Showing posts from April, 2014

Iron sea

I was away working in a new place last week. A steel plant I've passed many times, whose smoke stacks remind me strongly of my roots. Quite literally a blast from the past... along with the pervading whiff of coke and the eerie sense that the change that is visible all around even to the outsider, might actually be decline: 'Son, look around you. Do you see the broad streets with green medians, the old rail-bed now a sylvan footpath, and the empty dormitories... do you see the 1 bus an hour, the second-hand car dealerships, and the stacked up tables and chairs in the partitioned cafeteria... I remember when all this was factories and workers and industry, as far as the eye could see, which wasn't far because of the smog...'

Not being an ambulance chaser, I was drawn down the old rail-bed and on towards the sea:

Kids at play

It's the silly season at work and a bunch of the next few weekends are scheduled to be out of my hands. For once, last Sunday lived up to it's name and I headed out with the family to take full advantage. It was a fun day; memories made and captured:


Friday was a family day. The last day of the spring break and Haruki's birthday, giving him the scheduling rights. So, zoo it was. Like most adults, I can take or leave zoos; it's nice to see animals up close, but only for about 2 minutes, until the novelty wears off and the reality sets in. Kids though just want to see the animals, and buy the soft toys. I can't see that I've got that much to gain by denying them. So, for now, I will ignore my reservations and focus on the fact that the zoo's already there and I'm just paying to keep the standards as high as they can be.

I didn't want all my camera gear to come between me and my family, so I left it at home. Ma-chan brought the video camera along, and I just took a few snaps with the phone cam. Between us we captured the day for posterity and managed, despite the best efforts of the very changeable weather, to have a great time.

Aoyama blossoms

As I do from time to time, especially on a beautiful spring morning, I jumped my morning train a couple of stops early and strolled through to my office on foot. I took the scenic route, via the very peaceful Aoyama Cemetery. As well as being the final resting place for many of Tokyo's finest, it's also a great spot for cherry blossom viewing.

The sun had opened them very suddenly last weekend, but the forecast change in the weather was threatening to leave only a very narrow window for catching their full glory. Lucky!