Sunday, 31 August 2008

Brad & George

Just watching a bit of Brad & George - Oceans 13. Think have seen it before, but still bit of good entertainment in English - with Japanese sub titles. That hub is reading while he irons his work shirts for the week.

Earlier they showed a re-run of the third round US tennis open match between Ferre and Nishikori. Bloody great. Ferre not a happy chappy - but then he was the number four seed and Nishikori is 130 something!!

I went to the weeding bonanza at the kindy this morning. My first duty was helping to fill the sandpit with new sand. I then went on to prune branches, weed, and pick up stones from the play area. Have come to conclusion that when it comes to group work - vestlings take the top prize in efficiency, although sometimes it is hard to tell what they are doing because they kind of move in a swarm of dust and cloud. Woman are the next efficient - not wanting to look bad in front of the other mothers. I can rake more sand in thirty seconds than you can!! And fathers are the worst. I am muscle, rah rah. chainsaw a bit of hedge, stop and admire, pick up a rake, rake three times, lean on rake and grunt seven words to man leaning on rake next to him.

Got home to find hub and shou playing war with water guns in the garden. Shou was absolutely saturated and I was laughing too hard to remember to get the camera. After Marina woke up from her nap we loaded the car up and headed for the airport to watch the planes. Shou had a quick power nap in the car ... and had such a bad sleep face I felt compelled to capture it and share it with you all.

The planes were a big hit and we stayed for two taking off and one landing. Was highly exciting.

Thought Marina bet get some photo coverage too. She is so close to crawling.


Friday, 29 August 2008


Will start with appologies for last night. Falling off chair sideways not very spectacular event on my part. Marina slept very well and Shou only wanted mummy once during the night.

Very uneventful morning - spent mainly cleaning up. House wasn't exactly 'messy' as such when came home but still had to spend few hours de-Granny K-ifying it.Why is it that old people always smell like mothballs?

Marina decided against usual morning nap so had to be satisfied with hanging out in her walker while I vaccuumed and dusted. Did two pointless loads of washing as pissed down all day. What is point in having covered deck when clever Japanese rain comes in bloody sideways!!

Solar panel man's wife and son came round for catch up mother in law bitch session this arvo. I didn't have much to contribute - which is unusual. She was here when at half two hub rang with news about operation. Next available date 27th of October - the day after Marina turns one. Am ABSOLUTELY bloody gutted. Not about birthday thing but because, as mentioned in earlier blog, if that operation then gets postponed for any reason we have no leeway (have never written that before. someone please enlighten me on correct spelling)before going home at end of November. Arrrggghhh. No doubt our cheap as can find tickets have small print that says cancellations only get fifty percent return or something. What do you do?? Do you cancel trip all together in pesemistic view that Marina will probably get cold or infection and operation will need to be postponed? Or do you say flag it, open another bottle of wine and drink to the gods of good fortune coming to your party.

I know. I know. Where's the corkscrew. Bring on the optimism.

Oh my god!! Have just run hand up leg and realised haven't shaved since went into hospital. Got to be amongst world's hairiest creatures at moment. Hub must have been too excited during last nights international relations meeting to notice. That, or he knows acknolwedging such criminal offence would not bode well for future meetings! Bless him.

Anyway, thought was about time had a few pics of the sprogs.

This is Shou having grape time before bed - with his fire engine and police car of course. He is now sound asleep with tummy full of said grapes and said vehicles in each hand.

This is most recent pic of Marina - taken on about Monday in hospital. She looks like drugged out but infact just sleeping with eyes not quite closed. She loves her glow worm - which for a few months was being held hostage by Shou. She was reclaimed what is rightly hers. Good on her. She is now asleep with pictured worm tucked under arm.

Hub just got home - and made lots of encouraging noises about meat and potato stew (nikujaga). Slowly but surely he is learning the fastest road to more internatinal relations meetings.

Oooh, talking about boys learning fast...

This morning we were trying to get Shou to go wees on potty - bribing him with car from new set of emergency vehicles - brought just for this purpose. Said he would get one for a wee and two for a nuggy. He said nothing would come out - but could he have a police car anyway. Well no. He leaves room and next thing you know I find him filling up his potty with water.

Nearly had to give him emergency vehicle just for effort.


Thursday, 28 August 2008

A week later...

By Marina - on behalf of mummy.

Mummy has had two beverages and is starting to fall off her chair sideways so I have been put on blogger duties tonight. Poor mummy - is a bit knackered after looking after me in hospital since last Friday. At only ten months I still don't have perfect motor function of my fingers and actually only use them for flapping, clapping and waving on demand. But, I will try best to get everything out properly. Bear with me people.

Murphey's bloody law - well that's what mum said. I say Yes! the fake a temperature and pee infection worked. Anything to get out of trip to Fukuoka so that doctor's can hack me open and fiddle with my insides. So the story goes....

We arrive at my normal hospital on Friday morning at about half eight. Mum pulls the big - my daughter isn't 'sick' sick so can you bump her up the que so we don't have to wait out here with all these hacking cough snotty nose kids. What do you know and at exactly nine (when they start seeing people) we get called into McDreamy's cubicle. I got a bit over excited and ended up not being able to really enjoy the whole 'moshi moshi' stethescope (how do you spell that??) experience. Just as well cause two seconds later I was strapped to the bed and mum was told to bugger off while they took some blood and wee. Am kind of used to it and at only ten months I'm not too modest yet but still... not a pleasant experience.

Exactly half an hour later and we were in our room and I had a drip in my arm. Talk about efficient. Pee test wasn't as bad as when had to stay in hospital over new years but still high enough count for Fukuoka to not want to do operation. Must get rid of silly little infection first.

We were put in a four person room (mummy said to say 'sigh' - but really she means 'silly fuckers') Was all fine during the day. I got to laugh and be cute. God would you believe how hard it is to actually sleep in a hospital at night - in a bed with metal bars and other people in the room. I am so used to sleeping in room by myself - in the dark. Must admit was bit of devil child and mum and I probably got about forty minutes sleep. Think mummy may have thought about putting me on futon in broom closet so she could get some sleep - but I had drip in and she was scared would wrap cord round neck. I wasn't feeling particularly suicidal but is hard to keep cord away from flapping arms, bouncing head and feet.

Somehow mum managed to still like me in the morning. Couldn't cuddle too much the next day though cause I had used mummy's arm muscles to overdrive.

The nurses took pity and we got moved to a double room - with just us. Daddy came and brought my portable cot so I didn't end up with my legs and arms through the bars on the bed. Praise the lord. I had most biggest humungous sleep ever - twelve hours. I woke up with water bottle in bed so I must have grizzled sometime during the night but don't remember - likewise with mummy. She probally just heard me grizzle and threw water bottle in cot. Thanks for that mummy. Lucky you didn't knock me senseless.

Oooh - have just got comupter function back. A bit sticky. Mummy, silly woman, spilled drink all over keyboard and for last forty minutes have been cleaning and wondering how will be able to blog. fingers sticky.

Right, so day three and four in hospital were pretty uneventful. smile, laugh, wave, flap, good job. Day five was similar - ray of sunshine by McDreamy doctor who told mummy could take me home on Thursday morning. He is quite special.

Daddy came to pick me and mummy up this morning. God was I stoked to get drip taken out yesterday - had to flap arms for good thrity minutes to make up for four days of not being able to use hand.

And so now we are home - is actually good to be home. Yay for the high chair. Granny K was pretty pleased to see me - but then I was pretty excited to see her too. She obviously doesn't have a shiney bench fettish like mum. We had only been home for half and hour and mum had everything off the bench and was shining it to within an inch of its life. Wiping bits of stuck on seaweed and raddish. I do love Granny K but the WHOLE house smelled like her when we got home. Mum was very restrained.

I should probably get to bed. Had bath with daddy and Shou before. Loads of fun. Am quite impressed got to end of blog without too many mistakes. Keyboard is still a bit sticky but.



Thursday, 21 August 2008

Just in Case

Very very quickly...

Have just packed hospital bag for Marina and I. She has ANOTHER temperature up over the 39.5s and I am taking her to a close hospital tomorrow morning to get her wee tested. If it tests positive for a bladder infection, like we fear it might, then that will almost definately mean no operation on Tuesday - as last time we did the bladder infection hospital stay we were in for ten days. I had so phsyched myself up the operation hapening on Tuesday too - that if it gets put off for a week or a month I will have to re-phsych self up.

Better get to bed - both kids are asleep now but god knows that won't last till the morning - the morning being as in five o'clock.

nighty night


Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A Pizzled Granny K

Granny K got home a bit pizzled about an hour ago. Flushed cheeks and bloodshot eyes - which no doubt means three tablespoons of beer and a teaspoon of sake. Definately never being on my team for the hundreds club.

Today was the summer 'osettai' - I think I blogged about the spring one that was held at our house. Where we had all the vestlings round to help make rice and then hundreds of people came and prayed at the stone buddah alter outside and got a free lunch. The summer one isn't so full on. They only dish out bags of crisps which, as I discovered, actually requires the same amount of vestlings as dishing out a ten course meal. I wonder what they all did today? I wonder what the vestling hierachy is and how far Granny K is up or down on the vestling food chain?

