30 January 2008

Day 3 - winter sunshine

If winter is going to have some sunny breaks like today then I think I can survive. This is our mini garden, especially for Long Long, but now it seems there might be someone else who wants to share it.

Today was good, but mini has picked up a nasty cold, which isnt surprising. We took a walk downtown to Shibuya, just 20 mins. We are very lucky to be so close to downtown but still have a nice quiet place to live. It will take some time to navigate the streets and find the good places to eat that are pram friendly but that is all part of the adventure!! Our house is coming along, we have no table and chairs so eating on the floor is the go, we will get one this weekend and resume civility. We need to look at the bath situation, it is so deep, not good for bathing a one year old but very nice for relaxing in. Long Long arrives tomorrow, he got into Tokyo this afternoon and spends the night in quarantine. They will drop him off. I really hope he is OK, he will love the winter sunshine but he hates the cold so I will keep you posted. Things are good, Im not lonely yet, I am excited about being here but I miss you xxx

29 January 2008

Day 1 & 2 - The leaving and the arriving

I plan to write about our first 30 days so you can keep up with my thoughts and what we are experiencing here in Tokyo as a first time, family move.
Heres day 1 and 2.
The leaving is never fun, the packing is less fun. So many last minute, small details seem to take up so much time to organise. I wanted to make sure I could spend the last day with my family but still, even though we were pretty organised, the last minute things took until after midday. I will miss you all very much but this kind of move makes my relationships with my family and friends even stronger because I cannot see you whenever I want to, so my thoughts about you make me very happy and appreciative that you are in my life. At home it dont feel this so strongly because you are accessible.

The trip was long, mini was great despite teething and drooling. I managed to watch "The Brave One" in a few parts which was cool. Arriving in Tokyo it was about 5 degrees, ouch. I forgot about the coldness of cold when its 40 degrees and a bit of cold is all I can hope for. Tokyo feels familiar and not scary. People seem, very nice, polite, thoughtful, well dressed!! Our house is warm, hooray, it is bigger than our house at home and we have some new furniture but no chairs to sit on yet. We have eaten some nice take away, such a great prices and very good food. This kind of food would not be classed as take away at home because it is too good! I am so impressed what you can get for $4 or $5, excellent. We have caught the train and the bus, the bus is much easier as not all stations have elevators. This makes life difficult with a pram and besides the bus drops off and picks up from the end of the street and takes you to the middle of downtown Shibuya for $2, ace. Mooch is still on Melbourne time so 4am is his 6am but not for us...it will take a few days to get him adjusted. Coffee puh-leese.......First two days has been great. It seems we have done this move with not too much fuss and not too many errors and just a little bit of anxiety. I have had a stomach ache for about a week. I hope it goes away soon. I forgot you can buy small packets of things, just enough for one serve. I could even get a small tray of mince meat, just about 100gm to make some food for mooch. I like that, I waste too much food at home because I cannot finish it. I was also happy to pick up, already sliced onions, one banana nicely packaged and $7 strawberries that would have to be the best tasting things I have eaten in a while. The food is excellent and the presentation is beautiful. We went to the supermarket early and were greeted by the staff as we entered who all bow and say good morning and handed us a basket. These are the thing we really need to enjoy as so many things are homogenous, these things are unique and what make Japan, Japan. Long Long arrives on Thursday. Oyasumi xxx

17 January 2008

pink and red love

As it happens when you start to clean up long forgotten boxes and pack up old piles of memories, it takes longer than you plan because all those old times come rolling back. I found this old photo of my sister and I. I think I must be about 5. Check out the lovely matching nylon trakkie tops and the musk pink pants on me. My love of pink and red started early!! I really enjoyed those days of playing with my sister. We used to play so many kinds of games and usually without too much fighting. We were free to do things that these days I would never let mini mooch do, such as be down the creek playing all day and come home for dinner, wander around and play sand castle wars at the beach and just generally be safe without being paranoid or preyed upon by some horrible person. Our peak succes at playing time was when we put on a circus, walked the streets calling for any kids who wanted to come along to do so (we got about 10), we had the dog dressed up for attraction. The venue was our back yard where we had the clothes line set up with a blanket as a curtain to draw back and close. The recruits (crowd) sat on a blanket and watched and clapped while we calastenic'ed, dog tricked and clowned our way through quite a few scenes. We even had prizes of icy poles from the freezer. We were budding entrepreners. Those things would never happen these days so its good to remember those free summer holiday days.

