Spring is in the air, and on the trees

The plum blossoms are blossoming and the weather is going from winter chill to warm and breezy (and back again to the chill). It is spring.

This year I started a new job, though similar with the old one it is just different enough to not have me dread going to work. (Last year was rough)

I am keeping busy and the house and balcony is slowly filling up with flowers as well. I was walking down the main street on my day off last week and was drawn to the flower shop, and left with a little bouquet. I’m trying to propogate my pothos but it’s going slow and I might not be doing it right.

I am still writing a ton of letters, and I recently started, not collecting but, getting my own stamps so that even the postage is cute. I do feel the tendency to hoard them and not use them for what they are intended but I try to keep it in check.

Also thanks to my lovely penpals, my list of books-to-read, outside of my usual sphere of Japanese lit, is growing. I am halfway through Aoyama’s お探し物は図書室まで and loving it, and I started Circe by Madeline Miller and will be reading the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, both recommended by penpals.

We got a tree for Darjeeling and she likes it, but finds it difficult to get down from the fourth step so we’re considering getting a second more climbable tree on the side

This week we had a national holiday so both me and Teddy had work off. We decided to drive up north to Miyagi prefecture to see the fox village! We were also lucky enough to be there just in time to experience the foxes up close; by holding one🦊

The foxes in the park are wild so to not get bitten we couldn’t touch them, though I really wanted to, they looked so cozy! And after holding one I stand by it, Momo (the fox I got to hold) was so warm and fluffy and a lot bigger than I had expected. Maybe Darjeeling could become this size one day, I certainly wouldn’t object.

I would like to get back into studying this year, the textbooks on my shelf haunt me, but we’ll see. If only one could learn enough through just reading novels to pass N1 I would be so happy but alas. As they said in If cats disappeared from the world by Genki Kawamura; 「何かを得るためには、何かを失わなけれならない」(I think that’s the quote, it’s been years since I read it) meaning something like “no pain no gain”.

I still go to my piano lessons, though it doesn’t feel like I am improving much. But they’re only for fun anyway so. I’m currently practicing backnumber’s Happy End.

As I settle more into the new routine of daily life, I predict more tea and more books. And more walks. And more baking. I recently made chocolate chip cookies for the first time and they were addictive.

Just a little update before I head off to work. I would like to blog more but I don’t really know what to blog about. Maybe I’ll have a clearer vision in the future.

Until next time~

Getting out of a black hole

The black hole that was my warderobe. Up until the beginning of this year I would wear black 9 times out of 10. It would be the colour I gravitated towards in the stores. The safe colour.

I had a period during middle and high school where I would only wear colored clothes, so screamingly bright that it would hurt your eyes. But as I got older I thought about dressing more adult, and so black became a staple.

Since I met Teddy he would often ask “why are you always wearing black? I think lighter colours would look a lot better on you!” but in the beginning I would just brush it off. Black is safe, I can hide the parts I don’t like about myself in black clothes.

But after a while I thought, maybe I can wear some lighter colours? Or just any colour other than black?

And so this year I started little by little adding new colours into my warderobe. A white t-shirt, a beige pair of pants, a light blue summer dress.

While my warderobe is a lot lighter now, that is not to say I don’t have any black pieces of course. I have a black dress, a black sweater, black tights, a blacl cardigan, a black t-shirt, and a black pair of jeans. But black is no longer the main colour in my warderobe.

After starting to add lighter pieces, I have noticed I enjoy dressing a lot more. Putting together an outfit, feeling good going outside. I am not fashionable by any means, but I am enjoying fashion a great deal more.

I am slowly building a warderobe of clothes I like, finding my style. I am reading many different books on the subject, about fashion, lifestyle, etc., and they are helping me piece together that which is me.

The end of summer

I hear the cicadas less and less. The continous noise that was summer is starting to quiet down, becoming a distant memory. While it is still too hot for my liking and to be called autumn, we will get there.

I am over the moon excited for autumn. I can wear all my favorite pieces again, and the new pieces I bought. I got a new dress for autumn, a brown flannel one, and then I got a white leather belt to go with it. And to be able to wear my beloved boots; bliss.

Japan seems to have a new flavour at starbucks every month, but I have yet to see the infamous pumpkin spice latte. While I have nothing against sweet potato frappuchinos and chestnut lattes, I’d like to get one with pumpkin spice once in a while too.

I am most excited about seeing the 紅葉 (momiji) ; the autumn foliage. Watching the leaves turn from green to yellow, orange, red. Breathtaking. I’d like to be able to take Darjeeling out for a walk too, to see her play with the leaves. Such a precious image.

I want to light a candle, bake cakes, take a bath with bath salts. Have the whole apartment smell of cinnamon and chai. And read books, mostly classics. Autumn is not the time for light contemporary books (in my personal opinion). The image in my mind is of cold evenings spent wrapped up in a blanket with a cat on your lap, a hot chocolate or milk tea in one hand, and a classic like Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights in your other hand. Maybe I’ll do the Japanese Little Women this autumn, it fits my requirement of being a classic AND it will give my Japanese some practice.

What things come to mind when you think of autumn?

A farewell to spring flowers

Violets have long been my favourite flowers.

While the typical image of spring in Japan is that of the ever beautiful cherry blossoms, they only grace us with their presence for an instant. The flowers that greet you daily from every flowerbed winter throughout spring are the violets and pansies.

In front of every house, company, station; flowerbeds full of pansies and violets in every colour, a colourful blanket stretching across the city, prefecture, nation-wide.

My own balcony garden also consisted of these two. (And some orange daisies)

However, as spring was nearing its close, my little garden was devastaded by aphids. Too many to save my little flowers. I had to start over from scratch.

At the same time, the rain season rolled in, and with it hydrangeas took over. Everywhere you look there are pink, blue, and purple hudrangeas softening the blow of the gloomy weather.

The rain also seems to have taken away with it all the pansies and violets that used to cover the city. In their place, marigold and sunflowers are planted, yellow and orange to welcome in the summer and sun.

(There are a bunch of other flowers too but I do not know their names. I should invest in a flower dictionary.)

The season of violets have passed, at the home center where they had been so abundant earlier not a petal was left. The new season’s flowers are in and so my garden too must reflect this change. My marigold has yet to blossom for me, but the radiant yellow suns of the mini sunflowers have begun peeking out.

I wonder what changes autumn will bring?

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