Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tulip report

First I want to tell you that I made a posting about dodge ball which is my son is doing. Since I uploaded the movie first and posted it later it didn't come to the top. Please also look at March 2nd posting.

This week I had interviews with my kid's homeroom teachers. In Japanese public school homeroom teachers usually visit their students' houses at the beginning of each school year. I think the propose for it is to make sure the location of the student's house and know the environment. Sometimes problems occur such us truancy. Teacher's visit system may help them to find out the reason for the problems.
So my children's teacher came to my house. They have to visit several houses in one day, actually after school, so they had only 10 minutes to talk with the parents. I was relieved because through these interviews I found out that both of my kids are quite doing well at school.

By the way, some of my tulips are at their peak now.
I planted bulbs in 3 lines at the back of my garden.
I had a big package of purple pink bulbs which you see in the back of the following picture so I planted them on both side of the lines. After the purple pink ones bloomed pink ones started to bloom which you see in front of the picture. I prefer these to purple ones because the stem is longer and leaves are narrower and they look elegant. I like the color, too.

Next to the pink tulips I planted two kinds of bulbs. They have not bloomed yet but I can see the buds. The shape of the buds are different. One is slender and the other is fat. I don't remember what kind of tulips I planted but I think one of them is black.

The following picture is from my parents. I gave one package of tulip bulbs when we returned to Japan last year. I don't know why but they came out earlier than my tulips. The package contained multi colored bulbs and they look very beautiful. I regret that I gave packages to my relatives and neighbors as souvenir without a plan what remained were pink and black!

According to news the Fukushima reactor is still in the critical condition. I hear it takes at least several months to settle this situation.
The most surprising thing is that this year's expected turn over of my husband travel company will be only 5 percent of the last year. The company decided to implement 4-day work week for every employee including my husband. Off course his salary will be declined. I can't imagine what comes next!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One month since the Eastern Japan disaster

My children's school started as usual. My daughter became 6th grader and my son 4th. I felt spring break this time was quite short. I think it's because we have been restless after the disaster worrying about shortage of foodstuff and gasoline as well as rolling blackouts. We are doing fine which is one of the most valuable thing in life.

In Tokyo area the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The following picture is one in my area. In this season Japanese people get together under the cherry blossom trees and drink sake and sing aloud which is typical scenery in this season. But this year it is different. After the eastern Japan disaster everyone in Japan have a deserve feeling of having a binge. Because of power shortage most of public facilities has been saving electricity by stopping light up during nights.
When I visited Ueno Park which is renown for cherry blossom party or 'Hanami' in Japanese a few days ago I found a sign of cancellation of Cherry blossom Festival and when it's dark we could hardly see the beautiful flowers without lights. No wonder there was not many people even if it's the top season.
On the other hand, I heard some brewing company in disaster area are complaining about secondary damage because of decrease in consumption of alcohol as the result of Japanese people's restraint reaction after the disaster.

The following picture is 'kobushi' which is Japanese native magnolia. They are now at their peak now and decorates the entrance to the houses complex where our house is.
You can see the rows of kobushi trees at the entrance. This is my favorite scenery every year. Here is where swimming school bus stops and I remember I used to wait for the bus with my kids. My children used to go to the swimming school since 2006 until 2009 before we left for Holland.

Today it's windy but this south wind made temperature warmer.
What is shame is that after the Fukushima reactors accident I don't want to dry my laundry outside which I always did on sunny days. Maybe there is no harm to our health even if we dry the laundry outside but so far I have never heard that experts say it's safe. That's why I don't feel like doing it just in case.

Last night there was a strong aftershock of M7.4. We felt strong shaking here in Chiba but not so much as 3.11 quake. The intensity in the area near the epicenter was so big that power outage occurred in wide area in Tohoku.
My husband has been accompanying an American photo journalist since yesterday and they were staying in a hotel in Sendai at that time. He called me after the quake telling their safety and told me that they had to go to a shelter which is a school gym nearby because of blackout. Japan Meteorological Agency announced warning of tsunami but fortunately there was no tsunami this time and they lifted the warning an hour later.

Lastly I want to show the picture of my tulip in the garden. I want you to look at a small bud coming out. I expect I can see the first tulip flower soon!