Wednesday, 30 June 2021


A little over a week to go before we are supposed to travel.
For real.
On an airplane.
To another country!
Quite a big deal, considering we haven't even left the capital since we got back from Sweden last August. I don't think I have EVER stayed this long in the same place.

Last year I hesitated for a very long time before finally deciding to go to Sweden. I tried to wait out any change in the travel regulations and didn't end up leaving until halfway through July. Still, at the time of our departure, we actually didn't really know if we would be allowed to come back or not.

We were super careful while in Sweden. We only stayed at my parents house, and didn't go see anyone else at all. Only did outdoor activities, stayed away from big crowds and kept shopping to a minimum.
It sure was well needed to get a change of scenery, and lovely as always to enjoy the Swedish summer. Plus it felt good to give my parents a break from their loneliness as they too had isolated themselves since the beginning of the pandemic.
Still, as you might remember, things didn't really go our way. There was SO much stress throughout our stay with scheduling and rescheduling our pre-travel PCR-tests several times according to how the rules changed. There was issues with my ICA approval due to a mistake done at immigration after one of Nathan's flights; and the return travel plans got turned upside down ending with Lucas traveling home on its own, and Linnea and I following a few days later.
It all worked out in the end, but I came back home feeling broken and frail, and, I hate to say it, but those experiences scarred me. I have developed massive anxiety.

Sadly, to travel isn't much easier now, a whole year later. There are still a bunch or regulations to follow if you plan to travel, and they still change with a moments notice. You have to keep track of which different papers, health declarations, vaccine print-outs and tests that are demanded of you, all depending on where you are going. Just traveling between my two home countries is proving complicated, and it is stressing me out. I get thrown back to how I felt last summer, and I feel sick to my stomach thinking of all the worst-case scenarios.

I am trying my very best to accept that because of Covid, uncertainty is going to be a part of life for a very long time. But for someone who likes to plan ahead, be prepared, keep her feet on the ground and (honestly) is quite the control freak, it is really hard to try and be comfortable in the discomfort of not knowing what is going to be. To be 'chill' and 'just go with the flow' is not something that comes naturally for me. But I try, I do.

I do look forward to getting out of here for a bit, and considering all four of us are vaccinated, we are planning a bit more interaction with our people back in Scandinavia this summer. We all need that pick-me-up!
Here's to a stumble-free trip!

Saturday, 26 June 2021

20 June - 26 June 2021

Sunday and a new week. Most of my friends are leaving early for summer holiday already this week. Then it will really be empty and boring around here. Read back my blog posts from June 2020, and sadly, I could have just copied and pasted them - not much have changed. In a YEAR. Back then there was still some optimism though, now I'm a lot more crass. Sad really.
Kids had e-learning today and I did some admin, AND... watched some TV - well of course, who am I kidding! Made creamy salami pasta for dinner, which proved to be a winner.

Monday and we played some padel in the heat again, after a night of not much sleep since our AC packed up (again). Thanks to a small breeze, playing wasn't too bad though.
Nathan and I had lunch at Circle Café before picking the kids up, and after trying to do some more plans around the summer movements, we had Lemon Chicken for dinner. A tad hot today...

Tuesday, exercise and then lunch with Linda to say 'Happy Summer'. We went to discover another new place for us, with a funky, industrial look and very good coffee - Mood Café. Some TV watching in the afternoon, and then pork loins, mashed potato and veggies for dinner before we played another chapter of 'My City'. Three chapters done, five to go..!

Wednesday and even though I was going for padel in the evening, I did a stint on the treadmill in the morning to get some steps in for the day. I also saw Frida for lunch and to say 'Happy Summer' to her too. Padel was great tonight, we played at a sports club in the city brimming with activity. So nice, even in this heat, to see kids playing basket, riding rollerblades, playing football, running etc.

Came home to pasta bolognese for dinner.

