Tuesday, 23 May 2017

busy little bee

Two more days. Then this semester is over (for me) and I'll be on vacation for a little while. New adventures!

 These past three weeks I've been busy pretty much constantly, but now I can see the end. It's been going well and I have enjoyed almost all of it, which is just the biggest luxury. When all is delivered and I've got some distance I'll try to summarize the three courses I've been through. But right now I just have to get back to work.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

music for a deserted island

I think it was back in January, I was at a party and started talking to this really nice Australian lady. After a while we for some reason started talking about audio-books and podcasts and I asked her what she enjoyed listening to. She then recommended the "desert island discs" series, not really a podcast but a radio-show with a loooong history, accessible via for example the iPhone Podcaster app. If you are Swedish you might - like me - compare this show with "Sommar i P1" except this is in interview format. Basically a famous person is interview - very generally about their life - and gets to chose eight songs that they would bring with them to a deserted island. Hearing these songs and explanations why they were chosen really gives you a new insight (I believe) in who these people are. And the "famous people" interview is all kinds of people, artist, writers and actors but also politicians, judges, journalists and other less "mainstream" celebrities. Here are the ones I recommend you start listening to, but pretty much all of the ones I've heard has been entertaining or at least interesting.

  • Sara Kahn
  • Sir Davit Attenburough
  • Dame Judy Dench
  • Christiane Amanpour

Let's just say that this show has existed for 75 over years, so there are a few to chose from...

Monday, 15 May 2017

My birthday week

Heeeelloo people!

I'm not particularly subtle when it comes to my birthday. I like celebrating it. I don't mind becoming older, and I'm happy with what I've done so far with my life so why not celebrating surviving another year?

So. It's my birthday on Friday!! This is how I plan to celebrate:

  • Andreas will most likely wake me up with breakfast and gifts in bed. And with "wake me up" I mean I will already be awake and awaiting his arrival with great anticipation
  • a few week ago I made an order on ASOS that I hope will arrive before Friday so I can pretend it consists of birthday-presents
  • I plan to finish my most pressing course work on Thursday so I'll have most on Friday off, to just chill and maybe watch one of my favorite movies
  • I'm going to bake this cake...
  • And invite a few friends over for cake and drinks on the patio

I laughed so hard ;)

Monday, 8 May 2017

today and this week in bullet points

Hello lovely people!

It's the beginning of a new week and I finally feel like I am back in to nice routines and in more or less control of my life. The upcoming 2,5 weeks will be busy with school work and a few other commitments but I feel pretty good about it. The business might show on the blog though...
Anyway, today I've had what I have come to think of as a - for me - very normal Brunei-day. Which means this:

  • I first woke up at about 4 am from super heavy rain pounding on the roof
  • The I woke up again at seven and had breakfast. Inside, which is quite unusual but it was just too humid outside, I didn't feel like eating on the patio
  • at 8:30 I drove to the club for a meeting concerning the remodeling project where i "consult"
  • I was back home at 10 and started working on one of my course assignements, a homepage for a fictional spa
  • at 12 Andreas came home for lunch. We ate and then had coffee on the patio, together with Cricket
  • the afternoon was spent writing html for the spa-homepage with a nail-polish and Netflix break (Elementary) and a break to hang laundry
  • at about 16:30 (which is now) I consider myself done with course work for today and will spend about an hour blogging and working on a design competition I'm taking part of - remodeling  a guestroom
  • at 18:00 I'll meet Andreas outside his office and we'll go to the gym
  • we'll be home and eat dinner at about 20:00 and maybe watch an episode of Daredevil
  • I'll probably finish my day with an evening walk, listening to a podcast, before going to bed at about 23:00

The rest of the week will continue much in the same way, with a few exciting exceptions:
  • tomorrow I'll probably join a training session with "team Europe" preparing for Panaga Nations Cup in a few weeks. I don't know much about this cup more than that it's a yearly, social event where you form teams based on your nationality and compete against each other in various sports. Very expat-ish. I think I'll play soccer, but I don't really know. I'm excited though!
  • On Wednesday I have my first real riding lesson, if the weather allows. I was supposed to have it last Wednesday but it got cancelled due to "big rain"
  • On Thursday morning I'm taking part in a coffee morning for newcomers, as I am now a member of the team that helps welcoming people here (the newsletter I've been talking about is for this organization)
  • Friday is nothing special as far as I know. Which means it will be movie-night with Andreas, one of my favorite things!
  • Saturday will probably include a brunch with some friends in Kuala Belait and then me and Andreas will go to Bandar 
  • On Sunday we are going to a wedding! I'm really excited - and a bit nervous for my outfit - about going to a Muslim wedding, I'm so happy we got invited

