Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

The Bento Special ‘take away.’

January 31, 2019
Image result for Bento box

 

With the heat wave of the last few weeks and being holed up in our air-conditioned home, we do try and go out each day. The usual procedure is to take a break and drive to the shopping mall close by. Both of us were born in cold countries. Finland has each year a winter that is now being experienced in the US.  Holland is mainly a rainy and wet place with gale force westerlies buffeting the flat landscape. Near the coast the trees lean permanently towards the east as a result of those winds.  The heatwaves in Australia make the birds listless and the dogs depressed. We don’t like this heat!

Last Saturday, again a scorcher, with the temperature gauge on my iPhone rapidly rising from 21C to 36C within an hour. We drove again to this shopping mall. We don’t do shopping there but this time we combined getting a new disposal bin for the kitchen. What we really go there for, is the Japanese Bento Special. It has been our daily lunch. While the relentless heat lasts we will continue to repeat this nice procedure.

Before we left we had a good fight about the necessity to buy this kitchen bin. The old one, a white plastic one with a swing lid was good enough for me. I am in charge of disposing kitchen waste that cannot be recycled, so felt it was fair for me to keep to the status quo regarding the bin. Helvi said that she can smell this bin and as she is a strong woman, felt we should buy another stainless steel bin. ‘I want a pedal one’, she said with determination. No matter what bin, it does need a plastic liner. Again, it has come about through marital habit, that I take out this plastic liner when full. I tie it up, go outside to the garbage bin and chuck it in. This, in the heat, is where I get hit with the bad stench. Helvi never does that.

We drove to the shopping centre in silence. I noticed a strange vibration on my steering wheel together with an unusual, and repetitive sound. I stopped the car and looked at the tyres and the rest of the car. It all seemed alright. No flat tyres. The car has an amazing array of warning signals. In the handbook between page 27 and 34 it explains all the different lights that can indicate a problem. A light came on which signals that I should ‘initialise’ tyre pressure. The car did have a problem. I explained to Helvi that the noise of the car was not very nice and worrisome. However, she was still showing signs of mulling about the bin. (I had already agreed and capitulated to go for the stainless-steel bin) I know her well and she knows me. In time it would come good. For the moment she wasn’t talking and could not care less about the car’s tyre situation. I hoped her mood would swing back to her usual good cheer.

It did, but only after we had eaten the Bento-special.  It is a lovely combination of raw fish salmon with some rice and various bits of health, wrapped in sea-weed. Of course, in the mall itself, and the ‘food-court’  many people were seen grazing out of those beakers and polystyrene containers full of KFC’s abominable chicken nuggets while drinking Coke or slurping smoothies.You could tell the ones on KFC and the healthier Japanese-Korean take away, just by their body sizes.

When we got home I discovered a huge bolt complete with washer embedded in the middle of my front tyre. I did not take it out and waited for the NRMA to change the tyre. The kitchen is now adorned with a new gleaming stainless-steel bin. It is a 25 litre one and pedal operated.

All is good and peaceful again.

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Hotdog

September 6, 2018
Image result for hot dog

Every few months I take some time off and get the car washed. I know I should do that myself but I have hardly ever washed a car. The tediousness of it I never overcame. It might also explain why I was never drawn to join the army, the police force, became a Jesuit or follow any kind of group where discipline is required.

The car-wash place is about three kilometres from here. They charge $ 45.-. They do a thorough job. A whole team of young people beaver about with specialised equipment. High pressure steam spray blasts the dirt off the exterior after which the interior gets a vacuuming with the upholstery cleaning and burnishing waxing of the leather seats. The carpet especially is beyond my capability. They have a specially strong machine that just about sucks up the car itself. Anyone who has a Jack Russell would know that their hairs will be almost impossible to remove. They stick to the carpet like a Velcro stocking to a varicosed leg.

Some of the car washers wear headgear of Sikhs, others wear Turbans both indicating a belonging to a disciplinary faith based organisation. This installs me with complete trust and confidence. I never heard of car jackings by people that wear religious clothing. I mean, would a man (or woman) steal a car wearing a cardinal’s mitre with humble desert sandals?

