Anyway, we've had an eventful week. The boys are now on holiday for the summer, and things got off to a great start with the school camp (and it absolutely chucked it down the whole time they were there, with a tremendous thunder storm to boot) and then the solar eclipse on Wednesday morning! We headed to Kodomo no Kuni, a park on a plateau right next to Takamatsu airport. It was very cloudy so we didn't have any great expectations, but we thought we'd go anyway and enjoy the spooky darkness. As 11am approached, a huge thick black cloud moved over the grey spot where the sun was hiding, and then at exactly 11.02am the sun broke through and everybody clapped and cheered. The viewing box I'd made was a total waste of time, couldn't see a thing through it. But the clouds helped to disperse the brightness and we got some fabulous views:
The boys are being quite good about their 'holiday' routine, at least W is (J takes a lot more persuading). They are expected to gather for rajiotaiso (morning exercises) and 6.30am, but they'll only have to do that until the end of the month. Then they've each got a plan of how they are supposed to spend each day, with mornings being reserved for studying. They've got rather a mountain of homework to get through, and that, combined with the odd fun workshop and the school pool sessions, should prevent them from getting too bored. Yesterday they had a pottery class, learning how to make a money box. I only remembered about this class 10 minutes before it was due to start, so legged it out of the house just as I was (and bear in mind this was before 9am) and managed to get them there only 10 minutes late. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate to be late for anything, and that I can't bear to be unprepared. So we arrive at the venue thinking that I can just drop the boys off with an apology for our tardiness, but NO, mums/dads are expected to stay and help! So I attempted to sneak unnoticed(!) into the tatami room where there are perhaps 30 perfectly turned out mums... The lesson I have learned from this is that I must make sure that I brush my hair, slap on a bit of lipstick and make sure that I am wearing something half decent, including some of those little foot stocking things, before I even eat my breakfast, as sometimes it is easy to overlook the day's schedule when trying to ensure that my rabble are fed, dressed and not attempting to kill each other.
Finally, here's an 'only in Japan' treat for you:
It's a bottle of stout... for kids! It's non alcoholic, of course, but I was still kind of shocked. They've actually called it Kodomo no Biiru (Kid's Beer). And although it's really just a sweet, fizzy drink, it does have a slight beery taste to it... wow.