10 August, 2015

Lately it's been slow around here

School starts again two weeks tomorrow. Our days are quite lazy at present. The boys' bedtimes are close to ours and breakfast is mostly happening between 7 and 9. We've just endured eight consecutive days at or over 35˚C. (See this report.) It's no joke, 55 people died. The weekend brought cooler weather, back down under 35˚, but still daytime temps over 30˚

Being a Queenslander I'm used to heat, not continuous days of 35˚C+ with choking humidity. That left me like a puddle with minimal motivation. On top of that I've still got the asthma symptoms brought on the cold I caught a couple of weeks ago. Bleh!

Nonetheless various things have been happening. Here's a sample:

1. Feeding the clan, including grocery shopping on my bike. 
2. We had guests for dinner one night last week: a new teacher and her family of four children. That was a fun night, seeing our kids reach out to new kids and meeting new members of the school community. 
3. Encouraging physical activity for the boys. Most days our eldest has been out running at 5pm. Often he's run with either his next brother or with others from school. Especially with two new teacher's kids who've just arrived. Sometimes our youngest has ridden his bike with them. Last night our middle son went out riding on his own for 45 min. Our wrestler has also done some training with his Japanese club. 
4. We went to a secondhand shop last week and bought a second screen for my computer work. It's fabulous!
5. I had an afternoon out on Wednesday, getting a haircut and catching up with my language exchange friends. 
6. We've had at-home movie nights. So far we've seen the first four Star Wars and the first Harry Potter. I've been mostly working on my crochet skills at those times, but a tiny bit of cross-stitch and even colouring-in too. 
This is a balloon finger puppet. One of the quirky things
you can find at Tokyu Hands.
7. David spent some time helping out other teachers and students with various things. Today he went into school to do some preparation for his own work
8. Lots of reading, and to be honest, playing word and card games on my phone.

Shopping for fun!
Last Friday we decided to get everyone out of the house for the day. It wasn't easy (temps that day reached 37.7˚C), we weren't motivated at all and there was much grumbling. 

However the day turned out better than expected (except that I ran out of energy and felt quite unwell towards the end). We rode the trains into Ikebukuro, our nearest "inner city" location. We hung out at a favorite store: Tokyu Hands. It's eight stories high (floors aren't large) and full of quirky stuff. 

The boys were a bit hesitant at first, after all they aren't used to browsing in shops. But we ended up spending more than an hour there (could have been longer, but we got hungry). The boys bought some things for their dice/tiny rubber animal collections and I did some Christmas shopping for family in Australia. 

After that we had lunch at an American all-you-can-eat restaurant. Shakey's Pizza. It was fun. A cool basement restaurant with character and it was quite affordable too. 

Lunch: the top slice is a usual type, but the next two are
dessert pizzas. The middle is like apple crumble
and the bottom is bananas and chocolate.
Then we hiked into the bottom of Sunshine City, a high rise complex that consists of four high rise buildings. 
Sunshine City is a commercial complex that features a variety of facilities including an office building, aquarium, observatory, and shopping center. It is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo and is just a short walk from Ikebukuro Station.
You can walk between the buildings without going outside, creating a large indoor shopping space equivalent to an Aussie shopping centre (but no groceries). We found ToysRUs and had fun browsing there too. All in air con. That was a key objective, with such heat outside. 

We returned home happy. Better than we left. I think the hot nights (mostly over 30 degrees, we went to bed at 10pm with it at 34˚C two night running) have been making our sleep lower in quality. Hence grumpiness. 

Today our youngest son's very good friend returned to Japan after their holiday in the States. He's come over to play and it's wonderful to hear. Our son's been missing his friends. 

I'm looking forward to seeing my friends too. And having energy to do stuff. I'm tired of being bowed down by illness and the heat. 

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