Anyway, the day kicked off at half four - thanks very much Shou. Mummy!! I've done a nuggy in my nappy! Rightio then, no patting you back to sleep with that in your pants, better change it - in the semi dark on our bed. Bad move. Wriggly little fu&$'% managed to get shit on our duvet, his leg, my hand, arm and elbow. Am still not exactly sure how happened but I definately put the cross words out. "I have not raised you to wriggle round in poo at half four in the morning." So, down stairs and into the wash with everything bar Shou who got a good cloth down and plonked in front of Bob the builder while I got a coffee. Hub down shortly after as he was on stone buddah transporter duties at six am. Stone too heavy for vestling army so they enlist the young lads (yeah right) to move it.

Hub back in time to see fine breakfast bonanza spectaular involving Marina, Shou, some watermelon, some kiwifruit, some banana and a lot of yoghurt. Gotta live little kids don't ya. It's either that or lock them out the back with Granny K and some rotting vegetables and I haven't quite been driven that far - although the poo nearly had me this morning.

Shou off at kindy and Marina having her morning nap I core rythmed for a while (haven't got abs of steel yet) and then did some vaccuuming, hung out two loads of washing and made a carrot cake. Marina woke up and we went on mission to find cream cheese. That found, not in Kunimi, we had lunch and Marina practiced bum shuffling backwards and doing a few pressups while I iced the cake and got afternoon English class ready.

Granny K wanted to know if I could haul Marina off to 'osettai' while I was teaching English. Actually, she wasn't back by the time English started at 4pm (and we have a running Wednesday afternoon agreement) so I rang her and just casually asked if she minded looking after Marina for the hour. I huffed and I puffed and said wasn't bringing Marina to be prayed on by fifty vestlings with hacking coughs five days before her operation and that if mission victor charlie vestling couldn't carry on without Granny K for an hour then Marina would probably be fine watching the kiddies channel. Heard door open twenty minutes into English class.

Hub was home by the time I picked Shou up from kindy. We spent some family time playing on the grass - watering the plants, catching grass hopers ...

Kiddies had dinner, then kiddies had bath. Marina went to sleep. I taught evening english class. Granny K stumbles in. Hub goes to bed and here I am. and what would you know, the olympics just happen to be on. Japan beat Australia in Semi Final for the softball. Very good match.

Am off to friends house tomorrow to raid her bookshelf for hospital reading. Yay. Should be all good between the extra reading, the sodokus, the cross stitch and jewelery kits I have ordered off amazon. Not joking. Have never done either and may well end up with door mat and mystery beaded piece of string - is meant to be bracelet and embrodery cushion cover.

Right, better go to bed. No international relations meetings tonight.

Although, just before I go and while on topic of international relations, one of the men in hub's drumming group asked him at drinkies after their drumming last night - whether or not we actually sleep in same bed (more japanese couples than not don't sleep in same bed. Most common scenario is probably man on own futon and wife with kids) and if so, did we sleep touching all night - like in tangled love knot. Man in question is very open about his growing collection of foreign DVDs - and I don't mean the little mermaid. That said though the sex museum in Beppu has snow white doing some interesting things with the seven dwarves so it wouldn't suprise me if the little mermaid is out there in the world of Japanese porn.

I digress. Hub said yes we sleep in same bed but no to the tangled love knot. Man then wanted to know if I could perhaps teach his wife some english Oh baby, yeah baby, more baby type phrases. Gotta laugh.


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

In the name of International Relations!!

Am just watching Olympic trampoline. WOW!! I did trampoline and springboard diving all through high school so I know my twists and somersaults but these guys do double this and tripple that on EVERY move. Am quite pleased Japan has people in finals for both events cause I have been able to procrastinate from vaccuuming and hanging out washing just about all day. Ooh, Japanese boy is on. A bit skinny but nice spikey hair.

Must watch...

Bloody good job!!

Just waiting for marks...

Currently second. Bloody judges. Don't know a good twisting double backward somersault when it hits them in the face. Oooh, I take that back. Ukraine guy was fantastic. Has wings I think. Ooooh, trampoline scandel. Yuri from the Ukraine is only thrid. Jap guy better.

Will stop running Olympic commentary now.


Shou and I made it back from the drumming fine. We went in the car - a la hub's advice that might fall into river. Good advice. Shou was nearly past it before we even left but I had been working the whole drumming thing up all day so had to take him. Got there and Shou ended spending forty minutes running round with Shin-chan - a four year old boy from his kindy. He did EVERYTHING Shin-chan did - and Shin-chan is a bloody madman. Running here, there and everywhere. Shou only wiped out once though and even got a bit testy with Shin when Shin tried to stop him from doing something he didn't like. Was interesting watching the dynamics of it all. The other forty people there were all keeping an eye out for the little ones so I managed to dance a few rounds - yes, would you believe the foreigner knows the local moves and am getting so good now that some of locals who have forgotten the moves copy me!! Christ, you know you've been in Japan too long when that happens.

Interlude - Japanese boy came in forth with the two super winged Chinese guys ahead of him.

So, here is pic of hub drumming away.

About forty people came - big turnout.

He has just this second walked in the door - and would like to know if I would like to join him in the shower...

and in the name of international relations I probably should



Sour Mummy

Marina's first bit of orange - priceless!!

Her temp got higher the other night - to the point that we rang the hospital she is having her operation at to see if it was ok to give her a bum bullet to get her temperature down. They said yes but to contact them if she started getting spots or flu symptoms. We cooled her down that night - with a cool jelley pillow and cool packs under her arms. She slept six hours straight which was good considering. Up at four and in need of a bullet - which did the trick and kept temperature down, never to return again. fingers crossed.

We spent the day sleeping and being lazy yesterday. I went down for a nap with her at nine and woke up to her giggling to herself while trying to stuff both feet in her mouth just before lunch.

Had a play round at solar panel man's house this arvo (not with solar panel man - he was out selling solar panels, and also am married woman so that would be bad thing to do and besides, solar panel man weighs about twenty kilos less than me and that doesn't push my buttons) but came home for nap time - Marina is out cold and I am watching more olympics and about to check out amazon for anything that might amuse me during the two weeks in hospital. There is only so long one can look at tubes and machines without going insane. Hospital lights out is nine pm but what to do while Marina is sleeping. Can't exactly ask for a mop and do some cleaning. Don't like mopping. Vaccuuming and hanging out washing - if I had to say favorites. Least favorites - ironing and folding the washing. Luckily for me hub does his own ironing - I used to but made such song and dance about it he figured was easier, and quieter, just to do it himself. lessoned well learnt.

Hub has MORE drumming tonight. Granny K is going to keep an ear out for Marina after I have put her down - so that I can take Shou to see daddy drum. Is quite close so think will go on bike - except that bit scary as no lights on the road home - with river on one side and paddies on the other. Is a light on bike though and Shou would probably be quite excited if I gave him a torch to hold - although I doubt it would end up being much use and I may well have to hold it in my mouth instead. Need one of the miners helmets.

There is one more drumming thing after tonight - on Saturday. Is the big town one and there is a few stalls and a bingo game where you can actually win some cool stuff like bikes, TVs and beer. I of course have only ever one packets of tissues and instant noodles.

Right, I better get onto amazon and then start thinking about dinner. Made meatloaf yesterday that am about to recycle for tonight too. change the carbs to go with it and add a different soup and salad and wala - meatloaf a la japonese.


Sunday, 17 August 2008

One Week

It's eight at night and the cicadas are still singing! I guess if I only had a week to live I would be out rubbing my wings together, perhaps slugging back a few pints and chatting up a cicadette or two as well.

Hub, Marina and I are watching the gymnastics finals. American girl, , a Britney spin off, has just done a very good vault. Don't you just wish Phelps was from your country? Eight golds! What a bloody legend. Don't think New Zealand has gotten that many during the whole games from the whole team. What do you think Phelps has been eating for the last twenty years?? Not weetbix, that's for sure.

Woke up to rain this morning so hub's plans of taking Shou crab hunting and to the beach didn't get off the ground so we decided to take the kids to a shopping center about an hour away - the one with the cool ball play pit and slide. Hub and Shou spent half an hour there while Marina and I strolled around and then went to the home center to buy bee killer - for the nest outside Granny K's room.

Better go - Marina is having a bit of a hard time. Have just taken her temperature - 38 degrees. Here's hoping its just because she is tired and needs to do a big poo. Don't need a sick Marina a week before her operation.


Saturday, 16 August 2008


STNY - does not stand for Silent Treatment Non Yexistant. Is name of new bling dida bling diamond pink phone. Am thinking is Samantha Thavasa New York - but not 100% on what the NY stands for.

This pic is up the wrong way but I can't be flagged changing it.

I realised this morning that if I changed the data chip from my cracked phone to my old phone it would work - and it did. I got a couple of mails, checked my gmail etc. When we left the house I took it with me and then realised about an hour later that it would ring if someone phoned me but I couldn't talk or hear their voice. So, with a scratchy Marina we stopped at the closest docomo shop.

I wasn't ready. I hadn't thought I would be buying one in the end. Asked lady straight up where the global roaming phones were - not huge selection. Went round picking them all up and righting off the heavier ones and ones with turn around TV screens - as can see that getting exocisted off its hinges. Didn't ask any other advice or ask about prices. Crap.

Told her wanted the pretty pink one that was ultra light and had normal keypad. Turns out it was six hundred dollar STNY by Samantha Thavasa. Double crap. Told her way out of price range but she came back with that all the New Zealand friendly phones were in that price range and that I actually didn't have to pay anything then -as had enough points to pay for down payment and first two months of 12 month repayment. Almost a bargin.

