Monday, 30 January 2017

Day 30, 30 Jan 2017: The day that almost wasn't...

Day 30: ...a slow start and cutting it fine

This past term, I've been in the habit of getting in early on Monday (and Tuesday) to make final preparations for classes mid-morning. It has meant reasonably early starts but that's OK. This morning, however, while catching up on events in the US overnight and thinking about how to incorporate them into today's class, over the top of notes I prepared earlier, I seemed to have lost an hour...

It is not that I slept in. On the contrary, rewriting notes just took over. It is not work I usually have room to do on the morning train, it is, as the brochures say, a bit of a crush of bodies, so the classes have to be well-prepared. 

I made it, but with not much room to move. By the time I got back to the office, the ships were making their moves, slowly, and deliberately, turning in a tight spot. I know the feeling. 

Time to move on


Taking some time

Finally, found the way

We might be here a while

The end of the day; almost the end of semester

I'm glad it is the last week of classes, I'm not sure I'm ready to cut things that fine again. Tomorrow is the actual last class...let's hope I am not quite so distracted in the morning. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.31pm-2.37pm, 7.53pm; 30 January 2017]

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Day 29, 29 Jan 2017: When best laid plans...

Day 29: ...can wait for a week day

I wake up most Sundays with a plan to execute a plan, usually dreamt up the night before. Some Sundays I wake up and just think 'slow down' a bit. Today, I had a plan, woke up in time to execute it (if I wanted to) but decided some time between getting up and having breakfast that in fact in two working days I will be timetable-free and I can do things, well, differently. 

Today's plan involved going east, to the coast, where the surfing competition will be held during the Olympics. This is actually part of my research, really. It is about two hours from here. 

When I woke up, the weather wasn't quite as sunny as promised, and then I remembered the timetable-free life coming up and decided that in fact, going places on a weekday would be a lot less crowded than going on a Sunday. Deferred. Just like that.

So I opted for a slow work/reading/thinking day at home. Only to pop out for some shopping and a little wander around the local shrine again...

(Good) wolves at the gate

Roof with tree (will return in spring)

Scarves to warm the spirits 


Yep, tree gone

Rest awhile

Someone to watch over you

Watching over them

A little bird told me, and me, and me...

Just as the sign said last time, the wasp-infested tree was cut down and a few new year's decorations were still up. I like that it is just there, in the middle of the suburb. A little quiet spot, just a block back from the main road.

This is Tokyo. Just a little corner of it. The surf is not far away.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.49pm-3.53pm; 29 January 2017] 

Day 28, 28 Jan 2017: Passed tents...

Day 28: ...all the action tomorrow

Just another day at work really. Finalising final lectures, marking reports and, just for a moment, a look out the window to see that indeed yes, yesterday's structure turned into today's tents for what looks like tomorrow's run. One of the tents is for water bottles. I won't be there to see it, much less run it, though. 

It was also a chance to plant ahead a bit, to make the most of the forthcoming non-teaching period; I could have all the marking and grading done by the end of the week if I'm fortunate enough. That's a goal worth aiming for. 

Towering, at the bus stop

Winter blue, autumn red

Accidental, inside the bus

Yesterday's structure, today's tents

Water tent

Heading out

End of the day

And then...

...attention turns to two conference papers. All the action is tomorrow, and the next day, and the next... and so it goes.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 11.49am-11.51am, 12.42pm, 2.17pm, 4.29pm, 5.13pm; 28 January 2017]

Friday, 27 January 2017

Day 27, 27 Jan 2017: Gale force winds!

Day 27: ...and 'something' in the works

Good thing I'm going into work tomorrow, Saturday. I'll be able to see what becomes of the structure getting laid out across the promenade this afternoon. I've seen lots of structures come and go over the last ten months, I'll be interested to see what this one is about.

Yes, ten months already. It is one year to the day today since I left my former place of employ and had two months to finish packing and organising to get myself overseas for a medium term sojourn teaching and researching. It is ten months since I started the new job. Ten months of looking out over this excellent view. 

And probably about the tenth time I've been stopped in my tracks, almost sent backwards, by the wind. The weather between home, in the northwest of Tokyo, and work, about thirty kilometres away as a wayward crow might fly, can vary enormously. Today was one of those days. Windy, what!

Something in the pipeline


Pressing on

A bit bent

Blown away

The smaller boats seemed to struggle through the chop today and the clouds too seemed to be a bit wayward, or at least the contrails appeared to be blown off course. 

Can't wait to see what the day has in store on the promenade tomorrow. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.52pm, 3.03pm-3.05pm; 27 January 2017]

Day 26, 26 Jan 2017: The finish line is in sight...

Day 26: ...just one of several finish lines really

So this is the teaching finishing line I'm reaching for. It looms next Tuesday. Today was the last class with my seminar group but we have organised an 'end-of-(academic)-year' party for next week. Meanwhile, there remains the preparation and marking for two more classes, Monday and Tuesday. 

Then there is 'the list'...the list of things I have to complete either a) prior to the new academic year starting in April or b) the end of the calendar year.

In the (a) list are things like papers, conferences, fieldwork, grant applications, joining a drumming group, more tai chi and investigating community bands (it can't all be work after all).

The (b) list includes completing two book manuscripts. Must. be. done. before I start the next ones.

So much to write. Speaking of which, I shall be reviving the 'other blog' soon too, now that it is a year since I left my last workplace. More of that later.

There seemed to be a mix of the rush and calm out on the bay today too. 

The construction site moves along

The bridge


A catch up


Closing in


The one of the left was certainly in a hurry

I guess the portsiders have their series of start and finish lines to deal with too. Of course, being one of the precincts for a number of 2020 Olympic venues, there are quite a few finish lines on their plate too.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 1.08pm-1.09pm, 1.42pm-1.43pm, 3.57pm; 26 January 2017]

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Day 25, 25 Jan 2017: This is (almost) the end...

Day 25: ...of the academic year

And so to 'celebrate', our workplace held a function in one of Tokyo's well-established, rather ritzy hotels in Shinjuku. 

Now dear reader, you are familiar with my world from the tenth floor; tonight we were on the 42nd floor of the hotel with a night view to match (perhaps that's why the answer to everything is 42...). 

I reckon the view from here in the daytime would include a clear view of Mt Fuji but tonight it wasn't to be. Nonetheless, with the academic year almost over (there is still bit of teaching until next week, then marking) it was pleasant to gather with colleagues over rather nice food and the odd glass or two. 

The long underpass

Lights still about

The original tall buildings

Going up...and up

Opening remarks


One view

Ready for the toast

A shimmering sky tree

Bit blurry but there were fireworks in the distance 

It was all done and dusted after two hours, everyone went home and tomorrow resumes as usual. But for just a couple of hours, the view from the top was pretty nice. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 6.52pm-8.34pm; 25 January 2017]

Day 24, 24 Jan 2017: Turning around in tight places...

Day 24: ...sometimes work can be like that

You are by now, dear reader, probably familiar with my fascination with the work on the port in front of me. Some days, I could sit and watch them all day ... oh, wait...

But some days, there are just some movements that intrigue, like the ship that changed berths today. It is as if they parked in the wrong spot and have to move to another. And how they manoeuvre those giants in such a tight is a sight to see.

It was actually zero degrees out there today

Time to move

Swing it around

Bringing it in

Sidling up

And back to business

The best ride portside today

Afternoon silhouettes

Sunni the clouds and surrounds was the end of the day. We had some very interesting colours in the late afternoon sky today. There's always something happening portside.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.42am, 10.11am-10.34am, 2.15pm, 4.57pm; 24 January 2017]