The cleaning always takes about an hour. And as this car-cleaning business is situated in a large shopping complex with a food-court, I do what I rarely do; have a coffee with a hotdog. It does not matter what time it is, the food-court is really rocking. I read yesterday that peoples lives are becoming more and more aimless. Eating is the one activity that is still possible to experience as a pleasure. The food courts are proof of it. Eating is now seen as an aim in itself. Of course, I become part of that as well. I sit there the same as the others. The hotdog itself contradicts everything that I know about healthy eating. Part of it is that I am doing this by myself. With Helvi, I would be eating a far healthier Japanese sushi take-away. But what the heck, (I sooth myself). The car washing combo with hotdog is enjoyed a couple of times year.

So what?

No tulips with Octane 95 or Ethanol.

September 14, 2017

IMG_0623tulips

With our ‘almost’ new car came a 300 page manual. We are faced with having to make a choice of fuel. Throughout life I never gave buying petrol much thought.  Petrol would be last on the list of urgent considerations. One pays for it after studiously watching the bowser tick over to the exact cent. A boring unavoidable duty sometimes made better by watching others going through the same ordeal.

Some petrol stations now are like supermarkets. One sees people coming out with both arms laden with mainly sugary or salty items. Huge quantities of food. Sometimes the arms are so full that car keys are held between their teeth. Heaven knows what it does to their health.  It annoys the shit out of us. Yet, the bowser has a strict notification not to move the car before paying for the fuel.  There is no option but to grit teeth and hope the owners of the car queueing in front isn’t on an eating while shopping expedition.

The 308  petrol Peugeot we bought makes a recommendation on the inside of the fuel cap not to use fuel less than 95 Octane. I might be skating on scientific thin ice here, but I assume, the higher the octane level, the lower its needed temperature for combustibility. In other words, the higher the octane,  the lesser temperature is needed for the fuel to ignite/explode driving the engine.

In the handbook it also approves of a fuel with an ethanol (alcohol) component of not higher than 10%. This fuel E10, is less polluting and cheaper, more environmentally friendly. However, this ethanol added fuel seems to be confusing. It doesn’t come with an octane level at most petrol oulets. Researching the issue the Government gives a list of cars and models that can safely be driven on this better and cheaper fuel. At the risk of boring the faithful readers so bravely following this blog, I give you the site;

https://www.fcai.com.au/environment/can-my-vehicle-operate-on-ethanol-blend-petrol

The manual that came with this car does also approve the cheaper E10 fuels with a proviso it is at least rated at 95 octane.

I filled up with the E10 fuel and the car drives well, and without any difference. Mind you, I drive slowly in direct proportion to my ageing.  The older I get, the slower I drive. If you see a stationary car sometime in the future, take a peak inside, in case I have carked it! My last will is in the glove box underneath the manual!

Another perplexing issue that has also now popped up is that of tulips. One of the main yearly tourist attraction’s of our town of Bowral in the Highlands, is the yearly tulip festival held in a local park. It attracts tens of thousands of locals but many too from all over the world. This year it is not any different. Busload after busload it disgorges loads of tulip aficionados.  Many Chinese, Indians, Japanese and Europeans. Many decked out with cameras and held on the end of selfie sticks at the ready.

Except…there are hardly any tulips. Someone must have done a terrible miscalculation in the timing. We had some unusual warm weather, yet the tulips are just not there in flower. This has now become a calamity. All those people who pre-paid to come here to admire tulips are now faced with just a conventional municipal park with many venues set up for tourists to buy hats, or jumpers, scarfs ,belts meat pies and other products.  But…no tulips. The music is louder than normal I suppose to compensate for the lack of tulips. Counsel has put a large notification that entrance fees have been waived. “FREE” in large lettering. But what about the overseas visitors who pre-paid their flight and entrance tickets? What about all the busloads of Sydney pensioners looking forward to tulips?

I reckon someone will get an ear-bashing over this. It can’t be all that difficult to have bulbs coming out in time for the yearly fortnightly tulip festival.

Ah well, we can listen to Tiny Tim once again.

Japanese Windflower.

