Saturday, July 13, 2019

近所に小さい女の子がいるご家族がいて、そこのお母さんから幼稚園のバザーにうちのもち粉ケーキを 出してほしいと頼まれ、今朝はいつもより早かったけど7時半までにバザー用にケーキを焼きました。若いお母さん達が 買って、ちびちゃんたちが食べてくれるのかな、なんて思いながらパックに分けて入れてお宅まで届けたら、女の子の お母さんの顔がふわっと笑顔になりました。バザーにもち粉ケーキを出したのは初めてです。There is a family who has a little girl near my house. A couple of weeks ago, the mother of the girl asked me to donate Mochiko-cake in my cafe for the bazaar of her daughter's kindergarten. This morning I woke up a little earlier than usual, and baked extra cakes for the bazaar thinking of that young moms will buy my cakes and kids will probably eat them with joy. I put pieces of them in small packs, went to the girl's house and handed them in to the young mom. She looked at me with a big smile. It was the first time for me to donate my cake to the bazaar.

友人のH.Nさんが、「今日はガマを持ってきたよ」と言って、顔の高さまであるような長い瑞々しい葉の束と串刺しのような茶色い不思議な 植物と、そして、これまた成長のいい赤い菊を持ってカフェに来て下さいました。「ガマ」って何となく知っていましたが、こうして近くで見るのは初めてです。ネットで見ると、この茶色い部分はガマの穂と呼ばれ、ここがどうやら花らしく、この穂の中は綿が詰まっているそうで昔は火付けに使われたり、乾燥させて火をつけて蚊取り線香の代用品として使われたこともあったとか。艶のある勢いの良い葉と茶色いガマの穂が同じ深い緑の葉の中に散らばったピンクの菊とよく似合い、壷に挿すと引き締った涼しげな床の間になりました。何とも嬉しい贈り物です。Ms.H.N came into my cafe saying "I brought GAMA (Reedmace) today." and gave me a bunch of very long fresh leaves which almost reach my face, with strange shaped brown plants which looked like pierced sausage, and well grown fresh red chrysanthemum. I have known GAMA vaguely, but it was the first time to see them up close. According to the net info, this brown part is called an ear of GAMA and it is a flower of GAMA. It says that it is packed with cotton inside the ear and in the old days people used the cotton when they made fire or used them as a mosquito repellent after drying. These fresh long leaves and brown ears of GAMA match with the pink chrysanthemum flowers scattered in deep dark green leaves, and when I put them in a vase, they become an accent in the alcove and looks nice. I appreciate Ms. H.K 's wonderful gift.

私が見た昨日の天気予報では今日のお天気は午前は曇りで午後は雨ということで、朝のうちに外に出る予定を 立てていましたが、ベッドの中で既に雨の音。ああ、完全に梅雨のお天気です。 レインジャケットと帽子、それに雨が目に入らないようにとサングラスをかけて自転車で銀行や彦根へ買い物に出かけました。 大きい道路では歩道と車道があって、自転車は白線の外を走るものの、対向のトラックが(普通車でも)ものすごい水しぶきを 上げて通っていきます。左手で運転者にスローダウン!(速度落として!)と合図を送るも見えているのかいないのか 結構なスピード。日本では運転者はもう少し気遣いがほしいものです。According to the weather forecast I saw yesterday, it would be cloudy in the morning and rain in the afternoon, so I had planned to go out to do some errands in the morning, but I heard the sound of rain from my bed in the early morning. It seems we have truly entered the rainy season now. However, I decided to go out to the bank and grocery store in Hikone as planned by bicycle wearing a rain jacket, hat and sunglasses for avoiding rain drops coming into my eyes. The main road is divided into roadways and sidewalks, and I went outside of the white line (which is part of the sidewalks). Trucks (or even standard-sized cars) were coming from the opposite direction were splashing me in the rain. I lowered my left hand which was a sign to ask them to slow down. I didn't know whether the drivers noticed me or not, but most of them didn't pay any attention to me and continued to pass while splashing forcefully. Drivers in Japan should sympathize with people in the sidewalks like me.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

