Wednesday, 15 November 2017

the past week

So I have been traveling again. My brother and his partner visited us so we first spent some time together here in Brunei, then we went to a rain-forest resort near Lambir national park in Miri (about 2 hours away from here by car) and finally I went with them to Hua Hin in Thailand for a few days. So that's why it's been a bit quiet here, lately.

As usual, I'm not a huge fan of writing travel-posts, but here are a few photos to summarize the highlights of the past week.

the mosque in central Bandar Seri Begawan (capital of Brunei)

Raniforest waterfall in Malaysian nature reserve

Our hotel in Hua Hin, Thailand. 

Caves with hidden buddah statues, Thailand

Palace an hour away from Hua Hin

Palace in Thailand
Trainstation in Hua Hin

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

a corner

it's almost always a bit dark in our bedroom. We have big windows but the curtains are always drawn, they function as wallpaper and privacy screen. Plus our roof has massive overhang so even though we have plenty of windows in all rooms, the sunlight only reaches the rooms in the mornings and afternoons. It's ok though, I don't mind.

What's more than ok is that I finally hung the beautiful print by Vee Speers that my mum gave me as a belated birthday gift when I was in Sweden this summer and we visited Fotografiska together. It's perfect.

Monday, 6 November 2017

I bought stuff

So it seems I will fail my "no shopping for 90 days in a row" goal for 2017.

Here are a few items that I could pick up from the post office here in Brunei, two weeks after I ordered them from ASOS. The themes are a continuing fascination for tropicana patterns and an attempt on adding a bit more pink to my otherwise so black, blue and green closet. So, how did they all fit?

I was already a bit skeptical about the green of this skirt from Warehouse, and it ended up being maybe five shades more bright (neon) green than I thought from the photos online, but hey, there are pretty tigers and trees on it, sooo... I have already cut off ca 4 inches from the length you see in this photo since it was way too long, but the fabric is nice and light and the fit in the waist perfect.

This knee length caftan from Monki was really hard to shoot but it's pretty, trust me. Beige palm leaf print on a thin (not super comfortable) fabric. It has a few buttons in the front so it can be worn as a cardigan or some kind of  dress is you wear tights and a top under.

I'm packing both of the next two pieces for my Thailand trip... I use thin open cardigans a lot here, it's great to wear indoors over a dress when the air is cool from the AC. The dress is a bit shapeless in the upper body and looks better with a belt, but I do love the print. 

Another pink little thing! I wore this last week on our team building day and it was quite comfortable, except the fabric got a bit clammy when it got hot. But it has a nice fit in the body and lovely butterfly sleeves that feels like the perfect style for when you want to dress modest enough for a Muslim country but airy enough for a tropic country. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

october resolution check

Hi November! The months pass by here in Brunei without much difference. Well, it's been raining a lot in October, but otherwise it's been same old, same old. One way for me to mark the passage of time is to look back on the month that was and see how I have done with my long lists of goals for 2017. So, here's how I did during October:

  • Start scuba diving again
    still no news here. Meh. :(
  • Become a person that runs
    Since the 1st of October I've been running 4 times. Not too bad!
  • Paint my fingernails with fun designs more often
    Getting better here, best of this months was my Dalmatian nails matching my top one day. 
  • Try galloping at least once
    I've started doing this slowly but surely, even though my last two lessons have been less than satisfactory from my part. But I now consider this item as completed!
  • "Read" five of my architect-books
    I have read 1/4 of one and 1/3 of another...
  • Go 90 days straight without shopping clothes
    It's been a few weeks since I bought anything now, but I don't think I'll manage 90. There isn't even 90 days left of this year... :(
  • Eat vegetarian at least two days per week
    11 of 31 days in October was vego-days!
  • Post three blog posts per week
    This month has been so-so here on the blog. 1-3 posts per week, ok but not what I want.
  • Complete at least one project for my portfolio
    Nope. But at least I'm trying to get a better overview of what I want to do, plus updated my software... 
  • Take 90 kg in dead-lift and 60 kg in deep squats
    Two new PB's this month! Not in dead-lifts, but in squats (55 kg) and 52,5 kg in bench, closing in! Weird that those two are so close...

