Thursday, 28 April 2011

Japan Disaster

MAYUMI-1Like everyone, we were horrified by the events in Japan 7 weeks ago and the terrible images of the destruction were absolutely shocking. We were very concerned about our lovely distributors in Japan, Mayumi and Reiko. Mayumi lives in the Sendai region. Reiko emailed to let us know that they and their families were all ok and then we received this email from Mayumi, which I think gives a real insight into the realities of this awful disaster, and shows how people pulled together:

“Thank you all for your kind words, deep concerns and prayers for us regarding this terrible, horrible event on our part of the planet. It was nothing like any other earthquakes I’d experienced before. It sure shook us all and the shock from it will remain in our memory forever. The death toll is still rising. We just cannot believe the losses and damages caused by the earthquake and Tsunami...  

As Reiko wrote to you earlier (sorry I couldn’t write sooner as there was no electricity here) we are all fine and so are all our families and friends. Even here in Sendai, we are in towns which managed to receive almost no damage compared to those seaside towns you’ve seen on TV. We are all living in our houses and not in shelters. We are, very very lucky ones.

The land still shakes every now and then (4-5 times a day) like it’s trembling for something. Food, water and gas for cars are still hard to get. People queue up for hours to get anything they can get. There are worries but there is no panic nor any act of a riot or anything. As for me, I’d made quite a lot of provision of food and had means of heating one room without electricity plus my block has been fortunate to have had water back only a day after the earthquake. I am receiving more than a dozen guests (friends, kids’ friends and neighbours. many of them I haven’t met before) every evening in the past 3 days to take a bath at my fortunate house. They leave me some food in return. Most of these people need gas to be restored to use hot water at their home and that, is going to take at least a month. So it’ll be that way every day at my house for a while and I’m making lots of friends now. :-)

Our warehouse is also ok. It survived the tsunami. (Thank God!!) We only have to wait for the surrounding roads to to be cleared away and we’ll be back in full business. We are expecting it to take a few weeks but I will keep you posted with how this cleaning work goes in that area and how everything gets restored.

Many many thanks and regards,

Mayumi” – 16th March 2011

We were surprised when Mayumi decided to go ahead with her planned trip to visit the UK and we had a meeting and lovely lunch with her at the end of March. It was sad to hear all the stories first hand. She returned to Japan and has recently sent us this update:

“When I came back from my trip, there was still no gas in the kitchen. The petrol was still very difficult to get and all the stores were open only parts of them and for only a few hours every day. But those things improved very quickly in the following week. And today,the bullet train between Tokyo and Sendai finally re-started its operation, after a little more than 6 weeks since the earthquake. They fixed more than 1000 parts/places/problems on the railroad of about 500km. It feels good to know our major transportation is restored. Although some parts/things in life still remain unrecovered or half recovered, we are not in need of anything anymore. Then again, we do keep thinking and praying for those at costal areas. We still hear more and more sad stories from people or the media everyday.

Not sure if I’ve told you this before but we donated all the sample snuggles we had at our office to the Tsunami victims almost right after it happened. I am sure they helped at least 40 babies to keep warm at the shelters when it was still very cold last month or even some evenings now.

Kindest regards

Mayumi” – 25th April 2011

We hope you find it interesting to read about Mayumi’s on going experience.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Post Holiday Blues


Well after 5 days following my surf bums and staying at Casa D’Arriba in Portugal (which, incidentally, I cannot recommend more!) I am now back in the office beavering away! It’s always horrible getting back to reality, but I think because the weather’s so gorgeous here, it makes it worse! My friend Claire who looks after Lizzie, has been on the beach with her today and I’m suffering from the serious working mum guilt! (I should be there with her!) I know Jo is also charging about doing a few hours in the office, then attempting to entertain Ruby, whilst knowing the 100 or so emails need answering and the year end is looming... Looking forward to next weeks’ guilt free 3 day week though! Ha ha! Bank holidays are officially fun days!

Does anyone else have any ideas for getting your work/fun balance right in the holidays? I’d love any suggestions because after 4 kids over 16 years I still seem to find it a constant struggle!

Still, at least one of the great things about working for yourself is that you can knock off early which is what I’m planning to do shortly!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Snoop Dog Babysits!

CAT-SITTERI didn’t have anyone to babysit Lizzie today, but needn’t have worried! Snoop Dog (our kitten) was looking after her very closely! Bless!