March 20, 2015
Japanese Windflower

Japanese Windflower

The Japanese Windflower’s time has arrived and together with Salvia are now reclaiming our garden. I got up this morning brimming with confidence and after a quick coffee with toast, decided on teaching the struggling bit of our lawn a lesson. We already spoke about it yesterday while sipping a red together with Milo who uses the time to create havoc and cruel deaths amongst the lizards that are scurrying around the pine chips and chards of pottery that we allow the garden to reclaim. The lawn of just a few square metres will have to go. Lawns and us were never meant for each other and I have often written about this in a querulous, contemptuous and impertinent way. It dates back to childhood, as almost everything in our lives does. Even if it doesn’t, it comes in handy when getting therapy or  in the confessional. Use it!

Soon after our arrival in 1956, and moving into our own fibro- asbestos sheeted home on own block of land in a suburb so far flung from anything, especially from people walking  along boulevards, or  sightings of a  book, hearing music played, or wild tempestuous dancing,  that growing lawns was about the only activity left for people to get excited and stimulated by.  We all had to be so strong and resist losing the will to keep going.

Of course at week-ends, when reading, music or wild dancing could be engaged in, many a bum would be sticking up above the sacred lawn. I thought then that it might have been a form of doing praying to a God. No, not at all, we were living in the thick of a hedonistic lot, no robed Evangelical homage or Islamic obeisance to anything here. It was plucking out unwanted foreign- imported grasses. It was revered as a national monument;  “A must suffer, do the lawn at the week-end.”

photoJapanese windflowers

You can see ,  grass and I hit it off badly, right from that early start. So, I finally went out early this morning;  roosters were crowing, eggs being laid and the garbage man doing the rounds. I bought eleven large bags of chipped hardwood mulch. Helvi and I spread it  ( with glee) over that little struggling bit of lawn which despite lawn fertilizers and lime, all sorts of different grass runners, refused to do much except being a source of annoyance and bad memories revivals all those years ago. I know many love lawns but this ardour of growing grass remained unrequited.

Those few square metres of ex-lawn now look just right, it ties and unites both sides of the garden. We sat there and it has good ‘feng shui’. The colour is a muted brown grey, a bit like the forest floor at late autumn when all colour has been leached out of the fallen leaves in preparation for a winter. The cheer of the lovely dancing Japanese Winter flower became even better…

Goodbye lawn.

The G 20 and a nice Pasta.

September 21, 2014

photoInterior

It is getting all too much. Nerve wrecking terrorism fears, and Putin coming to Brisbane. What will the neighbours think? Who would have thought a Russian President would ever visit Brisbane? I just can’t imagine him sitting around with all those other world leaders trying to act as nonchalant as possible. Their eyes scanning around while sauntering through those doors of the big-top with its clowns of leaders and performing big bears. They always seem to look so very ‘above it.’

I would not be surprised if they never go to toilets or wear underpants. It somehow seems that all domesticity has been overcome by them. Their digestive system has been conquered with all those weighty world responsibilities. Have you ever watched those G20 leaders making decisions so fastidiously resolute and unquestioning? They shuffle papers while wearing headphones, translators versed in foreign languages murmuring into grotesque pink ears just sitting behind them. The enormity of it all. Of course they don’t suffer from intestinal rumblings or dietary upsets. They have overcome their humaneness. It is all a circus with clowns and jugglers, masters of voodoo economics. Shifters of profits and taxation avoiding shysters.

imagespasta

As one gets older, those events just seem to repeat themselves into nothingness. A circular event that repeats itself ever year, every decade. So much remains the same yet so much is different. A callousness of spirit and calcified souls have grounded themselves into a permanent headstone of disregards and victim searching. It is, as always, the Viet-Cong, the Hutus, the Arabs, the Nazis, the Japanese, the Nigerians, the Boat people, those Terrorists. The clock (as always) just ticks in seconds. We have developed precise needle point methods of extermination. Laser guided and drone enhanced. We kill in real time TV with a blast enlarged in black smoke heading towards us on our comfy cushion softened settee.

And yet, what would we live for if not the enjoyment of a Sunday cooked pasta? I will never get enough of life if the pasta keep-on-coming. We all know that the fresh made is the best. The noodles cooked al dente and the sauce as always to include the hot blue smoke deep fried mixture of the chopped up garlic, rosemary and anchovies. Forget G20. A lovely well cooked meal makes it all still worthwhile.