Tag: winter

Warm in the Winter

Dino the dinosaur is no slouch in finding a warm place in the winter, which is a handy trait when you’re a rosy faced lovebird.

She huddles up next to her heaters, on the nest she builds out of the strips of paper she so dexterously rips off with her beak, or nestles in the nape of Kangaeroo’s neck, or in the sleeve of his cardy.

Rest assured, though, where it’s warm and comfortable in Kangaeroo Corner, there’s a good chance you’ll find Dino.

It’s reassuring to have her in the cardigan sleeve as I type, to be honest (even though she’ll probably poop there, too).

She laid eggs recently: three of them.

And before the first one came out, she gave us a pretty big scare, as noted last week.

But, motherly duties over, she’s now back to her co-dependent best, if not quite as chirpy as she can be. And she never fails to find the warmth, so it’s good to be close to her at the traditionally coldest time of the year.

Not Everything About Winter is Cruddy

Winter sucks….for the most part.

Winter is cold, dark and seemingly endless and colorless.

For someone whose daily routine involves rising early and cycling, winter is not exactly the pleasantest time of year.

And the cold mornings start from November and linger on until deeply into April at least, and sometimes even May, so more often than not, it’s chilly at least.

January ends today, so on the calendar the winter doesn’t have much more time to eat away at us.

Winter can’t end soon enough for the Aussie garden at Kangaeroo Corner.

Many of the plants are feeling the pinch, most notably the jacaranda, whose leaves have turned brown and brittle and seem likely to drop over the coming weeks.

Yet, it’s not like winter is all bad.

Kangaeroo’s dad always used to point out that the winter and lack of leaves on trees allowed more light to shine through.

Fair enough (despite the days being so short).

And the skies are often crisp and clear, at least in Tokyo.

This can create some wonderful sunrises, too.

For Kangaeroo, one of the features is the birds.

Lots of birds partake of the waters at Kangaeroo Corner.

The birdbath and its solar-powered super fountain (so named because of its amazing capacity to continue working despite being cheap and shoddy) attract avian life.

Waiting for the birds to come and have a drink is a morning highlight in winter.

And there are some real beauties to be seen.

Getting Off to a Good Start

So far, the winter of 2022-3 has been fairly kind to Tokyo.

Unlike 2022m when the early days of January saw snow and generally gloomy weather, this year has been warm and sunny on the whole.

Kangaeroo got on the bike early today and headed downtown to meet some mates near Tokyo Tower.

It’s Coming of Age Day in Japan, a national holiday, and the first when legal adulthood in Japan is designated as 18 years of age instead of 20, as it had been up until this year.

The holiday is also one of those made flexible a few years ago to give people more time off. While it’s great to have another long weekend, surely it could have been added onto the New Year break to give people a full week instead of forcing them to return to the workplace for one or two days?

Anyway, the rides in and out were both sublime! It’s cold, but not too bad, and there is no strong wind so far, which makes things much easier.

The weather also augurs well for cleaning up the lawn, which Kangaeroo is now gonna get stuck into.

Looks like a tough week ahead, but striving as much as possible to live in the moment and not get too overwhelmed.

Tower of Strength on an Icy Morning

Today started with a pre-dawn trip to Tokyo Tower.

A quick get-together with some mates over coffee and chockies followed.

And then it was a ride back home.

Now it’s on to familial duties.

It was cold and dark heading into town.

Just about every traffic light seemed determined to earn its keep by making Kangaeroo stop.

Still, Kangaeroo got to ride in with a reasonably quick time.

The get-together was over pretty quickly. It was nice to see some old faces for the first time in a while. It also reaffirmed how much the pandemic has changed things.

Yet another running race had taken over the Tama River cycling road again, which made riding home a little more onerous than a regular day when the track is largely deserted.

The family shindig will also involve a fair bit of riding, both to and fro, with the latter almost certain to take place in the dark. Will need to be careful coming home.

Morning wasn’t a bad start: Nearly 70 km ride

Bumping Into the Candyman

The dagashi-ya bike

Today was supposed to be a day for a new beginning.

It was: just not the way it was meant to turn out.

After today, Kangaeroo will be bigger and bolder.

Rather than in a metaphorical sense, though, it will be a literal increase in size following a day of comfort eating to try to feel a bit better and then to compensate after gorging.

An early rise was supposed to spark a trip downtown, but instead saw a return to bed.

A day dedicated to seeking professional options was utterly fruitless and ended in a bitterly depressive downward spiral.

Eventually, Kangaeroo built up enough motivation to get out on the Death Machine.

But, upon trying to pump up the tires, wrecked a valve and had to change the tire instead.

As always, riding made a difference, and doubly so with the Death Machine and its added adrenalin shot of one’s demise being imminent throughout the entire ride.

The ride provided the day’s highlight, coming across a group of guys traversing the Tama River cycling road with a portable dagashi candy store on the back of their bike, It proved a popular attraction for the young kids enjoying their New Year holiday.

Arriving home, it was dark and bleak and lonely.

Beautifully Breaks the Tama River Morning

Mornings can be hard to get up for, particularly in the cold and dark of winter.

Yet, some things make it worth waking early for.

Waking, then moving, can be a great way to start the day.

It can get the body working and warmed up before the mind takes over, or even put the mind in a decent space.

In Kangaeroo’s case, it’s handy. The mind is rarely friendly.

Winter 2021-2 has not been particularly constructive.

Moved to a home last year, renovations kept it dark….for three months.

Work is not going well. Laid off three times in 2021. Not feasible to retire.

Bike breakdowns, and no replacement parts owing to supply problems.

Camera stops working and repairs cost as much as a new one.

Working extra jobs to try to recover lost income.

Can’t ride, can’t shoot, can’t avoid work. Darkness.

But the glorious mornings are worth waking for.

The gorgeous light as it breaks through the dark. The solitude. The serenity.

Make it all worthwhile.

Compliment Courage!

Boosted by a blessing, inspired to take more photos and now hoping not to be a pretentious dick

On a bleak and wintry December morning with conditions ideal for moaning and a terrible start to the day, Kangaeroo got a boost with an unexpected plug for the site’s photos.

Coming totally out of the blue, it was a sheer delight and anything else that happened in the day suddenly became irrelevant.

But more was to come. The praise led to an unexpected connection.

And a reminder that the darkest part of the day is always immediately before the dawn. I know what it’s like and we’re never alone, even if it feels that way.

Deeply grateful for some of life’s blessings….now just wish that could be reproduced in these bloody photos!