Archive for March, 2009


As it’s almost another Wednesday, I’d better post last week’s episode of my continuing short story.

The prompt words are earnest, layer, reactive.

By now it sounded as if the mob would soon reduce the shop door to splinters.     Pierre’s response was reactive. ‘There’s an outside toilet in the yard. Go in there and lock the door, but first you need do unlock the back gate. I should be able to fool them into thinking that you ran straight through.’
Her earnest expression relaxed. ‘God bless you,’ was all she said.
He had just pushed her outside when one  voice rose above the others, ‘Open the door and give us the slut.’
Pierre wiped the layer of perspiration from his forehead before he replied.

You can read the previous episodes here and link to 3WW here.

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I decided to use my own image, taken in Yokahama a couple of weeks ago. The bird flew into the photo.

Air space

To Yokahama
one hour standing
stuffed between commuters
and more
and more
and more
they come…

…some wear masks
Time for sakura
– cherry blossom.
Time for rhinitis
– hay fever.
Too little air
to share between us.

At Tokyo, now
full to capacity,
still more squash in
– soft as invertebrates.
I recall sarin
on the subway in ‘95
and try not to sniff.

at the waterside
a solitary seagull
my air space.

japan-2009-354They have all that space and they choose to squash together on a rope!

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We are only just approaching the official cherry blossom viewing although, due to higher than normal temperatures this year, some of the trees were already in bloom when I visited from 1-15 March.


In the above frame which I cut from the photo I posted earlier, you can see the reverential treatment the Japanese give to their unofficial national bloom.

japan-2009-0731This photo was taken in Kamakura on 4 March; well ahead of hanami. As well as picnicking, hanami can be combined with temples and shrines.

japan-2009-048Tori leading to a Shinto shrine (Kamakura)

japan-2009-082This Big Buddha was reached by taking a short train ride. Buddhism and Shintism co-exist harmoniously in Japan.

japan-2009-087Whereas Buddhist temples tend to be used for funerals, Shinto temples are used for weddings.


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I am writing a short story, using word prompts from 3WW and adding only 100 words each week. As it’s some time since I last posted, I’m including the first two posts as well as the new one.

Pierre stumbled downstairs. The knocking on his shop door was insistent.

‘I’m coming! I’m coming! Keep your shirt on,’ he cried.

She was leaning against the wall, shoulders hunched forward as she gasped for breath, her clothing in disarray. At the end of the street the rabble’s uproar was swelling.

‘You’ve got to let me in.’

‘No got to about it. I don’t know you from Adam…or Eve,’ he replied.

‘Oh I think you do.’ She was more composed now. She looked him straight in the eye.

‘Don’t you remember when I had to validate who you were?’

He stood eyeball to eyeball.

‘No I don’t remember, and to be candid, I really do not know who you are.’

While he was talking, she had levered herself off the wall, slithered round the door post, and neatly ducked under his outstretched arm, taking refuge inside the shop.

‘Come in and shut that door,’ she hissed.

His impulse was to drag her outside again, leaving her to the mercy of her assailants who were approaching fast; instead he obliged.

It was as if she could read his mind. ‘All the risk I took for you, you lily livered coward. It’s Camilla, as if you didn’t know.’

burden, natural, ubiquitous

Pierre was in a quandary: should he admit that he had been lying or should he continue to bluff it out; denying all knowledge of her had seemed the natural thing to do. Unwelcome memories surged and threatened to swamp his consciousness; memories of a time when he, Pierre Sauvignon, was an ubiquitous presence in the town. Of course, he had been known by a different name then. He was a fool to think that he could drop his guard: he would never be completely safe; the burden of his past was too great. She said was right: he was a coward.

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My favourite holiday photos


Shinjuku Park, Tokyo on a Saturday afternoon

Why do I like this photo so much? I love the little figures moving across the grass, the reflection of the trees in the water and, of course, the cherry blossom, which was just coming into bloom.

When I went to China nine years ago, I took photographs of the futuristic buildings in Shanghai and scenery in Huangshan ( which means beautiful mountain) but I failed to capture the fact that htere were people everywhere.

Shinjuku boasts the busiest subway in the world. The park, on a sunny Saturday in March, was full of people, many of whom were intent on taking photographs of the cherry blossom; some of them with tripods and much more elaborate cameras than mine looked very professional. At half past four, a voice thanked us for visiting the park which would be closing in half an hour. The announcement was made in English as well as Japanese or I wouldn’t have been able to understand it.


Outside the temple at Asakusa

There is an incredible amount of incense inside this container, which people buy, light and then and then waft the smoke over their heads. According to the guide book I read, it is supposed to have curative properties but according to my daughter it’s suppose to enhance your brain capacity. Naturally I joined in.


This shot is also taken in Asakusa. The sweets, which the guy at the back is making, are warm and yummy. This stall is sufficiently far away from the temple for all flavours (vanilla, sesame, chocolate, probably cherry blossom, but I’m not sure) to cost just 100 yen. Closer to the temple, the cost is higher and varies according to flavour.


Television station, Odaiba, Tokyo

We travelled to Odaiba on a super new train, which gave an exhilerating high level view of the city, crossing the rainbow bridge which is so-called because it is lit up at night. Unfortunately my camera isn’t good enough for a night time shot.


Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo.

P.S. It’s taken me all week to re-adjust to GMT. I’m now getting up and going to bed at reasonable times. For the first few days I was all over the place.

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Blogging break

Watermaid will be away from her weblog until 16 March 2009.

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