Thursday, 4 May 2017

My May

May. My birthday month. I've always loved May. I've felt it was my month.
But this May everything is different, obviously. It's our first spring in Brunei, but spring doesn't really exist here on Borneo. At least the rainy season seem to have come to an end, that's nice.
Anyway. What feels different is all that hope and excitement I usually feel in the beginning of the month. Knowing that it starts now, the sitting-in-the-sunshine-drinking-a-glass-of-white-wine-with-friends season, the barbecue season, the it's-too-cold-to-go-for-a-swim-but-we-do-it-anyway season, the season when everything seems possible. I see it happening on Instagram and Facebook, people over in Norway and Sweden are climbing out for their winter shells, an extra dose of joi de vivre everywhere. And yes I know I shouldn't complain, I have 30 degrees everyday and all the time in the world to do what ever I want with my life, but I still feel a bit nostalgic. I long for all of those social things people do once it gets warmer in Scandinavia. And I feel a bit sad I wont be celebrating my birthday with neither my friends nor my family this year. I'm over 30, but I've still always been excited about my birthday, until this year.

You know, let's wallow a little bit extra and look back on a few years of my May!

In May 2013 I was a hardworking red-head, making the most 
out of the beautiful weather by painting a fence

and then celebrating my 30th birthday by blowing 
bubbles and having a barbecue with my friends.

May 2014, ice cream on a walk home from work

 I celebrated another birthday  in the garden, 
and Emma was there this time too!

In May 2015 I looked this cute on our way to Emma (again)
for the traditional 17th of may (Norway's independence day) breakfast

And later that day I joined another tradition, 
the "Folketog", with my roller derby team.

By 2016 I was blond and went for a walk with darling Alison

 And ate ice cream in the garden

By now I was trying to absorb every last bit of spring-Stavanger before our move, I still didn't know when I would be leaving. Andreas was already in Brunei by now. Weird times.

May 2016, another way of enjoying May and saying good bye to Stavanger, spending as much time as i could with my friends! Here with a pretty Japanese beer on my friend Steve's balcony.

Oh well.

But you know what? The last week of May Andreas and I are going to Hong Kong! That's something to look forward to!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

My creative challenge #6 blog-portraits

It's getting harder to write these posts as I don't feel like I have been particularly creative at all lately. It's not entirely true, as I do some creative things in my courses, but those spontaneous creative sessions that I was aiming for this year hasn't been all that frequent during April. Finally last week I had an two evenings in a row when decided to draw for a while, and ended up making two portraits. Both are of Swedish bloggers I follow. I didn't feel inspired enough to scan them before posting them, so you'll have to survive yet another post with crappy iPhone photos, I'm afraid. Other than this I don't think I have anything to share today.

Portrait 1 - Lovisa a.k.a Polichinelle

Based on this photo, from Lovisa's blog

Porrtait 2 - Sandra a.k.a Niotillfem

Based on a photo from Sandra's blog
As I said, I've been doing semi-creative stuff these past weeks as well. It just doesn't feel as creative when it's just working on assignments in my courses, even though I guess they could fall in to that category. Right now I'm working on an illustration in my Vector graphics course, where the assignment was to use a photo as inspiration and "copy" it. Here's a screenshot from my work-space in Illustrator, might be fun to see:

Still a work in progress, but quite fun!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

checking in on my new year's resolutions

It's May already! Say whaaa?! Time is moving so ridiculously fast here, somehow. Oh time...
As usual when another month has passed by I have a look at where I stand in regards to my new year's resolutions. Here goes:

Paint my toenails often. Because looking down on brightly colored toes makes me happy.
Painted, but mostly red and pink this month. Boringly traditional.

Run 10K, once. Like without stopping for a rest.
April has been an even worse running month than March was. But I walk a lot. I hope to soon feel up to running again. 

Take an online photo course and start to use my camera on "manual" setting.
Nothing new here, my course work and other obligations take too much time. Maybe this summer. 

