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Happy Tanabata

This weekend was the annual Tanabata (七夕) Festival here in Japan. The Tanabata Masturi is also called the ‘Star Festival’, and comes from Qixi Festival in China. I was told by one of my teaching assistants that it’s an old festival about two star-crossed lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are only able to be together on the seventh day of the seventh month. Everyone prays for clear skies so that they might be able to see each other again across the Milky Way. Here, people write wishes and prayers on pieces of paper and string them up on trees. If Orihime and Hikoboshi are able to meet, their wishes come true. Most of my students’ wishes were about wanting to grow up and be soccer players or badminton players or comedians, or else wanting a particular toy or other, but there was something really lovely to sitting there helping them write out these things in English on bright orange, pink and blue scraps of paper. On Sunday, we went out to the festival along Kappabashi-dori, between …

The Week I Turned 22

  I turned 22 last week. The day absolutely poured with rain, but it was beautiful and perfect. I spent it with my best friend (who made me choc-chip pancakes for breakfast). I ate sushi for dinner. I bought a yellow skirt with little blue and white houses on it. I spent the day in my favourite city in world. I find it difficult sometimes to believe that I really live here, that I’m studying my Master’s in Literature and Writing, that I’m getting paid for writing work, that I’m an English teacher to tiny cuties, that I’m healthy, and optimistic and full of so much happiness. I am so lucky, and feel such overwhelming gratitude to the people in my life who have supported me and to myself for working my butt off to be here. Here is the week of my twenty-second birthday. This video took an entire week on its own to edit. I worked on it every day, in between teaching shifts, and I’m exhausted but I’m so proud of it. …

2018 in Reading

It’s already halfway through February and I am only just now creating my 2018 reading list … that’s pretty indicative of how quickly this past month and a half have gone. Last year I really enjoyed documenting my reading on this blog so I have decided that I will do it again this year. Here is my 2018 reading list: all of the books I have/will read in 2018 (also, I should mention that I’m including my favourite short stories and essays. Not all of them. Just the ones I love and want to remember). I will continually update this list as the year progresses ~ Books/essays/stories that have been read before will be marked with * A Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde A Gathering of Shadows—V.E. Schwab A Conjuring of Light—V.E. Schwab A Room of One’s Own—Virginia Woolf* The Deep—Anthony Doerr

An Ode to Melted Snow

I’m from Adelaide. The very first time I saw snow, it was at the beginning of 2017. My boyfriend and I were sitting on a flight between Seoul and Sapporo, and, as we were coming into New Chitose Airport, we were flabbergasted by what we saw though those rounded windows. The ground was covered in a strange white-grey blanket, with the tops of tiny trees and gates and rivers scattered across it. We wondered: was it a lake reflecting the clouds? Did Hokkaido just go through some heinous flooding we hadn’t seen on the news? It took us stupidly long to realise to obvious: it was snow.  So, when the snow began to fall on Tokyo a few weeks ago, I was awed. To have snow falling in these tiny, billowing flakes outside my window—to be able to see that happening, right from the warmth of my writing desk—was absolutely remarkable. I love snow, though I know that it’s simply a novelty for me. I know that it’s inconvenient and hazardous and soaks my shoes and hurts my …

Shinjuku Gyoen Garden in Autumn

Hello everyone! I’ve made no secret that autumn is, by far, my most favourite season. It comes, I think, with being an autumn baby (… in the Southern Hemisphere. Here I’m a spring baby, which feels odd and wrong so I’m retaining association with Australian seasons). There’s something beautiful and magical about nature at this time of year. Tyler and I decided to make the most of the lovely weather and went to to the lovely Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. This was the first time I had been and, safe to say, I loved it. I want to go back with a sketch book and a picnic blanket and never leave. Here are some pictures from the day:

M.I.A

Hello everyone! I’ve been taking a bit of a break from the internet over the last couple of weeks and I thought I would write a post about why. At the end of October I was so determined to get back into a routine and post regular content to YouTube but, unfortunately, I fell ill. Working 6 days a week definitely took its toll on me–I ended up with a terrible cold and subsequent chest infection. Worst of all, I also lost my voice. Funnily enough, being a children’s English teacher (a job which involves a copious amount of singing) makes being sick even more difficult; I basically had to push through the sickness, even though I couldn’t speak loudly and couldn’t hold a tune.

Tiny Towns

  My childhood was one of hand-me-downs, and mud-stains, and air so clean you could have swam though its beauty. Summers sweltering heatwaves and drought, and warm rain swelling at the bottom of molten metal water tanks. The winters whispered frost, squelching boots and shivering limbs under infinite layers of woollen blankets. Fingers turned numb with the chill that bored into every crevice, cell, and plane of grass.  Weaving in and out of it all were only the sounds of the dairy cows, singing their songs amongst the spray of gum trees swaying their leaves in defiance of the breeze.