Category Archives: Life

If Pressed

He stands by the door, all ready to go — 250 yen in his left pocket, bus fare, and 550 yen in his right, which is for the subway. He knows he should probably get one of those cards that you can just tap through and not have to juggle handfuls of change. If pressed, he’d find it hard to explain why he hasn’t. The bus he had hoped to be on passes.

Calendar Days is Back

I made it through a week or so without having Calendar Days playing on repeat in my head.

It’s back now, especially the verse that goes “There’s a kind of quiet. A fighter jet’s applause. They’re all saw toothed fragments. Scattered in an empty hall.”

The Phone Disguised

Despite the valiant attempt to disguise it, nothing can hide the futuristic technology lurking with this box plonked down randomly in the Sumiyoshi Taisha grounds.

It’s trying to fit in with this, so it’s a kind of high bar.

Sliding Doors and Blazing Flames

One week into my Japan trip and I have not done much at all — lots of cleaning, spending time with family, eating and drinking — which is pretty much how I planned to spend the first week.

Shoji – work in progress

Probably the biggest home task I took care of was renewing all the shoji paper for our sliding doors and windows. It’s a fairly time consuming task that involves removing all the old paper, cleaning the frames then gluing new paper to them. I messed up the first one by getting the paper alignment wrong, but soon got in the swing of things. It’s not fun exactly but it is quietly satisfying.

A Japanese shrine at night with a fire blazing to the left.

We live in walking distance of Ishikiri Shrine, one of the major shrines in Osaka and our usual destination for our new year visit. Unfortunately, thousands of other people also head there. This year we gave it a miss on new year’s eve and went to a much smaller shrine closer to home. It was cool and laidback and the blazing fires were nicer to watch than anything at the big shrine.