I am back in Marugame after having had the best Christmas with my family. I have such lovely memories of our time together; meeting in Hiroshima station,Christmas Day on Miyajima, green tea icecream,the useless taxi drivers of Tokyo, green lycra wearing 'sexy beasts' in Yoyogi Park, taking hours to find a way out of Tokyo subway stations,coffee,more coffee,getting lost, laughing until my stomach hurt,long train journies,teasing Dad,lots of good food,being together. I love you so much Mum, Dad and Oliver! You mean everything to me! I will write about our travels and put up some pictures very soon but for now, look at our family portrait aaahhhh!
I was a little apprehensive about returning to Marugame after travelling so much during the Christmas holiday. I find such happiness through travelling and I can't wait to do more with the people I care about here in Kagawa. After spending a couple of days on my own in Tokyo after my family went home, I felt a strange kind of feeling that really confirmed that I am beginning to feel at home here; I wanted to go back to Marugame. To see my little blue bicycle,my tiny apartment, and my friends here in my town. I cut my Tokyo jaunt a little short and took the nicest journey home on the Shinkansen. I listened to an album called World of Echo by Arthur Russell (which is full of amazing sounds) and stared out of the window for the whole time as the train passed by rugged coastlines, little towns and large mountains covered with snow, and beautiful forests.I want to do it again sometime. With somebody else. I wanted to talk to someone about what I was seeing but alas, there were no English speakers anywhere in sight and the man sitting beside me seemed to be more taken by the games on his phone rather than what was outside...incidentally, he did not lift his eyes from the phone for the entire five hour train journey. What a shame.
I am so happy to be back. My heart belongs to the city but I am probably never going to have the opportunity to live in such a community as this again.I have turned over a new leaf and I am going to learn to love my little town and its accompanying community. When I first came here, I made the mistake of comparing my life here to the life I lived back in London. I realise that I can find happiness (albeit different kinds) in both. The first thing I did on my return was go on a long bike ride and take a walk to the top of the castle. Later I met some of my friends for ramen and we talked about dinner parties,cycle rides to sweet shops and having all night parties across the bridge in Okayama. I feel so content to be here now and excited about all the happy memories I will make this year.
I saw lots of art in Tokyo when I did the Harajuku art walk. This man's life and work intrigues me; there was an exhibition of his work at the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art. Kiyoshi Yamashita 山下清 was famous for being both an artist and a wanderer. He used the "chigiri-e" method of sticking torn pieces of coloured paper together to depict scenery he saw on his travels, both in Japan and Europe . I like his work; it is warm and clear. I want to know more about Kiyoshi Yamashita and Japanese art and design.
Nagaoka no hanabi
Fishing at Kanamachi
Other things; I have become quite taken with the idea of eggs for breakfast. Eggs for breakfast with jasmine tea.
I like the click, click, clicking of knitting with bamboo needles.
I have been reunited with my shoes of joy(or rather shoe, the left got separated from the right somewhere between London and Asia four very long months ago). I am looking forward to wearing them in the summer time - they are silly and lovely.
<3I have been listening to lots of music by a Japanese folky group from the 1970s called Happy End, Glaciers, and having a Magnetic Fields epiphany.
<3 I can't stop reading the Lonely Planet Japan...
Happy New Year :-)