16 March 2011

"after the rain has gone..."

Yesterday we heard fantastic news, Nao's brother in-law is safe and well. He turned up at their house in Kesennuma! Luckily he managed to escape the Tsunami in his car, whilst at his work in the next town. We are so relieved for Nao's sister who is expecting their first baby next month. It truly is a miracle that none of Nao's family is missing, or worse. There are so many 'what if...s' that don't bare thinking about. A massive sigh of relief in our house today, but now we are worried about the power station. 
My heart breaks for those people who have lost their families...it is so horrific and I hope there will be people around to support them. It is so cruel.

So, we feel very selfish to be in a happier mood now, and i have been thinking a lot about how lucky we are not to have these kind of problems here in the UK.

It was both of our birthdays during this nightmare, mine just the day before. I got some lovely pressies, like these Narcissus sent all the way from the Scilly Isles! they smell gorgeous.

they arrived in this box, amazing! Thank you Marie & Blaise X

This book is fascinating, its all about the colours of Japan, from textiles and ceramics and paintings. I love it! Thank you Nao's Mum XXX

Nao bought me a mug, not sure why he is laughing at me?

maybe its my terrible bed hair?

some delicious home made goodness from our Rust colleague Eiko. Its a mystery how everything she makes taste so good? wish i had that ability.

and my Mum sent us some beautiful ceramics, from the Isle of Wight!
Nao is having the mug with a cod on it. I am having the one with sprats on it.
I really love the design, don't know who made these, but if they are by you, let me know and I'll post a link!

I got a pressie for Nao too, his birthday was on monday, I can't say it was a happy one, maybe we will celebrate it another day. {It was an old fishing satchel, bottle of wine and some Neal's Yard bath salts}

...and a big thanks to Dan and Tara for the hugemungous box of biscuits and cakes! Jammy Dodgers, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Mr.Kipling, you name it! I could literally dive into the box and swim around. X

another pressie and something to cheer us up a bit...

spring is coming!

p.s. again, thank you all for such kind comments, i do believe in the power of positive thinking, and to have you all on our side, I'm sure it has helped!


  1. Great news indeed about Nao's family. Happy Birthdays too!

  2. Happy Birthday! I don't think it's selfish to feel happy, I think it shows an attitude of gratitude. Glad to hear you've had good news.

  3. so is that all of nao's family safe and well? i'm so pleased for you :)

    i don't think you should feel selfish for appreciating lovely gifts from people who love you. enjoy them! happy birthday to the both of you!

  4. So pleased to hear you have had fantastic news from Japan! Happy Birthday xxx

  5. What a great news and what a relief for the family, with a little baby on her way too! It's a bit of light amongst all this desperation and tragedy.

  6. fantastic news glad everyone is safe ~ rx

  7. Its great to know his family are all safe. Love that tiger mug.

  8. Wonderful birthday gifts. Those bowls and cups are beautiful.

    On the Japan front, my housemate and I are wanting to help, but after giving so much money to Haiti and seeing that it hasn't been received we'd like to help in a different way - do you know any organisations we can donate clothes/toiletries/tents/towels to? we have all of these things that we can spare {and more - the housemate runs a clothing shop with a lot of 'faulty' stock} and want to send.
    We have googled but seen nothing. If you know of any organisations can you email me ohgoshem at googlemail.com.

  9. I am so pleased that you can feel relief now that you have better news.

    I was thinking over the weekend how poignant that the present from Nao's mum you'd pictured in your post was sitting there, with you guys in limbo...

    Happy (belated) Birthdays to you both xx

  10. Happy Birthday to both of you! And so pleased it's all good news X X

  11. Huge relief, I'm so pleased for you both that all are safe.
    Hope you can now enjoy belated birthdays! x

  12. Happy Birthday to you and Nao.
    Ceramic with fish is great ♥

  13. em...

    The Red Cross are there in Sendai saving lives NOW, they have been the main source of relief so far together with the Japanese army and rescue services and they cannot run for free and their supplies will not last long. All ways are good ways to donate, but we cannot underestimate the need for the Red Cross to receive donations.

    Here in the UK you can also support:


    A much smaller but just as valuable charity.

    thanks! X

  14. Happy Birthday and I am so happy for your good news. I am fairly new to your blog and love it. Best wishes to you . x

  15. Happy birthday to you both. I hope the news of Nao's family continues to be positive.

  16. I'm so pleased to read your good news, and Happy Birthday to you both, but like you, and everyone else, there is still the sense of overwhelming dread for those people that we have never met, would never have really thought much about, but now, cannot stop thinking about. I have just seen on the news that snow and freezing conditions are now making everything even worse, as if that was possible. The memories of this will hang over the world for a long time to come.

  17. oh what good news - I have been thinking of you both and the worry you must be going through. we are so lucky here in our UK bubble and hearing your story has made the pictures all the more real.

    I can only donate which seems like so little.

    Happy Birthday and I'm so pleased for your news even though I know thats not the end of all the worry for you both.

    x x x

  18. What wonderful news for you both, that's such a relief, I have been thinking about you.

  19. Hi Artemis,
    I am a long time fan of this blog - but a very quiet one.
    I live in Sendai and just wanted to try and reassure you as much as I could about the nuclear situation.
    I have been freaked out about it for several days - hearing all sorts of reports. But today we had a meeting with the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian embassy and we are feeling so reassured. The international media has been fear-mongering and creating panic. But many many experts (from all over the world) are here in Japan and are confident that it is under control. Even if the worst was to happen - it would only effect a small area - already evacuated.
    I have been completely overwhelmed by the incredible spirit, strength and courage of the Japanese people. Never have I admired Japan so much.
    Lots of love to you and Nao.

