Nurturing the Soul

British Poet Laureate Alfred Austin once wrote, “To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the bodybut the soul.” Kangaeroo is getting to find that out.

Gardening never really meant much to Kangaeroo, other than getting dragged out of bed as a youth on Saturday mornings to mow the bloody lawn with an antiquated, run-down Victa lawnmower.

Never the most energetic or enthusiastic of people at the best of times, the onerous task colored Kangaeroo’s views on gardening for decades, despite all family members showing a penchant and delight for gardening.

Having spent the vast majority of those aforementioned decades in Japan, where apartment life had been the norm and having a garden, even on a balcony, was rarely an issue, gardening was something that barely entered Kangaeroo’s consciousness.

However, having been blessed by circumstance and the amazing Alex Endo, gardening has become a daily delight.

Who could have dreamed that search and destroy missions for weeds could be so much fun?

And it’s a delight to enjoy the neighbors’ gardens, too, as well as to share information with them on the delights of getting out in the garden.

Fortunately, if a less-than-successful year so far, if nothing else the warmer months of 2022 in Tokyo have had finer than usual weather, which has also made the garden even more enjoyable.

The Aussie animals filling Kangaeroo’s garden are sure enjoying it, and so are the neighborhood cats and birds who are donating their unprocessed fertilizers!

Smashing Smashed Avo!

What’s for tea?

Kangaeroo was extremely fortunate to get to pig out on Aussie food while surrounded by kangaroos and koalas, all in the east of Tokyo!

Restaurant Ensemble on the second floor of Tokyo East Side Hotel Kaie has been holding an Oceanian Cuisine Fair as part of its World Buffet Dinner series since April 1, 2022, and it will draw to a close on June 30, 2022.

The food was fantastic, featuring such menu items as smashed avo, baked whitehead, roast lamb with rosemary sauce, fish & chips, whitebait fritters and chicken parma, all available in unlimited quantities.

Desserts were also exquisite, highlighted by the appearance of lamingtons.

The lammies were delicious, but perhaps not quite the taste of Australia.

They were more like coconut-covered brownies than the sponge cake and jam filled Australian staples, but delicious nonetheless.

Ensemble was also wonderfully decked out in lots of Australian and New Zealand-themed decorations and flags, adding to the flavor.

There was also some facts and figures about kangaroos for the kids who visit.

Thoroughly good time and an absolute delight!

The next theme in the series will be Thailand and Vietnamese cuisine, starting from July 1, 2022.

Shattered! Bye-Bye Belladonna

Beautiful Belladonna

Calling Belladonna the love of my life would be going a bit too far.

But only a tiny smidgen.

And she is waaaay up there.

But, the beautiful Belladonna is gone.

A cracked frame means this carbon bike is now an accident waiting to happen.

She is irreparable.

And it happened the very day after finally being given an all-clear to ride again following illness and injury that have been another plague to cope with since January.

Despondent is not the word.

But I cannot thank this beautiful bike enough for the sheer, unadulterated joys she gave me.

She has made it hard to ride another bike, though.

But, it’s a great chance to grow and learn.

My deepest thanks go out to JD for enabling Belladonna to come into my life.

Spring Has Finally Sprung

Almost as though on cue, probably the most delightful time of the year in Japan–May, when it’s warm, dry, sunny and with the longest hours of daylight–has been generally bleak and glim by its usual standards in 2022.

This year has been subjected a bit to the rule of law: Murphy’s Law, unfortunately.

Still, amid a global pandemic when the vast majority of people around the world are feeling the pinch in some way or another, there have also been plenty of blessings.

When the sun finally started showing its face with a bit of consistency as May drew to a close, it also enabled Japan’s glorious spring to put on yet another one of the fine faces it displays in this season.

And Kangaeroo’s 2022 spring was a little bit special because it was the first chance the Aussie garden got to bloom.

And boy was it special!

Can’t thank the magical Alex enough. His work is bringing absolute delight on a daily basis!

Amazing Alex’s Aussie Oasis in Tokyo’s Tama

Alex’s Garden Party

Enough Of The Cold, Already!

May weather is generally the best of the year in Tokyo, by Kangaeroo’s reckoning, and though it looks like it’s gonna shape that way, it would be nice to say “bye” to the cold until at least the late autumn.

The first weekday of May greeted early risers with a delightful sunrise over the Tama River.

Rain started falling around midday the previous day, rendering riding as a bit too tough.,

The rain persisted overnight and into the early hours of the morning.

The forecast was for the weather to clear and become sunny by the end of the day.

Roads were still wet and slippery, though, so care was required.

This is a strange day, being a one-off work day in the middle of a period of potentially close to two weeks’ off for some.

Unfortunately, Kangaeroo has to work, which meant waking in a downbeat mood.

Nature had a nice way of making the early rise worthwhile, though.

And Belladonna appreciated the morning, too.

She certainly got the chance to look resplendent.

And put on a fine show.

The outlook for the rest of the time off is pretty promising.

Fantastic Flowers!

Selfie

Blessed with great company, brilliant sunshine and time, Kangaeroo got to enjoy the unexpected pleasure of HANA BIYORI.

HANA BIYORI is a new type of botanical garden that forms part of the sprawling entertainment complex centered around Yomiuriland in the Tokyo suburb of Inagi.

HANA BIYORI was a delight simply to see all the vibrant spring flowers in bloom in a pretty park with lots of greenery, water and the occasional spectacular view.

The site also has a magnificent projection mapping show on the half-hour every hour during operation.

Also on site are stores with some interesting house plants on sale (mostly beautiful but overpriced), a Starbucks coffee shop that has adopted a unique, greenhouse-like appearance with some wonderful aquariums (but retained its exorbitantly priced and tasteless menu it offers ubiquitously) and a petting zoo for the littlies.

Absolutely loved the visit, though that was highly influenced by companions and the weather.