Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Day 334 2016: Variety is the spice of life...

Day 334: ...or action on the port

Don't ask me why or how it came to be. But today, each time I looked up from the desk, or the screen, or the marking...or whatever it was I was pre-occupied with at the time...there was a different little boat out in the harbour. 

It was as if the day was given over to the flotilla of very interesting boats of Ariake. 

There were a couple of regulars, (my favourite little yellow one on blue, with sparkles in one case) and a range of others I've not seen before.

Sparkly start for the l'il yellow tug

Looking a bit...grey

L'il yellow is back

Flying the flag

Seemed to be the day for it

Red cuts through


Timely I guess. The new term has kicked in and with it the new timetable. Barely enough time to get used to the old timetable and we started the next. Such variety keeps us on our toes (but doesn't quite allow for enough time between terms to get all that marking done). 

Still, no complaints from me...it keeps the brain cells ticking over. 

Until the next thing comes along. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.36am, 1.42pm-2.18pm, 3.27pm-4.10pm; 29 November 2016]

Monday, 28 November 2016

Day 333 2016: On a sparkling morning...

Day 333: ...it is all about the performance really

Or, life as an extra. Which is what being an academic feels like at times...just an extra in someone else's life drama. 

And that actually happened today. The first Monday of the new term and I was heading in to take the first lecture of a new course, Japanese politics--something I've studied and researched in one form or another for thirty years and last taught back in the early 2000s before politics courses were overwhelmed by terrorism. 

It was a joy to be back teaching this subject and this time to a group of students  at a Japanese university, mostly Japanese but some Chinese and Korean students too. 

It was a sparkling day, to start. Literally. As you know, dear reader, I have one of the best office views anywhere, and the sunlight on the water danced across the morning. 

Shine on, in passing 

Visage under the bridge

Fly away

Just before the first class however, I noticed that some of life's extras of another kind were working outside. I have mentioned previously the apparent suitability of the port environment for filming. And that was happening, again, right before my eyes. 

Receiving instructions

Trying out

More advice

Fixing the costume 

Another practice

One more try

Behind the scenes scene

All the extras, waiting patiently

That's a wrap, for today

Fascinating to sit in a spot where the overview of the scenes and the behind-the-scenes scenes are so interesting. It was a long day for the extras too, but I bet, like me, they were more than happy in their roles.

As for my class? Yeah, it went along OK. I'll be back. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.10am-9.16am; 9.55am-9.57am, 2.49pm-3.53pm; 28 November 2016]

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Day 332 2016: A few random moments...

Day 332: ...in search of presents

Time is moving on very quickly. Here we are at the end of November, soon I'll be on a plane for a short trip home, well, in about four weeks time. But we know how quickly that can go. 

So in the midst of preparing for tomorrow's new class, today was just a short outing into 'town', or to Ikebukuro, the nearest major junction/shopping area to where I live. Purpose: to find those things people at home have requested especially. If I don't start now, I won't get it done in time. 

There was a lower level of achievement, getting close to the required objects I think. 

The path home was another exercise in random street pics, just like yesterday. 

At the pedestrian crossing

Towards the station

Waiting in line

The way to the station

Christmas window 

The Ikebukuro owl

It feels a bit sneaky with the little cam, just pressing the shutter without any particular view in mind. But it is interesting, in its own way. 

Meanwhile, the shopping continues. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.39pm-3.43pm; 27 November 2016]

Day 331 2016: When work requires...

Day 331: ...loyalty service

The life of an academic involves certain freedoms, use of one's time. If I choose to work at the office on a Saturday because I am writing, I can. If I choose to work at the library on a Saturday because I'm researching, I can...

But occasionally there is a price to be paid. Like today. I went to work, not to 'work' as such (though there is much to do) but because our attendance at a public forum was 'respectfully required'...

Oh well.

I did get a chance for a quick bite at the foodfest (see yesterday Day 330), and on the way home, I tried my hand at a little random 'street' photography, trying to capture the stations and general urbanity. 

Colombian coffee and a beef aleppa, very noice

Panel discussion

KokusaiTenjijoMae, the station nearest the uni

Down the escalator...

...to the platform (where, as you can see, I have just missed the train)

Now, the wait

It's here

And seated

Up the escalator...

Along to the next train

...without stopping at the shop

Through the gates...

Platform 2

Waiting for the bus

...or ride a bike home

I probably need to get out more. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 12.41pm, 3.35pm; Lumix TZ-85, 6.30pm-7.51pm; 26 November 2016]

Friday, 25 November 2016

Day 330 2016: A bit of gumbo and hot wine?

Day 330: ...don't mind if I do.

So it is not every day you find a New Orleans food stall on the way to the train station after longish day in the office. 

I noticed on the way through this morning that something was being set up in the large exhibition area between the station and the uni. For those of you familiar with Brisbane, it sort of resembles the space around the cultural centre forecourt; tonight, it resembled one of those wonderful food festivals that the cultural centre has also become rather adept at hosting. 

And tonight didn't just showcase some of the best of Japanese food, but also a few stalls from around the world, including the aforementioned New Orleans stall, featuring the aforementioned gumbo and hot wine (a bit like mulled wine, just hotter). I was happy to try some of that, having visited New Orleans some twenty years ago--I went for the music, fell in love with the food, also.

And hot wine on a cold night? Well, what else would one do. 

It was a fine day, post-snow


Because Friday

The Big Sight...

...does its Big Screen

Food festival time

I'll be back

Over the fire

Entree: gumbo and hot wine


Mains : soba

Dessert : Sazae-san baked custard pie
(Sazae-san is the mother-figure in a famous Japanese cartoon family; predating the Simpsons)

There was still a bit of snow around today, despite the fine weather. It will take some time to melt I gather. Oh well, I have to go to work again tomorrow, and the forecast is cold, and the food festival continues until Sunday. It might demand more hot wine...

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.41pm-3.42pm, 6.35pm-7.26pm; 25 November 2016]