I hate you!

London plunges back to the winter again the weather-wise. It is so annoyingly typical of the British climate that it allows we all to dip our pale toes, which had been hidden away in woolly socks all winter, into the warmth of the sun and then, all of the sudden it hauls us back into the days of cold wind and rain! How can you do it to us! It’s like snatching a lolly away from the hand of a tender child!! Ugh!!!

I am very sorry, Bay-Bay. I gave you a summer haircut too soon.

I hope she won’t catch a chill…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Too hot!

Oh my word, what a scorcher!

All the sudden, the summer had arrived in London and it took us by surprise. Bella the Hairy and I hit the park as soon as the sun was out because a good weather was never guaranteed when it came to the British weather. However, the past few days were a little too warm for Bella.

Shall I throw a ball for you?

Despite drinking water throughout the walk, she appeared a bit worse for wear.

Ok, let’s have a break in the shade…

The forecast was 26°C max – later, it turned out to be  29°C! – but I felt it was hotter than that. I wished if I came in shorts not in skinny jeans!

After the break, we pressed on…

 

It is probably about time Bella should have her summer haircut. I shall ask her groomer to make her more streamlined…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Fire away!

One morning, I was playing with a puck at home and thinking about hockey. While I gazed at the disk and the blade, I was wondering about one thing which had been bothering me for a long long time. My shooting skill, or lack of it. I really need to improve it, but seriously, how can I do it? I live in Central London and have no garden nor driveway in which I can set up a shooting range.

I did discuss my dilemma with one of our team coaches a few years ago. His suggestion was to find a place, somewhere like a car park or a quiet back alley, to set up an old mattress against a wall and to shoot a puck at it. Underneath our flat, there was an underground car park, so how about there?

No chance. The car park was full of my neighbours’ cars and they wouldn’t like an old mattress propped up at any wall anytime. And they would definitely object a puck pinging around their cars.

A few years had passed with no action. Then, I had a light-bulb moment last week.

I was looking at my Eileen Gray daybed which was placed in front of the wall panelling. Why don’t I flip the mattress of the daybed and shoot a puck at it? The distance from where I was going to shoot was about 5m and it seemed perfect. So I upturned the mattress and lined the top of it with cushions.

So, this is my indoor shooting range. What do you think Bay-Bay?

Why are my toys being lined up? Bay-Bay, they are my targets!

Oh no!

As soon as I started to practice, she retreated to a bedroom, disliking loud noises.

What the hell is going on?!

I was not going to tell about it to Hubbie but some shots went above cushions and dented the wall (>.<)

Anyway, the improvised shooting range worked a treat and I was happily firing away until my arms became sore. Why didn’t I think of the daybed then? The solution was dangling under my nose!

Anyway, let’s hope all the effort will pay off in future and I can be a one mean shooter. If I shoot a puck two hundred times a day everyday, will I be able to catch up with the lost time?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Happy return

The weather seems to be finally improving! Is the spring here at last? It is about time we should have a proper springtime, is it not?

Instead of a blanket of grey cloud above us, which was all too familiar for the past few months, there are patches of fluffy white cloud against a backdrop of the baby blue sky. How this makes me feeling uplifted, I can’t emphasise it enough.

Understandably, my furry princess Bella is also very happy with the arrival of warmer (& drier) weather.

Follow me, QUICKLY!!

Yes, yes, I hear you.

As usual, we entered Regents Park via Chester Road, and Bella couldn’t wait being let off-leash.

Look, I am rolling!

I am ecstatic!

It was a pure joy to behold how joyous she was to be doing all things doggie – running around, digging, chasing a ball and rolling on grass.

Well, Bay-Bay. How can I throw a ball if you don’t return it to me!

Clearly, she was itching to chase the ball yet the ball I was supposed to throw was in her mouth! Oh well, never mind.

