Category Archives: Japan Cottage Musings

musings via video recorded from Tsuchida Cottage (and related locales), Okayama with personal updates, current projects, cozy greetings

We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

More outings to Stanley Park for picnics with pals and explorations including Earth Day excursions, aquarium visit, and horse carriage circumnavigation – after a few topsy turvy days – plus eats back at HQ with Ryoko, Ichiro, and free radical visitors before seaplane escape to Vancouver Island.

We <3 Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Exceptional humans who followed our cryptic geo-coordinate dispatches to various willow tree hobbit camps included:

* Rebecca B, on Stanley Park Eco committee

* Mikala F, of Backstage Rider fame, etc.

* Jess and Stewart M, ”the Antlers” #KBO

* Simon, Barb and Roland – creatives all, coming by bicycle with cake in Tupperware carrier

* Jon, Michy with son A – we’ll see these brilliant folks again

* Marcus with wife K and son O – yet another kid from the same era as our Ichiro… I’m hoping they all start an international club/band

* John and Elena– with commemorative meta-mug 

* Vanessa T – with Weblos medicine

* Kei B – with New Town Bakery boxes

* Jess W & daughter L. – joining us on a horse carriage commentary circumnavigation

* Jason S. and Višnja M. – adorable brilliant newlyweds (among other qualities)

* Finlay – young poet, emerging hockey-ist and possible future pilot (son of Monique and James, met previously)

* David D. – modern classical composer

* Betty-Ann and daughter P. – from back in the olden Surrey days

* Jerry Kroll – super entrepreneur with a new book https://www.jerrykroll.ca/

BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)
BC Invasion, part 3, We <3 Stanley (and Harbour Air Seaplanes)

Unsurprisingly, impossible to provide adequate commentary on each of the wonderful folks who took the time to commune with us, and my apologies to anyone who wasn’t able to find us or otherwise missed a snapshot in this dispatch. I’m doing my best, we did our best.

Topics & places, amongst others, include:

  • Food – so much gifted (thanks!), ordered, prepared etc & all savoured at 1234 Hornby HQ with flowers and sometimes hockey
  • Commemorative postcards preview
  • Earth Day excursions
  • Horse-drawn carriage ride with “plenty of commentary” about smallpox and horses
  • Reminisces of childhood birthday, teenage hi-jinks and adult sojourns
  • Sulphur pile (giant and unwavering in size) and floating gas stations
  • Glimpses of Rose Garden, Robbie Burns statue, Lumberman’s Arch, and other scenes before… 
  • Glorious Totem Poles, a homecoming of sorts
  • Japanese WW1 cenotaph, an important place of remembrance 
  • Zoo grottoes (abandoned & i wanna make a music video or concert here)
  • Vancouver Aquarium sidequests
  • Olympic torch assortment dealio
  • Postboxes and shoelaces, as usual 

And a riff about places we didn’t go: Gastown, Railtown, Chinatown, Seabus, as well as Vancouver’s bewildering lack of public restrooms & note to myself about “its about the future!” and reminder of theme “Family, Friends, Parks and Gardens” plus a special dedication to the memory of Darren Barefoot.

Finally cappuccinos and a flight via the wonderful Harbour Air from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria with the glorious Gulf islands and Cascadia scenes flashing below the pontoons – with water taxis, Legislature building and Seattle Clipper in the inner harbour awaiting us on the sunny docks. 

BC Invasion, part 3, with cappuccinos
Continue reading We Love Stanley – #BCinvasion, part 3

Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

Moving north across the Fraser river to downtown/West End, Vancouver, settling into a kitchenette hotel for several days, enjoying tea ceremonies, hotel picnics, coffee times and pleasant times with friends, plus our initial foray into Stanley Park.

