long time no typing writing elsewhere really either.i have to change that because my neck is sore form carrying around a head full of words.heavy heavy melinda.
anyway im typing now because my sister is sick of the pony picture.just a few words now for you to look at.the camera is gathering dust.the eyes are seeing many falling leaves, mainly ginko.big bright yellow fan shaped leaves i gathered on my wallk the putrid smelling fruits that fall from them at this time of the year.the nuts inside the fruit which i pryed? out with my fingers tonight are great for roasting. i want to tell you or me something but right now im pooped and the little energy i have has got to make something for someone and i need a little of that energy to work out for who and what.

hana playing for real simple magazine shooting.


pony quilt

25 meter pony ride for little miss hana on the weekend.for 20 of those meters she was fine. for 5 not so fine.its a pain being the photographer sometimes.i was so worried about missing the good shot that i kind of missed an experience.
soon hana will be able to balance on my back to get a decent horsey ride out of gonna need to make some knee pads (and maybe a stack hat for hana) because flooring hurts.

today we ventured far (to ginza- its not that far) to see an african american quilt exhibtion.
i was a bit naughty taking photos but lucky for hanas play with her own voice in big (nearly) empty space, no one knew. the compositions were so unforced, the colour combinations randomly beautiful. little stitches like snail trails.and i liked them in that giant white room.
the last photo is the window paper curtain at the same building, shisedo-ginza-tokyo.



two posts in one week.things are looking up.the weather has been kind, ive managed to venture past the supermarket.its done wonders for my mood.
my new shoes arrived.i little big but enough room for socks which means i can wear them in winter.

i made grapefruit jelly.i omitted the gelatine because the thought of gelatine and sweets makes me cringe (except for jupiter caramel bars) i replaced it with agar. i was so excited to get it from the supermarket and the process was quite quick.i added far too much however and it turned out like a brick.its a fine line apparently and with a little girl pulling at my leg there aint time for experimenting right now.

hana has decided she likes the world upside down recently.this is her favourite posture.

hana and seaweed.i never thought i would be carrying a packet of seaweed in my bag when i take her out but i do..


well hana is one year old. cant believe it is only a year ago that all was happening.feels like another life.guess it was in many ways.hana is so close to walking.yesterday was 3 steps, today was four. she is obviously happier on my hip but with all the rice she has been eating lately that cant happen for too much longer.she definately has her fathers genes when it comes to she was licking the container that the pickled cucumbers came in.she was grunting for more rice balls and i even got her to eat lots of spinach which i dressed with ground sesame and shoyu.guess i better make some japanese mumma friends that can teach me to cook for a child.
hana wasnt so interested in party food.she did sneak a snake that her aunty so unkindly sent from australia, but as for my attempt at cupcakes.she ate the blueberries on top and thats about it.
i didnt take so many photos.the camera hasnt been hanging around me lately.lots of stuff is going on inside, perhaps i should swallow it.
im thinking about knitting again.havent done that since hana was born.the thing is with knitting is the japan australia opposite seasons thing.and when i am at a point of where and what the hell am i doing living here how can i knit for winter when it will be summer where i want to be.does that make sense.knitting is so optomistic.hana needs a cardigan and hey i guess she wont grow that fast no matter where i am.
other stuff...
mike mills will talk tonight at petcha kucha night.ive never met him, but i reallly like him.
last weeks typhoon brought my attention to the amount of chestnut trees we have in the park next to us.i was just looking forward to the gingko nuts in autumn but now i can look forward to chestnuts too.
i need a haircut really bad.
i found a great bakery near my house today where i bought cranberry bread, pear tart, custard and apple tart and a vegetable coroquette? sandwich.that was a great find.i love bread.much to my (japanese) husbands disgust each morning when he wonders where his breaksfast is.... do i laugh or cry.
yesterday i went to a wedding. i made my friends ring from paper.tiny hand cut circles pierced with a needle threaded on white linen thread.the cross sections of the paper were mostly grey but a few were pink yellow and silver.the couple are writers/editors.the groom squirmed to kiss the bride.her arms were wide open.she was wearing a red dress.his face was so red.he hesitated for far too long.i dont even know if it happened.hana cried.
a man told me hana has an aura of rainbow colours.she has a contract with god.the architect of the house said who is god.

lovely love love birthday flowers

the architect of the houses balloon arrangement (it is now our kitchen sculpture)

hana with snake

from left.hanas green face pouch (birthday present from same friend who made the little flower person in the same favourite and only tamari string ball which hana loves to roll under the sofa and then lie flat on her stomach squeeling for me to get it out from under there. a part of the many paperchain decorations i made for hana.the photo is me and my sister playing elastics many years ago.

a page of the book i made for hana.she loves the pigeons that live nextdoor.the print is a very messy gocco.



