Thursday, 22 June 2017

Day 173, 22 Jun 2017: All the colour...

Day 173: ...all the normalcy

There is something quite reassuring about the rhythms of the port. And though I might be asked why, I will fail to answer the question about what it is I like about these little yellow tugs. I don't know. Their colour? Their size? Their constant endeavour? Probably all of the above. They just work hard, and they don't expect to be noticed. The colour is a bit of a giveaway though. 

There was something a little bit different about the clouds today too. They painted a picture all their own over the course of the day...

Heading in

heading out

The clouds as  a painting

Watching over all 

The reds...

And then, what a finish! One of the most spectacular sunsets I've seen in Tokyo in quite a while. And I only saw it because I missed out on getting to the gym tonight because of a few extra classroom matters. 

I'm trying hard to make getting to the gym regularly the new normal, it will be quite reassuring to have these little habits to rely on.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.03am, 11.54am, 5.14pm, 7.23pm; 22 June 2017] 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Day 172, 21 Jun 2017: And then it rained...

Day 172: ...and rained...

...and really just rained for much of the day. We are on the verge of the rainy season so I suppose it is expected. It is just that waiting at the bus stop, and the bus is running 15 minutes late and the rain gets heavier and heavier and then two buses come at once...

Yes, such was the day. 

I know rain is important. I know it is necessary. But just as it was when I used to drive 200km each day to and from work and sometimes entirely in the rain, I'd just like the rain to work out a way to fall when I'm not commuting. It would make commuting much more of its usual pleasure. 

Anyway, a bonus today is that usually when it rains, its rains away from the building. Today, with the wind, the drops were everywhere, including the window. 

All the rain

Nothing beyond

Though there is a wheel out there

A train line somewhere

Ships on the move (trust me)

And then it cleared...until tomorrow

I truly didn't see much out there until the end of the day and today was supposed to be the longest, the summer solstice. Missed it again. Oh well, there's always next year. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.56pm-1.58pm, 2.28pm, 3.15pm, 5.51pm; 21 June 2017]

Day 171, 20 Jun 2017: On a hazy day...

Day 171: can more or less see right through

Hazy day. Actually, out there, and more or less, in here, in the office. Sometimes the fog takes a while to lift. And then other days, the haze never seems to lift. or go away. I don't know whether it is heat-related or smog...let7s go with heat.

Photographically, I find it a little bit rather intriguing. Take the bridge today, for example. Depending on the day, depending on the light, you can see it as clear as, well, day; and other times it is almost hidden. 

The light and shade offer an interesting contrast. 

Half a span

Barely there


The plane, the plane

Stil there, just

Sailing into the distance

Trying for some colour

Big Sight, big...eyes?

And at the end of the day, the convention centre, Big Sight, was having a bit of an evening light up. Not quite sure what it was about but it is an interesting way to end the day.

*And not to brag or anything, but today's gym effort (feeling guilty about yesterday) topped 10km for the first time in 50mins walking/cycling. Getting there. Somewhere.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.38pm-2.40pm, 4.08pm, 5.08pm, 5.19pm, 6.02pm, 9.15pm; 20 June 2017] 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Day 170, 19 Jun 2017: A necessary pause in proceedings...

Day 170: ...with obstructed intentions

I realised late last week that by the time I reached Monday this week, I will have worked at or on behalf of the University for 15 days straight. Monday is currently my 'research day' so I decided that a day away from campus might be a good thing to do. For my mental health and others.

I thought briefly about a trip to the library but decided that wouldn't be quite the pause in proceedings I needed (not that there is anything wrong with the library of course...). My next thought was a visit to a cultural centre downtown I have been planing to get to for some time. Closed Mondays. OK, next plan...a newish gallery featuring a favourite artist. Closed Mondays. I could see a pattern developing here. 

I had hoped to get down to Kamakura (for research purposes of course, being a research day and all) but the forecast in the afternoon was for rain...

OK, stay home and catch up on reading. And playing. And by playing I mean musical instruments.

I have a new 'toy': a digital instrument which is based on the saxophone but it can 'sound' like about 40 other instruments at the flick of a switch...

It's a Roland Aerophone

Keys here...

And here, like this

Speaker one

Just like, almost like, the real thing

OK, it is my first venture into the electronic music area. It is interesting. It saves lugging around all the woodwinds I usually play. It won't replace them completely but it will keep me in practice.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 7.54pm-7.55pm; 19 June 2017]

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Day 169, 18 Jun 2017: Conference done, nostalgia kick...

Day 169: ...and 'normal' programming resumes

Well, I made it, on time and in time to the conference presentation. It was the third one this year, though the first I've done to this association and the first I've done in Japanese. There is always a little added pressure when presenting in front of colleagues, either in English or Japanese, or it might just be undue pressure I put on myself. Whichever way you look at it, it has been a bit tiring and now the presentation is over, the tiredness sets in...

After the conference finished late this afternoon, I opted to get out at Shinjuku station rather than just transfer directly to my end destination. (I did that a bit later.) 

The weather was pretty awful, rain set in mid-afternoon, but perhaps it was the talk about starting my serious engagement with Japan that set the nostalgia wheels turning. You see, it was in Shinjuku, back in 1984, where I first took formal lessons in Japanese in Japan (after some years in Australia) on the start of a long road to an academic career. 

The Sumitomo Building housed the cultural centre that trained young wannabe graduate students (and also the site of my first earthquake experience --25 floors up). I thought I might take the opportunity, since I was 'passing through' to 'have a squiz' as they say.

Low and behold, the Sumitomo building is undergoing some renovations...

The Mitsui building

Sumitomo, with corner leaf

Tokyo Metro Government building

Olympic city

Looking through the complex


Side by side


All the skyscrapers

Probably the most-photographed Shinjuku building


The rain

More umbrellas

Shades of brown

A number of buildings from the old days are still there, but there are new ones too and the Shinjuku Eye seems to have been there forever...that is always keeping an eye on us.

The Eye

...all those who pass



With the conference now over, normal programming resumes. Whatever normal might be. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 5.53pm-6.11pm; 18 June 2017]

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Day 168, 17 Jun 2017: When the early bird...

Day 168: ...sits by the pond

So today is day one of the two-day conference. Checked the program last night before going to bed: 10.00 start. Fine... time, read the fine print! The 10.00am start was for the executive committee meeting of the association. Registration wasn't until 1.00pm. 

Right. Three hours to kill. In a part of Tokyo that is just the right distance to be the wrong distance to anywhere that might be interesting. If I had about four hours to kill, I might have had time to go further down the train line to Odawara, somewhere nice. But no. Like someone stuck in transit with nowhere to go, I opted for a quiet sit near the pond down the back of the campus.

It is almost lily time

A stinger

Light and shade


I think we used to call these 'boatmen'



Feather dusted

Pond surface

Casting shadows


There are worse ways to pass the time I suppose. But tomorrow I am certain I'm to be there at 9.30am, on time, for my presentation. I hope I make it.

I'll keep you posted...

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 12.37pm-1.01pm; 17 June 2017]