12 January 2008

Lally girl RIP

It was time for our family cat, Ellie to die yesterday. She was 19 years old and has outlived other family pets, two cats and a dog. She has been getting thinner everyday and we think the last few very hot days has been too much for her and she has shut down. My Dad took her to the vet to see if there was anything they could do but as anticipated the vet put her to sleep. We accept this is the right thing to do so she is not in any pain. However, it is hard to lose a much loved pet. It is sad to see her go as we will miss her funny ways but she has had a good and long life and we have loved her very much. She was a good girl, not like the other naughty puss, Billy 2. Goodbye little Lally girl we love you.

10 January 2008

the movers

The muscle men are coming today to move all our boxes and furniture. Im not too sure why I thought it would be possible or a good idea to pack almost the whole house the night before they arrive.....so I needed to wait till the mooch went to bed, as you can see, he like to help....but once it got past midnight and remembering I had been up since 5am, things werent making much logical progress. Me thinks it is not a situation where I need to get too stressed since we have another shipment before we leave in a few weeks and several boxes and all our other furniture has already arrived. So, since I packed some extra underwear and warm clothes in the boxes already in Japan, I think I wont need anything that might have been missed last night. I wish we could plan around the weather, 40+ degrees isnt exactly ideal for moving......I just hope it isnt this hot when the pooch has to travel. Wish us luck!!

8 January 2008

cu-rackin' it

The mooch has found his mojo...well, the kind of mojo that cracks it when someone else dares to touch what he is playing with....it is very funny to see this behaviour because you so often see adults acting or reacting in the same way. But, since he is only one, he needs to learn the social norms and eventually learn how to share. In the meantime, firmness, early intervention and distraction seem to do the trick.

7 January 2008

the time has come.....

.....for more curiosity and fun. Moochie is bored with me all the time and his incessant curiosity will not wait while I do boring household chores. So its time for him to enter childcare for as little as half a day or up to 2 full days depending on what I can find. I'm sure this will create the right balance for both of us. Since I do not know anyone in Tokyo who has done the research, I'm working from scratch to find a suitable place as well as find out all the 'quirks' which might also be known as 'systems' that I need to be aware of. Here are some of the more interesting things I have found out in my research:

  • average one off enrolment fee is about $2000
  • some centres charge $100 a month 'toilet training' fee
  • daily fees start at about $60 and go up from there....
  • some centres change nappies AND clothes every hour on the hour
  • some centres make you take home all dirty nappies
  • some centres only allow cloth nappies

I will post more as I learn how things work, but always when entering a new culture that is very different from your own, learning and ACCEPTING and not asking why every 5 minutes, is sometimes challenging!! I guess I am looking for something that I feel comfortable with, is affordable and will be the best environment for mooch. I guess I am lucky that he can be in a place that despite what appear to be strange rules to me provides him (and me) the chance to appreciate how others do things. And this is the point of the whole trip!!

5 January 2008

zen coffee

This summer has been so hot and the flies have been so horrible. I try to create my own state of coffee zen so I can sit and enjoy it. It has taken a few months to not swat, but I cannot not swat the ones crawling over mini mooch's lips and eyes. Horrible, annoying flies go away!!

4 January 2008


These are the easiest sausage rolls you could make. I am in full scale mode of hand sized, hand made foods. After buying one of those mini muffin trays recently I wonder why I did not buy one sooner. I do wonder though if pei pei pip squeek will think food is only mini muffin shaped.....these fellas are easy to make and seem to be successful. It is the first time he has eaten sauce so maybe the sauce is actually more interesting than the sausage roll. It would be impossible to have one without the other, no?! Recipe as follows makes about

In the bowl,

500gm roll of sausage meat

1 grated carrot

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 egg

2 finely sliced spring onions

salt and pepper

Mix thoroughly and lay onto sheets of readymade puffed pastry, roll and cut into desired lengths. Cook for 10 mins or until brown and sausage meat is cooked.

This made 36 small sausage rolls.