Just For Me

I don’t care if y’all want to look at this but here are some birds that I saw today.

I love Sunday

I love Sunday

Pintails

Pintails

Kentish Plover complaining

Kentish Plover complaining

Rock Thrush

Rock Thrush

Dabchick

Dabchick

I don't like sponge cake

I don’t like sponge cake

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At the Donkey and Crown Where He Drank Every Night

KING LEAR

You scholars of English one question I’ll ask
To answer you won’t find a difficult task
Of Shakespeare’s great heroes, which one would you pick
To award him first prize for being totally thick
Othello you know was a gullible dupe
And Hamlet’s delaying landed him in the soup
But the stupidest moron in all of Shakespeare
Was that old King of England, the man they call Lear

Three daughters he had in the course of his life
Although we’re not told what befell his poor wife
I’ll bet she ran off to avoid going insane
After years of enduring that pompous old pain
At the Donkey and Crown where he drank every night
The locals all knew poor old Lear wasn’t bright
When they said your “Royal Highness we love and revere”
The old fool lapped it up and bought everyone beer

At the age of four-score and in fear of expiring
King Lear told his girls he intended retiring
Of loss of his faculties sadly he moaned
As if he could forfeit what he’d never owned
He said that his kingdom he planned to partition
Provided his daughters fulfilled one condition
“Before I hand over this rich legacy
You must tell me how much you admire me,” said he

Now the two eldest daughters named Goneril and Regan
Knew well what he wanted, so promptly they began
To swear how they always did love and respect him
They thought that the sun rose each day from his rectum
Says Cordelia the youngest, being honest and true
“Can’t you see Da they’re taking the piss out of you”
King Lear lost the head and began to scream at her
But still she refused her old father to flatter

Then says the bold Lear, “I swear on my honor
I’ll split my estate between Regan and Goneril
I’ve nothing for Delia, not land nor finance
She can pack her belongings and shag off to France”
If that wasn’t enough that pathetic old jerk
Left himself without home, without income or perk
The two vixens took all and their Da the old dunce
Was to lodge in their houses in alternate months

These daughters of course were both nasty old shrews
But in fairness King Lear gave them every excuse
His boiled eggs were too hard or his gravy too thin
Or he got too much tonic and not enough gin
So they both found their Dad an unbearable bore
Ere the first month was over they showed him the door
In those far-off days there was no county home
So old Lear like a tramp ’round the country did roam

Up to this he was lacking in guile and in craft
But now the old geezer went totally daft
He ran through the fields and he crawled through the bogs
He was screaming and howling and barking at dogs
But in spite of his faults and ridiculous foibles
He still had a band of devoted disciples
Young Edgar was there and the loyal Duke of Kent
And a man called ‘the fool’, quite a sensible gent

One other wayfarer I’ll add to this roster
Twas Edgar’s blind father, the old Duke of Gloucester
He disowned his son who he thought was untrue
In fact Lear and himself were of equal IQ
Then they heard the news as they wandered all over
Cordelia arrived off the ferry in Dover
Being now Queen of France she assembled an army
Avenging her Da though she heard he was barmy

So thousands of men in the battle were slaughtered
And victory it went to the two vicious daughters
But they never got to be powerful and rich
Overcome as they were by a lecherous itch
For Edgar’s half-brother they both wished to own
The same man for the power of his pelvis was known
So one of them poisoned the other one’s lager
Then did herself in with a seven-inch dagger

Since tragedies must have their audiences crying
There followed a terrible outbreak of dying
Edgar stabbed his half-brother, that devious old crook
And the shock killed his Daddy, that’s Gloucester’s old Duke
Cordelia was hanged by a treacherous jailer
Lear died when it struck him that he was a failure
If he only had snuffed it a few years before
He’d have saved everybody all this suffering and gore

Well, I guess that about sums it up.

There are festivities to mark the moving on of Poncie, Sean and Charlie. Charlie had already gone so we made a voodoo Father Christmas doll to whom we could address the farewell panegyric.

