Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Blueberry boys

A couple of weeks ago, in a lull between various colds, we went blueberry picking. To be honest, I'm a bit indifferent to blueberries, but thought it might be a fun activity all the same. K's reaction was pretty much the same as mine, although he enjoyed himself and picked quite a few.

T though. T loved it. He grabbed great handfuls of the berries from H's container and shoved them into his mouth, pointed out all manner of wildlife, and ran about between the bushes waving grass seedheads and scattering grass clippings to the wind.

It cost 300 yen per adult to go into the blueberry fields, allowing you to stay as long as you like and eat as many as you like while you were there. H paid a little extra (I think another 200 yen) to be able to fill a container to take home too. K also had a container but, as a child, he only paid 300 yen anyway, and T, who probably ate the most, was free. We went, picked and ate and then had a picnic of bakery goodies bought on the way there. Then it was back to eating a few more blueberries before heading off to the park in Mizoguchi with the super-long roller slide.

No, don't worry, T didn't go down that great big slide all by himself. That was just him messing about at the bottom while we waited for K to come down.

Later we did all go up to the top though...

...and then arrive at the bottom with big smiles all round.

Next to the park is a small museum dedicated to oni, a kind of Japanese demon, with a giant green oni sitting on the roof. The town-run museum has been closed down for a while now but it happened to be open that day, in conjunction with some other event going on. We were able to climb up several flights of stairs inside the oni, and look out of his mouth over the town below...

Coming back down the stairs, K said 'Thank you for bringing me here today Mummy. I didn't know about this place and it was great!'. That's OK sweetheart, glad you enjoyed it :-)

Friday, 5 October 2012

10 signs of autumn...

  • closing the bedroom windows at night
  • Hallowe'en decorations in the shops
  • socks
  • no more swimming at kindergarten
  • long trousers for the boys
  • using the hairdryer
  • Harvest Moon
  • chestnut-flavoured everything at the bakery
  • Sports Day
  • colds for everyone :-(

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


The other day we made the decision to cancel cable TV. I'm the only one who watches it, and only one or two channels then. I record shows from overseas to watch at my leisure (hah!), but they're always changing the schedule without personally warning me and I've come to think that it's not worth the monthly fee, especially when there is so much available online for free.

Then we realised that cancelling cable TV would mean cancelling all TV, since our cable TV box also acts as a digital antennae for the regular channels. Unless we buy a separate antennae, we can't receive any channels at all. Actually this isn't really a big deal for us. Nobody watches those channels here anyway. H doesn't really watch TV at all and the boys only watch DVDs from the UK. Plus, it means we don't have to pay the NHK fees (like a British TV licence) anymore! So, the plug has been pulled.

It's not quite as extreme as it may sound though. The boys still have their DVDs, and we've taken out a subscription with Hulu. It's a website that provides access to a variety of TV shows and films, but we discovered that, with our recent model TV, we can watch it all directly on the television set. There isn't quite the range of programmes that I would have liked but it'll still take me a while to get through what they've got, and at a fraction of the price of cable.

Having a choice of things to watch has even tempted H into watching TV with me. His first picks? The very first episode of Colombo, and a famous Japanese murder-mystery film Inugami-ke no Ichi-zoku, both from the 1970s. I wonder what that says about us...