Quite the traditional one around here. It went a little something like this:
7:00- woken by darling daughters. A little less darling as they were playing up and rolling around on the futons for a full hour after they were supposed to be asleep last night but anyway...
8:40- finally ate brekky. Finally because it took an hour and a half to prepare. And that was after K's mum spent the last three days preparing everything. Here's the end result-
From the bottom left: prawn, white fish cake, pink and white fishcake with rabbit ears, vinegared daikon wrapped dried persimmon, shiso wrapped dried persimmon, konbu (kelp) wrapped fish tied up with dried gourd, vinegared carrot, daikon and dried persimmon, mashed sweet potato with chestnuts in syrup, freeze dried tofu with crab meat, sweet black beans with red ginger, char sieu pork on steamed broccoli stalks, boiled egg cake made whites and yolks separately and then smooshed together to make a two layer burst of sunshine, candied dried fish with sesame seeds, marinaded lotus root, a carrot flower, a vinegarred daikon cut into a water lily and topped with chrysanthymum petals and a slice of datemaki- egg/ fish rolled cake.
Phewwwwwww- and hrmmm hrmmmm, I got a serious promotion this year. MIL made an example plate and then left me to make the other four plates while she did the rest of the preparation. I repeat: All by myself. Wooo hoo. I'm under no illusions that neither of my SIL's being here this year didn't have a lot to do with it but still, pretty chuffed.
What other preparation was MIL doing you ask? Surely that's a pretty adequate breakfast? Nope. Here's the entire meal:
A bowl of Ozoni soup (around here it's chicken, veg, soy sauce broth and baked mochi glutenous rice cakes) a bowl of the same baked mochi in sweet red bean sauce and a cup of sake. The girls got (non-alcoholic amazake). What a brekky, huh? Oh and only the datemaki, fish cake and sake were bought. Everything else was hand made and all the veggies were home grown as well. Wow. Just wow.
So after brekky (around 10:00 by the time we cleaned up all those little dishes) MIL, the girls and I walked to the local shrine. Local is such a relative word isn't it? It was some walk. The distance is not a problem for Meg who has that marathon walk to school each day but sleep deprived Amy was flagging and the route was down winding narrow roads with no footpaths. So much fun!
But we got their in one piece and gave our 5 yen to the shrine:
Walked home via a park with a slide for a play and a mandarin break and then made kites to fly. I'm not sure why but kite flying is a traditional New Year activity. While the ILs fussed over a fabulous looking kite that is usually decorating their entrance porch and is therefore not in working order I whipped up not one but two shopping bag and chopsticks kites like my brother and I used to make when we were kids. Just as I remembered from when I was a kid they don't fly too well and a lack of wind (as we were definitely experiencing) is a definite handicap but hey the making was fun as was the running up and down flying them:
I love this picture- poor Amy is flying higher than her kite!
After kite flying it was back inside to have lunch. Just a lite lunch after that brekky...
Meg had mochi with red bean paste, mochi with natto and mochi with soy sauce and seaweed. And a glass of tea to wash it all down with...
After lunch we made masks (another NY tradition I don't quite understand) and then we did NY calligraphy. This was the first time the girls have used real calligraphy brushes and ink. It was a pretty nervous time for MIL and I but it went well:
They both wrote their aims for the year. Meg wants to be able to play lots more songs on the pianica and Amy wants to master the kangoma which I think is a string wound aluminium top.
Phew, after that we just did yoga on MIL's Wii. Amy is by far the best yoga-er (yogee?) of all of us. I think a lower centre of balance must be a big help, hey?
Then it was dinner- chanko nabe (sumo food) with.... what do you reckon? Yup, baked mochi!
Bath, bedtime, some weird detective movie with a star it took me a good half hour to work out whether it was a he in very obvious makeup or a she with masculine features, and now blog and bed.
A pretty huge first day of the new year. I really hope the pace slows down from here on in!