Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Solar light

I love this idea. It's so simple, cheap, and extraordinarily effective. The cheapest light bulb EVER.

Saturday, 24 September 2011


I am 'watching' the All Blacks vs France Rugby World Cup game on Twitter. It is not on Japanese TV. This means that I have been reading tweets in English and French, and I must say I am enjoying discovering that I understand French.

Take this, for example:

Franchement il sont courageux et ont du mental. Ils n'ont rien lâché malgré ces terribles essais intérieurs assassins.

That was really easy to understand.

The French, they are courageous and mental. They are not lazily malingering against the especially terrible interior assassins.

I'm thinking of becoming a translator.

Monday, 12 September 2011

RIver visit

Today I went for a short bicycle ride, and visited the river near where i used to teach. I hadn't been there for a long time. I did not stay long, though, because it turned out hotter than I expected and I was getting a headache.

I met some of my old friends, and a few new ones.

I met a heron. 

Then I met an egret.

Then I met some ducks. They looked at me funny. That made me pretty sure we'd met before.

A carp surfaced to say hello and ask if I had any food. Sadly, I didn't.

I also saw a grossly overweight Garbage Fish, sulking grumpily in the shallows. These are fairly common and I don't usually bother photographing them.

 Next I saw a Tin Can Fish. I have seen many of those before, too.

I also encountered an elderly woman feeding pigeons and sparrows.

And as I was leaving I had the great good fortune to spot, across the road, the rare and colourful Brassiere Bird, draped languidly in a tree.

While it is not uncommon to catch a glimpse of the Brassiere Bird in the wild, it is unusual to see them out in the open like this. 
It must have been the heat.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011


This tropical storm has been moving so slowly it has lasted three days, or is it four? For two days we had warnings issued by the Met Office, but nothing much happened. Then yesterday afternoon I went out to get an acupuncture treatment and then have dinner with a friend, and was relieved to see the warnings had been downgraded to 'advisories.' We had a lovely Chinese meal, in one of the big covered shopping streets in Osaka, and then I went down to the underground station to catch the train. The train went underground until two stops before mine, and when we came out above ground I was surprised to see it was raining hard. It had been raining a little when I left the acupuncture clinic, but nothing serious.

At my station it was raining very hard indeed. I stood under cover, waiting and hoping it was one of those brief squalls. Finally I got sick of waiting, and made a dash for my bicycle. I had an umbrella, but this was not umbrella sort of rain. My head stayed dry, or at least dryish, but when I got home the only option I had, really, was to strip off just inside the door and make a run for the bathroom to grab a towel for myself and a bucket to put my clothes into to get them to the washing machine without dripping water all over the floor. It was THAT sort of rain.

It's raining again now.

It has been a lot worse in other areas in Japan, and there have been mudslides and flash floods and so on. So far twenty-one people have died and fifty-four are missing.

It was not raining when I took this picture. I wish I'd had my camera instead of my phone, though. (For those who know Osaka, this is the crosswalk between the JR and Hankyu stations.)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Typhoon Talas

A typhoon is due to hit us tomorrow and/or Saturday. It is really just a tropical storm still, and not expected to get much more powerful, but still, it is very large and is expected to make landfall in the Osaka/Kyoto area. I don't think we've had a direct hit here for quite a few years, so the next couple of days could be quite interesting.

It's already raining.