Friday, 16 February 2018

a while ago in Bali

Our anniversary trip to Bali last weekend summarized in 5 photos.

we ate amazing food
did some shopping
had cocktails by the pool
I bought a round hand bag
and we ate donus

Plus I got to spend some quality time with my favorite human being in the world. 

I actually posted a few restaurant recommendations on my Instagram (@holly_hawkeyes) if you are planning to go to Bali at some point and want to know where to eat. There are plenty of hipster places around Seminyak where we stayed. 

Today I'm going to Singapore to meet up with my mom who will be visiting for about ten days. As Brunei isn't a very fun place to be a tourist in - but great to live in! - we are first doing Singapore for a weekend before she comes here for a few days. Before she goes back home we'll spend next weekend in Kota Kinabalu - Malaysia - so she'll get to experience a bit more of what Borneo has to offer.  It will be fun, but I probably wont do much blogging for the next week or so...

See you soon-ish!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Netflix favorites right now

I'm not going to recommend Alias Grace, the Crown or the End of the f*ing world since everyone has already seen these but instead bring the spotlight to two other, less hyped series. And yes, they are less hyped partly because they are not exactly as good, but still... I really enjoyed them


This series cam best be described as Stranger things in German. I'd guess the target group is pretty much the same as this series is also all about mystery, family drama, supernatural things, 80's nostalgia. But with a moodier undertone. And in German. I actually found it quite instructive and a great refresher for the German in learnt while living in Dresden ten years ago. 


I was a big Batman fan until Ben Afflek got the part, so this series, where we get to know some (most) of the characters in Gotham before Batman becomes Batman and is still only a barely teenaged billionaire. We get to know Jim Gordon before he's commissioner, we get to meet the Penguin when he's only Oswald Cobblepot and the Riddler before he becomes (too) creepy. It's exactly like a good comic should be: dark, exaggerated and violent. And sometimes ridiculous, like when a horrible assassin shows up and it turns out his name is Eduardo Flamingo... Oh lol! 

Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency

This series is as weird and confusing as they come - which isn't surprising as this series is based on a novel by Douglas Adams. But it's also, sweet, funny and sometimes surprisingly violent. Anything can happen when holistic detective Dirk suddenly shows up. And Frodo is there, as a neurotic ex musician.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

a quick OOTD

In the middle of workshops, deadlines and meetings I snapped a few photos of a cute outfit the other day. Just to mix things up here a little bit on the old bloggerino - and show my face for once!

light beige linen top - Uniqlo
skirt - Zara
earrings - COS
I used to wear skirts and tops more often before, when I lived in Noway, so this feels more like "me" than when I wear trousers, but - darn it - I should have bought a larger size! This one is just a bit too tight in the waist for it to be completely comfy. And comfy is key. But I opted for the smaller size since it was already a bit on the long side for my height. I should wear skirts more often. Skirts are great.

Monday, 12 February 2018

monday, week 7 - that escalated quickly

Good afternoon, dear friends! Or - as I just learned last week in Malay class - selamat petang!

I'm having a pretty exciting day, professionally speaking. Remember how I mentioned last week that I had some new opportunities coming up, that I felt I should accept even though I don't really have time for them? Well, today I had initial meetings for both of these projects and now I just have to jump pretty much right in to them... I'm in a pretty good mood, but at the same time I feel quite stressed. Both time-wise, but there is also a certain level of performance anxiety involved, as both projects are graphic design jobs... But I have explained to both of my clients that I'm still a student within this field, so I hope they have realistic expectations. It should be fine.

Anyway. These two new projects just adds to the pile of things I have going on now. Tomorrow is a pretty big day as I'm hosting my first ever workshop in drawing for beginners! This is an idea I have come up with myself, something that I wanted to try in the effort of making illustration and drawing into something a bit more professional. I'll hopefully have time to tell you more about it later in a few days. Other things on my schedule this week are two course-deadlines, a planning-meeting for the next newsletter and most likely a meeting with the re-modelling project. Oh, and I need to do my Malay homework too... And that's just in a four day workweek as I'm traveling to Singapore on Friday morning to meet up with my mother.

