Back From Outer Space and A Boy Turns 12

Indeedy, I am back from outer space, 

I’m sure this is a one off return to blogging. Don’t know why I stopped, I just did, and the longer I hadn’t blogged, the harder it became to set off again.

BUT, today is a special day, my baby, he who shall always be my baby, is 12 today. Don’t know how that came around so fast. All is well, happy as a clam he is with his new DSi, not expecting much conversation out of him for the foreseeable future, and he said if I give him 300 yen, when he’s 13, he will not exhibit any raging hormone behaviour, Deal done. Money on the table.

His birthday and a latent urge to blog again makes me share this story with you.

Recently young Jim mentioned to me that when he talks he has too much spit in his mouth. His S sounds come out as sh sounds. Always have done. Have in the past taken him for speech therapy but they said he would grow out of it. He hasn’t.


Anyhoo, he is talking about it, so I said, ‘are you worried? Do you want to go to the kotoba kyoushitsu and get some exercises that will improve it?’

He says ‘no’.

I said, ” it’s the shape of your mouth, remember I told you, when you were born, your mouth wasn’t formed properly, and that’s why you had the operation, and that’s why you were so ill as a baby’

‘I was ill as a baby?’

‘ Yes, I told you before, when you were just 2 weeks old, you were very sick, your organs were shutting down.’


“because you couldn’t get enough milk to drink”

” Couldn’t get enough milk?’

” that’s right, you couldn’t get enough milk, and I didn’t know, and you got really ill’

” why didn’t I have enough milk? WERE YOU WORKING?”

That’s right honey, I’m the kind of mother that leaves a newborn at home with no milk.

It’s been a while folks, hope one and all and well.

Many, many moons ago,some of them full, some new, some crescent, a friend came to stay and she was doing something and Doris helped her and my friend said,
‘You can be my assistant.’
Well Doris didn’t catch it all and ran around saying she was ‘ Liza’s ass”
or ‘Liza’s arse’ as I would say.
Oh how we laughed, we’ve re-chuckled it many times over the years.

Then today we were in the car and I had a lot of picking up of people and things and dropping off etc to do on Doris’ behalf and she said,
‘you’re my arse now’.
I laughed and then said, do you know what arse really means.
She said, of course I do, I’m not a kid, it’s your bum.
So I said, I just wondered, I thought you might not know it cos it’s not a word I use very often.
She said , how d’you mean you don’t use it very often.
I said, I just don’t really say it.
She said what about, ‘shift your arse we’re going to be late.’
Oh yeah, I may say that once in a while.
or ‘get your arse in gear.’
maybe occasionally,
then Jim said, ‘ and what about arsehole and arsewipe, do they count?’
No one is talking to you Jim, haven’t you go a DS you could be playing with.
What about when you think someone’s making stuff up and you say ‘my arse’?
I wonder what other words I don’t often use…..

Friday Nights

It’s been one of those nights when I know others must envy my life. On Friday night, folks start drifting home on the
brink of starvation around 5 pm. First round of feeding begins at half past 5, Doris has cram school from 6. Drop her off, come back in time to cajole Jim into his tae kwon dou gear.
‘Do I have to go?’
“How long do I have to go for?”
“Until you’re 44, now hurry up”

Drop him off, come back and Kev is ready for a second feeding.
He goes off for a maths lesson because 11% was what we labelled “not great” drop him off at 8.

Back to the ranch, clean up kitchen, no Grey’s Anatomy, damn!
Watched Modern Family, go out at 8.45 to pick Jim up.
Get there and he tells me, he is walking home with his friend who came for a trial lesson. Thanks mate.

Go to pick up Kev, wait outside for 25 minutes which means he hasn’t finished his worksheet. Get repeated urgent texts from Sunshine begging for chocolate.
Stop off at 7-11 for chocolate.
Get in at 9.50.
Dole out chocolate, get into argument with Jim about why I won’t make him a bowl of pasta now.
10.20 go out for Doris.
Wait outside cram school for 15 minutes because clearly the teacher has no home to go to.
On way home up dark, rainy mountain road, spot dead cat.
Doris wants to investigate, turn around go back, it isn’t a cat it’s a dead racoon in the middle of the road.
“It’s dead”
“I saw it move”
“It’s dead”
“Let me check.”

“It’s dead, let’s go to the police box and tell them”

Go back down, go to police box, tell them. Doris gets a jones on for chocolate and ‘jyagariko’. Go back to 7-11.
Get home, it’s 10.50.
Jim still whinging for pasta and asking why no one ever feeds him.
We have a conversation we’ve had before where he says he is starving and needs pasta and I say there is a pot of yakisoba there and he says he doesn’t want yakisoba and I say he can’t be all that hungry then…’s frigging Groundhog Day.
I suppose this is what passes for an exciting Friday evening now.