The ground of the soon-to-be cricket field was still scarcely turfed. The near-boldness of the sports field was the result of being stampeded by the spikes of football boots during the winter months and TLC by the park maintainence crew was very much needed.

Bella’s love of mud and puddle took a toll on her fine fur…

How am I gonna take you home..

She was soggy and smelt like seaweed. Yes, seaweed! Oh, never mind. I’m happy if you are happy.

By the way, a ballista at the Pavilion Café made me a lovely cup of latte…

Isn’t it amazing? I was so reluctant to drink it because it was so cute!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bonjour Paris!

Oh my god, how did I manage that? I was huffing and puffing when I literally collapsed into my seat on a Paris-bound Eurostar, attracting bemused looks from my fellow passengers.

Yes, I was on my way to Paris to see my good friends and also to pick up Hubbie’s denim jacket which he left at her home unwittingly when we visited her and her husband last September.

When I booked a day return, for some crazy reason, I thought my outbound train was leaving at 7:55. I asked Hubbie to book an Addison Lee at 6:35 and thought nothing about it.

My journey to St Pancras was painless – there was hardly any traffic on the road, and I was walking through the entrance at 6:45. ‘Hmmm, I can have latte at the departure lounge and a pastry if I fancy.’ Oh, how pathetically wrong I was.

At a check-in barrier, I presented my iPhone screen and found the scanner didn’t read the bar-code. So I walked to a customer service and asked a staff behind the glazing what was wrong with my ticket. She looked into my screen and said loud and clear, ‘RUN! You may make it!!’ I looked down at my phone and shrieked, ‘Ohhhhh, Shiiiitttt!’

I don’t know how I went through the security and the immigrations for UK and France but somehow I managed to haul myself inside of the carriage in the nick of time, around 6:59. Oh my word, I never thanked god that hard in my life.

Bonjour, Gare du Nord!

After rendezvousing with my friend at Gare du Nord, we decided to have famed Mont Blancs at Angelina on rue de Rivoli.

Despite visiting the city countless times, I never had a chance to eat their signature pastry so a visit to the salon de thé was at the top of my “must do” list.

It was around 11 o’clock when we arrived at their salon facing Jardin des Tuileries. We were ushered to one of the tables in the back of their oblong room. The place was already teeming with tourists who were enjoying late breakfast of omelette and pastries.

Voila, nos gâteaux!

C’était délicieux!.

Angelina’s arch-rival, Ladurée, also offered  fine Mont Blancs and they were really neck-and-neck, I thought. My only criticism was that the cake was rather too big. The whipped cream which I found rich and heavenly at the beginning became progressively heavy in my stomach, and eventually I had to leave 3/4 of the pastry on my plate.

After Angelina, we moved on to Galeries Lafayette by metro. We hit the shop floors because I wanted to treat myself with a new scarf for my impending trip to the south of France at the end of May. After ogling all the offerings, I opted for a cotton scarf by Gerard Darel…

Elle a bon goût! Bella loves the scarf too.

The fabric was really soft and I loved the details like overlapping fringes and etc.

Doesn’t it remind you Delft porcelains? The scarf will go very well with a denim jacket, I thought.

After shopping, we had a very late lunch at one of the cafés on Boulevard Houssmann. It was around 4 o’clock but we we didn’t feel remotely hungry, thanks to the Mont Blanc.

Before I left Paris for home, her husband joined us and we went to another café behind the Primtemps. We recounted how whirlwind my visit to the city was while we pecked on café gourmet, beer and a plate of assorted cheese and bread. I wished if I could spend more time with them!

Still, I couldn’t miss my train home, therefore, we hurried to Gare du Nord. We decided to use RER but the service was very slow and crowded due to the strike action. ‘Oh, noooo!’ We broke into trot as soon as we hit the concourse connecting Magenta and Gare du Nord.

Salut, Paris…

I am afraid but I won’t be visiting the city during my next trip. The closest place I will be the outskirts of Paris, Palace of Versailles…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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