Saturday, 30 April 2016

Day 120 2016: And then the wind came...

Day 120: ...and there was a major find

So yesterday's weather felt like it was set in place for a few days...and then we woke up to a brilliant sunshiney day. The intensity of the light, from a photographic point of view, is quite different from Australia's light but sunshine after rain wherever it is, always feels fresh. 

Plus, today is the first day of a string of public holidays over the next week which together form what is known as 'Golden Week'. Yes, I am going to work because the university changes the days around to spread the holidays out more evenly (so as to not disrupt too many classes)...but it is a nice day to be by the Bay.

Azaleas after the rain

All the retiring blossoms

Until, in the afternoon, the wind came, and it came with a strength that could blow over an older, unsteady, laden with shopping person (like really was step-stopping strength).

But the was blue sky...

You can't see the wind...but you can feel it

And the best find an expat can have in the northwestern suburbs of Tokyo:


True. There it was and a much-relieved shop attendant was very pleased that at last, someone had bought some of the black stuff.

A rather good day. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 6.45am, 6.46am, 5.07pm, 5.23pm; 29 April 2016]

Day 119 2016: All the shades of grey...

Day 119: ...but even that can't stop the work

I was never a fan of driving to work in the rain back home. Fifty minutes on the Bruce with varying degrees of visibility and drivers who don't understand 'drive to the conditions'. I have to also admit I'm not a fan of commuting to work by train on really rainy days either. Granted, I'm not driving but wet umbrellas on crowded trains and those distances one must walk between station and destination...

And then there were daisies

 But then I get to work...

There's a bridge out there somwhere

Clouds roll in

Where's this one headed...?

Oh, there...

And really, a little bit of rain isn't going to stop the dockers doing their work. And what a picture it makes...

No, you can't stop the rain and even the subtle shades of grey make for an intriguing view. There is always a bright side to find.

[Camera : iPhone6S, 6.52am, 9.15am, 12.56pm, 1.10pm1.29pm; 28 April 2016]

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Day 118 2016: When you know it is a long day...

Day 118: ...but the view continues to inspire

Wednesday, no classes today but there is a meeting, late, after 6.00pm. And that's OK, because now, with *just about*, *almost*, *not quite* all the new person paperwork done and submitted, I can start to turn my attention to other academic-type jobs like reading, writing, thinking, research, taking pics.

On the way to work...

It is definitely azalea time
 Well, OK, that last one might be a bit of a wide angle interpretation (see what I did there...), but it is all in a day's work...

The cherries after the blossoms

Room with a view, night view, with reflection...

...particularly when your work is broadly defined...and the days are long. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 8.33am, 8.34am, 8.36am, 6.51pm, 27 April 2016]

Day 117 2016: Room with a view...

Day 117: ...of all the structures

I still pinch myself some mornings when I get to the office and open the blind and see this...

Looking out the window

Yes, there is a lot of work to do but really, with a view like this how could you not feel inspired both in writing and teaching and also...

The hotel across the way, close cropped

...photographically. I'm cheating a bit this week with just the phone cam but that is largely to do with the practicalities of taking the big cam to work each day when that trip usually involves approximately 90 minutes of walking to stations and standing on trains (I don't always get a seat immediately). So sometimes, it just means seeing the world though a different lens...

The first step in the long 'road' home

Oh wait, that sounds like my job description...

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 8.30am, 3.07pm, 6.04pm, 26 April 2016]

Day 116 2016: And it is back to work...

Day 116: ...all, er, staplers blazing

There are fetishes and there are fetishes. And then, there is stationery. I have a weakness here. For stationery. And Tokyo is a good/bad place to live when you have that kind of weakness. I found out last week that we have to, in fact, buy all our own office supplies. Oh.

So I did, this is just the start mind you...

Too much fun for just one day

I was only intending to have a quick lunch and then back to my stationery office, but on a whim headed to the portside, to sit in the park and a have lunch.



All the azaleas

And why not. It is there, at work, and at rest. Nice change.

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 10.25am, 2.49pm, 3.00pm, 3.07pm, 25 April 2016]

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Day 115 2016: A quiet day...

Day 115: smell the, well, azaleas

After a six day working week (counting yesterday), it was kind of nice to spend the day at home; chat on Skype for a while to a friend, spend some time going through some photos to make up an album... just taking each minute, each hour as it came. 

Besides, it was raining so what better way to spend the day at home. 

And then, the rain stopped and the sun came out briefly.  And you well know, dear reader, I'm a bit of a tragic when it comes to raindrops and flowers. 

And with the last of the cherry blossom petals swirling on the ground, and the tulips dropping their petals, it is time for the azaleas...and plenty of them in the garden too. 

So in honour of today, rest day, I present...




Reach out

New leaf



Azaleas and raindrops and one or two others, for a little variation. 

For tomorrow, we work. 

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 3,21pm-3.26pm, 28-80mm, 24 April 2016]

Day 114 2016: If it's Saturday...

