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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Cotswolds Part2: The Pudding Club Meeting/ プディング・クラブ・ミーティング

One of the objectives of visiting the Cotswolds was.. to attend the Pudding Club Meeting.
I got to know about this through the magazine I write for.  It is held at Three Ways House Hotel near Chipping Camden.

The "meeting" - or more precisely in my view, the pudding party - starts with a briefing: history and how you should participate, etc.  We were led into the dining room where we had a "light" main course - I found my poached salmon rather copious though.

Then the party begins.. puddings are brought in proudly, and we welcome with applause and cheering!

We had SEVEN puddings - and apparently they always have as many as seven puddings every time.

They recommend that you enjoy your pudding with either chocolate sauce, toffee sauce, or custard.  And, you can have as many servings as you want - as long as you finish the one before.  

That night, we had.. Sticky Toffee Pudding, Jam Roly Poly, Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding, Lord Randall's Pudding,  Eaton Mess with rhubarb & ginger, Chocolate Pudding, and  Bread & Butter Pudding.

Between my husband and myself, we managed to taste all seven of them (and each time, I asked for baby portions).  Apparently the current record holder had 26 servings...!!!

At the end of the meeting, we all voted for our favourite pudding.  Sticky Toffee got the most votes, but my own favourite was the Syrup Sponge.  I also enjoyed the refreshing flavour of Eaton Mess (normally it is made with raspberries).

But I thought - dare I say? - my Lord Randall's Pudding was better... (I took the recipe from Pudding Club website..)

Overall, it was fun, and I got to taste some of the puddings I never had before.  I am now interested in making my own syrup sponge and sticky toffee puddings (dangerous idea :) ).

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この催しは、私が記事を書いている雑誌を通じて知ったのですが、チッピング・カムデンの村近くにある、 Three Ways House Hotel というところで開催されています。





- スティッキー・トフィー・プディング(ナツメとブラウンシュガーのキャラメルのプディング。どっしり甘い)
- ジャム・ロリー・ポリー(ジャムを塗ったロールケーキ。もとはもともとは牛脂で作っていた)
- ゴールデン・シロップ・スポンジ・プディング(ゴールデンシロップという糖蜜の一種を使ったプディング)
- ランドール卿のプディング(アプリコットとマーマレードを使ったプディング)
- イートン・メス(焼いたメレンゲにルバーブとショウガのコンポートを合わせたもの。通常はラズベリー・ジャムを使用)
- チョコレート・プディング
- ブレッド&バター・プディング






Saturday, 19 March 2011

Cotswolds Part 1: Villages / コッツウォルズ Part 1: 村めぐり

It's been a long long time since I last updated my blog.

The earthquake in Japan made me think over about my normal daily life - whatever I did, I thought about the affected people, and it made me feel guilty that I could still live a normal life.
It took me a long long time to come to the conclusion that stopping my daily life will not bring back their daily life.  I can carry on with my life, but WITHOUT forgetting about them.

So, this post goes back two months from the present..

My mother was supposed to come from Japan, and we were planning to go to Cotswolds together - one of the most picturesque parts of the English countryside.

Unfortunately she decided not to come, as it was straight after the earthquake.
Well.. but all the bookings had been made, so my husband and I decided to go by ourselves.

This village is called Chippenham Camden.  What you see is an old Market Hall, where they used to sell dairy products.  The honey-coloured stone houses were very pretty, and it was a shame that all the shops were already closed by the time we arrived there.

I enjoyed collecting photos of interesting knockers and doorknobs though.


This is Bibury.  The town is known for its trout farm and clean water.

We had trout sandwich for lunch - the weather was so nice, air beautifully fragrant, just so peaceful and quiet.  The hustle-bustle of London felt like something in another world...

And, this is Castle Combe (pronounced "koom"), which was our last stop.

The village is known for its preserved scenery and considered "the prettiest village in England".
We stopped for coffee here - it was one of the worst coffees I have ever tasted in my life, but well, I think the prettiness of the village made up for it.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Disaster in Japan/ 今回の災害

First of all, I would like to show my deepest sympathy for the people who suffered from the recent earthquake and tsunami in north east Japan.

Also I am very grateful that I have received so many comforting messages through e-mails and facebook from all my friends, from all over the world.  I have delivered these messages to my family and my friends in Japan, so that they know that people care.

This is the picture of Tokyo on the day, where my family and most of my friends live:
The earthquake was really big - though we are used to earthquakes, some of my friends said "I thought this was the end"..
The biggest problem was that all the public transport stopped, and people were forced to walk back home from their offices - if they could.  My sister ended up walking two hours to get back home (and she lives and works in central Tokyo - this gives you some idea of the size of the city).  Some people stayed at their office overnight, and waited until the trains started running again the following morning.
Most of the buildings in Tokyo were unaffected by the earthquake, but everyday life is surely affected: due to low power supply, the surrounding areas (and perhaps part of Tokyo by now) are experiencing planned power-cuts, and public transport is running on a reduced schedule.
On top of these everyday-inconveniences, people are beginning to worry about the nuclear power plant issue and potential fallout.  What hangs over our head like a dark, thick cloud is, that we don't know how long the current situation is going to last.

Regarding the nuclear power plant, I got the impression that we are not receiving clear or enough explanation from Tepco, or the government, and that is increasing people's anxiety.
I guess it is not only me who feels more assured when you see an expert talking on BBC, saying "There is very little risk" "They are taking the right measures", than hearing the spokesman of Tepco saying the same thing.  They sound more objective and straight forward than the Japanese officials (I find this site very helpful to understand what went wrong).

Finally, I would like to ask whoever visits this blog, to help the ones who need help.
It is snowing in the affected areas, and people are waiting for food, petrol and blankets, while the aid teams struggle to travel across the deeply cracked roads still filled with debris.
I have been thinking a lot about what I could do personally to help, and it seems that right now, the obvious  thing is to support one of the organisations that are actively helping with the rescue effort.

Red Cross (UK)

UNICEF (Japan) (Japanese)

If you are based in other countries, please check Red Cross of your country.





そんな中、BBC のニュースで原発の専門家が「東電は正しい対応をしている。危険な状況だとは思えない」と断言していると、なんだかほっとします。彼らには何かを隠す理由や、東電の味方をする理由はなく、客観的な判断を下しているのだろう、と思えるからです(英語ですが、アニメーションで分かりやすい説明をしているのはこちら)。