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

This week's busy schedule

This will be a strange and unusually active week for me! I'm only two days in and I've done more than I usually do for a whole week. Yesterday I had to work hard to complete tasks for my two most "work like" projects, and today I've been away for the whole day on a team-building event in the capital, Bandar. Tomorrow I'm in meetings all day and then I have to prepare the house for our guests that will arrive in the middle of the night! My brother and his partner will visit until Sunday, and then I'll then join them for a five day vacation in Thailand. And before leaving we will manage to squeeze in (yet another ) visit to the capital plus two nights in a hotel in the rain-forest in Malaysia. Oh, and the day after I come back from Thailand there's a giant latino-themed party here.

I tell you, it's crazy. But great. Except for all the driving I will have to do for the next few days. i hate driving.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I've read: the bone clocks

by David Mitchell

This is the third book I've read by David Mitchell, the second in a row. I found out about this one after reading The bleak house a year ago, and since I liked that one and supposedly this one would take place in the same universe I was curious to read it too. 

In the first part of the book we are introduced to Holly Sykes, a young English girl that one day decides to run away from home after an argument with her mum. After leaving her small town in search for a job and somewhere to stay she first runs in to an old lady called Esther Little, who gives her a cup of tea and ask if Holly will grant her asylum if Esther will need it in the future. Holly doesn't understand what that means, but says yes. After leaving Esther she runs in to Ed, a boy from her school, who gives her a ride on the back of his bike and suggests a strawberry farm nearby as a good place to find a job. This all seems like a quite normal story, but slowly but surely strange people start showing up, and horrible things happen. Without really understanding the forces behind these weird things, only getting glimpses of characters that seem to be able to change bodies, and an ongoing secret war, the story jump forwards a couple of years, and is now told from another persons perspective - this time a young, posh man called Hugo Lamb. 

The rest of the book continues in the same way. We get to know a new character, we learn a little bit more about the secret war between these strange body-changing people and then the story switch perspective again. The same characters return, but in a new context, and older. We'll meet Holly again, a young adult, a grown up, and so on. In many ways I think this book is a mix between the two other Mitchell books I've read, the fragmented story telling, starting in the past, passing the present and ending up in the future, and taking place in a universe where most people live life just like ours, but there are some supernatural elements and a secret world only a small group of people know about.

I liked this book. I din't love it. Some times I felt it was just too long, and after reading tow other books where the story all of a sudden take a jump a few - or many - and a new protagonist is introduced I was a bit fed up with it. But it is still - at least by the last third of the book - really exciting. Now I want to read a nice long series where I get to follow the same person for a nice long while.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

dysfunctional devises

Hello, and happy Thursday!

selfie of the day

I had planned to write a nice little post about some pretty clothes that I just recieved from an online shopping spree at ASOS a few weeks back, but I can't edit the photos in Photoshop because apparently I don't have enough space on my C-drive... maaaan... so annoying. And, as if that wasn't enough my phone, a three year old iPhone 6, behaves like a three year old child that doesn't want to do anything that I do, but just wander of by itself opening random apps and writing random sh*t. It's been behaving like this on and off since May, but today it's been so bad I can hardly use it at all, so I guess I just have to bite the really expensive bullet and buy myself a new one. I'm thinking an 8, not a X.

OK, so that was all of the annoying things for today. I'm generally in quite a good mood today, actually, I've slept really well lately, I'm back on my normal, good routines and I have lots of fun things going on the upcoming weeks. Plus, this morning I went for a jog and surprised/was surprised by a monitor lizard - something I count as a preeeeeetty fun way to start a day with. Not so much the jogging part, I really don't like that, but you should see a monitor lizard running, it's hillarious! Wait, I'll find a YouTube video of it for you...  There we are!  Look at him go! Aaaahahahaha!

Monday, 23 October 2017

weekend summary and a home project

Hello friends!

It's Monday again, and I'm back in front of the computer after what feels like a long weekend. At this very moment I'm listening to a country song (!) Friends in low places, performed by Home Free. Not my usual kind of tune, but I came across it for some reason a while back and I just thought it was entertaining. I think it's important to go outside your comfort zone every now and then... plus it's a pretty good song to start your Monday with.

