Friday, 17 November 2017

Day 321, 17 Nov 2017: Craning for a view...

Day 321: ...working hard for a festival

There was a Qld premier who once said you could judge the state's economic health by the number of cranes on the skyline. Well, I guess on a port those cranes have a different purpose but there has been a rathe large one on the horizon of late. 

It comes and goes, I don't know quite how it is moved around. But it was back today, and just stood out. 

The window cleaners were back at work. 

And down below?

All the barging

Crane of cranes

Minor cranes

Best view

Office view

Preparations in the quad for another weekend of showing off student creativity with a student festival and open day at the Ariake campus. It is going to be a fun* weekend We work hard for these days. (*fun qualified...I have 'meet the parent interviews')

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 10.28am, 12.58pm-12.59pm, 2.41pm; 17 November 2017] 

Day 320, 16 Nov 2017: So much blue...

Day 320: much sparkle

How do these blue skies happen? They are just so exhilarating. The clarity, the sun, the sparkles. I had work to do today, of course, last days of term three before term four starts (next week!) but so much of the day was just so.

Of course, it didn't start like that. An accident on on the metro affected my usual train line to work requiring a bit of quick thinking, alternate routes, a bit of annoyance...

Clear skies above

Sparkles to the right...

Blue water to the left (same time)


But really, the sparkles from the office, at the end of the line, at the end of the morning's disruption made it fade away pretty quickly. 

Oh, until the evening staff meeting. Enough said. Staff meetings need more sparkles. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.35am-11.36am, 1.42pm; 16 November 2017]

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Day 319, 15 Nov 2017: A resounding yes...

Day 319: ...rainbows win

All day today, my social media timelines have rained rainbows (not technically speaking). The long-awaited result of the postal survey was announced early this morning my time and the result was a resounding yes, a great relief I imagine for LGBTQI friends and colleagues but a process they shouldn't have had to endure. Imagine being surveyed about your rights by an entire nation. This is not the intent of citizen referenda used elsewhere nor is it a 'democratic' and 'fair' process as spruiked by anti-ssm advocates. 

It was prying, unnecessary and unfair. But the result was celebrated all day (and probably into the night). 

There is a rainbow bridge not far from my office and I hoped it might be lit up tonight by coincidence. It wasn't. But the sky, approaching sunset, did its very best to add, if not rainbows, then some rather lovely pastels to the atmosphere. 

Sunset clouds 1

Sunset clouds 2

Sunset clouds 3

Congratulations my friends. But may you never have to be put through such undignified processes ever again. Best wishes and happily ever afters to you all. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 4.41pm; 15 November 2017] 

Day 318, 14 Nov 2017: A touch of rain...

Day 318: ...winter approaches

Very early start today. The Peace Studies course final assessment presentation was to start at 9.10 sharp and since I told students last week the door would be locked then and they wouldn't be able to join the class until the break...then I had to make sure I got there too. 

Early start. Hoping the trains would work in all directions. On time. 

Some of the students' work
They did. Fortunately. 

Now there is a pile of marking to be done by next week. Oh the joys of academe. 

At some point too, it started raining while I was examining and assessing. And the chill winds of winter are approaching, the trees have lost nearly all their leaves. it is happening rather quickly. 

A shower

Is it winter yet/

The view from the office always offers something interesting, whatever the season. 

[Camera : iPhone6s, 11.46am, Lumix TZ-85, 2.57pm-2.58pm; 14 November 2017] 

Day 317, 13 Nov 2017: Let happiness be...

Day 317: ...every day

My University established a happiness research institute last year. It is part of the university's mission statement to 'create peace and happiness in the world'...let's not worry about the small stuff!

As part of the institute's program, we hold seminars, symposiums, fora and the like for staff and students alike to think about the big questions. Today we had two visitors from Bhutan, a country that has made it its business over the last decade or so to transform the world's idea of productivity from Gross Domestic or National Product (GD/NP) to Gross National Happiness (GNH). 

Neten Zangmo (L) and Tzelin Dolzi

It was a delightful 90 minute discussion of positivity and hope (without being too detached with a rose-coloured view). 

There was interpretation going on between Bhutanese, English and Japanese, ideas flowing and to watch the two guests exude a real sense of calm and contentment was a lesson in itself. 

It was certainly an inspiring moment in the day. 

[Camera : iPhone6s, 1.35pm; 13 November 2017] 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Day 316, 12 Nov 2017: Towards peace...

Day 316: ...a day in the park

This will be a post in two parts: part one here, pic of the day: part two will be over the way on psephy's ~ologies because the day crossed over between work and walk, as Sundays often do. I found myself spending much of today at a local park, coincidentally called the 'Peace Park', where a committee had gathered several groups who seek to maintain peace, preserve Japan's constitution and don't want to see Japan return t war. But I'll talk more about that elsewhere. 

It also happened to be a remarkable blue sky day and the leaves were turning, as they do in autumn, and the ducks were ducking. 

Leaves and stools

Blue sky

On the ground


Sunlight and red


Heads up

One of the peace monuments

Someone said food?

Ripple effect

High and dry

Making mochi cakes, soon


I do have to admire the resolve of people like this who work hard and really believe in this kind of activity. It is all volunteer work and they all hope that peace will be maintained. It shouldn't be that hard, really. It was also nice to find another local park, I might return.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.23am-11.49am, 4.13pm; 12 November 2017] 

Day 315, 11 Nov 2017: A sequel...

Day 315: ...of sorts

It was a sequel of sorts today. A sequel to flocking Friday. It was back to the office in the afternoon to attend to preparations for next week's tests. Of course it is Saturday, so of course I would be in the office. 