Again, all of these things are fun (more or less), interesting and really good for my future CV, but I still can't help being a bit frustrated everything happens at once... why is it always the case? I just need to, once again this week, sit down with my bullet journal and plan what tasks to do each day. It should all work out. But be warned there might be a lot of focus on work/study for a while now here on the blog, and not a lot of other fun things. Maybe not the most interesting for you to read about. Sorry, not sorry!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

according to plan or not

January is the month of planning, right? You spend a lot of time figuring out what you want your year to look like and what you want to achieve. Well, now it's February so it's time to put all of those nice plans to the test! It's easy to make plans and it's easy to set goals, but then real life comes along and laughs at your plans.

for some reason, the rainy weather today makes me stress too, although I have no reason for that what so ever!
Maybe the weather is just a symbol for how unpredictable things can be...
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is not a dramatic in any way, I'm just looking back at the weekly schedule I did for myself only yesterday and now I have a quite different feeling about the week than I had when making it. All of a sudden new things have turned up in the shape of more meetings and a possible new (and completely positive) graphic design opportunity, and I feel veeery tempted to change my plans for the week and dive straight into the tasks that feel most urgent. I feel torn in several directions and a bit stressed about how to manage all of these different tasks that have come along. You know what is helpful then? I'll tell you! Looking back on my list of priorities for this year and evaluating which ones of these new - and old - tasks I should work on, and if the new things that have come up are actually things that support my main goals for the year. Turns out that even though my gut feeling was to turn this new opportunity down because I don't feel like I have time it actually might work very well in my overall scheme, so I've decided to explore it further...

In the end I wont have to change my plans for this week all that much, I'll just make sure to keep the new items in the back of my mind for next weeks plan. Taking one week at the time and planning quite thoroughly in my bullet journal really helps with the priorities, as I can see in black and white that all things are taken into consideration and scheduled, maybe not just for today.

The extra stress I'm feeling today might also have been caused by the fact that the meeting I went to today went on for more than an hour longer than I expected... Right now I mostly feel tempted to go and hang out in the couch in front of Netflix for a while, but that would only be hiding from all of the things I feel I should be tackling today. Instead I'm going to follow my original plan from yesterday and spend the afternoon reading course literature and doing some drawing. Just like I planned. 

Monday, 5 February 2018

monday, week 6

Hi there, Monday monsters.

Today I woke up at 3:40 in a hotel room in Bali, and now, at 15:10 I'm back here in my home office. I've been back for a few hours, the flight from Bali is only 2 hours long. I had a wonderful weekend that consisted mostly of us reading books by the pool, eating fabulous food and drinking cocktails. I don't really have that much to say about it - again, I'm not a fan of other peoples travel posts so I try to avoid making long tedious ones myself - but I might share a few snippets some time this week. I only brought my iPhone and no camera though, so the image quality will not be top notch.

Fun fact: they insisted on playing covers of the same boy band songs over and over again by the pool at our hotel, so now I felt inspired to listen to a 90's pop playlist on Spotify! I didn't listen to a lot of boyband music way back when, but it's quite enjoyable and nostalgic, to be honest!

Anyway. Today is Monday and you'd expect at least half of it could be used for something useful. I've already had the enjoyable experience of cleaning out the cat litter-boxes - one of my fur babies have had a bit of diarrhea while we were gone, so that was a quick trip back from glamour to real life. A few minutes after that mess was cleaned up (Cricket is very well behaved when I have to put her on her back in my lap to clean her up and cut the poopy fur off, little angel baby) I noticed that one of them - probably Hugo - had thrown up on the living room carpet while we were away. I noticed this by stepping in it, I might add. Luckily it was dried... Life with two long haired beasts! All nastiness managed I've now had time to sit down and plan the week. So this is what it'll look like:

What's left of  Monday will be spent unpacking, preparing for the week and organize what work needs to be done. Me and Andreas will go to a CrossFit class and then make a quick dinner. If I'm up for it after that I'll try to sit down and draw for a bit, it's been too long.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I have an exiting meeting where the architects we've chosen to do the design for the re-modelling project I'm consulting on hopefully will present their conceptual ideas for the building. I had planned to go to yoga before that meeting but now I realize I wont have time... The rest of the day I'm going to work on a few illustrations and do some reading for my graphic design course. In the evening me and Andreas have our first Malay lesson! And then I'll go for a swim.

