First Ume

Not a great photo, but one of the first blossoms I saw this year.

It’s been a super-productive day today.

It started on a really positive note, with the warm sun streaming through the trees, through the glass doors that make up a whole wall of our bedroom, and onto my face. It made me realise just how fortunate we are to be living here – and living here legally too what with our new contract having come into effect yesterday.

At about 9am Twinkle and I headed out, she for work, me for Naka-Meguro for a couple of hours of voluntary stuff at the city hall – providing feedback and suggestions for a section of their English website. I enjoyed that, and it gave me a good opportunity to stretch my language muscles (although they couldn’t strain so far as to give a coherent description of RSS. I’ve found that both here and in the UK people who don’t visit a lot of websites often have trouble getting their heads round the concept, which is kind of understandable. In the end I just borrowed a lan cable and demo’d my MacBook’s RSS reader. That worked!).

Following that there was the really exciting changing-of-address thing at the post office, the returning of a video, the long-wait-to-not-get-served-at-the-overly-busy-Softbank-store*, and the paying of multiple bills at the convenience store. On the way home I stopped off at the little local tofu-makers for the first time ever, and had a nice chat with the owner who kindly went through all the names of the different kinds of tofu with me.

(*Softbank have just launched an ‘iphone for Everyone’ campaign, which sees subscribers to a 2-year contract getting a free 8GB iPhone. My friend bought one today – I don’t think *Twinkle*s that far off doing so either)

I was also able to listen to 6 short podcasts – 3 episodes of J-Wave’s Power Your Morning, and three of Takumi Yamazaki’s Takuraji (both highly recommended for Japanese listening practice, being short, easy to digest and interesting).

This afternoon I actively used productive procrastination to tidy the house and make a great lunch, then get on with working on illustrations for a new website (using permanent marker and watercolour pencils, a scanner and photoshop) – I’m very happy with the results. I now know I will publish a picture book within two years.

I then spent a good deal of time faffing around with code, affiliate accounts (thus the links to Amazon on this blog), and setting up / linking new social networking sites for the podcast. I’m pleased with the results. I also fired off a few emails to prospective interviewees, and am delighted to have received a positive response (just a few minutes ago).

I also read a little more of Branson’s new book, Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur.

The only unfortunate thing that did happen today was this evening when I accidentally ran the bath without turning the water filter on (we turn it off when washing the bathroom as that’s one thing that the bonus chemicals are good for!). Going into the bathroom I was hit with the smell of chlorine, and sure enough my skin is now about as dry as a hair-dryer in the Sahara dessert.

Right now I’m listening to Dick Gaughan, whose album ‘A different kind of love song’ was the first one I ever owned (copied from my brother actually). Hauntingly beautiful. Handful Of Earth is another of my favourite albums.

OK, bed time now. Night night.