Tag Archives: life

Diary: Autumn Miscellany / coffee, ramen, sandwiches, Godzilla, peach tree, ikebana…

“rubber chicken” NOT added to ramen

While dispatches and re-caps of various outings and events exist elsewhere in this archive, life is so wonderful right now i don’t want to miss a thing or fail to appreciate the glorious mundane details of just existing.

As such, what follows are bits and pieces which don’t fit elsewhere,  a round-up of miscellany and odds and ends and mild annotations.

Starting with the pleasantness of stopping for a coffee and receiving a free lil sandwich plate (and seeing Ryoko’s adorableness :)). 

The internets instructs food photos be posted with frequency.

Thanks Shiro-Kuma (white bear) cafe.

Continue reading Diary: Autumn Miscellany / coffee, ramen, sandwiches, Godzilla, peach tree, ikebana…

Diary: Setouchi Out n About / community arts festival with Mae Maes

 I tagged along with Ryoko and her Mae Maes band for a gig in Setouchi at a community centre. There was an autumn arts festival of some kind with musical performances, a few food stands and an exhibit of crafts, arts and tea ceremony. Such pleasant slice of life, just being part of the local scene.

Mae Maes played a short-ish set but a song i hadn’t heard before, Ryoko laid out some good stage banter and the room was small and more acoustically pleasing than the big convention hall the day before. 

The band (usually a 4 piece) had 2 guests, frequent supporters/collaborators Yano-san (who is a noted player, arranger, teacher and has released a few albums) on an acostic-electric bass ukulele – great sound! + Mitsuko-san on congas and percussion, she rode with us and is such a charming elegant lady. 

Continue reading Diary: Setouchi Out n About / community arts festival with Mae Maes

Diary: Kurashiki / handmade market with Mae Maes + pet show

Mae Maes: Kazuko, Hatsumi, Ryoko, Rie

Ryoko’s band Mae Maes had a performance lined up at a handmade goods market fair at a convention centre type place between Okayama and Kurashiki so i tagged along. It was a big hall with rows and rows of booths, a special exhibit of sequin-ed up outfits used by a famous figure skater, a food court and a variety of entertainment with a sorta Hawaiian theme.

Plus a young lady called Suzu-chan with huge stage presence, solid banter and performance confidence.

I strolled around checked some stuff – not the super arts-crafty-crafts i would usually expect but great to see small-scale entrepreneurship in action.

Dug the fabric crafts – especially this Kaki (persimmon) tree in country scene which seems to be representative of my life these days – such pleasantness!

Continue reading Diary: Kurashiki / handmade market with Mae Maes + pet show

Diary: Okayama Out n About / castle, samurai, lunch etc

The “back stairs” the Okayama castle aka the “crow castle” due to its black cladding

On Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 2019, as there are no memorial cenotaphs in my home area of Okayama, i set out on a wander to find a calm place to reflect about war and whatnot. 

Along the way, i documented a few slices of every day life, plus visited Okayama castle which was destroyed in WW2 by bombs and rebuilt in 1960-s. I ate lunch, dressed up in a cool outfit, wandered from the top to the bottom of the castle, checked out outbuildings and foundations… then walked to the library to find it closed so rode the bus home. 

Okayama castle approach on a lovely autumn day

These images were captured along the way, with minor annotations added from time to time.

Continue reading Diary: Okayama Out n About / castle, samurai, lunch etc

Diary: Kinome make gardens for people (in a parking lot)

Gardens are (by) people, friend

Ryoko has her own small company doing tree trimming, garden planning and various workshops (like tree trimming for seniors) and sometimes does a gig teaching children and their parents about gardening using a couple plots in the parking lot of a grocery store (who sponsor the event). 

The amazing Ryoko sharing packets of seeds wrapped in origami paper with a group of kids and their parents – Today’s lesson is leafy greens

Anyhow, i tagged along to see her in action, drink coffee and do a bit of grocery shopping at the awesome store (plus take care of our household recycling while we were there). 

tagging along with the gardener for laughs

Continue reading Diary: Kinome make gardens for people (in a parking lot)

Japanese Imperial Enthronement: primer / musings

Japanese Imperial Enthronement Primer <

Emperor Naruhito (era name: Reiwa) formally took the position May 1st in a brief ceremony after his father Heisei (formerly Akihito) formally abdicated his role as Japan’s 125th emperor. 

Today comes another ceremony – a formal enthronement – to be attended by some several hundred foreign dignitaries etc. etc. including a representative from South Korea, a neighbor with whom they share a lot of ummm… *challenging history* to say the least.

First, the Emperor and Empress Masako will visit 3 sacred sanctuaries to alert and Sun Goddess, their ancestors and umm… some other entities, of their intentions.

Then will formally sit upon the throne and offer up a speech to the assembled dignitaries and their country at large.