It's been raining like crazy for a while now so I don't really expect my riding lesson on Wednesday morning to happen - it's been 3 weeks since I was last in the saddle, the arena is always to wet which is a risk for the horses. So maybe I'll just have a super productive day in the home office instead! I'm searching for a good online course in the architectural software I'm using, I'll spend some more time on Wednesday researching that. And then doing some work on my two ongoing conceptual projects. In the evening I'll first go to Piloxing with my friends Rachel and Morgane, and then I'm off to Salsa Rueda class! I usually feel like skipping this class as it's quite late in the evening, but I'm always happy when I go...

Thursday means another meeting in the re-modelling project and then I have to do some serious work on the assignment in my graphic design course. Another CrossFit class in the evening.

Interlude: "I swear" by All-4-One just started playing on Spotify! And I'm suddenly back in my hometown library, on a Friday night at like ten in the evening attending a school disco! I'm ten years old and have asked the boy I currently have a crush on to slow dance with me. Damn I was a brave child. I'm probably wearing my brand new black stretch-jeans and a black and white striped top, showing off some of my slightly chubby midriff. I'm also most likely wearing black sneakers with rainbow-colored laces. It's dark except for the colored lights flashing along with the music and the rooms is warm and crowded. Oh sigh. Good times. 

Maybe I can sneak in a replacement yoga-class on Friday mornings since I'll miss the one tomorrow? Otherwise I'll most likely sleep in until eight or so. Course assignment and preparation for an exciting new thing (I'll tell you about it next week) will take up most of the day. No plans for the evening except for going to the gym and then have a beer on the balcony. Maybe we should invite some friends over for that beer?

The weekend is so far completely open. I might need to study - like do my Malay homework if I get any? and write a blog post or two. I like weekends at home with the cats...

I hope you guys have a nice week ahead of you! Anything special happening?

Thursday, 1 February 2018

can't sit still today

Hello there!

Just wanted to pop in real quick and say hi before we leave on our mini vacation. I'm having one of those days when everything feels a little bit out of sync - most likely because we are traveling in only a few hours - and I can't really sit down and focus today.

I had a chill start of the day, enjoying a smoothie breakfast on the balcony with Cricket, but after that I haven't gotten anything done except packing. And even packing seems difficult even though we are only away for a few days. We travel a lot but I'm still the kind of person who is most comfortable at home and I really don't like leaving the cats behind. They have a perfectly good sitter so all will be good, but still... Oh well. What a spoiled brat I am coming here and whining about what is a complete luxury, by the way. I'm finished complaining now. 

But I also really want some candy and I don't have any at home :(

Do you guys also get antsy before traveling?

On another note: I've been trying to get some work done on an upcoming course assignment - making a new layout for a course brochure - and today I was just struck by the feeling that it's really great that I don't have to hand it in for a while. I've started in good time and have come pretty far and could probably just finish this in a day or so. But then when I looked at my progress so far what I saw was something so bland and mainstream I got real annoyed with myself. I mean, it's perfectly alright, well organized and nice but I have to push myself more. The whole plan of me taking these courses was to challenge my creativity and then I can't keep settling for "nice", right? So that's going to be my project for next week, lifting this concept from nice to outstanding. Heeeheeee, we'll see how that goes. At least I feel like I've learned something since this post (is it weird that I instinctively went back in my November and December archive to look for this post, but it was only written like two week ago, what the hell?).

OK, so this post turned in to something completely different from what I had in mind. But that's alright. Now I'm off to finish my packing and kiss the cats a billion times. 

