Tag Archives: postbox

Post’d: mossy tea & other delights

Another handful of #Postcards dropped into the neural network which somehow brings each to places far afield.

Matcha tea bowl on a mossy rock in Metchosin

Dispatches this time are mostly DIY featuring snapshots from our #BCInvasion which caught my eye while making the commemorative flashback videos.

The reverse addressable sides are – admittedly – quite majestic, some featuring the #Japanpost ¥63 New Year dragon stamps with the “lucky number” (admittedly, I checked the numbers to make sure were not winners before affixed because they prizes wouldn’t do anyone any good in a foreign country).

Anyhow: Dropped and snapped on a drive-by at our local post office {at which I always trying to pump their stats to make sure they’re not a casualty of consolidation}.

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

Post’d: postcards in pencil, featuring vintage scout scarf

A little batch of postcards, scribbled at the library, maybe on a bus – here and there – with a portable writing folio.

The “double double” at the shopping plaza with the splendid green payphone box and “standard issue” postbox next to each other sending Scouter Dave on his adventure

I won’t meander (much) about the details but provide evidence of creation and/or mailing – for the archivists and biographers.

Detail of the above, snapped at the shipyards in North Vancouver and sent to a friend who will *really* understand

Maybe you’re the same way, you have a small portable pack that can fit into a side bag to keep at hand with a few cards, stamps and possibly three writing utensils, and then have a larger case which contains a much more extensive supply of stationery. Is it just me?

Collage of current assortment… As you’ll notice, mostly snapshots, well actually all snapshots, from #BCInvasion

The one shown above used to hold photographic slides (although my wife’s uncle insists that it was once a Mahjong case) and is now held together with decorative tape for practical as well as aesthetic reasons.

Nagasaki Ramble, Feb. 2020, part 1 (trains, trams, food & rumours of a…)

Unnecessary Preamble:

The trip was meant as a little adventure and to visit relatives and also get away from the house while a few construction tasks were happening (new bathtub! etc.) but…

roll on to Nagasaki

As it goes, this was the “last trip” – at the time the (now infamous) Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined – shrouded in mystery – in Yokohama, the city was a bit tense and confused, and indeed, a week later another cruise ship was quarantined in Nagasaki.

Since we were well along the pregnancy, we stayed safe and busy despite my – ugh –usual health challenges, and so very much enjoyed Nagasaki: riding trams, olden Dutch settlements, bomb memorials :(, friendly folks, quirky kissaten cafes unchanged for decades, plus hospital visits for a young relative, and an abacus tournament (really) – Some new friends, strange islands, impossible alleys, hills & plants.

Of course didn’t realize it would be years until our next time out of Okayama prefecture // 2 years feels like 2 weeks or 20 years depending on the day.

Contemporaneous notes follow (there is also a fantastic analog scrapbook somewhere):

Feb 13, 2020: Nagasaki ramble officially underway at Okayama station at best lil coffee stand called Life & Coffee / ordered up a Bizen special cup

#protip there is a piece of Bizen ceramic put in the coffee which infuses with magic powers &/or imbues with extra tastiness

Feb 14: Nagasaki miscellanea diary (not to be confused with the Ryoko’s botanical diary)

Post box (obviously) at station

With a combination of low pressure weather systems, overstimulation of fast trains, and a bit too much activity of late, had a real rough flareup with my mostly-beloved but somewhat-battered body. It’s hard to explain all the pain but when it suddenly comes on, it’s quite scary.

Anyway, sweet wife tracked down some help for me this morning with acupuncture needles connected to electricity and some ice got the immediate pain calmed down.

Then, immediately following whilst on a little walk, we happened across a mysterious tiny café, ate some local dishes & met a new friend, the proprietor – or son of the family or something something. Regardless, he loves fishing and was cheerful and affable. Koba-san!

the famous champon noodles of the area

He knocked off the job and loaded us up in his car for a coastal drive to gaze the remnants of a coal factory mining island (noted in various films).

Plus the related museum displaying the challenges of life on an industrial enclave which was for a while a “fully functioning” city and the most densely populated place on earth.

While every day is a romantic interlude with my Darling wife, appropriately today we viewed the battleship island from “wedding“ rocks complete with a Torii gate, and much fun conversation.

Now a rest, then perhaps a walk to explore the Dutch outposts from long-ago days before the “black ships “ obliged Japan to open up.

Overall everything going well except for my crushing head / end of dispatch #valentinesday

I offer a few photos as evidence. Really the usual: postbox, trains, street cars, telephone, plus a few of the aforementioned items.