Originally there was motorcade planned to follow, but with last week’s typhoon, and the ensuing cleanup, the parade is pushed back until November, which means another day of various festivities to observe.

Continue reading Japanese Imperial Enthronement: primer / musings

Today(ish) to Observe (from bed) + Godzilla made of cicada husks

  • Canadian election
  • Japan Emperor enthronement
  • Brexit meltdown round x
  • oh the Kurds!
  • Revolutions and insurrections globally, various (esp Chile, Ecuador…)
  • other stuff probably

PS Lebanon, Israel, Hong Kong… i have coffee and a stack of books

Here is a Godzilla made of cicada husks.

Creativity Ahoy! Scrapjournals, Paintings, Poems, Ukuleles and all the future…

Back on to the content flow… so much to share created in past few months, ergo:

* 8 new blank bound scrapjournals
* 4 other scrapbooks filled with inspiration
* 40+ new “items forgotten” cut & paste visual poems (with letterhead, aerogrammes, postal stamps, inky assortments)
* 6 paintings (4 global postboxes, 1 island jetty, 1 Rome street scene)

etc.

Curious?

Also read a *load* of books of late and curating more artifacts than i can chronicle. More details to follow.

Oh and bought a baritone ukulele. I know a “c” chord so far (or is it “g”?

Next up: gently and slowing… helping Mac Kobayashi’s farm in Okayama blossom into hosting magic festivals, Mr. Chubby’s Irie Cove in Jamaica host weary rambler in need of healing, hosting an international cultural club to help build confidence in young Japanese ramblers with dreams and schemes, and supporting Ryoko’s plans for the Mae Maes band.

Notes: What i Seek in Community / Places to Live

When the wheels fell off life due to illness, deaths, heartbreaks etc (circa 2015), i scribbled notes in a notebook naturally with intentions about where to go, how to live. I visited many places seeking safety, creativity and community. While my notes didn’t reveal the plan per se, the exercise was valuable to discover what i wanted/needed/capabilities. Published as a “note to future self” to remind the importance of stating intentions from the heart (with assist from the head).

What I Seek in Community

  • Golf carts for quiet transport like Caye Caulker
  • Island but with easy access to mainland like Gabriola
  • Ganja like Jamaica
  • Strangeness of history like Pelilu
  • Minimal dogma in religion like Bali
  • Community centre and market like Pender Island
  • Village of shops but not a strip mall
  • Visitors come and go from guesthouses, tours, inns like Berkshires
  • Music, recording studios, concerts, festivals like Salt Spring(?)
  • Access to natural medical services & quality food
  • Post office

Places to Live

Req: Anonymous, Creative, Safe + Community

  • Torrey UT /Larry’s Land
  • House on Gabriola
  • Thai/Viet/Cambodia
  • UK Protectorate (Falklands, VI)
  • Japan (Okayama > south)
  • Nova Scotia (Cape Breton) or other Maritimes
  • Portugal / Spain / Greece
  • Victoria if no other option – too “perfect” for action Dave

Tribute to Grandma – RIP

Granny Selling Candles for Bright Idea Company
Granny Selling Candles for Bright Idea Company

My my the days go by, and we all chase the light.

90 years is a long time by any measure. Tis a statistical outlier who lives so long, with wit and sanity (mostly – aside for grudges and prejudices) intact no less.

As it goes, my final grandparent – my maternal grandmother, Isobel Steele Bannatyne – passed away on Saturday. She was in Indiana and will be buried in Logan, Utah (or nearby anyhow) where many of my kin live.

Shall i travel down? My first thought is “of course” but then i realized, i am weak, weary and while full of love, i am low on tolerance for emotional expression. I am raw from the past year(s) and am scared to take steps back by pushing myself. I talked to doctors who advised me to put myself first. I don’t come naturally to this. I am strong in the clutch and reliable in challenging circumstances. I was there twice last year after swearing to never go again after a visit before Grandpa died. I gave away by VW bus, my bicycles, my art so i wouldn’t need to return. I did. Twice.

“I am not needed. I am OK meditating and celebrating in my own way” – this is what i am right now.

There is an obituary but it describes someone i don’t know. My kin are religious folk and this colours the narrative of their lives. Eclipses everything else, purposely. These ways are not mine. Death can provide context for healing rifts or death can be the spectre of chaos and mistrust within families. I’ve seen both very recently.

To my hundreds of cousins, uncles, aunts, Mom, et al. Hold each other as needed. I suspect it will not be needed. 90 years is a long time.

To the rest of you, above Grandma as i remember. Sometimes in the 1970s, at a craft show selling my Mom’s candles at some craft fair. I was the frequent sidekick and candle maker and these times make me happy. Before i knew of tension caused by beliefs, intolerance – there is no judgement or blame. It is me.

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For the record: Here’s the obituary for Isobel Steele Bannatyne as published in Logan (Utah) Herald Journal.