Sunday, 22 April 2018

Day 112/ 365: In search of history...


I took the long way around to the office today. I have, for some time, been meaning to travel to Chiba, not far from the work train station, to visit timber surfboard shaper and custodian of Japan's surfing history, 'Nobby' Ohkawa. He also shapes replicas of Japan's original body boards, the itago.

Nobby's name kept coming up as I visited surf shops, and researched the archives piecing together Japanese surfing history, particularly with the Olympics approaching and surfing now a demonstration sport...

I went to Chiba looking for a shop but instead found a little shed in an industrial area and one man and his jigsaw, shaping boards and fins made out of timber. Beautiful work. I've ordered one for myself, for research purposes of course...

We chatted about surfing, he brought out one of his treasures, one of the original itago. As I asked to photograph it, he brought out another and another...each one with its own history. 

History lesson 1

Variations on a theme

There's a love story in there (Yoko)

Pine trees

On the canal

The long view

A blue sky

In between 

Patches of colour

Water falls 

Gosh it was exciting and we talked about working together on that history. Some days I love my job, I'm lucky I get to do what I do. I walked back to the station, twenty minutes or so, delighting in the sights and a momentum for this project.

Oh, and I did eventually get back to the office, to do what had to be done...

Good day.

[Camera : iPhone6s, 3.30pm-4.01pm; 22 April 2018] 

Day 111/365: Planning the next move...

...taking a breather

It's been a heady few weeks. Teaching has resumed for the new academic year; I am coming to terms with my new position and all that entails; I'm trying to be a good teacher, good researcher and aiming to make a positive contribution in my new role...

I could have done 100 things today but I decided I needed a little breather. 

The day sort of whittled away. I have a favourite Saturday morning TV program which follows someone's adventures on a train line, getting on and off, exploring things within walking distance of different stations along the line. I'm inspired every week and every week I imagine I'll do something like that. 

One day. 

Today, I just went a little way down the track, schlepped my way around Ikebukuro looking for this and that, and then just sat for a moment and watched the world go by...



Skirts and jeans

Bic Camera (yes, my camera shop, that very branch)


Tote bag

Karaoke rooms (the sign)

Flower bed

I quite admire true street photographers too. One day I'll get the courage up to do that properly too.

[Camera : iPhone6s, 6.07pm-6.10pm; 21 April 2018] 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Day 110/365: Twilight time...

...there's a pattern developing here

So today was the first of seven Fridays as we run a bit of a trial for our first year students. As you might recall, dear reader, our university has two campuses. The western campus is where the first-years take their general education classes for a year before coming east-south-east to the Ariake campus by the Bay. 

Previously, we've waited until they move east to focus on specialised politics classes. This year, we will be having a seminar class with them, right up front, to introduce them to the basics. 

All very good in theory, and indeed, as one who views first-year uni as a critical year in the education process, in practice as well. The only little niggle I have is that the class is first up at our western campus, then I need to make the dash across town to teach my other classes in the afternoon... is a bit of a rush. But I made it. 

A visitor to my office

Rainbow Bridge (not very rainbowy)

A hint of Tokyo Tower


Tokyo Bay Bridge
They no longer light-up the wheel and i do not know why...

Azaleas by street lamp

Coffee jelly ala affogato

At the end of a busy week, it certainly felt like the twilight zone I noted outside when I finally had a chance to stop and smell the coffee (jelly, affogato-style). 

[Camera : iPhone6s, 12.55pm, 9.19pm, 9.32pm; Canon EOS M5, 6.33pm-6.36pm; 20 April 2018] 

Day 109/365: Oops...

...where did the day go?

Well that was interesting. Just two pics. All day. The port looked busy...snap.

I must have been too, because that's all I found today. There was a special presentation by the vice-chancellor to new members of exec, ceremonial beads that we are to look after and recognise with reverence the enormity of the task we are taking on as university senior staff. 

Fair enough. 

Parking space

Well it was a nice day

Oh, there was another meeting later in the day. Fancy that. In between, a class and more prep for tomorrow, a new day in the new year curriculum. 

I need to be prepared...

[Camera : Canon EOS M5, 11.23pm, 11.24pm; 19 April 2018] 

Day 108/365: Sun sets...

...on a busy day

I'm going to have to watch my words on this blog really. From here on in, every day is going to be a busy day actually. Whereupon, once I had a fair bit of time to myself outside teaching, now each hour seems to be taken up with other demands on my time, mostly meetings. Actually, a lot of meetings. 

Many, many meetings. 

I'm going to have to try and make time for breathing. Which for me, means taking a few minutes out of the day to see life through the lens. 

Today wasn't that day however. Two meetings including one I have to chair. In Japanese. It is a challenge. I just hope I get it right...

Going down

At a distance

Cloud looms

All the orange

meanwhile, on the other side...

Moon returns

So really, all I could do was watch the sun set on the day before  returned to the office to continue with tomorrow's preparation. There might be many meetings, but there is always a class just waiting to be taught. 

[Camera : iPhone6s, 6.06pm-6.07pm, 7.33pm; 18 April 2018] 

Day 107/365: A little rain never hurt...

...may even enhance

Today's afternoon walk was interrupted by an evening function which meant leaving the office for a 'faraway' place (about 48minutes as the train flies) rather than strolling around the promenade. 

These evening functions (in this case welcoming a visiting scholar) are only going to increase with this new position. I guess there are worse things than work functions that require eating exquisite food...

On the way to the station though, I had to walk between the raindrops, and capture those ones that landed on the azaleas...

Bus stop poppies


Holding up

Rain on the petals

Raindrops lined up 


The azaleas are in full bloom all around at the moment, mostly in trimmed hedges which look like huge pink and white and fuchsia logs. Stunning.The dinner was pretty good too.

[Camera : iPhone6s, 9.10am, 5.41pm-5.42pm; 17 April 2018] 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Day 106/365: Flicking the switch... slightly obsessive?

That was the question I was asking myself this afternoon on my brief photo walk. After 'accidentally' capturing the sparrows at the bubbler a couple of weeks ago, I seem to be seeking them out more and more. Of course, I haven't seen anything like what I saw that first time, but is that going to stop me? Unlikely. Photography will do that to you. 

The walk to work today was sunny enough to capture some of the stunning azalea bushes around at the moment...

Deep pink 

Sunny view

Just like mum'a azaleas

Last, last gasp

I think I can...



Anything there? 

But back to those birds and the bubbler. This probably won't be the last time. You have been alerted. Please don't be alarmed. It is just a photographic obsession. I'm sure...

[Camera : iPhone6s, 12.09pm, Canon EOS M5, 5.44pm-5.45pm; 16 April 2018]