on life, but it feels like when we are "being busy" it's all just an illusion. It might be because we have gotten used to such a slow tempo this past year and a half, that any happening - even the smallest - is a huge mood lifter. But busy, no we are not. Far from it. Time just... passes in some funny kind of way.
One day at a time still. One week of e-learning at a time...

Saturday, 22 May 2021

16 - 22 May 2021

Sunday started bright and early, as we are back to normal school hours for the last six weeks of the term. Or kind of, it starts 20 minutes later than it used to, so we have already revised our alarm time for tomorrow as today we were up way too early.
I exercised and then went to the shop, and then worked on my thesis. Digging my heels in now for the home stretch! Game Night and Butter Chicken, Palak Paner and Coconut, Coriander & Carrot salad for dinner. Sooo good!

Monday and Nathan took Lucas to get a vaccine (not Covid, that's already done), scheduled through school. I took Linnea to school and went to padel. Not too bad today, every day we can keep sporting outside is a bonus. Some more work on the thesis this afternoon, so close now!
Some aglio olio e peperoncino spaghetti (and sausages) for dinner, before Nathan went over to Yas to catch up with some ex-Brunei people who are in town, and I planted myself in front of the TV.

Tuesday and a long session on the treadmill this morning, working on the May challenge. Then I finished off they last assignment for my non-Western art Uni-course, about Traditional Aboriginal Art. I have so enjoyed this course! If only now I can get back to working... Nathan and I joined efforts and made fish pie for dinner, and then we spent the evening in front of the TV.

Wednesday and padel, of course! Lotta challenged us to continue until we leave for the summer... let's see how that goes! Today was ok, the little breeze made all the difference. Some studying until it was time to pick up the kids, and then Nathan and I went to ACE and Yas Mall to get a few bits and pieces, groceries - and sushi & shawarmas for dinner before Nathan took the kids for their school PCR.

Thursday and this week has gone past really fast! Treadmill this morning, other than that it has been a really quiet day. Nathan had a haircut and I did some sorting out inside the office cabinets, and some ironing for a change. Pizza for dinner, because weekend.

Friday and coffee in bed, best way to start the weekend. Summer is really here now, you can feel it when you come downstairs in the mornings and the house is already so warm and humid that you need the AC on straight away. A pretty quiet day all around in the Watson household today. Salmon for dinner.

Saturday and Nathan off to work after his week of leave. Linnea and I took on Galleria Mall for something different, and came home to the annoying news that the entire school is moving to e-learning next week. Aaargggh! Many schools seems to suffer the same fate, I guess it's the after-Eid-effect..? Hmmm...
Chili con carne for dinner and sad moods all around.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

The frame is now on The Frame

We couldn't get a frame for The Frame here in the UAE, so we had to order one in from the UK. Thanks to Shop&Ship it arrived from the UK Samsung shop in less than a week. So here's the difference between how it looks "bare":

And with the new frame!

We chose the beige one, as it looks like light wood and goes with the other decor in our space. I think it looks really nice when the TV is off, together with the artwork, although Nathan will need to get used to having a light frame around his TV-watching.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Staycation at Etihad Towers

To finish off the long weekend we had for Eid, and because Nathan and the kids were actually off at the same time, we went for a short staycation this weekend with our friends the Nordins. We decided to try out the Conrad Hotel at Etihad Towers in town, and got rooms on the 40th floor.

This elevator was not for my Mum... ha ha!


I have been up many times to the Observation Deck (on the 74th floor) but never stayed in the hotel, so it was pretty exciting. The views are fabulous of course - even if the windows were a bit dusty..! Have a look at this bathroom with a view, and cute details:

We checked in early and spent the Friday afternoon on the beach. Lucas finally got to go on a jet ski for the first time (but had to have Nathan as a passenger), and the rest of us just enjoyed the pool, the sea and the chillaxing.

In the evening we had dinner at the Italian restaurant before we dropped the kids back in the rooms and went up to Rays Bar for a night cap.

Breakfast by the pool the next day, and another few hours of swimming and sunning. The kids went banana boating and we just relaxed and enjoyed. 




We finished off the afternoon by having a look at the Observation Deck (since access was included in our stay). We were only gone about 1,5 day, but you really have time for a lot of fun when you go for it!

Thanks guys for great company and excellent fun!!! When are we going again??

