OK! So we typed up a St. David's Day special, with the plan to show pics of the Bryn Derw kids amongst our newly bloomed out daffodils, instead........Then sleet, hail and snow fell all Saturday night, freezing the daffs and turning the ground round them to a sea of mud......
So, instead, we are celebrating Hina Masuri today.
My almost D-I-L is Japanese. Today, she and my son went to set the date for their wedding - July 1st, an auspicious day, divined for them by the senior monk at the temple her mother attends. It will be a very ordinary, registry office affair in London, followed by a real and rather splendid ceremony in Japan when it can be arranged, sometime in 2016. The auspicious day was too close for it all to be arranged - for them to have enough time off work or for N's family to make all the arrangements.
To mark the final, formal engagement today ( the day the wedding is arranged and, by tradition, there was no way of withdrawing by either side) and this day of honouring of the role of girls and women within the home in Japan, a doll is to be sent to each of the newly related mothers-in-law.
N's mother has always wanted a western style, modern doll to add to the family doll display for this holiday, by which she means one that can have her clothes changed, giving scope for sewing a variety of kimonos. Most traditional Japanese dolls are ornamental and the clothes are fixed.
So, here is one like my new girl to come.
She has the white face, traditional for Geisha women. Twins but not exactly the same. It is important to N that both of we mothers are treated the same, indicating that she will now give the same respect to me as she does to her birth mother and that Jake will do the same (Really? Poor Mrs T, does she KNOW how my son winds me up???! He's a joker by nature.)
To ensure that we mums are treated the same, my doll has not been sent to me yet, an attempt to ensure we receive them at about the same time. Not that you can rely on the post to take any longer to get a package to Japan than to me here in Wales, but the attempt is being made.
The outfit is not really authentic. But they are a fun gift and may allow Mrs. T and I to transcend the problems of language difference to share sewing projects.
When the young couple travel to Japan for the more ceremonious version of their wedding, two traditional dolls will be bought. One to go on the T family display in March each year, and one to start a displsy here. These will be the more serious, traditional gifts, like the dolls in the display below.
As though I needed a doll buying excuse, the onus is then on me to gradually amass a doll display to hand down to those daughters that the keep telling me they are not planning to have........
We will see! Doll display - no problem. Grandchildren - well we westerners are not supposed to interfere with the desire for a family in our own offspring, but maybe Mr and Mrs T will not have that belief that they must mind their own business?!