30 Nov 2013

The Best Man Holiday

We saw the film 'The Best Man Holiday'. It's an American Christmas comedy-drama film. I thought it's more comedy, but it goes right to your heart. We didn't know, but it's sequel to the 1999 film 'The Best Man'. That's why I wasn't sure their relationships. Anyway, it was a nice to see it during this season.

29 Nov 2013

Roundheads vs Cavaliers

There was a period that there was no reigning monarch between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the restoration of Charlies II in 1660 as result of the English Civil War. It was the war between the supporters of an absolutist king; Charles I and the supporters of the parliament. It led to execution of Charles I and replacement of English monarchy with the Commonwealth of England etc.

The supporters of the Parliament was called 'Roundheads', this nickname came from their closely cropped hair and helmets were also round shape along the line of head. The supporters of the king was called 'Cavaliers'. As contrasted with Roundheads, they had long flowing hair in ringlets, brightly coloured with elaborate trimmings and lace collars and cuffs and plumed hats.

Big Mouse; 'You are Cavaliers.'
Small Mouse; 'Ah, that's because I am gorgeous.'
Big Mouse; 'No, because your head's shape is not round (backside of the head is flat)...'
Small Mouse; '.......'
Big Mouse; 'I am Roundheads.'
Small Mouse; 'You know what. Cavalier is expensive to maintain.’

28 Nov 2013

Christmasy

The other day, an advertising envelop from British Red Cross landed in our mailbox. Also cards and paper coasters were included. I thought 'wow, they are generous-minded'. Looks nice, but less likely to use. I didn't want to throw them away, so I stuck a craft paper on one side with PVA glue. They made a quick change into coasters for this Christmas!
 

 

26 Nov 2013

Award Ceremony 2

Last September, the big mouse was nominated for SMK Campaigner of the Year Award. And this time, he was nominated for "Human Rights 'Close to Home' Award" of Liberty. Liberty Human Rights Awards aims to honour those individuals and organisations dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of others.
 
Last night, the 2013 Liberty Human Rights Awards was held in London. We attended the ceremony. Unfortunately he missed an award-winning, but I am very proud of my husband. It was an awesome ceremony, and I have the pleasure of having this opportunity. Congratulation to my husband. Congratulation to all who were nominated and won!
 


 
 

25 Nov 2013

Windsor & Eton

It was a beautiful sunny day. It was unlikely to be rain! I thought the big mouse's power (to bring a bad weather) is getting weak!

 
We went to Windsor and Eton during the weekend. They are twin towns, separated by the River Thames and joined by Windsor & Eton Bridge. Soon after arriving at the Windsor&Eton Riverside Station, we crossed the bridge and strolled around the Eton High Street. We didn't go to the Eton College, but enjoyed window shopping. This area was nice with attractive local shops and unique buildings.
 
 
 

We got back to the bridge and walked uphill towards the Windsor Castle. We were thirsty and had a break in a hotel bar by the castle. We left the bar, I looked up the sky and laughed. Where's the blue sky??? It wad completely cloudy!! How could I imagine this weather from an earlier clear sky!!! What a formidable power he has!
 
 
After we saw the castle from outside, we moved to the hotel 'Oakley Court Hotel' which is located outside of the town. Oakley Court Hotel is a Victorian Gothic country house on the River Thames. It was built in 1859. At the entrance of the hotel was already decorated with Christmas.

 

Our room was nice with comfortable bed and beautiful garden view. I could see wedding guests from the window. The hotel was busy and I think it was nearly full booked.

 
 
The garden was nice. We took a walk in the garden.
 
 
 
There are many interesting trees. Looked like creature, face or something.

 
There were some unique driftwood sculptures as well, which were made by world famous sculptor James Doran-Webb. The lions on the tree are there for a limited period before being offered for sale to an art lover.
 
 
 
We had a delicious course dinner at a hotel restaurant in the evening, relaxed in the room at night and had nice breakfast next morning:) 


After we checked out, we went back to the castle, and walked around Peascod Street and Acre Pasage where we didn't walk yesterday.

 
It was good to walk shopping street in the morning for the big mouse because it was not busy. Most shops were still closed but I enjoyed watching window displays and feeling the town atmosphere.


It was not the first time to visit Windsor for me. I've visited here a several years ago with my parents. I remembered our travelling and also found a shop we bought ice-creams before :)


 
It was the last weekend trip this year.  It was a luxury time for me.
 

22 Nov 2013

A New Computer

The big mouse came back home with a new laptop computer. He was setting up it last night, but not finished yet. I have used NEXUS, and I am trying to get used to it.