Saturday, 15 May 2021

9 - 15 May 2021 Eid Mubarak

Sunday and a very good and busy day which started with some really fun padel in the morning. Then straight to lunch with Frida, who put on her "Swedish-teacher-glasses" and gave me some super valuable feedback on my essay.

PCR-testing for the kids in the afternoon, and in the evening I went to iftar together with the Swedish Ladies UAE-group. I have sent my essay in for the half-way feedback from my professor, so I can't really work on it at the moment anyway. Feels good to have a bit of a break, and let it rest for a bit.

Monday and I guess I'm getting ready for normal school hours as I have been awake just after six in the mornings the past few days. Padel again with the same crew as yesterday, Lotta, Cecilia and Patricia. With Ramadan coming to an end, we have a long weekend ahead now, so Lucas was hanging out with his friends this afternoon.

Tuesday and today we were just hanging about at home, doing the usual things - exercising, studying... Another piece arrived for our new living space, a soft mint coloured pouffe. Nice!
Nathan did chicken tikka masala and rice for dinner, and I had a bath, as it had been a while.

Wednesday and started the day with some really hot padel, "only" 30 degrees, but with 60% humidity, it was a sweat fest! Then home and recharge, as I was taking Linnea and her friend Leah to the mall in town. They had some specific shops in mind they wanted to go to. I took the opportunity to go the Louvre Abu Dhabi and get some photos for my thesis, before I too did a bit of shopping at the mall. Came home and cooked tacos, yum!

Thursday and as today is first day of Eid - Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya to my muslim friends! I played padel, and did some studying... like most other days! In the evening we went to have a look at the Eid fireworks from Yas Island.

Friday and staycation time! We went to Conrad at Etihad Towers, all about that in a later post!

Saturday and staycation continued, came home late afternoon all mushy, warm and relaxed after a few days away, aaahhh! Great end to the Eid break, now we are ready for the early alarm tomorrow morning!

Monday, 10 May 2021

Iftar on Yas

Yesterday it was time for this years iftar, I try to go to at least once every Ramadan. Some have been more spectacular than others, but they are always very nice. Last night was no exception.
It was arranged for the members, and partners, of Swedish Ladies UAE at the Garage restaurant at W Hotel at Yas (what used to be Viceroy). 


I had heard it was really good, so I was excited - plus getting to dress up and hang with PEOPLE in these times, is of course a great plus to any day.


There was quite a big group of us, all seated four on each table of course and I got to sit with three other girls who had come without their spouses (Nathan was flying). It was nice to talk to someone I don't see every day.

It was a lovely set up, and the food was tasty. The highlight for me was strangely the desserts this time! They came around to the tables both with luqaimat (traditional local dessert, a bit like a sweet dumpling), but also with an affogato made with Arabic coffee. The cardamom taste with the cold ice cream was delicious! I also had saffron ice cream, which tasted just like Christmas, mmm!

Saturday, 8 May 2021

2 - 8 May 2021

Sunday and I didn't get to the padel court today as our friends were coming with their movers to pick up all the stuff of ours they had bought. Felt good to now get it out of the house, and get an even better overview of our new space.
I tried to get some work done on my essay, but too much other things going on breaking my focus. Like school pick-up, getting groceries, making dinner and so on. We had jacket potatoes with tuna and Greek salad, and after dinner I gave up on any more studies for today and attacked the laundry pile instead. Fun and games.

Monday and finally time for padel after a whole week off! A good hour with pleasant temperatures and great games today. Then I finally made some progress on the thesis, even though it feels like I erase more than I write at the moment.
Pasta bake with chicken for dinner, and then Linnea and I went back to IKEA, again. Even with a mask on, the guy at the pick-up area recognized me today and greeted me with "You're back!", ha ha! Unfortunately they didn't have Linnea's mirror in stock, so we will have to come back soon again...
Linnea spent the rest of the night mounting her new bookshelf, and Nathan and I watched some TV.

Tuesday but it feels like it's Thursday. Is this how it feels when you have a busy schedule ?! Ah, a taste of the real life! Exercise in the morning and then the last of the Uni-seminar for my non-Western Art-course. I also managed to work on the thesis in the afternoon as Nathan cooked dinner, we had Shepherds Pie tonight. The rug for the dining area came back from the Carpet Spa, and it's all starting to all  together.

