Saturday, 19 August 2017

Day 231, 19 Aug 2017: Much to do...

Day 231:, go to a concert

I can amaze friends and relatives with the simple expression, 'yeah, nah, I'll pack in the morning'. The question is usually along the lines of 'have you packed yet'? If it is a week before departure, I usually laugh and ask if I've forgotten about a trip I'm going on. If it is a couple of days before, I usually say 'nah, still too much to do...'; now it is the night before and yeah, I'll pack in the morning. Really, there's not that much to it. 

Today, instead, as a kind of reward to self for getting all that marking in on time, it was off to the concert hall for a symphonic jazz concert with the NHK Orchestra and conducted by John Axelrod. Stravinsky, Corea, Bernstein...great program, great sound. 

Afterwards, everyone in Tokyo was caught in a sudden downpour, just like those sudden summer storms at home in Brisbane, where I'm headed tomorrow. 

On the way back to the station, I had a bit of a go (with the little cam) at something which seems to be catching on a bit here at the moment, photographing the city in the rain...

Went to a concert, got the t-shirt

North by northwest

Due north, via the west

Rain : umbrellas

Our local owl

Southwest by west south-ish

This is just around the western entrance of Ikebukuro station. It has possibilities. Next time I might take the big cam for better effects. 

But first, I must pack. 

In the morning.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 7.24pm-7.25pm; 19 August 2017] 

Day 230, 18 Aug 2017: Just passing through...

Day 230: ...for I am off for a while

And, back in the office. With a view of the port. Which I've missed for the last week. Really.

Today was mostly a tidy-up, finish-off, prepare for take-off kind of day for Sunday I fly home to Brisbane for a holiday of sorts. There will be some work-related things too but mostly I plan to just sit around the Gold Coast with my mum, for a couple of weeks. Maybe do some reading (oh, and there is the guest lecture, research meeting with colleagues, dinner, lunch, chocolate with other friends, shopping for all those necessities it is hard to find in Tokyo, museum and gallery visits, beach, photos, shopping...etc). 

So it was nice that the port turned on one of its more exciting afternoons. The rain hasn't completely gone away, in fact there is much lamenting and gnashing of teeth on the weather reports at the moment--record days of rain etc. 

And so it came to pass...

A shower cometh

Clouds wheeling in

Bridge : gone

Passing through

Multi-layering clouds

...a shower, literally passed over the port. There one minute, gone, within four. 

See you in a couple of weeks.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.55pm-259pm, 5.08pm; 18 August 2017] 

Day 229, 17 Aug 2017: Might as well just succumb...

Day 229: ...the 'holiday' is just about done

I really enjoy my work, I'm fortunate in that way. I appreciate time away from the office too, like this last enforced week of lock-the-gates-stay-away-type of time. 

Actually, no. I'm really looking forward to getting back into the office tomorrow because this last week has been...well, annoying to say the least. I had several plans to do various things, variously research related and not but, as you will be aware dear reader, if you've this far with me this week, nothing, just nothing has really come to pass.

So, another day, all day (and into the night) doing just this sort of thing...

reading, editing

reading, thinking

reading, reviewing

Yep, reading and research of sorts, but reading and writing and research I had hoped would be ably assisted with library visits. 

I gave up. I just succumbed to the weather gods and shall resume normal programming tomorrow. 

[Camera : iPhone6s, 10.21pm-10.22pm; 17 August 2017] 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Day 228, 16 Aug 2017: Thank you, we've had enough now...

Day 228: ...we'd appreciate some fine weather

The rain continued. I had less to do, more out of frustration than any idea that I might have completed a long list of tasks. But I more or less continued with whatever it is I've been more or less continuing with over the last few days.

It is getting some things done. I suppose. But it also means there is not as much getting done as I would like. But at least I have Friday to look forward to, when the gates are unlocked and I can get back to the office...



Wall of bottles

Closing out

Out into the rain, thanks Jin

Meanwhile, dinner out, up the road at one of our favourite little bars. Took the boring out of the day. 

[Camera : iPhone6s, 6.21pm-8.51pm; 16 August 2017] 

Day 227, 15 Aug 2017: I don't mind a bit of rain...

Day 227: ...but this is getting a bit ridiculous

The rain isn't going anywhere fast. In fact, as the weather bureau explained this evening, there is a high pressure system sitting over the north of Japan, just sitting, which means those at the edge of it, those of us in Tokyo, are just soaking in it. 

I probably wouldn't have minded so much if I didn't have so much to do, or in other words, I don't do the sitting around in wet weather thing terribly well. One or two I can do, but not this many. Not all in a row, and not when we had an enforced week off do all the things!

Anyway, I did a bit more reading, bit more...

Rain, over there

Over there

And over there

...watching the rain. I suppose that was kind of interesting in its own way. But enough.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 4.48pm-4.50pm; 15 August 2017] 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Day 226, 14 Aug 2017: Lurking beneath the leaves...

Day 226: ...peak summer  

I thought about going to the national library today to get on with editing some manuscripts I have had tucked in a 'bottom drawer'* (*computer file) for a while. That's what we do on our 'holidays' and also because the uni is closed, actually locked gates closed, for a few more days. 

But I decided the nearby coffee shop might be an equally pleasant spot to work, since so many people seem to work in coffee shops. 

Well, it worked, up to a point. The shop was rather busy and since I'm not one to buy one cup of coffee and sit for hours, I left after an hour and a bit (and two coffees and lunch) so those waiting could move in. 

The walk home via the park started with a little bit of shadow art--leaves against the sky--and then following the constant drone of the cicadas I went further into the forest...

Shadow play 1

Shadow play 2

Branching out


Quick escape

Under the cover

Hanging in there


Climbing over

Looking up, the empty exoskeletons were there in their hundreds...equal parts spooky and intriguing. 

Feels like we are reaching peak summer. I must get on with my work.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.42pm-4.03pm; 14 August 2017] 

Day 225, 13 Aug 2017: On a mission...

Day 225: ...though still incomplete

And so continuing with Saturday's adventures in trip preparation, today it was off to the Ginza. I really shouldn't, it is nowadays (even more than before) a tourist shopping mecca (with prices to match) but it does also have my favourite music store and stationery shop (multi-floors thereof) so if I failed at my main mission, at least I would have a fallback browsing position...

Which was just as well, as it turned out. I didn't find *exactly* what I was looking for so I browsed around here and there.

On the way back to the train, I happened across the marker for the origins of the Ginza and stopped to read it and take a few pics of people walking past this piece of history...I was the only one, it seemed, who paused to look at it. 

Marking history






With origins back in the early 1600s, the street gained its present status in 1870, so says the explanation, dated 1955...

So not a complete failure. There was a little bit of history along the way too.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 5.30pm-5.35pm; 13 August 2017]