A birthday surprise ( Totoro dessert, etc. )

How are you? Is it still pretty humid and hot there? The temperature

suddenly rose to 30 degrees in Liverpool yesterday but it's back down to 20

degrees today. It's so changeable, and it makes me miss Japan's defined


Did you have a nice weekend? It was my sister's birthday on Saturday.

Because I was in Japan until last autumn, this year was the first time for

14 years to spend her birthday together so I wanted to do something special

for her. Let me tell you about it...

My sister loves Studio Ghibli, and one of her favourite characters is

Totoro, so I decided to make a Totoro dessert for her. I'm not confident

at baking and cooking so I had to put a lot of effort in, and the process

was very long. I admit, I got the recipe from the Internet so I cheated a

bit. However, the end result was good and my sister was over the moon.

("Over the moon" means to be extremely happy.) Please look at the picture

at the top of the page: the dessert I made was black sesame pudding Totoro


The next day, I arranged for my sister's best friend, who lives quite far

away, to come and visit as a surprise. My sister couldn't believe it when

her friend arrived out of the blue at the house! The three of us then had

a girlie day together. First we went out for brunch and

morning cocktails. The word brunch is a mixture of breakfast and lunch. I

ate acacado on toast with eggs, salmon, tomato, and brocolli: absolutely

yum! You can see pictures of my sister and her best friend and my brunch

at the bottom of this page.

Then we visited a spa where my sister and her friend had body massages and

I had facial treatment. Obviously I couldn't take pictures there to show

you, but the whole experience was relaxing and the skin on my face felt

rejuvenated afterwards.

Finally we had a beer at a terrace bar in Liverpool and then a Chinese

takeaway at home with my sister's husband. You can see a picture of my

sister and me on the terrace at the bottom of the page.

To be honest, I am not accustomed to having girlie days, but I was so

pleased to be able to do something a bit different and special with my

sister. She has supported and encouraged me throughout the great and hard

times in both Japan and England, so this was my way to say thank you. She

looked relaxed and smiley all day with her friend, and that is exactly the

kind of present I wanted to give her. I hope we will have many more

chances to have fun together in the future.

If you have any other good ideas for girlie days out, please tell me...

I hope you are all well. I will look forward to seeing you next week.

Best wishes, from Corrina. ☺️