Posted in Give Away, Japan, minimalism, Regarding polly

A Kawaii Box Unboxing and a Give away!

As promised in my previous 2 vlogs, here is my grand give away.  If you haven’t seen my vlogs then a) go watch them! b) here is what is happening.

Many moons ago My eldest daughter Harri convinced me to get a free Kawaii box, because she had a code or some such.  It arrived, the things in it were adorable, ( I have lots of them in my handbag right now) and then…I forgot to cancel the subscription!

A few of the things that will be in the box....

So now I have more cool Japanese/ Korean stuff than a minimalist should really have and I thought what better way to share the love, than to share it with one of you guys!


Kawaii Stuff!

So here is the plan:

If you would like recieve the items above, plus the things I couldn’t get photos of because the light in my living room is terrible, then all you have to do is visit this Rafflecopter giveaway on Twitter. You just need to follow me, through the link, and if you already follow me? Just click the link. Couldn’t be simpler.

Official rules bit:
My decision is final and will not be entered into.
The draw ends on November 30th 2018
UK entries only due to postage costs -once I am rich I will open my giveaways globally!

Now to tape up all those goodies in a box and prepare to post it out!

Posted in Japan, Lifestyle, Seasonal, Tag

An Autumn Tag

It would appear I have been tagged! By Autumn of all things!

autumn Tag

Okay not technically by Autumn, but by Graham from over on ‘Voice of a Ginge’ but I have been tagged none-the-less and that means, confession time.

“Yo Readers, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Spring is one of the best seasons of all time…one of the best seasons of all time!”

Despite the fact that all the memes tell me otherwise, Autumn is not my favourite season – but it is a close second with Summer, with Winter coming in dead last, because being cold sucks.

I will, however, answer the questions – it would be rude not to…

What signifies the start of Autumn for you?

Well this year it would be Twitter; I was buried by a deluge of gifs and leaf filled flat-lays advising me it was time to wear fluffy socks and dig out the jumpers.

Apparently, for Autumn, these are a 'must' - ard.

Despite being the tail end of October, it is still pretty warm here in Bristol – went out without a coat yesterday, and was still a bit toasty in just my jumper – so it doesn’t really feel autumnal, but the leaves are falling, the kids are hounding me about Halloween costumes and every one is wearing mustard, so it must be Autumn.

What is your favourite Autumn scent?

At the risk of sounding a bit like someone who should be kept an eye on… I love bonfires; I love the crackling noise and the smokey smell.


There is something special about wrapping up and seating round a fire outdoors. Reminds me of all the great camping trips I have been on as a Guide leader and as a student.
We have one of those incinerators, that looks like a bin, and my daughter and I enjoy chucking the weeks cardboard and burnable waste in it, probably enjoy a little too much to be honest…

Are you a fan of a PSL (pumpkin spice latte)?

Dear God no! I am a coffee fan, and I have experimented with some interesting flavours – Cherry Blossom latte in Japan was an interesting one.

But once was enough with the PSL thing for me; will be sticking to my standard order this season.

Apple pie or Pumpkin pie?

Is this tag designed to make me look like a right miserable bugger!

I can’t eat cooked apple following a traumatic forced feeding by a dinner lady in Infant school. I told her I didn’t like it, she told me to stop being stupid, I told her I would be sick if she made me eat it, she made me eat it anyway, I puked all over her. Wonder if she has a problem with apple now?… Needless to say, I do.

Pumpkin pie is just wrong, it is a gourd, like a squash, but it is used for sweet pies; I am not eating such a confused foodstuff – same goes for tomatoes with their ‘I am a fruit, but I go in salads and pasta dishes’ nonsense. Sort yourselves out!

What TV show, new or old are you looking forward to in the next few months?

I don’t really sit down and watch telly unless someone makes me. I have too much to do, and just sitting for a few hours stresses me out as I just stew over all the things I haven’t done yet.

Not even sure what is on at the moment, but I am catching up with Brooklyn 99 and re-watching Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood on Netflix. However, if anyone knows of a K-Drama as good as ‘Black’ was, I am all ears. And also all eyes if this guy is in it…


What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

I have realised mustard is not for me. I had a shift dress in a gold type mustard once, but I looked like I was a wannabe Star-ship Commander. Getting out my woolly socks has been fun though, so I am going to have to go with ‘seasonal leg-warming wear’

What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months?

It’s going to have to be stews; stews full of seasonal veg and dumplings. It doesn’t feel right to eat them before the weather turns a bit frosty though.

What is your favourite Autumn activity?

Scuffing, obviously, but that only lasts as long as it is dry. Walks are also nice, but my favourite thing is probably having an excuse to seat in and read stuff instead of being outside in the cold.

Are you a fan of horror movies?

I used to be, but now I am older I am finding my tolerance for gore and jump scares is pretty much zero. While I like a good psychological drama, or murder mystery, I cannot watch people being injured or hurting themselves – so YouTube fails are also out!

Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween?

The kids love it, so we get the house done up and get the sweets ready for the trick or treat squad to arrive, but it was never a big thing at our house growing up.

What was your favourite part about Halloween as a child?