Hope ya'll have a lovely day!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

easy-peasy spicy soup

So, this is probably one of the least sexy dishes you'll see online today. I'm sharing it for three reasons:
  1. it was good
  2. it is versatile and easy to make
  3. I actually took photos of it

Anyway. This is a spicy chicken soup. As I'm not awefully good at cooking I enjoy making soups as it usually consists of just chopping some stuff, throwing it in a pot and let it simmer for a while. This soup was no different, but with one brilliant addition: it is seasoned with ready-made fajita seasoning from one of those little yellow bags, like Old El Paso or whatever. So no need to be kitchen-clever, you know it'll be good. This is how you do it:

Chop us two bell peppers, a red onion and 4 garlic cloves. Throw in a big pot with two table spoons of olive oil fry for a few minutes. 

When everything's nice and soft pour in one can each of crushed tomatoes and black beans (without the "juice"). Add 1,8 liters of water plus two stock cubes, the bag of fajita seasoning and two fillets of chicken. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked. Then remove the chicken and shred it with the help of two forks and throw it back in the pot for a few minutes.


I know food photography isn't really my thing, but who cares. This brown little mess was really tasty, is healthy and so easy to change depending on what you have at home. The next time I'll skip the chicken to make it vegetarian, add a can or two of corn and an extra can of black beans to make it a bit richer. According to the original recipe you can add rice to the soup too, but this will change the cooking time. Can be served with bread or nacho chips!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Monday, week 5

Good afternoon fellow internet users!

Over here in Brunei the time is 16:24 and just at this moment I'm done with the "have to do" part of this Monday, and will soon go over to the "want to do" part. This means I've already checked off going to the dentist, attending a meeting and finishing editing newsletter from my to do list, and now I only have two things left today - going to my first ever CrossFit class plus going to a stand up comedy night. Not too shabby for a Monday!

typical hospital floor matched with surprisingly white shoes

dentists office corridor. They look the same all over the world, right?

Otherwise my priority for this week is completing the first assignment in my graphic design course. I will spend tomorrow on that, and as much as I need to of Wednesday. Hopefully I'll still have time to work on some of my own architecture projects on Wednesday and Thursday because on Thursday evening me and Andreas are going away for a long weekend to Bali. I know it sounds completely ridiculous going to Bali for a weekend, but considering where we live it is comparable to going for a weekend to Copenhagen if you live in Stavanger or Gothenburg, like we did before. Anyway, it's going to be amazing, I hope. I love Bali.

Better with no shoes!
So, not much else is new this week! I had a ridiculously calm weekend, three evenings in a row in the couch with Andreas and the cats, watching movies and drinking wine. Not getting that much done during the days. Lovely. Anyway, I hope ya'll's week has started of nicely!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

black and white accessories

Hey hey hey there! I believe I haven’t really shown you my new glasses! These are actually a pair of the ones I showed you guys back in December - my dear friend Sylvia was right about which ones I bought! 

I bought them and they were delivered to my mom's house so I could pick them up over Christmas. I needed a back-up pair, and also wanted something that would provide a bit more contrast to my face. I left my other pair in Sweden - or actually they are now in Norway, to be fitted with new glasses via my old optician. Hopefully they'll be ready by the time my mom comes here to visit us in February, so I can have two to alternate with...

While on the subject of accessories I also wanted to show you my new necklace that I got from Andreas for Christmas! They are from Albrekts Guld in Sweden and came with a matching pair of small, round earbuds. I'm a huge fan of black diamonds and I love the drop shape. In these photos I wore it with a crane patterned shirt in pajama style from ASOS  - another Christmas gift from the Amazing A!

Friday, 26 January 2018

DIY earring display

I made another thing! 

This fancy-shmancy, trendy looking creation was something I came up with when I was organizing my jelwelry the other day and realized that I own a bunch of nice earrings that I don't use enough because I don't really remember that I have them. Hence - something needed to be done. 

After googling - no, Pinteresting - I had a few ideas but nothing that I really liked. I started going through my big box of craft material to get some inspiration. And guess what I found? Inspiration! Plus a small wooden box and a thin piece of cork. 

If I hadn't decided to make two of these, and if the glue gun wouldn't need like 4 minutes to get warm, this DIY would have taken me about 1,5 minutes to make. 

Measure a piece of cork to be the same with of the box. Cut. Glue. Done.

