Monday, 26 September 2022

My grandma

The author (left!)
My maternal grandma was very elegant and she always wore a kimono. She sewed kimonos by herself, and made some beautiful kimonos for me as well, which includes a special one for my coming-of-age ceremony.

She married a military officer, who was held as a detainee for seven years in a Siberian internment camp. That must have been a very difficult time for her, with three children during and after the war, but unfortunately I never had any opportunity to listen to her recollections.

I remember her sitting still and sewing a kimono in the sunshine with a beautiful picture, more than two tatami-mats in size, hanging beside her. I also remember her back when she was about to go out, which was quite often. She was a member of the Red Cross Society, LDP, Women's association and so on. She also learned traditional Japanese dance and did some volunteer work; she liked reading historical novels, such as Eiji Yoshikawa's. She always wrote as well, so she was always quite busy and seemed to get involved in something all the time.

She liked eating good food and drinking a little sake and enjoyed the company of friends. She was very pleased with my marriage and welcomed my husband so much whenever we visited her, and she gave him the full treatment with her generosity - so he liked her very much as well.

My grandma enjoyed her life in many ways with a lot of friends, she always did something fun and she was always beautiful. I would love to be like her!

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Traveling in Germany - paperless, convenient & cheap; why can't Japan?



Last month, I traveled Europe for the first time in three years.  First, I went to Germany to visit several interesting cites, Leipzig, Eisenach, and Weimar, which are remembered in connection with Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as well as Dresden. After that, for my husband’s research about Kaii Higashiyama, the Japanese famous painter, we also visited Berlin and Lübeck.


This visit, we mainly used trains. When I was thinking of how I should get the train tickets, one of our friends who lives in Germany advised me to buy them on the website of DB (Deutsche Bahn AG), so I tried. Soon I found the application of DB for my iPhone. From my experience, apps are easier to use than websites, so I downloaded it without hesitation. 

First, you enter the stations where you want to board and get off, and the departure time. Then some variations of tickets are shown, and you choose the type of train, class, cancellation conditions and so on. Of course, the price depends on the conditions. 

You can also choose your seat. After all that, you proceed to paying by credit card. Finally, you get your digital tickets on the app or in your email and you just board to the train. If you have checked in on the app after being seated, the conductor recognizes you are seated right place with the ticket.  If you manage your ticketing with the app, you don’t need to wait in the long queues in front of the ticket counter or panicking about your turn and missing the train you want. 


Nowadays, also we can buy air tickets on app paper waste. 


9 Euro Ticket
One more good thing about travelling in Germany by train was that I could use a one-month ticket for only 9 Euro. It is a special ticket by the German government to save energy. This vacation season, even tourists can travel around Germany on all local public transport, such as buses and trams, and in second class on regional trains, except Intercity Express, Intercity and Eurocity. What a wonderful scheme!! 

After I arrived at the airport in Germany, I bought this useful ticket and later I didn’t need to buy any more tickets (except for using Intercity). By the way, I didn’t have a chance to show my ticket during the journey, because there was no ticket gate at stations, and no one checked my ticket for boarding to each transportation in Germany. This time I felt the generosity of Germany. Why can’t the Japanese government?




Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Ingredients are …

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 8–12 rashers smoked streaky bacon (about 180g/6oz), cut into 2cm/¾in pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 100g/3½oz young spinach leaves, roughly 4 large handfuls (or 1 small savoy cabbage,
  • trimmed and shredded)
  • salt and black pepper

How it is prepared …

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften and color, stirring regularly.
  2. Add the bacon and continue to fry for 2 minutes more, or until lightly browned
  3. Scatter over the garlic and fry for 1 minute, stirring regularly.
  4. Add the cannellini beans, season with salt and pepper, and fry for 2 minutes, stirring.
  5. Crumble over the stock cube and stir in 600ml/20fl oz water. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add the spinach and cook for 1–2 minutes or until well wilted, stirring.
  7. Season with pepper and serve.

Friday, 9 September 2022

Flipping word lists; young learners & Wordwall

Not a touch screen, but...
 My favourite page of any graded reader is the glossary, which in any good YL book is presented as a picture dictionary. These words are obviously important in a particular book for better comprehension, but might not be as high frequency as to pop up throughout a series regularly. Readers don't have to learn these words of course, but it certainly helps to be familiar with them/know where to look if they get 'stuck'!

Personally, I love to gamify such sets of vocabulary using wordwall, which has the easy option of adding any set to a Google classroom as a link or an assignment. We try to share everything we create at Luna as well...have a look & rate our stuff?!

