Daily Life

Brush Aside

It’s a sodden May morning, so rather than risk my luck and hoping I’ll be able to brake properly, I’ve spent the morning enjoying the blooming bottlebrush flowers in our garden and being played with by my dinosaur.

Dino, the dinosaur

It used to be my habit to wake and immediately set off on a bicycle ride pretty much every morning of every day unless it was snowing or the roads were icy.

Weather barely came into play, but over the past year, rheumatoid arthritis has played an increasingly dominating role in deciding when I can or can’t go out.

Because it has such an effect on my braking, wet weather in particular tends to push me toward caution as the condition deprives me of gripping power, which makes it tough to brake at will, even more so in the wet.

Having said that, I’ve got to head out soon to visit the dentist, but I will give myself plenty of time and avoid riding on the steepest descents, especially as the only available bikes all use rim brakes.

At least I got to enjoy the bottlebrush in their full glory.

It’s hard to tell here, and easy to slip into hyperbole, but the tree does look absolutely magnificent and we have been blessed with dozens of flowers, many of which have ended up in bouquets and given as gifts to neighbors and family.

Rainwater on the leaves made them glisten in the early morning light, which I found made them even more spectacular. It has been a funny weather May. My impression of May in Tokyo in most years that I can remember (which is only the past 10 or so) is that it is sunny with blue skies and huge billowing clouds.

Not this year, though. There has been more sunny days than most months, but as of entering the second half of the month, they have been fewer than the bleak and rain days that have hit. And in something that has been common for much of 2024, it has been dark.

May symbolizes bright, shining light with strong UV-rays that usually have me looking tanned and healthy by now. But 2024 has been different. I noticed with the late blooming of flowers that the winter and early spring may have been unseasonably warm, but they were also irregularly dark.

Still, the grevillea (the one of the three that blooms <and does so spectacularly>) is packed with buds about to burst forth into flower.

And the kangaroo paw are inching their way into bloom.

The wait for these plants is excruciating as I grew them from seed and they carry such a huge burden of expectation.

Another plant grown from seed, a banksia spinulosa from memory, is also making steady progress, but is the only seedling I managed to get growing this year.