Thursday and we finally finalized the summer travel tickets this morning. Great feeling to have a date and be able to start making some more plans, aaahhh!
Apart from this, not much else worth writing about happened today, ha ha. Pulled pork for dinner, was yummy.

Friday and Swedish Midsummer and a slow morning, like any other weekend really.

Lucas went to YWW with some friends in the afternoon, so after I had dropped him off I went to have the car washed and then get some supplies for evening 'fika'. The rest of us had sushi for dinner (close enough to the traditional herring I guess), and then Linnea and I baked a beautiful strawberry cake.

Saturday and not much going on today either. Nathan went to work and today Linnea went to see a friend. Lucas and I hung about at home.
Meatball and potato stew for dinner and movie night with the 'Ice Road' movie. One more week of school (-ish) before summer holidays.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Midsummer 2021

We didn't have a lot of Midsummer feeling today. All the other Swedes have already left for Swedish summer, so nobody left here really to celebrate with. Lucas went to Yas Waterworld with some friends, and the rest of us had sushi for dinner as I couldn't get hold of any herring, so dropped the whole Swedish-Midsummer-food plan.
But I wore a lovely new skirt with flowers!

And Linnea and I baked a traditional Midsummer cake for evening 'fika' with strawberries and cream, and home made custard and raspberry filling. All the goodness:

Saturday, 19 June 2021

13 - 19 June 2021

Sunday and the kids are back at e-learning, again-again. This time "until further notice", which most probably actually means - "See you next term!"... Argh!!!
I had another (yes!) tour at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, this time with a small group from the Danish community, very, very nice! I was lucky bumping in to my Greek friend Amaryllis after the tour, so we had lunch together in the museum café.

Brought home roti for lunch for the others, went to get another PCR (need one not older than 3 days each time I go to work) and did my daily treadmill session. Nathan cooked pasta and meat sauce for dinner, and then we finished both Lupin and Younger.

Monday and finally back to the padel court, yay! We practised our positioning, so lots of moving back and forth, and today it was hot, hot, hot. Made me feel a bit icky for the rest of the day, not good.
Dinner was "whatever-we-could-find-in-the-freezer" which meant pizza for the others and veggie burger for me.

Tuesday and I had another Swedish tour at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. I am so glad that these tours happened, I really enjoy doing tours for people who live here - open their eyes about this amazing place. Today was super nice too, I have so enjoyed being back, telling the stories and talking art! I can't wait until after the summer, hopefully by then there will be many more tours, fingers crossed!

Linnea and I went to do the groceries in the afternoon and then we had tuna pasta for dinner.

Wednesday and I started the day with hotel breakfast to say goodbye to Jennifer and Sara, who are leaving Abu Dhabi for good. Hopefully we will catch up some other time, in some other place!

Then I spent the rest of the day at home, just chilling. Feels really good to have absolutely nothing on my to-do list, for now. Aaahhh.
Nathan was at work and we had chicken and cauliflower curry for dinner before I did my treadmill session almost just before bedtime, better late than never.

Thursday and I started my day without coffee as I had to go and do a breath-test (for my throat issues) at the lab. Lucky it's close by and quickly done, so I could get home and get coffee and get on with my day. Treadmill and a long Zoom call with Carin in Rome made my afternoon. Nathan went to work, the kids got instructed what to cook themselves for dinner, and I went for wine & cheese to say goodbye to a dear Louvre Abu Dhabi colleague who's leaving to return to France.

Friday and I had a bit of a sleep-in, aahh. Nathan went to work, and Linnea baked brownies in the morning (as she had made another batch last night, which the ants had attacked...). Friday feeling galore.
A very chill day all together, I did my exercise and then spent the afternoon catching up on some TV - pizza for dinner in front of the Euro2020 match between Sweden and Slovakia, which ended with a win.

