Hello, tadaima - it's been a while!
So last year I quit my telephone-jockeying work and moved on to something a little closer to my heart - being involved with the Japanese-Canadian community. While my work days are significantly more fulfilling...they are also far more full. It's hard to catch a breathing break and I certainly can't blog on the job (though I can certainly time-delay my post queues to come out in the mornings, for those of you who do have that luxury!), and the nights are filled up with cooking, commuting and my many hobbies. Plenty of Canadian hobbies (does watching British television count as a Canadian hobby?) but also getting more into the swing of things with my Japanese as well, after a long draught.
I took the JLPT last month - now that was a disaster!
I attended a tea bowl making ceremony. It's actually been almost a year since I did tea properly. Oops!
Yesterday, I carried the mikoshi (shrine) at the JCCC's New Year's Festival!
I made toshikoshi soba on New Year's with my friends.
I suppose I'd been experiencing a bit of cultural burnout, not unlike the sort of thing many JETs go through at the end of their first year in Japan. Luckily, it's been abating, and more recently I've found myself being drawn inexplicably back to writing and researching about Japan - mostly because I have a book idea swimming around my head and, of course, it's best to strike while the iron is hot! So I've been poring over books about the Japanese royal family, Tokyo in the 1970s, womens' studies in Japan and cultural revolution. Reading research material on the subway gives me a much more fulfilling feeling than playing Candy Crush Saga.
Hopefully, as a result, you guys will see more blog posts from me in future. Fingers crossed!