Trams

Trains

Trams & Trains video

A montage of trams and trains featuring music by Dan Mangan and Ryoko Olson… It turns out there are literally hundreds of similar videos on YouTube but I’m pretty sure this one is the very best of all of them :-)

Pyjamas

Pajamas provided by the hotel, in this case, button-up long night shirt style. Really fantastic. I’m really trying not to steal these and further ruin my reputation in Japan (and for all other foreigners too). But if no one knows it was me…

Canals & Vibes

Canals, old customs houses, small alleys, mix of Western and Japanese style houses… All in the little area around our hotel. Dreamy // and keep in mind, none of this existed after August 1945

Food, for starters

Harbour Stroll

Due to the (at that time) recent announcement of a mysterious illness entering Japan aboard a cruise ship, the general populous immediately hunkered down – so, when we went on a harborfront stroll seeking splendid sashimi, we had the promenade and the restaurant basically to ourselves.

Ryoko’s Botanical Diary

Chinatown Stroll

While Nagasaki’s interest in history deserves several essays and a miniseries, in brief: as you likely know, for hundreds of years, Japan was basically closed off to international trade with a few exceptions, one being controlled trade with China (who often acted as a middle broker for Japanese wars with other countries) as well as first the Portuguese who were expelled by bringing their religion Against the wishes of the Daimyo (insert story about peasant quasi religious uprising here… Oh actually Melvyn Bragg on the intellectually stimulating “In Our Time” podcast covers The Shimabara Rebelion) so then the trading franchise was transferred to the Dutch who were sequestered on an island // which we will get to later…

So in the meantime, here are a few snapshots of Chinatown – which is Japan’s oldest Chinatown and somehow lent to the feeling of Nagasaki as a miniature San Francisco: a harbor, lots of hills, various cobbled, international vibe, great café culture, trams clattering along – but, as far as I could tell, a lack of Beat poetry and self-aggrandizing tech companies.

More to come

Considering this diary only catches the first barely 2 days of the trip and there’s so much more to share, I invite you back for:

  • Visit to Dejima
  • Abacus tournament
  • Grilled meats
  • Old public bath
  • Quirky coffee shops
  • Atomic bomb museum
  • Experiencing four seasons of weather in three days
  • Of course more trains, post boxes, payphones and so on, probably anyway

Way Home (more trains)

And just so I don’t forget: here are two snaps from the way home on the now decommissioned Kamome train – briefly addressed above at the time but now replaced with a super high speed “new trunk line” a.k.a. Shinkansen a.k.a. bullet train.

I love these “at – grade” class trains as they are wider, have beautiful touches like parquet floors, lounge cars and viewing areas // which you can see in the photo along with the usual photo of my boots, yes these cheap and cheerful chukkas which took me into the Himalayas, along with my stolen suitcase of treasures which earned its stickers.

So we go on.

Kintsugi-esque Postbox Haiku refresh – on a Goat Farm Visit

In the spirit of Kintsugi (usually meant for repairing busted ceramic pottery items with gold – and gluey goop but you don’t notice – to “emphasize” the imperfections), i repainted the worn-off top line of the haiku on the postbox at the “Rural Caprine Farm” in gold paint.

the “finished” fix-up / at this point, the paint is still wet so need to clearcoat next time over

Created this functional poetic installation (and the “inexact doppelgänger” on canvas) in 2018, scant days before meeting Ryoko.

the “shadow” of letters lost is poetic in itself but fresh up worthwhile

As it goes, this might be my most seen piece of art. And not only is it a functioning daily mailbox also – due to the exposure to elements and whatnot – the piece is constantly changing and evolving. Ergo: wabisabi / beauty in decay. Besides many insta-snaps, at least one patron painted the postbox itself.

Continue reading Kintsugi-esque Postbox Haiku refresh – on a Goat Farm Visit

Post’d: inbound treats from India, Lanka, Ukraine, Ireland, City Lights, Bowen, Germany etc

I mean, I know no one is really worrying about this or hardly paying attention, but I have a strange obsession with documenting all the inbound mail, as well as often making videos of me simply chatting whilst putting the treats into scrapbooks – which kind of misses the point and I should just spend the time scribbling more letters.

However, i recently sent out six glorious bundles of a book which combines fine art, exquisite paper craft, time travel, astral projection, interactivity, and story of love, love, love and friendship across time, zones, islands, continents, and fictions – and I did it all without taking a snapshot of the luscious stack (which also included inscriptions featuring my new inky stamps). It’s all very exciting to me.

