Cookies

I made some choclate chip cookies.  I used the new york times recipe.  I blame this on my sister. Last week she texted me to ask if i had ever heard of new york style cookies. No! Apparently a cookie store has opened in perth seeling these.  As far as i can tell it means dense, chewy cookies.

So i was thinking about cookies, and i bought chocolate chips. Then on saturday, G mentioned making cookies but he wanted peanut butter cookies.  We were too tired.  I woke up on sunday morning and made the batter (the recipe calls for the dough to rest for 24hours).  I got impatient in the afternoon and made a dozen, but the rest i made tonight.  They are very nice, and you really do need the salt!

 

Random thoughts Thursday

The week seems to be  passing oddly. Tuesday felt like it should be Thursday, but today feels like Wednesday. 

Watching the Murdoch mysteries on tv.  So many little digs at contemporary culture!

Somehow i have managed to book something for every weekend for next 6 weeks. Not sure how that aligns with relax more.

I don’t want a website to monitor my every move and only show me certain things.  I dislike that level of intrusion and attempted mind reading (and i like it less when it fails)

I fell down an internet rabbit hole when i self diagnosed as a highly sensitive person (it is very weird when you can recognise some very specific traits in a description)  i would have more faith in the description if one of the websites detailing coping methods didn’t offer to help me find my past lives.

My boss has started watching the handmaids tale and is talking to me about it. I haven’t yet- i read the book years ago.  I have come to the conclusion that i don’t actually watch that much tv. It’s on in the evening, but a lot of the time we have the news channel on.  I consume more media (articles and podcasts) about pop culture than i consume pop culture.

 

Making things

These are two of the origami things i have made with my calendar.

Just in case they are not obvious, this is a penguin and a dove.  So far the origami options have not been great.

 

I also did some work on my rainbow.  I finished one off last week and started the next.  This picture is from last week, the rainbow is done now, just the cloud to do.

Microblog Monday- reading and audiobooks

I have been listening to a few audiobooks recently. Partly because my old phone is now basically an mp3 player on our alarm clock and i also now have audible on my phone. So far it has been mostly re reads. I have been listening to various discworld books at night. They are quite good because the story is only part of the appeal, it is the insights and the characters that i enjoy, so i can listen until i fall asleep without worrying that i have missed something.

On my audible account i have started a couple of new books, but also listened to ones i read years ago. Listening is a very different experience from reading. I think i prefer rereading books in audio because of my other reading quirk.  I often (usually) will read the end of the book before the rest.  I need to have an idea of what is coming up to fully enjoy the book.  I don’t like overly suspenseful stories.

I find it really interesting that there has been such a boom in audiobooks recently.  Is it because we all now carry around portable players (phones) so we are used to listening? Or was there always this pent up demand that no one was catering for? My mum preferred to listen to books when we drove long distances, so consequently i “read”quite a few interesting books.  I can remember sneaking out to the car for the final tape of “far from the madding crowd” because we arrived home with about 20 minutes left. For a long time i preferred just to listen to music, but podcasts have lured me back.

A good narrator is important.  I am ambivalent about one author, i like her books, but the narrators she has don’t work for me and it is putting me off her books.

Japan trip 7 days in Kyoto part 2

So, more kyoto…

Actually, on the 29th we went out of Kyoto and somewhere i have never been.  We took a train up the eastern side of Lake Biwa to Hikone.

Hikone has a castle, and i was hoping there would be some snow- there was snow on the peaks in the distance and on some inaccessible hills, but none on the ground.  By this time a lot of businesses were shut for the new years holiday and the town was pretty quiet.  We walked the 800 metres from the station the the castle grounds. 

Hikone castle stands in a rather large park. It has its own mascot!  Unfortunately the connected museum was closed, although the castle was open.

We had to walk up the hill to get to the castle proper (a lot of the outer walls and guardhouses are still standing) and under the bridge that took you to the inner court.

The park has two UNESCO soundscapes- one is summer insects, the other is the sound of this bell

Only some parts of the buildings were open to visit, and they tended to be very empty. It was the grounds and landscape that were interesting.  There were a lot of families there. There were also some boats offering rides in the moat, swans (including a black one!) and what looked like sakura blooms (usually not open in December)

Then we headed back to the station, cold and rather hungry.  On the way there we spotted a small french restaurant that was open.  We were the only customers, and had their daily set menu. It was delicious!

Back in Kyoto, we looked at some shops close to the station.  This was in the mall that had Sofmap, which was a store we had a lot of trouble finding some years ago.  They have done some remodelling since the last time we were there. I went to a craft shop in the same mall.

In the evening G and i went out and wandered through the alleys of Pontocho, one of the traditional entertainment districts.  We went to a place called Steak and wine. We had some very nice (and very small) beef, some very nice beef prosciutto and some wine. Coming home, i saw this sweet potato roasting van. It brought back memories of hearing the sound when i lived in japan.

The next day we were back in Kyoto, visiting the “silver temple”. Ginkakuji isn’t actually  covered in silver like the golden temple is covered in gold. At one point there may have been plans to do so, and the name provides a sort of matching temple.  It is another old villa turned into a temple and has beautiful grounds

I have realised i didn’t take a picture of the big and mounds that are there- i have been enough times, i don’t take pictures of everything anymore.

After we finished at the temple we walked along the philosophers path.  This is a walk alongside a canal that runs from the temple and though neighbourhoods, passing other temples.  It is very pretty and popular with tourists.  There are a number of shops and galleries along the way

We stopped for a drink and snack at the Yojiya cafe. Yojiya is a well known kyoto cosmetic brand that has reached out into cafes as well.  This was in an old teahouse and very japanese.

I had a traditional japanese sweet and a matcha latte

This face is the logo for yojiya.

This was the garden outside the cafe.  We were up on the second floor, so had a good view.

There was a cat community along the path.  People feed them, so there is a large colony.

We finished the walk at a coffee shop G loves. Its just a tiny shop in a neighbourhood, but it has coffees from all over the world.

After that we headed back into town and did a bit of shopping.  G and i ended up buying a new suitcase at this point…

We bought a few souvenir things, tried some fried foods at a street stall and generally looked around.  I went down Nishiki market ( a street lined with food shops) to get some amazing tofu donuts.  It was really crowded with people buying food for new years and tourists.

In the evening we went back to Pontocho and tried another restaurant. This one specialised in lamb chops.

On the last day in Kyoto we split up.  M really wanted to see snow so he and G went to the ski-fields about 40 minutes away.  I headed into the mountains to Kurama, a tiny village, to go to an onsen.  G and i went hiking there on our last trip and i have been to the fire festival in October there.  I had never visited the onsen though.  They have a minibus at the station, so its easy to get to.  There is an outside bath and there are inside baths.  It is possible to just buy entry to the outside bath, or you can get inside and outside, which comes with towels and a yukata (cotton kimono) to wear when walking between inside and outside and also in the relaxation room.  I have no pictures of the onsen (everyone is naked) but it was very relaxing and warm. When i was done i had a lovely tempura lunch in their restaurant and walked back along the street (there is only one) to the train.

Me in yukata

The only street

A little roadside shrine

This tengu is a symbol seen a lot in the area.

I took the train back to kyoto proper, then caught a train to osaka.  G and M saw snow and caught a different train to osaka.  We met up at our hotel, which was completely new one to us.

Kyoto can a bit frustrating.  There are a lot of tourists and the people of kyoto are not the politest/friendliest in japan. There are some beautiful places to visit though.