Monday, 29 March 2010

Still Cold

Despite the fact that the sakura are now out in full bloom, we still have cold nights and mornings. It is nice to see the sun burn away depressing shade, but we still have to turn the heater on first thing in the morning and at night when the cold creeps back in.

I managed to retrieve a hinamatsuri photo from my phone:

Hinamatsuri cake

I captured the last snow of the season near the end of school. It is still cold enough to snow up north, but here the weather should only get warmer.

The last snow of winter 2010

Last Monday, it was a public holiday. We went to Kochi and had a picnic at One Park. We also looked at the animals at the small zoo there. There was a "bird show", with falcon trainers sending a bird between them. It flew really low over our heads and even caught a training pigeon in mid-air. Afterwards, people queued to hold the falcon and take photos.

Holding a peregrine falcon

On our way home, after shopping at Aeon mall, I saw the following pimped van. It was worth a keitai snapshot. ;)

Pimp my van

Next weekend is Easter. Yesterday, after preparing throughout the week by blowing the contents of eggs out of their shells each time we used eggs, I filled the empty eggshells with chocolate. Some are less hollow than others, but I did leave air in most. Now, we're ready for our chocolate fix!

I am also going to make hot cross buns on either Wednesday or Thursday, so that we can eat them on Friday. Easter is not celebrated in any way here in Japan. It's understandable, as it is a Christian celebration, but you'd think that with the affection that Japanese have for festivals, they would have at least embraced the commercial side of it.

So until the celebration of the greatest and most amazing sacrifice this world has ever known, be at peace. ^^


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Blooming Kochi

It's the end of the academic school year. Everyone moves up a grade or finishes school at the end of this month. I had my last chuugakkou classes today.

We had graduation on Saturday. I attended the one for Shouwa chuu. Now that I have no school, it will just be office work between now and when the new term starts.

On Sunday, we dedicated our daughters at church. It's always important to pray God's blessing on your children. Because Eddi had never been dedicated, we had her prayed for at the same time as baby Maya.

Dedication at church - 14 March 2010

To backtrack a bit, it was my birthday on the 28th of February. On the 27th, we went out for dinner to a steak restaurant with Mika's brother and his family. We went back to their place for cake.

30th Birthday Cake

The Cutting of the Cake

A couple of weeks ago, it was Hinamatsuri, the Doll Festival. We also had cake for that and Mika's mum set up a doll display according to the tradition. Unfortunately, the photos we took have been lost, otherwise I would put something of ours here.

Hina Matsuri - The Doll Festival

Two weekends ago, Michael came for a visit. He and I watched a couple of movies and went to Yamagoya to eat. It was somewhat nostalgic (in a recent sense).

Now that spring is almost here, the sakura -- cherry blossoms -- have started coming out. The weather has struggled to warm up and we even had a smattering of snow this month. But it will get warmer, the blossoms will come out and we can enjoy new life among all of the changes that come with April.

Sakura - Cherry Blossoms; The First Sign of Spring

That's all for now. Sorry about the lack of updates. I had to cram a lot into one post. I'll try and be more diligent in posting blog entries throughout the rest of this year. ^^