#BCInvasion, part 2 / Downtown Vancouver & Stanley Park

Part 2 of this mixed-media montage series includes:

* Construction site across the street from “1234 hotel”

* Friendly Maple Leaf deli reunion and picnic stash

* Crow attacks and rainstorms on 4/20 at Stanley Park

* Excursion to Kafka coffee shop for pal hang-out, hugs & tasty snacks

* Several waves of tea ceremonies at hotel with generational bowls & significant rattle

* Special thanks to book and record “mule” from OlyWa + waffles

* Rooftop tea at coliseum-inspired library ceremony with books

* Parallel-life experience with a fella with a vintage Volkswagen bus, selling Japanese inspired stickers and patches by Vancouver Art Gallery

* Coffee catch-up with punk rawk radio/photog/cat enthusiast

* Staring down dramatic demons at St Paul’s (and marking how far I’ve come)

* Scenes of life, building, trees, gardens and sidewalks strolling and observing

* Plus hotel picnics, Cherry Garcia ice cream, Whitewood Cider, bits of dispatches, flashes of hockey games with hidden messages, silk robe lobby lounging, Mae Maes on teevee

Special greetings to all who tracked us down – including, in this wave:

* Roland (by bicycle, by bicycle)
* Lance from OlyWa (with books & vinyl)
* Wayne (in midst of a move)
* James (with real talk)
* Monique (let’s enjoy tea!)
* Danielle and beautiful daughter
* Mark, community wrangler
* Chris, sundancer & deadhead
* Eric Flexyourhead (rawk, etc)
* Kemp (popping in here and there)

thanks for alllll your planning / logistical help and friendship Monique

Music:

“Blood’s Too Rich” by Luke Doucet (Whitehorse, Veal, White Falcon etc) https://sixshooterrecords.com/artists/luke-doucet/

“Change of Scene” by The Matinée https://thematineemusic.com + new album: https://the-matinee.bandcamp.com/album/change-of-scene

Continue reading Downtown + West End Vancouver and Stanley Park / #BCInvasion flashback, part 2

OKJ to YVR + South Fraser / #BCInvasion flashback, part 1

Starting from our adorable local “Momotaro” airport in Okayama Japan, me (Dave) and my darlings Ryoko and Ichiro head to my former hometown of Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada aboard ANA (we’re shareholders but no big deal :)).

come on along with part 1 of our #BCInvasion

Part 1 mixed-media montage includes:

* first night in Richmond hotel with giant coffees and croissants

* off to “south of Fraser” for family times in Langley

* spontaneous barbecue with pals in Cloverdale and other variety of foods, more food and setting up a Japanese food corner

* making special packets of commemorative postcards with nieces and nephews

* White Rock beach for fish and chips and sunset

* Amtrak Cascades train chooglin’ through

* Surrey Eagles playoff hockey game with Zamboni

* mission to Mission for sight of Kamel Gill’s last stand with his brother Charlie (in which many mysteries are revealed)

* more food, presents, relaxing times with Grammy & brother/cousins/etc.

* plants, trees, nurseries, landscaping equipment, & spaces to run around

* stop for donairs while heading onto next “checkpoint” which is downtown Vancouver/West End for Stanley Park etc.

* finally, arriving at hotel with the sight of a construction site across the street to Ichiro’s amusement

Next chapter: exploring Vancouver downtown scenes and lots of meet up with friends – and variety of weather – in Stanley Park and spontaneous tea ceremony at hotel 

Continue reading OKJ to YVR + South Fraser / #BCInvasion flashback, part 1

Good night & good year / Reiwa 6 Ahoy

So tired, heading to bath and bed.

Just thinking about you…

PS while the bath is running however, a few brief remarks about a year of reunions – both inbound and outbound – (seems like too much but it’s never enough), gratitude for quality healthcare after so many hospital visits, and hooray for a great “forest preschool” run by the YMCA for Ichiro.

more to say about next year and the theme of “calm” and other schemes and dreams but we’ll save that for another chitchat, shall we?

Grateful for you and your friendship, quite sincerely and seriously.

