Thursday, 30 March 2017

Day 89, 30 Mar 2017: Today it is the tulips...

Day 89: ...for tomorrow it will be ...?

It is spring. And flowers are coming out all over the place. Some are cultured and perhaps a little out of place; others bloom where and when they should.

I'd be hard-pressed to declare a 'favourite' flower. From a photographic point of view, I enjoy taking them all in all their shapes, colours and sizes. I like them when they are new, and I especially like them when they are losing their colour and bloom. 

I guess my favourite flower would be whichever one I happen to be photographing at the time. 

Today, it is the turn of the tulips. 

Into the centre

Channelling Georgia O'K




Standing tall

Colour patches




Lining up

Not actually tulips

There's always one (or two)

Everyone and everybird was taking in the colour


Twin set


Below the wheel

Colour contrast

Taking these pics today was a stark reminder of how quickly the first year here has passed. I looked up last year's blog. Yep, last year, day 89, I was taking photos of the tulips here outside in the park near work. 

There will be more to come. And right now, the tulips are my favourite flowers. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.36am-11.45am; 30 March 2017]

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Day 88, 29 Mar 2017: Work and play on the outside...

Day 88:, work, work on the inside

The new academic year approaches; academics are preparing courses; students are, probably, enjoying the last of the break before the stressing recommences (not something we the academics encourage of course, the stressing bit). 

And one thing can be said about the portside (well, lots of things really, as you would know, dear regular reader), there is always a fair share of work and play going on outside. Today, the work v play division was fairly evenly split. 

That job!

Getting ready


Final rehearsal?



Stage two, stage right

The littlest boat

In the pink in the fading light

I'm yet to find out just what the open auditions/performances are in fact all about. Who knows, we may be looking at the very next 'big thing' in Japanese popular culture...that will be more work for me, more play for them. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.35am, 1.51pm, 2.01pm, 2.10pm, 3.22pm, 4.16pm, 4.44pm; 29 March 2017]

Day 87, 28 Mar 2017: The blue skies and the big blue seas...

Day 87: ...just go!

While a large cyclone was battering the coast of my home state overnight and this morning, the weather here was being more like the Tokyo spring we expect, just a little colder than usual. The blue skies on the way to work made a picture (or four).

Blooms near the bus stop

The TOC building near work

The tower

The wheel peaks over the upper entrance at work

And while the semester doesn't formally start for a few weeks yet, I had another round of meetings with students to encourage their participation in a range of study activities, on campus and overseas. And just as it was with students back home, students today are keen but cautious about taking up studying overseas opportunities. 

I recall my own undergraduate years when I figured to get any fluency in the language, I was going to have to spend some time, any time in Japan. I didn't worry about scholarships (none--except for a one way airfare), credit for my studies (none--I had to go after I'd finished my studies), or not understanding Japanese well enough to live there (that was the whole point)...

These days, students want scholarships, credit, pre-travel fluency and not too much work. Yes, I know, times have changed and the world is a different place but the fundamentals of studying overseas haven't really changed. 

(Nor does a day on the port.)

Speaking of overseas adventure, the research ship is back

Getting supplies

The reassurance of the everyday

The little yellow fellow

Often times, it is reassurance for their parents just as much as the students but I'd encourage a sense of adventure--think blue skies and big oceans...just go!

[Camera : iPhone6S, 8.34am, 10.12am-10.16am; Lumix TZ-85, 10.31am, 12.48pm, 1.31pm, 2.48pm; 28 March 2017]

Monday, 27 March 2017

Day 86, 27 Mar 2017: Started out grey...

Day 86: ...ended in light and colour

Yesterday's rain continued today. And unlike yesterday, I didn't have the option to stay home and work. Today was a day planned to meet and greet the new second year students as they commence their studies at the Ariake campus.

It was a cold, cold morning; that snow/sleet prediction was right at about 3.00am and by 7.30am get up and go time, it wasn't snowing at least but the rain remained. 

Tough start to the day. 

I made it, eventually and along the way wondered where the two-month long break had suddenly gone...

Racing in 

Clouds beginning to break up

Letting off steam

Clearing up 

A contrasting reflection 

And a touch of colour to end the day

...there is another conference paper to complete for next week, a couple of commentaries to revise and time needed to think about new classes starting in a couple of weeks time. 

There will soon be little time to worry about the weather. It will simply be onwards and upwards, every day regardless. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.37pm-2.38pm, 4.43pm, 6.00pm; 27 March 2017] 

Day 85, 26 Mar 2017: Rainy days and Sundays...

Day 85: ...combine for a day at home

Despite all best intentions to go to the office today to capitalise on yesterday's excellent results, the rain and the cold brought a swift end to that idea. Just as we were experiencing unusually hot and humid weather at home last week, this week in Japan, the week that cherry blossoms should be everywhere, the weather has decided to take a U-turn back to winter. There is even some snow/sleet forecast for the early hours of the morning...

Although the office would have been the ideal place to do my work, I did manage a little bit of reading and filing here today. I didn't really get much beyond the four walls of the room however and when you look at the pics...

Drops on wires

Here, there...

...and everywhere 

Colour amidst the greys

Plums done

Tile wall across the road

...the bleakness more or less tells the story on its own. 

Still, it does show that even on a bleak day, if you look closely enough, there is always something to note...

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 4.56pm-4.57pm; 26 March 2017]

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Day 84, 25 Mar 2017: No complaints...

Day 84: ...much achieved.

Yes, I have to say, it was a reasonably satisfactory day, for a day in the library. My attention is now firmly attuned to the Chicago conference paper so that meant a day in the National Library seeking out more sources. 

I have written previously about the library. I first started using it in 1988 and have been a regular since. Indeed, it is probably number one on my personal list of favourite places to visit in Tokyo. Not a highlight for many, I appreciate, but it is for me. 

I like its order, the flow of work: from requesting journals from the catalogue to ordering the copying of articles to the morning coffee-lunch-afternoon tea cycle through the coffee shop downstairs as I variously await the copying and delivery of texts. 

It is a routine that has barely changed in almost thirty years, even some of the staff (and the menu) remain the same. Today was a little different, the computer hardware is newish but the search and find functions remain pretty much the same. 

Blue sky buds


My home away from home

And peeking through...

Budding buddies

We're all ready for next week

Traces under the blue sky

And yes, Parliament House;
no trip to the library is complete without glancing across the road

And the other end of the scale, on the way home I went to a camera shop to print some of the Gold Coast pics for an acquaintance; four pics selected and printed and paid for entirely on the one machine, straight off the SD card. While some things remain pretty much the same, some others are forever in a state of change. 

A good work day, overall. Even if it was Saturday for everyone else.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 4.11pm-4.18pm; 25 March 2017]