Until tonight I hadn't seen any footage of last week's earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. I had seen still images on Stuff and in the newspaper, but, while horrific, they're not the same as seeing those high rise buildings sway and that fast moving wall of water swallowing up land, houses, cars, trees, and people and carrying them along like toys. It's awful.
Once again I feel like the only thing I can do is donate to the cause and be grateful that I am currently safe and sound along with everyone else I know, both here and in Japan.
On Sunday I visited my friend Fiona who got married two weekends ago (I went to her Kitchen Fi Party last month). She and her partner had a ceremony at home surrounded by a very small number of their closest family and friends; then they all climbed aboard a green double decker bus and went for dinner at their favourite cafe in Lyall Bay. Looking at the photos and hearing Fiona and Bret talk about the wedding and the dinner it was clear that they had a very memorable day that really reflected what's most important to them. I had been to two of Fiona's dress fittings with her and provided some phone reassurance a few weeks before the wedding when she rang me worrying that she wasn't going to feel 'like a bride' or she would look silly because she was choosing to get married in a burgandy coloured dress; so seeing photos of her from the day was great - she looked beautiful of course and as radiant as any bride in a white meringue dress.
To decorate the house for the wedding, Fiona and Bret made 1000 origami cranes between them. They still had the wall of cranes when I visited - and as evidenced by these photos, it looks awesome! Fi had seen origami cranes used as decorations in various places (if I remember correctly, one of those places may have even been here) and when she looked into it she found out there is legendary significance in the folding of 1000 paper cranes, so she and Bret got folding!
They also had them on the table at the wedding dinner. Cute.
It was so nice to finally have a proper weekend at my new home without rehearsals or a million places to be and things to do. Being able to go grocery shopping properly for the first time in ages was ridiculously satisfying. As was being organised enough to make some bran and apple muffins for the week ahead. Last week I worked out that the walk from my house to work is 5km (I have been telling everyone this but it's because I still find it a bit hard to believe) so having just an apple for breakfast when I get to work every morning after walking 5km isn't quite enough - hence the muffins. I decided bran muffins seemed vaguely healthier than most other kinds of muffins. Whether that's actually true or not, I don't know.
Bran and Apple Muffins
1 cup bran flakes
1/2 cup milk
1 tblsp golden syrup
Soak all of the above for five minutes. Then add:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 apple (peeled, diced, and softened in boiling water for a few minutes)
Bake 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius (or until they look ready...that's my highly scientific method)