Tag Archives: life

London Summer

The uncanny good weather is making it very difficult to dislike London. The first time I turned up on this side of the world was in December, it rained every day, windy and the chill in the air seemed to enter my bone everytime I stepped out.

London in summer, is quite simply glorious. My favourite past time is wandering around Regent Park and just soaking up the sun with a good book. There’s an orderly prettiness about the parks here, the grass are softer, the flowers plentiful and even the ducks are fat and content.

In between I found a place and am still looking for a job. The latter is starting to freak me out in weird and wonderful ways. The market is so much bigger than Sydney, but so is the competition. Saying that, there is just soo many things to do in London and if you have a hobby/interest chances are more people are into them too. There’s also something incredibly inspiring being surrounded by so much art, history and activity. The feeling that this city is breathing and thinking is difficult to get rid of.

Regent Park Rose Garden

Living life in London

The uncanny good weather is making it very difficult to dislike London. The first time I turned up on this side of the world was in December, it rained every day, windy and the chill in the air seemed to enter my bone everytime I stepped out.

London in summer, is quite simply glorious. My favourite past time is wandering around Regent Park and just soaking up the sun with a good book. There’s an orderly prettiness about the parks here, the grass are softer, the flowers plentiful and even the ducks are fat and content.

Things done so far:
– Revisited the British Museum
– Visited the National Potrait Gallery
– Wandered off to the Tate
– Visited the newly opened Winston Churchill museum
– Visited Harrods
– Watched Shakespeare in the park
– Joined a London walking tour
– Knitted at a London Stitch N Bitch meet
– Turned up at a London Flickr meet, which happens to be at a Filipino Festival!

In between I found a place and am still looking for a job. The latter is starting to freak me out in weird and wonderful ways. The market is so much bigger than Sydney, but so is the competition. Saying that, there is just soo many things to do in London and if you have a hobby/interest chances are it is so much bigger over here. There’s also something incredibly inspiring being surrounded by so much art, history and activity. The feeling that this city is breathing and thinking is difficult to get rid of.

Filipino Festival

London 08

London 08

London now

I doubt you would believe me if I say that the sky is blue for almost the entire week so I’ll show you instead. Along with the sky are ofcourse topless British men showing off their very pasty white chests for the world to see.

London Sky

Still can’t quite believe that a week ago I was in Japan and a month ago I was in Australia. Really looking forward to settling down and doing some serious job search and start living.

In the meantime here are some of my memories from Tokyo.

Yoyogi Park performers

Yoyogi Park performers

The lego recreation

Just something a little different

Lunch atop a Skyscraper – is a famous photograph taken by Charles C. Ebbets during construction of the GE Building at Rockefeller Center in 1932. The photograph depicts 11 men eating lunch, seated on a girder with their feet dangling hundreds of feet above the New York City streets. Man at the right with bottle in his hand is Gusti Popovic, sawyer from Eastern Slovakia – Spiš. He sent this photo in 1932 as a postcard to his wife to Slovakia with words: “Don’t worry my dear Mariska, as you see I’m always OK with my bottle. Yours Gusti.” (Slovak: “Nič še ty neboj, moja milá Mariška, jak vidziš, ta ja furt s fľašečku. Tvoj Gusti.”)

For more go here

Kiritappu diaries

Conservation Volunteer 2008 - Kiritappu

The start of the work to extend the existing boardwalk close to the centre to allow for wheel chair access.

Doing the work

WorkingWorking hardmy creation
I have come to the conclusion that I am pathetic with the hammer, many a times one or both camera men came to my rescue when my nails were bent beyond repair or help. Poor Masato san (blue baseball cap) was running around with the crow bar to rescue a number of us with hammering problem, while muttering “atsui ne”, eventhough the weather was a good 10 degrees!

The next photo with the guy in the white and black track suit in the background is heavy on the posing. We took soo long to nail that damn board, but at the same time was so damn happy once it was done.

The finished productThe team

If you do happen to wander down Kiritappu in the near future, and down to the Yachiboozu walk, do take the time and appreciate the time it took under unpredictable weather to construct the walk you are currently on.

