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Weekend Away PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kay Soede   
Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Sorry about not updating this for a while.  Shee-chan’s computer has been having few problems, and that’s the only computer I can use while Zac is asleep.  As I need plenty of time to update website, I can’t really do it without using Shee-chan’s computer!! 

And then we went away on Sunday & Monday with family members.  I took Obah-chan(grandama) out for her 88th, Mum for her 64th, Shee-chan(auntie) for her 60th, and Keiichi(cousin) for his 33rd birthday.  We stayed at Kamogawa Sea World and watched dolphins, killer whales and sea lions shows J  Zac had a great time!!  It was also the first time for Zac to sleep on futon – without being in cot.  As he didn’t have very long nap during the day, and he had very exciting day, he didn’t have any problem falling asleep J  He enjoyed the Onsen (Hot water springs) for the first time as well . . . but unfortunately, I couldn’t bring the camera in!! 


This was a beautiful yellow flowers called Nanohana.  I don’t know what they are called in English, but you can get cooking oil out of this type of flowers.


Zac didn’t realise his beloved B3 was sitting there J 

They are sun-drying these fish.  We call them “himono”.  You just need to grill them for a little while, and they are very yummy!!


These sheep were at the place called “Mother Farm”.  They are so quiet, and basically, just standing there on the stage for us to take photos!!!  There were about 20 of them just standing there . . . amazing . . .
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 March 2008 )
Zoo and Mayumi PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kay Soede   
Friday, 14 March 2008

Yes, we went back to the zoo again.  Well, I’ve bought a season pass, which is only $24, so I have to use it to get my money worth J  It will be spring school holidays here in about a week or so – then, it will be too crowded for us to go for a couple of weeks!! 

This time, our good friend, Mayumi was with us J  She has been a good friend for many years as well!  I’ve known her as long as I know Dave, but I only really got to know her just before I left Japan to go to Australia, and it’s been good to have her visit us every year since.  Most of our friends in Australia remembers her as “surfer girl”, as she is happy to go to the beach on her own if I’m in the middle of GNW or some other stuff.  I hope she keep coming every year in the future, too!!  She baby-sat Zac for us when we went up to the Blue Mountains for our friends’ wedding, so Zac remembered her well J 

This is the rhino I took a photo of on our first visit here. (Zoo Part 4)  It was in the shed today, and it was right in front of us!!  It’s HUGE, and I could see the horn was actually cut off.  It looked like it’s been sawed of, as it was quite rough and I could see the zigzag where it was cut off.  It must be because he is so big – for the safety reasons . . .

 I was trying to put Zac on the top of this locust, but he just wouldn’t go anywhere near it.  I think it might be a bit too realistic for Zac . . .

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 March 2008 )
More Old Precious Friends PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kay Soede   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Some more precious friends J  Sawako and Romi are my friends from high school in U.S.  They have been my friends for all these years and we all have our own family.  It’s so strange to talk about raising each of our children, and have different level of problems.  Zac is the youngest of all, so it is good to be able to hear the advice from other parents who have older children J 


This beautiful tree had many little yellow flowers and had wonderful scent.  I don’t really know what it’s called, but we walked around the garden that used to belong to the emperor, and there were many pretty flowers. 

This is some type of cherry blossom.  Most popular and well known type of cherry blossom hasn’t blossomed yet, but this is very similar, and very pretty J  When the most well know type (Someiyoshino) blossoms, there will be festivals everywhere, and lots of people have parties underneath those trees.  I will take some of those photos and upload them near future. 


These ones are plums.  They are at their full bloom – or towards the end of it now.  But still pretty J  Zac was just about to fall asleep then – he fell about a minute after this photo was taken!!
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 March 2008 )
Shamley Green breakdowns cont'd PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Soede   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Whilst Kay has been enjoying time with friends in Japan, Dave has been playing in the mud. Our wastewater treatment system pumps water through polypipe and out through sprinklers connected at various points. A low lying area inside the driveway has been consistently wet for a few months; due to the extremely high rainfall in late December and all of January and half of February we just thought it was because it was slightly lower than the rest of the area. However despite quite a few sunny days and everything else drying out this area hasn't, remaining muddy and wet and convincing me something was wrong.


So I started digging up the pipe and discovered a leak near the last sprinkler, but it wasn't big enough to convince me that was the only problem.

The pipe kept running past the last sprinkler (underground) so I wondered if the end cap had come off, and began trying to find the end. What a frustrating and pointless exercise. The pipe ran in random curves and was deep enough that basically I had to dig it up along its length from the last sprinkler. That was annoying me as it was muddy and slow going, but every time I tried to pull the pipe out it wouldn't move - I couldn't see any alternative.


Then I thought "bugger it, there has to be a better way to find the end or large leak" and thought a bit and came up with a working solution. I pinched the feed line to each of the sprinklers using a cable tie so they wouldn't get any water, and went and ran a laundry tap full bore, which forced the pump to run. I was hoping to hear or see the leak and that's exactly what happened - water bubbling out of the ground. Eureka!


So I could dig up the pipe which turned out to be the end, and discovered the end had a tap, which had been buried, in an open position. No wonder that area was always wet!! What had probably happened is someone drove over the tap and buried it - once buried, out of sight out of mind!

So I fixed the leak, turned the tap off to block the end of the hose, and shortened the hose and ran it up through the last sprinkler pipe protector, which is well away from any possible car park spot. So it shouldn't happen again!

With no Kay here the fridge has seen better days too . . .

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 March 2008 )
Guess what . . . yes, more zoo photos PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kay Soede   
Monday, 10 March 2008

It’s been a while since I put up some zoo photos – so here they are.  (We didn’t go anywhere today, as it was cold & rainy!!) 


This is an animal called Orangutan.  They are between gorilla & chimpanzee in size.  At Tama Zoo, they have towers high above, and the Orangutan can go for sky walk along.  Unfortunately, that skywalk thing is closed during winter – maybe because they can become slippery?  I’m hoping they will reopen before we have to leave here, so we get to see it!! 



This pigeon looking bird was at Ueno Zoo.  Just inside of the entrance, there is panda section on the right hand side, and because people normally have to line up to go see pandas, this one and few other interesting birds were there at the line up area.  This one was puffy and pretty J 



It was funny to see the largest penguins inside of cage.  Apparently, those brown ones are babies.  Even though they are same size as adults, they can drown if they are free, therefore they were inside of the cage!!  


I think Zac might be more interested in this girl than bears . . . 

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 March 2008 )
Ayaka & Kiyoko (Ayaka's mum) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kay Soede   
Sunday, 09 March 2008
We went to Ayaka’s belly dance performance today.  The studio was in Shibuya (quite a large station & city in the centre of Tokyo), so we went there a bit early, and decided to explore a little bit.  I should have taken a photo or video footage from a bit higher spot, but there is this huge intersection at the station.  Some of you might have seen it as an image of Japan before, but basically, when the pedestrian signal becomes green, you will see up to 1000 people crossing!!!  I will try to remember taking a photo or whatever next time I’m there . . .  


Ayaka only started belly dancing recently, but she was very good J  She has lost heaps of weight, and she was very pretty!!  It might be hard to tell from this photo – as flowers and Zac are covering her well . . . 
Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 March 2008 )
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