Monday, 7 August 2017

Kyoto Baked Chocolat

I must've been having the worst days of my life on this day.

Just returned back to work from France, and already work was stressing me out, and now getting to Japanese class was incredibly difficult. There was a bike accident and basically Waterloo bridge was packed with buses and vehicles. Traffic jam and no announcements along the road!! Grrrrr.

When I got to class (about 15 minutes late and very peed off), I was hot and sweaty. :(

But this sweet delicacy cheered me up. One of my classmates went to Kyoto for three weeks and bought snacks (see colleague, this is stuff she could have got me... not Kit Kat that I've already had :p).

It was like a soft cake surrounded by green matcha tea, I could hardly taste the chocolate. Was there any chocolate inside? I don't know... Didn't go for a second one but at least I got to try something different!


At the end of the lesson I walked over Waterloo Bridge that evening hoping that the buses would be running after that evening's event... and they were! Phew.

End of horrible day!!

Friday, 4 August 2017

You Are A Unicorn by Vincent Vincent

Have you ever found yourself bored and want to doodle on the train, on the bus, in the library? Well, if so, then this is the book for you!

Sidetracking from the norm I'm introducing a doodle book / journal for you all created by the author Vincent Vincent who is a writer, illustrator and graphic designer. 

Take it everywhere with you, go on holiday with it, there's lots of POSITIVE activities, skip pages and just doodle, write words and talk about you, yourself and basically just everything about you.

Whilst in France waiting for my train, I took the opportunity to do some drawings...  I drew my cartoon self (minus the glasses), as it said "Draw a Self Portrait"... I might add another version of myself in the book with glasses on. ^_^

Then this page says "Fill this page with scribbles". So I imagined myself as Van Gogh, the Chinese version, and scribbled like a mad woman and making flowers with scribbles. 😄

As well as doodling, there are some pages which asks you to describe yourself, your attributes, what makes you feel good etc., etc. It's a think positive journal about you.

I have lots of pages to fill in!

If you need a feel good doodle and somewhere to describe your positive energies, then this is the book you need! Just don't forget the colour pens, pencils and felt tips!

It's priced at £9.98 on Amazon: 

Follow You Are A Unicorn on Instagram: @youareaunicornbook

^_^

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Laughing Cow - Apericube Sucré / Salé Cheese

One of the most intriguing food items I bought in France were these Laughing Cow cubes of cheese made into different flavours. I thought the Japanese were weird with their food flavours, but the French as well!

I came across these and thought of Baby B, as Miss Pinky said I needed to buy cheese for my goddaughter. ¬_¬"" OK. French cheese it is then.

I bought a pack for myself to try out. It says it's "sugary (and) salty" at the front - sucré / salé. Flavours are chevre and miel (goat and honey), figues and noix (figs and walnuts), emmental and raisin (no need to translate)  and bleu and noix (blue cheese and walnuts).

Realise this picture is upside down. Hahahahah. But you get the gist of what's inside the packet.

I tried a piece of all flavours. Erm. Not my favourite flavours for a soft cheese. I think I liked the blue cheese and walnuts... and the only one that made sense in terms of flavours was the emmental and raisin. 

Hmmmm intriguing indeed. Probably wouldn't buy these for myself, but would recommend to add them onto crackers for taste I guess.

Mr Picky's mother liked them, and I think Baby B liked them too... Strange tastebuds the French have!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Marseille (May2017) - Day 7 & 8: Last Minute Shopping and The Return

Day 7 - Friday 19th May


Almost time to leave town, so it was time to do some supermarket shopping... Usually on my holidays I shop from place to place, but we did everything in one go!

Mr Travels dropped us at a nearby street near the supermarket... I had an hour to go around and shop... I lost track of time, but we still made it for the bus! I spent over €100 on food and drinks and other stuff. Wow, red wine in plastic bottles is cheap. Very cheap in France. I think I might miss all of this when Brexit happens. How sad to see cheap wine go. The money spent meant we got free cartoon playing cards which just came out. The girls got to play with trading cards! Hah!

It was worth spending all that money, I felt like I hadn't done much shopping during the whole week. Heheheh. I also bought some more yarn, so that I can make a jumper for myself (I made a crocheted summer vest for Mrs Travels, and I thought I'm going to make a jumper similar to the design!).

