Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Winter Garden at Anglesey Abbey

Friday, March 18th, 2011

In February, we decided to reprise our annual trip to the winter garden at Anglesey Abbey, this time with two friends from tea, Peter and Kazumi.  Kazumi is a fan especially of snowdrops, for which Anglesey Abbey is particularly famous.  As usual, the winter garden was a cheerful flash of color amidst the grey and gloom of an English winter.

Photos from Christmas in the U.S. of A.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

After great delay, we’ve finally gotten around to an update. There’s not much too it, it’s not terribly organised, but it’s an update all the same. Following the links below you’ll find your way to assorted photos from our Christmas holiday; the sets haven’t been edited as of yet, so please excuse the duplicates, etc.

In chronological order:

On the farm in Bedford, PA

Riding the Duquesne Incline

A walk along Tulpehocken Creek

A tour of the Yuengling Factory

Exploring Centralia, PA

Paintings from our first course

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Our first course (of 8 weeks) in painting finished recently and we got to mount some of our pieces at the last session. This was done with the traditional, ancient Chinese method using a wheat starch paste.

We were also given pen names for our painting, so we will be working on carving some seals with which to sign our paintings sometime soon. Alex was given the name Kin Shin Sai, roughly translating as progressing towards a golden heart. Aaron was given the name Ko Ishi An, meaning small stone hut.

Here are some pictures of our paintings:

Canneles – a first attempt

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

A lazy Sunday afternoon

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Trip to London 12th-13th March

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

It was quite a busy weekend on the 12th and 13th! During the day on Saturday we were helping to prepare tea for a demonstration at Kaetsu Centre’s annual open day. We had about 10 minutes in which to prepare about 30 or 40 bowls of tea for the audience after the demonstration (there were others helping as well of course). In addition to the tea demonstration there was painting (by our tea/painting teacher Peter), calligraphy, flower arranging, and traditional folk dancers and musicians. It was a ton of fun and the day went by in a flash, but we were exhausted in the end.

After that we took the train to London for a Blues dancing event at Charlotte Street Blues bar in London. Alex had been hired to DJ the event… she played two great sets and the event was quite a success. There was a substantial crowd of dancers and it was a lot of fun.

Thanks to Cindy, we had a voucher for a free night’s stay at any Hyatt, so we got to have a night’s rest in London in the uber-swanky Churchill on Portman Square, rather than getting the late train back to Cambridge… we were very lucky as the hotel was only a few minutes walk from the dance.

On Sunday we woke up to a fabulously sunny (and even warm) day, so we spent most of it just strolling around London, looking in shop windows, and watching the world go by. There was a big St. Patrick’s Day parade that passed us as well. We went to the Royal Academy and saw a wonderful exhibition of photos of “Disappearing London” taken by a society founded for that purpose in the late 1800s. Afterwards we popped across the street to Fortnum & Mason for a restorative cuppa and an amusing oggle of all the unnecessary oddities available (silver mustard jar lid anyone?).

At the end of it all we got some bread and cheese to take home for supper. We were really excited to stumble across an Italian truffled cheese that we had shared together early on when we started dating… it brought back lots of memories. We also tried a Neal’s yard fresh English goat’s cheese and Mrs. Appleby’s Pink Chesire. Delish!

Kimono Portraits

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Tea Sweets (Higashi) Take I – Ofuku Rakugan

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Here are some pictures from my first attempt at carving a mould for and making dry tea sweets (higashi). These are served with thin tea (usucha). The design is of ofuku-san, a happy chubby faced lady, who is a traditional symbol for February. My carving skills still need a bit of work, as does our recipe, so stay tuned for updates.

CUWS Annual Dinner w/ Maison Joseph Drouhin

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

After our day of painting, we got to enjoy a fabulous meal at the wine society’s annual dinner. We started off with our first taste of Pol Roger’s newly released 2000 vintage. We were then seated in the grand surrounds of Clare College’s Great Hall for 5 courses paired to Maison Joseph Drouhin’s fine wines. Good food, great wine, great company. Rounded out a fabulous Saturday pretty well.

Peter’s Painting workshop in Burwell

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Two weeks ago we started taking sumi-e (asian brush painting) classes with our tea (and now painting) teacher Peter Cavaciuti. We’ve always admired his paintings and are appreciating them all the more, now that we realise just how difficult it is. If you have a look at some of the photos of our flat, you’ll see some of his paintings. Yesterday, we went to an all day workshop of Peter’s on painting in the village of Burwell. It was extremely enjoyable, relaxing, and productive. We have a long way to go, but I think we managed to improve our skills over the course of the day.

Here are a few of our better efforts.