Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sun seen non-event

It got a little darker. We noticed that, and how odd it felt for the shadows to be the wrong length for that amount of darkness. It wasn't darker than a thundery day, but of course you don't have shadows on a thundery day.

Both our viewing techniques worked.

The mirror - taping over all but a 1cm square of a small hand-held mirror, and reflecting the image onto a wall. We taped a piece of white paper to the wall to make it clearer.

Simple pin-hole camera. Just two pieces of white paper, one with a pen-prick hole in it, allowing just enough light in to see the crescent shape.

At the last minute I remembered that I viewed the one at Stonehenge through the video camera, so I viewed it through there as well. That was exceedingly pretty, with sun rays streaking through a blue sky, but not in the least eclipse-like! I guess we were just too far north after all.

Now we're watching it on TV and seeing what we missed out on!


Shopping Shopping Shopping. And now for a post that will only be of interest to myself, in a few years time, when I will be saying 'Oh, so that's when I got that!' and 'Oh, it cost that much?'.

I got some done yesterday. No new pretty tops or strappy high-heel sandals, my preferred shopping experience, but I got some nice new things.

First stop, bank, to pay off the visa card, then Kanji's work to drop off kids. They didn't want to come. They're a mixed blessing. It takes longer to load ourselves in and out of the car when they are with me, but they make the driving less dull, and I'm usually too busy to browse so I spend less money. Then to Keio to pay for kids' summer classes.

First shop, second hand store for an office chair to replace mine, which is so hopelessly broken that I am in genuine danger of actually falling off it. Chair found, 1980 yen. In a magazine article about cheap shopping tips, I read that stores put Sale items in the back of the store, because once shoppers decide to buy something, they are more likely to pick up more stuff. I proved this point in the second-hand store, and even though I remembered the article as I browsed, pushing my office chair ahead of me, I still stopped and decided I just had to have a new oven-toaster (true, mine is broken) for 2580, speakers at 798yen for my new computer, which does actually need them, and a clip-on light I don't really need at all for 598yen.

Second stop Gooday, the home store, where I got vacuum storage bags (997 for two, I got two sets) and fire extinguishers, as mine 'expired'. I'm not sure how a fire extinguisher expires, and who decides when they do, and how (is it a percentage of failures after so many years? what percentage? what's the chance mine is still okay? is it worth the risk?) Kanji told me to take the old one to the fire station. That should be fun, I'll take the kids! I also picked up bed pads for the girls and Kanji. Sweaty Japanese summer requires absorbent bedding. 997 each. The fire extinguishers were 2270 and I also threw in an aerosol can for 990 for small kichen fires, which seems a lot more convenient that a big whole fire extinguisher!

As you can see, while the second-hand store stuck to the traditional Japanese method of ending prices in a lucky Oriental No.8, for some reason Gooday has gone over to the Occidental Lucky No.7.

Third stop, Cosmos, the discount 'drug' store. It's a drug store, but sells a lot of groceries as well.

Toilet paper - 299 12 rolls
Paper kitchen towels 148
Potato chips 88 (to assuage hungry children, with whom I was due to reunite for final shopping)
Special K berry flavour 297 (Amy's favorite breakfast)
Fruit granola 399 (Erica loves this one!)
milk 169
'drinking' milk 105 (strange watered down stuff, great on cereal though)
Bulgaria natural yogurt 137 (for a yogurt dip I'm making for Sunday)
Individual serve curry x 4 267 89each (for the emergency box)
shredded cheese 198 (for pumpkin dish we're having for lunch today)
eggs 199 (can get cheaper, but I went for the Vitamin E red eggs)
jam 97 (TINY pot, just a lick really)
brown sugar 128 (for breakfast on corn flakes or genma
brown sugar lumps 219 (for the emergency box)
cashew nuts x 5 525 (for a dip I'm making for Sunday)
Tusbaki shampoo and conditioner
Cucute dishwasher gel
Dove body soap Nectarine and jasmine aroma (ridiculously over-specialized product, had me wondering as I bought it, was I supposed to be feeling all loved and protected now with my special just-for-me interesting self-spoiling-sensation extra-special aroma bath product?)

