Re-charging in Singapore

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Pond in Botanic garden

After almost four weeks in this city, we’re ready to walk barefoot on a beach again soon.
Earlier this week we’ve had some great nature experiences in or close to the city.

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Flowers

The Botanic garden was such a positive surprise, close to the city center and still a wonderful oasis to discover and get some real nature feeling.

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We loved watching the fishes

Ponds, a small rainforest, fish, birds and paths for walking and accesable for wheel chairs and strollers.

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The orchid Vanda Miss Joaquin

We found a few flowers in this huge plantation of Singapore’s national flower, a type of orchid.

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National flower, Vanda Miss Joaquin

Another fun surprise were the turtles!

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Mister Turtle in the Swan pond

All of this is free and everything is so well kept.

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A tree as old as we are

There are several different parts of the garden and this time we skipped the orchid garden because of the heat in the middle of the day.

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Rainforest walk

But we did stroll through the rainforest and were amazed by the huge trees.

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Enjoyed this afternoon very much

Yesterday Wivan and our friend Miss C took a 10 K walk in the MacRitchie Reservoir in the morning, together with lots of other people. It was warm, sunny and nice. And again, a great dose of green leaves and water to recharge the batteries after lots of city life.

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Monkey on the trail in MacRitchie

We saw many, many monkeys along the paths.

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Small and curious

Later today we’re heading out to the airport, and then fly via Kuala Lumpur  to Colombo in Sri Lanka.

Looking forward to waking up close to the beach tomorrow morning!

//Anders and Wivan

Thai food love story

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Papaya salad x2 + Pad Thai

Something we totally love about being in Thailand is the food. So good!

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Great soup and a bbq beef salad

Fresh ingredients, many different varieties of spices and spicy-ness, wonderful fruits and fresh seafood and fish.

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Breakfast outside our bungalow

Papaya salads with cucumber and tomato is something we’ve been obsessed with over the past days…

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Easy to ask for how spicy it shall be

Anders loves the seafood soups and stews.

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Fried seafood with vegetables

Often the same dish looks different and has small varieties depending on where you get them.

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Another papaya salad

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Variation of Tom Yam soup

The upsides of house sitting

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Flowers and vegetables in the garden

There are many things that are good about house sitting for others. We have  written earlier about how little we’ve payed for our accomodation over the first ten months without a home.

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Ready for morning ride

There are numerous other cool, fun, nice, tasty and friendly reasons why we like house sitting for others. Right now we stay at a small farm with lots of fresh food that we’re allowed to eat while we take care of the place and all of the animals.

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Fresh chili

Sure, it’s just so much one can eat, but to get to harvest all of these wonderful things is lots of fun, and makes the watering, care and weeding all the better.

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Lovely raspberries

On the down side, we found traces from a mouse earlier today – not our favourites… But, a dip in the pool usually puts a smile on our faces!

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Pool with a view

And the horses, cats, chickens and sheep are a real treat for us animal lovers!

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Anders view from this morning

Wivan is practicing for her future as a cow girl, riding on a horse and having one extra by the hand.

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Happy horse after a mud roll

Today is one of our “watering days”, when bushes and hedges need to be watered. So, there are things to do every day, small tasks like feeding animals, harvesting and taking care of things around the house.

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What we find though, is that those little things usually are fun and that we like to help other people.

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Beautiful cale

We learn new things, just by those daily assignments, and appreciate the possibility we have to try out different ways of living. Along the way we have also gotten to know amazing people, friends for life, and seen places we would never have visited otherwise.

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Fresh walnuts from the trees

It still is amazing to us to follow the weather here in southern France, compared to where we used to live. Here it’s still possible to plant fresh salads and count on their survival without cover. And when we water it now, we know our hosts will benefit from it several months ahead.

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The salad that will be served in November

So, there are many up-sides to house- and pet sitting in different places, and as Anders realized earlier today – this is rather different from a Tuesday in the office!

