• Daily Life

    Final Blossoming

    Cherry blossoms are about to end their blooming season in Tokyo and I was luck enough to cop a few shots of them on my morning’s ride. The photos I took this morning were of yaezakura, the late-blooming, multi-layered blossoms whose appearance follows the peak of the hanami flower-viewing period symbolized by the someiyoshino flowers for which Japan is perhaps best known. Now I am waiting for more blooms in Kangaeroo Corner. I can see that we should get some azalea in the next few days. And I am absolutely thrilled at the way the bottlebrush is shaping up with…

  • Daily Life

    Hopes Raised, Then Razed

    Today has been another roller-coaster ride for my emotions, having started on a high and now falling into a deep trough. I’ve been keen for today for a few reasons, but mostly because on late Friday night I received an email asking me to apply for a job being offered with the prospect of long-term employment. I’ve been searching fruitlessly searching for a new job for years, and the offer seemed to be work within my capacity. But a closer look at the job description suggested that perhaps my abilities wouldn’t hold up, and then when it came to discussing…

  • Unknown Nichigo

    Zenshoen, A Story Of Cruel Tragedy

    All sorts of memories flooded back to me during a brief ride through Tama Zenshoen, a gorgeous park in outer western Tokyo, but also home to a tragic and cruel past for Japan’s Hansen’s disease patients. Zenshoen is a leprosarium and for most of its history, the 115-year-old facility was shut off from the rest of the world and its inhabitants quarantined inside, sterilized and forbidden from associating with the outside world, largely based on 1951 testimony to the Diet by Kensuke Mitsuda, a staunch segregationist but also unfortunately Japan’s foremost expert on leprosy at the time. This continued for…

  • Daily Life

    Strewth Prevails

    Spring finally seems to have arrived in earnest in western Tokyo after what has been a funny kind of first few months of 2024, and I know this because of the Fountain of Strewth. Our fountain is finally sprouting proudly in the morning sunshine where just a few weeks ago I had been lamenting that it was no longer working. It was operating perfectly, as it turned out, but the problem was that the solar-powered fountain wasn’t pumping water into the skies. It took hearing that veggie prices were skyrocketing for the pump’s poor performance to finally sink in: it…

  • Daily Life

    Mini Miracle

    One of the tiniest, daintiest, cutest little creatures I get to deal with has a back story of incredible strength and resilience, having bounced back from the brink of death to literally be thriving. I’m referring to our dwarf wattle, who is blooming brilliantly in what is proving to be a remarkable journey testifying to the power of nature. The wattle, a miniature shrub version of the better-known acacia trees like the golden and silver wattle, was grown from seed that I brought back from Australia. The dwarf wattle seeds initially sprouted extremely well, but I made the mistake of…

  • Daily Life

    Bye-Bye Blossoms

    Cherry blossom season in Tokyo has ended for another year, having brought bucketloads of delight in the process. Unfortunately, the little cherry tree we have in Kangaeroo Corner didn’t flower this year, probably because of the weird weather I’ve gone on about ad infinitum. Still, I got to do a few rides and saw plenty of the local cherry trees, which remain as delightful as ever even after all these years. I’m blessed to be in Japan, which is a country that never fails to produce something I can find wondrous, which I guess helps to keep me young, and…

  • Daily Life

    Floral Flamboyance

    I’ve said it before and will say it again (over and over, I’m sure), but Japan when the cherry blossoms are in bloom has got to be the most exquisitely beautiful place on earth and now, with the flowers bursting into their peak, is no exception. As happens nearly every da, I got to take a ride along the Tama River in the (still) pre-dawn hours. Today was a little different as the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, leading to some delightful shots. Perhaps even more beautiful were the blossoms on the tributary, Kotta River.

  • Strine Tucker

    Savorin’ Straya

    Aussie beef and lamb provided a meating (sic) of minds in central Tokyo today at the surprisingly enjoyable Aussie Meat Festival . Dragged along by Mrs. Kangaeroo, who loves a good chunk of steak and is not averse to lamb either, the celebration of Australian beef, lamb and other fare turned out to be a ripper. Not normally a great meat eater (simply because I don’t really like the taste), the day turned out to be a feast for all the senses, and not just the taste buds. Walking up to the site, the mouthwatering fragrance of roasting lamb wafted…

  • Daily Life

    Slice of Heaven

    Kangaeroo Corner, the name I give to our garden even though it’s not a corner but close enough anyway (which kinda sums up my life) is a little slice of Godzone for me. Gardening had never entered my radar until Mrs. Kangaeroo and the amazing Alex Endo presented us with an Aussie native plant garden just over two years ago. And while much of my life has entered something of a downward spiral since that time, the garden has been a little sliver of great joy. It’s really ironic as mum and dad were avid gardeners and dad even did…