I've just gone through my schedule for this week and it looks like it might be a pretty nice one. I've been a bit disappointed with my courses this semester and felt the need to fill my days with other meaningful activities as well, and on Friday I sat down and took note of everything I want/need to do in order for next year to be a bit more productive. It was a good exercise and I ended up installing a "project management" app on my phone to keep track on my plans and tasks. I plan to write a proper post on this sometime soon, but I need to think a bit more about this first.

This weekend was really nice, in many ways as great as a weekend at home can be! I spent Friday night first taking a salsa rueda class and then relaxing in the sofa with Andreas, watching Mission Impossible 5 on Netflix and eating home-made halloumi burgers and Swedish candy. On Saturday we drove to Kuala Belait, had lunch at Marilyn Café and and bought some new furniture for our guestroom. Then I went to my friend Jenni's hen-night party and celebrated all night long with a bunch of cool people. Yesterday we spent most of the day sorting out various small projects around the house, like hanging up mirrors, fixing a hole in a wall, hanging up a curtain rod and some shelves for the kitchen. All small things, but things that have been on our to do list for ever and now it's all done! Very satisfying.

furnishing a decorating a house here in Brunei is a bit of a challenge, considering what's trendy here isn't really my style...

Today the furniture for the guestroom will (hopefully) be delivered, so I can start cleaning up and putting stuff back in to place. Our goal has been to make this room look less like a storage room/gym and more like an actual room you want to be in.

Friday, 20 October 2017

retro/bollywood/disco party

It's Friday and what is better on a Friday than some party-party? Well, a lot of things, I guess, but no matter, here are a few photos from last weekend when I went to a big party. 

Every year there are a few "community-events" here where we live, arranged by some of the larger social communities in the area. There's the Highland Games organized by the Scottish community, a fair hosted by the Brunei Brits, the Latino Night (coming up in a few weeks) by the South Americans and now the Bollywood night, organized by the Indian community. Many of the parties have themes and you are encouraged to dress accordingly. I had originally planned to stay home this night, and only bought my ticket the day before, so my costume was a bit hastily assembled. The theme for the night was retro (specified as styles from the 60's-90's) combined with Bollywood, and I decided to just pick one of my vintage pieces from my closet and go from there.

I chose from these four, a pale mint-colored 50's dress with beads, and three dresses from the early 60's, one in floral cotton, an beige wriggle dress and one in luxurious thick fabric and autumn colors. 

I ended up going for the beige one, mostly because the fabric is lightweight and I thought it would look good with a beehive up-do... 

Not my usual silhouette! I styled it with white heels, a vintage bag, my most retro-looking glasses and some pearls. My goal was to look like a 60's housewife and I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

Most other people went for hippie costumes, 60's OP clothing or saris, so I guess I stood out a bit! It was a fun night, even though it started pouring rain at about ten, so we all got pretty soaked while dancing. Luckily it was still warm enough not to bother us too much.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

my creative challenge #9 drawing, drawing, drawing

I've been lazy and slow a lot of the time these paste few weeks, but in one are I've been more productive than in ages! I feel like I finally have gotten in to a nice routine of drawing and sketching a little bit every day. Which is great, because I love doing it! I have a few ongoing projects that I hope will end up becoming something I can add to a potential portfolio at some point, but I have also just been drawing for the sake of fun.

Realistic graphite otter
Every now and then I like to practice realistic drawing. It's challenging and fun. This time I did this little happy otter from a photo I found online.

Portrait with an attitude
I really enjoy drawing portraits, and especially ones of people making not just a normal pretty face. I usually find my inspiration on Instagram or blogs, where some really awesome people post selfies that are just too good to just be lost in the never ending stream of faces. This one is of Kajsa, a favorite motif of mine! I'm going to refine this one a bit... I'll show you when I'm done...

Mab Graves' #drawllooweenclub
For the past few years one of my favorite artists - Mab Graves - have hosted a drawing challenge in October, leading up to Halloween. The theme is - obviously - Halloween inspired and you are supposed to post an illustration/doodle/artwork every day depicting the monster of the day. I started of solidly, and decided to make sort of a monster ABC, but lost momentum after nine days... Still, this was a lot of fun and since the doodles mostly took between 15 and 30 minutes to complete I'm quite happy with how most of them turned out!