31 October 2011


Not too much to say about it. Lots of DIY. Some pretty okay weather. And we finally have all our stuff from Japan, even after a bit of a stuff-up on the German side. Hoping for a few more not-too-chilly sunny days for some cycling explorations.

Below is the palette that our TV corner is exhibiting. But we'll need to acquire a few more things before the actual apartment will be photogenic. But who cares, as long as my workspace comes into existence soon, all shall be well. Then there are no more excuses for getting nothing (important) done.

P.S. Dear family and interested parties, daylight savings time is now over, so we're back to GMT+1.

13 October 2011

The day goes nowhere

I'll do something productive really soon. I swear.

But I just saw this old scanned page from a diary I didn't find in my stored stuff last time—horror! where is it!?—and I guess it just gives you perspective. The things that used to consume my existence... Thinking about entering any such realm again is distressing. Not knowing exactly where to find the particular realm is even worse.

More notes to self

  1. Oh my ****, I'm totally screwed.
  2. Text that peek-a-boos from a picture.
  3. A picture is worth a thousand words.
  4. Marthie is going to peer at me over her glasses.
  5. Damn it.
  6. Anton ... I don't even want to think about Anton.
  7. 'Just pass,' Katrin's mom said.
  8. Go to bed and get up early.
  9. Don't get too attached to sleep.
  10. At least you have 80 for the AELS TEFL component.
  11. You had an idea earlier today that you forgot again.
  12. Well done.
  13. Brush your teeth.
  14. Dream about something amazing.
  15. Don't get eaten alive tomorrow.
  16. Text in a string.
  17. Thing.
  18. It wasn't so bad after all.
  19. Marthie wasn't even wearing her glasses.
  20. Space=dictionary.

11 October 2011

Garden-spying and spinach-buying

After a lifetime of doing all sorts of jobs and practising different hobbies it seems that many people come to gardening. I think the elderly are trying to tell us something. And it may be that: gardening is it.

In unrelated news, I found some colourful spinach at the greengrocer's. It goes with the rest of this autumn: pink, red, orange.

And that's about it. I guess I'll continue my quick revision of all things html then.

Other pictures related to this interlude are here.

10 October 2011


I finally got started with my online Goethe course. Here's to hoping I can chat up random strangers in a beer garden in no time!

In other news, we attended the launch of Catering México Lindo this Saturday. So if you're in the Stuttgart area and you need some Mexican food catered, give them a call!

09 October 2011

Stuttgart and the Wilhelma

A long overdue blog post—aren't they all? I guess we will muse about the extended German summer of 2011 for many years to come. Ending about two days ago was a stretch of ten days of pure sunshine-bliss. This post is about our October first visit to Stuttgart and the Wilhelma Zoological-Botanical Garden, which one of my husband's colleagues was kind enough to show us during this golden period.

But before we got there we took a walk up Königstraße and through the Schloßgarten, both well worth a visit. We then arrived at the Wilhelma, and now that I've Wiki-ed it I realise that the buildings are interesting because they are old.

More importantly though, this place doesn't make you want to put yourself or the animals out of their misery (cf. Tobe zoo). I understand that all animals can't actually have trees inside their enclosures, but at Wilhelma greenery abounds and the concrete-prison effect is avoided. My favourite part was how the zoological and botanical parts are also integrated in places, for example where birds, monkeys, and creepy crawlies from humid climes are enclosed with nets and glass in the same greenhouse as the plants. Another nice feature was bird or butterfly enclosures where you can walk among them freely. So two thumbs up for Wilhelma! I'm sure we'll visit again to see more of the botanical parts that we couldn't get around to this time.

Here are some links of fun creatures I couldn't get good pictures of. I've labeled them with their Latin names so you can get the full effect of seeing them before knowing what to expect!

04 October 2011

Once upon a time there was a T-shirt

If you're in the JET programme for about five minutes and have any interests, skills or talents that your students or colleagues can feed or find a use for, it shall be so. I love watching friends perform in serious-looking Japanese plays or posting pictures of the bugs students and teachers must love showing to them.

So I suppose word got around that I could supposedly draw or design and my first project, way back in 2008—remember that? because I know I barely do—, was a T-shirt design for a small, combined school and community sports festival. The drawing combined two of the main sights of the village: the old weeping cherry blossom tree and one of the traditional watermills. After the sports incarnation, pictured on left, it went on to be printed in pink on navy windbreakers and aprons for the autumn watermill festival.

Fast forward some years and they were thinking about an update. First we talked about a cap, which I didn't get around to, and then before I left the one teacher said she'd been thinking about a picture-letter idea (letter as in character) and showed me some examples. I had seen some of my junior high students do a project with kanji, and then you can get something like this, though theirs looked cooler. Anyway, it seemed a fun idea. I just had to make sure to finish it after all the madness of an international move.

But here we are, it's DONE. I'll see what configuration is chosen, but below are two ways to do it. どう?

P.S. See the weeping cherry blossom tree here and here. You can also see some of the watermills and their festival.

P.P.S. If you haven't been to Ishidatami I suppose it would be good to know that: the Is represent the big flat rocks—rocks like tatami mats— that you get there as well as the stone walls 石垣 you can see in the area; the S is the Fumoto River 麓川 that runs there and has a covered bridge like the Tamaru Bridge 田丸橋 you can see on your way to the village or the bridge at Yuge shrine 弓削神社; the H is the elementary schoolers who all learn to ride a unicycle; the first D is part of a watermill 水車 wheel; the first A is rice; the T is a wayfinder to the two major sights; the second A is soba noodles 蕎麦; and the M is the weeping cherry blossom tree しだれ桜. If you don't get it, that's okay. But let's hope the locals do! Fingers crossed!