31 January 2010

my new year

Please follow today's post over here.....I got my dashboard mixed up!

22 January 2010

condensing time

This lovely animal has drifted into his old routine, even letting Mooey chase and bash and bother him, without any retaliation.....he is such a good boy.....I have been trying to appreciate the passing hours as these will be my last with this big, little boy, while he is little. I'm trying not to over think the many hours in daycare v's work experience and feel excited for both of us to do a new thing involving a lot of growth, it is a good thing!.....growing up!.......but often, to get there is a bit of hard work on the heart and mind......
so taking time to absorb beautiful images and word by SO-EN a delight to read. Thanks again to the magical Miho, who is now my living portal to Tokyo!....
After discovering the local library I borrowed quite a few books, notably these excellent, illustrated stories.....Special Kev (above) has the most creative and funny illustrations and the story and terminolgy used is so Australian!...I was having a chuckle at the use of words for a red head, "blood nuts, carrot tops, ginger nut"....so funny, I had forgotten these stinging schoolyard words which probably scar red heads for life.....
and this very cute story of old timers, Goldilocks and the 3 bears, The 3 little pigs etc....beautiful colours and illustration style, I really love this book! It is illustrated by Anne Wilson. I will look for a link!

21 January 2010

This is a very cute animation and clever word play which you can understand, even if not the exact words. I watched this many times, natsukaashiiii~ Thanks Miho for reminding me of the amazing design work I now miss. I received my myki (public transport pass) in the mail....and the design....gosh, I have been spoilt in Japan! The website is OK and user friendly but the actual card and plastic pocket design..............uuuughhh...its av, av, average. However, despite all the whinging you hear about the system, and the better ways in which it has been rolled out, I believe the system will be much better in the long run.

19 January 2010

easy tuesday...

..the last Tuesday before I am a regular worker....time to take in a cup of green tea and cookie and read a book sent to me by the amazing Miho. She designed it and of course it is beautiful!
**Honto ni arigato Miho!!**
I was also fortunate to get all these lovely pencils from the op shop for $1 which was a bonus for me, the bonus being undone when the Mooch ran directly into an old couch and split his lip open.....in this case not only does an icypole work as a distraction but has a useful function to reduce swelling!.....
and to my thoughts on organisation....I fear it will be the thing that stresses me the most about going back to work, so, a clothes, shopping and food plan should help me through the first few weeks, I hope....

18 January 2010

i dont mind at all...

I'm not at all offended by hot cross buns in January...I love them and I'm happy to eat them for months!...especially when coupled with a good coffee......mmmmm

16 January 2010

I'm ok

I miss drawing and so have just bought some manky pencils and textas from the supermarket until my nice ones arrive....actually, I'm much happier with the result! It is more due to a very nice new scanner, not really expensive at all but I guess just being new means newer technology allowing it to do a better job at scanning than an old printer, a noisy printer, an awful one, really!....I raked a lot of woodchips in the garden today. Although I exercise a lot I dont do that kind of physical work. I didn't realise how hard it is and how much energy you need to do it, and its just a small garden! But amongst all the sweating and swearing, it is very satisfying to get dirty hands and make progress and clean up the garden...and there is some time to think thoughts about life generally and the state of the earth and how things die and grow and die and grow and what was in the earth a long time before we got here. I have not finished but its too hot for an inexperienced gardener (me) and my apprentice Mooch and coffee is calling my name. It is my one true indulgence!
......while we worked, he took a rest...can you believe this lovely hound dog just traveled to and from Japan and spent the past month in quarantine? He is an amazing dog, so calm and gentle and sweet. I expected him to be affected and a bit out of sorts but this is how he always is, seeks the sunny spot and every so often come out to see what's happening. Even his morning routine is the same, he comes to check in every one's room to say good morning!...and of course he is so happy to see everyone, bit tail wagging and sneezing and yawning and licking his lips, all signs of a very happy whippet!

14 January 2010

one more sleep

What more can I say?


Since we moved I have done no crafty projects with Mooey, but it really doesn't take too much effort, so, after purchasing a cheap bucket of chalk we made up lots of games, including drawings and pegs and balls...... it was so nice and so much fun!
Things I'm missing about Japan: service (yep you know it), 100 yen shop, beautiful bakery treats, details, details (magazines, little bits and bobs - LOFT, ITOYA, OKADAYA, - green tea, green grocers, convenience stores, public transport)....
Things I love about Oz: space, blue skies, summer, clean drinking water from the tap, family nearby, quiet, quiet,

The balance about equals I think xxx

13 January 2010

my last days revisited...

Going through my memory card and looking at my last days in Tokyo.....and first in Oz...isn't this a typical scene in Australia?....wide open road and no cars>...dry grass and no developments....just a lack of visual (and auditory) noise.....keeps you calm and relaxed?.....compared to busy, busy, busy Shinjuku...I do miss you Shinjuku.....but I know you are very cold and little bit snowy, just a dusting.....so I'm happier being warm....
some fruits in Shinjuku gyoen...a lovely part of town....now frozen in the ground and the small ponds....we skimmed stones on the ice on this last day....
and tried to warm up a little in the bright sunshine...

enjoyed these very, very clever interactive Xmas windows at Isetan..such a clever and fun idea.....these windows have been a constant source of inspiration, not to mention what's for sale inside....
the skeleton of our old place, now just an empty house...our stuff will arrive here next month so just a few more weeks of sleeping on the floor....
and a last Xmas party, such an amazing, dedicated group of teachers. Mooey will go from this to 30 kids....I feel a very hard time coming up for me to let go and let him grow up. I know it is better for him to go in with the big kids so he can grow too, but it is very hard, harder than I imagined to realise, the early days are over and that's it, no more days. I have had a most wonderful and rich few years with this guy and I am so lucky to have had that. I feel quite sad only for myself that it is over but I'm happy for him because now he can really start to discover his own potential, and that is truly exciting!