Back in the old days you could buy phones for zero yen but now the phones are more expensive and the monthly package prices are cheaper. Or so the docomo shop lady rant goes.

So anyway, I now have a phone that is so light and thin I may well end up trying to get cash from the ATM with it. It also came with the gold strap. It has 3.2 megapixel camera, TV, GPS (so I can find myself if I get lost) and a multitude of other functions I no doubt will never get round to figuring out how to use.

On the silent treatment front - well, that lasted all of eight and a half minutes this morning. Not possible when trying to sort out two little kids. Have to at least grunt at hub or nothing would ever get done. He was OTT darling darling sweetie sweetie this morning which makes me think he can remember that he was a complete pain in the ass last night. He didn't know about the phone - as I hiffed it at the door as he was walking out of it to the toilet. My bad aim meant hit door instead of his backside which is shame as his backside is a lot more padded. But then I guess I wouldn't then have had a nice bling bling diamond pink phone to play with all day.

We went to sushi with Marina and then a spot of shopping to get some things for the hospital visit - need more open down the front all in ones for Marina. Last time was in hospital I got told off by nurses for having tops and bottoms and over the head all in ones. Makes sense this time though as she will be getting stitches checked every second hour or so - and they will be on her lower tum so having rompers or leggings on probably not good. Then had to make a few more stops to get Granny K's hair dye, potting mix, pumpkin, ginger and soya sauce.

Took an HOUR for Shou to get to sleep tonight. Any suggestions? Should I try and get him latched on to a bear or something so then he doesn't think he is sleeping alone??

Is starting to do my head in.


Friday, 15 August 2008

On a Roll

Not a very exciting day today either but thought would post seeing as on a roll posting every day.

Took Marina's application to the post office and as luck would have it got the one postman who actually knows where New Zealand is. Took grand total of four minutes. Is always a worry sending passport through post though. Fingers crossed. We then swung by the bank to make a few transfers to various swiss bank accounts and then home to find Granny K hovering in the hallway waiting for us - could I please take her to her family home so she can pray at the alter and catch up with her brother and sister in law.

Do I have a choice?? Once again prime baby afternoon nap time but 'yes, of course, do you mind if we leave as soon as Marina has had lunch because she wont last much longer than that.

So we cruise to the next town over so that Granny K can pray and her brother can sit opposite us at the low table and smoke five ciggies in a row. He is actually very lovely though - and is in fact wee cuddly ewok type man that married hub and I - as family home is budhist temple.

I biked to pick Shou up from kindy as usual - despite some very 'ayashii' thunder clouds rolling in. Would have been fine if hadn't got side tracked talking to friend. But Shou and I got hammered on by the rain on the way home. Shou had on his anpanman poncho raincoat which stopped maybe the top of his T-shirt getting wet. I have never biked so fast home - was great J-Lo butt workout.

About friend I was talking...

She is six months pregnant wither her second child - so of course the natural conversation starter is how are you and bumpette? She asked after Marina and I said all good and finally going in to hospital the week after next to get operation over and done with. I thought everyone in Kunimi already knew but she obviously didn't. She then dropped into the conversation that she has to have an operation too. I ask why. She said she has uterus cancer (shikyugan). They discovered it a few months ago and she is being checked regularly to make sure it doesn't spread. If it doesn't then she will be able to have her baby naturaly and then have a hysterectomy a month later. If it starts to spread then obviously her four year old son comes first - in that he needs her more than she needs a baby she has never met. If it came down to it. My God. There goes nice fuzzy Friday.

She said nobody apart from immediate family knows - she was obviously needing to tell someone else. Makes me feel my rant about Marina's operation was nothing compared to what she must be going through everyday worrying about her baby and her own body.

I tried to email her but she must have changed her phone. She is so 'genki' everytime I see her - that in itself must be taking its toll.

To change topics - hub had drumming for an obon dance festival tonight. The dance finished at nine but he rocks up about ten - smelling suspiciously like a shochu factory. All smiles and love thy wife niceities.


typing this forty minutes after last paragraph.

Have just thrown mobile phone against the wall. Think have broken screen and will need to go and purchase nice bling bling new one tomorrow.

After all the niceities hub turned on telly and started watching movie about world war II. Got all - you realise we have to tell Shou all about the nuclear bombings by america rah rah. I said yes of course but must also tell him about Japanese badies too. And about the maori wars in new zealand. He will also learn about yummyness of hokey pokey icecream, lamb chops and pavlova. Not that comparing those things to importantness of war. But christ, he has raved on for twenty minutes about that followed by what we should say to Shou and Marina when they turn 18 and have to decide which passport they want - Japanese or New Zealand. Followed by a shochu induced brain connection on how I always 'run away' from arguments. I admit, if the Japanese is getting too much I do choose the just can't deal with this anymore approach - which he takes as running away.

Now, after an hour and a half of hub talking more than ten woman after a couple of bottles of wine and expecting me to have an answer for everything, I asked to just please stop the dribble.

Yes, Japan was hard done by when the Americans dropped the bombs
Yes, I guess in some strange way I did agree to live with his mum (and therefore all the problems we have are my own fault because I agreed to live with her (ARRGGGHHH))
Yes, I think you are a good man for working everyday and bringing home the paycheck to pay for the new house (no thanks to me for paying for all light fixtures, curtains and whiteware - in cash, no loan - followed by paying off new car and garden - not to mention the nice bit of extra cash my english teaching and translating brings in - and in fact pays for all of daily living expenses and treats as hub's pay pays for all loans (including ones from before married) and utilities and about two cents left over for groceries.)

I tried ladies, I truely did, to stroke the ego - but he must have been out for a bite. And being a good kiwi woman I took a huge bloody chomp which resulted in mobile phone meets sliding door scenario. He then spent five minutes whining like a two year old (dejavu) about could we please go to bed together - as in sleep - I think even he knew his shag chips were pretty low.

NOT tonight buddy. Am sleeping on floor in Shou's room - seeing as will have to be up for him a couple of times between now and five o'clock anwyay.

I have never done the silent treatment. Might have to give it a go and see if it nets me anything worthwhile.


Thursday, 14 August 2008

Blog Award

Last night, Cassandra from 'It's a Sunny Day in Fuchu' gave me a blog award. Cassandra, you said far too many nice things which I feel must copy and paste for wider viewing.
"Gaijin Wife! I really admire her energy, strength and most of all patience ... Further more, her writing has even changed my vernacular. I pass an old person on the street and think in my head..."what a cute vestling". Rah Rah Rah! I am so glad I found her weblog, because every day I read her posts and am simultaneously inspired and entertained."

I really don't have much patience - and the little bit I do have is probably the difference between life as I know it and 25 years in jail for doing Granny K in. Now I think that for having received a blog award I now have to forward it on to seven (?) other bloggers, and I am presuming they have to be first time award getterers??

Today was a very quiet day. Had a bit of a horrendous night with Shou, so when I went down for a five minute shut eye at half eight with Marina I didn't end up waking up till ten. Even then I may well have slept on if the priest from next door wasn't over doing priestly things to our family alter. I think he comes back at the end of 'obon' to do the farewell spirit thing too.

Finally finished Marina's citizenship and passport application. Need to get to post office tomorrow to send by registered post to New Zealand which could turn out to be as much of a mission as trying to get Granny K to scrape offensive vege patch off her floor. I wonder if she has lost some of her sense of smell.

Today she tried to tell me that Marina sleeps too much during the day - because the two times she made herself at home in here Marina happened to be upstairs - as was prime baby sleep times. Think she is getting bossier in her old age too.

Time to bring your washing in - it's half past three.
Go and get Shou now.
Marina needs some water.

Very minor, shouldn't sweat the small stuff, things but a very relaxing thursday turns not so with Granny K bullshite buildup. What would she think if I came out with the odd

Think you need another row of pearl, normal, backstitch on that there violet colored vest.
Hey K, shut the door properly when you go to the toilet. There's only so much Granny I need to see.
You know the lock I put on the outside of your door (that goes into our hall) and said was so could keep Shou out of playing in your lighter and vitamin infested room - was actually so could keep you in.

Actually this is lies a bit - we do have a lock on her door but it is a two-way no key thing so unfortunately I can't lock her in - although the locksmith and I had giggle about putting proper lock in.

Spent afternoon taking Marina for walk round paddies, getting English sorted and discovering must be part Indian somewhere down the track because made very credible chicken korma, carrot salad and Raita - cucumber and yoghurt sauce stuff. Must admit that uncle Patak helped out a bit with the Korma - although I still had to dice onions, potato and chicken as if true indian. Well diced Kate.

Shou hasn't been initiated to the delights of Indian curry yet and seeing as dinners of late have been a battle I decided that he would be having fish shaped baby hash browns, rice with anpanman sprinkles, a few meatballs, some veges and some kiwifruit. Hub has voiced in the past that he prefers Japanese curries to real ones. To his credit however he ate absolutely everything and I think I even caught a finger going round the rim of the plate!! Will need to sort those table manners out before we go home. Right up there with the way he eats ramen - which, if the kids have been testing me and my patience is running thin, almost drives me to wanting to maybe get the inkan (seal) out for 'the' papers.

The kids bathed and we had some johnson and johnson commercial family time on the deck. I even think hub threw Marina up in the air and she came down laughing. Shou was playing on his anpanman slide and I may have even had an arm casually drapped over hub's shoulder. Everyone had shiney 'it won't happen over night but it will happen' hair and the world was at peace.

