21 January, 2015

Paper Planes and other end-of-holidays activities

I'm getting out of the habit of writing here daily. I guess once the boys finish their summer holidays things will change back again. The signs are there that we're coming to the end of the holidays.

Yesterday we spent half an hour buying school stationary (yes, that's all). Today we rode to school to purchase a high school uniform for our middle son. High school! For only six months, then it's back to middle school for him for two years!
After the movie, but before shopping we
stopped off at a Japanese restaurant.
It was wonderful to eat this yummy food.
We all found menu items that we really
wanted. It brought out the Japanese
side of my brain. Thankfully our waitress
was Japanese and understood our heartfelt
Japanese thanks.

There's also a matter of how well the boys are behaving. They're becoming restless and grumpy. It's been 6 ½ weeks since the younger two finished school, nearly 8 for our eldest. Only a week and a half left! A week from today we'll be going camping (here) for three nights, a screen-free time that will be a good way to pull bedtimes back and, hopefully, heads back into a space that will be more amenable to being told what to do at school.

We've been enjoying catching some more recent movies. Taking advantage of some really good prices ($5.50 on Tuesdays). We've rarely gone to the movies in Japan, only two or three times, because they're so expensive. A couple of weeks ago we saw Night at the Museum 3 and yesterday we watched an Australian movie: Paper Planes. Both were good, though they had quite different budgets.

I could poke some holes in the plot of Paper Planes, a few times we were shaking out heads saying, "That's not possible." Mostly related to the timeline of the plot, which was a bit shaky. It's the story of a boy from a little country school in WA who wins a chance to go to Tokyo to represent Australia at the World Paper Plane Championships.

The Australian side of the film wasn't as cringe-worthy as some Australian films out there, in fact it was done well. The Japanese part was authentic, apart from the part that showed Tokyo down-town traffic moving at an amazing pace. One scene at a doctor's surgery was impressive in the doctor's ability to speak clear understandable Japanese!

What impressed me were the deeper themes that they managed to slide into the show: grief, depression, and bullies were all there. As was two boys trying to figure out why winning was important to them. It had the common "troubled father-son relationship" theme too, but that was more to do with the grief and depression that the father was experiencing. Lots of food for thought. The plot didn't demand that the dad "snap out of" his pain, a definite point in its favour. What made me cry was the usual "person overcoming huge obstacles to achieve their seemingly unrealistic goals".

Well, it will soon be time to boot the boys outside to do some serious weeding of our front garden (see here for our holiday policy of doing jobs around the house, which has worked fairly well, though not always as well as it did on the first day).

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