24 September, 2017

Photographic proof

This week I feel like I got over the hump of things that have been on my urgent list. For months now I've felt driven by an overwhelming to-do list. This week that seemed to ease up, I guess partly to do with getting two projects "done" (see here). 

I think that probably about since I wrote this post back in April, I've been working in a higher gear than I'm used to, or comfortable with. It is a great relief to find that light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully things will be a little more manageable in the foreseeable future.

But this week, after I realised that I was over the biggest, most urgent things for now, I hit the other side of the mountain: freewheeling down. It meant both relief as well as a greater sense of fatigue. I also realised on Friday that I was reacting to small things at work with a greater sense of inner irritation than usual. It was then that I realised I needed to lay low this weekend. Hence I've stayed away from email and this computer.

Thankfully I was able to read for several hours yesterday afternoon on my bed and again today, as well as drop off to sleep. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling a bit more normal.

As a result of all of this, I've not blogged as much as I would have liked to. But below I've added some photos from the last week, photographic proof, if you like, that things have been happening in our house and that I've been taking time-out.

This week we had another boy-birthday, so we now have the three-year-gap balance back again: 12, 15, and 18 (we have two boy-birthdays in April-May and the other in September). The birthday cake was my extra rich Chocolate Cheesecake.

Our eldest son has continued to work 28 hrs a week in the maintenance department at school. Varnishing this picnic table is one of the projects he's helped with recently.

On Thursday, with the pressure of the overwhelming-urgent projects over for the time being, I felt able to take time out to ride to the park about 30 minutes away. It was a gorgeous day; the sun was hot and shade pleasant. Yet there was a breeze that only comes with autumn. As usual, I took my camera. There isn't a lot of splendour at this time of the year, with the freshness of summer fading and leaves gradually dying. But I found a few spots of beauty.

There were a few people in the park, not heaps, but not sparse either.

I loved the blue sky. This open field always makes me stop and admire. It's more like "back home" than most things in this big city.

Then yesterday we got up early, as usual, for this season, to watch our boys run in this gorgeous place: the Tama Hills Recreational Facility. This is our seventh year visiting this beautiful spot in Tokyo (see here for an older post about the facility). We went camping there in March this year also. It's only 45 minutes from downtown Tokyo, but not a destination for most Tokyo residents, because you need to be US military or have special approval or sponsorship to go in (and show ID).

The history of the place is quite something. Briefly, it used to house munitions factories during WW2.
Tama Hills’ history dates back to 1938 before World War II (WWII). At that time the Japanese Imperial Army established a munitions processing and storage plant under direction of Arsenal Headquarters in Itabashi located in central Tokyo. Historical records reveal that the plant constructed exclusive chemicals. By the end of WWII, It became an independent facility in 1940 with 2,085 people, three facilities, housing, dormitories and warehouses.
The Tama arsenal was built according to German specifications. It resembled facilities in Bavaria, a province in Southern Germany. Processed bombs were stored in numerous concrete “Bunkers” throughout Tama Department, many of which remain today. The Japanese Army took full advantage of the natural concealment to hide the facilities. In fact, it was so effective that the depot was undetected during the entire WWII. (From here.)
Like many military facilities in Japan, it was taken over by the US military when Japan surrendered.  Here's one of the bunkers as it looked on Saturday.

I'm hoping to take some time out one morning this week for a bike-ride-coffee-shop mini retreat. I need a bit of space to think a few things through. Life continues to be very busy. Our family's October calendar has lots on it, so I'm going to grab this little window before it closes.

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