一圓屋敷で会議があるので、カフェが終って片付けを済ませ、荷物を自転車のカゴに入れ、玄関の鍵をかけて、いつも持つ 手提げバッグは持たなかったので鍵は背中のバッグパックを下ろすのも面倒なのでズボンのポケットへ。一圓屋敷には早く着いたので、宿の棚の整理をしたり、庭の草取りをしたりして時間を過ごしました。そして会議がまさに始まりかけたその時、携帯電話がなったので出ると、駅前の小菅医院の院長先生からでした。医院から呼び出しを受ける心当たりはなかったので不安な気持ちでいると、小菅先生が「鍵はありますか」とお聞きになりました。鍵?そうだズボン!とあわてて手をポケットへ。あるはずの鍵がない!今度は男性が代わって話しを始めました。男性は町の駐在さんで、彼によると、誰かが私の鍵を道で拾い、鍵は免許証などが入ったパス入れに繋がっていたので中をみると運転免許証、保険証、アメリカでの運転免許証、それに小菅医院の診察券が入っていたので近くの駐在所に届けて下さったようです。そこで、お巡りさんが免許証に書いてある住所、つまり私の家に行ってみたが留守で、鍵がなければ家に入れず困るだろうからと、小菅医院の診察券を頼りに医院に行って先生に事情を話し、医院で診察を受けた際の記録から電話番号を調べて下さり、先生がまず私に鍵をなくした本人かどうか確認。それからお巡りさんが代わって話してくださったという次第でした。鍵を無くした当の本人はまったく気付いておらず呑気なものでした。けれど、実はその間にいろいろな方が何とか落とし主を探そうと一生懸命になってくださっていたのです。ほんの1時間ほどの間にこれほどの厚意を皆さんから受けることになるとは…。駐在所に届けてくださった方はお名前も私には知らせなくてもいいとおっしゃったそうです。また家まで届けに来てくださった駐在所のお巡りさんも機転を利かして病院に行って電話番号を調べようとしてくださり、そして、小菅先生。1年ほど前にどこかが具合悪くなって診ていただきましたが優しい女医さんでした。ああ、今回は本当に本当に皆様にご迷惑をお掛けし、そしてお世話になりました。大事な鍵を落とし易いポケットに入れてしまったことを深く反省し、もしかしたら途方に暮れながら夜道を鍵を探し回っていたかもしれないところを皆様のご厚意がいくつも繋がって大事に至らなかったことを本当に幸運だったと感謝した一日でした。Since ICHIEN YASHIKI were expected to meet in the evening, I cleaned up the cafe quickly after I closed, put the necessary things in the basket of the bicycle and locked the front door. Usually I put the key in my handbag, but I decided to take my backpack instead and put the key in the pocket of my pants because taking off my backpack from my shoulder in order to put the key would be a pain in the neck. When I arrived at ICHIEN YASHIKI, it was too early before the meeting, so I spent the time cleaning the shelves and taking off weeds in the garden. Then, when the meeting had just started, my cell phone rang. It was from Dr. Kosuga, whose clinic is near the train station. I was not expecting a call from the doctor, so I was worried about speaking with her. She asked me if I had my keys. keys?...oh, I remembered it was in my pocket and checked. Then I noticed that they were not there. Next I spoke with a man who was a local policeman in a police substation. According to him, someone had found my keys on the road and the key chain was attached with a pass case. There he found my Japanese driver's license, Health insurance card, driver's license in the US and patient's registration card. He brought it to the local police station. On the driver's card, my address was written, so he came to my house to hand it in, but I was not in. The policeman sympathized with me because I can not get into my house and the only way to reach me is through my telephone number on the patient's registration card. He went to the clinic and asked the doctor to find my number through my past patient information sheet. As he expected the person at the clinic found my telephone number so Dr. Kosuga called me first to see if it was the person he wanted reach. When I found out about all of this, I was very moved by their sincere, warm hearts. I could easily imagine myself walking around trying to find my keys without any guarantee of retrieving them, had this not happened. I was so lucky and appreciate everyone's effort.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

一昨日は朝から曇り空でお昼には雨が降りだしましたが、午後になって止んだのを幸いに、しばらく手入れが滞っている一圓屋敷の 日本庭園の様子が気になって草取り鎌を持って自転車で行ってみました。一圓屋敷とは登録有形文化財に指定された江戸時代の 庄屋屋敷で2008 年に彦根景観フォーラムに譲渡されましたが、老朽化を放置するのを止めたいと有志で合同会社を設立し、多賀さとの宿「一圓屋敷」として6月から宿泊事業を始めました。私もその一員として参加しています。江戸後期に建てられた建築様式をそのまま残した宿として風情よく改修されましたが、広い敷地の庭まではなかなか手入れが行き届かず立派な池泉回遊式の庭園もすぐに雑草で見苦しくなってしまいます。部分的にしか除草作業は進みませんが雨の合間を縫って何とか少しでもと草取りをしていると、脇からピョンと跳ねるものがありました。見ると大きくも小さくもないトノサマガエル君。石の上でじっとしているので、カメラを 取りにいって戻ってくるとまだそこに。回り込んで写真を撮ったりしながら観察しているとお腹や口の下あたりを時々ぴくぴくさせながらも丸い目はずっと開きっぱなし。そばにいる私が見えているのかいないのか、知らん顔しています。何を見ているのかな、何を考えているのかなと不思議に思いながらカエル君と一緒にしばらくそこにいました。少しして、今度は土のついた今取ったばかりの草の上に飛び移りました。後で写真を見ると、カエル君の色が背景に合わせて変わっているのが分かります。池ではアメンボが数匹スイスイ泳いでいました。The day before yesterday it was cloudy in the morning and started raining around noon. However the rain stopped in the afternoon, so I went to ICHIEN YASHIKI to take care of the Japanese garden. ICHIEN YASHIKI was a village headman's house in Edo period which was certified as registered tangible cultural property and kept by Hikone Landscape Forum since 2008. Since it is getting harder and harder to maintain the old building, some members of the forum and local people made Limited Liability Company and converted the house to a lodging facility named "Taga Satonoyado ICHIEN YASHIKI" from this June and I am one of the members. The facility preserves the architectural style from Edo period and some part of the building was renovated for the lodging. The construction was done pretty well, however otherwise the building has remained the same. There is a splendid Japanese garden in the property but if you ignore the maintenance of the garden, it will soon be full of weeds. I went to ICHIEN YASHIKI to remove the weeds. When I was working in the garden, something jumped from my side. It was a leopard frog on a stone covered with green moss. I went to take my camera and came back to the same spot. The frog was still there. While I was taking photos from the side or front of the frog, he stayed still there keeping his eyes open. I was curious and watching him for a while. I wondered whether he noticed me or not and what he was thinking about. Then he jumped on the weed with soil which I had just removed. When I look back at the photos at home, I noticed that the color of the frog had changed depending on the background color. I also saw some Amenbo (water spider) on the surface of the pond.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

