26 December 2013

( ´ ▽ ` )ノ Merry Christmas!!

To all my lovely blog readers, Merry Christmas!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 

I spent Christmas this year with my Boyfriend, so it is my first time being away from home; family and the UK. So I am not shy to admit, yes it's been emotional, and yes I do miss the Christmas festivities of my UK home. Please excuse any emotional outbursts!
A couple weeks ago we went on a date to Yokohama because there was a Christmas Market - it was as usual German themed but mostly just food stalls which were identical to Oktoberfest. The tree however was magnificent! It's not exactly cold either, I'm pretty sure it's par-level with the UK right now.

   Speaking of trees, it's not super common at all in Japan for households to own a Christmas Tree and thus some weird anxiety developed. It was quickly solved and we found a tree, after I refused several times; one for feeling guilty, and two -- we don't have space for a 5 foot + tree!!

   We found an adorable Disney Mickey Mouse themed tree at Toys R Us, although I am not a super big fan of that Mouse, it was perfect non the less, (wow I sound so ungrateful). 

   We also purchased some silver and purple tinsel and once decorated at home I placed Stitch at the top! He fits perfectly, size and colour. 

Christmas Cards from Home!
I eventually received my "surprise" Christmas parcel after WEEKS of it being sent from the UK. It had been stuck in Shanghai customs for some time and my Parents had been informed and asked to contact me, which lead to MORE complications. My Parents shipped with ParcelForce, who EVENTUALLY responded to me the same day I received my parcel to say; 'We got your e-mail and are sorry about your parcel being delayed. Please contact_____' TYPICAL? Thankfully before all this my Mother contacted them via phone with my details, which were then exchanged over to Japanese FedEx -- as a result, my Boyfriend had to respond because the e-mails were all in Japanese. BUT they were so quick at responding.  
The parcel is definately worth it. I also FINALLY got my cheki camera back. I dumbly forgot it which is strange for me, it never used to leave my bag. 
So much FOOD and CHOCOLATE and CALORIES. Yes there is a tub of gravy, I was sent two and WOW I think my Boyfriend was more happy to see a tub of gravy than he was the entire box!! When living abroad you do slowly start to miss such things that they do eventually become a luxury treat if - and if - you can find them. Cadbury does exist, in small and expensive quantities. Teabags obviously are easy to come across, but you cannot say no to a familiar British brand! Fact.
I also received mince pies, truth be told; I don't enjoy mince pies THAT much, but of course once you are in a land where things like mince pies (apparently) don't exist, you are going to end up craving it -- no doubt!! Of course they were a bit battered in transit but they taste just as sweet and sickly as I remember. Good! It was my Boyfriends first taste and he was surprised at the flavours as a lot of people expect a MINCE pie to be MEAT. No!
My Father keeps sending me photos of my Cat (even though this one is old) I can't resist decorating the photos I receive. WEH I do miss my Cat so much however. Next year I will celebrate with my Family again as a promise. It also saves me from cooking, but I enjoyed it with the help and support of my Boyfriend. We hosted a Christmas Eve party which I had to produce 'English Food' which weren't actually THAT English? But everyone enjoyed the food and no one died in the process - cooking and eating. So it has actually been a wonderful Christmas 2013. I look forward to 2014. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!!

6 December 2013

Kamakura + Enoshima Cave

Last Sunday I was taken on a 'surprise' date to the beach. Surprisingly, the weather was nice and being a thick skinned Brit I was confused at the amount of well wrapped up people in Winter clothing complaining it was cold. Well; it wasn't cold enough to stop the surfers. I love Yokohama, it reminds me often of Cornwall in the UK and it's Surfer theme. Yokohama has both Surfer and a Hawaiian take, (in the right areas).
It was my first time being at the coastline of Japan, so we wanted to make the most of it. After a few hours driving through a really nice town we arrived at Kamakura. Parked up the car and went on our way, well not so soon, I was stopped by Children screaming which made me look back to the car park. I saw two cats, and two boys; both with sticks. I'm not sure if it's the fact I'm some "scary foreigner", or the fact I shouted at them - I couldn't stop myself!!
(_ _|||) But they quickly evaded the scene like guilty little buggers and one cat remained.
Assuming she was a she, she was really tame and instantly approached us which made me wonder if the young boys used the same technique? Either way I got to stroke a cat before she happily went on her way to watch the people fishing close by.

We went on a boat ride to visit Enoshima Caves, which I swear was a mental test since I HATE open waters, I HATE boats like the one we traveled on and I just wanted to cry the entire journey.
My Partner is fully aware of my phobia of open waters - especially the ocean, but did nothing but record the journey and my (possibly) constipated and scared face full of dread and fear. To make matters worse, I was in charge of keeping all our belongings and my instant mindset was to panic and to clutch my bag till my knuckles turned white. (T A T)

Enoshima is a small island, aprox. 4km which we walked from one end to the next - including small touristy things like visiting the ACTUAL caves which was really fun and thankfully some of the signs were in English so it was educational too.
It was REALLY warm - despite this being the 1st of December, I really have not adjusted to this climate yet.

View from inside the caves.
After a long-long walk, and a halfway point for beer and a magic act we headed back to the car and stopped off halfway to pick sea shells on the beach. (Which I still need to clean, oops) Then we headed home; well I assumed so, but we stopped off at Toys R US to buy a Christmas Tree!!! Super happy, even if it is tiny-small-what. My Partner favoured purple over the traditional green and red decorations, so we got some purple tinsel to keep him satisfied.