Wednesday and I had padel again. Then straight home because the handymen were coming back to help me put everything back on the walls. It took them almost four whole hours, imagine how long it would've taken Nathan, and with a lot more bitching too, ha ha! Pork loin, potatoes and bearnaise sauce for dinner.

Thursday and a very long day. Normally I don't get out of bed if I can't sleep, I just turn around and keep trying, but this morning I got so hot I decided to get up - at 04.30! Kind of enjoyed those few quiet hours to myself though, with the sun rising, birds chirping and a few cups of coffee. Not that I'll make a habit out of it...
Hot, hot padel with the Argentinians, and then straight home to await the delivery of the second sofa. It arrived late afternoon, and I managed to get Nathan and Lucas to move the sofas in three different places before we settled on the best placing, for now! It looks really good! Swedish sausage stroganoff and rice for dinner, and then we watched the movie 'Stowaway', which didn't live up to expectations unfortunately.

Friday and a quiet day. Nathan at work and the kids "chilling" and I'm left to pot around by myself, again. Decided to clear out inside a few cupboards and drawers, and spent most of the afternoon on the sofa, enjoying our refreshed space. Pizza for dinner with a few glasses of wine, once Nathan got home from work.

Saturday and I set the alarm to have time for exercise before going to the hairdresser. Not cut today, just fresh highlights. A quick Zoom with Anna & Linda in the afternoon, and then back to studying. Always good to get stuff done while Nathan is at work so the house is quiet.
Spicy kabanoss-all-in-one pot and rice for dinner and then we finally got around to play another chapter of 'My City'.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

That escalated quickly!!

As I mentioned in a previous post, Nathan and I went to check out the new Jysk shop at Yas Mall two weeks ago, just to have lunch. While there we got talking about the nice stuff they had in the shop, about how our sofa keeps hurting his back and so on.
One thing let to another rather quickly, and now two weeks later we have a completely refurbished living area downstairs, with green walls; and the kids have freshly painted rooms and a bunch of new furniture as well..! Yeah, that escalated quickly!

It all got accelerated by the fact that our friends from Brunei were about to move into their apartment, so I messaged Peta - "Do you need a sofa, or a TV?" And yes, they did! As they have two toddlers, they were more than happy to get their hands on a 2nd hand sofa. They also got an old office chair, one of the kids sofa beds, two armchairs and a table, some wall shelves, two big cubical shelves, plus some loose stuff such as a safety gate, a framed poster, a standing mirror, a rug... ha ha, the list goes on!

So, we had to get some new stuff (took advantage of all the Ramadan offers!), and as we were getting new stuff, we decided to do a bit of a reshuffle at the same time. And as we were doing a reshuffle, we decided to have the whole downstairs painted too! After seven years in our black, white and beige living room I craved some colour, so behold our new living area - now in soft greens, blues, pinks and sandy hues:

We moved my "office" (there will be another, smaller, desk and wooden storage here) to the previous dining room area, and created a bit of a home library feeling.

I got a reading chair again, which I have missed since I lost my reading corner in Brunei when the bar got installed, yay!


Our dining table went down the end into the big space, brighter and a for something different:

And the new (!) TV went on the short wall by the door which made for a cosier TV-watching space. New sofas there, with new cushion covers and a new rug. Still a bit unsure as to how to place the sofas, we have tried three different ways already...

The new TV is a whole thing by itself, it's a Samsung The Frame, by my wishes. This means that when it's turned off it's not just a big, black blob - it turns into a piece of ART, and I LOVE it!!! (The actual frame itself hasn't arrived yet, but it will make the TV look even more like a framed painting.)
I can change the artwork with an app on my phone, which also tells me more about each artwork. It has everything from photographs, graphic art and abstract art to well-known artists and motives. I love, love, love!

Finally, as we were painting downstairs, we decided to have the kids rooms painted too. Lucas room got a fresh coat of slightly broken white, a new much bigger rug and some bean bags to replace the sofa bed. Being a 17-year old boy, he doesn't need much more furniture than this.

Linnea got her room painted only on two walls. I had my doubts the colour she had chosen would be too dark, but I actually love it! She also got new curtains, a new armchair, a new shelf and a new mirror on the wall and she is one happy girl!