Kiritappu Wetland

I’m typing this while staring outside the window of my bedroom at Pension Porch (quaint little pension, with fantastic food and a landlord who’s quite a character). Where I am geographically is more or less here. I’m in a little town called Hanamaka in Hokkaido, so remote that my Japan Lonely Planet guide mentioned the wetland, but not the township itself.

My room at Porch Pension

The entire area feels a little surreal, a place that is slightly out of sync with Japan as we know it. The industry around the area revolves around dairy farming, fishing, general agriculture and eco tourism, with the surrounding marshes being a huge attraction.

Kiritappu Wetland Apparently in summer and winter the tourists come in droves. In winter for a spot of bird watching, particularly for the famous Japanese cranes as they perform their ballet like mating dance. In summer, the area is covered with flowers for a good month before a quick autumn comes around.

Right now, it’s so quiet that it’s difficult to believe that tourists would come in drove into this sleepy little town. Though as I woke up everyday, new shoot are turning up more and more each day, bringing a late spring to the area.

This is the first time that Kiritappu Wetland trust has the fund and connection to organise a group of oversea volunteers to come and collaborate with the local team and work on conservation projects together. Part of the incentive for the project is to promote the area’s natural asset internationally, as well as provide an example to other similar sites in Japan. As it is the first time, the amount of coverage is somewhat crazy. We have a full time cameraman and video man watching our every move and two TV stations have turned up following us for the past few days, not to mention the newspaper journalists that dropped by.

Kushiro, Hokkaido

CIMG2358

Arrived in Kushiro on Monday before making our way to Kiritappu. On one side you have the ocean, on the other winding rivers, and wetland. It doesn’t feel like Japan, or at least not the typical Japan postcard with cherry blossoms and tall high risers. One of the people in the crew likened it to Japan’s version of Tasmania and he’s not that far off the mark.

Some of you might be wondering what the hell I’m doing in this wilderness, other than a complete change, there is a method in my madness. I’m here as part of the Conservation Volunteer program, think eco tourism meet working holiday. I want to see Hokkaido as well as experience something that I can not experience as a lone traveller, wandering around Japan.

So far the trip has achieved both goals in a way I just couldn’t imagine. I’ve met several very passionate people and it made me wonder about why I do what I do, and whether I should do more…

Sydney


Sydney
Originally uploaded by mirvettium

So I left Sydney on Friday morning after 48 hours of packing and unpacking, in any case I just could not sleep. As the half empty plane took off, my exhausted brain felt sick and more than a little dazed.

24 hours later I was in the middle of this

Through luck rather than planning I ended up arriving during the Sanja festival. Considered one of the largest festivals in Tokyo. I have never seen anything quite like it, virtually everyone was dressed up to be a part of the festival in some ways. Unfortunately this year they did not parade the three large shrines because of an accident last year, though the hundred or so mini shrines are just as impressive.

JP08 23 JP08 21 JP08 14

JP08 8

Two roads diverged

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

I’m not very good at being in limbo, waiting around for something to happen in order to move on makes me feel a little trapped, it always has.

Waiting for my visa to arrive and more than a little terrified at the length of time it’s taking to get it. On one hand I’m now terrified that the moment is coming closer, on the other hand I’m excited that the departure date is getting closer by the day.

I’ve left my details for a view positions here, just in case things don’t pan out. Friends have yelled at me for trying to make contingency plans on the eve of my departure, but being unemployed and forced to wait is not something I’m very good at…

Then it’s over

It finally arrived, my last day at work and I never really had an idea on how I would feel at this moment, so what I did felt at the end of the day a mixture of relief, happiness, sadness and awe is not at all what I expected.

Everyone was just sooo nice and are genuinely sad that I was leaving. The question “when are you coming back” pops up more than I could count and last of all are the unexpected presents that arrived this week. I love the crumpler bag that work bought for me, incredibly touched by the presents telemarketing purchased and was more than a little surprised at the two gorgeous bunches of flowers from two of my agencies.

I guess the adage, you get back what you give is a clear illustration. At the same time, leaving felt so right and all the good wishes made my last few steps away from work a lot lighter than I could have imagined.