My mother said her son-in-law changed their computer for them, because it was old. She has struggled to get used to it. She said she doesn't know how to send email to me because a bit different. I think her brother would help her. Poor my mother, it's difficult to catch up with new technology for her generation. Me too...

We are going to spend this weekend in Berkshire. I look forward to it. The most excitement moment is the evening before the trip, isn't it? :) Have a lovely weekend!!



21 Nov 2013

Accident

The big mouse accidentally dropped a heavy small ornament on a computer screen last night!! I don't know the detail, but consequently a part of screen is broken... I don't blame him, because it's his computer and he is already deflate a little... Anyway, the computer is getting old and we have talked about getting new computer. Now I am using a half of screen... Also we have Nexus which he won at a Christmas Party last year. When he won it, he was so excited, but that excitement was temporary. We hadn't used it until last night.

A Wooden Photo Frame

I was looking for a suitably-sized wooden photo frame for my cross-stitch work. I cross-stitched this last year for a Christmas. I found a nice frame at a charity shop. It's perfect!!

19 Nov 2013

Are You Ready for Christmas!?

Today, what I learnt at a sewing workshop was making Christmas card using many different materials. Yes, Christmas is coming. I realised that I really like to create something using different materials. It's fun to think designs and combinations. Picture below is a sample my teacher showed us how to. I really love it:) After I made cards, I will post a picture on my crafting page.
 

18 Nov 2013

La Pirogue

We saw the film 'La Pirogue'. It's a story about African illegal immigration. A group of African men leave Senegal to Spain where they believe better lives. The journey crossing the Atlantic by wooden fishing vessel puts their life in danger; engine trouble, storm, hunger, thirst and death... The film focuses on individual background and describes humanity well. This film is dedicated to the 5,000 or more Africans who have died trying to cross to Europe in the last decade.

This film is very powerful and amazing. I don't know much about African countries. I sometimes hear news about illegal immigration, but never thought about how their journey is danger, how much desperate they are. I've never imagined their thoughts, feelings and background. This film provided me a good opportunity to know a part of their histories and to think this fact.


17 Nov 2013

Christmas Fair

We held a Christmas Crafting Fair. We gathered each work and sold them. Unfortunately, the location was not good and the promotion was not enough. On the street, we led people to pop in and to have a look. But the flow of people moved into a shopping centre and a market. I sold some. It was a nice experience for me. I was asked to join another fair next month.

 

 

16 Nov 2013

Louis Vuitton

A few days ago, when I was watching on TV, beautiful commercial caught my eye. It was Louis Vuitton's. Oh, David Bowie was there! He and a lavish Venetian masked ball reminded me the fantasy film "Labyrinth" (1986). The film stars David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. There is a beautiful dream-like ballroom scene, like this commercial. When I was teenager, I was a fan of David Bowie:) He was too sexy for the teenage girl. I still like him but I can't say I am a fan anymore, I didn't go to see the exhibition "David Bowie is" in the Victoria & Albert Museum this year...
 
"Labyrinth" was not my favourite film, but watching him in the film was enough to make me happy:) Do you know "Tin Machine"? It was an English-American hard rock band formed in 1988, famous for being fronted by David Bowie. I didn't like rock music very much, but as I said, watching David Bowie was enough to make me happy:) So when they came to Sendai, Japan, I desperately got a concert ticket with my friend. He was wearing a pink jacket like a flamingo, he was so hot! How happy I was!!
 
Anyway, Louis Vuitton's commercial brought my mind back to 1980's. He has a continuing sexiness.
 

14 Nov 2013

The Warmth of Yarn

My first Christmas Fair is coming. I am excited:) I am busy myself at the moment preparing for the fair and a crafting shop. Hopefully, many people drop in and take these in their hand to have a good look:)
 
 

13 Nov 2013

Take a Test

"The Life in the UK test" is a necessary step to live in the UK permanently or apply to become a British citizen. I was prepared for this and I passed the test! I am soooo happy:)

On my way home, I felt today's sunset from the train window was so beautiful.

10 Nov 2013

Gardening Tools

After our garden got messed up, we were shocked, but we rebuilt new plan for the garden. The big mouse who doesn't like gardening finally rose up against our terrible garden. At last, we got gardening tools. We are going to make a lovely garden step by step from the beginning.
 
After we bought these, we couldn't go anywhere, because we looked like suspicious people holding weapons... Should we have bought these on Halloween? 
 



9 Nov 2013

Job Transfer !?

