Sunday, 30 October 2011

London Squirrel

My partner just sent this picture. He is traveling for work. Being squirrel crazed, it is a certain to make my day. The hardhat is gone too. I've cleaned out the basement, painted the stairs and some doors, washed, will screw on a few doorknobs today and do a little this&that, but now most of the basement and my flat is finished. Somebody will come and paint the staircase I hope, but that's a little bit into the future.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Monday, 17 October 2011


Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya's newsletter arrives once a week. This week's edition features some interesting Uchikake.

This uchikake came from one dyer's house from Kyoto. Our frined has been contacted with the family and he bought the uchikake from the family and offered in the auction and we have won in that auction.
This is quite rare that we could know the background of items offered in auction, actually.

The family made the set tailored for the daughter in around 1965, and there are photos of her wearing these uchikake. We can see the shrine pillar in the back in the photos. Color print was not popular yet, one of the photos is monochrome. 

When I heard about the uchikake before seeing them yet, I was not expecting them being good ones(I preferred uchikake from earlier age). Actually the accessories came along with the uchikake were not very expensive kind but the dye work of uchikake was wonderful to my surprise! The dye work reminded us of the ones from before WWII, it had very similar characteristics, we would have thought the set was from WWII if we did not know how the set came from. The set has very good dye work! 
The family must have been VERY RICH, tailoring one uchikake is already so costly but they have made three uchikake, with Sho-chiku-bai motif(three most auspicioius motifs, which are used as a set very often, they are pine tree, bamboo and plum trees)on each uchikake.

The uchikake with the pine tree is just like Suiboku-ga (Ink painting), and has vigorous and strong touch. The uchikake with bamboo grove has been painted with blazing vermilion. The uchikake with plum trees is reddish orange, the blossoms are embroidered partially, and this seems most decorative of all three uchikake.

Uchikake are wedding gowns, and they cannot be worn at the same time(I mean only one uchikake at a time), so we assume two of the uchikake were made for taking photos and one of them(we assume the one with blomblossoms) have been worn in the wedding reception. 
Each uchikake has a big signatre of the dyer-the size of the signaure is quite big. It can tell the work is very special one with big effort.
My parents got married a few years before the age of the uchikake but their wedding costume was far more simple, but I think majority of people was that way. There must have been very few families who could afford such wedding preparation. 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bjørnson's Beauty Soup

This is a variation on Bjørnson's Beauty Soup - pureed vegetables in stock, with a dash of (soy) cream. Sorry for not posting recipes more often, Shannon. Bjørnson was one of Norway's most famous poets, by the way.

Start with frying onions and (plenty of) garlic in olive oil, add vegetables, anything will do, but I like orange ones like sweet potato and carrots for taste and colour. I always add some pear, which brings out the taste in the rest of the vegetables and some squash. Add vegetable stock. Cook until tender, puree in blender and add soy cream or just cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

More Autumn IV

The camera on my cell phone seems to have improved after the phone bathed in oat milk - hmmmm

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Icy Air

From the Brevik bridge on my way home. The air is as icy as the light is blue.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

I Have Decided to Trust Nina

When I was little, one of the highlights in life was to walk through the woods around the cottage with my mother to fetch the newspaper. Occasionally we stopped at Mrs. Nygård's place. She was the kindest lady, not used to great comfort, but generous and kindly talkative. We sat in her garden by the sea and talked of all the important things like life, nature and animals. I got to admire her garden and she served bread with jam, cake and coffee. She saw life with kind eyes.

Today Nina told me there still are people like that left - kind, content with their life without having to have every comfort. I've decided to believe her.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

More Autumn II

The hard hat's off. I washed the stairs, made the bed and collapsed. Tomorrow it is tidying up and painting. Then, in a couple of days, it is all my own time.Time is the greatest commodity.

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