It was our wedding anniversary yesterday. I had been very busy since morning with meeting my clients then working at home but everything went smoothly and I wanna call this day “Such a mint day! “.

昨日は私たちの結婚1周年記念日でした。朝から打ち合わせなどこなして忙しく過ごしましたが、全てがスムーズに行き、とっても完璧な1日でした。(英語豆知識ですが、上記英文で完璧な日のことを「mint day」と表現しました。日本語で言うピン札のことを英語ではmint conditionと言うことから、mintはハーブのミントだけでなく、「完璧な」と言う形容詞としても使えます。)



I know how soppy I am, so I asked Ben for a lunch at Doodle bar where we had our wedding reception last year. At that time the bar was filled with so many flowers for our reception and I still thank our friends Andy&Ya-Hsin who did that great job for us.



We booked to see a ballet tonight and what a coincidence! We met Fernando at the studio! Fernando is a top ballet dancer of the Royal Ballet and also a friend of Vivienne’s. He happened to pop in and when I told him that we were going to the Royal Opera House to see ” The winter’s tale” and he told us he is in it and he would dance for us.



The ballet was about 3 hours long including 2 intervals. So we went to the bar for a drink. Isn’t it interesting to look at the bar which is in the air?



The ballet was absolutely beautiful! I liked the 2nd part the most especially. The set was a  big green tree and blue sky, dancers were wearing colourful costumes and the music! Of course there was an orchestra under the stage but some players also played their instruments on the stage. Fernando told us the music is brand new, composed by British composer Joby Talbot specially for this ballet. We both liked everything.


Fernando invited us back stage and he became our tour guide after his long day. Ben was posing in one of their studios. ( He showed his flexibility off to a professional dancer ;))



Fernando told us toe shoes are very important for ballet dancers and they use tons. Some of dancers he knows use 3 pairs of toe shoes a day.



I told Ben that everything went very well and I felt it has been getting better day by day. Then he told me that next year we might be on stage at the Opera House. Haha!


Thank you very much Fernando, we enjoyed it more because of you!!



ウクライナ情勢が大問題となっている今日ですが、思い起こせば数年前にウクライナの首都キエフと、クリミア半島のセバストポリ、シンフェロポリへと行きました。日本居ては縁遠い場所だとは思いますが、イギリスの50%以上のガスはロシアに頼っており、ウクライナとロシアの関係がどうなるかは、イギリスにも関わってくることです。キエフとクリミア半島がどんなところだったか、またそこでどんな遊びができるのか、写真を載せたいと思います。If you live in Japan, Ukraine is not such a popular place to visit but I went to Kiev in Ukraine and Simferopol and Sevastopol in Crimea a couple of years ago. Now there is a big issue about Ukraine in Europe which probably affects the whole world (over 50% of gas in the UK comes from Russia now) .

Maybe you have no idea what you can do there for your leisure, so I want to put some photos here.

まずは首都キエフ。まだロシアには行った事がありませんが、何となく社会主義の旧ソ連時代の陰鬱な感じが街の中心にも表れてるなという印象でした。Start off with Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. I’ve never been to Russia but I had an impression of this city as gloomy Soviet Union socialism.

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街には教会がたくさんあり、中に入る時女性はスカーフを頭に巻かないといけませんでした。There are a lot of churches and I had to wear a scarf as a woman when I got into the church.


キエフから寝台列車に乗って12時間かけてクリミア半島のシンフェロポリへと行きました。Then we went to Simfelopol by an overnight train from Kiev which took about 12 hours.

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シンフェロポリでは、然程することを見つけれず(確かイスラム教のモスクが滞在したホテルの近くにありました。) 海岸沿いの町セバストポリへと車で移動しました。レンタカーを探すのも一苦労でしたが、英語もフランス語も日本語も話さないレンタカー屋のおじさが私の顔を見て「え〜、ロシア語話せないの〜。話してよ〜!」とロシア語で言ったのが何となく分かり、多分私の顔がエスキモーっぽいから、ロシアの東に住んでる人だと期待したんでしょう。そのおじさんとのやり取りはあらゆる言語やジェスチャーを使って、コメディのショートフィルム撮れそうなほど面白かったです。We cound’t find anything to do in Simfelopol ( I think there was a Islamic Mosque near the hotel at which we stayed) so we visited Sevastopol by car. It was very hard for us to hire a car but we managed to find one anyway and the owner of the car of course didn’t speak English, French or Japanese at all but I understood what he said in Russian which was  ” Oh no, you don’t speak Russian! Come on!” right after he saw my face. I think he thought I’m from Eastern Russia because my face is Eskimo looking. Communication with him in a mix of every language was so funny that you could make a great funny short film.

セバストポリには古代ギリシャの町があったようです。この石は紀元前のものですよ。There was a great ancient Greek city in Sevastopol. These rocks are from Before Christ.


丘を登るときれいな海町を一望できます。If you climbed a hill you could see a beautiful coastal town.


セバストポリには宮殿もあります。(名前を忘れてしまいましたが)庭園もありましたがそんなに整備されている印象は受けませんでした。There is a palace though I forgot the name. They have a garden which was not organised that much.


ここにももちろん教会があります。Churches are everywhere.


クリミアと言えばクリミアワインです。ワイナリーでテイスティングができます。ただ、クリミアワインは大量のお砂糖が入っておりまして、ものすごく甘いです。Crimean wine is famous I suppose. We visited a winery and enjoyed wine tasting although Crimean wine has a lot of sugar in it.


その他クリミア戦争の博物館などありましたが、最終的なクリミア半島の印象は、ちょっと数十年前にタイムスリップしたような不思議な印象です。プーチン大統領が国民投票をすると言って、あんなに猛スピードで投票できるものなの?と驚きました。ロシアに本当に再編成されるのか今後の行方が気になります。There was a war Museum especially for the Crimean war. On the whole, my impression of Crimea is that I felt like I had visited there by time machine set for decades before. I was so surprised that Putin made a quick decision to have a vote last month. I’m wondering if Crimea is going to be in Russia really…



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