FINALLY Shinsenichiba, the cheap local supermarket, with loads of cheap fresh veges and cuts of meat. I had planned to buy enough to last until the end of the week, but I had already spent too much already and had to calcuate as I went so I wouldn't spend more than 3500. Here's what I got for my 3347

Negi 100
cucumbers 210
mini tomatoes 105
baby carrots 100
2x 4 hamsteaks 596
brocolli 50
veges 150
2 x corn cobs 190
bag of carrots 95
1/4 of a hakusai/white cabbage 95
chuu? 95
beans, 30% off 70
renkon/water lily roots 199
baby leaves 100
shimeji mushrooms 79
four non-the-best peaches 150
kiwifruit 95
pineapple fresh cut 130
two bunches of bananas 190
sliced tinned pineapples 100
tuna in light oil, 3 cans 258
outou 95

Funny how I can foget what I bought already and it's only been a day. Well, that's my boring shopping post for the year, it's lunchtime!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Holidays Begin!

We are having a very clean and peaceful morning.

I know most people think the phrases 'summer holidays' and 'clean and peaceful' don't go together but with a bit of planning it can be done!

(I'm also one of the rare, crazy mothers who does not admit to hating having the kids home. This isn't about me being 'holier than thou', it's just a different, and I think more successful, coping mechanism. I could go into great detail, may do so one day, but for now, suffice it to say that I don't think whingeing about it makes it any better, and there are several advantages to spending time with them!)

So we have set up a little at-home school.

Rajio Taiso is at 7am, so we need to get up at 6:30 and get dressed. After Rajio Taiso is finished, we will come home and do chores.

8am Breakfast, followed by dishes.

9:00 - 9:45 Ichijikanme/First Period. Japanese summer homework
9:50 - 10:35 Nijikanme/Second Period. English
10:35 - 11:05 Naka Yasumi/Morning Break. Plus morning tea
11:05 - 11:50 Sanjikanme/Third Period. Japanese summer homework

We knock off for lunch and......

Don't do any more work at all that day! This is a far better use of our time than watching TV all morning then struggling to get the energy to finish the endless summer homework. I also hope it gives them, from midday at least, that all-important FREE time to do whatever they please, wherever their will leads them.

Japanese homework includes loads of sheets of kanji and math drills, and the famous 'Natsu no Tomo' the little booklet of summer ideas and activities. English includes penmanship, journal, spelling drill and some print-outs from the internet.

For chores, Amy and Lena have to clean the genkan and bath every day, and help with setting the table and doing dishes, as well as putting away their own clean clothes. I am going to work on cleaning out the shed and the spare room with the aim of turning it into a study/office. We will do shed/genkan in the early morning when it's still cool, bath probably when they have the bath.

Erica's naptime after lunch will be our downtime, they can watch TV or movies then, or play games on the computer, or do craft activities. I have gathered some ideas for fun craft, and I'll do some shopping for supplies, but I usually just leave them to do what they want, rather than exhausting myself setting up an elaborate craft activity, only to have them hate it or do it for only a few minutes before wandering off.

All this is in line with what the schools expect the students to do, so I have support for my ideas from that direction. The schools exhort students to stick to a schedule so their daily rhythm doesn't get too messed up. Amy had to write a sample schedule before term ended, so when I suggested the morning school to her, she was very happy to comply. Even Erica joins in, though her 'benkyo' (study) this morning was a Wiggles puzzle and an ABC block tower. We helped her with clean-up during the morning break, and she is now studying the physical properties of selotape.

My study includeds editing essays, checking email(SUCH hard work!), proofreading the AFWJ journal, learning to use the desk-top publishing software for the AFWJ journal, Japanese, learning to upload and edit videos from my new camera, sorting wedding photos for a 10th anniversary album, and researching places to go during the summer holidays!. And facebook scrabble.

For the first week of the holidays, we are putting in a huge effort to get the summer homework done, so we will be freer during August to travel around, go on day-trips and overnight trips, have movie and popcorn days, go to the pool and whatever else we please. We'll probably skip Third Period from then on, but continue to study English and work on the craft activity they need to hand in at the ned of term. Anyone in the vicinity who fancies a fun day playing with the Yokomatsu girls please let me know!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eight Things

*Eight things I am looking forward to:

Summer Vacation!
10th Wedding anniversary in November
November Kyushu mini-convention
Family holiday to somewhere in August!
Hokkaido convention, if I decide to go
My party next weekend
Sleeping in tomorrow morning
Meeting the new babies!!

