• Daily Life

    Reflections

    Today’s gonna be a demanding day, but hopefully a magical one in all sorts of ways. I’m connecting with wizards who I am hoping will whisk me away from the uncomfortable spot my professional life has found itself in, but the imposter syndrome is already really strong. At least I got a great ride in this morning as the last few days of the most glorious time of the year tick away. It was wonderful to ride along the Tama River in the early hours of the morning and greet the occasional Japanese green pheasant along the way. And then…

  • Daily Life

    Fantastic Flora

    Slowly but surely the flowers in Kangaeroo Corner are putting on an increasingly delightful show. It was a sodden start to what is likely to be a demanding week or so as the company’s sole native English speaker in the office and the busy season well underway. But the flowers made a beautiful start as our bottlebrush continued to thrive and the grevillea starting to move into full bloom. Kangaroo paw buds are also evident, but the full flower is still some time away. And the other plants are enjoying the growing season by reaching skyward and looking great. I…

  • Daily Life - Unknown Nichigo

    Wings of Desire

    At Mrs. Kangaeroo’s whim, we headed off to the nearby U.S. Air Force Yokota Air Base to “enjoy” its Friendship Festival where it opens its gates to the general public and gives them a glimpse of what goes on behind its barbed wire. The huge crowds reminded me of how much so many Japanese adore the United States. It was my first visit to the Friendship Festival almost 30 years and things have changed significantly. We needed to line up for more than an hour in a queue more than a kilometer long to get in, then spent another hour…

  • Daily Life

    Bees Knees

    One of the most striking aspects of my last visit to Oz (in the early southern spring of 2022) was seeing how honey bees swarmed around bottlebrush trees, clearly enjoying their presence and making me wonder if Japanese bees would like the callistemon in our garden. We got the flowers, but didn’t see too many bees until last week. Bees are great for gardens because they pollinate flowers and play a crucial role in diversifying the environment and attracting other creatures, such as birds. And the rumor mill must have been abuzz as the bottle brush in our garden is…

  • Daily Life

    Brush With Death

    I got to have a brush with death this morning. Nothing serious, of course, as I’m referring to a log-awaited photo opportunity with our bottlebrush in full bloom and the Death Machine as we refer to the rickety old recumbent bike which seems to offer the opportunity of terminating life every time it is mounted. As a pun lover, I’ve been waiting for the chance to use this headline for a while, but preparing the Death Machine for a ride takes time as I have to uncover it, set up the lights and flagpole to make sure drivers can see…

  • Daily Life

    Dwarf Wattle Gets, Well, Smaller…

    Gale-force winds typical of spring in Tokyo wreaked a bit of havoc in Kangaeroo Corner as a rack of hardenbergia was blown onto the dwarf wattle and snapped the miracle tree’s trunk in half. I was crestfallen to see the damage done to the tiny version of wattle that we’re growing in a pot. But that plant is made of stern stuff, indeed. It was one of many grown from seed, but the only one of a dozen or so that survived, and even then it was by accident. Not only has it held on, though, but thoroughly thrived, growing…

  • 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. 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…

  • Daily Life

    Foo, Gee!

    May is, for me, the most delightful time of the year in Tokyo, and I was doubly blessed this morning when greeted by the sight not only of Mount Fuji, but with snow on top. Fujisan, that iconic symbol of Japan, is notoriously camera shy and it’s a rare day indeed to get a clear view of the mountain outside of the colder months from say, late November through to March. When you do get to see Mount Fuji in warmer times, more often than not it is a view of the bare mountain. But today, just a couple of…

  • Daily Life

    Brushing Up All Right

    Our bottle brush has finally burst into bloom, and what a glorious show she is putting on for us! Mrs. Kangaeroo has let loose with her amazing talents again and made plenty of bouquets using the delightfully scarlet flowers, and now I’ll deliver some to Mother-in-Law Kangaeroo to mark Mother’s Day, as it is here in Japan and in many other parts of the world today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums around the world, and heartfelt thanks to my mum, who’s still kicking on (and probably will be for eternity the way she’s going).

  • Daily Life

    Just A Bit Longer!

    The hand-wringing wait for spring blooms is slowly starting to draw to a close as more and more sections of the Kangaeroo Corner garden burst into flower. Our callistemon is literally packed with buds that are bursting into blossom in what is actually quick succession, but feels to be interminably long. The yearned-for kangaroo paw are also showing tremendous progress, as are the banksia and grevillea. Another week or two and the garden will be at its peak! Sadly, the cute little bugs that were enjoying our garden through to this morning appear to have met their demise, judging by…