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Month: April 2014

Wrong Way Round – Day 21

Wrong Way Round – Day 21

Hamatonbetsu – Wakkanai (浜頓別 – 稚内) 95km Up here in the far north of Hokkaido, Hamatonbetsu was like a frontier town, and in a spooky, slightly Lynchian kind of way, all six sets of traffic lights along its dead straight and practically deserted main street were synchronised to change from red to green and back again at precisely the same time. ‘There’s no crime around here,’ said the manager as I was checking out of his business hotel, ‘just car…

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Muzuhashi Jr – Pt.2

Muzuhashi Jr – Pt.2

It has now been three weeks since M Jr was born, and as well as the usual parenting concerns – eg. How do I change a nappy? How do I tell when a bottle of formula has reached the correct temperature? Is it just me or does one of her ears stick out slightly further than the other one? – I have been trying my best to get up to speed with the various traditions and pecularities associated with having…

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Cheapskate’s paradise!

Cheapskate’s paradise!

It is a Muzuhashi family trait to never, ever buy anything unless it’s cut-price, ‘seconds’, sold-as-seen, extremely cheap or, ideally, second-hand, and while as a rule, I have about as much affection for the act of shopping as a footballer does for the act of fidelity, if threatened at gunpoint or bribed with the offer of limited edition New York cheesecake Choco Pie, I will very reluctantly partake if the venue is a recycle shop. Recycle shops are to Japan…

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Death by literature?

Death by literature?

In amongst many newspaper stories commemorating the first anniversary of the earthquake, this one caught my eye for several reasons. Firstly, it is about one of the few people who lost their lives in Ibaraki (there were twenty-four in all – twenty-five if you include another who is still missing), and one of the few who did so as a result of the earthquake rather than the tsunami. Secondly, the events described took place in Mito, which is just down…

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Hi honey, I’m home!

Hi honey, I’m home!

In case any of you have been wondering where I had disappeared to, this picture should give you a clue. Yes, over the Christmas holidays, Mrs M, M Jr and myself went to the good old U of K, mainly to see friends and relatives for the first time in almost two years, but also to sample as much great (or not so great, as the case may be) British grub as was humanly possible. So, once the jet lag…

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