Saturday, 19 May 2012

Bento at Mount Fuji

My daughter took me out for lunch (she had a tax rebate) and we decided to go to Mount Fuji. Don't get excited, we didn't fly out to Japan, it's the name of a bento restaurant in Birmingham. Not a huge place but very nice and the view from the window is nice too, although some may say it was nicer before they built the new Spiceal  Street and blocked of the view of the lovely old St Martin's church.

I love bento, it's like being a child again. At school we would have these weird looking trays with compartments  for our food. Of course bento boxes are much nicer than the old school trays and the food is nicer (and healthier) but the concept of compartmentalised food is similar.
I chose a sweet and sour chicken bento and my daughter went for chicken teriyaki bento. We both had green tea but mine was hot and hers was cold (by choice)
The food arrived in a gorgeous polished wooden box, and when I took the lid off it looked like this;
I grabbed my chopsticks and tucked in. The rice was lovely and fluffy and the chicken delicious although not very sweet and sour. All the other bits were nice too, the cute piece of corn on the cob was a lovely addition as was the green beans in a soft creamy marinade. It was really filling too.

Now this post is sounding like a review when really I just wanted to write about my day out with my daughter, I guess the food took over. 
We did have a lovely day though, after lunch we took a walk around the indoor markets, she bought some buttons and I bought some fresh chicken fillets. 

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Hoarder in Me

Last night I watched the first in the series of the The Hoarder Next Door, channel4. The two people featured had homes that you really couldn't move around in because of all the stuff they had hoarded. How can people live like that? Why don't they throw it all away? If only the answers were so simple as the questions.
I have hoarding tendencies. I find it so hard to throw things away, some things are harder than others. I'm sure most people have memorabilia, keepsakes they would never part with, they may be valuable or not, it doesn't matter. Usually these relate to babies, or loved ones that have passed away. I still have my dad's bible and he passed away over 30 years ago. I have things from all of my kids when they were babies, clothing, toys, drawings, certificates etc. I also have things that belonged to my mum and younger brother. These things have no use to me now, they just hold cherised memories which I won't let go.
So where does it go from there to being a totally crazy hoarder who puts useless objects above everything, even being able to wash or cook in their own homes?
I get attached to items. I will acquire something and think that even though I don't need it now it will be useful one day, six years later it's still sitting unopened in the cupboard. I'll use something for years and then either replace it or get something better but it's still a wrench to get rid of the original. Now if it's something large, like a vaccuum cleaner or washing machine, that's fine, it can go, but if it's something smaller, like a kitchen gadget, then it can be stored.
I guess that still doesn't sound so bad does it? Nowhere near those hoarders on the tv program.
 Let's talk about boxes. I have a thing about boxes, I don't know why or where it came from but I can't just get rid of them. Big, small, ugly, pretty, so long as they are intact they are ok to stay. I have got better over the years and that's down to recycling. Somehow putting boxes in the recycling bin is not as bad as throwing them out. I still have to keep them for a day or two though and then they can go. Over the years the boxes have been useful, I've always got boxes for storage or transporting things, and the kids have made some fantastic sculptures, villages, robots etc from them.
Another thing is books, I have hundreds of them both read and unread but parting with them is so difficult. Some I've read over and over, and some I know I will read again, but some are just taking up space. I try to reduce my stash, sometimes I take them to the charity shop. I couldn't just throw them out that would be just wrong. I try not to buy books now, I borrow from the library mostly. I suppose a kindle would help but the books I already have would still be here, and I couldn't promise not to buy any more.
At present I feel I can control my hoarding. The stuff I really really need to keep gets stashed away so it's not on view (apart from the books on my bookshelf) and I do have regular clear outs when some of it will go. I try really hard not to add to it too. As I said, I have control, but the urges pull and I know I could easily lose control.
If I lived alone I know it would be more difficult to control.