Monday, 22 May 2017

Day 142, 22 May 2017: Another day at the office...

Day 142: ...another day on the port

But with added colour and shape. There was a new boat on the 'block' today, low sides, moving sideways. Turned out it sidled up to one of the ships in port to, what, transfer stuff I suppose. And it did its job and the went away. 

Sometimes, I think I'd like a job like that, turn up, do it, go away. I don't know quite what that might be these days but I do know teaching keeps you at the desk for more hours than most people realise. Or, when I say teaching, being Monday, I mean a research day as we begin to flesh out the new round of research grant proposals. 

On approach

Not one for big waves

Spinning around

Sidling up

Lil yella of course


More colourful hull

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea...sometimes I just think I'd like a job there...but I'll just watch from afar for now. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 12.18pm-1.14pm, 2.19pm, 4.19pm, 5.27pm; 22 May 2017]

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Day 141, 21 May 2017: Not just another day at the beach...

Day 141: ...but actual waving...

Into the water this week, finally, after all the wandering around the coasts and beaches. After becoming a member last week, I thought, heck, why not; we're in for temps in the high 20s today so I figured if I headed to the beach a little bit later I'd miss the crowds and look forward to getting a little bit wet, at least.

Which is more or less how it happened except that by the time I arrived, the tide was running out and the wind was blowing up, in the wrong direction. 

Nevertheless, I gave it a shot. 

And despite everything running against me, it was great to be back in the water, instead of just watching (which is fine of course) or photographing it (which is also a great way to spend time).

All the crows

All the crowds

Last sunbeams

Home time

Sunlit seaweed

A little break

Sun begins to set

Rubbish shot

Sand castle




Last effort

Sun down

On the way back to the train station, I spent a bit more time photographing the end of the day and then the train trip home was delayed due to accidents at other stations. But, I swimming in the surf again and that's got to be a good thing. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.20pm-3.22pm, 6.11pm-6.25pm; 21 May 2017] 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Day 140, 20 May 2017: An elephant always remembers...

Day 140: ...or never forgets

And this one shall be remembered, now and forever. Today's story is about Hanako the elephant. A bit sad really. 

I had to attend the Musashino campus today for a special university commemoration. It is an annual event. I was last here a couple of weeks ago for a special lecture and before that, after completing some chores, I headed to Inokashira Park for a walk, you might recall dear reader...

Anyway, in the last couple of weeks, a statue of Hanako the elephant has been unveiled near Kichikoji train station, where I was today. 

Hanako died last year, aged 69 after approximately 67 years in captivity. She came to Japan from Thailand, aged two. She started out in Ueno Zoo, and ended up in Inokashira Zoo, where she died, just down the road. 

The plaque

All the wrinkles


From afar

Front on

Ear, ear

Trunk call

Interesting, a clothes shop across the way had a story about Hanako

Story board detail

Campus colour

Her captivity was not without controversy. After accidentally causing the death of a zookeeper, she was forever chained in her cage. She was dubbed the 'loneliest elephant' and there had been petitions for her release. 

The stature is particularly realistic but I'm not quite sure why it has been placed here in the middle of the very busy station square. The park surely would have been nicer. 

Anyway, Hanako will not be forgotten. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.34pm-3.55pm; iPhone6S, 9.41am; 20 May 2017] 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Day 139, 19 May 2017: Looking to far horizons...

Day 139: ...or merely head in the clouds?

Today it was the clouds. Some days, more than others, they just catch your eye and the movement is a little bit mesmerising, in between classes of course. 

Bit surprising given the hazy start to the day. Hard to tell whether it was the impending heat or haze from the transport around the place. Anyway, it eventually cleared up and indeed, by the end of the day, the clouds themselves had gone too. 

But today was a day for the planes rather than the boats. Hundreds fly in and out everyday, somehow they just seem to stand out a bit more when that big cloud is hovering behind. 

Hazy start

Through the clouds


And over

Clear skies

And good evening 

It was then back to the gym, for an extra session to make up for yesterday and the weekend...but not before the sun hid itself behind the buildings and over the freeway. A nice day for looking towards the far horizons and thinking about what is ahead.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.35am, 12.43pm-12.45pm, 3.15pm, 6.17pm; 19 May 2017] 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Day 138, 18 May 2017: The best seat in the house...

Day 138: ...isn't always mine

I like to think my view of the world is pretty hard to beat. By which I mean, my actual office view. My political views are always open to debate. But I digress. 

Today, however, there were a few people I might have been willing to swap places with, just for a change of view. 

The port was busy today with the barges which, amongst other projects, are busy with infrastructure for the Tokyo Olympics. And I suppose someone has to sit high and dry to keep all the pipes in place. 

Then there were the window cleaners, heads in the clouds today...

Like barges passing in the day (I expect it is dangerous for barges to pass in the night...)

Holding the pipes together

Under the bridge

All the way through to the end

Leaving traces

Working in the clouds

A student visited my office today to enquire about some readings. She saw the view of the port from my office today for the first time. I might be used to it but it takes a student or another visitor to remind me, it really is a grand view. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.11am-11.46am; 18 May 2017]

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Day 137, 17 May 2017: A big day...

Day 137: ...for the little things

Wednesday is the main day set aside this semester to focus on class materials for the rest of the week. It is also the day I try and do all the little bits and pieces that need to be done over the course of a typical week, the administrivia of the job (it actually needs more than one day on the week but there you go...).

I did manage to squeeze in a few extra minutes to continue yesterday's writing tasks as various (mostly self-imposed) deadlines loom. 

Today on the port it was the day for the little boats, the little tugs, the barges and the dredges that might look small but do all the grunt work out on the Bay. Or so it seems to me. They're a bit of a metaphor for my work really--much grunt for small things.

Carry that weight

Carried that weight (somewhere) 


Two yellas!

Yellow under the bridge

And today, instead of doing the walking/cycling side of gym work, I tried out the 'relaxation lounge', one of those massage chairs with moving parts...little parts, big punch.

...the jury is still out. Worth trying though. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.16pm, 2.23pm, 2.42pm, 2.49pm, 3.00pm; 17 May 2017] 

Day 136, 16 May 2017: If at first you don't succeed...

Day 136: ...keep at it

I'm preparing a couple or three publication submissions at the moment: a book, a couple of articles, a new conference paper...the list goes on.

I'm also aiming to be more diligent, more focussed on getting that work done without looking out the window too much (and imagining myself back at the beach--see yesterday and the day before). 

I am also getting myself off to the gym at the end of each weekday, so I'm really working on the focussed bit (I'm still working on it).

But there is also something about being ten floors above while the rest of the world works below. Sometimes you see the most interesting things.

Like these lads, working on their skateboard moves...

Over, or through?

Almost there 

Planning a move

And again

Well, that's one way to do it

Once more, with grace

Still there, as the lights came on (and I went to the gym)

Now skateboarding, along with surfing, is a demonstration sport at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics so one could argue that I was doing a little comparative research with this observation. And despite a stint with skateboarding myself back in the dark ages 1970s, I'm glad I chose surfing, much more my pace. 

But good luck to the lads, they certainly spent a lot of time working on their moves. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, on extreme telephoto lens mode, 5.03pm-5.08pm, 6.30pm; 16 May 2017]