Monday, 22 November 2010
Went to a performance of koto, shamisen and shakuhachi, featuring my mother-in-law's koto teacher. She's 81 years old, though you would not believe it to look at her, or to hear her play with such incredible speed and delicacy of touch.
We then went to a very tempting antique fair, but with the Yen so strong, there was nothing I could really afford this time. Perhaps when I am a wealthy minister...
This evening, my mother-in-law as usual cooked up a feast. This is the season for crab, for which Fukui is rightly renowned. We ate it in the Japanese style, with rice and vinegar. Alongside the crab, we ate Japanese vegetables stewed in sake, two different kinds of fish cooked in soy and sugar (saba and buri), daikon radish cooked in mirin and grated tororo with raw egg and soy sauce. Japanese home cooking is quite different from restaurant food, utilising soy, mirin and sake to create a subtle palette. You have to taste it to know what I mean.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Psalm 116:16-17A key element of marriage has not been addressed in the news article linked above, namely that marriage is not only about two people's private commitment to each other. It is an expressly public sign and celebration of that commitment: hence the importance of the 'dresses and cakes' that some people here disparage.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord •
in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the Lord, •
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Another beautiful High Mass at this lively church. Having been to the consecration of the new church building some weeks ago, I was surprised to find myself at the 90th anniversary celebration of the church´s original foundation, for which Tom Foreman and I were invited to eat an excellent curry with the congregation.
This afternoon, we went to an intimate chamber concert in which the organist of the church, who is a professional pianist, and her husband, a cellist in the Tokyo Philharmonic, performed works ranging from Mozart through Rachmaninov to Brahms. The venue was the house of an academic whose late father was a celebrated architect. The house has a performance venue, replete with Yamaha grand piano and original modern art, where some twenty or so of us gathered for the performance. Afterwards, we were treated to wine and a buffet in the garden, which unusually for Tokyo featured a full swimming pool. All this was at the kind behest of the Kurogawas, the musicians, who invited us without charge. This is only one of many examples of Japanese kindness and interest in meeting foreign people. If only English people extended the same kindness to Asian visitors.
Saturday, 13 November 2010
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Friday, 5 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Thousands of convicted UK prisoners are to get the right to vote following a European ruling that the present ban, dating from 1870, is unlawful.
So, Europe has the final say in matters of English jurisprudence. Better still:
Lawyers have said a failure to comply could cost hundreds of millions of pounds in legal costs and compensation.I see. And that'd be on top of the £12-14bn we already pay, not to mention the speculative cost of the CAP to the British economy?
Our continued membership of the EU makes replacing Trident look like pocket money.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-11671164 >