Btw: I find most of my earrings at the regular chains like H&M, Lindex, Monki and ASOS. I can also recommend Kate Spade for fun and cute ones and COS make clean, minimalist and geometrical ones that I like a lot. 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

a good day

Yesterday was a good day, in the most unspectacular way you can imagine. The success lay mainly in the fact that I got my ass to yoga in the morning, and even though this resulted in a quite unproductive start of the day I think it helped setting a nice mood for the day. I made a smoothie for breakfast for the first time in months, had a nice lunch with Andreas and the local lady that will start teaching us Malay in a few weeks (!) and spent the rest of the day making Brunei related illustrations for the newsletter. I even survived the evening CrossFit foundations class! But, to be frank, I think the most impressive success about yesterday was that I seem to have avoided the major menstrual cramp sesh I usually go through every month. Not sure if it was a fluke, the fact that I worked out or that I took my painkillers as soon as the pain made itself known. Either way - major win!

Hope you had a great Tuesday too!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday, week 4

Good evening, internet! I just wanted to sit down here and share my Monday with you guys before I go out for my evening walk. I usually write my Monday posts in the morning, but today it was forgotten among a bunch of other tasks I had to get done. But still, I quite enjoy these little start ups of each week so I'll squeeze in a little post here now instead!

This week will be a highly normal week, as weeks here go. I haven't got any huge plans, deadlines or parties this week, and I am definitely happy about that. As I wrote about last week in my "priority" post, I have spent this Monday managing all of the shorter and urgent tasks that will make it easier for me to focus on the bigger picture the rest of the week. So I've bought course literature, paid for my new course that starts in the end of February, done some other internet bank errands, contacted people for the newsletter I'll be working on later this week, plus prepared for a meeting on Thursday. I got a late start this morning but still managed to check off all of my little boxes on today's to do list! Win!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I plan to start the day with yoga - something I plan on doing a lot but very rarely do... Then I'll be dividing my day between working on some illustrations for my graphic design course and planning a new layout for the newsletter that I'm doing. New year new fresh look! I might join Andreas for lunch tomorrow as he has a meeting with a person we might start taking Malay lessons for... In the evening we are going to our fourth session of the CrossFit foundations.

As usual on Wednesdays I begin the day with a riding lesson. Last week my lesson went really bad and sucked - so I don't particularly look forward to this. The rest of the day I'll work on a new conceptual sketch for  a house here - just a made up project of my own to practice my skills, but a good way to get back in to architecting... Another CrossFit foundation session in the evening.

Thursday is a little bit more eventful with a project meeting with the re-modelling project. And then I'll be going through some tutorials for the architectural software I work in. In the evening we'll go to the final session of the foundations, after this we can join actual CrossFit workouts! Let's see what happens with that...

Friday will be spent working on the newsletter, including finalizing the new layouts and producing a bunch of new illustration and graphics. We might go to the gym in the evening, but we might also invite some friends over for beer on the balcony...

Saturday and Sunday is completely unplanned so far! But I have this vague idea of cleaning the outside of the first floor windows... And then I have to do the final work on the newsletter before sending it to proof reading on Monday morning.

Well. That's that! Nothing spectacular. Just how I like it.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

intention for 2018 - priority

Besides becoming better at exploring Brunei and Borneo I have another "great plan" for this year. It was inspired by my dear husband, who is very clever - and who has gone to lectures and stuff. It was after I had been complaining about the fact I've never gotten around to do any architecture related work last year and instead always ended up thinking I could "do it tomorrow or next day" and did everything else first. He said that I should start thinking of my "to do's" in terms of urgent versus important. And that was very much an aha moment for me.

My days are very much my own since we moved here, but I still have plenty of things that I should do, want to do and - in lesser extent - have to do. Basically the should do's are related to keeping up to date with architecture stuff, like creating content for a portfolio, refresh and extend my knowledge of certain software and update myself on current trends and developments. All this so that it will be easier - or at least not impossible - for me to get a job as an architect again the next time we move. I'm still not certain I want to work in architecture again, but I want it as an option, and I don't want to have wasted five years of education and eights years of work experience... 

