Hokkaido police caught the criminal this week.
I turned right on a No-Right Turn junction on Route 36 on Monday afternoon....and there were TWO police cars in the side street.
One car did a U-turn (isn't THAT illegal?) and then came behind me and asked me to stop.
I didn't see the sign for No Right Turn between 7?-7 pm, so I was very surprised. I didn't know what i had done.
I had to go and sit in the police car (very dirty!) and give the officers my driving license. I have to pay Y7,000 and I will get two points on my license. But if I drive well for 3? months the points will expire.
So now I am driving very, very carefully.
Ten years ago I was caught for Illegal Parking in Sapporo, twice in the space of 6 months. My car was towed away and I had to go to the police station for a driving lecture. THAT was boring. I'd rather pay money and get a few points. So, this time I am relieved I don't have to have the lecture.
But, it makes me angry that the police don't do anything about people who drive and use their cell phones at the same time. I see that everywhere and that is very dang
This week I went to acupuncture for the first time in my life. It isn't so common in the Uk, and I am not sure you can get treatment on the National Health Service.
Recently, as some of you see, I have experiences sharp and sudden cramping or spasms in my right leg. Sometimes in the middle of a lesson I will jump up in pain and start stretching my legs.
So I asked a friend for advice, she is a registered chiropractic. She advised to try acupuncture instead and took me to a clinic near Gakuenmae.
I was very nervous. I hate needles.
But you know - it really wasn't so bad. Little pricking feelings and sometimes my muscles seemed to grab the needles.
I had electric pads and needles on my lower back, my left knee, my right thigh, groin and stomach.
My friend helped interpret for me. Standing at the bedside explaining what the staff were about to do. But actually I understood most of what they said.
Did it help? This week I've had less pain, only twice. And the pain is spread out, not just in one place. Is that better?
I am going again today for my second acupuncture!
* and yes - that "puncture" is the same word as in "My bike has a puncture".
I'm a member of a website called Couch Surfing.
It is a people to people home stay and meet-up system all over the world.
Several times a month somebody comes and stays one or two nights with us - for free.
A few years ago we stayed in India with a businessman who lived in Delhi.
It's a wonderful system and YOU too could become a host. Some people open their homes to visitors, others meet them for coffee or show them round Sapporo.
This month I've had German and French guests. This weekend was a Chinese man and his Japanese friend, both from Kyoto. They came on a 3 day driving holiday of Hokkaido and stayed with us one night.
This morning we had breakfast in the garden and chatted about hiking in Japan and camping in China. They brought me some souvenirs from Kyoto.
Two weeks ago some of the Sapporo Couch Surfing members and visitors had a BBQ by the Toyohira River, chatting in English and Japanese and enjoying the sunshine (and a few beers).
If you'd like to know more about Couch Surfing ask me!
This week I went to see "Bilingual Kyogen".
It was Busu, a famous story, and performed by famous Kyogen actors from Kyoto.
Doji Shigeyama speaks excellent English and he started the performance by giving a 25 min. talk and demonstration about the history, staging and meaning of Kyogen.
Then he and two other actors performed Busu, a tale about a master who leaves two servants in charge of a mystery box.
He spoke English, and the other two actors spoke Japanese.
It was strange! Interesting. Strange.
He said: "We think you will understand enough of the story from hearing one character in English and seeing the gestures and actions of the others".
Well, I understand Japanese. Maybe I understood 70-80% of the Japanese in the play. So it is hard for me to really judge: If you didn't speak Japanese, how much would you understand?
i'm not sure a non-Japanese understanding person would understand enough. Specially as the English-speaking character in this play was the minor role. There was more information in the lines of the other servant.
In the past I've seen kabuki with scene description in English via headphones, and I once saw a musical sung in English - with Japanese subtitles on a screen at the side of the stage. Last year I saw rakugo by an amazingly bilingual storyteller.
It is hard to do a performance with enough language to communicate to an audience.
In the UK tourists usually go to see musicals, because they are entertaining without understanding 100% of the speaking. Audiences can usually enjoy opera in a foreign language, because the
How little language interpretation is too little in performance?
Is it a boy? Is it a girl? Britain is waiting for the birth of a future King or Queen, as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has her baby this week or next week.
A few months ago she gave a big hint by mistake when she thanked someone for a toy present and said: "Oh, I'll give it to my dau........" and everyone thought she was going to say "daughter".
Royal babies are always big business - you can buy cups and plates, and T-shirts and special coins which are on sale for the event.
This time...and this is kind of strange - the baby's grandparents will actually be making big money out of this birth.
Carole and Michael Middleton own Party Pieces a very successful mail order site for children's party accessories, the About Us page has a picture of Catherine's mother with pirate accessories!
This business is going to do VERY well out of the birth of this royal baby. There is nothing (at the moment) which is directly about Catherine's baby, but I'm sure anyone planning a kids' party this summer would love to buy from this company and say "Oh, these paper cups come from Kate's parents' company!!!"
And of course, at the moment journalists are checking the site to see if there are any hints about Boy/Girl.
The royal family in Britain and people connected to it are very careful about NOT making business chances out of the famous connection - respect and history etc. But times are changing.
The baby's other grandparent...Prince Charles, is also cashing in on royal baby fever.
His country house is called Highgrove and on the website for that house and garden is here Highgrove
Money from sales on this website go to Prince Charles' charities.
What can we find on this website for babies??? Cute little baby shoes with the British flag on them!!
It's every woman's (secret) dream? To be a model????
Yesterday I was at a wedding company in Asahikawa working as a model for their new brochure - I was Mother of the Bride!
My "daughter" was a 17 year old professional model from the Czech Republic, my "husband" was a university teacher from Sapporo/part-time model and my "son-in-law" was a Sapporo high school student/part-time model.
Hair, make-up, a long dress, accessories - do you recognise me?????
This is Tokachi Hills garden near Obihiro.
At the weekend I visited FIVE gardens in two days, driving myself and using a Hokkaido Garden Path Ticket.
I went to:
1) Tokachi Sennen no Mori Tokachi Millenium Forest.
2) Shichiku Garden
4) Manabe Garden
5) Tokachi Hills
Wow! Great - so beautiful and peaceful, and the gardens gave me many ideas for my garden in Hiragishi and any garden I make in the future.
Many of the gardens are British style - lawns and flowerbeds full of different layers and colors of flowers; kitchen gardens of vegetables and areas of grasses and trees. Each was different.
My favorite was Manabe Garden in the suburbs of Obihiro. Surprising, because there are not many flowers. It is mainly conifer trees and forest and water. But very peaceful.
I really recommend these gardens - they reminded me of my childhood, when I went with my parents to visit public gardens in the UK. Hokkaido is lucky to have these places.