*Eight things I did yesterday:
recorded a voice-over for a gig
injured my eye crashing my bicycle
attended a meeting
discussed the politics of tattoo exposure in Japan
ate my favorite ume/shiso/chicken yakitori
slept with ALL THREE children and hubby too, thank god for futons
slacked off at work and played games because it is the last day of term
got worried about swine flu as it has finally reached us

*Eight things I wish I could do:
lose weight without stopping eating!
beautiful calligraphy, in both languages
edit videos and photoshop
go shopping for things that fit me more than once a year
find a more lucrative WFH gig
do evening classes (learning not teaching)
go to the theatre and watch plays in English

*Eight shows I watch:
Star Trek TNG
CNN news
History channel documentaries
Sex and the City
House, when I catch it on
Music shows
Star Trek DS9
Star Trek Voyager

*Eight favorite fruits:

*Eight places I’d like to travel:

New York and New Orleans
York and Orleans
Macchu Picchu

*Eight places I’ve lived:

Sanko village
Darwin, NT, Australia
Battle Creek, Queensland
Palmerston North

Friday, July 17, 2009


Seen movies are in bold, owned ones are italicized, and personal favourites have a *.

"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) Stanley Kubrick
"The 400 Blows" (1959) Francois Truffaut
"8 1/2" (1963) Federico Fellini
"Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1972) Werner Herzog
"Alien" (1979) Ridley Scott
"All About Eve" (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
"Annie Hall" (1977) Woody Allen
"Apocalypse Now" (1979) Francis Ford Coppola
"Bambi" (1942) Disney
"The Battleship Potemkin" (1925) Sergei Eisenstein
"The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) William Wyler
"The Big Red One" (1980) Samuel Fuller
"The Bicycle Thief" (1949) Vittorio De Sica
"The Big Sleep" (1946) Howard Hawks
"Blade Runner" (1982) Ridley Scott
"Blowup" (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni
"Blue Velvet" (1986) David Lynch
"Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) Arthur Penn
"Breathless" (1959 Jean-Luc Godard
"Bringing Up Baby" (1938) Howard Hawks
"Carrie" (1975) Brian DePalma
"Casablanca*" (1942) Michael Curtiz
"Un Chien Andalou" (1928) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali
"Children of Paradise" / "Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945) Marcel Carne
"Chinatown" (1974) Roman Polanski
"Citizen Kane" (1941) Orson Welles
*"A Clockwork Orange" (1971) Stanley Kubrick
"The Crying Game" (1992) Neil Jordan
*"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) Robert Wise
"Days of Heaven" (1978) Terence Malick
"Dirty Harry" (1971) Don Siegel
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) Luis Bunuel
"Do the Right Thing" (1989 Spike Lee
"La Dolce Vita" (1960) Federico Fellini
"Double Indemnity" (1944) Billy Wilder
"Dr. Strangelove" (1964) Stanley Kubrick
"Duck Soup" (1933) Leo McCarey
*"E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) Steven Spielberg
"Easy Rider" (1969) Dennis Hopper
*"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) Irvin Kershner
"The Exorcist" (1973) William Friedkin
"Fargo*" (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen
"Fight Club" (1999) David Fincher
"Frankenstein" (1931) James Whale
*"The General" (1927) Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
"The Godfather," "The Godfather, Part II" (1972, 1974) Francis Ford Coppola
"Gone With the Wind" (1939) Victor Fleming
"GoodFellas" (1990) Martin Scorsese
"The Graduate" (1967) Mike Nichols
"Halloween" (1978) John Carpenter
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964) Richard Lester
"Intolerance" (1916) D.W. Griffith
"It's a Gift" (1934) Norman Z. McLeod
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) Frank Capra
"Jaws" (1975) Steven Spielberg
"The Lady Eve" (1941) Preston Sturges
"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) David Lean
"M" (1931) Fritz Lang
"Mad Max 2" / "The Road Warrior" (1981) George Miller
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941) John Huston
"The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) John Frankenheimer
"Metropolis" (1926) Fritz Lang
"Modern Times" (1936) Charles Chaplin
*"Monty Python and the Holy Grail*" (1975) Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam
"Nashville" (1975) Robert Altman
"The Night of the Hunter" (1955) Charles Laughton
"Night of the Living Dead" (1968) George Romero
"North by Northwest" (1959) Alfred Hitchcock
"Nosferatu" (1922) F.W. Murnau
"On the Waterfront" (1954) Elia Kazan
"Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) Sergio Leone
"Out of the Past" (1947) Jacques Tournier
"Persona" (1966) Ingmar Bergman
"Pink Flamingos" (1972) John Waters
"Psycho" (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
*"Pulp Fiction*" (1994) Quentin Tarantino
"Rashomon" (1950) Akira Kurosawa
"Rear Window" (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
"Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) Nicholas Ray
"Red River" (1948) Howard Hawks
"Repulsion" (1965) Roman Polanski
"The Rules of the Game" (1939) Jean Renoir
"Scarface" (1932) Howard Hawks
"The Scarlet Empress" (1934) Josef von Sternberg
"Schindler's List" (1993) Steven Spielberg
"The Searchers" (1956) John Ford
"The Seven Samurai" (1954) Akira Kurosawa
"Singin' in the Rain" (1952) Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
"Some Like It Hot*" (1959) Billy Wilder
"A Star Is Born" (1954) George Cukor
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) Elia Kazan
"Sunset Boulevard" (1950) Billy Wilder
"Taxi Driver" (1976) Martin Scorsese
"The Third Man" (1949) Carol Reed
"Tokyo Story" (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
"Touch of Evil" (1958) Orson Welles
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) John Huston
"Trouble in Paradise" (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
"Vertigo" (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
"West Side Story" (1961) Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise
"The Wild Bunch" (1969) Sam Peckinpah
"The Wizard of Oz" (1939) Victor Fleming