The want to do's are related with my newfound passion for illustration, my interest in graphic design and - to a lesser extent - branding. These are things I have really enjoyed exploring through the several courses I've taken over the past year and a half, so much that I am now seriously considering trying make this my new career. I would like to spend even more time drawing and painting, to develop my skills, but I also want to spend some time working on my own brand and create more professional pieces I can use in a portfolio, in order to prepare for the future.

The have to do's are actually not that many, but still they manage to take over more of my head-space than I want them to. They are all related to the "official commitments" I have, which are the remodeling project I'm consulting on and the newsletter I am an editor for. It's not that I don't like doing these things - I do, but mainly because they are a way for me to get out of the house and meet people. the problem is that these projects involves meetings and deadlines that I constantly prioritize because they involve other people. It hasn't been a big problem, and in a way I need these projects to not become a complete recluse.

sometimes you just can't work at all because someone stole your chair and someone else is snoring 

So, in order to start prioritizing what is important instead of what is urgent I had to become more aware of how I have prioritized before and think about which of the things I do that actually are important:

Until now this is how I have prioritized my tasks, roughly speaking:
  1. School work
  2. Newsletter
  3. Re-modelling project 
  4. Drawing and painting
  5. Architecture work
This is my list of priorities for 2018
  1. Illustration course
  2. Architecture - Projects for portfolio
  3. Graphic design course 
  4. Illustration/Graphic design - Content for portfolio
  5. Architecture software
  6. Work with my own brand
  7. Re-modelling project
  8. Newsletter
This order obviously doesn't mean I'm going to ignore my commitments withing the projects here, but I shouldn't take on any more of the same kind, and I have to become better at setting aside time for them on certain days, and not let tasks involving them to interfere with work that are more important - even though they might not feel as urgent. The re-modelling project has priority before the newsletter as it is closer related to what I used to do as an architect, and is a valuable experience for my CV, even though the newsletter involves more actual work for me. 

I have rated illustration higher than graphic design partly because I am more passionate about it, but also because I have already taken several courses in graphic design and now I want to focus more on the other. 

The rest of the list pretty much reflect the need for me to have portfolio content and a good enough confidence in my capabilities to feel comfortable applying for jobs in both architecture and illustration/graphic design within a few years. 

I plan to schedule my weeks according to this list of priority, beginning with using my Mondays to work on emails and other stuff for the remodeling project and newsletter, plus other admin things or urgent things that have come up regarding the courses. This might sound contradictory to the plan, but means I will free up the rest of the week to work on what is really important. Tuesday will be illustration day, Wednesday and Thursday architecture days and Fridays graphic design day. I will try to do most of the work on the newsletter on Sundays. Unfortunately I can't influence when the various meetings will be, but at least I will now have dedicated my "office hours" according to what is important to me, and not try to work on five different things per day.

Well, this turned out to be a very long, and maybe not super interesting -  post. But in my defense; this was a seriously good exercise to do - and something I think I will have much use for. I often have a hard time saying no to new commitments, mostly because I feel the things I do for myself aren't important enough - because I don't get paid to do them and it wont hurt anyone else if I don't do them. Plus as many if them don't have "real life" deadlines I always feel I can shifts things around to make it work, but that usually just leads to me not having energy to work on my own stuff.  Having this list in my mind will help me to actually say no, I believe. 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

DIY promarker storage

I made a thing!

Coming back from our Christmas holiday I brought t a bunch of new artists material, including 25 new Pro-marker pens. I quickly realized that keeping my growing collection in the same little box I'd used before wasn't going to work, and I started thinking of better ways of storing them, that would also make them more accessible and easier to find the right colors. After some googling, thinking and searching the house for suitable materials I came up with an idea. The solution was easy-peasy and made a nice little addition to my home studio. This is what you will need to do what I did:
  • a cardboard tube, with a pretty big diameter, like 10 cm or so. I used one I've recieved prints from Society 6 in, worked perfect!
  • a saw
  • wrapping paper
  • glue and tape
  • scissors 
  • fold-back clips
Saw the tube in 5 equally long parts. Cut pieces of wrapping paper long enough to cover the tubes. Use glue and tape to attach the wrapping paper to the tubes and then glue the pieces together, waiting in between adding each new piece for the glue to dry.