Bake my own bread, at least once.
I did bake cookies once this month! Nom... But bread, no.

Find one really good friend in Brunei.
I'm slowly getting to know more and more people, many of them really sweet, but no bestie yet

Take 60 kg in bench press.
I've done 50 now. Closing in! 

Make one new proper friend via Instagram or a blog.
Nah, nope. 

Start an online portfolio.
Nope. I've updated my LinkedIn profile a bit, but no portfolio. Can't say I'm prioritizing this one though. 

Grow my hair long and learn how to make a Dutch braid.
I don't think I've even tried braiding my hair this month. I'm growing tired of the pink now, so I  might do something about that in May.

Read 20 books, 5 of them non-fictional.
I'm still reading loads so I think I will have no trouble finishing 20 books this year. Not so sure 5 of them will be nonfictional though. 

Be nicer to my skin: use lotion on my dry hands and legs on a daily basis and develop some kind of skin-care routine for my little face. 
Uh, I still don't have a routine, really... my skin is OK though, except for dry hands and tons of mosquito bites!

Only eat good candy, not boring candy. And enjoy it. 
After all of the candy Andreas' parents brought for us was finished he and I decided to take a month off from candy-eating. We are three weeks in now, so I can't really say I've been enjoying candy much in April! 

Try to reduce my screen time a little bit.
This past week has been pretty good when it comes to not watching TV and slightly less iPhone-surfing. But that is mainly because I've been working on my courses and editing a newsletter so I've still been in front of a computer monitor. 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

the pink hair thing?

Yeah I'm not going to do that any longer...

Saturday, 29 April 2017

I've read: neverwhere

By Neil Gaiman

I've had this book unread in my bookcase for a long time. I don't know how long. But long enough for me to forget I had it and buy another copy in Singapore last month. Oh well, time to read it, right? In the foreword Gaiman describes how he wanted to write a story for that would do for a grown up what books like the Narnia series did for him as a child. 
This is the story about the Londoner Richard, a very normal guy with a job and a fiancee, who one days finds himself in a completely different London that he can't escape, and where rats are treated like royalty and a mysterious girl called Door is in trouble. 

This story also includes two of my favorite villains, Mister Croup and Mister Vandemar, two not all together human assassins who really, really enjoys hurting people. 
I know I have started reading this book before, and most likely I've had it as a audiobook but not finishes listening to it, because I recognize the beginning, and I remember Croup and Vandemar. It feels very familiar, but I know I never read or listened to a few pages. I can't understand why because this is a perfect book for me. Magic, mysteries and monsters. With humor and clever and imaginative writing. 

I think that Gaiman has used this "universe" or some of the characters in others stories and now I have to find them...

Thursday, 27 April 2017

feline affections

I think cats have an unfair reputation when it comes to loving their humans. I know all of us cat people know that our furry friends are fond of us, but everyone else seems to think that the cats just hang out with you when they want something - food or cuddles. My cats quite often behave in a way that makes it obvious this is not the case. It goes like this: I will be hanging out with them somewhere in the house but then need to move, doing something in another room for a while. Like working on the computer, reading a book or whatever. After a while, I'll look up from what I'm doing and there they are, one or both of them, having moved into the same room as me and now lounging on a chair or sleeping in a box, within a meter or so from me. Not meowing or in another way calling for my attention, just hanging out.They don't get anything out of this relocation - except the knowledge that I'm close by. So. For me, this is proof that they want to be with me, not only because I give them treats or belly rubs, but simply because they like me.

Then, of course, there are the times when they totally want something, mostly food (Hugo) or going out on the balcony (Cricket). Then they will reach up and pat me on my shoulder when I sit on a chair (yes that's how tall they are) or walk back and forth on the keyboard or my face or whatever needs to be done to get my attention. But that's another thing.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I'm back! and dressed in flowers!

I'm back in Brunei after our four-day weekend in Ho Chi Minh City. We managed to get quite a lot of stuff done in those days, but I'll come back to what we did in another post, when I have sorted though the photos. For now I'll just leave you with close ups of the four pieces of clothing I bough over there. Pattern is the shit, amiright?

Pineapple dress from a random shop I don't remeber the name of, dress and short from Warehouse and culottes from Zara.

