Tag Archives: musings

Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

washoku (classic Japanese trad dinner) including: sashimi, ohitashi, hiyayako, pickles, etc. (umeboshi in the jar)

Just another food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage. Of course, we are cooking at home, groceries get delivered (and some from garden/yard). We have a little convection oven. Added in a few Japanese words just case PS “washoku” is word for traditional Japanese food – usually fish (grilled or raw) and various side dishes, while “yoshoku” is Japanese-i-fied foreign-inspired food which has become Japanese (i.e. croquettes, om-rice (omelette on rice), hamburg, fried shrimp, spaghetti). Also a few ramen, pizza and other hybrid style meals in here. Carry on. No big deal. 

breakfast set with oranges, muesli, coffee, home-baked bread
house-made ramen with mugi (barley) tea
lunch set with boiled eggs (and hot sauce), avocado, apples, etc
housemade pizza with smoked duck, cheese, mushrooms

Continue reading Diary: washoku, pizza, strudel, tacos, pickles, ramen & more everyday food

Diary: Hospital Blues/ Postal Therapy

Wasn’t allowed into the birthing clinic appointment today due to the fcking “situation* so sat outside and scribbled a few postcards (yes of course i had my kit with me) #postaltherapy

Note: packages cannot be sent to/received from overseas – and, as i understand, cards and letters are all going by sea due to lack of commercial flights which contract to transport mail. Ugh. Continue reading Diary: Hospital Blues/ Postal Therapy

Diary: War and Peace rolls mightily… (in various forms)

Movie time: War and Peace

To be clear: this is the 1959 Hollywood/King Vidor version with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda and others… There are several adaptations of the classic Tolstoy novel and this frankly, is not the best by any measure. Even at 208 minutes the story is incredibly compressed and huge critical chunks simply cut out. It really lacks in its reliance on camera trickery which, perhaps was innovative at the time, but has the feeling of “clean it up in post“… Especially with the sound editing/mixing, it’s a mess. All that said, I totally enjoy it Mostly because of Audrey.

There’s is a much longer Soviet-era Russian adaptation (7 hrs) by auteur Sergei Bondarchuk (co-wrote, directs and acts) from 1967 / it’s endlessly wonderfully long, came out in a series in Russian language (naturally) with various French and German as needed. It’s truly epic so you got to settle in / plan for the long-haul / rousing battle & party scenes interspersed with slow contemplative vignettes. The actors arent as pretty/shiny as other versions but hey, realism (I have this one of three long VHS tapes).

Then, there’s a BBC series from 2016 which is in general very well done – aside from a few casting choices which I for some reason find incredibly annoying (but I’m kind of like that). Pacing is good and cinematography is often great. if you’re going to settle in for one, this is probably the best all-arounder/entry point. Lily James is a worthy Natasha.

Another good all-arounder albeit a bit melodrama-esque came in a 2007 series. An international production so well done on various languages & casting actors from different cultures / a bit hard to find as was made for European release. 

There is also a 1972 British made TV series and a 1915 b&w film, neither of which I’ve seen.

Have you seen any of the series? Any opinions on a favorite? Have you read the book?

I mean, if not now, when?

##

Note:

Ted says: The Soviet version is one of the most amazing films ever made I think. It’s now on a criterion Blu-ray release.

I reply: indeed, the backstory of the creation is just as epic as well. He had free rein to state museums, use of the Army personnel and helicopters etc / Must get my hands on the criterion as I’ve only watched on the VHS tapes which, leave a little bit to be desired.

Ted: Factoring the current rate of exchange, it supposedly the most expensive film ever made. Like 800 million or something.

Me: Epic in every sense of the word! Although hard to calculate the true cost of the budget with all of the government resources/access use. Have you seen any of the other versions? Comments?

Diary: lil kitchen at Tsuchida Cottage

By the way, here’s our lil kitchen at Tsuchida Cottage. Tiny but efficient + cute & versatile.

PS All the time living in VW bus comes in handy – ha!