little hana is nearly one. here she models her first birthday present from her aunty little orange choco m and m.

getting sick of hiding inside from debilitating heat.little hana s view from the kitchen window.

nice colours and tasty tomatoes in the garden (if i can call it that).



festival in the park beside our house over the past two nights.lots of drumming and dancing.children in yukata.beautiful lanterns.chirping? cicadas.

japanese slush puppy.gourmet version at fancy riverside restaurant.matcha kakigori. powdered green tea over soft balls of rice and red bean paste topped with condensed milk.tasted better than it sounds or looks.hana thought so too, although she preferred her father s version with black sugar syrup...

then close by i found the answer to my problem of what i would do if i moved back to a citroen 2cvs and convert it into a cafe.

there is fun to be found in laundering (when it is someone elses)

and then i woke up today and reminded myself of home.


i love these cuttings day and night.

i love this cloth folded and hung with light behind it. the more uneven the fold the better the pattern.

i enjoy to watch hana spend her time doing what she loves most.

i also enjoy watching her do what she does least.


vegetables and

early start to do the day and after 15 minutes of waking hana is in to it...

one of the good things about waking early on a sunday morning is we get first picks from the oragnic vegetable van which comes and parks around the corner from our house. its usually me and 5 or six middle aged women and one man with his dog who always goes for the cherry tomatoes waiting.this morning i was joined by koichi.recently he bought a nice vegetable cookbook so today it was cabbage cabbage and more cabbage.

he then went to the supermarket and bought some grapes.i like the pink box they came these ones arent peeled.we put them in the freezer and eat them when they have turned to sherbert.yum.



a yahoo japan search on geoff mcfetridge led me to a new cafe in harajuku which has used his patterns in their interior.sunshine studio cafe.right now and before before i am/ was in love with his work.we made the effort and after a few mishaps, like forgetting the map, we got there for lunch.i had intended on taking many photos but didnt.i will have to go back.we ate hamburgers, taco rice, drank grapefruit juice and ate coconut cake and listened to good music including ben lee.strange in that context as it reminds me so much of driving in rural victoria with my sister.anyway its early sleep tonight for me as these legs have done some serious walking and carrying today.i must remember to pull out the camera more often.i almost forgot, today on the train we sat next to a tshirt wearing foreign man.hana was on my knee and pulled at the hair on his was pretty funny.she hasnt really seen hair on arms like that before.quite rare in japan on men and women.hana loves to make friends with the people she sits next to.on the other side of us there were some seriously solariumed, hair extensioned, lonnnng false nailed, mini skirted japanese women and hana loved them and all their bits.they loved her and her bits too.but no photos this time.
the whale bench whale served by the way.hana and koichi trying to contain her..

the toilet room.well worth a look.refreshingly blue after the caafe is so black and white and wooden.the pattern has so many crazy stories happening in it or you can just see it like a mass of blobby shapes.


japan today

after talking to my beautiful sisters last night i decided to share more of my everyday events with them via this blog.perhaps it will encourage them to come visit me or maybe they will want to come save me.
here are our beds (futons) outside in the afternoon sun. the humidity calls for them to be sunned whenever the sun comes out in the rainy season, otherwise a little green pattern may decide to grow all over them.all year though we try to put our bed outside when it is sunny.they say it take only 10minutes of sunshine to get the benefit.apart from drying the benefit being maybe that nice smell and dead dustmites?? its not fun lugging them in and outside in this temperature especially.i would have them over the back balcony but the cherry blossoms have had a recent growth spurt and decided to pop over the railing and say hi.fine in spring but not enjoying the potential caterpillars and spiders the trees bring with however enjoying the shade so i shouldnt complain, not to mention the greenery.anyway, after sunning the beds i hit them.belt them with a heart made of bamboo.a strong heart, just like to belt them.very satisfying seeing the dust come out and to get out those frustrations mainly of having to do this in the first place.

most days i take a walk to this little rice ball shop day i will have a riceball (onigiri) shop in australia.i figure eating them everyday is studying.i am inspired also by my favourite film kamome shokudo (seagull diner).the film is about a japanese woman who makes a japanese restaurant in finland.they are not really riceballs that are rice triangles.they have all different fillings and the rice is not flavoured like with sushi favourite is grilled salmon which is flaked and lightly salted.they also make grilled onigiri here which is delicous.on the weeked at about 730am koichi hana and i usually go for a walk to get some.they are still hot. i also like tuna and mayonaise, perilla leaf pickled vegetables, and pickled not very adventurous with my fillings.i usually eat the same ones each time.there are also fish egg ones small sausages and feremted soya beans.

