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]

Day 83, 24 Mar 2017: An early spring...

Day 83: ...for the late bloomers

I tend to think of myself as a 'late bloomer'. It has been that way since high school, whether a quirk of personality or some inbuilt mechanism I'm not sure. By 'late bloomer', I mean I tend to wait, observe, (over)analyse and then move. I like to think of it as being cautious or having patience to act on the important things in a world that wants things instantly and yesterday; 'now' is too late.

We've been waiting much of the winter for the camellias near the bus stop to bloom. Finally, apart from one or two impetuous ones, their glorious pinks are showing themselves. 

On the other had, just around the corner, it might be an early call on the cherry blossoms at the neighbourhood park...or late plums or, almond blossoms apparently, which even the keenest of amateur blossom spotters have trouble discerning. 

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...a lot like...

...cherry blossoms, maybe

Two cans meet on a corner

And finally...

The old and new, the young and the wise

Decorating a war-surplus jeep; camellias of the junkyard

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, officially bloom when the Bureau of Meteorology determines, according to a particular tree in the grounds of Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. It might be a bit of a late bloomer too...but it is getting close.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.59am-10.04am; 24 March 2017]

Friday, 24 March 2017

Day 82, 23 Mar 2017: No surprises here...

Day 82: ...please proceed to tomorrow

And so after a night's rest, it was up and at it, back on the buses and trains, to get to work. You'd like to think that two weeks away from routine would mean a little bit of disorientation on return, a need to think, even briefly, about the trip to work.

But no. Felt like I hadn't been away as one foot followed the other and onto aforementioned buses and trains...Ah, holidays. I'm sure there is a purpose to them. 

Then, all the emails, catch-up meetings, confirmation of details of various meetings during my time back home...the day went quite quickly.

And outside?

The port and bridge, looking pretty normal

A flock of seagulls...nestling on a roof?

A touch of pink

Ahoy there, big blue


Birds, not balloons

A second flock of seagulls 

Cloud (and glimpses of yesterday 

Not much had changed. The same bridge, the same ships. The seagulls were acting a little strangely but other than that, it looks like we've slipped very quickly back into routine. 

I should do something about that.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.32pm-2.33pm, 3.55pm-4.18pm; 23 March 2017]

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Day 81, 22 Mar 2017: Leaving on a jet plane...

Day 81: ...but at least I know when I'll be back again

Unlike the song. August is my next trip back home, not that I'm planning ahead or anything. Well, just a bit. 

It is quite the miracle of modern transport that I can wake up on the Gold Coast at 4.00am, catch a train--plane--bus--train and taxi and be back in my Tokyo place by 9.30pm. 

Spent a bit of time at the airport waiting, as you do...


Gate 83, BNE (Gate 82 TKO)

Spare seats

Tail end




Blue skies

Sunset approaching

And with a spare seat beside me I was able to look out the window from time to time. Today wasn't the day for spotting Mt Fuji out there on the approach to the airport but never mind, next time perhaps.

Now, back to the office. And you know what that means, dear reader, portside pics! It's been two whole weeks.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 8.53am-9.29am (AEST), 4.45pm, 5.25pm (JST); 22 March 2017]

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Day 80, 21 Mar 2017: Beachcombin'...because

Day 80: ...when in Rome, do as the Romans...

...when at home, go to the beach.

There was an hour or two to pass today so I did what every good (ex)Gold Coast 'kid' does--headed to the beach, the Spit in fact. The very end of the Gold Coast beach strip. In my teens, we lived not too far away from here, just a few waves down at Main Beach. It was the 'wilderness' end back then.

These days, there is a patrolled beach, a sand pumping jetty and the Southport Bar has a bigger groyne, as it were...

Beachcombing with the camera is a bit of a favourite pass-the-time pastime. The high tide mark always has something of interest: seaweed, shells, pumice, stones,  cuttlefish...and today, the bluebottle--stingers. 

Lots of things to see...

First, the waves

The flags

Under the jetty

Red flag

A little bit of black sand

Frothy shell


Beached bluey

Games of stones

Stinger : stones

Along the jetty

weed : sea : shell



Sandy forms



Cuttlefish with pink

Under the jetty again

The Bar

Beach flora

Dune flora

Beach buggy 1

Beach buggy 2

The fallen banksia man

Wild fungi

Nice way to finish up. Tomorrow it is back on a plane, back to the other beaches of the Northern Pacific; oh, and work. Yes. It is time to get back to work. 

Le sigh.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.06pm-1.56pm; 21 March 2017]