I was down in South Australia for the week-end just gone. It was my first time there, but instead of spending any significant time in Adelaide, I stayed in a small town about two hours north-west (?) of the capital. The fiancé of a good friend of mine was having a bucks’ party, except it wasn’t your typical bucks’ party because I was invited (I’m in the bridal party), so was the fiancee, and their respective families (including lots of little kids between 1 and 13 years of age).
We spent time at the beach, where some of them went boating, kayaking, etc; we had plenty of games and activities for all ages; there was a very insightful quiz about the groom-to-be; and his sister had even hired a caterer for a night. I had a great time, and met a lot of really lovely, down-to-earth people with good senses of humour. My kind of people.
I reckon I could’ve spent the entire day at Odori Park for the Sapporo Snow Festival – just eating, and watching random performances on the snow stages, and drinking hot sake and hot mojitos (yes, hot mojitos are a thing, and they are delicious; plus, with the lime and mint together in a hot beverage, it almost feels like it’s actually good for you) – but, of course, there was more to see, and time was limited!
Yesterday I went to my usual book store to buy a copy of Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. I’d been reading a copy I borrowed from the library, but, having finished reading it on Saturday night, I felt strongly compelled to buy my own copy because I just knew I needed this book in my own collection.
Sadly, there was nothing but an empty space on the shelf where it might have been, and I left the store empty-handed.
Perhaps it was not meant to be… or perhaps I’ll just go search through other book stores until I find it. Maybe I’ll never re-read it in its entirety, but I feel like there are parts that I’ll most probably like to revisit at some point in my life. If nothing else, I feel like it’ll be comforting to have a copy of my own, easily accessible in my home. Sort of like a salve in a literary first aid kit.
Anyway, as you probably gathered from the above paragraphs, and possibly also from other posts in which I’ve mentioned A Tale for the Time Being, I really, really like this book.
I seriously considered not publishing this post (not publicly, anyway). It contains what some might consider sensitive material. I don’t know if I can handle having that on my conscience. Then again, maybe talking about this could be good for some people. How am I supposed to know? Besides, there’s already so much of everything already on the internet, it’s not like this one little post will make a difference.
I ask only that you do not read this in a negative frame of mind, or don’t read it if you think it might put you in a negative headspace. I’ll tell you straight-up that this post is about suicide.
The Sapporo Shiryokan, also known as the Former Court of Appeals, sits at the western-most end of Odori Park. Amidst explorations of the Sapporo Snow Festival, I took a moment to stop and admire this regal building and its neat gardens.
From what I gather from this website, it’s now used as an art gallery and museum of sorts. (Side note: it’s so weird seeing a photo of the gardens (on the website) with so much colour, and none of that snow it was buried under when I was there!)
Well, after all this build up, I’m finally at my Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) post, so I won’t waste any more time. Lots of photos in this one too! (Well, it’s a lot compared to my usual posts. I actually took SO MANY photos, it was so hard to pick just a few to include in this post.)
This was February 6th, the first day of the 68th Sapporo Snow Festival, which would run for an entire week. Even after wanting to attend this event for so long, I don’t think I really knew what to expect. I mean, I knew there’d be impressive snow sculptures, but, honestly, I knew little else about the festival. But I was so excited, and I was probably on a high the whole day.
At the end of our holiday, when I asked KF what part of the trip was her favourite, her answer was Sapporo, which both surprised me (because she doesn’t like cold weather) and didn’t surprise me (because it was always going to be my favourite). Continue reading