If you choose to stay tuned I can probably bore you rigid with the whole cram school/high school entrance exam/bleed me dry/pointlessness theme I’m so fond of.

Thank You Mr Housman

Mr Housman has nailed it.

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

Tomato Soup and Twiglets

After a week of no internet access ( and yet I survived !) I have a quickie, unthought-out update on the visit to to the motherland which has turned into the most phenomenal personal
journey into the past and back into the fold.
My dear friend and infrequent commenter here, Withering, drove myself and Jim all the way to Scotland via Scarborough,
where Jim and I attended an awesome wedding, a wedding pulled off with such class,wit,and intimacy, there were tears in the house
and not just mine.
After an epic 3 days, where we were all clutched tightly and warmly into the bosom of my family
we had a very Thelma and Louise trip back from Scotland, driving over hills, with an awesome sky above and the beautiful wind turbines
surrounding us.
More to follow on journeying to the past and clearing hurdles.

Things I had forgotten I miss seeing.
Churches, spires, steeples, weather vanes, cattle grids, stiles, red brick and chimneys.
Sheep, cows, horses, rolling fields of green, the purple hills of Scotland.

I have a lot of people to thank for all the ferrying about, the overnight stays, the warm welcomes, the bowls of tomato soup
prepared, the twiglets stocked in the cupboard, the wine chilling, and the love, loads of loads of love extended to us.

Must try to close the suitcases again and board the bus…..
We are at the lovely Withering’s house now, and will shortly leave the North, who knows when I’ll be back, but it has been
a fantastic trip thus far.
Further musings may come from my trippings south.


by the way anyone who has not already read Louis Vs Rick at Tumblr, please, go there now, do not pass go do not collect the 200,it is the funniest thing ever.( and you’ll get the title of this)

So, I’m off tomorrow, in the early hours. I have been uncharacteristically stressed out all day, I do not know why. At one point I had to resort to cammomile tea.
Jim’s passport has not arrived but he does have a J. passport so it’s not like he can’t travel.
The day started off well with a call from my dear pal who told me about her Vipassna experience, focus on the breathing, that helped. I did.
I had to cut the call short because the DHL guy was at the door. Sadly it was not the passport, it was the old passport. I”ve skipped the bit where I called the passport helpline and they could not even hear my question without a credit card number.
I leapt to the door, sadly it was just the old passport coming home to roost.
I decided to go for a shave. I’ve blogged before about the lady shave, where they shape your eyebrows, massage your shoulders etc.
Sadly it was the one female member of staff’s day off. I didn’t care, a guy is fine, I’m not sexist and I’m not ageist either but he was pretty old with the shakes. So stress level not helped by man with shakes looming over me with cut-throat razor.
Focus on the breathing.
He put the chair way back down and did his stuff, and his massage was GOOD, he didn’t spend too much time on the octopus sucky cup thing, but when he went to put up the chair, instead of saying I’m going to put it up now,and slowly pumping it , he sort of stamped on it, and I nearly shot into the mirror. I had a touch of vertigo and was a bit dizzy, they aren’t real big on humour in the barber shop sub-culture there, so they just sort of said ‘oh you are dizzy’, I said, I walked with my arms outstretched towards the till.
Get home, pack, charge batteries, locate DS software, find new contact lenses, write down phone numbers, track passport. It has left Hong Kong, YAY.
Eventually it makes it to Kansai airport, but by 9pm has not been delivered, therefore will not be tonight. So I called DHL to ask if I could pick it up at the very same airport in the early a.m. but no I cannot, he said, you haven’t sent the correct invoice with the package, I said, I haven’t sent shit, I didn’t send it, I am the receiver, the recipient as it were. He said, well there is an invoice missing so it can’t clear customs please contact the sender. I said well that would be The Foreign Office.
He said, well quite, please contact them. Aaagh!! Again not essential but if it doesn’t come it has been a colossal waste of time and money
( 130 pound to date).
Deep breaths, leaving in 6 hours. Will see rolling green fields of Yorkshire, will be welcomed into bosom of family, will kiss old friends, will see my fabulous Feet and Sleuth, will raise glasses, will buy clothes, will eat Heinz tomato soup
So long, farewell, auf weidersehen……

Rogue Video.

Does anyone know why there is a video embedded at the end of the last post.
In the words of my kids, ‘ it’s not mine’, ‘I didn’t do it’, ‘It wasn’t me’.
It appeared overnight. Is this some new fandangled advertising thing that you get when you use free blog hosts?