*And* when I went to my local post office – where I used to be a regular visitor however this year I’ve slowed down significantly for various reasons – my favourite employee was there to greet me and help me with significant excitement and enjoyment as we chose the stamps for each one plus, I showed her the well-traveled 11 month journey postcard to India, and she in return, told me about new postal regulations for sending packages to all countries which go into affect September. (Oh great… More complications :(, fortunately does not affect letters and postcards, so I’ll stick with those standards (aerogrammes seem to go missing) so you’re out of luck on international packages friendo.

However, onwards the inbound pile, there’s been so many interesting arrivals so while I am restraining myself from documenting everything and saying to self its fine just documenting a few things. Cool with you? Great. Let’s make a start:

What do Fred Rogers, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein and the Heinz family have in common? Thanks to Tim Tulloch & family in CT for the great card packed full of stories all interlinked in the most unlikely ways.

A talisman of friendship across continents, oceans – circumstances often running parallel across astral planes. We continue to create in solidarity, collaboration (accidental or otherwise), constant creativity, cross-medium communication and unabashed affection with and from Andrew McLuhan (who has faced significant personal challenges and started/completed/attempted so many multidisciplinary projects, while keeping the legacy of his father and grandfather even more relevant… All of the above for which I have massive admiration)

2 fortunate correspondents enjoying the correspondence from Bowen Island with usual enthusiasm (hooray for ice cream on the dock!)

Ichiro *reading* this dispatch from my birthday twin in Germany, in his words was mostly about “dinosaurs, water bikes and stanely park and the number 7” Danke Astrid-san.

Arriving miraculously timed directly on my birthday, although without that specific intention, came this beautiful envelope from someone who is a semi-professional letter/card writer, stamp creator, community builder, and always includes very enjoyable paper craft in her dispatches from Austin TX (a city I used to visit so often and loved so gently)

And another exceptionally thoughtful friend who’s family faced many challenges from operations to hurricanes over the last, while you took the time to send a birthday card, which hit all the marks with luscious paper, lovely quote, and a glorious tree. Thank you to the palmy desert.

this quirky artwork arrived from a friend. I haven’t met yet (thinking about it, many of my correspondence fall into this category) who also lives in Japan and it seems to have a very interesting variety of skills from sketching to music. {It’s a really fantastic painting and remind me of another, we saw during the van Gogh exhibit in an adjacent gallery… its around here somewhere… oh here it is}

sorry don’t know the artist’s name

These “Fantastic” stickers were included with a very heartfelt and private typed letter, on luscious letterhead, describing an experience at a regional burning man type event, in which the writer set up a “post office” and delivered analogue communication from various camps to camps… That part doesn’t sound very personal, but anyway, here’s related stickers as a placeholder for this tender letter.

A young –I guess he’s no longer that “young” – Sri Lankan correspondent made a trip to India, I believe his first international adventure about which he was understandabl excited, and from this journey came a postcard featuring the mystic Sai Baba, whose movement/commune/corp makes the exquisite Nag Champa incense.

The same un-young fella sent another card on his return to Sri Lanka, the stamps/cancellation are included for your enjoyment in comparison. Learn more about Rasika and his postcards.

Also, no longer particularly “young” but of course, still youthful and in my eyes always a keen speaker, comes a postcard from Ireland (on a honeymoon with an exceptional decision). {Funny, all the places I’ve rambled, Ireland, and Scotland, and Norway, which are the origin points of much of my heritage are still unvisited. The good news is, those can wait as they’re relatively “easy” compared to some of the places of my rambles.} ty J&V, come visit

From another place, I have yet to visit and probably one not on the usual “tourist trap” these days – comes a lovely message from a Canadian, usually living in Vietnam but at this time in Ukraine (and soon to be in Japan). Note to self: give him a call

This fantastically well-travelled postcard, was harvested somewhere from the internets (Twitter?), but I have forgotten whom to credit so… if this is you, ‘thank you for sharing your remarkable artifact’ which seems to have leapfrog continents and hopefully eventually found a recipient (hooray for the incredible neural net work of postal services!)

My friend Katherine in Vic BC passed along this very cool “4 Sen” stamp from a bundle picked up at Smithsonian Postal Museum – I know that somehow along the way, the yen was all re-valuated as now 4 Sen (which means ¥4000) is about $40 CAD and in the old-timey movies, the money denominations seem to be all juggled up anyway, I just like the stamp. TY

One of us is very cool and nonchalant, the other is may be too excited, but, regardless, this is a fantastic postbox located on the 6th floor courtyard of a department store next to a hidden post office. I don’t understand the story behind at all but I’m always unusually excited when I have a chance to drop something in here and take the obligatory snapshot (you’ll find others with the same cheesy pose elsewhere no doubt).

Bonus!