The kids went to bed without too much fuss although thinking back I don't think Shou brushed his teeth. Don't tell social welfare, I promise I'll make him clean them twice in the morning to make up for it. I had an 8 - 9 English class which went well. Hub has gone to bed and I am just witnessing Japan lose to Korea in Table Tennis.

In other very one-sided Japanese Olympic news. Japan bloke got a silver in fencing - first time in history. He was quite sexy too - the ten seconds you got to see in between hits anyway. Another quite attractive 19 year old lad got silver in individual gymnastics. Was excellent. One of the badminton girls double teams lost to Korea in the semi final but they still have chance at bronze. Japanese butterfly hero 'Kitajima' won gold in the 200 metres as well - which means he is first Japanese person ever to win two gold medals at two consecutive olympics. He won 100 metres too. Archery woman lost in semi finals. Today's Judo was a bit of a wipe out and didn't get the medals we hoped for. Thats all for today.

I think I want to start a 101 things to do in 1001 days list - but my computer wont let me post a list. Maybe I can just stick one to my fridge and blog about each thing as I get to tick it off. Not as much fun though and then I might need to explain some things to Hub - and no doubt half of list would be things about him or Granny K.

No. 1 Order wine off internet
No. 2 Drink wine ordered off internet
No. 3 Hit Granny K over head with empty bottle
No. 99 Start down payments for retirement home for Granny K
No. 100 Start to slowly get rid of all Granny K's shit from the outhouse so can
a) turn it into retirement home (but far too close), or
b) bash the dividing wall down and turn into Kunimi's first starbucs
No. 101 Have a vest garage sale - ending in fireworks and huge bonfire to burn any leftovers.

I think will have bath and then hit the hay - minus the romping.


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Doing 'horumon'

I tried with my English class this evening I really did, but half an hour into my forty minute Engish only time I lost it and pulled out the yakuza 'korrrra, shizuke ni se' - shut the fuck up!! Actually not using a swear word so not that bad in English. And the students have been coming to me for over two years so even when I am angry they think it's a laugh. Today I had prepared a chart to learn 'What is .... doing on ..... ' (eg: what is Sue doing on Monday? - she is going shopping. etc etc)

I patentially explained everything in Japanese - and I even think most of it got through. After my wee explosion in Japanese we got on with it. One of the girls is only junior high first year while the others are second years. Today she came out with a couple of fantastic errors that I feel compelled to share.

Correct example: What did Sue do on Monday?
Her mistake: What did Sue do on Tom?

Correct example: He did nothing.
Her mistake: He did horumon. ?????!!!! How can you mix up horumon with nothing. horumon is used for 'cow intestines' - specifically the kind a lot of Japanese people like to BBQ. Right up there with barf gag beans. Word is also used for hormones.

I had tears in my eyes. I think the kids were just pleased they had averted a major telling off.

Shou went back to kindy today. Yay of yays. He was gagging to get back to his friends - especially little Ami-chan, his older woman. He also says Yu-chan a lot so he either has a bit on the side or is hanging out a lot with some of the boys - as can not decipher from just 'Yu' whether is boy or girl.

After logging off from the blogging last night got an email from sister in law to say they were coming over tomorrow (today) to visit grave and pray at alter. Her, hub's older brother (the oldest one - who should be living with Granny K), their daughter and her child - Granny K's great grandson.

Had to spend couple of hours this morning while Marina was napping cleaning the house. Tazmanian Devil Shou made quick work of nice clean house yesterday. Granny K polished the alter and put some flower arrangements on display and did nothing else - bar plonking humungous watermelon outside our lounge door. No 'would you mind cutting that up and putting it all in your fridge'. I had to spend entire morning eating contents of fridge so could fit three shelves of watermelon. God, give me a bottle of vodka and I may well be able to polish entire thing off tomorrow. Have obviously fogotten diluded thoughts of starting a diet blog.

brother and sister 'n' law arrive about two. They live two hours drive away but this was first 'long' road trip with the baby - nearly five months. It was a difficult journey. I took Shou back to New Zealand on own at six months so I am not very sympethetic to someone who thinks two hours in car is a hard deal. The baby seemed not too stressed at all by the time they arrived. Sister 'n' law brought loads of goodies with her - grapes, assortment of yummy breads, fruit jellies and cake. Gifts to keep me in favor I think - afterall am the wife of the third son and she is wife of eldest son - and therefore should be living with Granny K. Sister 'n' law and I actually get on very well and she sympethises with me - which is really only position she can take.If she started siding with Granny K she would soon find herself new owner of live in mother 'n' law complete with wardrobe of vests, mini skirts and boots - and possibly some random vegetables in varying stages of decay.

The vist was fun though and successfully kept me from thinking about dinner and my four o'clock English class. I had to kick them out of the tatami room at ten to four so I could quickly get the cushions out and find some flashcards and books. They left before the class finished so I guess I wont be seeing them for another six months or so.

Hub got home from work in record time - as is day to go and 'pick' ancestors up from grave. Shou, Marina and I got excused although Shou joined in in the festivities when they got back to the house 'with the spirit' and loaded it off into the gold plated family alter. Hope spirits weren't hungover because Shou gonged the gong senseless. Marina slept on.

Dinner was a major drama and Shou got big telling off from daddy. Did finally get all his tea in though and he even went off for a bath of own accord. Marina, who was still feeling effects of two helpings of baked beans yesterday was a busy girl loading up numerous nappies and was in desperate need of bath too.

Marina went down just after seven and Shou about half an hour later.

Oooh - nearly forgot major exciting news. Had a MINCE PIE for lunch.

Should I write that again.


and it was bloody fantastic. Got bit nostalgic for days when pies where the menu for a night on the lash. Three o'clock in the morning and happy hour is so far over you really need to get to bed - but absolutely must have mince pie or bag of twisties on way home. I guess is my Japanese equivelent of topping the night off with ramen - noodles.

Have just got text from sister in law - thanks for having us and sorry for leaving and not saying good bye. Please say thankyou to hub and granny K. Will do.

It is soooo hot tonight. no wind. Must get to bed where fan is - and maybe will even go all out and put the aircon on.


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

A real SAHM

I was a real stay at home mother today. I had to look after two whole kids for the whole day. Shou, despite being diseased, was in fine form - including a thirty minute pre-nap mega melt. Very spectacular, almost worth trying to video the next one and uploading to youtube - if had even remotely technologically-minded computer or self.

Must say a thank you to Granny K.

Thank you Granny K!!!

perhaps better say again seeing as such a rare occurrance

Thank you Granny K!!

She looked after Marina (kept an ear out for her while she was asleep) this morning so that I could take over-active two year old brother to park to play on pirate ship and roller slide. Then we had fun putting money in the vending machine for juice and picking which seat to sit on to drink on. All fun and games.

I then had to run some errands - well, actually I had written them off for another day thinking I wouldn't be able to get out of the house. The post office - to send a parcel to sister in New Zealand. Yet again the inbred post office workers had a hard time trying to sort out international postage and am lucky parcel isn't half way to Nigeria - which is where lady pushed first. Next stop was the bank where I FINALLY (sorry Ruth) got round to sending money to Ireland. Has only taken about nine months. Could have had another baby in that time. God, the thought. Actually had scary moment few weeks ago when hub and I had a bit of a romp in the hay and I miscalculated dates and - rah rah - for a week or two there I thought I might be the proud mother of three kids under three.

Anyway, after the bank I stopped in at photo shop to order two more passport pics for Marina's Japanese passport application. Then we did a drive by of the bread shop and then home to find Granny K picking tomatoes in the vege patch way out the back of the house. Luckily Marina was still in slumber and hadn't missed being 'kept an eye on'. When she woke up she had a we jump in the jolley jumper while I spent half an hour blowing up the biggest 'mejiron' (national games mascot) beach ball every made, followed in quick succession by blowing up Shou's paddling pool - which I first had to go in comando style search of under the stairs. Too much air blowing led to a bit of faintness that can only be likened to state after bottle of champers.

This was the result...

Paddling pool that resembles boobs after breastfeeding two kids in two years. Bit of sagging must be compulsory when having boobs sucked and pulled ten times a day. As for nude pic of Shou - hope doesn't get found and uploaded onto child porn site. I was more hoping Shou would debut with Japanese Boy Band. Will have to grow his hair longer and learn how to backflip though.

After splash in paddling pool with giant mushroom Shou, still in the nude, and I spent a good ten minutes trying to catch the biggest grasshoper you have ever seen. Looked almost juicy. During that breif ten minutes, postman pat, and his black and white cat, and the local agricultural magazine drop off guy, and the Granny K yoghurt delivery lady all rocked on up - witnessing naked son running rampage round garden. No doubt will be all over Kunimi by tomorrow that the foreign woman can't be bothered dressing her son and that in New Zealand kids must all run round nudies all day.

Granny K looked after Marina for an hour this afternoon while I took Shou on a nature walk on his Thomas the Tank Engine bike. We saw a turtle, a snake, countless frogs and crabs, dragonflies, a vestling in an automated wheel chair driving through the skinny rice paddy road, and an old man in his long johns cutting the grass. Very educational. When we got home Granny K was in fact playing with Marina - who appeared to be OK and even holding a toy - as opposed to lighter, tree pruners or bottle of adult vitamins.

