Tuesday 29 September 2009

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Another day in the park.... literally

Today Graham and I decided to go for a bike ride. We rode to Kappabashi-Dori
http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Display=33 to buy some stuff to practice making sushi before I start my course, you know me, cant wait for the course I have to already be able to do some of it!! :-)

We then rode to Ueno Park which is soooooo beautiful. We went to The National Museum of Western Art, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/ which neither Gra or I knew is the home of "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin, there is a hall with about 8 sculputures by Rodin including Adam, Eve, The gates of Hell etc, really beautiful! There was also a hall with some beautiful Monet, I love Waterloo Bridge in London and we both loved Snow in Argenteuil but not sure if that was just because it was snow and reminded us of Switzerland :-) There were some other good halls and some .... not so good halls :-) cant like / appreciate it all!!

We then rode through the park watching all the street performers before heading home to see the kids... (always the best part of the day)!

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Sumo Wrestling

Details of the day to follow......

Saturday 19 September 2009

While in Japan, make sushi....

Graham and I decided to do a one day sushi course together. I could then decide if I wanted to do the 1 month diploma course. I have decided yes!!

Before I explain about the day course I want to express how impressed I am of the sushi of my good friend Maja in Switzerland. Her sushi is fabulous, it always looks great and tastes delicious, after doing the one day course I have realised just how hard this is, it really isn't easy! http://www.sushichezvous.ch/ Also I want to say that Maja's sushi is up there with the sushi we have had in Japan! totally excellent!! (Maja you can pay me later) :-)

OK... our course, Graham and I turned up at 10am to the Sushi Academy, Tokyo. After being asked to change our shoes, put on the white apron and hat, wash our hands and take off all rings, watches etc we were ready. They had the rice all prepared and we were shown how to take the rice and mold it for the nigri sushi, looks easy, just roll no?? NO! In Japan they teach you how to do this in 7 steps, of course our "sensei" did this in seconds (1 I think) but Gra and I took abit longer and it didn't look the same as his. We had to weigh it too as in Japan the rice has to weigh exactly 18g... OK we were making 25g :-) we practiced this for quite a while, chatting to the sensei and the assistant (Gra to the sensei in Japanese and me to the assistant in English). Then he said we could try to cut some fish, even that isn't straight forward, holding the knife in a certain way, slicing (no sawing) the fish etc, again it has to be weighed and has to weigh 12g, maybe Gra and I were not exact with this either...

We then watched how they made the rice which again was a very interesting process and not just put the rice in a pan and cook for 20 mins...

After this was on to making the cucumber rolls, for this they didn't even let us near the real ingredients to start with, we had a cloth for the Nori and chop sticks for the cucumber.. we made a right mess and the sensei had a good laugh, after he said we were ready to make these so we made 1 roll and cut into 6 and then were given fresh rice and we made the nigri sushi with the different fish. After this we had to present it nicely and then we all ate it for lunch, my was "gorgeous" :-)
We watched the Diploma course for a while as they were being shown how to make the omelet it looked really hard so I wished the American and Swedish guy good luck with making that :-) my turn in November.... cant wait!!!

Saturday 12 September 2009

Tired, wet and cold but far from miserable...

