Tag Archives: okayama

Okayama Love Letter / Japan Cottage Musings

With a French press coffee, pyjamas and slightly out of focus, Dave talks about general geography of Japan and specifically shares reasons why he loves living in “just right” Okayama including: sunny weather, hot springs, geo-diversity, endless museums, access to Kyoto/Osaka/airports + Setouchi islands and San-in coast, jazz clubs, peaches & peach boy folk legend, and most importantly community with wife (and baby coming) and goat farmer Mac. 

Diary: Garden sprouting, yard evolving, rocks to move (still)…

Since we planted this patch of garden a week or two back, rain fell a few times in between stretches of sun so the lil seeds are sprouting up! 

Ryoko keeps a diary about the garden with all the details, however for documentary evidence, i took a few snaps while we were outside strolling the grounds… 

Komastsuna, a Japanese mustard green coming up in splendid lil rows… Continue reading Diary: Garden sprouting, yard evolving, rocks to move (still)…

Diary: Anniversary and Art Supplies

Coffee is brewing here at Tsuchida cottage as we kick off our three day anniversary fun times… We’re going to write letters, make videos, have chats with friends, do some kimono dress up photo fun time, play music, more coffee, more kisses etc.

But to kick things off yesterday, we took a new step in our relationship, something big & important: we merged our art and office supplies. It’s serious now, really serious.

There’s a system, there are shelves, they are multiple printers, several paper cutters, probably a dozen scissors, at least 20 rolls of different kinds of tape and glue sticks and what not, supplies for framing art, making silkscreens, oil paints, acrylic, watercolors, oil pastels, soft pastels, well over 200 different pens, slightly fewer pencils ++ Several boxes of postcards, drawers of various letter sets, Dozens of notebooks and memo pads and journals on standby waiting their turn, dossiers of oversized art, several kinds of printer photo paper including several batches of blank postcards.

Yes, this is love, and this is what it looks like today.

Note: new/used iMac just arrived yesterday but doesn’t have a mouse and keyboard yet + there are five or six external drives waiting to be sort-ganized.

Diary: New Goddess Art from Miyake Noriko

New art by Noriko Miyake (FB)! Such powerful goodness for welcoming the new human…

And we made a fun lil video of opening up the package (we asked Noriko to choose the painting for us based on our current life situation so we could enjoy the surprise!). 

 

(By the way, another check in yesterday and everything is going great! We even have some wild 3-D scan videos).

The painting (laden with maternal themes and imagery) also came with a cloth vagina of sorts and a sweet note in english and Japanese (as well as special wrapping paper!)

Scrapbooks for all Reasons / Japan Cottage Musings

With a coffee and pyjamas, Dave riffs about types of scrapbooks, ways to make from scratch, reasons for making (memory and flow), a bit about creative process and keeping organized, handy tools and supplies, and other ways to fancy up your books with inky stamps, postage stamps, stickers and up-cycled meta scraps. Plus hey, fun for the family, liberate the items from shoeboxes, put on an album or two and go with the flow.

fondly, dave 

Diary: More Rocks, also Herbs + Bocce Dreams (with time lapse fun)

As noted recently, we put in a fresh garden plot in the front yard area of our house in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan. As part of the project is moving a buncha boulders to make room for planting a smattering of fruit trees.

The boulders are moved by a steel tripod, chains and a pulley system and as such, assuming one is careful and strategic, *fairly* non-heavy work aside from pushing the cart with the boulder to the location to dump it off. 

Time-lapse of a rock moving session:

The relocated rocks are used to build up a retaining wall of sorts to support a drainage ditch… When offloading from the cart to the ditch, we added leftover bales – really bales – of bubblewrap from the shipping of my archives to protect a hard plastic pipe in the ditch. Quite fun rolling the rocks into position! 

Then using a few more to put a ring around a big plum tree to make a picnic park area. 

We’ve done a few sessions now of hauling the rocks and while the pile is reducing, still can’t see the ground sufficiently to put in the trees, so we carry on / there are enough rocks that we’ll sorta extend a little wall. Continue reading Diary: More Rocks, also Herbs + Bocce Dreams (with time lapse fun)

Miss 604’s > Vancouverites in Isolation Elsewhere: Dave in Japan

A “situation report” on life in Okayama and Japan at large from Rebecca Bollwitt’s well-read Miss604.com blog in my erstwhile hometown of Vancouver.

Of course, includes fun photos, various asides, musings and anecdotes.  Certainly *everything* is changing on the daily here so if you have an update/opinion (because of course you do)/resources etc to add to the riff, please do.

Fire away, spark the conversation, spread the goodness.

Yours fondly in solidarity, positivity and safety, daveo

Vancouverites in Isolation Elsewhere: Dave in Japan

Diary: Moving Boulders, Laying Bricks, Planting Seeds at Tsuchida Cottage

Quick notes: relocated these three big old foundation boulders using a tripod and pulley to make a little ring around the plum tree for picnics with the kiddo, and hopefully you

there’s a big pile to move in order to make space for 5 more fruit trees (we have the saplings living in pots: orange, lime, grapefruit… )

the boulders were moved using brains not brawn with a steel tripod and pulley system made it very easy as long as you were smart and careful. :) It’s quite ingenious as those mighty heavy rocks were moved with just me, pregnant wife and the wonderful tiny mother-in-law 

Next, we fixed up the area next to Ryoko’s tool shed with a potted olive tree, lemongrass, and various other plants…

first, put down a stack of old bricks and other rocks so ya know, give it some character and functional charm Continue reading Diary: Moving Boulders, Laying Bricks, Planting Seeds at Tsuchida Cottage

Cameo: Maniwa, Okayama Tourism Brochure

Well, I really hit the big time now ;)… If you look closely, I mean *very very* closely, you can see me in the brewing loft of the centuries old saké maker in our neighbouring region of Maniwa here in Okayama, Japan.

Background: Ryoko and I were invited along very special tour around fermented foods makers (2 saké makers, plus craft beer, wine/grappa/cheese, and miso/ vinegar/ shoyu/ koji)… along with a handful of international guests came a small legion of photographers/videomakers to document the event.

(Some of) the results appear in this lusciously-designed and luxuriously-produced brochure.

Aside: We had visited this area for Ryoko’s work a few weeks earlier, at which point I shared some thoughts about the changes going on in inaka/country areas of Japan (i.e. de-population, lack of investment, transportation links cut/reduced, so many elderly folks somewhat ignored, reduction of services in general, lack of appreciation for the important produce of these areas…) as so much of the attention and money and power is concentrated in the big cities (really, Tokyo). 

Anyway, there are loads are fantastic photos from this outing, and one tiny one appears here as a bit of a preview… (Really i will share eventually! It’s on my list but, so are a lot of other things, one of these days…) and you’ve maybe noticed of late I’m learning more about fermented foods (i.e. making pickles) with a big dream of making my own miso.

Anyhow, did you spot me? Might need a magnifying glass, like I said “big-time”. Let’s visit Maniwa next time you come to visit OK?

Haikus, Garden + Baby News / Japan Cottage Musings

Wearing a smoking jacket at Tsuchida Cottage, Dave riffs on recent activities including: planting vegetable garden, playing piano, buying baby clothes, and sort-ganizing archives including digging out loads of books. As such, shows books by Douglas Coupland, Nick Bantock, Gary Snyder, Ethan Hubbard, and reads from Jack Kerouac’s American Haikus, plus riffs about Tintin, fire lookouts and mailing postcards.