tea always comes first.
bright lights on dark nights

Things on my mind:
  • Healthy snacks for school... that is, I need some. When breakfast is at 6.30am, I get hungry by mid-morning. Not like, 'ooh, I'm a bit peckish!'; more like, 'OH MY GOD. I AM GOING TO EAT THIS SCHOOL AND EVERYONE IN IT UNLESS I GET A GODDAMN COOKIE IN THE NEXT TEN MINUTES'. I've experimented a bit this week, but nothing's ticking all the  boxes yet. Ideas? Links?
  • Is it immoral for me to teach my English Club that everyone in England is just like me, and we all clink our teacups together and shout, 'TO THE QUEEN!' when we're drinking tea?
  • Boy drama - which is deeply ironic, as men are not exactly my - how shall I say this? - area of expertise. How do people deal with this? Cause, I'm just sayin', I deal with it by sitting in the bath drinking sake and crying. You're welcome for that mental image, by the way.
  • This, above, is part of okunchi, a Nagasaki festival held this weekend. Monday was niwa-mise, the prelude to the festival, where there are displays and open houses in the city. This Friday is the real deal, with a mile-long procession to the city that I plan to totally be at. Can't wait. Exhausted. In a good way. Mostly.
  • I've been a little MIA in this corner of the internet, but I'm getting my act together. Coming up: sweet potato & coconut quickbread. Do you forgive me? I thought you'd forgive me.
  • What's on your mind?


  1. I hope you got my needy email just now (I TOLD you I just sit at home refreshing your blog page non-stop).

    Healthy snack ideas: My dad makes energy bars basically heating through 100g each of raisins, dates, dried apricots (and probably pretty much any other dried fruit) with half a cup of water, BLENDS IT, adds mixed spice, 100g oats, some golden syrup (just enough to stick it together), and then bakes it. Really good.

    Now, I am expecting a full update. Recently I have taken to sitting in the bath with a g&t worrying about work, I think alcohol and a bath are the answer to everything.

    Love, Giant Girl xx

  2. Hello, I am in the library reading about postcolonial theory and being nervous about my water-polo game later on this evening. I miss your face in a nice way. You would be proud of me, yesterday my dinner was peppers stuffed with a couscous, chickpea, raisin, red onion mix with little bits of butternut squash mixed in, with roasted courgette bits and green beans on the side. It was good. Your photos are even more beautiful than usual! I want to go travelling again! I want to go to Japan again! I want to go back to Ginger Temple! I am sad, as well, at the minute (this is what's on my mind) because I am going back to Cambridge at the weekend, seeing Boy and the boy things ended with and all of my friends and the place that is mine-but-not-mine, and it makes me sad. Edinburgh is lovely and brilliant and I need to stop comparing it to Cam but I haven't managed that yet and when I think of Selwyn I cry. So I too have been sitting in that bath with a glass of vino, clearly it is the solution to all ills. As for boy drama...just breathe. Just remember, it's your bloody life and it's their choice to get involved in it or not, you can't make them. And if they choose not to, then rage, then bake, then do some violent physical exercise, then have a bath and some wine, and then remember that it's alright because 50% of the planet are boys and surely there's another cool one out there?

    Healthy snack-wise - I live off banana chips, dried fruit, and seeds. Sometimes I like to mush them all together and make fridge cake from them. It's awesome.

    Have a great time at the festival, I'm so excited for the next recipe (as now I a) am veggie and b) have an oven I can actually start making things).

    Love, hugs, and a big tartan smacker from the land of the gingers.


  3. Who is giant girl?! I thought anna was giant girl?!! Anna, stop pretending to be other people

  4. How now, Moomin? Apples have a great way of satiating hunger. Or pretending to, then making you (me) even more passive aggressive in a lunchwards direction. Sweet potato coconut quickbread sounds awesome. Bathing with sake definitely sounds like the solution to all life's problems. Things on my mind: how to speak more Shakespearian, late o'clock snackage (tea?), medieval literature :| welcome to my brain!

  5. Some say that Dr. Paws is the Brain to your pinky....

  6. Helen - did you say BLEND??? You have captured my interest, I grant you that. I did indeed get your needy email, and will reply to it in a bit, when I'm trying to look busy. A forewarning: it will include references to my food processor, five men, and two croissants. Not all in the same story.

    Sophie - I love you. I'm glad that you clarified that you missed my face 'in a nice way'; it's always good to be sure. The problem with the boys is that they're all falling over themselves to be involved in my life, and I feel like I'm walking around all the time going, 'CAN WE ALL JUST CALM DOWN A MINUTE PLEASE' to little or no effect, haha. Like, 'maybe if I strike out with the girl I like I'll get back to you!' T__T.
    Cuddles on the Cam front; it must be so difficult. And I think Cambridge always meant so much more to you as a place than other people's uni towns necessarily did to them (understandably). But it does sound like Edinburgh is lovely, and I don't think Cam will ever be not-yours, in the same way SGS will ever really be not-ours; you know? You have a history with it, it's been a home for you, so even though it must be hard being away, that doesn't undo everything you've had. I offer you hugs and umeshu (which you would love) (I love it) (too much).
    PS: Recently I learned that the Japanese word for temple/shrine is actually 'jinja'. WHEN WE WERE WALKING AROUND SINGING 'GINGER TEMPLE' WE WERE ACTUALLY FUCKING MAKING SENSE sort of WE'RE ONLY BLOODY GENIUSES MATE. I thought you'd like to know this.

    Leah - goddamn, you've seen through my cunning ruse. I do frequently send myself needy emails, comment on my own posts, and offer myself recipe advice (actually, that's true, but in this case it is in fact Helen) (she is TRULY GIANT! whereas I am actually the size of an average girl).

    Boy - the problem with apples here is that, firstly, they cost A MILLION POUNDS or thereabouts - fresh fruit is super expensive here. Secondly they're like, the size of my head, and it would take me three hundred years to eat one, by which time I would be hungry again and have to start all over. Apples are no longer the portable and convenient snack we once imagined!
    Also: yes to tea. Always yes to tea.

    G - I thought you were the Brain to my Pinky?

  7. I love your posts. I love your humor. I think you're pretty darn awesome and that we should probably be friends.

    Other than that:

    A friend sent me this recipe, and I thought I'd pass it on to you for snacking!

    Chocolate Chia Tapioca Pudding

    8oz. Chocolate almond milk (I like Almond Breeze)
    4 tablespoons chia seeds
    1 teaspoon honey
    1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

    In a medium bowl add chia seeds to almond milk and stir really well (the seeds tend to stick together).

    Fridge for 10 minutes.

    Add honey, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir really well.

    Pour into serving size appropriate bowls, cover with plastic and fridge overnight.

    It makes a delightful vegan pudding!

    (Chia seeds are a complete protein and they are so immensely filling! This curbs my dessert cravings as well as keeping me feeling full for longer.)

  8. haha, i have the same about the hungry by mid-morning. my breakfast is around 6am(!), and at 10am i eat some rice cakes and a banana. not really special..

  9. It is easier to choose healthier snacks if your refrigerator and pantry are well-stocked with foods that are tasty and nutritious. When wholesome options are easily accessible in the home, you are more likely to skip the decadent treats. Organize a snack center so kids can grab and go.


© papillon.Maira Gall