The big mouse has a interesting business opportunity to work in Tokyo for half year. Seems like he wants to try, and of course I don't mind where he works. Above all, it's my country! But in reality there is the small mouse's visa problem. It's not possible, but it's a bit risky. It might be easy to go to Japan, but difficult to come back to the UK together... Now, my visa process is under the old rule, but if we leave the UK for a long time, I may return to the starting point and probably have to do the same process under the new rules... that means I have to wait for 5 years to get indefinite leave to remain. And also there is a possibility that the rule become more strict during it.

Will he, British go alone for new post in Japan?? Will I, Japanese have to stay in the UK?????
No way!!

The planes cross the borders. Business, economic, people and love now penetrate the borders, but their activities are prevented by the real borders. How the world will change in the future???

London Underground

January 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first London tube line. When I first got on the tube was 1999. I was a bit scared, because someone tried to pickpocket from my friend's backpack in a crowded train.

The most impressive thing was a wooden escalator, but I don't remember which station it was. It was the first time and the last time to see a wooden escalator. They were gradually removed for safety reasons. There was a fire on 18 November 1987 at the King's Cross, the fire started on an escalator. The fire killed 31 people. Only one remained at Greenford as of 2013, but probably it has already removed. It can't be avoided, but that's shame.

woodenescalator
 Source; http://londonist.com

5 Nov 2013

Sewing Machine

I've started to join in a sewing workshop as well. We are going to make cushion cover using recycling fabrics. It's fun. I miss my sewing machine, which my grandmother gave me and I left in Japan...
 

4 Nov 2013

Chichester



We went to Chichester during the weekend. It took about 4 hours journey (one way) from our house, but we enjoyed the view from the train:) The view is different from Essex, because there are hills. Also we saw a huge castle. It made me excited.



Do you know our jinx that the big mouse always brings bad weather...? Soon after we got off the train at Chichester station, it started heavy rain and it was windy... We were supposed to walk around the town before go to the hotel, but we changed the plan. Because usually station is slightly separated from town centre in the UK, we didn't want to be soaked. We got on a taxi and went to the hotel straight away. It was about 10 minutes drive from the station. The Goodwood Hotel is one of the luxury hotels in England and set in the heart of the Goodwood Estate, which includes golf courses, health club, farm etc... http://www.goodwood.co.uk/estatemap.aspx#
The main entrance of the hotel looked pretty and compact, but inside it was huge like labyrinth.
 
 
Our room was modern and stylish, it was so comfortable.
 

We strolled the hotel because it was rain outside. 

 



After the rain, there was a rainbow.


The hotel seemed busy. One of the restaurants was full booked up at that night. But we luckily could book a table at a nice restaurant in spa facility, so we didn't need to go to the town. We had a nice dinner with relaxed atmosphere. I ordered a pork steak, it was really delicious. We ate up everything and dessert as well:) During the night, we did nothing with a full belly, but relaxed with watching TV, reading a book/magazine, having a bath etc... in the comfortable room.          
               
Next morning, we had a nice English breakfast and walked around Chichester town after we checked out of the hotel. There were some wall art, nice local shops, which get into the small mouse's psyche!



Chichester is a cathedral city and has a long history. The North, South, East and West shopping streets radiate from the central market cross dating from medieval times.

Chichester Market Cross
Chichester Cathedral is founded in the 11th century. The building was magnificent. It was Sunday morning, and Sunday service was held in the Cathedral. Usually we avoid to enter the cathedral when the service is held, because it's sacred rite. When we had looked in the cathedral from a glass door, a lady and man came and asked us to come in and welcomed us even it was a few minutes visiting... I scanned inside the building and experienced a tiny bit part of the Sunday service:) The website of Chichester Cathedral says; "For 900 years Chichester Cathedral has welcomed visitors through its doors - worshippers, seekers, tourists, people of all faiths and none. People visit cathedrals for all sorts of reasons.  Whatever has brought you to Chichester, I welcome you to this place, where people have brought their joys and their sorrows for 900 years."  It was exactly what they say.


We didn't have enough time to explore the town everywhere unfortunately, but we enjoyed walking in the town centre, browsing shops and visiting the famous cathedral. After that, we walked to the station and found that there was no train service from Chichester on that day due to engineering work... We had to get on an alternative bus to the next station Barnham. We could get on a bus, but it came late. When the bus arrived at the Barnham Station, the train to London Victoria had already been there. We run the passage and platform, and caught the train. The train passed through under the dark clouds and we saw double or triple rainbows!

All in all, it was a nice weekend trip:) Another week has started.