When I looked up for a moment, I saw this...

A gathering

Taking flight

A blur

Taking fright

Then it ended with that boat but a bit of a phenomenon I've not seen on the port previously. It looked for a little while like lots of adult birds overseeing swimming lessons for the littlies but no, all big ones by the look of the way they all flew away fairly quickly. 

Clouding layers

And then the clouds came over towards the end of the day. I was still intrigued by what I'd seen though. Working on Saturdays can be like that. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.16pm-3.23pm, 3.48pm; 11 November 2017] 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Day 314, 10 Nov 2017: A'friday flocking...

Day 314: ...heavy going

The end of the week, for those who see Friday as the end of the week, Monday as the beginning. Our job, however, blurs those lines. Saturday in the office becomes the norm at this time of the term when exams and grading loom, or conference deadlines or, as we are heading into--entrance exam time. I will be on duty soon. 

It is heavy going. Next week is the last week of term, the following week is the new one. One day 'off' for the students to tidy up after the campus festival which is on next weekend, which we are expected to attend to show support. So I will. I'd probably be going to work anyway. 

There seemed to be a bird (or three hundred) in every scene today. 

Friday flocked

Heavy going

Pressing on

Resting flocking

I don't know whether it was my mind projecting--let me fly away too--or mere coincidence. I can't really complain I guess, I'll go with the latter explanation. It does feel like we are being flocked though. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.59pm-2.05pm; 10 November 2017] 

Day 313, 9 Nov 2017: It takes a pic...

Day 313: shine a light on the day

Some days, it takes just one pic. Tis morning at the bus stop, a praying mantis and its shadow was attracting everyone's attention, not just mine. It was a case of line and click!And some days, that's all you need and you know you won't do better (photographically and, some days, figuratively speaking). 

A shadow and its mantis, at the bus stop

But, in fact, I was quite fortunate. It was just such a clear sparkling day from the office view too that it just had to be captured.

Wheely clear

Sparkly morning

These clear sky days really clear out the cobwebs and you can't help but pick up your step. Classes proceeded along and an evening seminar on the economics of Abe (with a clever play on words that would lose much in translation--trust me) was well worth the trip. I even received a gift of pickled (let's call it that) cucumber from a regular attendee, a woman in her 80s who travels over two hours each way to attend the seminar. Now there's in story there to put a sparkle in your day. 

[Camera : iPhone 6s, 9.12am, Lumix TZ-85, 11.25am, 11.26am; 9 November 2017] 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Day 312, 8 Nov 2017: It's the little things...

Day 312: ...that make a day

It started as a little blip on the horizon at the entrance to the port. Hard to tell just exactly what it was: a largish fish or a smallish craft...

As it approached, it became clearer...a little clearer. Imagine getting around a port dodging ships on one of these. As someone who enjoys being out on the water, I've never really been a fan of these little things...they're just like mosquitoes that settle in just as you are trying to sleep.  


Later in the evening, it was a trip around the circle line, the Yamanote, to Ueno for a concert by the Tokyo Metropolitan  Symphony featuring the music of Sibelius. A part of the 100th Anniversary celebrations, it also featured the all-male Finnish Choir from the Polytechnic and while the main program featured Kullervo, a choral symphony, they also performed Finlandia--with the chorus. 

Tonight's concert hall

It took me right back to that rainy Saturday in September in Helsinki, to the Music Centre Open Day when I stood outside on the promenade with a hundred or so others, watching a performance on the large screen of Finlandia with choral accompaniment, and joined in by all the Finns  there. I might have hummed a bit then. I might have had a little something in my eye tonight at the memory of it. 

It made my day, into night. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.13pm, 6.35pm; 8 November 2017] 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Day 311, 7 Nov 2017: While I slept...

Day 311: ...the moon moved over

Today being Tuesday, term 3, almost at the end (see yesterday's post), it is an early start. Very early. And somehow I managed to wake up an hour before the 5.00am alarm. The real reason was probably waking from a 'nightmare'...I dreamt the end-of-term exam happened a week early (that is, today, not next week as scheduled) and I had to deal with the students who took it today versus the ones who turned up later...ugh. Fortunately, it didn't happen in real life. 

And in case you're wondering, yes, I dream in Japanese mostly, English sometimes...

So up and at it early for the early bus and lo and behold, the moon hadn't quite finished. No nightmares there. 

On the way to the bus stop

Morning light

Moon, two hours later

Morning sparkle

And the amazing thing is, it hadn't quite disappeared by the time I got to work. I was that early. 

The class worked, the test (based on a poster session) is next week, and the term will be done. Done.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 6.12am, 8.00am-8.08am; 7 November 2017] 

Day 310, 6 Nov 2017: In a bit of a flap...

Day 310: ...over nothing really

After a lovely day strolling, the Monday grind returned too quickly. We have about two weeks left in this term, a four day turnaround the it is into term 4 (and new courses) and/or the second half of semester two and continuing courses...following? It is a bit complicated. So while we are finishing off some courses, and starting new ones the others continue. 

It is not making a lot of sense is it...far easier to look out the window and see what the normal people are doing. At about which time, I spotted a group photo...


It's a good spot. And then, a little later, in they came...eating the chum from the back of the boat perhaps. For a port, it is a scene I haven't seen very often. The seagulls followed the boat to the bridge and then flew off. They looked like they were in a flap, but I expect they knew what they were doing. 

Afternoon teatime

Mine, all mine

Good evening

And then, the moon. Not quite full on, the clouds got in the way for that but I don't mind the moon with a bit of a chip knocked off. 

Back to work. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.55pm-4.9, 8.27pm; 6 November 2017]