Afternoon tea

Took my family on a trip to Ely town, a small place near the famous city of Cambridge.

In Ely we found a tea-room which has been chosen as the ‘Best Tea-room in Britain, 2007.’ It was in a very green area right next to a beautiful river. There were weeping willow trees nearby and the Muscovy ducks who live by the river had just had lots of babies so there were about 20 little yellow ducklings running all over the place, and the children were so happy to see them. So this is the best place in Britain to have afternoon tea.

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I was sure there would be a very long queue for afternoon tea, so I thought we would avoid the queue and have lunch there. So we had afternoon tea for lunch!

Fortunately this tea-room also serves sandwiches, soup and salad so we could have a nice lunch, and afternoon tea became the dessert. There were about forty different teas to choose from. We had a pot of the regular ‘House Blend’ tea, which was excellent (no tea-bags here!) and another pot which was spicy and flowery, also really delicious. The scones were very good, but I chose to eat summer pudding, a pudding made from fresh summer fruits: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and probably some other fruit too. And with clotted cream it was scrumptious.

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I spoke with the owner, he was very friendly even though he was busy, and he told me that winning the award as best tea-room had really helped his business and now he was always full at week-ends.

We went past later in the afternoon and the queue was so long, though it was such a beautiful day that no-one seemed to mind.

Foxes

Saw a fox in the garden yesterday, then another one came along. These are town foxes. They live in a nearby park and roam around people’s gardens during the evening and night. They looked so good.

The rubbish collection is made very early here, about 7.30 am, so I put the rubbish bags outside last night just before going to bed. In London everyone puts the rubbish bags outside their own house, and the rubbish collectors walk along the road throwing the bags onto the slow-moving rubbish van.

When I looked outside this morning the bags had already been collected, but there was a lot of dirty horrible rubbish in the garden and on the street. Foxes! They had broken open some of the bags; I guess they were looking for food. Now I know why they are called town foxes.

In London

Hello from London.

Everything went smoothly until we arrived in London Heathrow airport. The queue at the immigation counter was terrible, we had to wait nearly one hour! The checks are really tight because of terrorist problems.

Then there were protesters blocking the streets outside the airport who are against airplane travel because of the damage to the environment, and this caused even more delay. Welcome home!

Where is home?

I’ve been in Shizuoka for such a long time I’m not sure where my ‘home’ is.

I think there are two meanings of home: hometown, and place where you live.

I will be going home (hometown) from my home (the place where I live) in a few days’ time. It will be nice to escape the heatwave. There is no air conditioning in my family home in London, no need for cooler air, though there is central heating for the cold winter months.

I will try and continue this blog from London, so please keep reading if you have the chance.

Air conditioning

Before modern times there were no air conditioners. Japanese houses were built to be cool in the very hot summer months.

Now houses built with modern technology and design are simply too hot. It is almost impossible to stay indoors without switching on the air-conditioner. Is this progress?

Reptile Show

Reptiles are a group of animals that include lizards and snakes, chameleons and geckos, turtles and even crocodiles. They are cold-blooded, they lay eggs,  they cannot fly, they cannot breathe in water, and they are popular pets.

There was a Reptile Show last week-end at Twin Messe, so I took my children along. They loved to see and touch these animals. There were so many different kinds of reptile. For example there were more than 20 different kinds of turtle. But this wasn’t a zoo; all the reptiles were for sale.

Where did all these reptiles come from? Were they stolen from the wild?