Showing posts from 2008

melbourne Cup Day

The first Tuesday in November is a holiday in Melbourne for the running of the Melbourne Cup. Usually I am down at Aireys for an extended long weekend , but the house is being used this year so I planned a different day. I am not really interested in the Cup carnival, not being a gambler at all,but the horses are beautiful and there is always a good story of a well deserved win by horse jockey or trainer.
The forecast was for rain and a cool day but after clouds shifted in the morning, it was a cool breeze but clear blue skies, and warm out of the wind. I went into the National Gallery Victoria to see their Australian exhibitions There was a photo exhibition a retrospective, called No standing only Dancing, by Rennie Ellis. The title comes from one of his photos of grafitti. Ellis was renowned for his candid documentary images of contemporary Australian life. He was best known for his photographs of social events, such as music festivals, fashion parades or nightclubs. During his car…

Days at Aireys

The weather has been lovely even with some heavy rain on Wednesday night. In front of the house on the corner two Sulphur crested cockatoos have taken up residence, scratching and clearing the ground in front. They are there every time I walk past and are not bothered by the dogs , who admittedly just look, and don't try and chase them. The photo looks like they are in a cage , but it is the fence behind them. The trees in the house have shot up The self seeded wattles in the front have really created a new look to the front. I am working on keeping alive the small natives I planted in May rather than plant anything new as yet But the drought has certainly made the trees look thinner especially the wattle out the back, or maybe it's just getting old like we all are!

Beach walk and Halloween

It was a lovely morning so I headed off for a walk along the Cliff and to the beach. Both Spencer and Sponty seemed taken with the idea as well! I had them on separate leads as Spencer does not know the meaning of 'heel' until you have been drilling him for half the walk. Sponty, on the other hand is a dream, I kept checking the lead, as it was so light, to be sure he hadn't gone! However once off the road Sponty stays on the lead as he NEVER comes when called, and is not too keen on getting wet either.On the cliff walk they both enjoyed the bush in their own way, Spencer disappearing into the ti-tree and Sponty stopping to sniff everything. But once we hit the beach (the only people there) Spencer was off into the water while Sponty happily walked on the lead, sniffing at the many parts of a dead gull strewn along the beach. At least he didn't roll in it!
The kids next door (~3 and 7) were calling hello as I came back, and the boy had on a Halloween mask done beautifu…


I am now down at Aireys Inlet feeling more peaceful.
It was great to have all the family there for the funeral, and for Nick and Kate to meet their 'cousins' Daniel and Rhiannon. They hit it off immediately, and maybe will spend some of this summer together here at Aireys. There was also a great evening at the Beauy (Beaumaris) Pub, with childhood neighbours. The girls from next door, one from up the hill, and one from over the road! We spent a riotous evening, helping draw up a map of the 4 local streets and all who lived there (including the dogs) we calculated if we were all out playing together there would have been 26 kids out and about, all returning home when the Meehan dinner bell rang!
Celia and I spent some time cleaning out years' collections of Maddy's junk, mainly just the paper, jars, bags and rafia. Celia is a cleaner of the 1st order so we got into the kitchen cupboard with energy to burn. Although Maddy hoarded everything it was a treat to come across ou…

Returning home

I saw Celia off to Melbourne the morning after we left Kyoto and Takumi. Little did I know I would be leaving as well in 48hours. I was on the phone to my brother Andrew when Celia arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday, at the hospital to see Maddy. She was too unwell for Andrew to take her home as planned, so we decided to transfer her to a Hospice, Bethlehem. I started organising to vacate my apartment and change my flight and get home. Qantas were very unhelpful, next seat available was 21st October (this was the 7th), but the family in Melbourne got on to it and rang me at 6am to say they had a flight with JAL on Friday , giving me 48 hours to close the apartment and move out.
I moved into a hotel on Wednesday night, and was there when I heard Maddy had passed away quietly with everyone else there. As my flight was not till 9.30pm Thursday I had a last day in Tokyo.
As I had to be up early to get the Utilities disconnected etc I ended up on the train at peak hour. This train is just arriv…


Day 35 Vermillion
The bright red pigment from Cinnabar is a wonderful feature of the architecture and landscape of Japan. This is the giant Tori (gate) leading to Heien Jingu Shrine in Kyoto. All the wooden buildings here are this colour.

