29 Jun 2015

Anniversary

Times fly so fast. It's the third anniversary of our wedding. Will we count the anniversary for years to come, or forget to count it as some people do? The number doesn't matter, but it's nice to go back to our first objective, isn't it? Thank you, the big mouse. Happy Anniversary.



Mediaeval Fayre

We went to the Mediaeval Fayre. It was the third time to visit. It has becomme an essential event for us, because it is held at almost exactly the same time as our wedding anniversary:). It always reminds me of our special happy day.


It was nice weather, many people enjoyed the event. I think it's a really successful event in the town. I like this atmosphere.


The theme of this year was 'The signing of the Magna Carta'. I've seen the Magna Carta in the British Library, London before. I am glad that things I learnt and saw in the UK connect a bit by bit inside me.


I also enjoyed listening to mediaeval sounds of the Waits and seeing a Morris Dance. I could have a nice memory again:)


27 Jun 2015

To Cope With Aging

Agggg!! I feel completely getting old...

When I was in my 10's I was totally unconnected with aging, of course. I was an innocent and pure as is the way with children.

In my 20's, it was the moment of alight and bright with happiness. I sometimes forced myself, but I didn't care. Enjoyed social life, pushed myself to be better, attractive and strong. Wearing high heels everyday to cover my complex.

In my 30's it started to begin to decline. I suffered some health problems and stress, but enjoyed working. I told a joke about aging with my friends, but when I think back, it still seems unreal.

But in my 40's, aging suddenly came. It started to develop into a gap between my strength and what I want to do. I still don't know what it will be like in my 50's or 60's, but definitely it's the time to accept and to cope with aging as everybody does. It's an inevitable matter. I can laugh it off as a joke in public but when I meet my own gaze in a mirror alone, especially at night, how scary it is! Even if you can fake your aging for other people, you can't do it for yourself. Perhaps I haven't been ready for accepting, but I have to...

A Japanese waka poet Ono no Komachi (c.825-c.900), who is known for her unusual beauty, wrote;


A life in vain.
My looks, talents faded
like these cherry blossoms
paling in the endless rains
that I gaze out upon, alone...


I don't know how old she was when she wrote this poet, but now I can understand her. I think, in a sense, she was a narcissist, because she had thought she was beautiful by herself like cherry blossoms, a sort of queen of flowers in Japan. How did she cope with it???

26 Jun 2015

Today's Sky


Japanese School Lunch

When we were staying at a monthly apartment in Tokyo, a free meal was included every morning. Because it was owned by a hotel, located at the top of the hotel building like a penthouse. The breakfast was simple but this tray with two-round and two-rectangle concaves reminded me of school lunch. Because it was the same.
I think Japanese school lunch is awesome! Japan takes children's health seriously. From Monday through Friday, all schoolchildren attending (elementary and middle) school have lunches in the classroom. Some students on a weekly rota carry heavy food tanks, milks, trays and cutlery etc from a specific room to the classroom and serve portions for classmates and a home room teacher. They sometimes spill them on the floor by mistake, but everybody shares food or gets the next classroom to give some, whatever each portion became small. If popular desserts such as pudding and fruit are left, students who want them decide the acquirers by scissors-paper-stone.

The meal is cooked in a special school kitchen or is provided by school lunch center. Every student receives a monthly menu a month earlier, planned by dietitians containing all the nutrients and calories required for the healthy growth of youngsters. So parents can plan a different menu for a dinner. The lunches are full of variety, depending on the locality because they use local food. The lunches are healthy and well-balanced, featuring a whole range of meats, fishes, vegetables, and sea plants. They always come with rice or bread and a pack or a bottle of milk.

One winter day, all afternoon classes were cancelled because of heavy snow. We were supposed to have a lunch and go home. But the delivery vehicle was delay because of heavy traffic caused by snow. We were waiting and waiting, in the end, we gave up to have a school lunch and went back home. I was disappointed because it was the day of my favourite menu. And when I think back it was an awful waste of food!!

22 Jun 2015

Our Garden 2015

Diascia has started to have tiny flowers:)


Sharpened Rice

It's convenient to get Thai rice and arborio rice at supermarkets, but I sometimes buy Japanese rice at an Asian food shop. Akitakomachi is one of the top rice-brands which is produced in Akita prefecture (next pref. to my hometown; Miyagi). I grew up in a rice-producing region, I want to stick to my local production as much as I can. It is nothing special nowadays, but I am happy that I can buy them in the UK. It's extremely useful.


Before we cook rice, we basically 'wash' Japanese rice well. However, we don't describe it as 'wash', rather we say 'sharp'. Because we wash rice by rubbing against each other wherein the water is drained, to get rid of most of bran (the loose powder). The rice is sharpened and rinsed until the water becomes clear. That's why Japanese describe it as 'sharp rice'. The act of washing itself looks like making knead dough by hand.

21 Jun 2015

Wivenhoe Walk

We've walked five weeks in a row. Amazing... This weekend, we walked alongside the River Colne in Wivenhoe (Essex). Distance was 3 and half miles. Well, distance is getting shorter though... We passed Wivenhoe by train several times, but never stopped off.

We started from the train station, passed church and lovely shops. We popped in Wivenhoe bookshop. Actually, it was a really lovely bookshop. Each of us found a nice book and bought before walking!




I noticed there are many lovely gardens. Each house looks after flowers very well. They were so beautiful and attractive.



Wivenhoe developed as a port, and here was a shipyard site. It looked so muddy.



It is an easy course, but had some ups and downs in the middle of the way.




I succeeded to take a photo of a beautiful blue dragonfly.


On the next field, we could see some people were working.


We also could see horses and sheep, and above our head, 3 paragliders.

 



It was a nice walk. We passed a gorgeous farmer's house.


Everything was fine for a while. The direction said there is a footpath on the right, although this is EASILY MISSED when the trees are in leaf. So we paid attention trying not to miss the path. But we paid too much attention, we entered into a wrong place...


Never mind... We cross over the gate (sorry) to correct the route.


This big tree has a big hole like a door of the tree house. This must be a children's favourite.



On a way back, trouble happened! Suddenly my trainer rubber sole came unglued... I needed to walk awkwardly, like a soldier's march. I managed it somehow, we came back to the River Colne.


 Perfect parachute balls were beautiful.





It was a nice walk. We had a lunch at the pub.

19 Jun 2015

Mushroom

At a time in the past, Liverpool's biggest stars 'The Beatles' had mushroom haircuts. They were cool in their own way.

When I was young, I had long hair, chest length. My hair is wavy and curly. It's difficult to deal with, I always tighten my hair. I was in the process of graduating from elementary school. For such a special day of my life, I thought I would have a little bit haircut. I went to a local hairdressing shop which my mother's friend ran. It was the first time to visit there. I sat on a seat in front of the mirror and asked her to cut to shoulder length.

When I think back, I doubt her skill... or for argument's sake, let's assume that she wasn't experienced in such terribley natural wavy-curly hair. It was a horrible result. While she had adjusted the whole hair length, my hair became shorter than shoulder-length in a moment. At that point, I was already unsatisfied with my new hairstyle, but I couldn't say anything because she was my mother's friend. I was frozen in front of the mirror. After she dried my hair, it became shorter due to my hair type, it waved and curled up... It was definitely short hair like 'Mushroom'!

According to my mother, she was worrying about me, because I had such disappointed face. Needless to say, I never visited there.

In pictures of my graduation day, I am pictured with dowdy mushroom hair... It retains pleasant memories though...