Hisashi, Arisa, Charlie, Rie

Hisashi, Arisa, Charlie, Rie

The event was again defined by wild craving for meat. There was a huge turkey and a massive leg of lamb. I could feel a restless stirring amongst the guests before the meat was furnished forth. They could smell it cooking and several started involuntarily jerking their heads over their right shoulders in flesh-tearing fashion.

Getting very restless

Getting very restless

Luckily Amy took control and forced the mob to wait their turn. I hate to think what could have happened had she not done so.

Amy owns the meat

Amy owns the meat

Of course every last shred was devoured, washed down with Okinawan Colon Cleansers, the only cocktail constructed around a whole banana.

Meat frenzy

Meat frenzy

Spot the banana

Spot the banana

Very well behaved dog

Very well-behaved dog

So bye-bye Poncie, Sean and Charlie

Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Better loed ye canna be;
Will ye no come back again?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o0NUmNNffM

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Tradition

If you go to the entry of December 14 2013 you will find this photo.

National Health

National Health

Today is December 15 2014.

Same pain , same sweater

Same pain , same sweater

It has become a Xmas tradition to get terrible toothache on this same day.

I go to Mori sensei. He rips  off a Californian crown, “Very expensive ne?” Intones the formulaic strophe,” Much pusu! Root canal!”

He gives me lots of antibiotics and painkillers.

Homeopathic

Homeopathic

Anyway, what can you expect if you sleep in a house that was built over an untimely felled Rowan tree?

Here is a good song.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNdbPf8IFKE

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Election Fever

So today there is a general election in Japan. Frankly you would not know it. Well actually I take that back as I do not watch Japanese TV, nor listen to Japanese radio, nor read Japanese newspapers.

Frenzy

Frenzy

None of my Japanese colleagues have mentioned it  and er well there you go. I think it is bad manners to talk politics. So I finally sat down with someone and forced him, with some waterboarding,  to tell me what was going on. It is like this, I think.  Abe’s LDP is pretty much expected to sweep the board, except in the far North where apparently union activity is strong, and in Okinawa.

LDP supports the extension of a US base on Okinawa. The Okinawans do not want this thus it is expected that non-LDP candidates will win all the seats in Okinawa. There is even talk of the Communists winning Naha, the big city on the island.

Panic in Detroit

Panic in Detroit

However things get a little more complicated.  You vote for two things, a candidate for your locality and for a list, which is a grouping of politicians representing one party. In this list thing Okinawa is grouped with Fukuoka prefecture in southern mainland Japan. Fukuoka will almost certainly go strongly LDP meaning the LDP list will triumph. Thus  LDP candidates in Okinawa will almost certainly return to the Diet even though defeated individually because they are part of the LDP list. Get it?

We will see tomorrow.

Grey Tailed Tattlers

Grey Tailed Tattlers

Greenshank with Tattlers

Greenshank with Tattlers

Waders are strongly LDP.

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Feed Me Till I Want No More

One of the greatest surprises about Japan is the bread. Before I came here, I thought that the Japanese did not eat bread, but rice, baby whales and dolphins. Now, after 4 years I have no doubt that the best bread and patisserie in the world is to be found in Japan.

At the university, there are freshly baked Baguettes as from 4:00 every evening. They are totally like flavorful and streaks ahead of the majority of the tired sticks available in Freeeeeance.

At the university, there are freshly baked Baguettes in the cafeteria  as from 4:00 every evening. They are totally like flavorful and streaks ahead of the majority of the tired sticks available in Freeeeeance.

We made a decision a couple of years ago to give the catering contract to a bunch of local hippies rather than a big proven catering conglomerate. Occasionally you get it right.

They produce delicious meals made from vegetables and stuff grown and er caught and er slaughtered just down the road a piece. The also bake an incredible range of bread and patisserie right on the spot.

Hail to the bakers at OIST. They have my total admiration

Hail to the bakers at OIST. They have my total admiration

I think the scrupulosity, meticulosity, fastidionosity of the Japanese has turned making bread into an art form.