Diligently gettting myself pissed

One more day and my stint at being a full-time working mother is over. I have one more full day of work tomorrow, four classes in a row in the morning, then I have a load of paperwork to catch up on, and one more class in the afternoon. Then I can RELAX.

So you may be wondering why I am getting myself diligently pissed tonight, and not getting an early night and letting loose tomorrow evening, but I have a good reason, though it's a bit of a long and involved story, so hang in there.

I'm heading off at 10pm to the radio station to record an announcement. It's not for the radio (although I did already do that, and can be heard between 7 and 8 am saying 'Morning Liner'. Amy and Lena are also on, Amy says 'aroma cafe' and giggles at lunchtime, and Lena says 'Noas FM Sound Spray' around 9am). It's for my husband's Sex Pistols cover band, a recorded announcement to introduce the band, done in the style of a famous Boxing announcer.

One of the running jokes of this not-at-all-taken-seriously band is that the members are all named after wrestling or boxing moves, eg Chop Rotten instead of Johnny Rotten and Suplex Jones instead of Steve Jones. I can't remember the rest because Chop, the band leader, keeps changing their names! So, in the spirit of this small piece of their schtick, they want the band's name announced like a boxer before a match.

Japan's 'Pride' boxing competition has this crazy foreign woman announcer who rrrrrrrolllls her r's and screeches the names in a manner that sounds very kakkoii (coool), although no-body seems to know what she is actually saying, as her announcements require a prior announcement in proper Japanese-English. She's quite unique, and very distinctive thus...

... the lashings of beer and the final half of that bottle of chardy I started a few weeks ago - because there's no way in hell I can imitate this woman without LOTS of liquid courage.

The things I do for my husband!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Driving disasters

Bad luck better bloody come in threes!

In addition to my fender bender on the way back from the beach, I've added two more unwanted notches to my driving belt.

On Wednesday I managed to break the blinker stick in a very unique manner. I remembered far too late that I am supposed to be measuring the distances from my house to the schools I teach at, for my travel allowance. I was coming up to School 2, which I teach at second, and heading past it to go to School 1, where I teach first. I decided to measure the distance between School 1 and School 2, since I knew the office had the distance from the juku to School 2. Probably would have worked just as well for my purposes to just measure the distance home from School 1, but that's hindsight.

So as I approached the corner and began to turn I quickly reached up to the dashboard to press the little button that takes the counter back to Zero. But my finger slipped off it at first so I ended up with my hand in there for just a split second longer than I anticipated. Meanwhile I was rounding the corner. Suddenly I found myself having turned the corner and in desperate need to straighten the wheel NOW or crash into the side of the road - but my hand was too far through the wheel touching the speedo and I didn't have time to get it out. So I kind of let my arm follow the wheel back around and in doing so, it hit the blinker switch and BROKE IT OFF!

I drove to the school with no blinker (3.6km exactly, I did get that stupid button pushed!). Luckily I was very early and I had time to fiddle with the switch, which I managed to get back in place - I had to as the lights are on that switch too, and they were on! So to avoid running the battery down I HAD to fix it. Funny what you can achieve when you really need to! (memories of fixing an iPod tune juice thingy with a bandaid and a safety pin on the way to Beppu with my sisters. No kidding!) I got it back on, but it's loose, and the lights can get bumped on if you're not careful.

