31 May 2012

Notice of Marriage

We went to a local registry office today to give notice of marriage, which is a formal declaration of our intention to marry. It was quite a nice and interesting experience for me, because unless you get married in the UK, you would never know what notice of marriage is like.

In a waiting room of the registry office, there was a monitor which shows the names of all the couples who gave notice of marriage in Essex, and their details from nationality to occupation. Some couples are old, and some are young, some are students, and some are international couples. Our names will be shown on the monitor, we can't see it though...

We submitted some documents required, and each had an interview, and answered some questions about each partner. We also received a guide book for marriage ceremony. So we have to make our ceremony plan in one or two weeks! There are some options, like bridesmaids/pageboys, reader, exchange of rings etc... The most impressive thing is that we can choose declaratory words as well! The words are required by law but I hadn't expected that there are a few options.

Anyway, we are planning to have a simple and compact wedding with families and friends. We are in agreement that we don't have a big wedding like a flashy performance, because we are not the attention-getting type. Our wedding is 29th June. We are happy about that. Still there are a lot of things to do, but we get things done one by one.


27 May 2012

Gardening

A lovely day again! We walked the river walk, had brunch at a cafe, and then we got some gardening tools at last. What we need to do was to cut weeds and rescue a gazebo in the garden which was covered in dying vines. At first, my bf was slow to act about gardening, but once we have bought tools and started it, he found it more interesting than me. He worked really well. Honestly I am not so interested in gardening because I don't like insects. It seems very much like frisking their dwellings, isn't it? But as the garden is getting much better, I found it's interesting too. It brought us a sense of achievement. We will keep going to make a comfortable garden. Another nice thing was that he found a bird's nest in the gazebo!! So we left it alone. I wish birds will come to live there. It was a nice new discovery.




San-B e G-micle

This is a music video in the Ciyawo (Ajawa) language, from the Mandimba area of Niassa Province, Mozambique. This music suit my today's mood. If you like it, you may like other music.
http://www.youtube.com/user/niassatim


26 May 2012

Stroll

We strolled around Witham and found a new lovely path. Walked under the road bridge, passed factory zone, crossed railways and then came back to the town centre. The ordinary cafe was full with people who were enjoying sunbathing. It was a nice stroll.



25 May 2012

Warm Weather

It has been a lovely sunny day. It's very warm even if I am extremely sensitive to cold because blood circulation is bad. It's a perfect time to get out and enjoy the sun and fresh green in the parks!



23 May 2012

Spontex

At a TESCO, I found Spontex's interesting washing-up brush. Open a top and put washing liquid in. Push a rubber button when you use it! Well, well, it's very sensible, or maybe this is a bit too much. It's not necessary to put washing liquid in it. But I liked this grip. Washing dishes may become a joy:)
http://www.spontex.co.uk/home.aspx

Urashima Taro

Do you know the Japanese folk tale "Urashima Taro"? It's a story of a poor fisherman "Urashima Taro" who rescued a turtle who was being bullied by children. The turtle came back in the evening to thank him and invite him to the palace. Taro rode on the turtle's back and dove into the palace at the bottom of the sea, named "Ryugujo". At the palace, beautiful women welcomed and treated them very gently and kindly. He stayed with them all the day. When he goes back home, they gave him a treasure box but they said "Don't open it". He returned home and opened the treasure box, as his curiosity overcoming him. Then he became an old man in an instant. He had thought it was a one-day event, but actually many years had passed. His old age was kept in the treasure box.

Which is better? - becoming younger alone or becomes old spontaneously? It must be a stupid question. It's something like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, isn't it? Anyhow I think it's unbearable for most people to not open the box, because people are greedy and curious creatures.

When there are some progress or changes without you knowing, we sometimes say I became Urashima Taro. I certainly was. Because the temperature dramatically changed during yesterday. Why was I Urashima Taro? Because I stayed at home all day yesterday. I got a cold. My nose is running and also blocked. My voice is like a deep threatening voice! So I got a lot of rest at home yesterday, though it was a really lovely day. It had been a bit cold weather for a while, so I had no uncertainty about temperature until I went out today. What a warm day it is! People wore half sleeve shirts like summer! Amazing! I was wearing long sleeve T-shirt and jacket! I took the jacket off and enjoyed walking under the sun.

22 May 2012

The Diamond Jubilee

Since I've been here, I had thought there were many Union Jack items on display in the store window. This year, The Queen will celebrate 60 years on the throne. I see. I was completely ignorant about it...

