The holiday routine
Perhaps it may not seem like much of a holiday if I told you that I spent most of my time last week planning and preparing resources for my sixth form classes when I return to school, but then, a holiday is simply supposed to give you chance to take a breath, spend more time with the people you love and have a break from your normal routine. And these I have enjoyed in abundance.
My weekdays on holiday in Japan go a little like this: I wake up first of all when Logan gets up for work. Sometimes we have a cup of tea together, or maybe I'll even get up and join him for breakfast. This morning I rolled over sleepily and he left me to it. That's quite a holiday treat.
We always meet for lunch at midday. Today Logan came home and we had a nice ordinary sandwich lunch, but tomorrow we may venture to the soba restaurant near his work. My favourite is roast duck with hot soba noodles and spring onions, while Logan often has cold soba with tempura prawns and vegetables. I swap a piece of roast duck for some tempura pumpkin because I love that soft sweet orange pumpkin in its crisp bubbly tempura batter.
We cycle to lunch, which is lovely at this time of year. It's much colder here than it was in summer, but the weather is mostly dry and sunny, so you can wear gloves and a coat and cycle quite comfortably. I have heard a lot of birds in the bushes, a lot more than I did in the hot summer months. Some of them I recognise, but there are others I will have to learn. Perhaps tomorrow I'll wander to the shrine in the woods and try to capture some photos of them. On Wednesday I saw a white iris land on the shiny black roof of a traditional Japanese home. It was rather spectacular. They are not small birds.
The afternoon usually whiles away quite nicely. Last week I went for a wander around Mito, the nearest city, which is only 20 minutes on the train (see their adorable mascot, "Mitochan", pictured) It has a huge park with a lake in the middle, although this time I mostly confined myself to the lovely trinket and accessories shops. The other days I spent getting ready for the next term at school, which was actually quite a nice change, as I don't often feel I have time to do a good job of things during term time. It was surprisingly rewarding to plan and mindmap topics and work out ways to try new ideas in the classroom. Hopefully it will help me in that overwhelming first week back at work!
Finally the evening rolls round and Logan comes home and we cook a delicious dinner of rice and fish and then find the most accessible anime film or series we can to watch now that Netflix won't let us use a VPN. On Wednesday we went into Mito together for tea, and had all sorts of different courses. It's much easier to read menus now that one of is at least has been here for a whole year. Afterwards we went to a rather nice whisky and cocktail bar and had a little bit too much too drink for a school night. But it was fun and it felt relaxing and normal after such a long time apart.
All in all, the weekdays pass by quite pleasantly, and then the weekend comes around and I really feel like I'm on holiday. But that's another post entirely!