Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just Arrived #16

Hello Everyone, 

I got another red sha komon to add to my collection :). Actually it's more of a raspberry color, but that's ok with me! 
 I was in dire need of a new ro juban with shorter sleeves. The one I wear all the times has sleeves that are too long (because I let them out for wearing with vintage kimono), and doesn't work with my modern kimono. Now the situation is fixed and I have  a new juban with proper sleeves! As a bonus, I got a gorgeous haneri too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Will Miss #3: difference in spaying procedure

I've never had cats in the USA, and I've only seen one cat get spayed (our friend's, we ended up taking her to the vet and bringing her back while he was deployed) so I didn't even realize there was a difference until my own cats got spayed. I wouldn't have even known there was a difference, had I also taken my cats to the base vet, but instead I took them to the off base UK clinic.

Apparently, the US way of spaying that I'm familiar with (and which the vet on base does) is to make a cut right at the bottom of their tummy but my cats got their cut on the side. You can see in the photos that a good chunk of their fur got shaven off and it took few month to grow back, but I actually prefer it that way. I remember when we took our friend's cat to the vet to get spayed, I kept thinking about her using her litter box and possibly getting all kinds of infections in her cut because of where it was located. It seemed like she would be literally touching the litter with her cut while peeing. While I don't know if that is necessary true, having the cut on the side just completely eliminates the problem altogether.

Again, I'm no vet expert and don't know if it actually makes any difference, but having their cut on the side made me feel much better about keeping the cut clean from the litter box.

Just a sneak peek

Last Monday I went to London to meet up with a new friend, and this is one of the photos. I took too many photos, as usual, and just can't bring myself to go through them yet. So this is just a small preview of what's to come!

~ Lyuba

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Won't Miss #2 - stinging nettle

I absolutely hate nettle! It seems like it grows here literally on every corner and then some. It especially bothers me when it grows in places that prevent me from getting to fruits or berries, but according to almighty Wikipedia, the ground where nettle grows is very fertile. Well I don't care! 

I actually got stung on the bottom of my foot because I unknowingly stepped on a tiny plant that grew in between concrete tiles in our backyard and lets just say it didn't contribute to my "love" towards it. It also tries to grow in my garden, but at least there I have some control over it (and hey! It means my garden soil is fertile!)

I definitely will not miss having to watch out for every plant in case it might turn out to be nettle and I won't miss getting stung in random places! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Will Miss #2: wild berries and fruits

See those yummy blackberries in the photo? England is covered with these bushes just randomly growing everywhere, and I don't ever see anyone actually picking them! This particular photo was taken at the tube station, when I just so happened to park near them. Let's just say I went home with quite a bounty. :) There is a public trail near my house and last year I've discovered whole bunch of blackberry bushes, as well as wild apples and plums growing there, so now I make sure to go every week and pick the fruits.

I've never seen anything like that in the USA and I get very excited when I can go for a walk and come back with whole bunch of things.

~ Lyuba

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Just Arrived #15

Hello Everyone,

I got lots of new goodies in the past two weeks. My summer collection is growing and growing! Which mean s I won't have to practically abandon kimono wearing during summer because it's too hot.

First up are couple sha hitoe kimono.
This kimono doesn't look like much in photos, but I knew it was going to be gorgeous in person. And I was right.
Finally, I got more obiage and obijime, because there are never enough of those!
This one is rather plain, but the texture is amazing!
This one turned out to be a gorgeous cream color.
Have you got anything good in the mail lately?

~ Lyuba

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Won't Miss #1 - living in the middle of nowhere

Hello Everyone, 

Today I start my first post about what I don't like about living in England. 

All these are in no particular order, they are very subjective and based on what makes ME happy or not happy. While I don't mind any of my readers sharing their opinions, I really don't want to get into online argument over how great UK is or is not. I get enough of that from other Americans who live here, who love it here, and who have been extending or coming back numerous times.
Check out that map! Yup, that's where I live and trust me, it is in the middle of nowhere. Of course some people might say that it's a "beautiful English countryside", but I say that I live in the middle of pig farms, sheep, horses and cows. We also get fields and fields of potatoes, wheat, corn, bunnies (yup, I can see fields literally covered with bunnies just hanging out, doing their bunny things), rapeseed, and anything else that can be grown on the ground. 

My Lakenheath Village is literally one street long and we're lucky that we get a grocery store in it. I drive through villages that don't even get that much. Having a car is a necessity here, and every single house has one. One time I was complaining about that to one of my friends, and she asked me why do I need a car, after all I live in EUROPE! I wanted to scream and pull my hair out, because she clearly didn't understand that Europe doesn't mean "London" or "big city" every time, and that it also means small villages and animal farms. 