I somehow - and I still don't know how - managed to vacuum, ahhhh I remember - the vacuuming only got done because pretended vaccum was snake chasing Shou round house, tidying and making of dinner. Curry. Easiest dinner known to man kind. If I was a stay at home mum of two children every day I don't know how I would get anything more time consuming on the table. Apricot stuffed chicken breasts would have to wait until the kids left home.

Hub came home straight after work. We had dinner and the kids had their bath and went to bed without a fuss. I went to next town over to get friend to sign form for Marina's passport - via the supermarket where I had a conversation with a vestling man who lives down the road from us. We spoke for about five minutes, laugh laugh, yes yes, and at the end of it I had no idea what he had said. His wife sees us and comes over and asks me...

wife: it's really hot isn't it
me: yes, very
wife: the kids aren't with you
me: (obviously) no, they are asleep.
wife: it's really hot isn't it
me: yes, very

HUSBAND: we just had the same converstian what are you asking her the same things for?

Thank god I got that sorted out.

Arrived home at half eight. Hub is in good form - no doubt after last nights over zealous escapades. So predictable. Don't need to talk to man to keep him in your good books. Shag thy man and thy man will wash your dishes, put thy kids to bed, pour thy a wine, and scratch thy back. Have the shag on offer for later that night and thy man may well also scrub bath ring, polish silver (if had any) and hand wash laundry.

God, but two nights in a row might be pushing it.


Monday, 11 August 2008

Foot and Mouth Disease

Well, not quite, as Shou is not a cow. It is Foot, Hand and Mouth Disease (teashikuchi byo) and runs rampent in kindergartens at least once a year. Appears Shou is first sufferer in kindy this time round - but then where did he get it from?? Haven't been round kids over the last week. Took Shou to kindy this morning - but got phone call at half nine saying could I come and pick him up as there appear to be spots on his hands as well as tongue.

I went to get him and took him straight to the doctors as kindy said they wouldn't take him back unless he had an all clear that it wasn't the foot, hand and mouth disease - which is highly contagious. We practiced saying 'arrghhh' for the doctor the whole way in the car - in between singing very loud renditions of 'the dragonfly's glasses.'

Oh dear - have just sang Advance Australia Fare along with gold medal winner of women's 100m butterfly. Crap crap crap. Am useless un-nationalistic supporter.

Anyway, doctor said straight away - after pointing at extremely almost non existent spots on Shou that he did indeed have the disease. No medicine will help get rid of it but he could give us some pain killers and some cream to rub on his tongue - sorry, but can you see any mother getting close enough to rub cream on her two year old's tongue. Spent twenty minutes trying not to nut out at the chemist while we waited for our prescription and then it was home james - past the dairy and three yoghurt drinks. Straws are good. They miss the spots on the tongue.

Granny K looked after Marina while we were out and after got home asked her to help out bit more as wanted to keep Marina and Shou apart as much as possible. Realise that if Marina was going to get it foot and mouth it probably would have spread by now but must do anything can - as doctor confirmed fear that Marina getting it now could mean she wouldn't be OK to have operation in two weeks - which sent me off on spiral of..

If she can't have operation in two weeks
and it has to be postponed
and all the next month in already booked
and she can't have operation untill end of October
and we need at least a one month clear before we go home
then we can't go home as planned at end of November.


hate having overactive imagination

Will all be fine.

And in fact, No. 1 travel emailed today and said that as soon as I cancel my bookings with the other travel agents I have running round for me, they can confirm all parts of our journey. Korean Air doesnt like trying to confirm tickets with three different agencies for same person. understandable. Will email Yoshi at Number 1 travel first thing tomorrow.

Oooh - heared Granny K gummy talking for the first time tonight. As in without her teeth. Has very high pitched voice. I only found out a while back that she didn't have any real teeth. Shou got a bit scared shitless when she cleaned teeth while holding them in her hand. brusha brusha brusha not quite the same since then.

Seems Granny K and I are back to normal after our meltdown the other day. But watch this space because it is only a matter of time.

Was thinking of starting a diet blog. Will anyone leave comments of encouragement??
Don't have enough will power to do on own and hub just laughs at any attempts.


Sunday, 10 August 2008

Very Quickly

This will be as long as I can manage to type in about five minutes.

Shou is asleep in our bed. He has been unsettled for the last hour - waking up saying his mouth hurts. He started getting spots on his tongue yesterday - or at least that is when he started complaining. It has effected what he will eat - although he somehow managed nearly a whole plate of barf gag beans on rice for dinner. He was a bit hard to just get to sleep - but a few hugs and cuddles and patting and he was gone - for the moment. Our bed doesn't have a side bar on it because, well, at 32 and 43 hub and I feel we are over the falling out of bed phase. I have put Shou in the very middle of the queen size bed and put pillows on the side he is most likely to fall out of. He would have to be flat stanly to fall out the other side which is up against the wall.

Dr Granny K said that the spots on his tongue were probably from eating too much or drinking too much juice - both of which I find quite hard to believe as Shou eats all his meals usually but not much inbetween, and we don't have a fridge full of juice - why bother when we have own well that brings water up from clear and pure underground spring. Hub had to have bit of laugh at Dr GK too. He is obviously from the same gene pool though as when I said that taking Shou to the beach this afternoon was a good idea - espeically as any salt water he knocked back would be good on his tongue (although not wanting him to sit in sea with a bong or yard glass) he look disgusted, saying "but salt water now isn't what it used to be."

Salt water is good for these things isn't it?? One of the requirements for after I got all four wisdom teeth pulled was gargling with salt water three times a day.

Hub also suggested I take Shou to see doc tomorrow. De ja vu. I suggested he ring the clinic hotline instead - which surprisingly he did. It says on their card that it is for emergencies and injuries. I imagine they are clogged with calls from people with kids with spots on their tongues - and not third degree burns or broken limbs.

The nurse on the end of the phone said that seeing as Shou was acting normally, drinking and peeing normally, didn't have a temperature and only had spots on his tongue, that we wait it out for a day or too.

Hub is at the moment drumming at one of the 'obon' dance thingies. I was going to take Shou to see daddy - and had even mentioned to Granny K that it would be nice if I could leave Marina with her and take Shou to watch daddy drum. She agreed but then at half seven she came in in her going out clothes - black leather mini and knee high fuck me boots - and declared she was going to pay her respects by going to the dance thing. That's fine - but you know when you are gearing up for child to be up past their usual bed time - so you arrange nap times a little bit later so that they will last the distance... When she got home - about five minutes ago she popped her head in and said was that Shou she had heard crying when she came in - it was indeed. What was wrong with him? He has a sore tongue. I wonder whats wrong with it? I wonder whats wrong with you!!

Can you feel my pain!!!

Also, this morning hub went to burn all our old boxes (mainly FBC, amazon and Pacifc Wine cellars) and asked Granny K where the lighter from beside the alter was - the one she uses for lighting the incence. She said it was in the alter drawer because she wanted it to be out of reach from Shou. God thats a good one. Just the other week he was running round with it and she said not to worry cause he hadn't figured out how to push the button yet. Might start running round with empty wine bottle - and tell her not to worry cause haven't figuered out how to hit her over the head with it yet.

Was obviously needing a vent. Usual after a Sunday with both kids and hub at home all day. Sometimes having hub around with both the kids is more work than just me and the kids. He can wind me up something chronic and that makes the looking after a toddler and baby more frustrating. Its mainly just more of the same - hub 'looking after Shou' by lying on the couch while Shou runs manic round the house.


Hub just arrived home. I was upstairs trying to console Shou again. Hub had quick bath and is now upstairs with Shou. I take back bad comments. He really is very good Japanese husband.

Am now going to try and tick off all appropriate boxes in application form for citizenship by descent for Marina. MUST SEND by Tuesday - own deadline. Need to have arrive in NZ in time for them to contact me incase have missed anything - before Marina and I have to go to hospital. Two weeks tomorrow.

Shou obviously on way back to dreamland.


Olympic News
Japan won first gold medal - mens Judo. His second olympic gold in a row. Apart from wasted ears he is quite a bit of sex on toast - and looks bit like TJinJapan's hubby. Our mens volleyball lost to Italy and womans Hockey beat New Zealand. A 19 year old Judo girl got a bronze. One of the badminton doubles beat Australia. The girls gymnastics team did quite well and may get through to finals. No major fuck ups there. Nakajima 'feels good' swimmer won his heat in I think it was breaststroke. The rowers didn't get through to the finals but the New Zealand blokes did. Woman's volleyball lost to the states.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

GK Logic Returns

According to Granny K the teams walked in during the Olympic opening ceremony according to the number of letters in their country's name. When she was expelling these infinite words of wisdom she was saying the names of each country out in Japanese English - which is, as we all know, the official language of the entire world. I was laughing so much on the inside I didn't have enough breath to try and help her out. Here's to voting Granny K on to the International Olympic Committee.

The Japanese lightweight 48 kg Judo sensation Tani Ryoko has just won bronze. Not looking too happy about not being in the final but she is a bloody legend. She has won a medal at five consecutive olypmic games and she is only my age - a whopping 32. She has won silver, silver, gold, gold and now bronze. Our 48kg wieghtlifter Hiromi didn't get a medal like her father - she did come in 6th though which is three places better than her last olypmics. In other results, our single badminton chick won her first round. I think the women's soccer lost to the states. The jap men in the 10 metre pistol shooting didn't make it to the final and... well, I think that is all the Olympic rundown I can offer so far. You could always ask Granny K directly. I am sure she is lot more informed than I am.