YL blended class
Wordwall is a great way to flip a class/reader. Frontload all the 'hard learning' with a fun game or two (one set = 5 different ways (or more) to enjoy your creation without having to do any more creating at all (bingo busy teachers!)...if you have a PC screen for a class...collaborate, or take turns - whatever works for a particular class. 

And this can work for you with online learners - give a zoomer control of your mouse, and make the other students their 'helper' - warning, this can get noisy! Or the other way around, if your zoomer is limited by screen (tablet or mum's phone) then have them direct buddies with an open book, and have your in-class gang put books away. Put the team on the leaderboard...really does generate the need to go home & be the champion before next class :)

You'll notice, we haven't even started reading the book yet - but we want to now!

Lazy teacher! Directing traffic :)

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Kenichi vs Godzillla - a write your own adventure story

Once upon a time, a young man called Kenichi met Godzilla on an unknown planet. He fought the monster and it came near him quickly. Kenichi shouted because he was scared. He saw another type of monster called King Ghidroah, which had three heads and was huge.

Kenichi tried to kill the scary monster with a branch he had picked up under an enormous oak tree. He couldn't kill the monster because its skin was too hard, so he ran away.

After running for five minutes, the boy found a secret temple with four colored doors. One door was gold, the second was silver, the third blue, and the last one was brown. He went through the first one, because he thought there might be treasure. He was wrong.

Godzilla, who was hungry, ran toward Kenichi. The boy hid inside a deep dark cave. Unfortunately, Kenichi fell into an underground lake. 

The End. 

Posted for Kenichi

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Meatballs with tomato sauce



    😃For the meatballs

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g/5oz onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 900g/2lb beef mince
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, such as marjoram, or 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    😃For the tomato sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 110g/4oz onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 150g/5¼oz mozzarella, grated
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 x 400g cans tomatoes


  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan over a gentle heat, then add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat for four minutes, until soft and a little golden. Allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix the minced beef with the cold sweated onion and garlic. Add the herbs and the beaten egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the mixture into approximately 24 round balls. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate until required.
  4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a stainless steel saucepan.
  5. Add the sliced onion and the crushed garlic, toss until coated, cover, and sweat on a gentle heat until soft and pale golden.
  6. Slice the canned tomatoes and add to the onion mixture with all the juice. 
  7. Season the contents with sugar, salt and pepper.
  8. Cook the tomatoes uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until the tomato softens (while this is cooking make the meatballs).
  9. Heat a frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes in about three tablespoons of olive oil.
  10. When they are cooked, put them into an ovenproof dish with the tomato sauce and top with the grated mozzarella. Place under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted.
  11. Serve with spaghetti.

Monday, 5 September 2022

The biography of Caroline Kennedy/Schlossberg

Caroline Kennedy was born on November 27, 1957. Her brother John FK jr. was born in 1960.
In 1963, when she was just five years old, her father was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. After her father's death, she moved from Washington to New York City with her mother, and she grew up there.

In 1968, her uncle Robert F. Kennedy, a US Senator from New York, was also assassinated while campaigning. Later in 1968, her mother got remarried to a Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Another uncle, Ted Kennedy, almost died in a car crash in 1969.

In 1979, she graduated from Harvard University. Then in 1980, she started work in the film and TV department of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She met Edwin Schlossberg there. She married him i
n 1986. They have three children, and she still lives in New York City.

Her mother died in 1994, age 64. Caroline has had many tragedies in her life. May 19th, 1999, her brother John Jr. and his wife, Carolyn, died in a flying accident. Now she is the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy.
In 2008, she worked with Barack Obama in the US presidential election campaign. From 2013 to 2017, she worked as the US Ambassador to Japan. Now she is the US Ambassador to Australia.

Posted for

Friday, 2 September 2022

Cooking recipe of Lamb In a Red Gravy



1lb Lamb chopped into small pieces


Fine paste A:

2 midium onions

1.5 Ginger

6-8 flakes of garlic

2-3 cloves a small piece cinnamon

2 black cardammom


Fine paste B:

10 red chillies

1 lb. tomatoes

Cooking oil

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

Coriander leaves



How to cook:

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the first blended Fine paste A till done.


Add the Fine paste B and fry till the mixture has lost all the water content and oil begins to float on top.


Add the lamb, salt to taste and the cilantro.

Add some water and simmer the curry for around 10 minutes.

The gravy should turn thick by then and eat when it's hot.