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Archive for May, 2006

Standing in the rain searching for rainbows. May 28


Wow, the last two months have been odd, a period of ups and downs, just like the japanese spring. Hot, cold, sunny, cloudy, dry and wet. There are bits of it that are still unresolved and I’m still waiting to see where the pieces fall from it all. Certain blogs I wrote have been shelved pending time. Patience is not one of my strengths I’m afraid.

The great news is that my Dad is healing really well and getting better by the day. I’ve had a great holiday with my best friend and seen some amazing parts of Japan. The japanese lessons are progressing slowly and the rest will just have to pan out as time progresses.

The rainy season is basically upon us here in Japan and the humidity is going up daily! It sucks, strongly suspect that I’m going to turn into a puddle soon. Oh other good news is that I’ve been given all clear on the ankles and knee’s. No damageat all!, and now hopefully with the new treatment for the kidneys we can stop it happening in the future. fingers crossed.

So having I been standing in the rain, well, been caught out it enough the last few weeks! Can’t claim to have seen too many rainbows, but I’m back to being the optimist again so will keep searching. dd. (and yep it is actually a picture of canary wharf, but who cares, you get the gist – the sun will shine soon)

Was bound to happen! May 24


As mentioned many a blog ago I sometimes have to change trains at Shirokane-takanawa to make sure I’m on the right line to get to work, its not really a challenge when required, just walk across platform onto waiting train – job done. For the last six months I’ve managed to execute this without a hitch. Today didn’t quite go so well thou.

Today we took a half day off so was travelling at a different time, but suspect major reason for glitch was the new video Ipod and TV comedy called ‘Kitchen Confidential’, never heard of it before, and had downloaded it. Was actually mildly entertaining, well entertaining enough that I was at Mita station before I realised that I’d forgetten to switch trains, so had to double back, change platforms, wait for trains, and basically turn a 10 minute journey into a 30 minute one. Mind you did get to watch the whole program and begin the next episode, plus check out the inside of Shirokane-takanawa station (was well high on my list of things to do before leaving Tokyo let me tell you). Personally I’m blaming the whole thing on the iPod, which i guess I am falling in love with.

Conversion – Almost May 22


I finally gave up waiting for Sony to fix its Sonic Stage, and now re-vamped Connect software. They tell us that at the end of the month we will have new version that should make it at least equal with iTunes.

The reason I have always stuck with Sony is that I love the hardware and the battery life of the units is well impressive, 40+ hours in most of them. However the downfall has been the software that they bundle with it. Now I’m always open to trying new software, but quite frankly Sonic Stage sucks and always has. The new version of connect was a total nightmare.

My PC froze and it just would not load the music to my player. They are promising us a new version but time is frustrating to have decided to get an Ipod. First impressions are nice, but the battery life sucks. However the ability to play video’s is very cool and I can carry my whole music collection to work. Now if we could just have the Sony hardware with the Apple software, or a blend of the both it would be a killer!

Will keep you posted on the progess of the whole sordid affair.

The Art of Time Travel May 19


Well I’ve got to admit my first week back at work has not exactly been the box of fluffly ducks that I would have liked. Unfortunately the most expedient method of dealing with some problems also tends to carry a mandatory life sentence for murder one. It was just so much easier in the UK with all those convienient hidey holes for the inconvenient dead bodies of the people who woke up and decided that their mission for the day was to irritate the shit out of me.

But to my point of this particularly entry. The art of time travel, well, have you ever wanted to go back in time and change things? Sure of course we all have, but would you really change things? Sometimes events happen because they are supposed to, well I believe they do. A simple small change in the past may have profound effects on your present. This can include the bad events in our lives. You will have to trust me on this one, but there are a couple of events that I’ve not ready to talk about that while highly traumatic, violent and something I would never wish on anyone, are also key to why I am who I am now.

Five years later I still dread the month of November, while the mind has accepted what happend, my body still remembers the physical shock and reminds me of it. But again I am wandering slightly. Would I go back and remove this event. No, to many great things have happened since.

But now imagine if you could go back in time and just re-live some of the good events of your life. I remember clearly sitting on the back of the boat one holiday from the UK, feet in the water, eating a raw mussel that dad and I had just collected, looking up across the water back to the farm and realising that I wasn’t in the UK, I was home. I re-live that moment in my mind often it was so raw and real.

I would also like to re-live some of last week as I was so incredibly happy for reason I’ll write about another day. Everything seemed to be coming together at last for me, and it still maybe is, but recents events have crashed some of the rememberence.

So the art of time travel, pick the moments that you want to re-live. Or as those of us without access to a time machine can only do, hold onto the memory of the great and happy things in our life. Hold them tight when the storms of reality seem to be trying to blow them away. Cherish them and nourish them by re-thinking them.

It not possible to go back and change the past, but we are built from it components. Take the good building blocks with you.

Brick learning May 18

The theory still needs to be proven but maybe the idea of finding a big brick and using it smash some knowledge into my head may have had merit. As was fairly sure the conversation that I had with myself in japanese whilst in the shower this morning was reasonable accurate.

But then how many people think they can sing in the shower!

Anyway am positive that for todays lesson will need decidedly larger brick.

Language Skills May 16

Well I think that the first language lesson today has proved that I am thick as pigshit and that the best way to install more than one word into my head and actually have them stick would be to use a brick. Preferably a really heavy one. Strongly suspect that even then the results will still be marginal.

The language of peace. May 11



I was supposed to use the train time between Hiroshima and Tokyo today to complete a set of short stories. However the events of today have overtaken this and the following story is the result.

Today the tourist gig was to visit the Hiroshima Peace Park, the guardian of foolish travelers and tourists was smiling as the day was gloriously leafy and sunny with a light breeze to cool the skin and bring the trees to life. It was poignant reminder to the total death and destruction unleashed at 8:15 6th August 1945.

I remember when I was at University there was course called Social on Moral Philosophy. (its was an excellent course by the way) one topic we covered was the morality of nuclear weapons. All the arguments furnished for the pro’s are rendered a pile of shit when you are face to face with old black and white pictures of the Nakamura family and see on the scrolling list of the dead that the entire branch of Nakamura’s is no more. Gone!

During our walk through the park we came across the children’s memorial which was inspired by leukemia victim Sadako.

“When Sadako developed leukemia at 10 years of age she decided to fold 1000 paper cranes “ – she died before reaching this goal, but to this day paper cranes from around the world are sent to the memorial and displayed in glass cabinets there. As were we passing a class of Japanese students had turned up to pay there respects to the memorial and present their paper cranes.

The stunning reality of this simple presentation was that you didn’t need to understand Japanese to know what was going on, and it appears that tears can easily cross the international language barrier. It was an incredibly moving experience and I hope the teacher understood my thanks of appreciation.

Day Three Travelling Japan May 07

Left Kyoto for Himeji and a tour of the castle weather is now nice and sunny. And the crowds seem to have gone. The castle is as normal spectacular and nicer for the lack of throngs of people. The city itself benefitr from full spring greenery and sunshine. Onwards now to Fukuyama and the unknown of Japan. This should be interesting.

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