Goodbye, dear friend

So there I was preparing a blogpost all about the new life we are living when I get some bad news from back home. Our beautiful labrador, Ebby, who is the sweetest personality, was gravely ill and the vet saw it as a kindness to put her to sleep. He said in all likeness she had bone cancer and it had progressed quickly. For ages she had been getting stiff on her back legs but I think she had been hiding from us how much pain she was in. My sister had to deliver the news and with the time difference that meant it was the children’s bedtime when we spoke but lunchtime for her. We had just come home from a lazy dinner out when our world was shaken by the news that our wonderful friend was in a huge amount of pain and not the happy thing she is normally. We had to keep the kids out of the room as our eldest was away and we didn’t feel it was fair to tell the others and not her. The hardest thing was keeping it from our son that one of his dearest friends was basically waiting to die.
My da…

Rain, green leaves and a poem for a bed

I can feel the humidity ease as soon as the rain starts to fall. It rains here in Japan. It rains a lot! It really rains when it rains as well. No piddly “it’s just spitting” for this country. Oh no! It means it when it rains. And the humidity means it when it ramps up in the day’s before the rain. I’m sitting on a balcony in Starbucks (not very japanese eh?) enjoying the fresh, rain-scented air. I have ten minutes before my bus and this is my go-to cafe when bussing it. Why when I could choose the cute little coffees shops that are everywhere here? Well because of this balcony. There are only a few coffee shops I’ve noticed that have outdoor seating and having come from France, where outdoor seating is a must for every café and restaurant, I find this little space comforting. That and the baristas in this branch actually make a really nice mocha! Abd my bus stop is right outside The little cafés are too stuffy for me. Maybe in winter I’ll feel differently but for now this little west…

You say goodbye, I say hello.

🎶🎵 Hello, hello. I know you say goodbye but I say hello. 🎶🎵
Have I got that song in your head now? If not go and listen to it. My husband will point out the lyrics are wrong but hey, he’s a big Beatles fan.

So we’re here. We’re in Japan. Everything moved so quickly after my last post that I didn’t even have much time to crochet. Shocking I know! The hubby was amazing at helping me with paperwork so I didn’t drown in it and also helping me  generally organise stuff. The kids finished French school on 22nd February as that was their half term. It seems a very long time ago now! We went to England a month later after saying goodbye to our friends in France. In the mere 18 months we lived there we met some good folk. Lots of people wishes us all a good journey and bon courage for our future endeavours. We received unexpected gifts and shed many tears. Tears of sadness, of excitement, of anxiety and of shear unabashed overwhelming gratitude for the love.
In England we saw as much family a…

The strength of the wolf is the pack

Watching the remake of the Jungle Book is quite an awe-inspiring event. Towards the end my eldest said (as the mother-wolf Raksha charges the massive tiger Shere Khan to protect Mowgli) “the mummy wolf is protecting her cub”. My instant thought was “I’m trying, my darling, I’m trying.” So much trust. Our children trust us, sure they question us and so they should but ultimately they trust us. Even though we’re moving country again, even though we’re taking them away from their new-found friends and hobbies in France, even though we’re moving further away from our family and to a place that seems so completely alien to all of us. Despite all this they trust us. I wholeheartedly love them for that. “The strength of the wolf is the pack.”

(Copyright cloudtail the snow leopard)

And as the tears roll down my cheeks at the emotional end of the Jungle Book they hand me a tissue saying “oh mummy, we love you.”  And I know I’m doing alright. They are caring, compassionate, daring, questioning, i…

Sushi rolls and geisha

It’s official, I can say it now: we’re moving to Japan! Aaaaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh. I thought moving from the U.K. to France was a challenge but being 500 miles away from friends and family wasn’t difficult enough so we’re going further afield. (Now is that sarcasm or the wine talking?) As I said on my recent Instagram post “Holy sushi rolls, Batman!”

We’re all feeling a little bit overwhelmed and crazy right now. We are definitely a house full of crazy, tears, worries, research, questions and many comments of “what the *#~¥ are we doing?!” The picture above is actually me when I’d practised some yoga and was feeling a little calmer. This is the hubby and I before:

Actually we’re really excited. I in particular have always wanted to go to Japan. I’ve read many books about geisha and their role in Japanese society. I know it’s not everything but it drew me in and I want to learn more. Kyoto is definitely on my list of places to visit. Although we’ve already decided that the hubby will be the…

In between days

Hi all,
Did you have a good festive season? Ours was lovely. My parents travelled over and we all had our first Christmas in France. There was a lot of food, a lot of wine, a fake fire and a reasonable amount of presents (by that I mean not too many). Father Christmas delivered everything he was asked for and films were watched. A lot of time was spent in pyjamas and with good company, plus we played some games too. All good fun. 
Here are some of my festive photos for you. 

This is a bit of a downer: yesterday I went for a les than successful gynaecologist appointment about my endometriosis. He was nice but basically told me he wasn’t going to do anything at all, even for the pain. It was a bit of a miserable time for me as I spent ages travelling there by train (easier than driving) and hanging around for a 15 minute appointment that didn’t have any progress for my treatment of this illness. However, I was bought to earth with a bump when I saw this encampment of people in the park. 


Christmas preparations

Has anyone else gotten completely lost in Christmas preparations? I’ve made Amazon wish lists for my children (so effectively shopped twice) so our relatives know what their ever-changing far away cousins/nieces or nephews like (and thank goodness they’ve extended the same courtesy to us!). I’ve shopped and shopped either online or in shops and discovered massive, sparkling reindeer.

I’ve been trying to avoid the gilet jaune protests. I’ve organised the children getting gufts for each other (with a strict 5€ budget). I’m trying to work out what a traditional French Christmas is to give us a taste of it as we’re christmassing (is that gramatically correct?) in France for the first time. I’m planning various house cleaning/ bed changing strategies for when my parents arrive. I’ve negotiated with the children on which size tree to get. I’ve helped everyone back to health after we all suffered from a horrible virus (especially the small person). I’ve convinced my husband said tree is calle…