Saturday, 1 May 2021

25 April - 1 May

Sunday and ANZAC Day and padel got canceled again. We are a bit vulnerable when it's just four of us that have it booked in, once someone has a last minute issue. But no biggie, I jumped on the treadmill and watched Lets Dance (= Swedish version of Dancing with the stars) instead.
Then Nathan and I went to sort out our new sofas, had a look both here and there and ended up ordering one at IKEA and most probably decided on the other one from Homecenter. It's all coming together. Next is to decide on wall colour and book the painters, we collected two quotes today.
In the evening I went to a very giggly Game Night with red wine and lasagna served up, and the others at home had grilled chicken for dinner.

Monday and a really fun padel game this morning. A lot of long, good runs. I am starting to reach my limit though, it's really hot and I've suffered head aches for the rest of the day the last few times after playing. Let's see.
Nathan went to work and I prepared the last things before the painters come, and decided on paint scheme (eeek!). Pulled pork soft tacos for dinner with a bit of Vem bor här? on the TV with Linnea.

Tuesday and Nathan and I were both up way before the alarm. I didn't sleep particularly well, I guess there is too much going on at the moment (compared to how quiet life has been for the past year) so there is a bit of overload in my mind.
I had a seminar today in my "other" Uni-course, about non-Western art, and today we discussed Japanese manga. So fun! I knew nothing about manga so really listened carefully, and after the seminar I dove right into the assignment. Beef ragu and macaroni for dinner when Nathan got home from work, and some last preparations for the painting team for tomorrow.

Wednesday and BIG day around the house. Painters started early in the morning and maintenance team came to work on the water pump box in the garden. The cleaners turned up in the afternoon and since the rest of the house was chaos they did a top-to-bottom kitchen clean. Add to that the usual deliveries and you understand that me trying to do anything else than just sit in the middle of it all supervising and answering questions, was pretty much impossible...

Love Linneas choice of colour! I must admit I was dubious at first, that it was going to be too dark, but it turned out really great. Especially since she is only having it on two walls.

I managed to exercise late afternoon when Nathan was home again, and then I took the kids for their PCR-tests, and then Linnea and I took off to order the second sofa and get a new armchair for her room. We were in such luck, exactly the one she wanted was in the "As-is"-section at IKEA for less than half the normal price! Good thing my car is a beast, so we could just chuck it in the back with no trouble at all!
Hot dogs at IKEA for dinner on the run!

Thursday and such an exciting day as the painters were now starting downstairs. I was so nervous, but so pleased once the colour went up, it was just as I wanted!
Our new TV arrived and it got mounted in the evening once the painters had left (apparently the wall was dry enough they said). So we could have fläskpannkaka (thick pancake with pork) for TV-dinner!

Friday and Valborgsmässoafton and all morning and most of the early afternoon was spent moving furniture and things back into place. We are still waiting for the things we sold to be picked up, for our new sofas, for things to go back on the walls, and other things, but it's starting to give us an idea. I like the one side of the room, the other might take a bit more moving about... not sure.
After a quick workout Linnea and I took Lucas to the mall as he was meeting his friends to go to the movies. Linnea and I did another IKEA shop-up, and filled the car with new rugs, some curtains, my new reading chair and some other bits and pieces. Then we brought home Burger King for dinner. Linnea mounted my IKEA recliner all by herself! It's coming together slowly. It's not all done but you can get a small taster of one corner:

Saturday and so thankful both my weekend mornings have started with coffee in bed. The simple pleasures and a great start to the day.
The day went with more moving, sorting and fixing around the house, and exercising. Nathan and Lucas went with Valle and Henke to the shooting range and tried shooting clay targets for the first time. They had a good time and came home to pasta and meat sauce for dinner.

1st May 2021 Covid status

Another month gone, time for another report. This is the never-ending story.

Not much to report though, no changes in restrictions at all lately. There was rumours about a shorter quarantine period at one stage, but it turned out to be just rumours for now unfortunately. I can't believe there has been no change in the entrance procedures to Abu Dhabi for three months now.

Todays numbers:
* 1712 new cases, from 202,881 tests today.
* 1681 recoveries today. Total death toll 1,591 persons.
* In the UAE we now stand at 521,948 total cases. Globally it is at 151,5+ cases, with nearly 3,2M deaths.

Todays vaccinations: 62,366 doses administrated which brings the UAE to a total of 10,609,950 doses administrated so far. Bam!
And in other good news, my parents back in Sweden have finally received their Covid-vaccinations! Morfar has got both shots, Mormor so far one. Yay, happy days!