Moromitsu

“Moromitsu is a fermented vinegar made from moromi, a by-product of Awamori, Okinawa’s traditional liquor. It’s like the mash left over after distillation. Moromitsu does not contain any alcohol

Some of the benefits accorded to Moromitsu are reduced blood sugar level, lower cholesterol readings, and it is touted even helping to burn body fat. According to Japan Food Analysis Center study, Moromitsu contains plenty of vitamin B1, B2 and B6, minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and amino acids. It is also rich in citric acids.”

So, I had better get some. Apparently you can drink it at any time of day. A nice glass of vinegar before going to bed sounds good.

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A bottle of Morimitsu surrounded by, Umi-budo, Goya and some fish with ham in it.

Luckily we have organized an event.

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Gakiya san!

Series of talks about the science of food and a market with lots of Okinawan specialities.

Big success. The Minister for Science Stuff, who is also the Minister for Okinawa, comes and drinks Morimitsu. This guarantees funding for the university for the next few years. I also score  a bottle and some veg.

The sub plot however is that today is the best sailing day that there has ever been. Blue, blue sea and sky, 28 degrees, fresh cross breeze. I am going to miss it.

As soon as I can politely escape, I zoom home, conscious of tide going out. Will I get there before the boat dries out?

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The answer is no. Work is so annoying

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My Hibisci are doing very well

I am determined to take the boat out but as the sun slips below the horizon, she is still stuck fast. I take photos of the rock in front of the house.

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Like a camel

HAMLET        Do you see yonder rock that’s almost in shape of a camel?
POLONIUS        By the mass, and ’tis like a camel, indeed.
HAMLET        Methinks it is like a weasel.
POLONIUS        It is backed like a weasel.
HAMLET        Or like a whale?
POLONIUS        Very like a whale

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The sun goes down

Little by little the tide comes back in. I heave the Scaffie to deeper water and finally we are free!

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Fine wind

It is warm and very quiet. I sail.

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I switch on the light

I cannot really see anything, but I know the lagoon very well. The stars come out. I steer home and even manage to pick up the mooring in the pitch dark

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All in all, a good day.

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Tree

My neighbor, as what invited me to the yagi party, comes over and lures me to the dead tree.

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Totally dead

He speaks no English. I speak no Japanese. We like each other. I quickly understand that he is asking me to cut down the dead tree. He then takes me over to his house, points out various lights and makes  whining noises and fast hand movements. We then go to my house, he identifies the outside lights, and makes the same sounds and movements.

I get it, he is worried that when the tree is felled, it will fall onto either his or my outside lights. This should be avoided.

I go into a long mime of how we can fell the tree such that it falls into the Jurassic vegetation that separates us from the sea.  No worries.

Hmmm, my neighbor  looks unrequited. I play my trump card – Hisashi!  He lives above me and comes down to clear things up.

Here is what is really happening. My neighbor, whose yagi party was to celebrate his retirement from the police force, points out that the dead tree is infested with termites. Said termites sprout wings and cluster in huge numbers around lights at night. This is true.

So let’s cut down the tree to eliminate the termite plague. Simple really.

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Nothing out of the ordinary. No wind. Can’t take the boat out.

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Guy fishing tonight. I wish you luck my friend

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Much Have I Travelled in the Realms of Gold

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.

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Yes folks, tonight’s color is Gold

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

 

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Stout Cortez would have loved this.

 

So, if you look East away from the sunset, the sky looks like this.

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Blue, blue

Joni Mitchell, I hope you are OK.

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After Work

I like the longer evening. Now in Okinawa, the sun goes down at about 7:15. This means I can leave work at a less than embarrassing time and still get in an evening sail. It is not the glorious long evening of the West Highland summer but, er it is warm.

This is what I done did tonight. So, I mean, what can I say?  Is anything better?

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Perfect breeze

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Notice light in the western sky

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I make a decision

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That will do Pig

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It really is a beautiful evening and er warm

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As the sun hits the horizon, I pick up the mooring with the greatest of ease.

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I like it here

Anyway, yesterday as I was stumbling around, I tripped over a very large crab. It is a bit smaller than a tennis ball.

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In a red bucket

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I tried to talk about sponge cake but it was not engaged.

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It’s a Yagi Party!

So I have given up on my  Brugmansia. The first year they were fantastic but they have been going downhill ever since. This year there were only 3 flowers and they are infested with mealy bugs.

I rip them out and clean out all the old root structure from the soil. I have realized also that my secret garden is not a good place to grow stuff – not enough sun. Only Impatiens really flourish. I have moved all my plants out to the road side of the house where there is lots of sun.

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Mud cake

I replant the pots with Plumeria for which I have high hopes.

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Coming on

As  I am fiddling around outside, my neighbor from across the road, of whom I see little, sidles over. I am worried as I have concluded that he does not like me.  He keeps calling the police when I have parties. Now he is all smiles and I understand he is having a yagi party and wants me to come. Luckily, yagi is one of the 27 Japanese words I know. It means goat.

I wander over later and hit hardcore Okinawa. All the men are squatting on mats under a canopy in the garden. The women are inside the house. There are two huge cauldrons simmering over gas rings  outside the house. One is full of Yagi soup and the other is I think more mundane beef.

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Eat goat

The soup contains goat, liver and tripe. I am given a bag of what looks like chrysthanthemum foliage,  which I think I should add to the soup. Anyway, this is what I do.

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The whole deal. Check the  chrysthanthemun

Apparently goat soup enhances virility. This I know because the old guy beside me points at the bowl, grabs my genitals and raises his fore arm in an unmistakeable gesture.

No one speaks a word of English. I pantomime and we all have a jolly good time. The guys are hitting the awamori in a systematic, determined way. They know where they are going.

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No Sponge Cake for Me

As you know, I don’t like sponge cake. The delightful folks as what I work with, take this to heart and  present me with the best birthday cake.

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Thanks Naoko and Mino san

It is a beautifully cooked and decorated Spanish omelet, still hot as it is brought in to the room.

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I try to blow out the candles

My wish is that I can always work with such kind, gracious people.

I do not know if they still need me but they certainly still feed me – now I’m 64.

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When I’m 64

Tomorrow I will be 64 – will you still feed me? etc.  Next week is a series of Board meetings and dinners and I doubt that I will be writing much. Today I have the best fun in the Scaffie. Great weather, fine wind.

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This last night

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This, this morning

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I stepped on an oar and busted it. I put on  a new blade before setting off. You do not want be oarless in Onna.

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Huge grasshopper. It is interesting how many insects are damaged. This one only has one feeler thing

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Getting ready to cast off from mooring.

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A speed boat tries to keep up

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How many more years?

I have to go to the university to welcome people but rush back just in time for a sunset shot.

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Pretty damn good. Note how quickly the sun is moving away from Zampa

Bye bye 63.

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