Thoughts and Cakes for Japan

Last week, when disaster struck in Japan it was to the date one year since I returned home from Tokyo marveling about the city’s vibrancy, its eccentricity, the vastness, its seemingly lack of crime, its beauty – I could go on forever. In fever words, I was fascinated, in love.

Since returning to London, I have been meaning to write about my first experience of Tokyo but have yet, twelve months later, to write one single word. Perhaps it’s because words can’t describe it? Or that I’m still absorbing the experience?

Like everyone else I have been watching the horrific scenes coming from the Land of the Rising Sun unravel with sadness and a feeling of being powerless. However amid shocking stories and images are also the stories of people around the world doing great things to help Japan.

Here in London some creative Shoreditch bakers have mobilized to raise funds to help those in need, and you can too. Tomorrow, Friday 18th March and Saturday 19th March Cakes for Japan will be at Malden, 188 Shoreditch High Street, London, EC2.  All cakes and sweet things are Japan inspired and more and more volunteer bakers are being added to the already long list. I love this wonderful idea to help those who are suffering. I hope many will stop by Cakes for Japan  to show their support for the bakers and for Japan.

Among the contributors are:

Molly Bakes: sushi cake pops

Charmaine Mok: black sesame macaroons

Nevie Pie: cherry blossom inspired cakes

Emma Rice: geisha and panda cookies

LESHIE Loves CAKE: green tea cupcakes

Icing Bliss: sushi cupcakes

BT Tower fireworks celebrations as London 2012 Olympics are 500 days away

Today it’s 500 days until the London 2012 Olympics, a date that has been marked in several ways: the official ticket website went live; a giant countdown clock was unveiled in Trafalgar Square (it actually stopped a few hours later due to technical issues); and this evening the BT Tower was host to a firework display to celebrate next year’s Olympic Games. Lord Sebastien Coe was present on the media platform, dutifully doing interviews with both radio and TV, before heading off to an unknown destination 30 minutes before the firework show.

As I only had my iPhone on me the picture quality is sadly not great, but here is the BT Tower before, just after and while I was walking to the tube station. Unfortunately due to a foggy London evening the images didn’t get the futuristic look it had last night.

Also check out what the Fitzrovia News had to say about my photo.

BT Tower decorated in light as London 2012 Olympics are 500 days away

The BT Tower looked exceptionally pretty this evening as I walked home from the office; counting down to the London 2012 Olympics, only 500 days away.

(Sadly I missed the green, red and blue lights…)


Today was Fastelavn in my home country of Norway. For me that equals cream filled Shrovetide buns – Fastelavnsboller – but as I’m a) on a very strict diet at the moment and b) not in Norway, head over to Nordic Nibbler for a recipe and scrumptious images!

Fastelavn has roots in the Middle Ages and comes three days before Lent – you’ll have Shrove Tuesday here in the UK this coming week, when people will be feasting on pancakes. But for me this is all about Easter being just around the corner!

Growing up, one of the best things about Fastelavn for me was Fastelavnsris – an old Pagan ritual – where you twine birch branches together and decorate them with brightly coloured feathers (faux of course!) before placing them in a vase. They can be re-used as cat toys if you happen to have a furry creature in your home.

Sadly I have not made any Fastelavnsris for years. Not since moving away from my childhood home come to think of it…  I might just have to revive this tradition next year – it really does brighten up grey winter days!

Here’s a little collection of Fastelavnsris I came across online



<Bagatell on Flickr>

<Solinari78 on Flickr>