Friday, 24 July 2009


... doesn't fly. It's exactly one year since I arrived in Japan. It seems a lot longer since I said goodbye to my family and friends, since I handed my cats and tortoises over to their new owners, since I gave up the keys to my home, since I prayed and sang with my church family, since I had a good curry, since I had a night out with the girls... I miss my old life. Oh, lighten up! K is happy, the boys are happy, it's not all bad! It's just one of those days, you know?

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.


  1. Hi
    I m sorry you re feeling home sick. Maybe it s just a phase. Glad you re enjoying time with the kids :)

  2. Hi Snooky,

    I'll be fine, just got to get on with things :-)

  3. Hope the sun is breaking through your clouds...I guess that the bad days when living in Japan don't change the fact that there are also very good days...hoping your second year has even more good days.

  4. Aww I hope you're not feeling too homesick! :( I used to get that way when I was there too (things are so different!). What an atmospheric photo too!

    And as for the stout for kids, that's funny and a bit scary at the same time. Only in Japan! :P

  5. Hi Dotmoll,

    Oh yes, there are good days too! And the clouds are clearing ;-) xxx

    Hi Lorraine,

    Thanks! I know I'll be fine, I was just having a 'yaadaa' day! How long were you here for? Yeah, the eclipse was rather spooky, made even more so by the rolling, dark clouds - wished I had a camera like yours to take better shots! xxx