30 Jun 2017

Ready To Go

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. And we are ready to go on a long holiday. It's the fifth year honeymoon. :)


18 Jun 2017

The Secret Under The Sink

Life in the UK sometimes drives me mad and makes me frustrated. The solution for this might be by being a handy man/woman or DIY man/woman or skilled man/woman. Even for small work, it's rare for it go on smoothly, especially in an old house... We've just solved the sink problem in the bathroom after the terrible fuss, but now another problem happened.

The other day, our washing machine was broken. It's quite old and it was already fixed a couple times, so we decided to renew it. In my idea, it was very simple. Buy a new one, remove an old one, install new one and take an old one away. That's it. But actually it wasn't simple. We paid for a new machine including delivery and installation. But we needed to uninstall it by ourselves because uninstallation is excluded. I had thought it would be done by a person who will install a new machine, because it's common way in my country. We googled how to disconnect and tried it. It looked simple, and we thought we can do it. But actually the old equipment is hard to move because of deterioration, rust, scale and so on... But this time, there was another idiot problem.

Our kitchen seemed like it was installed after the washing machine. There was a hole on the panel wall where the plug cord ran through under the sink, but we realised that plug head doesn't go through the hole. The hole is too small for plug head. How idiotic. How could you work like that??? Eventually the plug cord of old machine was cut. But the problem is how to run through a new plug cord??? We need to make a hole bigger before the installation. We have no tools and no skill, but the delivery day is due.  I've never expected that this kind of idiot problem was hidden under the sink. Why doesn't everything work smoothly in this country?

As a result, the unskilled big mouse successfully cut the hole bigger . Now the hole looks like a tooth-mark, but without proper tool and with from awkward position, that was the best for us. Well, the big mouse looks he awoke a bit to do DIY job. The best way to make a DIY husband, let him do it and give him self-confidence. I wish he would learn the skill.

10 Jun 2017

Sewing Project - A Summer Bag

I sewed a bag for summer season. Again, I used a curtain sample fabric. That means I got a lovely striped fabric and a liner at once. :) I also used a vinyl leather fabric for the bottom. It looks effective.


1 Jun 2017

Hasekura-yaki

In the UK, the more you go to remote areas, the more you can find a lot of local and unique shops. But I feel there are not so many local souvenirs of confectioneries compared with Japan. Perhaps it's because of a cultural difference. Japanese people love to buy souvenirs to family, co-workers or friends. When they travel to somewhere, even if it's on a business trip, they often enjoy buying souvenirs. Actually, there are a lot of local unique food, confectioneries, snacks and bento boxes, because of competition for sales to travellers. If you travel to different cities or towns, you can find  different products, which normally you can't buy at other places.

In the UK, some family-run companies - like jams from Wilkin & Sons Ltd of Tiptree or clotted cream from Rodda's - have succeeded in their business and have experienced large-scale expansion. That's really wonderful. But, consequently, you can see their products all over the UK. When I think about more uniqueness and local-based specialisation, I think there might be still more potential for Japanese-style local products and sales in the UK. Something like 'if you visit here, you can't miss to buy or to eat' things.

As for Sendai, my hometown, the popular sweet 'hagi-no-tsuki' is the most famous. It is a lovely sweet. The original custard cream is wrapped by a soft sponge cake. There are similar products, but this is one of the most famous souvenirs in Sendai.


haginotsuki
Source; http://www.sanzen.co.jp/english/index.html
However, my favourite confectionery in Sendai is 'Hasekura-yaki', which is sold by the company Fujiya Senshu. I've loved this yummy sweet since I was young. Sweet and white azuki-beans paste with chestnuts are wrapped in soft skin of sable. They are still handmade one by one. On the skin there is a Kanji letter 'hasekura-yaki'. The name Hasekura-yaki came from the person Hasekura Stunenaga (1571-1622), who was a Japanese samurai and the first diplomat from Sendai, Japan to visit Spain, France, Italy and the Vatican.

Unfortunately, these confectioneries don’t keep long... so I can't bring this back home. Every time I go back to Sendai, my mother buys this for us, so I can enjoy this confectionery. Ah, I really miss it,  just only thinking about it.

Source;http://www.s-pal.jp.e.yf.hp.transer.com