It was my birthday yesterday. Usually I have a clear plan of what I want to do for the day, but this year it was a little unscripted.
Kaori had planned a three-hour soba noodle making event for Louie as part of some traditional Japanese New Year preparations. I decided to join them instead of going on a morning hike, which is what I usually do on my birthday. It was just as well because I twisted my back lifting Louie the evening before.
It turned out that the soba making was in a small preschool room with little space for spectators, so I decided to head off to a nearby Persian bakery for a coffee. Just having some quiet time to brainstorm ideas for articles I want to write was a perfect way to spend a few hours on my birthday.
Louie made his soba noodles. He kneaded and rolled out the dough, and then someone else cut the noodles and cooked them in a dashi broth. Louie was happy because he loves noodle soup. Kaori was happy because she helped Louie learn a Japanese tradition. And I was happy because I had some quiet time.
In the afternoon, while Louie took a nap, I did some coding to improve the layout of this website. After moving the website over from Wordpress to Jekyll several months ago, I didn’t ever finish the site design. I managed to some really nice improvements in the couple of hours I had, but there are still quite a few more to make when I next have time.
After Louie woke, we got dressed up a little and went out for dinner at a sort-of-nice French restaurant.
Sort-of-nice is the best we can do with an 18-month old.
He was a wild boy and we had trouble containing him. He shredded the paper covering the tablecloth. He yelled, “Hi!” very loudly at everyone who passed. He insisted on getting down and doing a couple of tours of the restaurant trying to get the attention of every table in turn. Living life to the full, as someone said.
We eventually had to drug him with BabyBus videos on YouTube.
The food was actually quite good. Kaori had a lobster risotto and duck salad. I had the best trout I’ve ever had, including trout I’ve caught while backpacking, cooked over a fire.
And we made up a small plate for Louie from our plates as we always do.
I was remarking to Kaori how at 17 months, Louie has already eaten at 10 times more restaurants than I did during my entire childhood. And he’s already been to Japan and Hawaii. He’s a very lucky and very well looked after little boy.
After dinner, we walked around a little, enjoying the music and lights. Adventure Boy fell in a small hedge when walking along a short wall, but it didn’t dampen his spirits
On the way home we stopped at an Italian grocery store and bought a delicious chocolate panettone cake and some ice-cream, which Kaori and I enjoyed after Demolition Baby finally went to sleep.
On a side note, I took all the photos with my 35mm lens in available light, mostly at f/1.4. It was very low light so the photos have high-ISO noise and a thin depth of field, but I quite like how they turned out.