Lovely weather for a ramble round Gion Matsuri yesterday and my mind went rambling too. To me Gion Matsuri isn’t simply a special time, it’s an island in time; a special place that magically reappears once a year, and as I wander the crowded streets my mind takes me back to all the other Gion festivals I have attended over the years… In a way I wouldn’t be surprised, to bump into my younger selves wandering about too. You always bump into someone you know at Gion Matsuri…
Here are some images…
After a couple of hours the heaving streets became too intense, so we escaped to Taisho’s apartment where he was holding a rooftop party. It was nice to look at the crowds from above.
And then after wandering through the streets a little more, we retired to bar Kisui and had a photo session with our friend Setchan.
And then we went home, following a smaller parade that we encountered by chance and which took us through the streets practically to our door.
The very first time Mewby and I hung out she showed me pictures of her dog, Rui, and talked a lot about how cute she was. It was clear she really loved the animal, but never having been a pet owner it didn’t really mean much to me. That was until I went to visit her house for the first time, and was greeted by this little, white, fluffy bundle of affection, joy – and an irrepressible desire to lick my face. Naturally I fell completely in love and have continued to look forward to seeing Rui whenever I have visited Mewby’s home, or on occasion, when Mewby brought her to visit me. A sweet, gentle, kind dog, she never barked except to complain when we left the house and she followed Mewby everywhere in evident joy in their companionship. But she was also a very delicate animal and sometimes when I looked at her I would feel a strange twinge of pity that for some reason always manifested itself as a mysterious pain in my arm… Rui was born with congenitally weak organs and had to go on a special diet some time ago because her liver wasn’t functioning properly. Some time ago she also went blind. Nevertheless she remained enthused with love and still had an uncanny ability to find the exact right moment to surprise me with a quick lick to the face. However, in recent weeks she stopped eating completely and her condition worsened. I’m sad to say that she passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but glad that Mewby was with her and that she went peacefully. She was just a little over 5 years and 8 months old – very young for a dog. However, that little dog had a big impact and we will all miss her. My thoughts are with her family in their time of grief at losing their youngest member. Goodbye gentle Rui. Thank you for bringing us so much happiness. And a safe and happy journey to you.
Happier times: Mewby, Rui & her mum last New Year's Eve.
It was lovely to see them. As we have so often done before, the Mulrys, my mother and myself made a little day trip to that lovely North Yorkshire seaside town Whitby… Click through to the individual pictures on flickr if you would like a little more information.
And finally Saltburn with Mr. Potter… Here’s Mike Potter and his girlfriend Lisa who I met for the first time.And a charming lady she is too.
This is the place we had lunch at, Virgo’s in Saltburn. Saltburn is a lovely old Victorian seaside town on the wild north-east coast and Virgo’s is a very nice bistro/cafe with a great menu that includes several vegetarian dishes.
I had pasta with pesto and pine nuts. All the ps.
These two had some other stuff… We were all really satisfied anyway.
It was too cold and windy for walking so we retreated to the Ship – an old smugglers pub for pints and pirate impressions.
It’s always good to see Mr. Potter. Here’s a little Teesside moon from the journey back…
On Sunday 5th June we had a picnic by the Katsura River in Matsuo. “PinPin” means “full of beans”. We played sports, ate, drank and had a lovely day – and the weather amazingly stayed fine until the evening so we were very lucky. A lovely day with my lovely friends.
No. It’s just Nana’s leaving party. As the old shepherd’s saying goes:
Great party Saturday night,
Sore heads Sunday morning.
Those old shepherds knew a thing or two about parties.
Far right we see the guest of honour looking surprised/pleased/stoked.
We didn’t have any shepherds on Saturday but we did have LEGENDARY TIMES and I can even remember some of them. Ah, come back Nana and we’ll do it all again! This is my personal favorite picture:
Here are some more (a video will follow if and when I can bestir myself to make it):
Now, this is just my opinion mind, but I think this picture (taken by Yutaka from up a tree) is really kind of awesome.
This is Yutaka up said tree. Saturday, a bunch of us went out to Matsuo for a picnic. There’s a big park there along the Katsura River and all you can see is trees, and hills and GREEN. Oh, and all the little families taking advantage of the sunny weather and the short Golden Week break and having picnics of their own. Anyway, we had a very happy day, eating, drinking, running around, throwing various objects about and generally having a bit of a laugh. Here are the rest of those pictures.
And here is one last unrelated picture from last night at Urbanguild.
Pictured are Yutaka, Yoshida-kun and Ayumi. All of us had a lovely time watching the final show from local band elements (about which you can read here). Guest drummer Shigeki Fujii is a friend of Yutaka’s, so we got a discount on the tickets too(tee-hee!). Thanks Shigeki Fujii!