If that wasn't enough, the same car gave us all grief on the way to Keio in the afternoon. Driving up the road near Keio, I saw a car parked at the side of the road in a no-parking zone, with the hazard lights on, which everyone here feels is enough of an effort to allow them to ignore No Parking signs. It's a narrow road (hence the No Parking sign) so going past it meant moving into the oncoming lane. I was unable to do that as cars were coming, so I stopped, but hit the brake too hard. That happens a lot in that car, to me and to Kanji, it's a sensitive brake pedal. But the problem was that there are no seatbelts in the back...where Amy and Lena were...and they were thrown about a bit, Amy bumped her nose and Lena hit her back. So of course I feel awful about that, as I could have taken the other car. But then that would have left Kanji with the same seat-belt-less car to pick the girls up, so we really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm not sure what to do - Baachan picked them up that day, so I could have taken the other car if I'd thought about it. I think I'll get him to switch cars in the Keio carpark.

Earthquakes and other disasters

I'm sure New Zealand's North Island gets more earthquakes than Kyushu, but I didn't have kids to worry about when I lived in NZ, so I could be all cool and blase and stand around waiting for the roof to fall before I considered possibly finding a place to shelter.

Now I move like lightning to where-ever my kids are, though just what I'm supposed to do once I get there I still haven't quite figured out!

An earthquake two weeks ago, a fairly big one, had me thinking about what I should be doing, as it was a bit of a comedy of errors.

I was sitting on the sofa downstairs when I head Erica start to cry. I was ready to go to bed anyway, so I was intending to go up to her, I was just finishing reading a magazine article. Then when the earthquake hit, it was rather strong, but I didn't really notice that as I was flying up the stairs three at a time! Somehow I managed to bring the magazine with me, I guess on some level I knew I'd be settled into bed very soon and reading it!. I also remembered to stop and open the balcony door on the way up, as doors can get jammed if the house shifts.

I picked up Erica and rushed over to the bunks. I've got it into my head that the bottom bunk would be the best place to shelter, but I didn't move Lena or pull Amy off the top bunk, YET. I suppose I could feel it starting to wane and I waited by the bunk to see what would happen yet, though not with the studied nonchalance described above, but with an anxiety bordering on panic.

But it stopped, so I put Erica to bed (she had already gone to sleep in my arms, I guess she liked the rocking!).

Then I broke down in awful guilt. I had left her up here crying!!!! What if that was her last experience of life!!! Earlier I had refused to bring Lena some water. I couldn't be bothered, but I told her she didn't need it. And now I felt SO BAD for not bringing her the water. What if the house had collapsed and all she had to keep her going while we waited for rescue was an empty water bottle! When I could so easily have filled her bottle up for her!!!!

So of course I went downstairs and filled up water bottle for everyone, and tucked them into their beds by their pillows. I settled down in my bed - only to realize I didn't have my water. Or my phone, which I felt I needed to have by me right then, I dunno, so I could phone for help from the rubble? Notice my naive belief that we'll all survive the imminent collapse and the only thing I have to worry about is staying alive under the wreckage for three days and then we'll end up on TV as the miracle family with everyone congratulating me for being wise enough to give my children water bottles at bedtime.

So I went back downstairs, and remembered this time to go to the toilet (one of things I was leaving Erica to cry to achieve) and I also checked the TV for information about the quake, to find it was a 4.6 on Japan's Scale, which is fairly high. No tsunami threat. Our whole town is only 1-2m above sea level, but our sea walls are as high as a two-storey house so a tsunami would have to be very large to get people moving.

Back upstairs I went, only to discover that I had again forgotten the water. Back downstairs again, this time remembering to check the emergency bag. I decided to take it out of the closet and put it by the door, just in case. Back upstairs again, no water, back downstairs again, finally got the damn water and set myself up with a torch, phone, water and the ventolin inhalers for asthma attacks in the rubble, all ready for the disaster.

I was unable to relax, every move Erica made had me thinking there was another one! There were several aftershocks, but I felt only one of them. I was unable to get to sleep until Kanji came home. I was so sleepy I didn't even go down to see him and debrief about the quake (ie, Why Weren't You Here!!!) I just breathed a sigh of relief and fell asleep. Not that I think he could perform any miracles, it just feels so much better to have someone there!

But the whole thing got me thinking about disaster preparedness, especially a little mental switch that flicked in me a few days later as I remembered myself sqatting next to Lena's bed with Erica in my arms. I had just MOVED when it happened, hadn't thought much, but just WENT. I then had this brief moment of calm when I realized I can trust myself to know what to do and to act in the best way possible at the time and do what I needed to do - and not get anxious about it beforehand. But earthquakes are so sudden and so powerful there's not much else you can do, apart from making a mental note of where the best place to shelter would be in each room. It does require some forethought, especially as growing children and new babies in house change the dynamics.