12 January 2010

hot, hot...

Its beaches like this, which are only minutes from where we live that make it worth coming back to Oz....especially in a heatwave. Even if its just for an hour, to have so much freedom, clean water and quiet is such a delicious treat and something I would also not really appreciate if I had not lived in Tokyo. There are some things however, that are revealing themselves...the things I am starting to miss.....service is probably to most visible.....everyone can vouch for the often poor quality service they receive in Australia but it is really annoying! In fact today, the check out lady threw my loaf of bread on the counter which tumbled to the floor, spilling the goods out of the bag and she just looked at me, impatiently, while I picked it up...grrrr....she had also slammed the watermelon on top of all the stone fruits.......GGRRRR...considering food is expensive compared to the same in Japan I was freaking out a little.....this, followed by standing in a line for 15 mins to buy a light bulb..............It is usually a surprise when you get good service and fortunately I found this in an excellent barista, by far the best coffee maker in a long time....so, you take the good with the bad as with all things in life :)

8 January 2010

everyday sunshine

I'm so glad to be here, in the summertime, with warm and dry heat and familiar smells, like lemon scented gum trees and that funny smell of the road after it has rained. Summmertime is linked to many happy days as a kid growing up at the beach with my sister and friends. Now, living close to the beach and soaking up the sun and sea is one of lifes great pleasures for me. Today, at the beach, Mooch and I poked around the sides of a jellyfish, tried out a new foam 'surfboard', got a cut knee on an old corally rock, made sandcastles, talked about seaweeds and sponges and just soaked up the lovely atmosphere of other families chattering and laughing and enjoying the days before school and work returns in earnest. I too feel these are the sweetest days since soon, I too will be a worker. I mean a paid one. I have managed to overcome my biggest stress about returning to work, arranging childcare. I found, by luck only, a suitable place, so now I can go back to work with a slightly less guilty load to carry, knowing he will be well cared for, well, it is my hope, no one can do a better job than the Mummy or Daddy of course!...So when we share a babychino, such a treat, with a 'marshlallow', and chat about small and funny things, I am really soaking it up. These days and moments which will not last but make my life worth living, just for these little things, tiny things, but so valuable. This new year is exciting for us all and I will try to write about it, not get boring, keep connected with you. I lived the past few years reading several blogs daily and now I think, they will not be part of my routine, at least not daily. But, I like to peek into others lives, especially those creative or funny or organised or healthy or just excellent motivated women's blogs. Have a great weekend, I'm going to laugh and swim and see family and I hope to draw a new banner for my blog - SUMMER!

6 January 2010

new year, new things

Happy New Year and happy new internet connection!....What a year already! I got a job, quickly, and I am very happy despite the shambles arrangement called 'childcare' which parents are subjected to.....ugh....but look above...our beautiful Long Long arrived safe and sound from Tokyo and almost finished his prison term...ahem..I mean quarantine....I am so looking forward to having him home and showing him his new digs. I have prepared some very comfy mats for him in the various sunny locations inside (in an attempt to get him not to sleep in our makeshift beds on the floor)...pure heaven for a whippet. We can visit him and he is well cared for but it will be nice to have him home for good....
and this little guy...what a great job he has done being uprooted twice now and done such a good job to hang in there, always with a smile and a cuddle and sometime a smashing but its pretty normal for a 3 year old I guess. I think the biggest change for me this year will be letting him grow up a bit by going to daycare more often, well, a lot....and us not spending anywhere near as much time together.. its natural for a parent to do this and almost everyone I know has been through it but now its my turn. Lucky I am excited about going to work because it helps keep me motivated and positive. Finding the 'right' care is the hard bit......someone described the whole thing like removing a band aid, do it quickly and get it over with, then it becomes easier....good advice I think....living it will be the challenge.

Life back in Australia is incredible, really, this is a beautiful place to live, Melbourne, so open, so sparsely populated, so pretty and clean and reasonably safe, so many, many places to play or sit and think and have a coffee, such a beautiful place to raise children, so external. My appreciation for this place would be nowhere near as thorough and wholehearted had I not lived a Tokyo life for a few years. Tokyo is wonderful, but in different, more internal ways, so I am lucky to have the chance to live both. For the meantime, here and now, with lovely friends, family and my sweet partner, mooch and pointy nosed pooch, I could not be happier.

1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Oh I am sorry for no posts for weeks....life has been abosrbed in moving across countries, spending time with family and friends, visitng the seas, parks and open spaces and just getting back to life in Oz. It has been a pretty smooth transition to date with house, car and now a FT job waiting for the new year. There will be more changes this year adjusting to a new schedule and I worry a lot about being a FT worker again and how my Mooch will cope but I know it is just my turn now and after the first few weeks all will normalise......I hope.....I miss aspects of our Japan life and the lovelies we have met but when I walk behind the mooch on the track to the beach and he holds his Uncle's hand so gently and comfortably and then jumps into the water with my sister and then when we get home crawls all over Grandad and chats happily to Nana, I know, this is the place we are meant to be right now.....it is so lovely to be quiet at this time of year and just be. Japan has truly grown up my mind a lot the past two years, I am so happy to have that knowledge and experience and it is so true that time away makes you appreciate home and those there all the more....for all that learning I am very thankful. Here's wishing all of you my friends, a most wonderful 2010, full of challenges and fun, positive experiences and things to learn from, time with loved ones and moments to savour, good foods and nice drinks and appreciation for our lives and the energy we devote to making these the best days we can. I have a lot of photos from my first week back, trying to capture those things I have seen with the most fresh eyes and I will show them when I get internet connection at my home...(after 2 weeks of waiting)....Happy 2010~~!!