It costs €1 for a single journey on the local bus.


Last evening meal consisted of many different small dishes to add into a pancake (like they do in China) and some egg fried rice with sausage.





Day 8 - Saturday 20th May


My last day consisted of repacking luggage and giving away things I didn't need back at home, in which I gave to the Travels family. Missy I is really quick to get things... Missy S kind of misunderstood my intentions of my food stuffs... Those were for my friends and colleagues. (Must remember to send a food box next month).

Then I made both Missy I and S do a last minute violin practice (yes, they've started being musical... well Missy S gets the brownie points for the musical emotional effect - very talented!). Got Missy S to sing one song as she said she didn't have time to play the short 1 minute piece! I had forgotten Missy S is quite shy when it comes to singing, but she did it anyway! Well done. :)

Now they were off to their classes, and the rest of us had last minute shopping to do... it was just so that I felt satisfied with the things I had already gotten, and also to shop more!

It was time to say my emotional goodbyes to the Travels family, gosh, I hate saying goodbye to them. Ended up crying. T_T (I'm crying now as I'm writing this, even though I'm listening to some uplifting Japanese shamisen music). Uh oh, I even made Mrs Travels and Missy A cry! Told the girls not to fight on my way out... (Siblings alway fight. I fought with Mr Stingy when I was young... still do...).

Mr Travels dropped me off at the bus stop I came to on my first day. Then I said another emotional goodbye to him and Missy I... I could she was about to cry too (but she's a strong girl). Told her not to fight with Missy S so much, but she looked at me to say that's not going to happen, LOL. 

Got on the bus. It was the usual €4.30.
Once I got there, I went to Terminal 1 and decided on what food to get... OMG. The old lady that stood behind me was so rude when I tried to order food... she didn't even apologise as I stared at her when she ordered her food. Then when she had gone, the people behind thought to do the same. How dare they, so I stood my ground this time and ordered. Stupid and rude people!! I hope never to see them again. Grrrrr!

I sat in my usual place, where there was only two or three tables away from the main seating area. My food was ok. Felt happy to be full as well.



My flight was held up by an hour or two. So I sat upstairs, nearer to the toilets and watched one of my Korean shows on YouTube. Using the free WiFi was my benefit to having a better afternoon. 

I kept looking at the screen, and suddenly it flashed that our gate was ready... For some reason I always feel a bit of an outcast in the passport control queue. Chinese person in the queue with a Brit passport. Yep, that was me! ¬_¬

The flight was full again. I made sure I queued at the start and made sure no one pushed in front of me... My mood already sank that afternoon. :(


We landed after a couple of hours on the plane. When we landed in Gatwick, I made sure to checkout at the scanning section, which is a faster queue than the people checking queue. Then zipped out towards the luggage belts and collected my suitcase....

Bolted to the train from North to South Gatwick and made it on time to get a train to London Bridge. I again used my Oyster Card... This time it was for definite that I paid £8.70 for a single journey. Don't be fooled to pay for the £15 express price.

I arrived at London Bridge after 7 pm (this was two weeks before the van attack - I thought I must've been lucky).

It was a good week for a good rest of doing absolutely zilch! ^_^ Yippee!!

End of Days 7 and 8.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Marseille (May2017) - Day 5 & 6: Beach, Desserts and Raclette

Day 5 - Wednesday 17th May

Day 5 consisted of eating breakfast at Mrs Travels friend's place where we had homemade breakfast of pancakes and muffins... Felt so privileged to go and eat in someone's home for homemade food!! So happpppy!! 
Mrs Travels chatted about in French to her friend, so I sat eating and watching Missy A draw... It's a half day in school for most French kids. (Their homework is more complicated than the British!).

Mini chocolate muffin was amazing! Tasted like it was from a shop, but no not at all!! ^_^

We headed to the local beach for a few minutes, and Mrs Travels said I should write this... Defo for the folks at work and home to see... I'm not always in the office!!! :p



These sandals made it to the bin on my last day... Heheheh, I bought new ones when I got back to the UK.

This is the view from Mrs Travels' friend's home. Amazing! Top floor too!!

We had spaghetti bolognaise that afternoon. ^_^

That evening we took Missy I to one of her gym/dance classes. Missy S had an hour to spare before her gym class, so we headed to the beach... it was hot! And I've realised I don't like stony beaches that much... They huuuurt your feet!! But I did have a great massage from them I guess.