I think our biggest natural disaster risk here is typhoons and flooding. This is where the emergency bag would actually have some use - I threw some raincoats in there along with the radio and some snacks. There are also some boxes in the closet with emergency rations and first aid stuff, which I often wonder about the ultimate usefulness of. Either you're fine or the house is gone, right? So when do you get to use this stuff? If there's a power cut for several days maybe, or if the house is still standing but it takes a few days for the relief to come through, but that's usually in the really big events when your house would be gone, emergency rations with it. So I'm not sure but there they are, anyway!

Fire takes a bit of forethought I think. I've taught the girls several methods of getting out of their room, the first over the balcony onto the roof, and from there to the shed roof. It's also possible to get out both the windows of their room. I'm thinking of buying one of those exit ladders, if they're not too expensive, but they probably are. I'm definitely going to get some new fire extinguishers, as the one in the kitchen has expired. How nice that I never had to use it, though a few kitchen fires had me grabbing it just in case!

Sartorial disaster!

Okay, so I'm not Running in Heels at Marie Claire, but I at least I have enough fashion sense to spot a disaster and not get too far from the house in it. I got as far as Kanji's work where I dropped off Erica.

I know how this happened. I chose the socks to go with my black polo shirt, not realizing they were actually brown. I chose the shoes to go with my pants, in a hurry, on the way out the door. Red polka dots goes with everything! Especially when the only purpose your shoes serve is to decorate the genkan (entry way). They look cute sitting in a genkan!

I got as far as dropping Erica off with Kanji, where I finally put the socks on and realized with horror that this was not a Good Look.

The socks, well, they're a very light weave and pure cotton, so the only ones I want to wear in summer. And why even wear socks in summer? Because this is Japan, and everyone wears socks in summer, because no-body ever lets their naked feet be seen. And I'm not going to start the trend with MY feet, which are not only larger and more vile than the average foot, but on the day in question, were covered in black marks from my leather shoes, which I had worn in the rain a few days before. They were supposed to be the kind of socks that just come up over the toes, which you can wear under slippers or pumps. But I mistakenly got these ones instead, which really should be worn under sneakers.

This is much better don't you think?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kiddy disasters

Erica just walked up to me with a put on her scarred hand. It made me cry! Poor baby. She's been examining it a lot lately, and comparing it to the other hand. She knows something's wrong with it. I wonder if it hurts her at all?

Amy and Lena are at Maia's for the weekend. Kanji, Erica and I are going to Nagoya for the AFWJ board meeting. It should be fun, but I'll miss the girls - I hardly ever see them! Luckily Maia's Mum brought them past the office so I could say goodnight. Lena boings out of bed each night and into mine, she doesn't even remember doing it.

I forgot Amy at swimming on Wednesday! Baachan had picked them up, as Kanji had to go to Oita, and dropped her off at swimming. She finished at 6:40 and I was supposed to go get her as soon as my class finished at 6:50. But I forgot!!! I was so busy doing prep and catching up on paperwork. But I didn't forget about her - all along I had an image in my head of them all at Baachan's eating dinner. I even went shopping after, safe in the knowledge that they were cosily eating dinner and watching cartoons. Then I arrived, and Jiichan said 'Did you get Amy' and OH NOOO!!! Big gulf inside me of awful regret as I turned right around and went back to get her.

Poor thing. I parked up the back and she saw me come in but wasn't sure and called out 'Mummy?' in such a sad voice. I gave her a big hug, and reassured her I hadn't forgotten about her, just about swimming. But she must be growing up, or I really have managed to convince that I'll love her forever and never ever forget her or stop loving her, as she hadn't spent the time thinking she'd been abandoned by her family, but thinking up other scenarios, such as:

- I'd been pulled up by the police
- I'd been attacked and nearly murdered
- Erica had gone to sleep and I was unable to leave the house
- Baachan thought I went to get her while I thought Baachan went to get her

The one thing she didn't consider was that I was still at work. All along she was picturing me at home. She forgot I was still at work. Which is good because it helps her understand that I mistook her location in the same way!

All that plus Erica's had a fever and a nasty near-asthma cough all week. She just came up to me with another bandaid for her other, completely uninjured finger so perhaps she's just playing after all. And I should go hide the bandaids!