It was a lot more relaxed than last year when K was very busy doing the respecting thing.
This year the old people in our neighbourhoodgot their sake, lunch, karaoke and dumpling present from someone else.
But before they took over the neighbourhood community centre we had an evacuation drill.
Yes, another one.
But you know, better safe than sorry and all that and after the events this year (Tohoku earthquake, north Nagano earthquake, Wakayama landslide, typhoons etc) it's always good to be prepared so we turned up at our arranged meeting place (at an intersection near a stand of bamboo- safe in any conditions and away from concrete fences).
Meg and Amy were wearing their superhero belts and carrying newspaper swords. Our concession to safety was to wear hats for sun protection.
One neighbour went back to her house twice- once for a hat and once for her phone.
Another neighbour arrived by car. Well it turned out she had been out and was just getting home.
One family arrived in sandals.
And then there was the neighbour who turned up in his safety helmet, with his emergency bag on his back, long sleeves, long pants and work boots and holding a radio. That was on and tuned to the national broadcaster.
Made the rest of us look woefully like tourists!
After everyone arrived and was accounted for we headed to the community centre for a talk about fire extinguishers.
Super heroes taking a break sitting on the festival flag pole
Learning how to use a fire extinguisher. The basics were:
Yell fire!! Apparently a lot of people want to put it out without alerting their family- thinking they'll get yelled at.
Don't carry the extinguisher by the handle as you can accidentally trigger it and you only get 10 seconds. (I had no idea on that one!)
Point at the base of the fire.
Be aware that there will be a big cloud of smoke and smoke extinguisher powder and you may cough and become oriented so ensure the route out to safety is clear before you start extinguishing.
All in all pretty interesting but I hope I never need to use my new info!