Day 6 - Thursday 18th May

What the beach again? We headed out to this one which is by the market near the girl's school... We went looking for seashells which follow a legend... they are the shiva eye seashells which "symbolizes the creation, preservation and destruction of all from the flow of life".


It was a nice cool day, and we were at the bakery quite early... got to glimpse at all these pretty cakes!! Awwwwww, I love French cakes!!




The girls and I got to try these out. Yuuuuuumy!!

Well, well, well, what was for dinner? Raclette time! I think I had loads of potatoes and cheese... At one point I had thought we ran out of cheese. What no more cheese? Of course not, Mr and Mrs Travels really think ahead. ^_^



Mr Travels coaxed Mrs Travels and I to watch a scary movie, so we ended up watching Wolf Creek, which wasn't entirely scary, just gross. Am I getting immune to very mild scary movies, maybe! Mr Travels also made me some sweet version of cous cous... hmmm, how comes he served me a lot? I don't eat THAT much. :p Think I prefer savoury cous cous. 

Our evening almost ended up being a good one but Missy I was apparently awake listening in on us, and got into trouble because of that.... Oh dear. 

End of Day 5 and 6.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Marseille (May2017) - Day 4: Return to Aix en Provence

Day 4- Tuesday 16th May


Last year when I went to Aix (pronounced X) I was a bit disappointed as it too me a long time to get there but had no chance to view the market. 

This year was a little different. Mr Travels happened to be heading towards Aix on this day for a training session, so I jumped at the opportunity to go... Going by car takes a shorter time, and a far better way to travel there! 

We went via the motorway, so there was a lot of traffic that morning. 
Mr Travels had to drop me off at the bus stop, and he asked an old lady if the buses at this bus stop was heading towards Aix. Yep, those buses were heading towards Aix. I think I took the bus 20, and I forgot how much it was for a single fare.


With a jolt on the bus, and we were off... I always seem to lose my grip on public transport, I stumble when I don't have a good grip on the bars. ¬_¬""


I kept looking outside the window just in case I might miss my stop, but I saw a market ahead, and made my way out of the bus. Waved at the driver to say thanks. ^_^

Started to walk around, and it just felt like I was there the day before, I actually remembered the roads and the routes to some of the places in the back streets. LOL! What a good memory I have... but maybe it's because I got lost a few times around the area.

Well the market seemed more for tourists than for the local peeps. Tried to buy some materials for Miss Vegan, but they were driving a hard bargain, so I bought some plain stuff... There were some secondhand stalls, but most of the stuff was expensive... or a reasonable price. It's not like the market that I went to Marseille City last year - now that was fun!


Well walked around for a few hours trying to find something to explore... I think Miss Pinky would have stopped here if she had the chance... ^_^








It was time for luuuuuunch!! I couldn't decide, but went for a "Quick" lunch. LOL!! I spoke in Anglais, because my French is just to crap these days.

I sat outside in the hot sun, so I had my apple crumble dessert first... Yum yum!!

Then onto the burger which had some French mustard, fresh salad and a medium rare beef burger... Oooh, nice! You don't get medium rare burgers cooked liked this in fast food restaurants. 


Time to walk around again, but I got bored, so I went to the train station and bought my ticket to go back to Port de Bouc... tried to use the electronic machines, but realised I need one of those travelling cards, so I managed to find the ticket office... Gosh the French guy at the desk looked a bit unpleasant, but I managed to throw off a positive attitude... ^_^

Had to get a late train to Marseille City, so I walked back out to the centre of Aix, trying to get tanned but it was just too hot for me! Then I went back to the station and sat there doodling. ^_^

It was just after 3 pm when I got to Marseille... Mrs Travels had asked me to buy some stuff, so I walked fast to a tourist shop before my next train came, bought her stuff and some sovenirs..., then it was straight back to the train station to find a loo!

I'm sure that's an Invader piece.... Have I seen this before?

My dreaded stairs... who built this station?!!

Managed to get back in time. Mr Travels' mother came to visit, and she had dropped off a lot of food! ^_^ She knows I like her food!! It was couscous and stew that night.


The day was fun even though I didn't buy or do much. Good small trip going back and forth!

End of Day 4.

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