Tea Ceremony – Chaji


My friend, who has performed the Japanese tea ceremony – Urasenke style – for many years, invited me to a formal tea ceremony – Chaji – which he hosted. I also asked my British friend, Kelly, to come with me because she previously told me that she had never experienced it in Japan. She immediately answered that she would love to attend. I was very excited to join Chaji for the first time in five years and meet up with Kelly as well!

It was very nice that we four guests entered a tea garden following the stepping-stone path and then entered a tea house. Chaji started at noon. A meal was served, followed by little sweets, Koicha (a thick blend of matcha powder and hot water) and Usucha (thin tea). The whole process ended at around 14:30.

I loved the landscape of the Japanese garden, the simplicity of the tea room and utensils, and the company of the guests. I could not translate well some terms of the ceremony and the cultural backgrounds into English for Kelly, but it was a relief that she seemed to enjoy it very much!

After coming back home in the evening, I opened my drawers and found quite a few tea utensils that my mum gave me a long time ago and a handheld mirror that my dad bought for me. I found these things very emotional. I hope that I could use the tea set; I do not remember the tea ceremony etiquette very well but I still greatly appreciate the philosophy.

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Relaxing Weekend


Having read my supervisors’ feedback on my work, it seems I have managed to get over the first hurdle of my PhD studies. Now I can finally relax a bit and plan what I need to do by when over the next two months.

This morning, I read a novel (without a deadline, summary and references!) and ironed our 14 work shirts that were left after washing over the past two weeks.

After noticing that I was doing housework, Luca started cleaning the whole bathroom.

After ironing, I baked ‘cheese and pea muffins’ which I have wanted to make for a long time. When I travelled to Venice with Luca in April, we were invited to a lunch party at his relative’s house. His cousin’s wife made us the pea muffins for a starter, which was really, really delicious! All of her home-cooking was fantastic. When we left at the end of the party, she gave me the rest of the muffins, which we had with wine at our accommodation for dinner.

I found many recipes of savoury pea muffins online and tried one of them today. My muffins didn’t taste bad but they did not rise well. Maybe I added too many peas. I need to improve my muffin baking skills, but more than anything else, I am happy to try the recipe and to have such a relaxing and peaceful weekend!


One more thing that I have achieved is dieting. Luckily, my weight has been dropping, because I completely stopped snacking since the beginning of May. Over the past two months, May and June, I have lost 3.5 kg! I am even more happy about this than my writing work!