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Coco&Me » Blog Archive » April & May
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June 14th, 2011

April & May


April & May was pretty rough going.


It was in the last week of March that my father was diagnosed with brain tumor. You can probably tell from how I write what I write, that I love my family very very much. I respect my father, he is a great man, & he is a big part of my life. He understands me, supports me & influences me. So you can probably tell that I was upset over this news. I may know a thing or two about baking, but brains? I may have one, but that’s about it knowledge-wise. Perhaps it’s that unknown that brought on the fear, the fear of what if something awful might happen?


First of all, I should say, don’t worry though readers, he is fine now. After re-scheduling & another re-scheduling of surgery, the tumor was finally removed. And that is almost a month ago now & he is now doing absolutely great & is at home with us. The doctors have said surgery was successful. It’s a huge relief.


During this time, I got my self in to a tiny bit of state. I found it mentally draining. Motivation for my book writing waned, well, to a complete halt actually – it’s not been touched ever since. – Despite the very fact that I knew it was comfort-eating/ emotional-eating, I snacked a lot. And now I’m two kilograms heavier. – Rather than working at night like I ought to, I would log off very early, curling up to my warm & cuddly girl ‘S’ at her bedtime.


Now though, thankfully, things are alright, back to normal, & I’m starting to feel alright too. I feel alright enough to share this with you.


Here’s a realization: Isn’t just a normal, everyday life great!? ^^


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .



We were going to go somewhere a little special for my 35th birthday, but what with the uncertain re-scheduling, decided to do a picnic on the nearby heath.


We celebrated with some of my close friends, on a part of the Hampstead Heath called Parliament Hill (also known as Kite Hill), which is the highest point in North London. With blue sky, green grass, stunning views, yummy food, flowing alcohol (atleast 15 bottles were consumed!? But who’s counting? ^^) & most importantly, with fantastic company of friends… – what more could a birthday girl want? (oh, other than a diamond ring or three perhaps…of-course! Lol!)


Picnic dessert:

My answer to portable dessert on the day? Lots of freshly made bite-size choux!! (the inside was vanilla crème patisserie mixed with whipped double cream.)


Note-worthy picnic foods that day was…:

  • Friends T & S brought this truly AMAZING smoked salmon from Hansen & Lydersen. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. Really, never tasted any smoked salmon so spectacular. And it was such a great party gift too – the crowd went wild! ^^ I highly recommend it if you live in London & can get hold of it.
  • Another friend T.E who is ‘in’ to baking bread brought with him a ‘No-Knead Bread‘. It was reaaaally really perfect – with crunchy & tasty crust. He used the recipe from here. In the video, it says it needs to rest for more than 12 hours! Wow, thanks T.E for making it!!
  • Home-made Spanish omelette from friend C (that I didn’t get to try…),  a special cake called ‘engadiner nusstorte brought from Switzerland by friend G (Engadin is the valley where she grew up), beautiful Prosecco wines, Champagne… And not to forget the freshly made coffee using a camping stove

It was a very satisfactory picnic indeed!


  1. I’m really sorry about the health problems of your dad, and I’m very happy to hear he is doing better now! A big hug to you! I’m sure you’ll be back to your normal schedule in no time as things adjust, you seem to have a pretty awesome group of family and friends to support you.

    Comment by Caffettiera - June 14, 2011 6:50 am

  2. Dear Tamami,
    Its feels good to hear that your Dad is alright. It must have been difficult. Dont worry about the two kilos..life is too short to worry about such things. A normal life is indeed beautiful (“Count your blessings” learnt at school makes a lot of sense during such times).
    Your picnic sounded pretty luxurious. The photo with the blue skies makes me long for the weekend already.

    Comment by Swati - June 14, 2011 8:44 am

  3. Tamami, thank you for sharing your story with us. It is heartfelt and you made me cry because it reminded me of my parents… I miss them very much. Thank you. And please keep up with your wonderful blogging. You are honest kind and the world needs someone like you.

    Comment by Louise - June 14, 2011 9:46 am

  4. Dear Tamami,
    I’m a big fan of your blog. Very glad to hear that your dad is doing great after the surgery. Don’t worry, everything will be alright :-)

    Comment by Nu nu - June 14, 2011 11:06 am

  5. Happy belated birthday! I’m glad your dad is okay now, that must have been the best birthday present of all. I’ve had a really rough month of May myself, so all sympathy to you x x

    Comment by Jan - June 14, 2011 11:24 am

  6. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your heartfelt messages!! xoxox
    Caffettiera, I also have a pretty awesome group of readers too! Thank you Caffettiera.
    Swati, “Count your blessings” indeed. I think about that a lot. I never used to when I was in my 20’s…!
    Louise, I didn’t mean for you to cry, but I am glad I shared my story with you. x
    Nu nu, thank you for reading this blog & commenting – I hope to hear from you again soon!
    Jan, sorry to hear your May was rough too – are you okay darling?? take care of your self…

