Today is the last day of the winter school holidays here. I would have to say they have been the most relaxing and laziest holidays since the kids started school. I managed to go for an entire week without getting in my car and the furthest I ventured was the 50m up the road to my in-laws for the odd spot of mochi-making or meals together. For one week I didn't go into one shop. I didn't teach one lesson of English. I didn't even go and get my car washed before the temple bell rang in the New Year (I'm sure it will bring me 7 years of bad luck!). I didn't turn into a hermit though - we actually had a lot of visitors over the holidays, but they were nice, relaxing visitors who always seemed to bring more food with them which would mean a trip to the shops could be postponed for yet another day.
The last day of the holidays here is being celebrated with cinnamon rolls. Masaki commented yesterday that I hadn't made them for a long time and that he really wanted to eat some, so we made them together and I wish I could send you a vile with the smell of them in it, rather than just the pictures. Yum, yum, yum!
I tend to make a lot of baking and bread things - often because I just can't buy the things I crave here in Japan, but also because I am getting more and more amazed at the number of things which are put into food and the amazingly long shelf life that they have. My husband is also on a "Japanese margarine is the devil" spree at the moment and refuses to eat anything that has come within a mile of any margarine. This basically cuts out any baked items in Japan as they all use margarine in preference to butter, I'm guessing because of the huge price difference. I personally think that anything in small doses is not going to contribute to a major health decline and that worrying too much over things is more likely to cause health problems, but at the same time I would never use margarine to make cakes etc. here. Butter is just so much better! (I haven't been sponsored by the dairy board to say that....).
Unfortunately life goes back to "normal" from tomorrow. It will be nice to have the house back to myself for a while and perhaps I will be able to keep the living room tidier for more than 5 minutes, but I will miss not having to do anything in particular and not having to go anywhere. Here's hoping the car starts!