Monday, 24 April 2017

guys, don't always believe your own eyes

We are all aware that Photoshop-ing is a real thing, right? Nobody is ever as pretty as they look... Oh well, just to make that extra obvious and to give you a glimpse of what I learn in one of my courses right now, here's an example, with yours truly as the object!

So, what do we have here? In an assignment for my course "Digital photo editing" that I'm taking this semester we are right now learning how to retouch portraits. We were supposed to hand in one "realistic" version where none of the characteristics has disappeared and  one "extreme" or "beauty" version where we use all the tricks we've learnt to beautify the person on the photo.

  • The photo to the left is the original, a selfie I took the other day. It has a color cast - it's too yellow - and a bit dark.
  • The second photo is the realistic version, where I have improved the colors so the look more like they do in real life plus I have brightened it up some. I have also adjusted a lipstick smudge, increased the contrast in the eyes and tried to reduce a light reflection in the glasses. And removed some dirt from the glasses, and a few small spots in the skin.
  • The third photo is more fake than you might immediately see. Besides all the small adjustments from the photo in the middle there are quite a few other ones. The skin is "blurred" to remove anything that can look like a pore, I have added extra hair (that part looks pretty fake in my opinion - not my best work) and made the eye color more interesting and vibrant. But most importantly I have reduced the size of the nose, made the eyes larger plus made the shape of the lips more symmetrical. The whole chin is also more narrow.

Not strange that we feel we are being compared with super-humanly beautiful people all the time, right? I knew this from before but seeing how "easy" this is made it even more obvious. I mean, this just took me, a beginner, just a few hours.

You might think it's stupid and wrong that we learn how to do this, so this unfair treatment of photos can continue? Then I just want to add that this whole segment of the course was introduced by discussing the ethics of just this as going through a bunch of interesting examples all the way back from the 1800-hundreds. This is a really good course that generally focuses on other things than this, but I guess it is still a big part of photo editing so they can't just skip it...

Saturday, 22 April 2017

I've read: Huset vid sjön

By Kate Morton

Another book review! Yep, I've been reading a lot lately...

This one is in Swedish, but I assume it would be called "the house by the lake" or something similar in English. I got it from my mother in law who left it behind after they had visited in March. 

I didn't have any expectations at all when I started reading it, except that it would be an easy read - suitable for a vacation. And it fulfilled that! The story is one of those that are told from to points in time, parallelly. One is the story of a child going missing in the 1930's, and one is the story of a police trying to solve the case in 2003. She is going through some drama of her own and takes up this cold case as a bit of "hobby" while trying to sort that out. Like most stories like this it is at first hard to see how the stories will connect but then... well, they do.

There were several things I liked about this book. You slowly get to know more and more about the characters, especially the ones in the family of the missing child, and the story gets told from almost all of their points of view. There are interesting, unexpected twists. The setting - a beautiful house in Cornwall - is described so well I can see it in front of y eyes, and that time, the 30's, is really intriguing. But then there are some things I'm not a fan of. Like the ending... It's not bad, it's just... too satisfying? 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

wednesday, packing and a movie review

I had another blah day today. It started OK but then my mood for some unknown reason became worse and worse and I felt bored and useless. This led to me spending a few hours in the couch, watching Suicide Squad for the second time. This helped a little bit. Notice how I even tried to make myself fell happier by wearing this awesome banana-print tank top today!

Anyway. I want to say a few words about Suicide Squad. Prepare for a nerd rant: My expectations for this film were high. I mean, I love a good super hero movie, and even though I've become less enchanted with the DC Batman/Superman universe these past few yeasr (Ben Affleck as Batman!? Come on!) I still had high hopes for this one. I guess I was hoping for some Deadpool magic or something. But. This is a train wreck of a movie. Especially if you - like me - haven't read any of the comics these characters are based on. For the first 25 minutes they keep introducing new characters, with very little back story, and it's reeeeally hard to grow a connection to them. I mean, I probably would have liked Katana or Captain Boomerang or whatever his name is if I'd new more than two seconds worth of info on them. That's the first bad thing. The second is the plot. It's not very good. I mean the whole idea of using a gang of super-villains to counter other bad-ass bad guys is nice but it just jumps from one event to the other without much explanation. Nope. I was thoroughly annoyed.


