Spring means Subway picnic dinners.
Treated myself to some well-deserved me time the other week! And although lovely, I did feel bad about using so much water…Do you know if a bath uses more water than a shower? It must, mustn’t it? Alas, as a once-in-a-while treat, I did feel amazing, and I slept like a baby.
Petal carpet love!I moved out of my parents’ again! How do you like my new room? I used to be an avid Frankie Magazine reader. However, after the original creators left, I’ve become a dedicated fan of The Lunch Lady which ironically, is their (Frankie’s ex-creators’) new publication.
PMS is a bitch and so was I this day. I made S walk 40 min to the grocery store for a sweet craving (I wanted naturally dried apricots) but when the supermarket didn’t have them (what supermarket doesn’t have apricots?!) I spent 15 indecisive minutes only to buy checkout chocolate. Oops! Sorry S!
And, one of my most memorable days yet…yes, that special! S surprised me at work with a picnic lunch of my favourites! Sushi, chocolate (the same one I had had that my moody night at the supermarket hehe), berry smoothie, and last but definitely not least, Dr. Feelgood frozen pops. This time we tried jelly-top Passionfruit and White Chocolate and I gotta say, it’s my favourite flavour yet!
Yeah baby! Find them at Fendalton New World in Christchurch and probably everywhere in Auckland. Thanks Dr. Feelgood, I adore you!
I love my boyfriend because he agrees to pancakes for dinner.
“Practice gratitude relentlessly. As you practice gratitude you will attract more thoughts and feelings of gratitude. In a shot time your entire being will be saturated with it, and you will experience a happiness that is beyond what you can imagine. This is what is ahead for you when you choose gratitude as your way of life. And if you can really live in this highest state of gratitude, you will never have to ask for anything. Everything you want will be given to you before you even ask, because gratitude is the magnetic substance that opens every single door in the Universe.”
~From the Secret Scrolls by Rhonda Byrne
A Gratitude List
…look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love. -Zooey Deschanel
I dedicate this list to you. I’m sorry for the whinging and the grumbles. I really am happy and grateful…it’s just so easy to be open with you.
1.Working limbs to walk, run, cycle and explore.
2.Unexpected friends. Like Laura from Belgium who I met through blogging. who came and stayed with me in Japan and who just happens to be blogging about it NOW.
3.My auntie Pouneh – of course for having me here but also for her many entertaining stories, cycling advice and organic salads!
4.Coffee. I mean come on. Ican’teven without it.
5.Art. Art and creative people. Literature, music, Sundance! Thank you for making me feel all sorts of feels.
6.My mama, who keeps messaging me to be careful not to get a cold? And that I’m her little girl and very pretty. Oh my heart. My world. Thank you.
7.Getting paid to travel. Okay so it’s not much (hint hint Savvy Tokyo) but it’s seriously a dream come true. I did it. I blogged for 730 days in a row, annoyed the hell out of you all and eventually landed myself a teeny tiny writing role. Have you read my latest work? You can HERE, HERE and HERE. Cheers and kampai to (fingers-crossed/touch-wood) many more.
It’s My Birthday
And I’m off to Spain! But I wanted to tell you about my first (of hopefully many haha I joke I joke) birthday presents. First, THIS incredibly humbling blog-post by fellow blogger, Laura.
Second, pictures from my birthday eve, spent with a very special family. One who gave me their home, bicycle, fresh vegetables and unconditional love for an entire month then threw me this dinner and gave me these presents and money (osenbetu). I felt so embarrassed, I should have been doing that for them! But I am so joyful to have shared in the joy of such an evening on a birthday far from home.
Last, this message from Jose. I request PAELLA! Hehe, see you guys V V soon!
The Pain Of Parting Is Nothing To The Joy Of Meeting Again
This post should really be split between several posts because it’s so heartful – is that a word?
From top to bottom: my goodbye party last night, a few of my thoughtful thoughtful gifts…one of which…drum roll please… IS THE RETURN OF MY BENTO! I know! I can’t believe it either. I am SO overjoyed. And last, snaps of some of my loved ones including a picture story of my new friend gifting me his (second) best watermelon (I remembered my camera this time).
A New Admirer
Can you guess the story from the pictures? Well, I’ll tell you anyway. I woke up at 5am because I go to sleep early (read about it here). I had a beautifully presented breakfast (read about it here). I went for a walk and bumped into my new friend (read about him here). He was waiting for me. He took me to his garden. He gave me eggplants, okra, tomatoes and cucumber. He said “good morning” and “you are a girl” and “you are a boy” and “Christchurch”. He was very pleased with his English. I was too. Then he drove me home. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. So if I put on weight from not completing my daily exercises we all know who to blame. I love him.
This Moment Contains All Moments
Do you remember Yasu? My unexpected friend? Well, her family thew me a goodbye party last night. We ate clam chowder, sushi rolls (featuring pink, green and whie rice), tofu salad and much more. Her mother is such a sweet soul and a very good cook. Last night she reminded me very much of my own mother. She’d made this pork and egg dish which she kept apologizing for. She’d say, “please try this, I made it but I’m sorry, it became too spicy.” Each time someone reached for a helping or she offered it to them, she’d say sorry. I told her my mama was the same. That whatever she cooked she’d end up apologizing for. And even though if it was the yummiest dish in the world, she’d still be saying sorry. Then my father would tease her for having apologized, again. Silly sweet humble loving mamas.
Yasu’s younger sister, Shoko, whose name for the life of me I can’t remember so I have to call her what her two year old nephew calls her: “aka”, surprised me with the beautiful cake pictured. We had a blast. I can’t believe how much they did for me. I wish I’d met Yasu sooner. I keep questioning why our paths didn’t cross earlier. Especially since she had been living right there, in the upstairs apartment! We could have shared so many dinners together – a thought which brings me much joy but also sadness.
After dinner, we did hanabi (fireworks) – an activity strongly resonant with Japanese summer.
To Make Living Itself An Art, That Is The Goal.
There Is Nowhere Morning Does Not Go
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. (Lemony Snicket)
Turns out waking up early is even better for me than I originally thought. This morning was an adventure I’ll never forget. So I embarked for my usual 5.30am walk only to be stopped halfway by an ojichan (old citizen). He asked where I was from, what I was doing here etc and long story short, he took me to his garden where he showed me his eggplants, watermelons, broccoli, figs, persimmons and other fruits and vegetables before ripping out a big cabbage head for me to take home. Next, he introduced me to his wife who also gifted me fresh produce: capsicum, parsley and cucumber. Since it was still early by the time I got home, I whipped up a quick batch of blueberry muffins to return to the old couple as a thank you before heading to work. When I got there…well, I’m sure you can imagine their smiles and feel their warmth.
Believe In Your Dreams
Believe in your dreams they were given to you for a reason. -Katrina Mayer
There is something wonderfully bold about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life. -Tara Brach
Sometimes I need only to sand wherever I am to be blessed. -Mary Oliver
I am rooted but I flow. -Virginia Woolf
Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. -Louise Hay
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity -Simone Weil
When the path reveals itself, follow it. -Cheryl Strayed
PS to make yellow sushi rice, just boil your rice with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. As for the last images, simply make this recipe for bircher muesli simply adding some canned peaches.
There Is Something You Must Always Remember
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
― A.A. Milne
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
― Jon Katz
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
― A.A. Milne
“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
― E.B. White
“Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts.”
― Ken Page