As old people, I actually didn’t do Halloween as a child as it wasn’t really a thing. I can vaguely remember a party I held when I was about 13, and I dressed as a cat,possibly because I was able to fit into leotards in those days.

Are you a bigger fan of Bonfire night or Halloween?

In terms of nostalgia I certainly remember more firework displays and garden bonfires than I do Halloween’s. There is something more wholesome and British about using your Dad’s old clothes to dress up an effigy of a man who was tortured into confessing a terrorist plot to blow part of London up and then dumping him on a fire than there is about celebrating pretend ghosts and death… may not have thought about this enough.

Where is your dream destination to visit in the Autumn?

It is a long time away – but for Autumn 2020 I will be going back to Japan. I visited last in Spring and my friend Yumi has said the Kyoto looks amazing in the Autumn, so I am hoping to see it for myself.

Do you always forget about the clocks going back?


No,of course not! It’s Fall back, Spring forward! Looking forward to going to work in partial daylight for a few weeks. Will then be counting the days until I see the sun again.

When do you usually start preparing for Christmas?

Already started – about Boxing Day last year! Got all the cards, labels and gift boxes.
I am a master planner; I live for lists and finding new and inventive ways to wrap presents. I have got most of the kids stuff bought and as a minimalist I will be coming up with ideas to buy presents that take up no space at all…vouchers and gift cards, I just buy vouchers for people.

So what is your favourite season? Have you tried out a tag like this?


The idea is to tag fellow bloggers, but I was a bit slow off the mark with this and it’s seem most people have already done this tag.

If you haven’t, let me know. I can add a link to your blog and can go read your answers over at your Pad.

Posted in Japan, Lifestyle, Ponderings, Regarding polly

Polly’s Pondering’s – People Pleasing; A Writers self reflection.

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This week’s pondering?

A reflection on my Blogging and people pleasing.
My attempts at Blogtober have made something very clear to me – I cannot produce a blog post every day… and that is fine!

I have always been more of an ideas and encouragement kind of girl rather than a hustle and grind sort; given the option I will always keep my head down rather than be a ‘go out and elbow the competition, winner takes it all’ kind of person. In fact, I have been accused of being obnoxiously polite, so polite that it often appears disingenuous. It is not part of an end game, I am genuinely just trying to avoid an argument by being nice to everyone, whether they deserve it or not – and I have met plenty of people who don’t deserve it, in real life and online. This comes from being highly conflict adverse – I often see posts that require such chastisement for their wrongness I am almost moved to comment…but then I step back and think that perhaps the writer isn’t an actual dick, but is perhaps just having a bad day and I will just compound the situation; least said, soonest mended, and I decide to not get involved. So I content myself with an eye-rolling and a tut, and get on with things.
This doesn’t always work, as there is a wafer-thin line between overt politeness and sarcasm, and readers on the internet are not particularly discerning when it comes to someone seemingly ‘dissing’ their passion – be it politics or Pokemon: My statement that I only know the original 151 Pokemon as I haven’t been involved since the early 2000’s when my Game-boy died can either be taken at face value, or as me totally being a Hipster, who thinks they are better than anyone else and ‘why am I bashing anyone who prefers the ‘new’ incarnation, you total hater’…It’s an anime pal, and I am just stating a fact, chill out! My only knowing the original series does not impact you or your love for captured creatures in any way.
Crazy ass keyboard vigilantes aside, I fully appreciate how this could be considered a terrible way to live by some; to be suppressing my thoughts and feelings to an extent that it has restricted my commenting and calling out BS where I see it. But these words from one of my favourite Instagramers Tiny Buddha say it all.


And my solution? I literally don’t have one. I am not going to sit here and lie and say that from now I am going to be bold and ‘say it as I see it’ – If anything, I am proud of my being considered a pleasant and polite sort, and it will certainly help me fit in when I eventually move to Japan. If my overt politeness seems unbelievable to some that is down to how they have chosen to interpret what I have written rather then what I have actually conveyed, and certainly says more about how they think than it does about what I have said. I haven’t got time to argue with people I don’t know, and who ultimately aren’t going to be important in my life. Like tiny Buddha says ‘I am going where the love is’ – and you are welcome to join me.

Posted in Bucket List, featured, Japan, Regarding polly, Tips & How to's, Uncategorized

#40 Make 1000 Cranes: Why an epic origami quest is on the Kettle List.

1000 cranes blog canva


Not everything on the Kettle List is an exciting outdoorsy adventure, or designed to snap me in half.  Some of them are craft based and have a bit more substance, like my task of making 1000 origami cranes

I have therefore started on my epic paper folding journey as I hope to create 1000 cranes by 2027.  If you go check out this vlog, you’ll notice that I didn’t do a tutorial, but included links to videos I have used, which will make folding your own cranes that bit easier. My favourite ones are Lelya Torres & Tavin’s Origami Instructions.  So what’s the deal with cranes then? And why am I making 1000 of the things! (That’s like 8 a month, every month, for the next 10 years!)

Continue reading “#40 Make 1000 Cranes: Why an epic origami quest is on the Kettle List.”