Last night Granny K came in at eleven with more toshikoshi soba - special noodles eaten at New Years. I went upstairs to see if could coax hub into coming down but all I got was a grunt, followed by another one when I asked if he would come to the shrine up the road with me at midnight, followed be a slight pause but then another one when I enquired as to the possibility of himeosame. He reckons he can't remember the conversation - if you can call it that.
So, Granny K and I ate our noodles together watching the supreme of Japanese singing talent, plus Susan Boyle, perform for the end of year most watched program in the entire nation. She retreated back to her room and I welcomed in the New Year with a glass of Asahi infront a roaring fire. Cozy. Slightly depressing. But what were my options really.
The New Year started off early and a few hours of in and out of the cot game and Marina can now just about McGyver dive-roll in and out of it. Very fast. I only need to breathe loudly outside the room and I can hear them both beam themsevles out of it. Shou's not quite so flexible and small so sometimes that, coupled with his big head, leads for some donks, dings and bangs.
Come 9am and we were in serious need of some out of the house time. Well, actually I was in serious need of some get the kids out and give me some peace time but that was about as likely to happen as hub winning millions at silver ball heaven. We get dressed in our winter best...
and walked to the Shrine - not an over-ice 500km expedition of the antartic like you would expect judging from Shou's outfit. The Shrine man was there already so hub and I got a cup of new years sake and the kids got a coffee candy. The shrine man, who used to study English, started into some big story about Japanase gods. He was trying to ask me about something religous or other. It was all in Japanese bar the only word he said in English - which was 'dirty' - he even spelt it for me. I realised he was trying to say 'deity' but still the conversation was far from anything I will ever understand.
'Um, yes, we have god's. And I think they are all deities although I'm probably not the best person to ask. Perhaps maybe even a few dirty deities. Not quite sure. Rightio then, best be off before my three year old tries to base-jump off the top of that huge flight of concrete and dirt stairs.'
Got home and hub took them out to fly the shinkenja kite - which resulted in loads of tears and a broken kite. I hunted down a kite my sister sent ages ago but which I had kept hidden as wasn't right at the time. Was perfect today though. Bright illuminous yellow octopus kite with cool flying tenticles. They had a great time. Well, at least I think they did. They were gone for near on an hour and came back all red-nosed and smiles.
Minus the kite.
Not quite sure where that ended up but wherever it is it was worth it.
We popped next door to the temple so the kids could get toshidama (money in an envelope given to kids on new years day) from the deaf temple vestling. Wasn't a go though and they had to be satisfied with hot green tea and oreos.
I read on a couple of blogs last night about reflecting back on the past decade. I'm going to try and very briefly do this...
2000 - first year as a CIR on JET. Spent majority of year organizing tea parties for two year olds, drinking Asahi, being the token gaijin at old peoples home sports day, drinking Asahi, selling lamb chops at festivals, drinking Asahi... Started running and cycling and competed in town's Duathlon. Won a bag of limes.
2001 - hooked up with Daisuke, potter in Kunimi but orignially hailing from Niigata. Did Duathlon again and a couple of half marathon events plus 50km run that just about killed me. Still spent lots of time teaching English, and teaching random groups about New Zealand and how to do the Maori Poi and make Pavlova. Took Daisuke home for brothers 21st and to meet the family. His English took off and he learnt excellent phrase of 'chop deisel' meaning to drink loads of booze.
2002 - broke up with Daisuke in February. Saw a crazy fucker stab his ex wife to death in April - on the way to work. Fucked me up for a while. Third year on JET ended in July and I started work for Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in August - in the Careers Office. Kunimi crowd came to Beppu for drinking thing and I was invited - was the start of the end. Hub-to-be whisked me off to some fabulous love hotel with a quadrupal king size round bed with mirrors on the ceiling and a vending machine full of sex toys.
2003 - quite busy with work - helping international students find work in Japan. Despite bitching about it a lot actually enjoyed it very much. Lived in apartment in Beppu with five other single girls from NZ, OZ and Ireland. Great times. Hub and I decided to get married. Took him back to NZ in December for a pre wedding party. Hub spent whole plane trip practicing his English speech and reveling in fact that all the booze was free.
2004 - Had traditional temple style wedding in April at Granny K's family home. Went on honeymoon to Hokkaido. Great times. Honeymoon baby. Miscarriage. Life falls apart briefly but my girlfriends help me get back on track. Still living in Beppu as too far to commute.
2005 - a few more miscarriages so decide to go back to New Zealand for some tests - to coincide with best friends wedding. Tests all fine - but am told am high miscarrier (??). Get back to Japan and get pregnant almost straight away. The bugger sticks. Pull down old family home and build new house using inbred twat fucker builder from down the road. House is ready by Christmas. I quit working in Beppu and move to Kunimi 4 months pregnant.
2006 - Granny K and I have nasty nasty fallings out and we end up smashing down her room wall and building a kitchenette. The early days living with her where shite. Start private English teaching and here and there translating. Spend 6 hours on my 30th birthday in labor and pushing Shou out the saloon doors. My parents come over a month later, followed a month later by my little bro and his best friend. The whole family, including Granny K, go back to NZ for Christmas. Hub and Granny K come home before New Year and Shou and I stay on until the end of Jan.
2007 - Come back to Japan and get pregnant with Marina the day I get back. Am working two days a week commuting to a Junior High School in Beppu. Shou gets a day a week at kindy and a day with Granny K. He starts kindy in Kunimi in October - a month before Marina comes along. We have been alerted to Marina having a possibly Kidney condition. She had to have heinous and very invasive tests the day we left the clinic - day five. Her and Shou both get the measles in December.
2008 - Spend first ten days in hospital with Marina. Spend a total of another month with her in and out of hospital before she has an operation the day after her first birthday in October. Two weeks in Fukuoka Childrens hoospital - eight weeks pregnant with Ryu - my cutest mis-caluclated shag ever. Marina gets the all clear to go home to New Zealand so the four of us go at the start of December. Hub stays a week but comes back for another week and to pick us up at the end of January. The two months at home is nice but hard as looking after two year old and one year old by self. Not much of a 'holiday' but good to do some shopping and catch up with family and friends.
2009 - a few more post-op checkups for Marina. All good. Marina starts kindy in April and is in the same class as Shou. Ryu born in June and life starts getting crazy mainly due to night upon night of little sleep. Have a few biggies with hub but we sort them out. The unbloggables happen at home. A bit of a worry and some stressful times, not to mention a phone bill that in itself is unbloggable. Am disgusted with self at body and that ,my friends will be my biggest goal for 2010.
That and not getting up the duff again.
Sorry, that was quite a bit longer than imagined.
Best be off - just when you think you have finished all your nengajo and wham, you get 15 from people you weren't expecting them from and you have to write them return ones!