2016 / 06


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This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.


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2016-06-28 00:45   My bad habits 2

Y (Kuma's owner)

I've been keeping writing this journal about six months. The reason for keeping writing is simple. I would like to write in English well. English is a completely different language from Japanese, that's why it's difficult for me to learn.

I remember when I met my friend's wife, she couldn't speak English at all. She is Dutch and one or two years later, I met her again and realised that she could speak English fluently. That made me very surprised and I heard that for example in Dutch "cat" is "kat". Wow, that's similar to English! I was a bit jealous.

English became the world's most widely spoken language and unfortunately it's a far cry from Japanese. Well, never mind. My Aussie friend told me that it's good exercise for the brain to learn different languages. All right, I'm exercising while I'm writing.

But Because

Then, I've noticed some issues with my writing. I have bad habits using the same words often. The words are "but" and "because". I have no idea how to solve the issue. Maybe I should read more books.

The one reason that I can think of is I don't have much vocabulary. If I know other expressions, I can use them. Therefore, I try to use a synonym dictionary.

This is all for today's writing and I didn't use "but" and "because" today. Yay!

| | Category Misc.

2016-06-27 08:24   Looking tropical but cold

Y (Kuma's owner)

Last week, the British Pound slammed down due to the results of the UK leaving the European Union and the temperature around here was almost like the curving line of the graph of the British Pound. It dropped suddenly!

I live in a subtropical area. It sounds warm, doesn't it? However, it's cold in winter. The scenery looks very tropical. I can see several palm trees and bright yellow Oncidium is blooming. In the veggie patch, there are still tomatoes. If I take a picture of my yard, people would think it's taken in summer or spring.

palm trees

Some of my local friends made me surprised because they said that they don't have any heating appliances at home. Wow, They have strong tolerance!

Yesterday's lowest temperature in my town was 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Even in the same town, the temperature is a bit different. It depends on the geographical features.


Luckily, my area is not so cold but I still need a heating appliance. Therefore, my daily work in winter is picking branches. Eucalyptus contains oil and it burns very well. It's a kill two birds with one stone job. I can clean up the yard and I can use branches as fuel.

I think this winter is colder than last year. I have to pick a lot of branches.

| | Category Misc.

2016-06-23 00:43   Making Bread Miniatures

Y (Kuma's owner)

I love miniatures. There are lots of types of miniatures, like cars, dolls, trains, houses and so on. I would like to make houses, furniture or anything that I can make but it's impossible to make all of them so I have chosen four things. Miniature bags, food, books and houses.

As I wrote before, I made miniature tote bags. The reason I had chosen making miniature bags was I had material and tools, like a sewing machine. I had enjoyed making miniature bags enough, so I wanted to make other miniatures.

One day I saw a fantastic book on Amazon. The book was written by Mayu Sekiguchi. The pictures of miniature breads look real. Once I saw the book, I couldn't wait to make miniature breads. The book I bought was sent from Japan. I was so excited but I found out that some materials were unable to get in Australia. The clay to make miniatures seem to be specific one. The author use the polymer clay "MODENA" and I decided to use the same one. I looked for "MODENA" but I couldn't find any in Australia, therefore I bought it from Japan. Yes, as you can imagine, I spent a lot on postage.

Other materials that I bought were a couple of acrylic paints, a tool to measure quantity of the clay (I don't know the name of this tool), colour clay, "Dessert Topping Master" (Artificial sugar for crafts) and "Deco Sauce" (Artificial sauce for crafts). I was amazed that there are so many materials for making miniatures.

Acrylic paints and Artificial sugar for craftstools

When I received a parcel from Japan, I was so excited. I had read the instructions in the book very carefully and had chosen some breads to make.

It had been such a long time since I used clay. I liked making animals by clay when I was small but I haven't even touched clay since then. I hoped I could make miniature breads well.

At first, I made a loaf of bread, because I thought it looked simple and it was easier than others. Well, I think my guessing was wrong. It wasn't so easy to me. I made three balls of clay and had to combine with them and make the shape of a loaf, but I couldn't combine and make a good shape of a loaf bread.

miniature loaf breads and hot dog buns

Then I tried to make buns. Buns weren't so difficult to shape, but it's difficult to cut in half. Almost every time, I made buns deformed. When I cut a bun, I pushed a bun with the cutter and made bun's one side flat. Then I thought I had to wait until the clay could stiffen. And, maybe as you are already guessing, I waited too long, and the clay became hard and I couldn't cut it in half. Bugger! ("Bugger" is an Aussie English word and this seems to not be bad slang because TV programs that are broadcasted on prime-time television used this word.)

miniature loaf breads and hot dogs

After that, I made hot dog buns, lettuce, sausages. I wanted to make hot dogs and I made them 90 per cent. The rest 10 percent was tomato sauce. I didn't expect that the tomato sauce was going to be difficult to make. The tomato sauce I made was watery. I wanted to make it more thick but still didn't succeed. The breads I had made were not so bad, but not very good. I was a bit disappointed. I wanted to make miniature breads that looked real.

I pulled myself together and started making miniature breads again last night. I made baguettes and croissants. They looked better than the others. Phew! I coated them with four acrylic colours very carefully. I looked at pictures on Google images and tried to make them look real. To paint burnt colour is essential. Uneven colour makes croissants' burnt parts look real. Hehe, I'm good at painting uneven. Easy, easy.

Finally, I made breads that I can be satisfied with...well satisfied with 80 percent. This was my first try of making miniature breads. Next time, I will improve some points that I couldn't be satisfied with this time.

baguettes and croissants

| | Category Misc.