and today was our first delivery from the day he just appeared at the door with a handful of freebies and so when he came back to collect the bottles and ask if we wanted to order i couldnt not really a milk drinker but i do like ice coffee in glass we ordered coffee milk, plain milk and a spirulina type green iron is so low i think it is the reason i have restless legs at the moment.the green thingo is really high in iron.koichi mixed it with half a glass of milk but i couldnt drink it in one go.i might see what it is like on cereal.i used to only be able to drink milk after eating fish and chips.and they dont serve milk at tempura restaurants here.tempura being the closest dish i get to fish and chips here.all they share in common is lots of oil.



its hot. its i went without an airconditioner before i will never know.hana sweats most when i feed her i sweat is like a hot bathroom outside.i want to go out.there are huge sales on in tokyo. i dont need anything.there is cookies and cream icecream in the freezer and i cant stop thinking about it. hana is sleeping now, she hasnt woken in 3 hours. a recent record.her 530 am starts and very short daytime naps are killing me. she doesnt know why.she doesnt know how to sleep.she wakes up and is already tired.or still tired.i wnat to teach her to sleep.i dont want her to cry.i want to make something. i want to want to make something more than i want to make something. i made juice from red perilla many perilla leaves. i have no photo of the amazing magenta juice.well no photo where you can see the intense colour.if it wasnt magenta i wouldnt drink so much of it. i dont drink that much of it.ok photo time sleep is calling me too.
hana has top teeth.

she likes to cruise with assistance

the perilla leaf ball and juice i squeezed out of it.

a little part of my house i look at often but dont really look at.




something i did in my spare time.lucky for me and her, hana is liking nightime sleeps.the sticky weather i am sure has something to do with it. probably has something to do with why i would spend so much time folding the alphabet.that and i am waiting for dear koichi to get home.i made pesto today looks so yum.he is only 1 hour and 40 minutes late so far.i could spell a few words out with my new alphabet for when he gets home but i think i will just sleep.



i have no power to get up to get my camera off the kitchen table to download the photos onto the computer to go with this post.the words better make up for waiting up tonight to buy a jesscia ogden top of yahoo is a tshirt with a print i love for ages of overlapping circles.i hope i get it although i just translated the text and found out it is a size would probably fit me if hana would decide how much milk she would like to drink so that i wasnt constantly engorged (and leaking).yesterday was a hell day.i would like to forget it but everytime i look at hana i am reminded of it by the purple swelling oval shape on her forehead.someone didnt put her belt on when she was sitting in the a restaurant i really didnt want to be the time of the day i really shouldnt have been there.where the floor just had to be concrete.poor little hana.she has never cried like that before and i have never felt so sick.and mad.and she is ok. she had a hellish week.fluctuating temperatures.little sharp things popping up in her mouth all over the carting her to all sorts of crowded places for my visa.i really got to take a breath. im running running.i wish i could just he does.not at all fazed by the house stuff, times. food, all of sister bought me tea.the package says cheery tea. i thought for days she had sent me cherry i love cherries.i wondered why there were no cherries in the ingredients.i was warmed by how my sister had known how much i love cherries (esp as they are inseason here now) and how nobody else really knows that about me.all along it was cheery tea.she told me on the phone when she ponted out that hers was energy tea (is that right??).i gotta get cheery and still eat my cherries.and watch out for my little cherub.



after a day in the big smoke i came home with a pack of these little fellows.the photo doesnt do its detail is about 15cm long big and its nose is a pine nut, its eyes raisins. it is sprinkled with black sesame seeds.cant bring myself to taste it.


its getting muggy here and the rainy season if you ask me has started.luckily the sun came out for a little while this afternoon to make the rainbows dance off the crystal in the kitchen. hana woke up this morning grinding her top to bottom teeth.seems like they popped out a fair bit overnight.thankgoodness i went to bed at 7pm last night so i could deal with the high demands of a teething 9mth old princess.the day got better.
in the time i spent preparing this japanese vegetable for cooking hana kept herself entertained with the tape measure magnet.100centimeters out 100 centimeters in. the vegetable is called fuki or butterbur. it has to be peeled and to be peeled it has to be boiled and then it has to be simmered in stock and then cooled and eaten (the next day).tomorrow we will eat today.



when i bought hanas little silver shoes in australia recently i didnt really think of them as shoes.i thought of them as these little silver accessories which accentuated my daughters cuteness.when i came back to japan and we visited koichis mother she removed the little accessories when we entered the house.i thought why would you want to take them off she looks so cute but anyway... it was only when she visited our house and hana had her shoes on again (she does have them off sometimes :-) that she commented on hana having her shoes on inside.oops, thats right! id never even thought of it like now they live at the front door or in her mouth (she loves to chew leather and velcro).today i bought her a pair of these maryjane socks.quite ironic.i wonder where this fits into japanese etiquette?