New inky stamps and visit from a pal led to a postcard making session at a coffee shop (yes, my favourite thing to do) and, since I love trams/trolleys, combined it all with a note from a friend mailed to my own house. Doesn’t everyone do this? {the kanji characters say – from top to bottom: Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan + the postbox might well be modelled on the one above.

Snaps: additions to usual collections (phone, postbox, ship, stamps and coffee)

Compiling usual additions to standard collections, ergo:

* rotary phone (black, functional) at Tereya Cafe

* postbox (6th floor of dept store courtyard)

* wooden ship (hotel lobby with cutty sark booze)

* ink stamp rally checkpoint (at a traveling aquarium)

* coffee (Hawaiian Lion at hotel)

Diary-ish: typhoons, corn, tidying up + RR

Aug. 6 I tried to clean up some email inboxes, got a bit done, so much behind on correspondence of all sorts. Can’t dare open up Messenger or Messages or DMs or whatever else is lingering. My brain just cannot get going and sleep remain elusive. Did an unscheduled clean of bedroom :( – let’s just say there are challenges involved with not having a foundation on the house

Aug. 7 A new stamp to track how I’m doing as i add different supplements, medications, processes and procedures / today is really tough as to low barometric pressure from a typhoon “somewhere nearby” is crushing my little head.

Kinda doesn’t look like it but did a little bit of a tidy up of the writing & misc desk/bookshelf area which is sort of squeezed in the corner next to the piano.

[No big deal but if you look really close you’ll notice several interesting artifacts and art pieces including an original Nick Bantock piece and some exceptional books on the shelf]

{there’s probably a German word to say how “every available flat surface quickly gets covered up by stuff”}

And that Kenwood audio deck has turned out to be a great purchase! Plays CDs plus AM/FM (all three of which we use often), also Bluetooth and USB which are used much less frequently. We’re kind of a physical media family. The two record players are in the kura.

Two headscarves (what’s the proper term?), one from Oman and one from Dubai (or is that the one from Jordan?) and a handmade cloth from island of Yap on top of the piano (which, along with the kamidana are next for a tidy up)

Family shrine in tidy up process… Top of piano not improved as yet

Aug. 8 The typhoons don’t seem close to us but a couple clicks up, down rather I guess… or lower or whatever on the barometric pressure wreaks havoc…

Borrowed from someone else’s post. Is that you? If so, thank you

and I’ve managed to pick up a lousy cold/fever from the kiddo so I’m just a big pile of grumpiness right now :(

I can see my house from here (arrow not exactly accurate, im clumsy)

Aug. 9 Not sure I’ve ever seen wife quite as happy as coming into the room to say “with that typhoon, I better cancel the trip to Tokyo”. She & Ichi were going for niece’s 1st birthday but traveling during Obon on holiday is already a drag & torrential downpours won’t make it easier.

Of course she wants to meet wee baby (Rio chan) and also had arranged with her University jazz circle friends to see their big band concert in Yokohama-area but it’s all just a bit too much.

Autumn / winter are her busy arborist seasons so we’ll look for a chance.

{And while I would love to go to see the relatives and whatnot, there’s no way I’m capable of a six hour shinkansen ride and going into the big smoke of Tokyo right now, like 0% chance. I’m in total bed lock mode with crushing head, fever etc}

To clarify, wife is happy because we’re still spinning catching up on projects from a rocky reentry from #BCInvasion + traveling during Obon holiday (when folks return to their home village to clean ancestors graves etc.) is a busy expensive hectic slog + such humid right now

A sweet and wise friend reminded me,

“You don’t owe anyone anything”

which I get however, nothing is better for wee heart and aching head then making creative projects (besides sleep) & have so many in mind from trip + tender words to say in commemoration of humans passed.

But I’m in total bed lock mode anyway so resets my parameters of what I’m capable of… I might do a bit of rough sewing as a lap project.

Also have to send notes to my big-time international accountant (who is quite literally, a legend/rockstar) so I can do in bed too.

And, finally broke down and ordered a foldable bamboo “bed desk” // wanted one for years but thought if purchased, might make me too comfortable and then remembered ‘being comfortable it’s kind of the fcking point of healing’

Memo: I didn’t do either of the above

Aug. 10

Oh my goodness, just learned Robbie Robertson passed on.

What an incredible storyteller // and while the conflicts inside “the band” break my wee heart, the music they created is beyond timeless, redefined genre and the epitome of ensemble.

Onwards to the showdown at big sky.

