It's over

Summer that is.

And I'm as blue as a girl can be.

Cher has such a great voice for melancholy days.

Ahhhh,.... summer is over. The cicada chorus is getting quieter and more lonely. The rice is bending it's head and looking bowed down. The persimmon are dive bombing anyone silly enough to walk under their tree. The vegetable garden is looking bereft and awaiting an overhaul from it's summer glory to it's more spartan Autumn garb.


I'm as blue as a girl can be.

I love summer. Live for summer. Feel more alive in summer.

But summer is over today.

Need to think of good things about Autumn.....


apples I guess.....

sweet potatoes.....

the full moon festival....

sport's day.....

nope. Not working.

It's over.

And I'm as blue as a girl can be.


catching up in photos day 5- the rice

No words.

Just a moment of hushed awe and wonder and total rice respect and admiration please.

Oh and you are welcome to compare our vibrant green rice with the smaller, yellower rice behind, too.

Just because I have no humility whatsoever when it comes to the rice!


catching up in photos day 4- the ducks

We went out to the fattening farm to say hi. The ducks have about 200 friends and are having a wild old time squawking up a storm. I don't know what was more overpowering, the sound or the smell!

With so many there it was pretty impossible to pick ours out (well Amy was sure she knew but....) but I think they all look pretty good and so big!

Not sure what's going on with the pictures. I was taking them on my phone. Hmmmm


catching up in photos day 3

Crop circles?
Very, very localised voracious locust plague?
Something quite toxic in that yellow crate?

No, no, no and nope. (An extra one for good measure!)


Despite the less than perfect conditions hat border on neglect we are getting a bumper crop. Yeah! Only dug up the Mayqueen and danshaku so far but really looking forward to getting to (finding!) the Incan gold ones.

Yum, yum, yum!

The perfect post-potato harvest lunch- baked potato with tomato and basil sauce and real Aussie cheese!


catching up in photos day 2

A day at Lake Nojiri.

Lake Nojiri is this portal that takes you out of Japan and into some dream of an English speaking country from an imagined bygone era when everyone had lots of free time, a nice word and a smile for all they met and the desire to just sit and chat. All that and it's only 90 minutes up the road- bonus!

The girls had a great time with friends they've known since they were 6mo in Meg's case and before they were born in Amy's!


catching up in photos day 1

Crazy season here, too much work, too much garden, too much neighbourhood stuff, too much volunteering and the only thing I'm not getting too much of is sleep!

So, cheating like crazy and catching up on the week in pictures that may or may not have been taken on the day they are posted under but all happened in the last week.

Day 1
The garden before:


Yeah. And there were still veggies under there. Amazing!

Bad year for tomatoes, short season for cucumbers, zucchinis gave up the ghost and the lettuce ran to seed like it was at Olympic tryouts but the eggplants, the entire pepper family from sweet to agghhhh!! the beans, the cabbages and the bitter gourds are keeping us well fed.



See the toy wheelbarrow? It's full of water. And it was empty yesterday morning. Crazy weather. Crazy amount of water but not much of a summer. Boo hoo.

Oh well, the lawn looks nice.

And it's not stopping the girls as you can see!

It would be nice to see the sun again before summer is over, though.

sigh..... I swear I'm solar powered and this weather just makes me feel bleak.


welcome home

We got to Narita 8pm Saturday night.

We got through customs and immigration by 8:30pm.

We met K: 'DADDDDDDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!' and got out on the road soon after.

It should be a 5 hour trip. It was when K drove down Saturday morning.

It wasn't when we headed back as there was an accident at a junction and it was the start of the obon holiday period so it was crowded to boot.

Oh and K was just a little tired what with all that driving so he stopped for a few catnaps.

All in all we got home at just after 3am.

And the girls were up before 7am.


But that's ok because the garden had missed us as well:

At least I think there's still a garden in there....

Welcome home.


the wedding

was beautiful.

And so much fun!

And so so much more fun being a guest than the bride.

And we had a whole load of pictures.


Past tense.

On the plane home Meg wanted to look at the pictures so I showed her how to.

Then Amy spilt juice.

And I was cleaning her up while she was scrabbling for an errant jellybean and causing thousands of dollars worth of chiropractic damage tothe passenger in front (who was luckily about 8 years old so hopefully we'll be long forgotten when he needs back surgery) and Meg was asking me a load of questions as she forgot which button to press and I stupidly said something like 'just keep pressing until the picture changes' and it did.