Today was 'ohaka souji' - cleaning the family grave - before the obon season. Granny K has relieved herself of such duties so volunteered to look after Marina while I went with Hub. Thanks for that. I have been doing it for the last three years anyway. Last year she 'suggested' I used scrunched up newspaper to clean the shit of the stone. So I did. Works good when you are cleaning glass - but stone and tiles is a joke. But I did as I was told and the grave turned out somewhat cleaner than when I started. While I clean the five towered grave hub cuts the grass and weeds and protects thy wife from over fed insects. Is like 'where the wild things are' Japanese rural style.

Anyway, this year Granny K has obviously forgotten that scrunched newspapers is the be all and end all to grave cleaning - this year can I please use some old ripped up towels. I asked what about the newspaper - and the silly woman pretended that she didn't know what I was on. God, I don't know what I'm on half the time but it sure isn't half as strong as what she's on.

Hub and I spent an hour this morning cleaning and mowing. The grave is now ready for the family to go and pray on the 13th - the day we go and pick up our ancestors and bring them home to the family alter. The first year I was involved in this Granny K said that Hub's father must like me becuase he was riding on my back!! What's that about. Have never even met the man - definately don't wont him riding on my back. Tis only 500 meters home anyway. Walk. or get your wife or son to piggy back you. Do you think spirits look over your shoulder and down your top?? Bloody hope not.

Anyway, Shou came home from kindy and for about ten minutes both kids had a complete meltdown, which Granny K witnessed and thought her advice of "they must be tired, Marina has a full nappy, Shou looks thirsty ..." was going to help. Surely she has learnt by now that mummy meltdown is worse than kiddy melt down and that she is at the core of almost every mummy meltdown.

Meltdown over, both kids in bed. Hub is now ironing his shirts for next week and I am, well on the internet. Nearly time for bed.


Friday, 8 August 2008


Sitting here with a glass of New Zealand wine watching three extremely leggy and blond girls from Iceland walking in with their team during the opening ceremony. Japan has come in already but I have yet to see New Zealand. From what I can tell the order of entrance has been decided by someone who has had too many hash cookies. Finland has just been followed in by Croatia. I thought it was usually alphabetical?

I went to put Shou down at about half seven and ended up dribbling all over his McQueen pillow and banging my head awake at ten o'clock. I did better than him though. He had turned himself completely around and had both legs sticking out between the bars and almost had his open mouth dangerously close to my smelly foot. I did some go go gadget big body bendy moves and left him as is.

I made it downstairs in time for the most boring part of the olympics. The walk in of the opening ceremony. Here comes Albania - obviously slightly pissed that the alphabetical order thing has been flagged and they have been standing out the back for the past two hours. Much more fun to be inside in the all the excitement.

Went to remote Indian place for lunch - and I was slightly misled. No real indians, no turbans and no snake charmers - or am I getting my countries mixed up. There was however a lovely Japanese couple, the husband of which was the chef. My friend and I both had the special lunch which was a mix of a little bit of about five dishes. Was very yummy and cheap at the price of one thousand yen. I will definately be going back to try the other bits on the menu.

Hub has just walked in the door - very impressive time of 11 o'clock. Impressive in that he was out with his office (for no apparant reason - other than time for office drinking bash) for yakiniku (BBQ) and Kareoke and has made it without stumbling through the door before midnight. He has just gone for a bath - and obviously thought his good behavior in getting home on time (I had asked him before he left to try and be home by eleven - as the BBQ started at six and five hours of drinking and thrashing out bad renditions of boy band Japanese songs was long enough) would maybe earn him some bath time with his wife.

Sorry darling but it is just too hot to get in there again - and besides Puerto Rico have just walked in. I have some serious olympic viewing to do.

I don't think hub has anything on tomorrow so maybe some sushi could be in order - although the bloody olympics, what with it being held in such a close time zone and all - means compulsory viewing from about 10am. I have no idea what New Zealand is in - probably some canoeing, possible a shot putter and a triathlete. I doubt Japan will show anything other than what their athletes are in anyway - so may as well just cheer for the Japanese team. The media works them up so well and I feel like I almost know some of them and therefore would be highly unfair to not cheer for them and cry a bit when they win or are defeated. There is some Judo on tomorrow - and a weightlifing girl who has been on news A LOT lately. Her dad was in the olypics many moons ago for weight lifting too. She is a tiny thing - forty something kgs - and she is going to lift a total of 200kg - with her snap and jerk and her whatsyamacall it other lift.

Japan does well at Judo and one woman - who is same age as me is onto her THIRD olympics. She is going for her third gold in China. She is a national hero and you can't help get sucked in the hype.

and there is President Bush standing up and waving to the team from the United States. Really got to feel sorry for the members who don't suit their uniform. I wonder if NZ was one of the first in, and therefore made entrance before I got here or if they are still out the back twiddling their thumbs. There is American Samoa. Flag holder looks like picture of front of travel brochure.

Right, you all really don't need a running commentary of the opening ceremony. As predicted my wine internet shopping the other day arrived this morning. I shall have another glass and at least wait up to see the end of this.


Hub has just asked if his breath smells too much. He usually gets a futon down stairs after these drinking things cause he stinks of shochu and snores like a steam roller. He is now shaving.....

He must be thinking he is getting some action tonight. What's that about - shaving at midnight. Am all for the mouth wash gargle though


Thursday, 7 August 2008

Bring Back Granny K

As tj-inJapan commented, need a T-shirt that reads Bring Back Granny K. I could get her to personally sign one for you. Dearest T, J, K and R. With all my love, Granny K!!

She popped back briefly today to tell me that I needed to take Shou to the hospital. The kindy rang up and said he had a temperature of 38 degrees and a case of the shits. My god, call the ambulance, my son has the runs and a hot head. I rang hub to tell him that I was off to pick Shou up and therefore wouldn't be in to the town office to pick up the necessary forms for Marina's passport as planned. Could he please bring them home with him. He also asked if I was going to leave Marina with Granny K while I took Shou to see the doctor - because obviously I want to drive an hour each way to get five different types of medicine to stop a 'natsu kaze' summer cold - which it isn't even is. I nearly went off on a rant to Granny K about how Japanese people go to hospital far too much, but I just left it at 'so did you take your children to the hospital four days away on foot in the snow and rain when ever they shat their pants?' I got no response. (and for the record Shou didn't shit his pants - just his ultra absorbant nappy)

I asked Granny K to keep an eye on Marina while I went to get Shou. I went to get in the car but Granny K had gone back to her room, shut the door and started eating lunch. I know the timing wasn't great, but my idea of keeping an eye on a nine month old baby includes actually being in proximity so can 'keep eye on' them. She said yes when I askeed her - no problem. She didn't even keep the door open. Maybe she was just going to wait until Marina back arched out of her bouncer (has been done) and hit her big head on the light up dancing turtle or shapes and numbers plastic phone. I got on my high horse and told Granny K was taking Marina with me. We left. We drove. We conquered.

Got back with Shou and Granny K was waiting at the front door. Her words of wisdom, after telling my earlier that I should be taking him to the doctors, was 'Aah, Shou, sure you'll be fine after a good nap' She then did the big koochie koo under Marina's chin and said 'did mummy take you away in the car when you wanted to stay and play with Granny'

Unfortunately my NZ sav blanc hasn't arrived yet - or I may well have been forced to skull back a bottle and then hit Granny K over the head with the empty.

I have just finished my Junior HIgh kids thursday class. They are pretty good most of the time. I wanted to introduce the only English for the first forty minutes with them too but they aren't quite there yet. They do however have poker phrases down pat and if their parents agree I might take them on a tour of Vegas.

A couple of friends ended up popping in this morning - one uninvited - very not a Japanese thing to do so was pleasantly surprised. It was friend from yesterday - who came over with son before English. They came with huge bag of grapes. Yum yum, which Shou has now had about a hundred of which will no doubt mean a grape overdose induced case of the runs tomorrow - followed by a phone call from the kindy. We have made a mummies date to go for lunch on Monday or Tuesday - to the 'World Buffet' in the next town over. This will be interesting. I will try and remember to take a photo. I bet the owners will shit themselves when they see a 'world' person coming in. Quick, hide the miso soup and bring out the thai green curry and Mongolian yak dish.

A different friend came over this arvo briefly - to pick up her share of my recent order from FBC - foreign buyers club. I now have a kilo of Australian cheese in the fridge - which cost me half an arm but will be worth it - espeically if some of its melted over the baked beans I got too. I could have as second course to meat pie!! - which by the way cost me 400 yen. I also got some weetbix so that Shou can get used to a Kiwi breakfast - weetbix and vegemite on toast. I also got some English class books and some fab stickers to bribe students with.

This same friend suggested we go to 'real' curry place in the hills about half an hour away. It used to sell egg sandwhiches and be a place where you could practice organic vegetable growing and pottery. Somewhere a long the way they have kidnapped a real indian chef and changed the menu to chicken korma. Very very interesting.

Right, off to bed. Shou had me up from four this morning - and I thought I would get to nap this afternoon but Shou and Marina only crossed over nap times for an hour - and that was right when 'Cold Case' was on TV and I ruled that my English drama time was more important than nap time.


Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Drink yourself skinny

Am just watching program on TV about fatties who decided to diet by unusual means. One woman dyed everything blue before she ate it because she couldn't get round the thought of eating lots of blue food. This man realized that after a hard night on the lash he couldn't face food the next day - surprise suprise. He lost 40kg in half a year!!

