The good bits*. Finally finished
This has been an extended birthday, starting in Sarajevo, passing through Ljubljana, eventually getting to Oxford and London. I've had lots of nice meals with friends and sisters, and bought myself some nice presents but I'm writing here about birthday at home with my kids.
Bee bought me mainly Japanese presents from her school trip. The kimono makes a great replacement for my Vietnamese wrap bought more than 10 years ago. The sushi mouse mat is going with me to my new office. I was going to take my Moomin mug, but I don't want to break it on the way. After googling for a photo, I couldn't find it on the Yamaka Shoten website, so I took some photos of it. The illustrations are much more elaborate than the simple Arabia ones you usually see.
Even the box is a work of art.
I also got some Buddha buns, those steamed buns with bean jam inside. It seemed a bit sacrilegious to eat them: is it OK to bite the Buddha's head off first? Bee says the Japanese have no worries about that. Aren't they cute?
Sloph took me to the Opera to see AIDA. Not just the local Oxford Opera, but the Royal Colosseum. It seems that she knows the front of house manager. I thought I had useful friends when I know the guy in Vilnius, but I suppose I must get used to my daughters upstaging me. We "only" got the director's seats in the front stalls, as she hadn't given him enough notice. It was weird hearing opera sung in English. It was strange that no one used the cloakroom and hung their coats over their knees. Very frowned on Eastern Europe. I realised I have only ever been to the Opera in Eastern Europe before. So I'm not really able to comment on the quality. However the elephant was excellent, a sort of larger scale Chinese paper dragon in blue (well I don't know why, but it was fun) with a wiggly trunk just like those dragons that precede Chinese New Year processions.
*Part II follows**, not to spoil things.
** Actually it preceded as I didn't have time to finish Part I before I got complaints that I was spending too much time on Facebook and not enough time blogging.