プロのクラシック・サクソフォン・アンサンブル「ミ・ベモル」(音楽監督:前田昌弘氏) の演奏会を栗東芸術文化会館さきらに聴きにいってきました。このアンサンブルの存在を知ったのは、去年カフェのお客様としてお見えになった女性二人が店内にあったマリンバの布谷史人さんの公演チラシを見て「私達もクラシックサクソフォンをするんですよ」とおっしゃったのがきっかけで、サクソフォンはジャズやブラスバンドでしか知らなかった私はクラシックと聞いて驚き、お名前と連絡先を教えていただいたのが始まりです。Youtubeで演奏を聴いてそのレベルの高さにびっくりし、お客様だった亀井友恵さん(バリトン・サックス)、山本恵さん(ソプラノ・サックス)のファンになりました。今回、生で演奏を聴かせていただいたのは初めてです。6種類のサクソフォンで24人の皆さん一人一人が巧みな技量で音を織りなし曲を創りあげて、まるでオーケストラのような広がりと深み、そして繊細な演奏でした。素晴らしいサクソフォンアンサンブル「ミ・ベモル」。メンバーの皆さんに心から拍手を送ります。I went to the concert of Mi-Bemol Saxophone Ensemble (Artist Director: Masahiro Maeda ) at Ritto Art And Culture Center Sachira. It's a professional classic saxophone ensemble. I know of this ensemble from customers who came to my cafe last year. They were two women who saw a flier for Marimbist Fumito Nunoya's performance at Taga Asahiya and one of the women said that they were professional classical saxophone players. I was surprised because to my knowledge saxophone is played in jazz or brass band and I had no idea of the existence of aprofessional classical saxophone ensemble. One of them left me their names and her email address as well as the name of the ensemble. I listened to their music on youtube and admired their high level of music and I became a big fan of the two women, Ms. Tomoe Kamei (Baritone Saxophone) and Megumi Yamamoto (Soprano Saxophone). Today was the first time for me to listen to their music live. They have six kinds of saxophones (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass and Tubax), and each one of the 24 members creates beautiful music with their high level of technique. Their music was really large scale like an orchestra and the sound was deep and sensitive. Bravo Mi-Bemol! I will send my applause to all of the members!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

今朝早く彦根のN.Kさんが犬上川での釣りの帰りに釣りたての鮎をお持ちくださいました。N.Kさんは二日前も 鮎をお持ちくださったばかりで、ご主人が入院中のご近所のおば様にお裾分けをして美味しくいただきました。 今朝もアイスボックスにはたくさんの鮎が見えました。小鮎にしてはちょっと大きいかなと思われる大きさでしたが 今日はカフェのお客様にお裾分けし、残りを私の夕食に。夕方は、イベントの時はいつもお出で下さる彦根のK.Kさんがお立ち寄り 下さり、畑で作りましたとおっしゃって採れたての立派なインゲンをお土産に下さいました。鮎もインゲンも地元の初夏の食材です。 夕食は、上級野菜ソムリエの立花尚子さんに教えていただいたナスのピリ辛焼き浸しに新鮮なインゲンを入れて一品。 鮎は天ぷらにしました。内蔵を取っておいたので苦みもなく骨も柔らかく大根おろしで美味しくいただきました。Mr. N.K who lives in Hikone brought a lot of Ayu (sweetfish) after fishing in Inukami-river early this morning. He had just brought me Ayu two days ago and I shared them with a lady nearby whose husband is in the hospital now. This morning I also saw a lot of ayu in his icebox. The size of the fish is bit large even though it is called "Ko-ayu (small sweetfish)". Today I shared them with a guest at the cafe and I took the remainder for my dinner. In the late afternoon, Mr. K.K who kindly comes to every event at my cafe from Hikone stopped by my cafe and gave me fresh green beans saying that he grew them in his vegetable garden. Both ayu and green beans are local foods in early summer. For my dinner, I prepared a spicy eggplant dish which I learned to cook from Naoko Tachibana who is a Senior Vegetable Sommelier and I added the fresh green beans there. As for ayu, I fried them. Since I cooked them after taking out the organs from each of them, they were so soft and tasty without bitterness. I ate them with grated daikon (Japanese radish).