So today is Wednesday. It’s my Dad’s birthday – Happy Birthday Dad!!
Today is exciting because this afternoon we will all visit Motomachi elementary where the boys will be enrolled. Hopefully they will start on Monday. It will all be a bit fitful as there is a school holiday around Golden Week at the start of May and then we’ll take the boys out of school in mid May to accompany the Moomins (grandparents) whilst they come and stay.
So in the meantime we have been mixing the usual home ed stuff with exploring our new area and meeting Dan for lunch. Sunday evening we planted some seeds and look forward to growing our own cucumbers, strawberries and herbs.
On Monday we went to a Ramen restaurant and one of Dan’s colleagues joined us.Yesterday we were en famille and we went to a cook-your-own okonomiyaki, (optimistically called Japanese pizza, but there’s no real dough and it’s mainly a cabbage frittata with barbecue sauce and mayonnaise on top). I went for seafood and the boys stuck with pork.
The meal begins with a salad, (the dressing reminded me of Little Chef prawn cocktail), and then the hot plate is activated and you cook the meat. Meanwhile you mix your bowl of stuff and add the cooked meat to the mix. Then you dump the mix onto the hotplate. Apparently it needs to be 14cm in diameter. I joked about not bringing a ruler and Dan told me that they are provided. (Of course). Then a saucepan lid goes over the top and a timer is turned. Once the time is up, the okonomiyaki is flipped and cooked for the same time. Then you get creative (or not) with the sauce.
Of course, Dan’s was the best
Dan worked a little later last night so I did some research and found a ramen restaurant near Ishikawacho station and we met him and headed there for tea. It was cold and raining and I was glad I’d taken my woolly hat and warm jacket.
Tonight we’ll be having spaghetti bolognaise. Dan cooked up a big batch and froze it before coming back to the UK at Easter.
It’s been a few days. The jet lag has taken its toll a wee bit and it is only now that I feel clear headed enough to post again.
I think Sunday was the hardest. We attempted a big supermarket shop – by bus, none the less – in the morning; then in the afternoon we took the train out to Kamakura, a hill town south of Yokohama which has lots of temples, a giant buddha, and lots of shops and cafes.
Dan has a preferred supermarket; OK supermarket. Google maps told us the nearest one was a fair way away. But we catch a vey nice air conditioned bus and follow the progress on Dan’s phone and start the shop. Now. I love exploring the food shops and this one was a bit disappointing. Plus, I suppose I have more fun when there isn’t a time or purpose constraint and we had both on this trip.
I *had* started a blog post on Sunday so it seems a shame to waste it. Here is what I wrote:
The wind howled and the rain poured last night and most of this morning. I slept badly and got up early. Dan joined me and we watched a couple of episodes of the Million Yen Women on Netflix before the boys got up. It’s a great wee drama about a novelist and it involves intrigue, murder and I use it as an excuse to learn some Nihongo.
We decided to go to the supermarket. After much Google Mapsing we decided to try for the OK supermarket a twenty five minute bus ride away.
Anyway. Here’s the photos of the shopping trip. Of course, lugging it all back on the bus wasn’t as much fun. And the bus was crowded and not air conditioned. And something leaked onto my leather handbag. But I did have the guilty pleasure of listening-in on a conversation going on in the seats behind me between two older Antipodean ladies. I was a bit annoyed at first because I was trying to record the voice of the bus driver who reminded me of a Goons’ character. I did catch this snippet:
Perhaps not surprisingly, (look at my use of the fronted adverbial, folks), I was not at my best for our afternoon jaunt to Kamakura. By the time we had climbed the steps to the train platform I was feeling totally huge and gallumphing. Being surrounded by these petite things in their stylish clothes that hang from their bony frames does nothing for the self esteem. But I tried to brush off these feelings reminding myself I was knackered and hormonal and European and overweight. Natch.
We had to change trains at Ofuna, where there is another giant buddha that you can see from the train. (We’ve not yet got off the train at Ofuna to explore it ourselves).
Dan has a favourite decadent Hot Chocolate shop in Kamakura and I wasn’t going to turn him down, feeling as I did. We sat outside and watched kites loop around above the trains station.
We then wandered into Kamakura, bought some kitchen equipment from a department store; Dan let me have some breathing time on my own in a funky cafe – I had a chilled chai latte which was a bit too sweet but I pushed on through! Then we returned home. Of course I have taken some snaps of some interesting food items, thus:
Sakura (cherry blossom) themed KitKats. Of course.
Kawaii (cute) donuts. Of course. Again.
There’s a tiny amount of sakura still on the trees, I’m a little sad we missed it, but hey-ho. The next cultural theme will be the carp windsocks which are part of the Children’s Day celebrations in May, which form part of Golden Week. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what this is all about but when I do find out more, I will share with you all. You lucky souls.