Marina and I had another relatively quiet day today. Granny K found other means to get home from pottery and has said a total of about two sentences to me all day. She got an unknown vestling to bring her home - well at least I didn't recognize the car and she appeared to be bowing over backwards when she got dropped off.

I had two english classes today. The pre-school one from four only had three kids today. I am friends with one of the mothers so her and her son came over an hour early to gossip and drink ice-coffee. Her husband, who is also a town office employee, apparantly does nothing at home and doesn't even really offer to go out with the kids in the weekends unless it is in the car. I told her about Hub taking Shou to catch crabs, and going to the beach rah rah and she was green with envy. I guess it makes you realize the good in your man. She doesn't live with her mother in law though - they live next door and the grandmother in a house joined to that. The grandmother (now 88) used to be a nutritionist for school lunches. She makes the dinners for them so she, my friend, only really fixes breakfast. While she was here I was talking to her while I was doing what I could for dinner, which was making scotch eggs. She was highly impressed by my moulding a mince patty around a hard boiled egg!! Made me feel very Matha Stewart - minus the prison sentence.

I had another English class this evening - and this was the second week of me not using any Japanese for the first forty minutes. They definately use more English too when I do this - even though it does do my head in something chronic.

Hub has just gone to bed and I think I might go join him.

Sorry for boring post but Grannk K on the blink doesn't lead for very interesting life.


Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Just Quickly

A quiet day in the Aramaki household today. Granny K was again a ship passing in the night - bar the essential words needed to communicate essential information like please have a bath and thank you for looking after Marina while I went to get Shou from kindy etc etc. Hasn't quite gotten to the stage where I can't say anything and feel need to mime actions. She has pottery tomorrow and I usually go and pick her up because she likes finishing ten minutes after the free bus leaves. Can you not spin that wheel a little bit faster woman? Will be interesting to see if I am number one choice for mode of transport or whether she bribes another vestling for a free ride. Can't see her hitch-hiking or flashing her boobs at passing trucks. But you never know, they might be better options than asking thy bitch of thy daughter in law to come and pick thy (??) up.

Hub came home from work at about six and then had to leave again at about seven to go to 'bon odori' drumming at the local old people's home. Obon is the time of year when we welcome our ancestors back to the house for a few days before bidding them bon voyage back to the land of the dead. We eat speically made sweets, bang drums, dance and light incense. We as in the Japanese in me. The town revitalisation group that hub is in drums at about 80 percent of the drumming and dance Obon events in Kunimi. The old people's home, the ex-mayor's temple, the homes of the people who are 'celebrating' (??) the first year anniversary of a family member's passing (God knows I would be celebrating the first year of Granny K's passing - says she who would be then left with looking after kids with NO help - ungrateful bitch I know, SIGH), and the social welfare centre - which is the biggest bash in town. Hub isn't the best drummer but he does get a good bash in there about four times a night.

He came home tonight with three cans of beer - the others were drinking at the old people's home (what fun) but Hub of course has dragon gaijin wife at home that he has to go home and wait on so he gets excused some times. Good lad. I don't mind being the 'kibishii' (strict) wife if it means I get to see hub at least half as much as I would if we were a New Zealand couple without rurual bollocks / Japan civil servant crap / volunteer fire brigade / wannabe baseball team obligations.

So that's today's news. Nothing too exciting.

Nighty night.


Monday, 4 August 2008

Two in one day

Blogspot might ban me for overposting :)

Granny K and I have successfully spent the day like ships passing in the night. I said a quiet yoroshiku (thanks) when she came in to look after Marina while I went to pick up Shou and she said a quiet mummy's home when I got back with Shou. Not in English of course. Can you imagine that?? Could almost forgive her for half the crap if she came out with some English like that now and then!

Solar Panel man's wife texted me as I was feeding Marina lunch. Tyson had gone down for nap and did I want to come over now for gossip. Well... YES. shoveled the rest of Marina's pumpkin, carrot and potato mash into her mouth, changed her into something pink and pretty and fled the coup. After two hours of more coffee and big vent - where she let rip about her mother and law too - who she doesn't live with but who lives downstairs, we came home.

I got home about two to discover that hub had brought his lunch home to eat - no doubt to check I wasn't packing a suitcase or three. He then emailed at about three to say he was going to be late - home about nine, followed by about ten heart marks. After getting home from kindy with Shou the three of use had some fun time then dinner - where Shou ate everything with only getting up from his chair once. miracle of miracles. I then put both kids into the bath without getting in myself. I usually ask granny K to get Marina out - then I can get in with both of them. Makes it a lot easier. But, well, what with both Granny K and I being as stubborn as each other I didn't ask and she didn't offer.

After the bath we had some story time and then put Marina to bed. Shou and I went to supermarket (admittedly, I had to ask Granny K to keep an ear out for Marina) and got, grapes and a 'mejiron' beer. so much for never drinking again - this also said after I did indeed spend twenty minutes ordering NZ Sav blanc off internet. Mejiron can tired thy weary soul over until then. Woe is me.

Daddy came home at half seven - early. The first thing he did was give me a big hug - obviously very greatful decided not to flee country with two kids because his mother is pain in ass. And so he should be. He then suggested that because Shou was still up we should do the fireworks we didn't do the other night. So, Shou took his squeaky chair outside and we watched hub light half the fireworks. Was very precious - despite Granny K's (I got shou to invite her - why do I bother) whining about how dangerous it was that Shou was seated ten metres away. This coming from the lady who used to let him play with nail clippers and lighters, and feed him adult vitamins when he was six months old.

Shoot thy mother in law. Am thinking a lot less messier than blender fantasy.

So, we come to the end of yet another day in the land of the gaijinwife and the Japanese mother in law. I am sure some people have it easier and some harder. Today was one of those days - topped off by next door neighbour ringing Granny K to say I had left some washing on the line. Sigh sigh sigh sigh bloody sigh. Can one not even leave their own washing out overnight without it hitting the daily news.

Anyway, might take advantage of hubs 'be nice to thy wife' time and try and get a shoulder rub.


Bigger Blender (Long)

Hub had volunteer firebrigade CPR practice yesterday morning - in full uniform and in 33 degree Kyushu heat. Needless to say he came home looking like he'd been sitting in a sauna for a few hours. Maybe I should borrow his uniform when I do my Core Rythms workout - would no doubt double amount of calories burned.

Granny K wanted to go shopping - to the supermarket in the next town over because they were having specials on eggs and sugar. I said yes, I could take her if she could help me with a child - either or. Take your pick. The baby that's too small to put in the toddler seat of the trolley or the two year old in the trolley who would rather be anywhere but. We got to the supermarket and I asked her to carry Marina while I forced Shou's legs in between the bars on the toddler seat. After handing Marina back to me she then picked up a basket and went about her shopping - asking me to please buy some eggs and sugar - was a special where only could get one per customer. Am oblivious as to why she needs so many eggs and sugar. Perhaps she bootlegs eggnog and invites other vestlings over in the evenings to skull back eggnogg after eggnogg.

So, I was left with Marina in one arm and the other trying to navigate a trolly being wobbled round by Shou. Somehow we managed to make it to the checkout with a small shop of about ten things. Through sheer bad luck, and not being able to steer the trolly properly, I ended up down the lane with the young man on the checkout. Now, I have nothing against young men. Infact I used to like them to no end and in fact still enjoy the odd look but when it comes to checkouts at supermarkets, young men tend to be the least sympethetic to pregnant women and mothers of young children. This aside I still thought he might pack my few items for me - especially as I went out of my way to look like a retard while opening my wallet. God, I just about had to close the zipper on it with my teeth that's how tied up my hands were.

But no. I then had great challange ahead of packing bag because Granny K was obviously off up the other end of the shop comparing the 304 yen piece of eel with the 305 yen peice. We managed to pack the bag and make it outside to the car before Shou started packing a wobbly. Granny K trotted happily out a few minutes later, happy as larry because she had her sugar and eggs.

I realise that mothers around the world have been going to the supermarket with two plus kids since the beginning of supermarkets but I hadn't prepared myself. I would have preferred the supermarket in the town on the other side of Kunimi - that has baby seats where I could put Marina. Then I could do a mixture of holding Shou and having him walk. That supermarket also has prime bribery machines - where you put a hundred yen in, turn the handle and a fantastice plastic digger, snake etc comes out.

Anyway, moving on.

Hub got home and we had cold chineese noddles for lunch. Hub took Shou to release the big stag beetle back to the wild - it had been in beetle box for over a week and Hub was doing the housecleaning of changing the beetle bug dirt and feeding it beetle jellies. Shou had completely lost interest though so only fair that it go back to the wild to find another husband - seeing as kidnapped first husband last week to give to friend's son who is older than Shou and a lot more into them.

The two of them then went crab hunting. They got a few but Shou decided on way home that they had to be put into the river so they arrived home empty handed.


This morning started off with Shou having another meltdown over his favorite T-shirt that had been washed this morning and was on the line. I bought another t-shirt, exactly the same, last week but he wore it to bed last night instead of his PJs and then proceeded to spill half his natto gohan (gag barf beens on rice) down the front. Meltdown lasted for twenty minutes - and I was slowly starting to max out. One of the advert inserts in the mornings paper had rice storage lockers for sale by the local agricultural JA group. I have mentioned many a time that I hate having rice with mice shite and insects in it. What is the point in growing own rice if can't store in place to save it from this?? The lockers were on sale for three hundred dollars - and only cost about 300 yen in electricity a month. It keeps the temperature at about 15 degrees.

