Saw this poster published by Tokyo Metro in our local station today. The caption reads “Don’t take it lightly – the energy of soil and stones”. An interesting choice, considering how unlikely landslides are in the metropolitan area. It’s probably one in a series focusing on natural disasters.

I’ve not been back to Tohoku since just after the quake happened, but that will be changing in the next couple of months. One of my clients may soon be running football clinics for children in affected areas, whilst I’m working with another friend on a project that may see us cycling over 1,000km to highlight the ongoing hardship in the region. Whether that goes ahead or not depends on our ability to get partners on board – there are a lot of companies wanting to help improve the lives of people affected by the disaster, but are unsure how to go about doing that. Also, as time goes by so people’s interest in the ‘story’ wanes – and the number of volunteers drops.

The fact is that whilst over 310,000 volunteers have helped with the recovery effort in Tohoku so far, thousands more are needed on an ongoing basis – some esimates say 5m over 5yrs. We need programs in place to attract people to the region even when the power cuts in Tokyo are over and, as far as the majority of the population are concerned, life is back to normal.

The bicycle project that I referred to above is just one element in a much broader project that we’re working on.

I hope to be able to make time soon to reflect upon the many projects that I’ve been involved in these past few months. I’ve not yet had a chance to finish off the Tokyo Marathon project – it was left hanging when the quake struck. There’s TEDxTokyo (still ongoing to a certain extent with backstage videos to edit and put out there) to summarise, plus a number of smaller projects that I’d love to share.

Almost a year into my freelance lifestyle and I’ve yet to truly get on top of all the to-dos. I’m not complaining – this is a good thing, albeit a little overwhelming at times. (Thinking about it, the picture above strikes me as being a suitable illustration for summarising how things have been lately!)

Rather than stand and wait to be engulfed, I’m working hard to plough through it all. I remind myself that life happens in phases, and it’s important to value each phase for the benefits it brings. And I do.

A symbol of this particular phase is the house we now live in – I love it more every day, even after being here for two months. I’m very much enjoying the garden – this morning I harvested our first 3 peppers. The 3 clematis plants that all suffered from an appalling attack of clematis wilt are recovering with incredible vitality, whilst the tomato plants have exceeded all expectations. The cherry tree is looking very happy, whilst I’ve never seen parsley look so good in my care.

Anyhow, that’s enough tapping on an iPhone for now. The washing up needs doing before *Twinkle* gets home!