{all the tabs will not be closed, many emails unreplied, various messages and conversations left dangling, flip the page, carry-on}

So we go on… Reiwa 6 ahoy!

gn & gy

Sort-ganzing Global Postcards into Folios

Ya like postcards? Oh good! Handwritten Letters abound (with related anecdotes and digressions)

Let’s take a world tour with postcards, c’mon

Delightfully and gratefully, so many postcards and letters over the past few months, from Vietnam, Ireland, Ukraine, Germany, Bahamas, Croatia, Spain, Austin Texas, St John’s Newfoundland and St John Arizona, San Francisco via Prince Edward County (not island), Austria (by way of Himalayas) various British Columbia islands and mainland, of course around Japan (Gifu especially), and heck Cape Cod and more.

Each comes with a story, some with sketches so – in a poorly lit bedroom with a strange machine at side – riff about each and share the stamps and stories which stashing into a folio. Folios really as some go in “general”, others have a separate binder, others into a special collections, others to be considered at a later point.

Then all tidies up with sharing postal address and a Dymo Label.

Includes backgrounder about Wade Davis’ stellar book about early approaches to Everest from Tibet side “Into the Silence”.

Post, pals and figuring *it* out (together, alone) – Japan Cottage Musings

Back from seitai with kindly sensei & feeling spun and bit blue / confused or some combo and wearing a dead man’s wonderful brown cotton jimbei, attempting a somewhat useful ramble while a bit scrambled up.

Namechecks and stories about/from:

* Casey Bean of The Beanpod with stickers & personal narrative 

* Diego the street sketcher with a Hermes Baby typer letter

* Pam from Pacific Blue days with BC pins (which Ichiro loved!)

* Emma Swift with LP of Bob Dylan songs & mental well-being challenges 

* Andrew McLuhan carrying on father Eric & grandfather Marshall’s media message literacy work + punk rock & poetry

* Passports from 1960s UK awaiting remixing like Jason Emde (poet of “little bit die” & Writers Read Their Early Sh*t  pod) and others filled with poetry, ephemera, maps & secret compartments 

* A side bar about Bob Dylan’s propensity for leaving the stage early (probably because he has some painting or welding to do but maybe he just has some things on his mind that he doesn’t have ability to share with someone who will just listen), then:

* Soviet-era documents sparking a conversation about what constitutes identity and why we carry a little bit of stationary to declare who we are… avoiding the rabbit hole of discussing sovereignty, residency, citizenry and other digressions.

And (another) foreshadowing about the simple task of putting postcards into an album because each is so precious i feel should talk about each one individually so maybe get around to it if you hang out with me.

A bit of the fantastic Newfoundland band “Hey Rosetta!” gently frames the conversation with “sorry this is it, cold and hard and badly lit, but there’s no backing out of it…”

And there’s a birthday greetz for John Biehler via Stanley Park and tea. 

And backdrop paintings by John Ferrie (he’s got a sale going on) providing a ‘Eye in the Sky’ panorama of our semi-recent BC invasion. 

Really I’m just grateful to have you to hang out with as it’s beneficial for my mental and emotional well-being somehow.

Changes in Sanity (& Latitudes) – Japan Cottage Musings

Yes, I’m a little bit baffled.

I’m not sure what I’m doing with this or why I’m doing this or who I am but whatever

In bed, confused, rambling slurring, fiddling with ukulele, remembering Jimmy Buffett, Jamaica, “all the places I’ve been” (Nepal, Suez, Istanbul, Grand Canyon… criss-crossing continents). gratitude for friends (that’s you), especially those who pick up the phone and send postcards, talking about ice packs, eye masks, hot pillows, more postcards (especially from Sri Lanka), envelopes with 13 queens, concerts i won’t go to, folding laundry, and a memo I need to write for the hospital.