  20. oh and happy birthday!!!

  21. I am so pleased for you both. I just cannot imagine the stress you have both been under whilst 'wondering' what had happened. Of course my thoughts are still with the families that have been devastated by loss. Homes can be re-built....

  22. Oh dear! I'm sorry, forgot to wish you both belated happy birthday. Now is the time to celebrate :o)
    You've certainly had some wonderful gifts - I love the mug!

  23. Really happy for you and Nao. In celebration of your birthdays I've just made a further red-cross donation.
    Alexis (not brother... the female one, who loves reading your blog)!

  24. I'm so happy for you and Nao!! I've been reposting your news on my blog so that my readers can go and help if need be. My birthday was Saturday as well and it was hard to focus while all of this devastation was happening.

  25. oh wow, so glad to hear everyone is alright!! happy birthday to you both.

  26. my thoughts with you & Nao. happy birthdays!

  27. Happy Birthday, and such fab news.

    Love the Isle of Wight pottery - where can I buy some?

  28. Anonymous16.3.11

    I am delighted for you! What a relief that Naos family are well. We have been thinking of you in our household.
    I love your blog, I look at it every day but have never left a comment until last week. Funny how awful events make people pluck up the courage to communicate....is that British?
    Happy Birthday to you both!

  29. That fantastic! realy! these website is way better then everything I ever saw.

  30. I'm so happy that you have had good news. Happy birthday to both of you

  31. I am very happy for his family and you guys, now lets wait that they managed to sort out the nuclear station. all the best from here to Japan.

  32. That's such good news about Nao's family - really happy for you both.

    Happy Birthday to both of you too, I love the mug! x

  33. Oh great news! What a relief that must have been and happiest of birthdays. Will keep on hoping and wishing for Japan x

  34. Armide16.3.11

    My internet connection was down all day! So frustrating I couldn't join everyone in rejoicing at the great news of Nao's family survival! This is the best Bday present you two could receive I guess! so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU TWO! Let us pray that such good news reach other survivors of this terrible catastrophy and that the issue with the Fukushima plant get solved rapidly.
    Again, so happy for you and for Nao's family!
    All the best!

  35. Wow...it's all happening in your household at the moment. Happy Birthday to you both and enjoy each moment of relief and happiness after all the worry.

  36. What a relief for you both! Can't imagine how harrowing it's been. Belated happy birthday too....:)
    Don't know if you've seen this http://blog.grahnat.se/2011/03/help-japan.html - someone else doing some good for Japan.

    PS- FANTASTIC ceramics!! x

  37. Artemis, I am so happy for you and Nao that everyone is safe and sound. I too feel slightly selfish at my happiness that M and his family are now back on UK soil after being in Japan, but then I also think, we should not feel guilty for being grateful for the safety of loved ones, as long as we spare a thought for those less lucky.

    Beautiful narcissus, I think spring is here.

  38. Such wonderful news! Happy Birthdays, i love your gifts your ceramic pieces are lovely xx

  39. Stephanie16.3.11

    Happy Birthday to you both!!
    So good to hear the family is safe.

    just love the wonderful cookies and truffles and the packaging, wow!

  40. Blessings and happy birthdays to you both. Wonderful news about your family! We truly are blessed and I'm sure our collective thoughts and wishes for Japan will help millions. Xx

  41. It's wonderful to hear that Nao's family is safe. Sending you good wishes from Canada.

  42. Wonderful news for your family, very glad to hear it. Happy birthday to you both!

  43. such such good news. his wife must have just wept with joy. so happy for all of you!

  44. Good news, happy times and such a cute tiger mug. Breathe...and enjoy the beginning of spring knowing your loved ones are safe.

    Ingrid x

  45. Hello Artemis,

    I'm French and i'm a real fan of junkakaholique and Rust. There is no day for me without having a look at your blog. I love your pictures and little stories and today, i just want to thank you for your notes about Japan. I was there 2 weeks ago and i'm so sad for all Japanese people who are going through all of this. I'm really happy that Nao's sister and family are safe.

    Greetings from the French Alps.

    NB:would you be able to send me the references of the Japanese book about colors?

  46. So pleased to hear that Nao's family are all safe...probably the best birthday gift for both of you! lisa xox

  47. I have to say that mug and you made me chuckle too! What wonderful news about Nao's family, it's been a really hard week for a lot of people.
    Also, incase you haven't heard tomorrow will be a bloggers day of silence for Japan. Here's a link for more information. http://www.utterlyengaged.com/please-help-for-japan-with-love-update/


  48. Oh I'm so happy for you both and your family. So happy! Happy Birthday to you both. Pisces childs are the best : )
    P.S The flowers are beautiful x

  49. Hope the best for Japan and Nao's family...

    from France

  50. Not selfish at all, so happy for you both. Out of all the sadness and despair I see on the news regarding Japan every night I come on here and read good news and it's just lovely.

    What awesome presents!

  51. What a relief! I'm sure you couldn't ask for better birthday presents. I am very happy for you.

  52. Such relief you must feel. Phew. So happy for you, and so nice to read some good news. I hope you have managed to relax and enjoy your birthdays. Belated wishes to you both...gorgeous gifts! Love the cup! x

  53. Anonymous18.3.11

    Hi Artemis, I so happy that Nao's family are safe. The events in Japan are so tragic and I don't know how the people are coping with events. I'm glad you could celebrate your birthday and your gifts are fab! I love your blog and I wish you, Nao,and all the people of Japan continued Love, Peace and Happiness. Ruth in Dublin

  54. Happy belated birthday to you both... and so glad Nao's brother-in-law turned up safe x