Sunday, 31 July 2016

Day 212 2016: Trying to find focus...

Day 212: ...and then getting on with it

Saturday. Summer is here. Really here. You can hear the cicadas starting up at 4.30am and just going on and on into the night. But that's OK, I had a plan...spend some time today in the National Library working on my current research project.

The library is a favourite spot of mine, though not of many colleagues who find its methods a little arcane and restrictive. Yes, it might take a little longer to find something, but you know it is going to be there. 

And the plan worked. It wasn't too busy and just enough air conditioning to keep the mind and body ticking over. I found some good material...and now it is over to the reading and writing. Focus.

...which is what I was having a little bit of trouble with first thing today while waiting for the late, late bus. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't get the mantis focussed, but it turned out alright.

Praying for the bus

The Library, and that's Parliament House opposite

Parliament House

Parliament House, detail

The sculpture, 'Pause' (Tsuda Hiroko, 1984) in the library grounds
On the way home via one of the major junction stations, more time out with one of the candidates for Tokyo Governor, Torigoe. Drew a comparable crowd to the one a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow is the day...

back on the campaign trail

Torigoe and supporters

Drawing in the accordion fan vote (I guess...)

Signs, of the times

Torigoe takes all the microphones

Support team

Called in to the local on the way home for a meal with friends...and then back home. To the heat. And reading and writing while waiting for tomorrow's result. Very focussed.

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 10.57am; Lumix TZ-85, 3.23pm-3.24pm, 3.59pm-4.13pm; 30 July 2016]

Friday, 29 July 2016

Day 211 2016: Appreciating the rhythms...

Day 211: ...and small reassurances

Growing up by and in water, specifically the surf beaches of Sydney and the Gold Coast, you don't realise just how much you absorb in terms of the movement of the waves, the tides, the winds; knowing instinctively where there was a rip, or a good break to surf. 

I came to understand just how much I had taken for granted when I moved to Brisbane where people had had less exposure to the surf on a day to day basis. I've always felt calmest near the water, I think it is partly why I made such efforts to get to the beach when I worked up on the north coast. 

Coming up to the end of four months of having a huge body of water to watch over each day, I think I'm starting to feel calm and reassured all over again. There are certain patterns I'm noticing, the rhythms of the work and play of the port before me. 

Now that might end up meaning boring posts for you dear reader...'more of the same'...

The clouds gathering

The changing water surface

The busy-ness

The constant movement

The early evening sunlight on the campus (to highlight the green grass roof, it is not always all about the port...)

The setting sun lights the cranes and planes
...but for me, identifying the rhythms of the day, and the patterns and watching (occasionally) the flows and movements is just like being at home. And that is a great reassurance as I move through this midlife adventure. 

And for that, I am grateful. Every day.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 12.54pm, 1.02pm, 3.14pm, 4.06pm, 6.12pm, 6.19pm; 29 July 2016]

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Day 210 2016: Not clouded by tradition...

Day 210: ...well, not much

The summer rains officially ended yesterday, tsuyuake, as it is also known. It heralds steamy weather. Not that there was really much rain about this year. Indeed, the dams are running quite low...I think I've lived with that before. 

Anyway, it seems, summer is already too much for some...

Fallen fruit

And today at work it was one eye on the marking and class preparation, and another eye on the clouds.

And a few other moments of interest. The two women, dressed in kimono, were walking out the front gate this afternoon. I don't know what they were doing. 

A range of clouds to choose from

Flying through

Passing through

Wisping through

At the end of the day, or towards the end of the day, a golden moment on the water that flows under the bridge. 

Golden evening

It's hard work mostly, but enjoyable; sometimes my head is in the clouds but mostly it is eyes down, working away. I'm a bit of you stock-standard traditional academic in that way.

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 8.50am; Lumix TZ-85, 11.39am, 2.59pm, 3.57pm, 6.07pm; 28 July 2016]

Day 209 2016: The room with a view...

Day 209: starting to pay off

The end of semester is approaching which means, after the marking, non-teaching time. We can't really say 'holidays' because there is always so much to do. Now, I have even more time to get on with research and writing so the day was given over to that, partly, the planning and the plan to execute the planned writing...

It is going to be a busy break. Excitingly.

So take it from me dear reader, it was quite a good thing to find it was already 5.00pm when I looked up and out from the desktop to take in the view. The day just went by quite quickly. 

