On the face of it not a very striking photo, but forget Extreme Climate, or Extreme Ironning, Extreme Gardening rules in Japan. Balanced on a ladder you remove about a third of the needles from every sprout of pine needles over the whole tree. Repeat for each pine tree in huge garden. Nice cup of green tea when you're done. (Garden of Nijo palace, Kyoto)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Funny lights, lots of metal piping, and music a bit like J-Pop is how the Eurotrash while away the evenings. Apparently.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
James won't blog much this week. He is busy finishing a paper which has a deadline, while the firey angel of jetlag attempts to thwart him. (ceiling of Karlskirk, Vienna)
Monday, April 27, 2009
Typical jules-eye-view at the EGU. There is a talk going on somewhere at that glowy bit in the distance. As you can see scientists dress dull. This is so as to not distract from the beauty of the science.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My talk tomorrow directly follows a "medal" talk by a famous person. Expect to be mauled. (The kitten lives at Schonbrun zoo, Vienna)
Abandoned the architectural chaos of Japan for the refined historical beauty of Vienna. Or as James described it, "Shinagawa without the cute bits".
Sunday, April 19, 2009
My own rubbish attempt at capturing the quintessence of Kyoto sakura (cherry blossom). Nanzenji in early April.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Green shoots of recovery. The brightest Annan (James' mum) suggested removing the wisteria from the parched desert of its pot to real earth. First flower bud in 8 years! I wonder if the world ought to employ my Mother In Law to similarly fix the world economy. Hope it's not just a dead wisteria bounce.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
James says I must blog the tulip. The bulb was purchased in Schipol airport at Christmas. Make the most of it. We don't expect it to come up next year; the scrape of earth qualifying as our "garden" is not a hospitable environment.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This is what the people in the previous post were looking at through their cameras. A kimono fashion show at the textile museum and shop in Kyoto.
Monday, April 13, 2009
All Japanese travel light and yet keep both an umbrella and a camera about their person at all times. Just in case. This photo was taken at a touristy place in Kyoto so those people who are embarrassingly cameraless in this picture must be from abroad.
Today was also Kamakura matsuri (festival). This is when the men of Kamakura take the opportunity to dress scantily (hip-length cotton top and posing pouch) and prance the 2 miles up the main street carrying big weird heavy things (mikoshi). A few women do some prancing too, but remain more modestly attired. This picture shows some of the less under-dressed taking a bit of a break from their sweaty manly work.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Happy Easter! They say 2% of the Japanese are Christian (same as the UK then?), and today they were all in Yamate Sei Ko Kai / Christ Church.
Despite a climate change of +10C in summer compared to the UK, we can cope quite well with Japanese summers. The summer beach-life, however, which turns the Japanese deep ruddy brown, is still beyond us. But early morning in mid-April on Kamakura beach, with a thermos of coffee, muffins and surfer boys and girls to entertain us wasn't so bad.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
No not an odd algae bloom but cherry blossom in the pond, which moves over the 30 second exposure to make the swirls. Night time at Hachimangu, Kamakura.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Yes, he's a Twitcher! The bird he shot was a greenish pigeon a long way away, high up in a tree in Kyoto botanical garden. James' comparatively tiny Canon superzoom took a good enough shot to enable identification of the bird as an Aobata.