Obviously you can vary this with other sizes of tubes, adding on more compartments and so on. I though this was perfect in size as it fits all my pens and there's plenty of room to add more... it's pretty sturdy, I guess depending on what glue you use. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

happy monday, week 3

Hellooo internet,

After a weekend spent mostly across the border in Malaysia - we went there to attend a farewell party for a friend at the Japanese bar/restaurant he has opened - I'm now back in Brunei, hoping for a productive week, free from jet lag. I finally started sleeping normally this weekend and I'm so grateful for that. 

Last week was deadline week, that is, my two fall semester courses finished on Friday, so for me today is the official start of the year. Which feels good! Today I begin a new online course - Graphic Design for Print. My second course for this semester doesn't begin until mid February, and I'm pretty sure this course will start nice and slow - they usually do - so I'm looking forward to a week where I can focus quite a lot on my own projects. I haven't been drawing a lot lately, outside of my illustration course and now I want to get back in to the habit of drawing for myself a little bit every day. I have a few meetings for my more official commitments as well, but that's all good since it means I'll have to leave the house and meet some people. 

Another thing that is happening this week, in true New Years spirit, is that me and Andreas will go to "crossfit foundations". This means going to the crossfit gym (or box as it is apparently called) and getting introductions in to all the exercises and movements you will face during a workout, basically to get permitted to join crossfit classes. We are going three nights this week and three nights next week and then we can start doing crossfit for real. I both look forward to this and very much don't look forward to it, at the same time.

This weekend will be mostly revolving around an event we are attending on Saturday night, something called Burns Supper, which is supposed to be a black tie event celebrating the writings of Scottish bard Robert Burns, if I have understood correctly. Might be fun!

I hope your week is starting of nice and calm, and that you have fun things on your schedule!

Friday, 12 January 2018

making the most out of life in the tropics

As I said a few days ago, one of my two big goals for 2018 is to take better advantage of the fact that I live in a tropical country. But what does that even mean? As I know that most of you who are reading this live in the northern parts of Europe I think you all have very much the same thoughts about living in the tropics as I had, before I moved here. I was thinking it would be such a relief not having to wear (or at least bring) a coat every time I left the house, that not having to wear tights would be awesome and that I would go swim in the ocean aaaall the time and be sooo tan and pretty. Well, half of those things turned out to be accurate. It's pretty awesome not having to wear a coat, ever, and I don't miss tights, but I also don't go out much. I drink coffee on the porch most days and I go for short walks in the neighborhood in the evenings but - don't kill me now Scandinavians - I have swam in the ocean here only once... and that's the 30 degrees Celsius ocean, 5 minutes walk from my home I'm talking about here... It's a shame. And also results in the fact that people are surprised of how not tanned I am when I go back to Sweden. Which isn't really a problem, but just slightly annoying.

I also haven't really seen that much of Brunei as a country, nor have I discovered much of Borneo, except for Kota Kinabalu, Miri and Lambir national park in the Malaysian part. Last year me and Andreas traveled a lot, but mostly to destinations a little further away, that we wanted to make sure we got to see while living in this South East Asia.

So. What am I planning to do about this embarrassing situation? Well, here are my plans so far!

The small, everyday things: 
  • work to make the garden more inviting and spend more time in it
  • eat out at restaurants more often. It's almost cheaper than eating at home...
  • going on longer walks, also during the days when it's hot, like to the beach
  • clean up our barbecue and start using it, finally
  • go swim in the ocean with Andreas on the weekends. At least five times this year!

Discovering Brunei and Borneo:
  • go on day trips within Brunei, to the beach in Tutong, for example
  • stay for a weekend at Empire Hotel in the capital
  • hike to the Mulu caves in Sarawak, Malaysia
  • visit the city Kuchin and Baku National park, Malaysia
  • explore the rain-forest in Sabah, Malaysia