With sunshine,
Anders and Wivan

Morning walk and back to bed

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The sun starting to come out

The past few days I’ve started to wake up earlier than before (don’t set an alarm) and the weather has been really good so I’ve taken Lucky for an early morning walk. And it’s so quiet in the village.

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Lucky taking in all the smells

To keep it easier for me, and calmer for the dogs, I take them separately for longer walks every day. And Lucky is my morning companion.

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Sky and clouds colored by the sun

Yesterday I drove off to Santa Cruz after the walk and had a swim and a few hours of sun bathing before noon.

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Cool star fish

This morning I am a bit tired and went back to bed for a nap and some reading – luxury huh!?

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Natural pools in Santa Cruz

It’s a bit easier for me to just get going in the morning and I love the quiet and freshness of a new day. But I have been in “training” with Anders (he’s an expert) to relax and also see when more rest is needed. So sometimes I do it this way.

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Natural "jet stream"

Happy Sunday to you all! And Happy Mother’s Day in Sweden!

//Wivan, the star fish wannabe

Look for a new angle

One of my favorite scenes from the animated movie Big Hero 6, is when one of the main characters, Hiro, is swirled and shaken around on the shoulders of his elder brother in an attempt to “shake things up” and “look for a new angle” to solving a problem. Sometimes doing something totally different than sitting at a desk and ‘solving the problem’ is the perfect thing to do.

Today's Skype call with Helena

Today’s Skype call with Helena

Earlier today I had a Skype call with a good friend and Master Mind colleague, Helena, who’s an expert at looking at things from different angles and helping others to see new perspectives. We were going to talk about how we can help each other with a couple of different projects and what actually needs to be done. That was my angle. And when we finished, Helena had helped me see a totally different perspective, and things got so much clearer in my head. (and new questions had started to form too ;-)).

This is also where Helena is a master at “holding a space” for others to be in, in this case me. Because I felt a little lost and ashamed – I “should” know what I’m doing, right!? And I “should” just get it done. But something has held me back and by listening behind my words, Helena helped me see another angle and to actually bring clarity to some thoughts I’ve had over the past few days.

A swim is a great way to change perspective for me

A swim is a great way to change perspective for me

Being held in a space of love means that I can be me, full out, without feeling like I have to guard my human experience.

– Helena Roth –

Still, like a Swedish summer night

Still, like a Swedish summer night

Tonight I also got to see the physical world from a new perspective. The place I had thought of visiting was “taken” by someone else, so I looked for a new place around the corner.

Who would have known...

Who would have known…

... this old house had such a great view!

… this old house had such a great view!

Fajã Grande, Flores

Fajã Grande, Flores

Shopping in Flores; we found coffee!

Oh yes, we got a tip that there’s a good supermarket in the next village so we decided to go check it out. It doesn’t look much, but they’ve got lots of variety and also more fresh food in there! We went all in and felt very spoiled to get fresh apples, pears, salad (!), eggs, yoghurt, grounded coffee (hurray!), black tea (they mostly sell herbal teas here), and canned tomatoes.

Anders outside "The green store"

Anders outside “The green store”

What was surprising though was that they were out of onions the first time we went, but we did get several pieces of nice garlic. And we found some good frozen fish, and some minced meat so that Anders can make his Flores version of Chili con carne.

Shelves filled up with fresh ingredients after the boat arrived

Shelves filled up with fresh ingredients after the boat arrived

Wivan found ground coffee

Wivan found ground coffee

So, just a few minutes away by car, we all of a sudden found several variations of grounded coffee, and two or three different black teas, as well as fresh fruits that are not bananas 😉 And earlier this week the boat came in, so the shelves of this particular store were totally packed with fresh goodies.

"French style" food storage - in the closet!

“French style” food storage – in the closet!

Don’t think we’ve ever been so happy after a round of shopping, it felt very good to get things we like to have in the kitchen, especially the fresh ingredients, and a little broader variety, even though we like the game of cooking with few ingredients. And know what!? We even got coconut milk! And sunflower seeds. Wivan’s totally happy!

More joyful cooking ahead!

// Anders and Wivan