    Comment by tamami - June 14, 2011 12:17 pm

  7. it looks to me as if you went somewhere *very special* for your birthday…a place filled with family, friends, food, laughter, & sunshine. i’m glad to read that your dad is doing much better. don’t beat yourself up too much about a little weight gain…your body needed the comfort, & snacking is a lot better than how some deal with stress! how is your dad faring…emotionally, et al? perhaps, in your cookbook, there could be a section of family recipes (complete with photos of course!). many have a book dedication in the front of the book, few have a dedication in photo & deed :)

    Comment by petoskystone - June 14, 2011 1:37 pm

  8. Big hug for you Tamami, it must have been terrible going through all that… but what a relief that your dad is okay now. I’m so happy for you and your family :) Here’s to better days and more sunny ones for those lovely London picnics! I went to Parliament Hill for the first time last month to picnic and it was fantastic. x

    Comment by Charmaine - June 14, 2011 1:43 pm

  9. Petoskystone, yes, it was very special indeed! ^^ My dad is doing fine, back to his usual routine actually! :) Emotionally, he is solid as a rock – very strong & stable. :) Thank you Petoskystone for your kind words always.
    Charmaine, lovely to hear from you. Yes, I can’t wait for more picnics too! Parliament Hill’s great, but I share with you another superb location nearby: the Pergola, by the Hill Garden in Hampstead. Perhaps not the best place for picnics, but certainly a nice place to wander around on a Sunday.

    Comment by tamami - June 14, 2011 8:15 pm

  10. hihi Tamami!! glad to see you are back online again :)
    sorry to hear about ur dad but great to hear that he is now better, fantastic news!!
    have been finding myself in a bit of a hole of late too (hence no blogging) but i think i might have finally dug myself out of it!! ur cheeriness has arrived just in time, hehe! :)
    take care and hope to see you soon, bracing myself for a trip out east to Broadway :)

    Comment by little chan - June 14, 2011 9:37 pm

  11. What a wonderful blessing that your dad is doing well after his surgeries!

    Your birthday picnic looks fantastic.

    Comment by Jessica - June 14, 2011 9:39 pm

  12. Hihi Little chan! I hope that you are doing well!! x
    Jessica, thank you for your your first ever comment!!

    Comment by tamami - June 14, 2011 11:17 pm

  13. Happy Belated Birthday!! and I am so glad for you that your dad is fine now. :)

    Comment by Ange - June 15, 2011 2:20 am

  14. Awww T, I am so relieved for you that those terribly few months are over and you can now relax a bit and get back to a little bit of ‘normal’.

    I’m sure your Dad is so proud of you staying strong, it must have meant so much to him that you were there and still are for him!

    The picnic sounded great, happy birthday by the way! Hope the rest of the year is better for you. Stay happy.

    Kay x

    Comment by Kay - June 15, 2011 8:20 am

  15. Glad to hear your father is making a good recovery. My aunt had a brain tumour probably 25 years ago, and she is still going strong!

    Comment by Elemjay - June 15, 2011 9:19 am

  16. Ange, Kay, & Elemjay, thank you very much!! I’ll try to stay happy! :) :)
    Elemjay, the story about your aunt is fantastic!!!

    Comment by tamami - June 15, 2011 9:35 am

  17. Oooh sorry to hear you had to go through such tough times… I don’t know you “for real” but i know how hard life can hit, sometimes, and i sure know how “normal” life truly IS fabulous. Sometimes i think hard times are made to make us realize how lucky we are to just be here, now. Sending you my best wishes and pixeled kisses from Paris ***

    Comment by Bonjour Juliette - June 15, 2011 4:33 pm

  18. Bonjour Juliette,
    I think you’re right about how hard times are there to make us notice & appreciate life when it is good. Thank you Juliette… – As for pixelated kisses?! That’s put a smile on me! xx

    Comment by tamami - June 15, 2011 6:19 pm

  19. I’m so sorry to hear what a rough time you went through but at the same time, really glad that your dad is okay and things are returning to normal! Sounds like you had a very special ‘normal’ birthday too – you certainly deserve it. May things continue that way! xx

    Comment by Rachel - June 15, 2011 7:46 pm

  20. Rachel, I’m so blessed to have you & the others sending me such lovely messages… thank you from the heart… xx

    Comment by tamami - June 15, 2011 10:32 pm

  21. Greetings Tamami! And a happy belated birthday…looks like it was a day of great fun! Blessings to your dad and your family for all you’ve been through. I am thinking of you and sending love !

    Comment by Diane - June 17, 2011 2:46 am

  22. Greetings to you too Diane, thank you very much for your lovely message!!!!!!!! xox

    Comment by tamami - June 17, 2011 3:19 pm

  23. I am so glad to hear your father is doing so well…what a relief for you and your family! I can understand the emotional agony that type of thing can bring as my dad died in 2007 from a cancerous brain tumor. He did live until he was 81 and had a good life up until 2 months before he died, and I am so happy we had him around as long as we did.