Day 114: must be seminar time

If I'm not careful, I could quite easily spend all my 'spare time' here in Tokyo at seminars and symposiums and the like every weekend and just about four out of five nights of the working week. Trouble is, these are seminars that a relevant to my research or my teaching, or both. It is one of those areas where educators have difficulty distinguishing between work and play and is the bane of those trying to formulate workload formulae...but that is for the other blog. 

Rather, in the way these things work, I attended today's seminar as a result of attending the Sunday seminar a couple of weeks ago on a similar topic and so it goes...

Women in politics

Political women (and one male politics professor)

It was an interesting afternoon, I met some interesting people, I was asked to stand and offer some comments (in Japanese) and some people there kindly recognised me from the Sunday seminar a couple of weeks ago...looks like a few people have trouble with this work/leisure distinction...

Then, I had dinner...


Then it was home. To think about what I had heard and how I will add that to my work...

Such is the academic life. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 1.17pm, 2.21pm, 7.41pm, 23 April 2016]

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Day 113 2016: Life can be random...

Day 113: can the pics

And so can the the rather random list of musical genius that seems to departing this mortal coil this year...with s all waking up to the news that Prince went today, aged just 57. 2016 is really hogging the limelight...

A little rain, a little purple
And so, after a very nice evening hosted by new colleagues last night, it was back to the office today as I try to complete all the new person paperwork. And I'm almost there...Yesterday I talked about 'same but different'...well that equally applies to the bureaucracy that is university compliance and accountability. Oh well, almost there.

And so it was, armed just with the fruit phone, a few more rather random moments in the day caught my eye...

There's a certain symmetry in the urban landscape

Looking around the corner of the window

Strolling to the train station in the other direction

And so that's all it was today...just a little bit of randomness amid all the work.

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 7.09am, 8.54am, 9.37am, 6.35pm, 22 April 2016]

Day 112 2016: It's the same...

Day 112: ...but different

Yes, that is sort of how teaching in another country, another system is feeling at the moment, the same but different. Today I had the other class for the second time, a second year group, smaller that Tuesday's and, let's just say, a little bit shy...

But fortunately, drawing on several years, nay, decades of experience, I'm beginning to draw out some responses and engagement. But that's not the point of today's post. No, it is more about 'one of those accidental photographic moments'...

It is just the fruit phone today because this evening we had our official welcome dinner with other faculty members, the four newbies put through those awkward self-introduction moments...again. 

Anyway, first pic, I looked out the window and there is a car park below. And I've noticed that some days it stays empty, some days it is filled with lines of semi-trailers and then some days...

So the first pic:

There was movement at the station

And then this one...coincidentally and totally unplanned, at *exactly* two hours later...

Things were heating up?

And so what happened at the end of the shift?

Perhaps not...

Look closely, the car park attendants...See, just when you think every day will be the say, it turns out to be just a little bit different.

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 12.15pm, 2.25pm, 4.44pm, 21 April 2016]

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Day 111 2016: Season's end...

Day 111: ...but there'll be something in its place

I might be missing the birds back home but I have to say the flora around the campus precinct is quite stunning. And OK, tulips may not be native to Japan but that have become a significant reminder of spring for quite some time here now.

The parklands have featured arrangements of tulips for the last few weeks now, peaking a couple of weekends ago for the tulip festival. They are reaching their end point now and I expect they will be pulled from the grounds fairly soon.

So what does a person with a camera and a penchant for wrinkled petals do?

This, of course...

Peeling away

Lean on me


wrinkly fire

By half


crepe paper

Roses, tulips, lilies. Whatever the flower, I think there is just as much grace and beauty as it turns as when the flower is in full bloom. But perhaps it is just an age thing.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 5.39pm-5.42pm, 20 April 2016]

Day 110 2016: How to colour your world...

Day 110: ...wheely colour it

Second week of teaching, second time I meet with the students after last week. The third year students today, how will it go...

Well, as it happened, it went reasonably well with a reasonably high degree of enthusiasm for a second looks promising.

There was also a chance to catch up with a former exchange student to the SunCoast and a meeting with an admin officer to fill me in on a meeting I have to attend next week...yes, meetings about meetings...happens here too. 

Then, if the evening I should have been heading to my second women's suffrage event except... urgent email from the Vice Chancellor 'strongly encouraging' us to attend a staff development seminar late in the day. So I did. I have another women's suffrage symposium on Saturday.

It did mean I was back late enough on campus to catch the wheel with lights on. It is quite a show and one evening I'll come back with tripod and appropriate angles...




...but for tonight, it was just a fine reminder of what an interesting place I find myself for now.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 6.56pm-6.57pm, 19 April 2016]

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Day 109 2016: Contemporary, urban...

Day 109: the night falls

The campus where I work is part of a large reclaimed area of Tokyo Bay. It is fast becoming one of the 'it' places to be with all its contemporary, modern, urban design and facilities. It is also a pretty interesting spot to photograph too with tiles and steel, lights and a wheel.

So after work today, I took a short stroll in the opposite direction...

Lights, camera, wheel

Mini bridge arch


Wheel is a little bit South Bankish (Brisbane)...there'll be more I think.

[Camera : Canon EOS60D, 5.50pm-5.53pm, 18 April 2016]