The winter winds are blowing in from the snows and it is cold. Not the cold that you get in Europe because the sun shines brightly and the Sky's are clear. But that wind goes straight through your clothes and sets a chill in the house even with the heaters on. The wrought iron around the verandah casts shadows as the sun shines from the north.
This doesn't stop the puppy bringing her trophies up a flight of 20 steps into the house. A huge palm frond which she says is hers.
My son's partner, Inge, has just returned from taking a group of students to Japan and she came bearing the most exquisite gifts. It's handy having someone in the family who speaks Japanese and can translate those craft instructions for me.
Our gifts included dangles for your phone or keys. I intent to use them as scissor keepers. The are the symbols of two of the cities that they visited, who's names I can't remember.
Also a little drawstring bag with a patchwork trim, fully lined.
This is used to hold your tooth picks which come in origami folded shirts.
Then there was a shibori napkin.
And a box of sugar sweets. The paper they were wrapped in is a work of art in it's own right and a wonderful inspiration for an embroidery.
The sweets are made of icing sugar and I suspect a rice flour, I'm not sure what binds them but they crumble easily. They came in a flat box and were either pink or white.
Each sweet was individually wrapped by hand, each one being given a little twist to the paper wrapping them.
And then when you opened them they each had been made by pressing into a flower mold. The attention to detail is what makes these so special.