the solace of showers

It’s such a shame that water is such a precious and limited resource.

Coming home from a long day at work, or after any emotionally taxing day, there’s nothing better than a nice long shower – hot in winter, and ice cold in summer.

For me, I don’t think it’s as much about the feel of the water on my skin as it is about the complete immersion in the sound. Sure, the cooling/warming feeling (as the season requires) is soothing, and certainly helps to ease the tension from my body, but what I’ve come to realise is that the sound – the noise – is paramount.

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Asahikawa pt 1 – Asahiyama Zoo

I’ve lived my whole life in Australia, in a place that doesn’t snow. Growing up, I’d watch American movies and TV shows (and probably some British ones too), and always see those stereotypical scenes of children waking up to snow (usually on or around Christmas), and I’d think how wonderful that would be (on any day of the year). So you can probably imagine my delight, on the morning February 7th (yes, these posts are taking a lot longer than I’d originally foreseen), when I peered out the window of our Sapporo hotel, and saw flurries of glorious snow falling from the sky!

The snow continued to fall quite heavily as we left our hotel and made our way to Susukino Station. I could not take the smile from my face. (I was probably also still on a high from the Sapporo Snow Festival the day before.)

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afternoon contemplation

Today was a lovely day. A blue sky, mild weather sort of day. Brisbane springtime at its best. Around mid-afternoon, after having met up with a friend for lunch and a general catch up, I made my way over to my favourite grassy spot in South Bank to just sit and relax.

I’ve gotten into the habit of always (or almost always) bringing pen and paper, and a novel with me wherever I go; but today I’d also brought earphones, and decided I just wanted to sit back, listen to music, and people-watch. (Well, initially I did try to write a bit, but the inspiration wasn’t really coming, so I didn’t worry about it.)

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where did my winter go?

July isn’t even over yet, and the weather’s already warmed up so much. I went for a run the other night and felt like it was summer already. I’ve spent this last week lamenting the premature end of winter. Even in the early hours of the morning, or late at night, I can comfortably walk around outside without a second layer – just a t-shirt and jeans is enough.

Time to seek colder climates further south, perhaps?

It is only July, and I’m already dreading summer. If this is what July is like, how much are we going to suffer in December? I can’t believe there are people still walking around in coats and jumpers. Maybe they’re holding on to some last shred of hope, an illusion of winter.

Well, at least the coldest part of this winter was colder than any part of last winter…




It is finally cold here. In the last few days, the temperature has dropped, the chill has set in, and it is finally cold.

It’s the sort of cold that makes me shiver and makes my teeth chatter. It’s the sort of cold that makes my fingers freeze as I type, and makes me contemplate searching for my gloves (but I probably won’t). It’s the sort of cold that gives me hope that maybe – just maybe – we will have a “proper” winter this year.

It is gloriously cold.

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not the house I was expecting

One Sunday afternoon, when it was scorchingly hot, I went to the study, which is eastward facing, to open the windows up and let some air in. Upon doing so, I discovered a small fly, buzzing around the fly-screen, perhaps trying to figure out a way to get out.

(I remember my mum saying a number of times that day that it was probably cooler outside than it was inside, but I’m sure it was equally humid outside despite the breeze (when there was one). Besides, we always had the option of air-con if it came down to it. (Even in extreme heat, as it was that day, I like to use air-con sparingly because, you know, it uses a lot of electricity, and apparently I care about that kind of thing.))

This particular window, at which I found the fly, has bars on in, so it’s not exactly easy fly-swatting territory. I also didn’t want to use fly spray because, well, that doesn’t always work effectively, and they fly off to die somewhere else, possibly not to be discovered until some days later. Besides, the wind was blowing inward, so that probably would not have worked. (Truth be told, I think I was suffering so much from the heat, I didn’t even think about fly spray at all.)

As luck would have it, though, there were some small plastic cups on a table nearby (not for drinking purposes, but from some craft thing my sister had done and subsequently finished/abandoned). I’m sure the fly was also struggling under some form of heatstroke (I exaggerate here, because I don’t think that I was really that out of it, but I’m sure the heat has affected my memory to some degree) because it didn’t take much time for me to trap it in the cup. Once this was done, I took it outside, to the furthest corner of the backyard, to release it, with the hope that it wouldn’t follow me back inside.

I think I must’ve been wearing something quite lucky that day because when I got to the back of the yard, I happened to notice that there were not one but …several (honestly, who thinks about counting things when all you want to do is get rid of a fly and go back inside and read a book?) – several spiders’ webs in the apple guava tree in the corner.

Perfect, I thought, I’ll release it into one of these spiders’ webs, and then I’ll know it’s not going to follow me back inside.

And it actually was as easy as that: I held the cup up to the nearest web, removed the scrap of paper I was holding over the opening, and the fly flew right into the web and was thus ensnared.

I watched it for a moment, and the first thought that occurred to me was, Perhaps there is a bit of Slytherin in me.

I don’t know why I had this thought – I hadn’t been re-reading or re-watching the Harry Potter series; hadn’t had any recent discussions about it with friends; hadn’t even been thinking about it that day (not that I remember, anyway) – but there it was, that one off-hand thought.

When I was younger, and I did those personality quizzes that told you which House you’d be in if you went to Hogwarts, I usually got, well, pretty much any of the other three (mostly Ravenclaw, if I remember correctly, because I was a bit of a nerd – and arguably still am). I cannot remember ever feeling inclined to select the options that would put me in Slytherin (they were always multiple-choice, and it was always obvious which options leaned toward which House). (Side note: I’m really liking how my spell-checker is fully accepting all of these HP-related words.)

But, of course, in life, there are rarely absolutes when it comes to things like personality categories, especially as determined by poorly designed quizzes. I must say, though, that I released the fly into the web as a matter of ensuring it would not bother me again, not because I wanted to be mean to the fly. (I also kind of wanted to see what the spider would do with the fly, but it just completely ignored it. How rude!)