A number of events has already been anounced. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977, and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.

http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/

21 May 2012

Festival de Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival has been held (16-27 May, 2012) in Cannes in southern France. I like to see celebrity's fashion in this event with more open atmosphere.
http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en.html

20 May 2012

The Dictator

We saw the comedy film "The Dictator" in the cinema. The story is about "a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so loveingly oppressed. (IMDb)" It was quite stupid and funny. Well..., I don't recommend you publicly, because it would amount to a virtual admission that I like crazy things. Are my tastes different from girls' taste!?


19 May 2012

World Art Collections Exhibitions

We made a short trip to Norwich which we love. We saw the World Art Collections Exhibitions in the University of East Anglia and also explored the old town. There was the exhibition of Japan Kingdom of Characters, which displayed Japanese subculture characters from the 1950's.  Some characters are familiar to me and it was fun. Yes, there are not only Hello Kitty but also many local characters lately.



18 May 2012

Olympic Flame

Olympic flame arrived in Cornwall from Athens today. Because of the media, seems like London has gradually liven up. I have no athletic ability but always enjoy watching the Olympic Games. I'm looking forward to it.

16 May 2012

National Health Service

When you live abroad, you must be worry about injury and disease in everyday life. Me too. I'm worry about it. So I went to a doctor to register with an NHS GP (General physician) today. It was the first time to go to the doctor in the UK. I had a health interview and body check including blood pressure measuring and urine testing. My GP is Indian with a bit strong accent, but he explained me everything as easily as possible. It finished about 15 mintues later. I am not sure what's the NHS service like yet, but now I can make an appointment if I have a problem. It was a nice experience for me.

15 May 2012

Coincidence

I took a walk along the Liver Walk which run along the banks of the River Brain. There are a lot of greens and lovely animails. I like to walk this path. Last year I got the book "A Hitstory of Witham" at an old book shop, because it has many old pictures and shows the way to explore and trace old days. Actually there are some books which tells history of Witham. Yesterday I found most of books about Witham are written by Janet Gyford, Witham's local history recorder. And the book I got at the old book shop has her original autograph in the front page. What a coincidence!!



13 May 2012

Cell Phone

We went to Chelmsford today. But the station was closed due to engineering works, so we got a replacement bus from the rail company. It was a double decker bus and we could enjoy a little different view from upstairs. It was a lovely day and I saw beautiful huge yellow meadows and found a car-boot sale was held in a field. It's a mainly British form of market in which private individuals come together to sell household and garden goods. It was held in a large area and I saw many people and their cars.

First thing we did was buy a cell phone. I got a new cell phone from Orange, one of the biggest cell phone companies, just because the shop was opened. I don't know much about cell phones even in Japan, but I got a simple "Pay as You Go" cell phone, it means there's no need for complicated contracts, just you need to top up it at some point in time. You can top up in cash at the Orange shop and in a supermarket etc. So I could get it without having a bank account. In Japan, pay monthly is very common, so I need some time to adapt myself to my new cell phone.

In living abroad you have new challenges all the time. When I was in my 20's or early 30's I had a great deal of curiosity and I was fearless and thought "it would all work out somehow". But now I sometimes feel it's bothersome. But I have to take a new challenge all the time.

10 May 2012

Completely-Unexpected Event

My new life in England has started. My first day was perfect. We went to the usual cafe, did shopping and did hoovering on the attic floor. Also we had a dinner at the nice restaurant and ran into a friend on our way back.

The second day, I did the laundry and cleaned the kitchen in the morning. And then when I went out for shopping in the afternoon, something happened. -- I couldn't unlock the key of front door. -- WHY -- The lock was changed by locksmith last year, and it was supposed to be fine. I tried again and again, but it was too hard for me. Funny but annoying. I was like a bird in a cage!

In the end, he finished his work early and came home because I was stuck indoors. He found that he deadlocked the door. That means double lock, lock the lock. That's why I couldn't unlock the key even from inside. He said he rescued me proudly but I told him that it's the same as a man who sets fire to something and extinguishes it by himself. It was quite a funny event.

9 May 2012

From the UK

Finally I arrived safely in the UK yesterday. It was quite a comfortable flight. The flight were not full, maybe because it was after Golden Week, so I could use 2 seats. This time, I felt it was too long a flight. After only 2 hours passed, I started to feel bored. I tried to watch "The Iron Lady", "The Artist" and "Sherlock Holmes", but I dropped off to sleep every time. The films I saw were the comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love", and "Jane Eyre".