    How lovely that you had such a nice picnic with your family and friends and some REALLY yummy-sounding food. What a treat! Thanks for sharing it with us… xxx

    Comment by heidy - June 17, 2011 4:34 pm

  24. Heidy, I’m so sorry to hear about your father – the very thought of what you must have been through makes me teary…
    Thank you very much for sharing your story with me…
    Tamami xxx

    Comment by tamami - June 17, 2011 9:25 pm

  25. I hope to visit your stall in the market sometime soon, I organise chocolate events as part of a chocolate meetup group.


    Comment by Sela - June 18, 2011 9:34 pm

  26. Sela,
    I’ll look forward to seeing you then!
    All the best, Tamami

    Comment by tamami - June 18, 2011 10:42 pm

  27. Hi Tamami,

    so sorry to hear about your dad’s illness, that must have been a tough time time for you all, am so glad he is better now, makes you realize the importance of families. happy belated birthday , your picnic looked like fun. Invite still open for you to come and see us all down in bath. Alice and Katie would love to see Issei again.

    much love Nikki x :)

    Comment by nikki ruck - June 19, 2011 7:34 am

  28. Hello~ Nikki!!!! thank you darling…!!!
    Yes, everything’s better now. I love that your warm invitation is always there for me… SO sweet of you, thank you. I’d love to visit this Summer hol – have you any plans?
    S is out of her nappies for a while already & it’ll be easy (-er) to travel now! :) And they’ll love it I’m sure!!!!
    Love, t xx

    Comment by tamami - June 19, 2011 5:43 pm

  29. Hi Tamami,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father, but I’m very happy/relieved to hear he’s on the up and up! Thank you for being so open and honest with us. Your genuine heart is what appeals to so many of your readers.

    And a very happy belated birthday to you, as well! I, too, realize as I get older that it’s the simple things of being around good people + good food (that salmon!! mini choux!! ahh!!) that makes every day special and worthwhile.

    Don’t forget to give your cutie babies an extra hug while you’re at it! :) Good luck with everything going forward – as we Koreans would say, Tamami FIGHTING!!

    Hana in New York

    Comment by style fare - June 21, 2011 12:39 am

  30. Hello Hana,
    Thank you very much for your lovely lovely message!!!!!! :) :) :)
    You’re absolutely right about being around good people is so important. It really brings me down when I encounter people with agenda for example…
    Ps: the Japanese would say “Fight” also!!! :)

    Comment by tamami - June 21, 2011 8:11 am

  31. Tamami,

    so sorry you went through such atough time with your very special family.

    I wish all of you a happy summer that will be filled with special memories.

    Comment by Trish - June 24, 2011 3:56 pm

  32. Trish, thank you!!! xxx
    Life’s pretty much back to normal now thankfully!! Trish, really thank you for your kind thoughts…!!

    Comment by tamami - June 25, 2011 1:14 am

  33. Hi Tamami,
    Thank you so much for such interesting blog, I´ve learned so many things from it.
    I´m travelling to London next August and I´d like to know if you will be at the market on Saturday 27.

    Best regards from Barcelona,

    Comment by Cecilia Magrane - June 28, 2011 5:08 pm

  34. Cecilia,
    yes!!! I should be there!
    If I couldn’t, I’ll always notify you on this blog prior so please check beforehand! Cecilia, I’ll look forward to meeting you at the market then!!
    All the best! Tamami x

    Comment by Tamami - June 29, 2011 1:04 am

  35. Tamami,

    What an emotional rollercoaster experience. Am so glad your father is recuperating well. i wish you, your father and all your family well.

    Best Wishes

    Comment by Ije - July 7, 2011 1:34 am

  36. Ije, thank you very much for your kind message!!! :) :) :) Hope to hear from you again! All the best, t xoxo

    Comment by tamami - July 7, 2011 7:06 pm

  37. I’m happy for you that everything is okay now. I hope you will always be happy.

    Comment by Alison - July 9, 2011 5:04 pm

  38. Aw… Alison, thank you!!! xxxxxxxx Hows things back home? Hope all is well! :)

    Comment by tamami - July 10, 2011 5:14 pm

  39. Happy Belated Birthday!!
    Sounds like you had a wonderful day!
    Just thinking of you across the ocean and from the tundras of Minnesota!
    All the best to you!

    Comment by Lyn El - July 11, 2011 1:38 pm

  40. Whoops! So very sorry to hear about your Dad! Am glad he is doing well!
    Life has never a dull moment for sure!
    You and all your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

    Comment by Lyn El - July 11, 2011 1:41 pm

  41. Lyn,
    thank you!! xxxx Hope you & your hubby is doing well in Minnesota!!! All the best with lots of love, t xx

    Comment by tamami - July 11, 2011 6:33 pm

  42. Oh big hug, I hope all is well for you now. Stay strong and be happy :)

    Comment by Rebecca - May 14, 2015 4:09 am

  43. Hello Rebecca! Ahhhh, how lovely of you. Yes, things are going well right now – very “normal”! Many thanks for your caring comment, t x

    Comment by Tamami - May 14, 2015 11:59 pm


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