Rain, Camp, Men and Boys

Torrential rain all day today. No one in their right mind would think about going off into the woody wilderness with a tent in this weather.
As it happens that’s just what man and boy are doing. The Man and Kev set off first thing to commune with nature, ‘rassel’ some bears maybe.
They were all billy cans and tuck, The Man letting his tongue run long telling how little man really needs to survive and then took everything from the house that wasn’t nailed down.

We are hoping this man to man, father to son, man V nature experience will be beneficial to young Kev, who has been, of late, as we put it to him, ‘no you are NOT bad, you are NOT naughty, you are just making some poor choices.’
So that’s our current theme, ‘choices: learning how to make good ones’
While we are waiting for that particular skill no manifest we are choosing vodka over milk on the cornflakes.

So one of the girls is at work, the other is at juku and it’s just me and my little one.
I get to blog, he gets to Wii. It’s all good.

Excitement mounts for forthcoming visit to the motherland, Jim’s passport hasn’t arrived yet so he might have to travel on his J one, I think everything is done, hope it is anyway because haven’t got time to do anything else before we leave anyway.
A great schedule planned catching up with lots of rellies, a big fat family wedding, a mini road trip with a great friend and loads of people I haven’t seen in absolutely yonks.
The Man keeps telling me the yen is very strong against the pound right now. I think that is a subtle invitation to go nuts with the visa card, but I’ll probably not get him to confirm that before I go.

Okay, out in the rain to pick up studious child.

In Response to Finding Her A Cat

To just do one sort of blanket response to people who emailed me some suggestions.
It has to be this wild cat that she is fixated upon. She doesn’t want another cat.
You’ll recall a few weeks back Kev brought home three more kittens.
They were SO cute I nearly kept them, barely even weeks old, eyes still shut. So I suggested Doris and Kev trot over the road and ask her if she wants one, she seemed so hell bent on getting a cat, ( this was before the shit hit the fan).
They went over, and were back in seconds.
Kev said, ‘I don’t think she wants one”
I asked Doris what she had actually said and Doris said she just looked in the box and said
” Iran” which is a pretty rude and abrupt way of saying, how very kind of you to think about me but no thank you.

More Cat Villa

If I’m still not much of a cat fan this can’t turn into a cat blog right?
So where are we with Psycho Neighbour.
The sign came down, the jijikai guy talked to her, she took the sign down.
He came over to ours and said that this cat she is trying to lure into her clutches comes around at about 4 pm so could we keep our cat out of the way about that time. We said we could comply and that we would only let ours out in the morning. We would let it out first thing and then keep it in for the rest of the day.
This wasn’t too difficult to do except when the kids come from school and , oh around 4 pm, because our cat will be in the genkan pawing at the door. So everytime the door opens we all have to flap around and scream ‘don’t let the cat out’.( by ‘we’ I mean me of course, the younger generation in the house have yet to take an active role in solving the problem).
It did take a few days to adjust because said cat has Houdini powers and we had to figure out the myriad of ways it has of getting outside. So all the windows have to be kept shut, and there’s a cupboard it can somehow get into and create it’s own Narnia moment, so we have to keep that shut with a chest up against it, cos it can open the door too, but overall we thought we had it sussed.
Then jijikai guy came back and said he is receiving dozens of calls a day from her that our cat is scaring her wannabe away and she faxed over a list of times and dates of sightings. Basically he asked us to keep the cat in the house entirely for a month. Grounded for four straught weeks in which time she thinks she will have lured wild cat into this weird trap she has set on the bonnet of her car.
This guy is actually really nice and I’m sure he doesn’t need the hassle. He said that he can’t talk to her, cannot find a reasonable point with her cos she is no longer playing with a full deck, so would we could we please, as apparently the sane ones left, do this for a month.
So The Man ordered a cage for it, which no one really likes the idea of….
Waiting for the cage to arrive the cat put us through our paces, every five minutes someone has to dash off and get it out of somewhere or down from somewhere, it constantly mews at the back door. So there have been quite a few times where I’ve had to wrestle the cat off of those spikey cat deterrent things we lined the window sills with, where it’s climbed behind the hot kettle and try to get it back down, and for the record, it’s a myth about them always landing on their feet. Not always.
Yesterday the cage arrived, I needn’t have been so worried about poor cat being a little cage, I thought The Man meant one of those things you put them in to take them to the vet in ( when you can’t find the zip up laundry nets).
Not so, three floors of state of the art, kitty penthouse luxury, the cat now officially has more space to itself in this house then anyone else and we may have to let go of the dining table.
So let’s see how this goes……