Then we have the Harley Quinn / Joker love story. I love Jared Leto as the Joker and Margot Robbie did a great job too. And Will Smiths character - Deadshot is pretty awesome too. Mr Smith is a good actor, in my opinion. And then yes, there were a few really nice scenes when the Squad was interacting with each other. Plus - awesome soundtrack! Lot's of classics and a few new good ones. 

So yeah, I have a love/hate relationship to this movie. 

Anyway. I spent this evening packing and preparing for our trip tomorrow. I've tried - for once - not to over pack! We leave right before lunch and have a short flight - only 1,5 hours - to Ho Chi Mihn City. I hope going away the weekend will take my blues away so I can get back in business next week. *crossing fingers*

Good night, y'all!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

weak start of the week

bluagh. I'm so tired! This day has been quite useless. Not in any particular way, but I just haven't had any energy or felt like anything has been fun. And this has been a feeling that has been a bit too common for me the past weeks. On the positive side: I don't have anything I really have to do today so it's not such a huge catastrophe if I just spend the whole day walking around aimlessly in the house. On the negative side: I don't have anything I really have to do today so it's quite likely I'll end up spending the whole day walking around aimlessly in the house...

Oh well. I cleaned the litter boxes, that's something. Plus me and Andreas did a short session at the gym, so I did leave the house once.

And right now I'm typing this, so - yay!

random photo of me and Cricket just to liven this post up a bit...

I hope that some of my energy, resolve and discipline returns tomorrow as I actually need to work on the final assignment in one of my courses. Because then, on Thursday, me and Andreas are off for a long weekend to Vietnam! We're spending Thursday to Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, a place we've never been to before, so that's going to be fun! I'll tell you all about it when we get back.

I hope all of you have a great week and are way more energized than me right now *snooooore*

Thursday, 13 April 2017

I've read: Stardust

by Neil Gaiman

I bought this book, along with four others - when I was in Singapore a few weeks ago. I was so happy to find myself in a big, proper bookshop so I had a hard time selecting which books to buy! And then when I came home I realized that I had, unfortunately, bought one book that was the wrong book in a series I'm reading, and that I had already seen the film-version of this book. So that was pretty annoying.

Anyway, turns out I didn't really remember all that much of this movie so the book was till mostly an unknown to me. All well and good. 

As it is written by one of my writer-heroes Neil Gaiman, I had pretty high expectations on the story. He usually writes modern fairy-tales, but this one is of a more classical variation and takes place mostly in a fairly land with witches and unicorns and other nice things. I'm not going to go into much detail about the story, but basically this young man has a crush on a pretty girl - that honestly seems to be a bit of a b**** - and he promises to go find a fallen star for her. So he goes on a quest.

In my opinion it's not one of Gaiman's best but if you feel like reading a fairy-tale, read this. It's a quick read and very lovely in many ways, and the language often beautiful. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

my creative challenge #5 various semi-important stuff

The attentive blog-reader will notice that it's been a while since I did one of these posts. I actually decided to drop one of my two "obligatory" creative challenge posts of March just because I had traveled and had visitors, so there wasn't much time for creativity. Since then I still haven't come back into the flow of creating just for the sake of creating, but I have still been quite creative. Most of the stuff I have done have been connected to my school-work, but I have also done stuff for the newsletter I'm now an editor of, plus just some stuff for myself...

My visual profile
So I have started to think about and work on a visual profile of my own. This includes a logo and a graphic profile I will use for a homepage, business cards and so on. This might sound a bit weird since I don't have my own business... But my long term plan is to have one and until then I will at least work on my own "brand" for when I communicate with others in professional capacity, which I have to do every now and then.
I'm not going to show anything before it's done, so this iPhone photo of my computer monitor will have to illustrate that process so far.

Illustrating articles
As I'm now responsible for a newsletter that is sent out to a kind of big group I want to make sure it's nice to look at as well as informative. I am not only collecting the material that goes into the newsletter, I'm also designing it. So far I haven't ventured that far off the path that was already laid out before I got this position, but I will probably add a bit more of my own design over time. In the issue that was sent out last week I decided to illustrate a few of the articles, just to make them a bit eye-catching and create a cohesive look. Here's one of those:

Some light"architecting"
I'm helping my cousin with a few sketches on a possible extension of their summerhouse. As this is a house I have fond memories of it feels important to get it right... so today I'm sending over four different versions and see which one they like best. So far it is mostly quick hand-drawings but as soon as they have decided on what way to go I'll start drawing this baby up in Revit. Let's see if I remember how... 