We had a lovely visit in Kyoto with Sakurako and her family.She and Kazuhiro had a baby boy on 25th September. weighing 2888gms and called Takumi. In Japan names are "made up" by parents using the meaning of Kanji Characters. Many combinations of Kanji are popular so the same names are popular. Sakura-ko e.g. is cherry blossom's child. Kazuhiro's name is made of two kanji characters kazu peaceful and hiro ocean. Takumi's name is Taku explorer and mi sea.
He was asleep when we arrived and except for a feed and a bath stayed asleep the whole 8 hours of our visit!! He had been awake every two hours the night before so Sakurako was also resting when we arrived. She has moved home to her mother (traditional custom) for a month, to be l…

Nihon Minka En

Today we started our trip to Shinjuku, starting earlier than usual about 9.30 and so there was still quite a busy time on the trains. The carriage we entered at Meguro was very full; after we had gone a stop or two I realised that all the people were standing. The seats had been folded up so there was more room. It was not the whole train but not sure how many carriages. Not sure what Melbourne commuters would think of that!
As we left the train we had to look for the Odakyu line, We said this to each other and as we headed for a sign that said straight ahead a young woman beside me said the Odakyu line is there, just on our right. So we thanked her and went in while we were perusing the schedule signs (in Japanese and waiting for it to roll into English) another woman Station staff came up and asked where we wanted to go and then assured us the train at 9:59 was the Express we wanted.
We were headed for Nihon Minka En known for the remarkable collection of old Japanese folk houses…

The Big Day

The day dawned well with a sunny morning after 3 days of rain; a good omen.Thank you to all the cards, gifts, emails and e cards I received! I had saved them to open this morning, so that took a while as my coffee cooled! Celia surprised me with a Lumix Digital camera! I had said to her the other day that I thought I would get a new camera on my next trip as the Aldi one (albeit great) I have is not great on zoom, and she smiled and said "good idea!"
So after doing the washing (it has been so damp things seem mouldy) we walked up to Teien Art gallery, my favourite Museum. They had an exhibition Art Deco in the former home of Prince Asaka. I thought it was an art deco exhibition, but it was actually the house itself open, done annually I gather. When exhibitions are on I spend my time peering behind the displays to see the heater vents, the doors etc. Today it was all on show and you could take photos!
We then toured the Japanese style garden and tea house then rested in the o…


Day 29 (-1) Service.
In Japan the customer is king. The custom of a welcome greeting to everyone who walks in the door with "Irashaimasu," the same greeting comes from any staff you encounter as you move around the aisle or displays. In some shops it is a competition between the staff to see who can say it first! There is always someone nearby when you have an inquiry and they will go out of their way to show you where something is. They are deeply apologetic if they cannot help! These staff at LOFT are in 'uniform' for Halloween, Japan taking on any excuse to expand their marketing scope!

We did a few things today. The first was a visit to the nearby Matsuoka Museum, to see an exhibition of ceramics dating from 1600. Amazingly beautiful pieces. Some very bright, others very subtle.
It was a surprise to see they also had in their Collection works of Henry Moore (familiar to you if you have ever been to the Art Centre in Melbourne.) They had 4 of his big pieces, as well…

Opera City

Day 28 (-2) Tea and coffee. While I love the iced tea, hot tea, green tea, coffee in its varied forms it is important to keep an eye on the price.Today was the first time I got caught out with a price (must have been the distraction of Celia's company,) Celia and I stopped for a break and shared a lovely fruit topped slice (428y) and two iced teas When we left the bill was 1,728y!! Turns out the iced tea were 650y each!! Usually they are 400y at their most excessive.

We did some shopping today, having a great time in the stationery store buying all sorts of Japanese design post-it notes, cards and Celia got a new diary; their designs are so pretty and appealing. The Artre Centre at Meguro station is a collection of stores in an open space and has some nice clothes, shops as well as the the stationery,book shop, records, bakery and cosmetics.
We went on to the Tokyo Opera City building to see a Photography exhibition of Japanese and Australian stuff. It was fascinating, but a bit too…