31 Oct 2016

Daylight Savings

The clock went back. I felt the day was long as never before. This is one of the things I probably haven't got used to it in the UK.

I was born, and grown up in Japan, which doesn't have daylight savings. Even though we say 'the days are getting shorter/longer' in the ordinary conversation, that meanings are a little different from the UK's. If I must say, 'the days are getting 'too' shorter or 'too' longer'.

Actually, I had no idea that such a system exists in the world when I was a child. I had thought everything is the same worldwide. This is because I hadn't learnt about the spin of the earth, and also my world was with the same tribe on the island. I was utterly ignorant of the world. I had felt the world was bigger and with far off countries.

When I knew about the midnight sun at the first time, I was quite surprised by that fact. In the same way, polar night, and Christmas in the summer in Australia were also a similar surprise.

It impacts on a biological clock!!

29 Oct 2016

Body Modification Project

When summer came, took off a long sleeve shirt, and it gave me a shock more than ever. What's this? what a hell of these chubby arms!!!!! I was astounded to see my arms in the mirror. Originally, I am not skinny. Since I played badminton when I was student, I've had muscular-ish arms. Also I have a chronic syndrome -

I was diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome several years ago. It's a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers. A person who has this syndrome tends to have round shoulders. So around shoulders looks more well-padded...

During the winter, the arms are covered by sleeves. And gain weight, in my case, to keep energy. That means nothing has changed about chubby arms. It's a definitely a vicious spiral. For the next coming summer, I want to sharp up my upper arms. It's not the first time to think so, but it turned me on fire. I'll do it! Most exercise books and DVDs' recommendation is to use another muscle which you usually don't use well. So I started to twist arms back and forth everyday. Stretching unused muscle out makes me feel good as well. I think 'feeling good' is very important as a motivation, so that you can keep it longer. I don't know if it's an effective way, but let's see.

23 Oct 2016

Voting Rate

There was a local council by-election here the other day. In fact, I don't have a voting right, because I don't have a British citizenship. For Japanese to have voting right in the UK means that we would lose our Japanese nationality, because we are not allow to have dual nationalities. So whenever there are elections, we can just watch the progress, for example with the Brexit vote.

The big mouse showed me the result of the elections. There was a three-digit number of people voting. I thought it's small number. I felt odd about the number of votes. I asked him about the voting rate, he said 18%.

'Ha?? e...e...eighteen??? Only eighteen???'

I knew each candidate and their supporters distributed flyers and worked hard to get the vote as much as they can.  I was too ashamed to think that they had a vote-taking-battle in a tiny world. I wonder if the winning candidate could be satisfied with the result? Even though it was a local election, not a general election, it sickens me.

I was involved in a Lower House election campaign in Japan many years ago. I worked hard as a supporter for about a month, from morning to evening. My favourite white pair of pumps was worn out during the campaign. It was a nice experience for me. Luckily he won at that campaign, and I saw how he and everyone worked so hard. I know some people vote, and some don't. I don't intend at all to criticize this, but I was so shocked to see that very low turnout rate. 

16 Oct 2016

Lavenham-Long Melford Walk

It's about a month ago, but I walked from Lavenham to Long Melford with my friend. It's a part of St Edmund Way which I am interested in next. According to a staff member at the Lavenham Information Centre, it's about 4 miles. It's a good distance. We've already visited the Guildhall and walked around the town centre in Lavenham, and we substantially walked more than that.


Started from the church in Lavenham.


It seemed like easy way, because path was clear.



But it gradually became wild, bushy and muddy... Grrrr. I saw a lady who was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Was she OK to walk here??? Well, none of my business though.


I didn't feel tired this time. It must be the result of the effort of the Essex Way walk!



We needed to cross a busy road. Every time I feel uneasy to cross a road. It's ok by law unless the map and sign show to cross, but I always feel nervous. I bet drivers are nervous too, if people come out from the hedging. Fortunately, we could cross the road easily this time, because there was a gap in the cars.

In the distance, we could see the church in Long Melford where we visited before. It was nice to walk  in a field with sheep. Unlike horses, they let us through.

11 Oct 2016

Becoming A Person Who You Want To Be

Catching sight of myself in the mirror, I get a bit of a nasty shock. I am not young anymore, but am I putting on years as I wish as I get older??? Some spots and wrinkles may be decorations of life. What about a tummy tuck or batwing? It's easy to ignore them and to let myself slip into laziness, what goes around comes back later only more so. I just get fed up with myself when I haven't made any effort on me. I don't think and expect that I can get a dramatic change, but at least, I want to make an effort to have a body which I wish to have and become a person who I want to be. Because I think doing that may bring me a satisfaction and confidence to enjoy my life.
Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals - Aristotle

10 Oct 2016

Today's Sky


My project - Cushion Cover

The other day, I got a nice fabric from a curtain shop. It was very cheap because it was a sample curtain. I am going to make a cushion cover using this fabric. :)


8 Oct 2016

Kachi-Kachi Mountain

Recently I said the big mouse's actions look like Tanuki. Tanuki means a raccoon dog. In my country, as the same as fox, they are known as animals who bewitch or trick people, from some folktales.