Ok, my day started at 7am with me looking at my phone to see if Pascal had sent me an sms from the Gotteron game... No.... so I guessed that meant that we lost... yep! 4-1 to Bern!! not happy!! but C'est la Vie!! hope they win tonight. OK that is the hockey out of my system so on to the day we had ahead of us.
I had booked us on a bike tour of Tokyo http://www.tokyocycling.jp/index.html and had been looking forward to it all week. We were due to meet at 9am at a hotel about 45 mins from our flat, then we had a 6 hour tour of Tokyo ahead of us, great! BUT if the weather isn't good they cancel the tour... the weather forecast wasn't great but it wasn't too bad either so they asked if we wanted to still do it, we said YES!! OK, it didn't just "spit" it "pi**ed" it down (sorry mum)!! on our 45 minute ride to meet them it started, we were nearly there (but lost) and we were going down a hill, the path was really wet and Very slippery and poor Gian put on the brakes and the rest was history... he went flying and the bike landed on top of him, I was behind him and I slipped too but managed to stay on my bike, poor boy was very shaken up but no cuts so we told him to get back on the bike as we were going to be late :-) (joking, I gave him a hug first and then told him...) :-) bad mum!!!
So we finally met up with the others, our guides Yukiko and Masa and the other people on our tour Mandy and Geoff from Hawaii, and Eric from California, they were lovely and very understanding (for us being lost and late) so off to a good start! The rain was getting harder and harder so we stopped so they could tell us about the trip and then it really chucked it down so we had to stop again and go into a shop, we looked like drowned rats!! we had a typical Japanese "sweet" http://japanesefood.about.com/od/japanesedessertsweet/r/anko.htm it was an American style pancake with anko (see link above) inside.. yum... not!! very strange and I wasn't sure nor were the kids so Gra had 3 :-) Had a look outside and still raining so decided we would stop the tour :-( we said we would go to the fish market, have lunch together and then finish the tour.. WOW!! the fish market is amazing!! huge and very interesting. Gian didn't like it when we saw the live crab but the rest the kids enjoyed.
We went into a sushi shop in the fish market so as you can imagine the fish was out of this world, so fresh!
After lunch we decided to make our way home, very wet, cold and tired. But we have already booked on the tour for next Sunday to see the Sumo Wrestlers and then will do the Saturday tour another day.
Graham is now in bed... 4pm.. hot baths were had by all and a cup of tea... lovely.....

Friday 4 September 2009

Earthquake at school

This was the picture in Mia's school today when they had another earthquake....

This afternoon the kids were both at school and Graham and I were in Roppongi (see pics), I felt something move and lost my balance abit but nothing too bad. When the kids came out of school they were both very excited and Mia was pleased as they missed 15 minutes of French as they had to sit under their desks covering their heads until the earthquake passed.... oh the joy!!

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Karaoke Time......

Today was soooo much fun, we went to one of the famous Karaoke clubs. We paid for 4 people (2 Sfr per person per hour, plus you have to buy 1 drink from them too so a total of 20 Sfr for an hour, not bad)!! You go into a small room with a TV, huge book to choose the music, phone (to call to ask for more drinks or food) and the big remote to pick the music oh and 2 microphones.
I started with Eternal Flame by the bangles (me and Lisa used to sing this as kids) :-) sorry Lisa!! at first I was laughing and thinking how bad my voice was but after 5 mins I really thought I was Susanna Hoffs :-) Mia then had a go at a Hannah Montanna song and Gian sang a Michael Jackson song while moon walking!!! Gra then had a great moment singing Ben by Michael Jackson and then we did a duet of American Pie, god we were....awful!!!
Well Simon Cowell would laugh us off the stage but we had such a great time, all visitors start practicing your favourite songs as we WILL be going back. I am looking into how to start this up in Fribourg!!


when we arrived at our new home we obviously didn't know who are new neighbours were or if they had children etc, (Graham was however very excited to see some gold clubs outside one of the apartments so hoped that person was nice) :-)

It wasn't long before I met a lovely French lady in reception, she said hello and we started talking, worked out she lived on the 4th floor too and yes she was our neighbour, great she had 2 boys aged 12 and 9 exactly the same as Mia and Gian, result!!

Graham soon met the other neighbour (with the clubs) and they are a Japanese family with 2 children Moe (10) and Anna (6 months) and a very noisy (and scary) dog :-) After talking to Taichi for a while we asked where he had learnt his very good English, he replied Reading, UK, (about 20 mins from where I grew up), small world eh!! Anyway, these are our neighbours (the 4th flat is empty), we feel Very lucky as they all seem lovely!