Life in my little world is going well with many ordinary and exciting things happening.
I was in Japan almost the whole of March, first in my mind, and then in reality, physically. I hope you enjoyed my stories and photos of Japan so far. There are five more posts to go, mainly about Kyoto. So I won’t say more here.
I watched three films, 12 Years A Slave, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Wild. I love the book Wild. I was reading it during my 15 minute breaks at work, when I cook, before bed, on the flight to and back from Japan. I devoured it. It was almost the only entertainment that successfully took my mind off Japan. I like the film a bit less. Then by coincidence, I watched a film trailer for Tracks, which looks very similar to Wild, and beautiful. They are both real stories about one woman walking insanely long distances in remote places alone. So as soon as I finished Wild, I ordered the book of Tracks, hoping to finish it quickly and compare them in my blog. I think I was deceived by the trailer. The book drains my will and patience so much, I still haven’t finished it.
Not sure if you heard of a Japanese animation called Attack on Titan. I watched a few episodes and found it quite interesting. I think to understand Japanese people, culture and society, manga and animation are just as helpful as “serious” literature.
We did another wedding photo job. Respecting our clients’ request, we’re not going to put any photos online. But it was a lovely day with people from many different nations and cultures. I think we probably can say, we’re specialists in cross-cultural wedding photography, if there is such category!
I was invited/volunteered to a translation and interpretation event organised by Newcastle University and Route Into Languages. The purpose was to share our experiences as translators, to answer their questions and hopefully to encourage them in learning languages and work as translators and interpreters in the future. It felt strange but great to go back to Newcastle Uni again, after I graduated five years ago. It was also a nice surprise when a lot of Chinese students came up to me during tea breaks. I suddenly realised, in their eyes, my life and my job is what they wanted and thought ideal. It made me feel thankful and I wish you all the best for the future, and I’m sure you can do better!
Spring extends day light and increases temperature. We didn’t waste it! Apart from a lot of gardening, we went on many walks to celebrate this time of the year. We accepted wise suggestions about discovering local walks, which enables you to walk more frequently and with smaller cost (time and money).
We went for a walk literally from our house, around the airport area – not where people usually would go. But we quacked at ducks and swans in a big pond, trod through woods, waved at massive aeroplanes taking off and landing, and startled deers from hundreds of metres away – they were so shy! We also came across an authentic, new and inexpensive Indian restaurant on the way. Yummy!
The second walk was along South Shields Coast. I went back home with a lot of grass in the folds of my trousers…
The third walk was with our family along the coast by Dunstanburgh Castle. My sister-in-law was very impressive, walked 4 miles with a 36 weeks big bump! We started from Craster. The first photo was the Castle from the south. The second was the Castle and the impressive cliff from the north.
And of course, there has been a lot of cooking and baking! I suddenly fell in love with mussels and have been collecting mussel recipes. I’ve got four so far, from an Italian (with tomato), a Japanese (with white wine), a South Korean (with just water, but with spicy dipping sauce) and Nigel Slater (British, with cider). Cooking was always easy, but the cleaning was always a challenge. I’d like a mussel washing machine, which do exist, proven by an Italian friend! Photographing mussel dishes turned out to be a challenge too. No matter how I cooked them, the end results looked the same!
I also tried tiramisu for the first time. Yummy! Jamie Oliver magazine had an Italian special recently which I bought. A few pasta dishes are really simple and tasty, one of them uses kale. I told my Italian friend about it, she replied quickly, we don’t use kale in Italy! lol
We finished May with salmon baked in Takayama miso and plum wine from Kobe. Yum yum!
Last but not least, a friend who we met at the beginning of this year is getting baptised tonight. It was so exciting to watch her getting to know the Lord little by little, from zero, to making the decision of following Him; from saying “I love our small group discussion, I wish it happened everyday”, to asking what’s the Christian view and attitude on money. She also reminds me of my own journey of discovery. Praise God for the miracles of bringing her and, six years ago, myself to you. I was also baptised into this family exactly six years ago today. Praise the Lord!