Saturday and another very quiet inside day. Nathan was at work again, and all I had on my schedule was exercise and taking the kids for their PCR, as school is supposed to open again on Monday. Let's see if they can make it all the way to end of term, only 8,5 school days left. Beef Stroganoff for dinner.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

School photos 2020-2021

Better late than never, here are this years school photos, two weeks before end of term. Lucas in Grade 11:

Linnea in Grade 9:

Saturday, 12 June 2021

6 - 12 June 2021

Sunday and Swedish National Day, hip hourray!

Today has gone by so fast, Lucas did his Business Studies exam and then came home, only to keep studying for tomorrow's exams... I worked all day on the opposition I have to do on another academic essay. Luckily I got one with a subject that is really interesting, so I'm happy.
Nathan went to work so the kids and I took advantage and had pancakes, again.

Monday and no exercise in the morning as I had padel planned for the evening, for a change! Instead I had coffee with German Karin, and kept researching for the exam opposition. The padel game was at the courts in the city, so a long drive, but worth it! GREAT play, some of it with our newfound British friends and a lady who got some bad news and had to leave in the middle of the game. So the rest of it Coach Carlos gracefully stepped in as the fourth player, and gave excellent coaching advice during the game! Came home to tacos for dinner.

Tuesday and school runs, treadmill and studies during the day. Then I went to a farewell dinner for two friends who are leaving Abu Dhabi for good very soon. Fun, but no fun, always sad to say "so long".

Wednesday and no exams for Lucas today so he had a study day at home. Time for PCR-tests though, so we had those done after Linnea got back from school. Me too actually, as I needed a fresh test because I have LAD tours on the weekend!
Minute steak, veggies, wedges and chili bearnaise for dinner, yum!

Thursday and D-day for both Lucas and myself. Last mock exams for Lucas, and opposition on my academic essay. It all went well (I think!) and now - it's DONE completely! 

Now I just have to wait for the grading, but just passing is really all that matters, and I'm pretty sure I'll do that. We went out for fancy dinner for a bit of a celebration, at the lush Buddah Bar, suuuuper nice! Yay us!

Friday and while Nathan went to work, I had a well-deserved sleep-in. Not really time to relax with three LAD tours ahead of me the next few days, but it still felt nice to be able to put all the Art History books back in the book shelf (for now), store the essay, and throw away all the notes I have frantically made the past few days in preparation for the opposition.
Today was a very chilled home day for the rest of us, and when Nathan got home from work we tried a new take-away from the new supermarket café down the road, which was surprisingly good!

Saturday and yay - I went to WORK! Oh my, I sure was a bit rusty after all this time, but it was just SO MUCH fun! It was with a Swedish group, and I enjoyed it so much.

Best thing is - I get to do it all again tomorrow, for a Danish group!
I got myself some beautiful flowers to celebrate this great week, we had baked potatoes and sausages for dinner, and yippie-yay - Lupin is back on TV!

Friday, 11 June 2021

Tooting my own horn

1994 I studied my first term at University, in Skövde. I was unsure back then about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I enjoyed languages, so I started with French. I studied up to and finished a C-level course in French eventually.

During my time in Copenhagen as an air hostess, I also studied a bit on the side. I went back and forth (back then with Flygbåtarna!) to Lund University in my spare time, and followed courses in Nordic Languages, English grammar and translation, Danish, Linguistics and Modern Greek.

During the past two years I have enjoyed studying remotely via different universities in Sweden. I have joined courses which have enriched my knowledge for my work, such as Material culture in Museums, Non-European Art, Ancient History and of course - Art History.

Yesterday I completely closed the book on the B-level of Art History. Via Zoom, I had the opposition on my academic essay and I'm so confident that it went well, that I am already celebrating! Sure, it is "only" a Bachelor of Arts, but it is a University degree - and considering it has taken me 27 years to finally finish it, I am so very, very proud of myself right now! Yay me!

I will keep studying in the fall, mostly because I enjoy it! There are so many interesting courses to join! But who knows, maybe while I'm on a roll, I'll continue on with a Masters degree!