It changed to black.

And I found out Meg can read "no image."

Well, "No I-ma-geh" which unfortunately means the same thing.


But I really couldn't get mad as I had told her what to do and she did it and she realised instantly what she'd done and she was shattered.

But you know? If you're going to lose your pictures a wedding is the place to do it as everyone else is wielding cameras as well- bonus!

But you've got to get organised enough to ask people to send you copies and stuff....

And so there're none of those photos here yet.

But here is what I have from my phone camera that Amy was using as Meg was using K's phone and she felt left out.

And it seems looney now but at the time handing over expensive electronics equipment to a 5 year old to avoid having what would certainly be her ardent displeasure recorded for all eternity on her Aunt and Uncle's wedding video just seemed like a really really good idea.

And so- the wedding as Amy saw it:

A tree with a mysterious black object in front of it. No clue and as far as I can recall (and I didn't drink that much champagne!) there were no trees pivotal to the ceremony...

My dad, me and my brother. Amy says 'say cheese!' after she's taken the picture. As you can see only my brother twigged on that one.

And other than some out of focus extreme closeups of her finger and one positively booby-licious pic of a bridesmaid that I deleted out of respect (don't bend in to talk to a four foot photographer...) that was it.

Yup. The bride didn't even get a look in.

I'll have to check how Meg did on K's camera.

Here's one I took when I wrested my phone back:

Ohhhhh..... my little girl looks all grown up!

we're baaaack!

Well, a while ago now. We got back ten days ago but my computer didn't take well to the journey and the power cord died. No power no blog. :(

But I'm back!

One fabulous looking and fabulously expensive silver powercord later and it's back in business time.


And we're off!

My baby sister's getting married ad we're all off to see her do it.

Haven't packed yet, haven't cleaned up anything but I have done web-checkin and caught up with work and blogging so time for bed and I'll pack in the morning, yeah? As long as we have the passports, tickets and credit card, right?

Well and wedding outfits... and shoes.... Meg's meds.... sunscreen.... hats.... agghhhhhh I hate packing!


Summer camp day 3

I only took one picture day three... busy, tired, otherwise occupied.... what a pity! But, there was an official camera operator so hopefully I will get some more pics from him.

One of my jobs at camp was designing and implementing (how cv speak is that???) the scavenger hunts. I love this job, too as it's fun thinking of activities that will keep a wide randge of kids- from quiet to over-active, from 5 to 13 years old, occupied and having fun for an hour and in teams to boot. Phew......

Day 1 was a picture treasure hunt and the kids looked at the picture, identified the object and ran there to get the next picure.

Day two was an information search and they had to write down the name of the park from the English sign, count the steps down to the river, tell me how many kinds of drink there were in the vending machine etc etc.

Day three was a physical challenge hunt where the kids performed tasks to get their stages ticked off. Get your whole team on the slide at the same time, link two trees with the members of your tea,m etc etc. One of the challenges was getting across the climbing wall:

And that was summer camp day three in my camera's experience.

I'm simultaneously exhausted and already thinking about next year's camp!


Summer camp day 2

This was my activity in the free choice activity time. It combines all the stuff I love- crafts, water, building stuff and a little bit of friendly competition. We made sail boats out of milk cartons, straws, cellophane and tape. Lots of tape! Then we decorated them with permanent markers and floated, pushed, blew and raced them down the smaller of the rivers. It was so much fun and I was supposed to be just supervising! The kids got really into it and kept modifying their boats and trying again, then a little more tweaking then another run etc etc. The time flew (sailed?) by.

Ready... set......

And they're off!

Come on red! Come on blue!

The race wasn't without its hurdles...


summer camp day 1

bloggie silence here as English Summer Day Camp is on this week and it is so much fun and so interesting but phewwww so tiring!

So, day 1 in pictures:
Getting ready to go fishing. The fish have absolutely nothing to worry about with all the splashing and hollering and out-of-water-hook time but the kids have a ball and that's the main thing, right?

Building rock (gravel?) cairns. Some of the older girls got really into this and the record was eight rocks. Rock selection is vital.

Egg and spoon races with natural obstacles- rocks, roots and hillocks and tussocks.

water balloon toss competition. This was a lot of fun. Squeally, wet fun but fun none the less.

Of course lots of other stuff happened as well but I was there as geeral camp staff rather than official photographer so that's all for day 1.