Billy Bunter Buns

Billy Bunter Buns

I can't express how delicious these are.

I can’t express how delicious these are.

 

How could I dance with another? Woooooo! When I saw you standing there.

How could I dance with another? Woooooo!
When I saw you standing there.

So everlasting thanks to Kaito + for the amazing food. Many thanks to Charlie Murray, known around the office as, “the bonnie Earl” for the photos.

Bread of Heaven

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm93QW08yZQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwvpTl88jwI

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Ding, Dong

So over the last few months I have been conscious of a low-level ringing in my ears. Apparently the medical term for this is Tinea Cruris. Yesterday, I go to see an ear doctor . It is, as usual, the best fun. There is something about the medical profession on Okinawa that attracts people with impish dispositions. It is probably the close proximity to death.

I am afraid you are going to die.

I am afraid you are going to die.

After a good searching around inside my ears, all of which was projected on an HD screen for me to follow and a very thorough hearing test, the doctor spoke.

” You are an old man. You are on the downward slope of life. You can expect, with accelerating frequency, that things go wrong, that knees get busted, that bits begin to fall off, that pipes clog, that drains foul, that joints sclerose, that lips dribble and eyes purge thick amber and plum-tree gum. Then you will be buried.”

“OK, thanks Doc.” says I. “By the way, can you fix the ringing in my ears?”

“No, you are doomed to suffer ringing in your ears until the last syllable of recorded time.”

“Ok, thanks Doc.”

The cause of the trouble.

The cause of the trouble.

Whilst at school, I was a member of the shooting team. We shot .303 Lee Enfield rifles and we  were deadly. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but alas now I pay the price. Long summer afternoons firing off hundreds of rounds of 303 ball cartridges, without the least concern for ear protection has resulted in my current ear performance deficiency. We cleaned the rifles with rolls of special cloth named two by four, soaked in a mixture of oil and water called milk. So there you go.

This how to eat suchi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDL8yu34fz0

 

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Slow, Soft, Silver, Saturday

It is late November on Okinawa. It is Saturday and it is a very soft day. There is no wind. There is a gentle drizzle. The sea is motionless and a feeling of calm abides.

Don't take me to the ball game.

Don’t take me to the ball game.

I have been entrusted with the family canteen of silver cutlery, the like of which I have never seen elsewhere. It is truly a family heirloom and I take my brief ownership thereof most seriously.  It has been a leitmotif throughout my life as my first memory is polishing the ladle as the wind and rain howled and lashed around Low Dunashery.

Here I am again.

Nothing much changes

Nothing much changes

Polishing silver is the most enjoyable of pastimes. That which was tarnished and unclean becomes bright and brilliant. It is a quasi-religious experience –  forgiveness and redemption.

A Japanese colleague pointed out this Stevenson poem, which is new to me, yesterday. Its melancholy acceptance of missed opportunity suits the mood of this Saturday very well.

The unfathomable sea, and time, and tears,
The deeds of heroes and the crimes of kings
Dispart us; and the river of events
Has, for an age of years, to east and west
More widely borne our cradles. Thou to me
Art foreign, as when seamen at the dawn
Descry a land far off and know not which.
So I approach uncertain; so I cruise
Round thy mysterious islet, and behold
Surf and great mountains and loud river-bars,
And from the shore hear inland voices call.
Strange is the seaman’s heart; he hopes, he fears;
Drawn closer and sweeps wider from that coast;
Last, his rent sail refits, and to the deep
His shattered prow uncomforted puts back.
Yet as he goes he ponders at the helm
Of that bright island; where he feared to touch,
His spirit readventures; and for years,
Where by his wife he slumbers safe at home,
Thoughts of that land revisit him; he sees
The eternal mountains beckon, and awakes
Yearning for that far home that might have been.

So I polish all the silver.

All that glistens is not gold. Er, it is silver

All that glistens is not gold.
Er, it is silver

It is so good to do not very much. The contemporary culture of always being busy is much over-rated.

What I will eat tonight and that with which  I will eat it.

What I will eat tonight on that with which I will eat it.

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