I know it's irritating when I'm writing about stuff but not really showing what it is, but you will just have to see them as teasers. Some of these projects involve other people or are just too undecided - so I want to keep them for myself for a while. But I still want to have a record of me working on them, as these posts are a way for me to acknowledge that I have actually accomplished something even when it feels like I have done nothing for a while...

Thursday, 6 April 2017

I've read: the thinking woman's guide to real magic

by Emily Croy Barker

This book was a Christmas gift from my mom! One that was on my wishlist after I found it online somewhere. 
This is the story about Nora, who after the rehearsal dinner of one of her friends takes a stroll in the mountains and gets lost. Only to find herself in a beautiful garden and befriending a beautiful, mystical woman who convinces her to stay for a while and join a party. After that all kinds of strange and magical things starts to happen but Nora isn't all that bothered - her life wasn't all that much fun before this anyway! Hanging out with this woman and all of her enchanting friends, plus her hot son, is so much better! And then the troubles begin. Obviously. There's magic. And monsters. 

When I first started reading i was not impressed. For the first fifty pages or so I thought it was silly, and I didn't like the main character at all. The writing was good and I liked the set up, but I just wasn't convinced I would ever feel any sympathy for Nora. But then maybe a hundred or so pages into the book - once Nora has changed location again (I don't want to spoil too much) it started growing on me. As other, more interesting characters were introduced I started to really like it! It got exciting! And complex!

As I finished reading this book I immediately went online to try and find a sequel. Turns out Troy Barker is currently  writing one! Which is both frustrating but promising... Can't wait! Well, I can, and I will, but well, you know. 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

dear diary

Hello peeps,

I've had a pretty slow day over here in our little house. My sweet husband have passed on a lovely cold to me so today I've been spending most of my time on the couch or the bed with a stuffed nose, sore throat and feeling generally clammy and slow. Having a cold is equally annoying in the tropics as back home in Scandinavia, I can assure you. Not that I does too much damage. I managed to get some work on my courses done and polish the final version of the newsletter I'm now editor for, that will be sent out tomorrow. So that's all good. I even had some energy left to go for a short walk in the sunset and steal a few more cuttings from bushes around the area. So, yeah, not too bad for a sick day.

One other thing that I managed to get done today was to apply for courses for next semester. I will get back to this in more detail another day, but it feels good to have that under control. Now I just have to figure out which of these courses I actually want to take, if I get accepted to all them.

Tomorrow morning I have an interesting thing on my schedule: my "assessment" for the riding lessons! Not sure what that will entail, but I think it might have to do with getting paired off with the "right" horse. Huh. It's interesting to see how one reacts to new situations, right?  Not sure how it will feel to sit on a horse. I'll let you know.

That's all for today, have a nice week!

Monday, 3 April 2017

tropical gardening, april 2nd

Wanna see what my green projects looked like in the beginning of March and compare? Have  a look here. In March I have been forced to give up on a few projects, I have tried planting some of my cuttings and added to my collection of avocado seeds.

I have replaced my grown-up pineapple with a new one! This one got its root by standing in water for over a month and now when it's in soil I hope it will start growing... the old big one is now moved to my tiny kitchen-garden on the side of the house. In the vases are some cuttings I've stolen from bushes around the neighborhood. 

Old cuttings now in soil. Some of these had developed roots and some not, let's see who survive!

The cantaloupe seeds have grown big, I should plant them in separate pots now! And a few of my avocado seeds. I add new ones to this collection every week. I'm going to plant a forest. 

The watermelon (and the cucumber)  is growing away from its pot. I have to watch out so I don't step on them.

I'm constantly forgetting to water the seeds I keep next to my cashew plants so now I try to keep them moist by covering them with cut off water-bottles. I still had to replace the old seeds, but let's see if this solution helps. The tomatoes are looking good though! Although I'm going to remove a few from the pot so they don't have to fight for the space. 

Mango, mango, avocado. I had such big hopes about that mango in the middle! It comes from a giant mango I bought from the shop, it was 20 cm long! It has started growing, but very slowly... I hope it will get a growth spurt soon!