This is normally 体育の日=Health and Sports Day, set on the 2nd Monday of October. Still, it was moved toward July 23rd this year by that special event held in Tokyo. Mei-Shun takes it quite nice; with no national holiday yet the novel coronavirus well contracted, compared to above month under a strict state of emergency. Her trot with Princess Maria today was under summer-like sunlight.
They came from Yamanashi Prefecture via Shin. Called 黒玉=kuro-tama, lightly sweetened green-pea paste balls are coated with brown sugar whose smooth surface might come from algae. Taste good in room temperature, while the best after getting out of refrigerator. More famous 信玄餅=Shingen-mochi is also accompanied by brown-sugar syrup, might be popular among natives.
They are so glorious in morning light that Mei-Shun took a lot of photos. Hydrangea, lavender, rose and clematis all stand gracefully in colorful dresses. Mom-in-law takes good card of them, chose the last in unique shape and shade. “Looking like tulip, yet a genuine breed” is her comment. Normal ones are sometimes called 鉄線=tessen or 風車=kazaguruma, a pinwheel.
Golden Week holidays are over, returning many of us to normal workdays — yes, normal. It seems to Mei-Shun that understanding of current normalcy really depends. For example, an owner of a beauty salon she visited today is a pottery lover. 陶炎祭=hi-matsuri held in 笠間 has been her annual destination of this season, yet cancelled to avoid crowd.
Mei-Shun loves it, mainly for simple and lovely sweets including ひなあられ=hina-arare, 白酒=shiro-sake, etc. The former is white, pink and green-colored puffed rice coated with sugar, while the latter white sake. Oh, she found it is different from 甘酒=ama-sake; 白 is alcoholic using もち米=special rice for cake, yet 甘 alcohol-free made of normal one.
Following 蝋梅=robai, Chimonanthus praecox descends from hands of Mei-Shun’s beloved father. Original tree planted by him blooms in late December, gives mother one of ornaments for every new year. However, this prodigy in their younger daughter’s garden seems to have two different families within a body; one with round petals and blossom in Dec., the other layered stars in February.
Mei-Shun visited a beauty saloon nearby Tokyo Station for curling today. It is her first experience of “air-wave” technology to dry rolled rods in lower temperature 50-60 degrees Celsius, compared to “digital” one at approximately 100. The apparatus looks like an astronaut who returns to our mother earth soon to bring a capsule filled with miracle of solar system.
Shin was so busy last week that he flew to Fukuoka on Tuesday, came back and saw his wife in Tokyo on Wednesday, turn to Hokkaido on Thursday to stay two nights. Then he worked in Sendai on Saturday before coming home at night. It is said 西へ東へ, from west to east to mean going everywhere in our country. Is moving between longitudes more exhausting than latitudes?
It is cooler, final day of torrid August. Mei-Shun likes it combined with Monday: she feels somehow benefited from such a day followed immediately by the next month. Just 1 : 6 =Aug. : Sept. in a week, yet the former looks like having 5 weeks. This sense might be caused by the fact that she was born in one of leap years, meaning 1 : 3 among 12 干支=eto, Chinese zodiac.
Mei-Shun found a little pupa on one of grapefruit pots. There was a bigger butterfly baby on another until recently, yet it had eaten up all leaves and — gone. Clever boy/girl, please feel safe. She would take good care of your tentative bed beside Mademoiselle Vert. The latter grows again a lovely little leaf bud with 13 flowers kept pretty. And weird parts as well, looking like artifacts.