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Showing posts from July, 2019

Kyoto Anxiety

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Last weekend we went to Kyoto. Now it’s only half an hour from us by Shinkansen (bullet train) but I’ve wanted to go for over 20 years and the husband had time off work AND it was the boy’s birthday so we made a long weekend of it. I was so excited that it turned into anxiety. 


When you suffer from an illness like depression it manifests in many ways. My main issue is anxiety. I worry so much about the smallest details that I have panic attacks. I forget to enjoy myself. I put huge pressure on myself. I can see it coming, like a huge wave of water that’s going to knock me down. Sometimes I can stand strong and let it wash around me. Sometimes I drown in the undertow. There is nothing I can do to fight it. I try. I’ve tried many things but sometimes I just can’t win. Other times I get knocked over by the wave but stand up and let the water wash around me, knowing full well it is full of toxic emotions but it’s around me, not flowing through me. Looking at it I feel stronger. Looking at …

Summer rain

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Painting is ‘Quiet rain - Japan’ by Chisho Maas

I’m sitting on what is turning into my favourite stoop, listening to the rain and I’m sheltered by our balcony above. It’s not that private as it looks straight out onto the road but it’s a quiet road. In fact the whole neighbourhood is quiet. It’s 9pm on a Saturday night and all I can hear are a few cars in the distance, the rain falling and causing dripping all around and swelling the river at the bottom of our road. It’s so close and so quiet we can hear it at night. It doesn’t feel like we’re in the middle of the city and yet apartment blocks twinkle their nighttime lights all around us.
It’s the rainy season here so rain isn’t that surprising but was is nice is that the humidity is letting up for us.... some days at least. Sometimes it’s just sticky and you feel like you forgot to dry when getting out of the shower. Sometimes there’s a wonderfully cool breeze and the rain lifts the air and it becomes fresh with that summer rain smell.…

Can we live plastic-free in Japan?

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Simple answer: yes, but it’s bloody hard work. One big thing we’ve all noticed since moving here is that Japan is very much still in the throes of single-use plastic life and not many changes have been made towards updating this attitude. Now various propaganda (for want of a better word) will have you believe that Japan is amazing with its plastic recycling because it’s incredibly strict on what it recycles and how that is divided. As a home we have 2 different types of plastic recycling: PET recycling and plastic packaging such as crisp packets and bottle tops. Sounds awesome right? Well this article reveals (as do many more) that whilst the statistics say 84% of plastic in Japan is recycled. Amazing right? Wrong! Only 23% is materially recycled with 4% being chemically recycled and the rest is burned....let me say that again- the Japanese government says it recycles materials which is actually burns to create electricity. 56% of the plastic I take time to recycle gets burned. Now w…

The honest truth

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It’s not always easy living abroad. Whilst the experience of a new country is like nothing else it’s difficult to strike the right balance between the daily routine of school and work and boring household stuff in order to actually experience the country you come to live in. My job, as I see it, is to be chief organiser of excursions, holidays, visits and touristy things whilst balancing family life. I can’t always manage it as my brain sometimes takes a day off! Also, everyone is utterly knackered, it’s humid and raining all the time (but it is the rainy season), we don’t know the language or the culture and have a list of places everyone wants to go that’s longer than we can manage. Oh and there are mosquitoes.....lots and lots of mosquitoes.
But, as with everything in life, we are finding the balance. We all pick up when going on an adventure, we love our house and the area we are in which is right near the river (hence the mosquitoes). We have air conditioning so can avoid the humi…