Diary: Outside the wall + compost bin

Note: Went “outside the wall” yesterday for a hospital visit and wow, a lot of weirdness everywhere… Got back home safe and I’m going outside to work in the garden now that i washed dishes / ps we made a yard waste / compost bin from scraps

Remember: Control The Controllables ‬

Update: also replanted 4 seedling trees (temporarily) and transplanted a bunch of kabocha (pumpkin squash variety)

Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

My my the pleasant days go by – we fill our days with tending to lists of tasks from gardens to scrapbooks to required paperwork to making pickles and tasty baked goods… with everything focussed on preparing our house to welcome a new human, make our life simple and efficient so we can enjoy art and music and love.

With this in mind, may i offer a few slices of evidence? 

So we are working down the list of stuff for the lil baby coming and doing most all by mail order and also received a few care packages form friends. In this case, a big load of clothes and diapers which we washed (with delicate detergent) and air-dried! Its all so cute.

The little pyjama outfits will be so fun to play dress up and match with. 

Next, our rabbit. This is Maru-chan. He eats and hops and mostly lives indoors but sometimes hangs out outside. 

Continue reading Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

Scrapbooks for all Reasons / Japan Cottage Musings

With a coffee and pyjamas, Dave riffs about types of scrapbooks, ways to make from scratch, reasons for making (memory and flow), a bit about creative process and keeping organized, handy tools and supplies, and other ways to fancy up your books with inky stamps, postage stamps, stickers and up-cycled meta scraps. Plus hey, fun for the family, liberate the items from shoeboxes, put on an album or two and go with the flow.

fondly, dave 

Diary: More Rocks, also Herbs + Bocce Dreams (with time lapse fun)

As noted recently, we put in a fresh garden plot in the front yard area of our house in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan. As part of the project is moving a buncha boulders to make room for planting a smattering of fruit trees.

The boulders are moved by a steel tripod, chains and a pulley system and as such, assuming one is careful and strategic, *fairly* non-heavy work aside from pushing the cart with the boulder to the location to dump it off. 

Time-lapse of a rock moving session:

The relocated rocks are used to build up a retaining wall of sorts to support a drainage ditch… When offloading from the cart to the ditch, we added leftover bales – really bales – of bubblewrap from the shipping of my archives to protect a hard plastic pipe in the ditch. Quite fun rolling the rocks into position! 

Then using a few more to put a ring around a big plum tree to make a picnic park area. 

We’ve done a few sessions now of hauling the rocks and while the pile is reducing, still can’t see the ground sufficiently to put in the trees, so we carry on / there are enough rocks that we’ll sorta extend a little wall. Continue reading Diary: More Rocks, also Herbs + Bocce Dreams (with time lapse fun)

Diary: Moving Boulders, Laying Bricks, Planting Seeds at Tsuchida Cottage

Quick notes: relocated these three big old foundation boulders using a tripod and pulley to make a little ring around the plum tree for picnics with the kiddo, and hopefully you

there’s a big pile to move in order to make space for 5 more fruit trees (we have the saplings living in pots: orange, lime, grapefruit… )

the boulders were moved using brains not brawn with a steel tripod and pulley system made it very easy as long as you were smart and careful. :) It’s quite ingenious as those mighty heavy rocks were moved with just me, pregnant wife and the wonderful tiny mother-in-law 

Next, we fixed up the area next to Ryoko’s tool shed with a potted olive tree, lemongrass, and various other plants…

first, put down a stack of old bricks and other rocks so ya know, give it some character and functional charm Continue reading Diary: Moving Boulders, Laying Bricks, Planting Seeds at Tsuchida Cottage

Haikus, Garden + Baby News / Japan Cottage Musings

Wearing a smoking jacket at Tsuchida Cottage, Dave riffs on recent activities including: planting vegetable garden, playing piano, buying baby clothes, and sort-ganizing archives including digging out loads of books. As such, shows books by Douglas Coupland, Nick Bantock, Gary Snyder, Ethan Hubbard, and reads from Jack Kerouac’s American Haikus, plus riffs about Tintin, fire lookouts and mailing postcards.