If I want to go hang out somewhere, I have to plan on driving at least 30mins, which wasn't so bad in the USA, but pretty annoying here in the UK. Remember those pig farms and wheat fields I've mentioned before? It also means tractors, that go SUPER SLOW and which are often impossible to pass on the winding roads. 

Living in the middle of nowhere also means that I can't take public transportation easily and have to rely on my car to go everywhere. There are no train stations nearby, buses show up once every three days (it seems), and even if I do try to take a train, it will take an extra long time (as compared with trains from London for example) and will cost a lot more too.  

I won't miss this area because I prefer the convenience of a city.

~ Lyuba

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Will Miss #1 - Sweet Popcorn

Hello Everyone,

I've decided to start a series of post about UK, inspired by 1000 Things About Japan blog. Those that know me personally also know that I make no secret of my general dislike of the UK. I didn't want to come here in the first place, I suspected I probably won't like it here, and sure enough, I don't. Yet I've realized that there are things here that I like and will miss, as well as those that I don't like and will not miss.

All these are in no particular order, they are very subjective and based on what makes ME happy or not happy. While I don't mind any of my readers sharing their opinions, I really don't want to get into online argument over how great UK is or is not. I get enough of that from other Americans who live here, who love it here, and who have been extending or coming back numerous times.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, the first things I will miss is sweet popcorn in UK's movie theaters.

Seriously, it took me over 2.5 years to realize that UK's movie theaters were serving SWEET popcorn in addition to salted one. I've just assumed that all they had available was salted, like in the USA, and because I got so used to NOT order popcorn in the USA, I've never thought of asking. I actually hate salted popcorn with a passion, I hate it even more when it drenched in "butter" or whatever it is US movie theaters pour over it so it was such a pleasant surprise when I found out that I can get it sweet here. I love sweet popcorn, which is leftover preference from Ukraine, but I can never get anything like that in the USA. The closest I can get is caramel corn or kettle corn, but even those don't work for me.

I now order popcorn every time I go to the movies here to make up for those lost 2.5 years and I will miss that when we're back in the USA.

~ Lyuba

Monday, August 13, 2012

Reverse Kitsuke

Hello Everyone,

Lately I haven't been feeling like doing kitsuke much. Last week I went to London to help Hong with her pre-wedding photo shoot where I dressed her up in kimono, so does it count as once a week kimono? This was about the extent of my kimono adventures in August, and I just couldn't bring myself to go anywhere. Sometimes I get tired of going places alone. Yes, I know that I constantly go on and on about not waiting for anyone and just wearing kimono and go for it, but even I get fed up with being the only one in my area. "My area" being the keyword, as I can always count on Hong but that would mean either going to London or her coming to me, which is a whole day thing. Sometimes I want a two hour thing instead.

Anyway, rant over. Today I've decided that enough is enough, and I NEED to wear kimono. My husband had his much dreaded eye contacts appointment, which went MUCH better than we thought it would, and it wasn't raining. So kimono day it was.
I've wanted to wear this kimono and obi combo for a while, but the last time I wore this same kimono, I went with the other side of the obi. Yup, essentially it's a reverse kitsuke. I went pretty low key with the obiage, picking ones that will compliment the colors of my ensemble vs. ones that stand out. Actually... don't I always pick ones that complement the colors of my ensembles? I guess this time I just felt like using obiage that will "blend in" a little more. The idea was to play off the colors in my new Irregular Choice shoes (so comfy too!!!) and a little bit from the haneri.

Everything was going pretty well until I got out of the car and realized that I've gotten car sick. Seriously, that haven't happened to me like... ever! I was the one driving! I think I got overheated (I get motion sick when I'm hot), which was hard to believe since I usually tolerate heat very well. Plus, I wore this kimono to London, on the tube, in the same temperature, with the same obi, and was fine before. So what was different today? I'm thinking it's the combination of humidity, lack of ANY wind, and lack of AC in every place we went to today. I just couldn't cool down no matter what, so I was very thankful that our trip was going to be pretty short to begin with.

The moment we got to the car I took off the obi and untied kimono as much as it was possible without flashing anyone. It seemed to help a little, but I was still feeling pretty wonky for half a day. Seriously though, today just didn't help me get out of my kimono wearing funk at all!

~ Lyuba

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hey Look! More Obi for Sale!

I went through my collection yet again and pulled out things that I do like, but still never get around to wearing for one reason or another. So here is your chance! These are definitely Lyuba-style, except they are unloved and I'd rather they go to someone who will love and wear them more than I do! Eventually all of this will be coming with me to the London EXPO in October, where Hong and I signed up as kimono dealers.