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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2006/07/20 02:45:15 (July 2006).

[Monday 17th July]
Well today was a national holiday, making it the third day of a long weekend. I think it was "umi no hi" - sea day - although to be honest I'm not sure what the meaning of it is. Both Chie and I had toyed with the idea of going into work, as we knew we didn't have anywhere particular to go or anything really to do, so it would be kind of a waste of a day's holiday. If we'd had a bit more willpower we could have traded in this day to add onto a more useful block of holiday at some point in the future. In the end though we were just too lazy - work has been tough recently and so it is hard to turn down a day off when it is handed to you on a plate.

So we didn't do anything particularly. Mid-afternoon we decided we ought to head out of the flat - very much like the normal weekend routine - and purposelessly went to Shinjuku.

Upon arriving in Shinjuku I had a little bit of a funny turn. I had this strange feeling of being trapped - as we got to Shinjuku station and then stood around wondering what we should do, I had this horrible sense that I simply could not get away from Tokyo. It looks like we won't have enough holiday to go anywhere this summer, and at the weekends we occasionally try to escape, but the sprawl of the city is so vast that you can travel an hour in any direction and still not be out of it. It was quite an unsettling experience, and I had to go and sit down for a while to recover.

We killed time for the remainder of the afternoon with yet more shopping, including a trip to Tokyu Hands to look at toys (to cheer us up - we didn't buy any though).

In the evening back at home I determined it was high time to get up to date with my phone calls - I haven't phoned my family for ages. So I spoke to my Mum and Vera (my Grandmother) which was really nice. Inevitably, it came up in both conversations that recently my thoughts were turning to going back to England. No idea about dates etc, but to my mind at least it is very much on the horizon.

Comment 1

I had that feeling a couple of times, it's quite crap. Tokyo can wear you down a lot at certain times... Come on Johnny boy! Hold fast, I am sure that you'll be out of that place soon, possibly to go back to Bligthy, or maybe you'll get a job in OKINAWA! :)

Posted by Lox at 2006/07/20 07:36:26.

Comment 2

Ah! For England's green hills and its picturesque hedged farmlands...!
With all due respect, Japan is a crazy country which has lost its marks, completely artificial, alienated from Mother Nature.

The choice is yours, my good man...!

Posted by Sheri at 2006/07/20 07:44:29.

Comment 3

Yes, I can sympathise with this problem, though I've not been so far east! Claustrophobia on steroids!

I suppose what Sheri and Lox mentions is a kind of Oriental - Occidental divide thingy. A different way of thinking about environments and how they should be structured. I doubt it's just an "English" thing though. Maybe a "European" one... ?

Posted by Nigel at 2006/07/20 10:46:27.

Comment 4

Print this out - find some stairs and do what you need to do:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy lamb of god
In England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance divine
Shine forth upon those clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my shield, oh clouds onfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land!

Posted by Rob Lang at 2006/07/21 08:49:55.

Comment 5

Thanks Rob - I needed that. :)

Posted by John at 2006/07/21 10:26:34.

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