There is a story about a raccoon dog, 'Kachi-Kachi Mountain'. It's a revenge story against the greedy and troublesome tanuki. 'Kachi-Kachi' is a clicking sound.

Once upon a time, there was an old couple who lived at the foot of a mountain. The old man was a farmer making some vegetables.

One morning, the old man found that the raccoon dog was eating his vegetables and drove it away. But the raccoon dog came back every day and ate the vegetables from his patch. The old man got so angry. One day he set a trap and caught the raccoon dog. While the old man was absent, the raccoon dog cried and apologised to the old woman. The kind old woman set him free, but he killed her and cooked her in soup. The raccoon dog transformed into the old woman, and waited the old man's return. When he came back, the raccoon dog served him that soup as a dinner.


Source; Wikipedia
One day, the old couple's friend rabbit went to the mountain to get revenge on raccoon dog for them. When the raccoon dog passed, the rabbit asked 'could you help me to carry this hay, then I'll give you the rice ball.' The raccoon dog accepted it and carried the hay on his back and started to walk. While they were walking, the rabbit began to strike flints behind him. 'Hey, rabbit, what's that cackling sounds?' The rabbit relied 'It's the sound of the cackling birds from the cackling mountain.' The rabbit ignited the flame and lit the fire the hay. The flame burned through the wood and raccoon dog's back was burned. 'Ahhh, help me!'.



The next day, the rabbit visited the raccoon dog with red hot peppers paste and said 'This is an excellent medicine for burns. I'll rub some on for you.' But when the medicine touched his burns, he screamed. 'Ahhhh, that hurts!' He rolled around on the ground.

After the raccoon dog's burns healed, the rabbit suggested the raccoon dog build a couple of boats and to go fishing. The rabbit built a wooden boat and a bigger mud-boat. The greedy raccoon dog chose the bigger one so that he can carry a lot of fishes. They set them in the water. The rabbit boat floated and raccoon's boat started to sink. 'Ah, help me!'. The rabbit said 'This is in revenge for the old couple.' The rabbit pushed the raccoon dog into the water using an oar. The raccoon dog was drowned and dead.

I had this book, when I was young. But the story I read was more soft, in which an old woman's leg was just bitten and raccoon dog didn't die, and went to apologised to the couple. Like that, there are some other versions, and I noticed this was originally awful story like Grimm's Fairy Tales. In all ages and in all countries, such stories with lessons and messages are existed. In modern times, it sounds a little bit too much, but it's interesting to know this kind of stories were a warning example to others.

6 Oct 2016

Inbetween

There is something I am not sure of. It's a vision. It's a memory. But I am not sure if it was real, just a dream or unknown past memory. It's about an old house and a place around, where my grandparents lived, where I spent everyday until I went to kindergarten, where I often visited until they moved to another condominium.

Thinking rationally and calmly, it is more likely to be a illusion. If I ask my relatives, they may give me an answer easily. But the vision is so clear, it's too realistic, the answer isn't enough to sweep away. It always confuses me both waking and dreaming.
I saw the wooden door in their kitchen. It was mysterious. But does it exist?
I run through the beautiful flower field behind their house. Was the field there?
I climbed up the hill with my grandfather and ate my favourite sweets on the way to the top while looking down on the house. Was the hill there? Did we really go for a picnic?
Since when, I've been keeping memories? But I can't sweep them away.

5 Oct 2016

Moral

Someone knocked at the front door. It was a strange man. He asked me to use our parking space because he had work in my next door. I permitted it kindly. I thought it's a great difference.

Once I mentioned here about a rude builder who parked his car 'in our parking space' for every weekday over a couple months, as if he was the owner. I was so unpleasant because he didn't say anything. He should have asked us to use it. Once I told him but he only gave me an absentminded response. And he kept ignoring me, even though I met him in front of the door. I boiled with anger. That was not only me, because 3-4 cars (of his co-workers) were always parking on this narrow street.

Only one greeting, one asking, creates a different feel to me. Again, I thought how rude they were.

4 Oct 2016

Uncertain Love

A promising love is sweet and warm, an uncertain love is anxiety and hurt... The termination of the latter is always tragedy (in novels). Like 'Romeo and Juliet', readers think over if there was another way to avoid such ending. If she, if he, if.....

After a long time, I was reading a fiction about a love story, in my native language. It was a skewed love with class differences. Their pride got in the way of being honest and there was a gap which would never be filled. So, what is beyond there? I knew the conclusion and it was so sad. Though, I didn't think it was a tragedy (in a sense). Because they finished their lives with their happy memories, at least... If the author finished the story with happy ending, you can feel the good-aftereffects, but sometimes it's good to bask in the afterglow of sadness. Anyway, it was a nice story.

In the UK, most of books I read are in English language. But unlike English, I realised again that understanding and taking up abilities in my native language are completely different. Of course, I've only spoken Japanese language about 40 years. Now, I speak 'not-perfect English', 'not-fresh Japanese' either, I feel I'm becoming betwixt and between, and another human being.