Archive | November, 2014
29 Nov

Another sunny, but windy, weekend here in the Bay. I have just made brunch for the kids and I – poached eggs and bacon on toast. I didn’t use to make this very often in Japan, with the kids favoring cereal or rice with raw egg and fermented shit beans, but I think weekend brunch might have to become a new family tradition. The kids are at the age now (fuck, I never thought I would actually survive motherhood to get to actually say this) where they get up on their own, come out and play somewhat companionably, somewhat quietly and somewhat cleanly, while I snore on in peaceful slumber after a night out drinking wine and eating braised pork with a selection of vegetables and herbs I can’t pronounce.

Of course when I come out of my pit at 9am I inevitably stand on ten pieces of lego and over three empty yoghurt pottles on the way to the kitchen. They are now watching Scooby Dooby Do and waiting another half hour till we can Skype daddy. Actually, Shou has just come over with the Monopoly New Zealand Edition so it looks like we’ll be doing that!


Later – so we played some Monopoly and then went swimming at my sister’s and generally harassing my nieces and their friends and boyfriends. My middle niece has a boyfriend called John (his real name) and my three would pretty much follow him over hot coals, nails, and possibly past the pit bull which may or may not eat their face off. He is the pied piper of some county he never knew he was the pied piper of. He even got Ryu in the pool today – the first time since he nearly drowned about two months ago. And when I got back from doing my sister’s shopping (we traded – my three kids for her shopping list), Ryu ran up to me and asked, in English, if he could show me his swimming. He did have every inflatable piece of pool equipment possible but still, he got in the pool all by himself and kicked to the end and back – proud as punch he was. Bless him.

After some lunch and a wee 3DS gaming interlude at home we headed out to the beach and some fresh air with friends and naked two year olds. Now we are home, there is some Ice Age on TV – but why the start the ‘Family Movie’ at 7pm I don’t know, cause my kids aren’t watching all of that. It’s bloody Sunday. I’m over them, they are over me and we all need an early night.




26 Nov

It is now 20 sleeps until hub gets here and I CAN’T WAIT! Not only because it will mean we can both scratch the itch but man, I need me some adult company. A person who doesn’t spend their day switching between telling me to ‘just do it bro’, yelling ‘Holy Suck’ at everything and/or complaining, whining, thinking I want them all to die because I won’t give them another fuckin chocolate muffin.

The kids continue to enjoy school which I have to keep reminding myself is the main reason we are here. The fact that their Japanese kanji and math work I promised I would keep up is going to complete shit is well, hey. Fuck it. Surely the fact that Shou can say his five times table up to 200 in English AND sing ‘We are the World’ is better than repetitiously writing 遠足 over and over.

Marina uses the most English overall and her latest is ‘stop shouting at me mum’ – which is testament to I guess the huge amount of shouting I do. Especially in the mornings when it would seem they are awake but their ears are plastered shut to the side of their heads.

Last week we spent five days on a South Island roadie, catching up with friends, checking in with mum and dad in Central Otago, and visiting family. It was pretty full on but worthwhile, if not rather emotional. Going into the cemetery was hard and I got a surprise at how it completely overtook me. The kids were surprised too – seeing me sob because of my hurting heart and not out of sheer frustration at them not listening, which is what they have seen me cry about otherwise! Shou and Marina both got upset too and Ryu was just quite bewildered at the whole experience. Not sure what to do – other than pick flowers and cover his grandparent’s grave. Bless the boy.


I really need to do something with Ryu’s hair. He won’t let me tie it back but it is long enough now to tuck behind his ears. A boy in his class has a 30cm long Rat’s Tail (lord knows if thats what it is called in other countries though) down his back and Ryu would quite fancy one of those, which I am pretty sure would result in Granny K having a complete meltdown.

Which could be kind of amusing I guess.

Right, will leave you with a couple of pics of the Moeraki Boulders down South…



This pic cracks me up. Faark I wish I could both a) take good photos and b) have children that could pose a bit better.

Off to sort through kids clothes and clean up this mess.

Sweet dreams, good health and quiet living you lot.


Catching Up

10 Nov

Would you believe it is only something like 37 sleeps till daddy gets here and another 10 after that till we go home to coldness and soggy shiitake mushrooms, bow tied kombu and other Japanese New Year’s delicacies.

I thought I was ready to leave but then we started getting better weather and I had a butter chicken last night, and the left overs just now for breakfast along with a proper coffee and dang, I need the clock to stop for a minute.

The kids are enjoying school and bringing home some English gems…

  • In the space of about three days Shou has told me to both ‘just calm down’ and ‘get a life mum’.
  • Yesterday Marina complained because ‘I’m cold and hungry mum’ – which out of context might seem like a good enough reason to ring social services but the girl had just gotten out of the pool and refused to get change, thus meaning we had to drive home in her wet togs, where I then ran a bath and got the rice on for sushi. I think there was a window there of about 38 seconds where neither the bath or dinner were ready according to her majesty’s desired schedule.
  • Ryu dreams in English pretty much every night. I know because he keeps yelling shit out at 2am, like ‘No, this way’ and ‘I can do it’ etc etc. I have yet to figure out what the dreams are about but he has started adding random crocodiles to his pictures…

Random crocodile

On the work front I am having a bit of a lull but as I am still on track for the month I am enjoying the sunny weather instead of begging for more work. It will come. I have had a good few months and the fact I’m not seeing any of the hard earned yen until I get back to Japan is a bonus. Should provide some New Year goings on padding to the bank account – unless of course hub has my card and has guessed the pin – in which case it might all be hanging out having a party at pachinko.

I have had a couple of genuine texts from Japanese friends wondering if I really am ever coming back. It makes me think that despite being fluent, perhaps I didn’t quite get across the ‘See you at the end of the year and yes, English starts again in January’ bit… ? I do miss the goings on of rural Japan life which is strange as I think it is probably getting into daikon season – and that means trying to think of new and creative ways to work with daikon cause Granny K grows about ten fields of them.

Talking of vegetables – Ryu and Marina are entering a vegetable animal competition this Friday as part of the school’s annual food and wine festival being held that evening – yes, the primary school they attend has a food and WINE festival, including double decker bus rides, mammoth bouncy castles and bouncy slides, food stalls, an auction, a cake stall and a hangi. If ya’all don’t know what a hangi is then go look it up. Tis delicious stone cooked goodness traditional to our Maori culture and heritage.

I have to bake a slice – or rather, I have put my hand up to bake a slice and to help out on the Friday during the day. I need to put in a practice run of said slice today, although am pretty sure have fool proof recipe of yumminess.

Right, best get to it.

Hope all is well in the land of the rising sun or wherever you may be.