Royal Robertson requested donations to the Woodland cultural center in Memorial which you can find: https://woodlandculturalcentre.ca/support-us/

Our home in #Okayama is right in the “Venn diagram” where they connect

Typhoon update: Handy link for anyone who wants to follow real time these two typhoons buffet in Japan… https://www.jma.go.jp/bosai/map.html#4/32.176/136.187/&elem=root&typhoon=all&lang=en&contents=typhoon

Aug. 12 Two days ago was really blustery and the bamboo trees were swaying heavily, but yesterday and it looks like today are just hot humid and sunny.

We will be OK, remember I was a Cub Scout so I have all alarm urgency supplies :) We’re tracking it, the first typhoon has peeled off away from us and the second is slowly making its way towards us but a little bit to the east. Landfall around August 15.

Spruced up the shrine in cottage // family went up to clean up graves, usually i love love love this task but completely wiped out from yesterday’s seitai treatment.

There was also ramen involved, artfully designed shop as well as the ramen (unphotographed because “ramen is not a fashion” but my selection was delightfully fresh, zesty cold variety

I will not tell you the name of this shop

Arrived by post today:

  • Box of corn, on cob (from Gandalf’s hipper brother in Nagano)
  • Classic book of epistolary literature (used) to send to a friend, elsewhere in Japan
  • Also, Received yesterday: variety of sweet cakes from Taiwan from a visiting Canadian with Singapore ties
The aforementioned gift from Taiwan also came with a photograph of postbox from the same charming gentleman. Gratefully received

Post’d: un/usual batch of postcards

“Family photo” of cards off on their adventures

I’m pretty sure I had something clever and new to say about this batch of postcards but basically it’s the same as always: various countries, cities, friends I know, correspondents I don’t… Some postcards are my originals, others are “vintage“ selected for various insider nuance and amusement.

There was a staff rotation and Shinigoze post office which kind of messed up my whole routine where they automatically know that I want the cutest stamps and will have all kinds of strange requests and not normal postage items. Nevertheless, we persevered.

Some “Daveo standard issue“ selections

Unfortunately, no ¥70 stamps on site (the rate for international postcards) so I had to squeeze ¥63 and a ¥7 on back of each, kind of messing up my whole design layout but that might distract from my struggling handwriting as I seem to really be limited in fine motor skills.

Wait, I feel like I’ve explained all of this before, did I already post this? I’m so confused

Anyway I should give a hashmark #postcards because that’s gonna make this more interesting.

I hope one of these for you.

Where they come from, where they are going

xo dvo/uw

A summary of everything I write about

Healing: anxious run-down of hospital day

Aug 3: I’ve got a big long day at the hospital tomorrow, preparation for which is my priority.

So I’m going to fold some laundry and tidy up the writing desk.

Resisting desire to re-hang new art.

Did I tell you about our massive closet project yesterday?

Will find a long-winded yet loquacious esoteric historical rabbit hole podcast/video/audiobook (what’s the difference anymore?) to listen while I’m doing the above.

(Yes Margaret, I scribble when I’m anxious)

“to seriousness, as a miner who is always in danger makes haste in what he does”

V vG

Aug. 4: Terrible sleep, unbelievably anxious about today’s hospital visit even though I’ve done this literally hundreds of times before…

So, “pregaming” at my tiny calm cool coffee shop from which the master sent me a postcard (with transcription from his diary remarking on my first visit to his kissaten)

Machinery translation / dapper & injection

I keep whispering to myself (while at hospital checkpoint 2 of 5 or 6)

“you’ll be okay”

(I neeeeeed a long rest, however, i cant think about quite yet) but also, im #betterthanbefore

Always exciting to go to the “department of nuclear medicine”… Isn’t it? #BetterThanOppenheimer

Protip: for “tube tests” I now bring my own sleeping masks and earplugs and ensure them there is no metal included.

I have a whole arsenal of earplugs for different circumstances and situations but my “heavy artillery” are custom made by a hearing aid maker in Thailand and work their way down my ear canal and seal off the entire world when fully inserted.

Oh and I took my wonderful doctor a gift of a travel size Bodum French press – stainless steel with extra lid.

She’s incredibly busy and I always find canned coffee empties on her desk so trying to change that travesty.

Also, some bamboo charcoal and a shodo style letter.

Of course, I also have (at last count) 47 different sleeping masks in my continual search for the “perfect sleeping mask” / eventually, will sew my own but my fingers are much more geared for “big clumsy rough” projects right now

Postbox in the hospital / so many extra services available

Colossally long day at hospital. They’re incredibly efficient, organized and caring but my goodness, it’s a busy place and today had several different checkpoints including injections and scans in magical tubes.

My darlings came to pick me up fortunately, we are now home.

Thanks as always for my “fellow chronic and complex travelers” for chiming in with words of support and solidarity.

In my mind, summertime is especially hard for folks like us. #shrug