Saturday, 5 June 2021

31 May - 5 June 2021

Sunday and Swedish Mothers Day. I got no flowers, nor balloons or presents (booo...), but at least I decided I didn't want to cook. So while Nathan was at work I took the kids to a new restaurant in Masdar for dinner. I had heard about their robot waiters, so I thought it was a fun thing to try. 

Food was a bit average, and as we were the only ones there it felt a bit lonely, but the robots were cool! They both served us the food, cleared our plates and danced for us - the future is here!

Monday and kids back to school, yay! I did my treadmill workout and then went to Al Bateen for lunch with Linda.

She had a place in mind she wanted to try, and luckily the food was really delicious because we were the only ones there (seems to be a thing for many places in AD at the moment unfortunately...), so not much ambiance. I can imagine it being lovely when crowded and busy.

I made pancakes for dinner, as Nathan was at work, and then I took the kids back to the mall to get Lucas some jeans as well, as the current offer was so good and he was in desperate need of trousers. Mission accomplished - two pairs for him, and even one for me! Score!

Tuesday, treadmill and back to the ENT to try and sort out the issues with my sore throat. They actually seem to be something Gastro-related, so across the hall I went to the Gastro-specialist straight away, and booked in for more tests in a few weeks.
Picked up the kids, had a short afternoon nap, and cooked something carbonara-like with spaghetti for dinner.

Wednesday and we got a padel game going today as well. It was slow (over 70% humidity!) and sweaty, but fun as always. Nathan cooked ribs, corn-on-the-cob and potato salad for dinner and then he went to watch the cycling with his mate Murph, so I watched Swedish TV by myself.

Thursday and I woke up with a headache. Couldn't have coffee to fight it off as I was going in for a small medical procedure, and the headache ended up lasting all day. So I spent most of the afternoon after coming home from the hospital on the sofa, feeling a bit sorry for myself before I managed to do todays treadmill session.
Nathan did the kids school runs and also took Linnea for a (scheduled) vaccination, and then - because Thursday - we had pizza for dinner.

Friday and I woke up with a headache, again, so it took a while for me to get my day going. But did my exercise, had a nap (...) and then Linnea and I went to IKEA to pick up my new desk top for my desk, a wider but shorter one. Cooked some dahl and rice for dinner. Then I started moving things around and realised the desk top wasn't going to work, so I will have to go back to IKEA again tomorrow...

Saturday and up even earlier than on a school day to go play padel! Lotta and I got our butts kicked by some of her British friends. I guess this shows we need to be playing more with different people, to learn and evolve.
Nathan went to work and I took the kids to the dentist, and then back to IKEA to exchange the desk top for a bigger one. Grilled chicken salad for dinner, gearing up for next week which is the big exam week, both for me but more importantly for Lucas. Mock exams coming up.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

1st June 2021 Covid status

I had barely hit 'publish' on the May post saying nothing had changed, and then from the 3rd of May we got new entrance rules into Abu Dhabi as fully vaccinated; quarantine is currently reduced to five days for us. Baby steps, but in the right direction. The list of "Green Countries" have been extended too, but so far Sweden is still not on it.
A few weeks later we also found out that quarantine will disappear on the 1st of July, although we are still waiting on more information about that. There will most probably be a new batch of rules and restrictions in its place, let's see.

Other than that, I can't really think of anything else that has changed lately, which is depressing in itself. We are one of the countries in the world with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated amongst the population, yet, no relief in restrictions yet.

Here are the numbers from today:
* 1968 new cases, from 215,689 tests today. Numbers still seem high after Eid.
* 1954 recoveries today. Total amount of deaths in the UAE stands at 1684.
* We have had a total of 572,804 cases here, globally it's close to 170,8M cases with 3,5M+ deaths.

Today 97,163 doses of vaccine has been administrated which brings the total number of vaccine doses in the country close to 12,9M.