Royal Gratitude for #UW53 Birthday Greetz #trying

oh just me talking with my hands with some great John Ferrie paintings behind

A fumbly stumbly but well-intentioned message of gratitude for sending fond wishes for a birthday and whatnot.

Post-BC-trip for various reasons, been feeling a little bit mentally unwell, struggling, so I’ve been laying low while I try to pick up the pieces and figure out what comes next //

So – conciseness/brevity not being my strong point, I say something about “hooray for the trip, my brain will eventually be all right (everything is wonderful except for a few things) and something about typhoons and how I sent out a lot of cards but never seems to be quite enough.”

Then – more to that point – talk about going to an {underwhelming} van Gogh exhibit by bus and eating venison and blueberries with Ryoko & Mac-san + the incredible Ichiro Stanley.

It’s all a long clumsy way of saying “I am very grateful for you and you being part of my life and not forgetting about me”

Fondly, dvo/uw

BC Invasion trip / energy vs expectations and plans #driBC

Feeling a little bit antsy and in a tizzy about all the plans and options for upcoming “BC Invasion trip [April 11 ~ May 25] to Vancouver & Victoria etc areas. #driBC

So, first I’m very grateful for everyone’s participation & interest and for simply remembering me after i disappeared with illness and other life conundrums.

Keeping Expectations Balanced with Priorities

Next, extending a warm invitation to come meet us at various parks and gardens where we’ll be with a picnic blanket and a thermos of coffee at checkpoints in:

  • Langley/Surrey: current til April 19
  • West End / DT Vancouver: April 19 ~ 25
  • Metchosin: April 25 ~ 29
  • Victoria / Oak Bay: April 29 ~ May 3
  • Pender Isle (Woods & Sparrow): May 3 ~ 10
  • Fairview / Kits: May 10 ~ 12
  • North Van / Lynn Valley: May 12 ~ 17
  • Langley / Surrey: May 17 ~ 25
  • Home to Tsuchida Cottage: May 25/26

“Main point” of the trip is for my darling wife and adorable son to meet family as well as to reconnect with hugs and gifts with so many of you wonders.

Especially eager to meet kids for Ichiro to hang with at wonderful playground. Also, so grateful for recent friends coming to visit and participating in our life.

My big concern is “crashing” with this illness which puts me out of action for days/weeks. Good news is: doing the best i have in years thanks to some recent treatment protocols and modalities.

PS great article in The Atlantic about #MECFS

I’m doing my best but/and if we can’t meet, no big deal – its complicated and folks have lives/jobs etc, please come to Japan! A safe, efficient, interesting, amusing, and somewhat affordable destination where we will be happy to welcome you with tea and goats.

Very eager to avoid micro-planning on phone robot and dealing with the social media diaspora if you know what i mean. Oh, there’s a GDoc, hit me up if you want access.

Fondly, from Tsuchida Cottage

dvo + ryoko and ichiro

us at the goat farm… heading your way

Festive Greetz Cards Scrapbook Time (backwards)

In front of a wood stove, Dave stashes cards from the “string of honour” into archival book while recounting tales of the wonderful folks who sent greeting cards and letters to Tsuchida Cottage.

Very grateful for your friendship and lovely correspondence.

Along with banter about:

* having several scrapbooks on-the-go at all times

* special collections and on-going correspondence

* topsy turvy start to the year

* “lap projects” like mending and scrapbooking

* thoughts about last year (lots of paperwork!)

* theme for this year (letting go)

and usual digressions, meanderings and anecdotes (i.e. hanging stereo speakers and maybe something about solar panels). Oh, there is a Dymo LabelMaker in action.

Very grateful for your friendship and lovely correspondence.

Meanwhile I’m trying to tidy up the room a little bit so here are albums of postcards/greeting cards etc., duly annotated by Dymo label.

PS if I’ve missed sharing your card I probably shared under separate cover / somewhere else, or will do another time (thinking of you Astrid in Germany who’s art is already hanging up).