Also I went through the immigration clearance smoothly. As it was the first time I had been back in a while, London seemed big and busy. I found that a new pub had opened in Liverpool Street Station, the Olympic site had been completed and some other things had changed a bit. Now I am in a peaceful town and about go to a cafe to have a breakfast.

7 May 2012

From a Hotel in Narita

Yesterday afternoon, suddenly the sky turned dark and had thunderstorm with lighting. Also a tornado hit the city of Tsukuba. When I was young, I had thought a tornado occurs only in America like Kansas and Oklahoma because of "The Wizard of Oz". Earthquakes, the strongest storm, tornado etc... lately the natural disasters occur often in Japan. Today it's a lovely weather. I am in a hotel in Narita now. Thanks for the encouragement and see you soon!



6 May 2012

Vicky the Viking

Have you ever seen the cartoon 'Vicky the Viking'? I saw it on TV when I was young.

The other day, my family gave a farewell party for me. And my nieces gave me a pink rabbit soft toy. There is a story behind this. The kids have the same yellow and white rabbits, and take the soft toys wherever they go. In fact, their rabbits lost their hair and are a bit dirty even after washing hair as often as they could. I sewed their dresses to cover their shabby-looking parts. They have names; Pyong and Pippi, both names starting with P. So kids wanted me to bring the same rabbit to the UK and to name it starting with P. I named the pink rabbit Pikke without deeply thinking. But it reminded me the cartoon I saw when I was a kid. The title in Japan is 'Chiisana Viking Bikke'.

When I told my bf about it, the conversation turned to the cartoon 'Vicky the Viking'. Amazingly, he knew it and said it was a famous cartoon in the UK. More surprisingly, it's an Austrian-German-Japanese cartoon series, which tells adventures of a Viking boy. Honestly I don't remember the story, but I enjoyed it very much. I promised kids that I will report about Pikke from the UK. What a lovely aunt I am:)

5 May 2012

Super Moon

The full moon of May 5-6 is as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2012, because its closest approach to the Earth.


NASA overview of the May 5 Supermoon

International Marriage

I've liked travelling abroad and learning languages. I'm interested in cultural differences. I've longed to live overseas, but it was a sort of a vague dream and I'd never expected that I would have an international marriage. Over ten years have passed since I divorced with a Japanese man. In a sense, I am a lucky woman, because I can have different marriage experiences in my life. On the other hand, I had apprehensive feelings for big decisions.

In fact, the process of international marriage is not easy. Sometimes it made me feel annoyed and I became exhausted with my English skills. You have to go over many hurdles in order to live together with your partner. It is true that international marriages take much effort to make things work, but any marriage, not just international marriages, after all, brings man and woman from totally different backgrounds together. Success relies on the efforts of both. It is said that marriage requires compromise, but compromise makes a lot of the form of couple's living.

Today, international marriages are not at all uncommon. You can board a plane, talk on a phone, and above all, there are a lot of people in the same circumstances and also you can get many information from the Internet. But I've been wondering what it was like for people in the past. I am sure the situation was worse and hard, they needed to have a great deal of resolution to get married and to live in other countries. They couldn't come back home. What were people thinking of when they left the country? The first international marriages in Japan were around the 1970's. It was the subject of criticism at that time. Nevertheless, they stuck to their love. I want to imitate their beliefs.

4 May 2012

Be Yourself

When I was young I told a guidance counsellor at school that I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to learn English. She asked me what I wanted to do abroad using English? I asked myself what I wanted to do, but I couldn't find an answer. Technically speaking, I hadn't found the answer until I got engaged. Now, I found the answer; 'for living'. I think it's really my way and I now feel myself. There may be a lot of difficulties ahead of me, but this is the way I have chosen. I think 'Be yourself' makes really happy days and I want to make a such life forever.



3 May 2012

Golden Week Holiday

The period from the end of April to the beginning of May are the holidays known in Japan as Golden Week, when there are four national holidays. During this holiday, wherever you go there are lot of people, the cost of the trip goes up in price. Normally I don't go away during this preiod. Rather I go to a hairdressing shop to refresh and enjoy places near to me.

I visited my grandmother a couple days ago, and there were still beautiful cherry blossams. They were late in blooming this year. In Sendai, they started falling, but you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in Northern Miyagi or other parts during this holiday. Be prepared for congestion.




A Hectic Month

After I obtained the visa, I became busy. I needed to make arrangements for everything, received visitors and had parties. Now I have finished packing and have sent my packages by ship. And also I have nearly finished packing my luggage. I am working on sorting out my room, and then will go to the hairdressing shop to relax in a few days. My departure date to England is next week.