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.