Hub and I discussed it and both thought would be good idea to have the smaller one. The best place to put it is in the outroom in the place where there is currently an old freezer - which Granny K told us months ago she didn't use anymore. When she came in to look after Marina while I took Shou to kindy I casually asked her if she had turned the power off to the freezer in the shed. She said no, why would she do that when it was full?? What came after was a jolly good performance on my part. I went from strength to strength

You said you didn't use it anymore
OK then, tell me what's in it?
I bet you can't even reach the stuff in the bottom?
Two big bags of frozen dried raddish??? why??
You have an acceptably sized fridge in your kitchen, what does a seventy year old woman need a commercial sized freezer for? (dejavu)
I have never seen you take anything out of it.

Granny K - silent most of the time but popped in with - tell me how much it costs to run and I'll pay the power for it. I almost said I would rather she saved that money towards her retirement home costs. God, I'm good. I said we were thinking about buying rice storage thingy. She said was top idea. And I said yes, top idea, now can you chuck all the shite in the freezer out so we can move it and put the storage thingy there.

Rah rah, I threw in a few more don't you want your grandchildren to eat nice mice shit free rice? comments, she admitted that she didn't know what was in the bottom half of the freezer, hub laughed a bit, and I ranted some more. Amongst all this yelling in front of our children I did manage to get Shou into a completely different t-shirt and get his kindy stuff sorted. We jumped on the bike and I fumed the whole way to kindy.

And here I was going to start my good-eating and diet plan this week, and now granny K has been a right stupid old cow and I am going to have to spend the next twenty minutes ordering medicial white wine off the internet. Marina and I may well need a night away to escape - or I fear what will happen to Granny K. Her head may well end up in the blender, if it could fit. She so looks like a gremlin sometimes. Bet she would suit a mohawk.

I had calmed down enough that I was almost going to appologise for huge nutout but she was out the door with her silly patchwork handbag as soon as I got home. No doubt she needed to go and vent too.

She left and I core rhythmed and then did step workout and then got on hands and knees to clean floor. Am now having ice coffee and slowly getting blood pressure back to normal by telling whole world about problems. Very very therapeutic. Marina is due to wake up and then it will be some lunch and off to solar panel man's house this arvo to vent to his wife.

In other news - Shou's rash has just about gone. Hub declares is because doctor and pornstar nurse gave us holygrail cream. I reminded him I had only put it on once and hadn't even given him his oral medicine. Hub continues to massage his own feet, drink all his pills, and wear his five toed socks which nurse said he should wear until athletes feet completely healed.

Third load of washing has just beeped. Better hang it out and make use of another thirty three degree plus day.


Saturday, 2 August 2008

Etchi Alegery and Skin Disease Clinic

I spent the morning finishing painting Shou's new sand pit - which used to double as a yakiniku (BBQ) table but which is moving onwards and upwards to the land of sand pits. It doesn't have any sand in it yet - but who cares when you can race cars on the top of it.

Marina slept for a record three hours this morning - hence why I got chance to finish sand pit. I did, in the process, manage to paint the deck a bit of red and yellow but hey, all fun and games. said right before spending twenty minutes scrubbing deck with newspaper and bum wipes. Actually quite effective. Baby bum wipes are so under rated.

At lunch time got call from kindy saying Shou had mysterious rash in a ring round his tummy - as in from front to back. He woke up saying he had a saw tummy - but at two years old his word for sore is also his word for uncomfortable, itchy ...
So Hub went and picked him up and true to word he had red belly. This morning he woke up with wet PJ's - either he pee-ed his nappy more times than a pregnant woman, or his billy bob, willy wonker, charlie, big fella (?), small fella(?) was hanging out the side a bit! I am thinking he slept for few hours on pee soaked PJs - explains mysterious corn field type ring round tum.

However, as live in land of hyperchrondriacs we had to take him to the skin doctor - JUST IN CASE was actually apendiscitis (why do I choose words I can't spell) showing signs from the outside!! So, we left Granny K looking after Marina (thanks GK) and took Shou to docs. Maki had to miss out on his firemans firetruck parts replacement bonanza. Good man. He tried to convince me to go on own but I played the silly woman can't navigate card - despite having thousand dollar car navigation system in car (which, and this is completely going off on a tangent - I have figured out has two voice settings. The voice can instruct you in formal polite Japanese 'Please take a right turn in approximately three hundred metres', or as if naviagation neechan (lady) is your best friend 'hey, swing a right here aye'. Was great find)

So anyway, we go to doctors and hub decides that he will get his athletes foot looked at. We go into exam room and young nurse woman asks us million questions.

Do you use body soap or normal soap in the shower?
Do you use a nylon or a cotton towel?
Do you wear socks to bed?
Do you prefer vodka or gin?

Sorry, made that one up.

The doctor came in and prescribed creams and oral medicine for both Shou and hub. The nurse then came in and showed Hub how to rub the cream on his feet correctly - just in case he was a complete retard and had never rubbed cream on feet before. Now I know I wont be able to portray this as well as when it happened but basically she put some cream on her gloved hands and put it in a line from hubs foot to his toes saying 'just apply a line of cream from here to here' (said in pornstar voice - very very slowly and she may have even batted an eyelash or two). She then lathered the cream in - hub went a little red and I tried to stiffle laugh into top of Shou's head, who was sitting on my knee - totally engrossed in lovely neechan (young lady nurse). The nurse then proceeded to wrap Hub's feet in gauze as if had third degree burns. I am sooooo proud of self for not laughing out loud at outlandish medical practice.

Hub admitted that he felt embarrased and I suggested maybe we could use as fantasy play - so that all I had to do was massage his feet in future. He said there is not substitute.

We got home and Granny K said Marina was up for two hours and asleep for the last hour. I was not sure if GK would agree to letting us put her to bed and then take Shou to local festival. But she did, so we left after putting Marina to bed at seven. She didn't wake up - and is still in deep slumber, despite now facing the opposite end of her cot.

The local festival was well, a local inaka Japan festival. Wannabe singer performing on stage, stalls selling beer, shaved ice, tea, fried chicken, octopus balls (as in round things not testicals), noodles etc. We got some of all of the above and sat self on biggest blue taupalin (hmmm, big blue sheet)known to man kind. Shou was engrossed in his shaved ice for a good forty minutes and for a second there I though we might be a goer for the fireworks starting at nine. NINE??? If anyone out there is in charge of fireworks starting time orders then take note - it is dark at eight. everyone, bar the 14 year olds hanging out the back wanting a bit more time to pash before the bright lights hit in, want the fireworks to start at eight.

We had to hightail it about ten past eight. Shou was asleep within ten seconds of being put in his car seat. No fuss being transferred to bed either.

Just another day.


Friday, 1 August 2008

August Finally

The 1st of August. This month Marina has her operation. We have known she would probably need one since before she was born. It is scary but a 'relief' that we are nearly there and that this time next month, while she still may be strapped to a bed so she can't move, the operation itself will at least be over.

She has been in top form lately - and long may it last. We aren't taking her to the festival tomorrow though as not liking the big crowds of coughing, spitting grannies and grandads that will no doubt gather for the wannabe Japanese enka singer who is performing - her 15 minutes of fame. We need to keep Marina in tip top condition this month so she is in her best fighting sprit for the operation. You know you have been in Japan too long when you come out with shite like 'fighting spirit'.

Hub is at this moment putting Shou to bed. His face is looking a bit better after yesterday's concrete meet shou. Shou meet concrete episode.

Hub was meant to be selling yakitori (chicken skewers) tomorrow night at the festival but his group of lads have decided it isn't lucritive enough anymore so they aren't doing it this year. This means hub wont have to leave at lunch time to go and spend five hours getting the coal BBQ to penultimate coal burning status. This in turn means I may be able to pursuade him to go to the revolving sushi with Marina and I. Yum Yum. He of course may well choose to sleep instead. As long as we are home by three in the afternoon - when hub has to go to the local firemans hut because one of the parts on the fire engine is getting replaced and...

how many volunteer firemen does it take to supervise a fully trained mechanic replacing a bit of engine????

as many as the number of cold cans of beer that is obviously necessary to successfully supervise such things.

I managed to get through the day with only having a couple of conversations with Granny K. The first was when the home grocerry delivery man arrived with this week's stuff. Granny K had ordered bread!!!! If you are in the know about seventy year old Japanese women you would know that this is obviously a sign of dimentia. Bread??? Why would you order bread when you can have home grown rice with rice bugs and mice shit in it? So anyway, there I am in the kitchen trying to remember why I had ordered two different types of bread when granny K comes in and says one is hers. I don't think she even has any marge or butter. I wonder if I should offer the vegemite! Maybe this is an attempt to get to better understand thy foreign yomesan (daughter in law).

Have just had terrible thought. What if Granny K blogs too - under the name of gaijin yomesan!! She could be at this very moment trashing me for the whole world to read about. But then again, where would she stash a computer. Her room is chocka full of vests in assorting sizes and colors, funny smelly creams which never seem to get used, rotting bits of vege and stashes and stashes of home order cateloges. She is also obviously technologically retarded as appears still hasn't figured out how to use vaccuum cleaner. She even leaves the door of her microwave oven open - apparantely it saves power!!

Well, I have a long line of meat pies, cheese, baked beans and the like to order off FBC - the foreign foods store in Tokyo.