But first, to the bus. I find this 'flower' quite fascinating

Happy, bright and yellow

The bridge as bright white in the pm sunlight

Reflecting on the day, so far

And when I looked again, it was already 7.30ish and I was still finding articles of interest for a revised writing project. It is nice to find the momentum returning after such a long period where I'd been made to feel my work was unworthy.

Virginia Woolf was certainly right/write, right. A room with a view is certainly working for me. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 9.20am , 9.22am; Lumix TZ-85, 5.02pm; 27 Jul 2016]

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Day 208 2016: Up for the early bird...

Day 208: ...and a, well, a crane

I am pleased I have kept one old habit of waking up early. I do like the early part of the day, although we don't get the spectacular colours that friends on twitter and insta continue to deliver each day from Brisbane.

But this morning I was lucky to catch one of the local regular visitors to the garden, I just don't generally have the camera on me, unlike this morning. 

A little feather ruffling

Ready for the day

Got it, finally. 

And then off to work for the second last class of my third year group who have mostly been pretty good and I get to teach most of them again next semester too. 

Pigeons along the way, livening up the streetscape...

And then, there was movement on the port of a type I've not seen before. It might almost have been a day for the birds otherwise.

A crane, not quite of the feathered variety but carrying out some interesting work nonetheless.

A little way under the bridge

prepare for take off

or lift up

or drop down...

Counting down the days to the end of the teaching weeks, then, a conference, two days of open day activities, another conference, marking and then...summer holidays. Eventually.

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 9.07am; Lumix TZ-85, 4.58am, 2.51pm-2.55pm; 26 July 2016]

Monday, 25 July 2016

Day 207 2016: Must try harder...

Day 207: ...really, truly

Apologies on reflection, dear reader, for yesterday's slackness. There's no excuse really. Well, there was an excuse but let's face it, it was pretty flimsy wasn't it. Sunday as rest day or somesuch. Pffft. 

So today, although it was a roundabout trip to work, I determined early on to make up for yesterday. 

A butterfly on the way to the bus stop kicked off things quite well. 

Fluttering by

And then, on the way to work (when it eventually happened after an inordinately long time in a bank, you don't want to know...suffice to say no, I am not sending money to North Korea to assist with their nuclear bomb plans--an actual question)...

...I decided that I wanted to capture some wildly growing weeds/flowers I've been passing every day on the way to work. It is a spare block of land opposite the uni and I'd love to tackle it with my whipper snipper...

Flowering tree

New leaves

Purple weeds

Accidentally in the way

White weedy flowers

Through the fence

Outside the fence

 Of course, a day at work wouldn't be a day at work without views of the port...

More water under the bridge

...there has to be one or three. 

We have just this week and next week left in the semester...gee it's gone quickly. I think it has gone OK, but I can always try harder. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 9.14am; Lumix TZ-85, 1.30pm-1.34pm, 3.26pm; 25 July 2016]

Day 206 2016: A proper Sunday...

Day 206: ...not that I really know what that is

I planned three options today: travel an hour west by express train for over an hour to see some Japanese paper decorations in a local town; go to have a look at the local, very local, summer festival up the road; do not very much and tune into the exciting final day of the current sumo tournament.

Well, turns out, the third option offered least resistance. I know, I should have done more but sometimes there is more in just resting and recharging for the new week than trying to fill every minute with something to do. 

Through a side window

Night falls

Experimenting with (un)focus

Just a screen shot

I know if I had just been visiting, rather than living here, I would have dashed off to the paper exhibition, dashed back to catch the sumo then headed to the local festival...

...but there's always next time. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 7.41pm-7.46pm; 24 July 2016]

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Day 205 2016: A day in the office...

Day 205: ...some things never change

Saturday. I'm in the office. Partly for technical reasons (internet access) and partly because of yesterday's unfinished business. It is the first Saturday I've so come into work since I've been here. It is not something I particularly like to do if I can avoid it but it might be part of some future plans as I close in on completing a couple of book manuscripts. 

It's actually not too bad really. it is quiet and I can get quite a good deal of work done. Let's face it, what else am I going to do over the next five years but teach, research and write. That's the big, overarching plan anyway.

So interesting to see that the port keeps on porting on a Saturday too, not that I expected anything less.  

Water under the bridge

Heading out

Clouds over the bridge

And I completed and sent the article (a short analysis of the elections). Finally. So there was a reward at the end of the day.

One must eat...

Work-->reward. Some things never change.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.24pm, 2.44pm, 4.37pm; iPhone 6S, 6.59pm; 23 July 2016]