Kazeno Bakon Sand (Bacon Sandwich of Wind)

This is a novel written by Yoshiki Shibata. The protagonist is Naho who runs a café in a highland. She left Tokyo to separate from her husband, because he persistently abused her until she suffered from depression. Although he had never accepted her requirement for divorce, Naho started her new life in the countryside anyway.

            When people imagine a life in the countryside, it must be something rustic and peaceful. However, this book describes the severe realities.   Kaho faced on many problems. First of all, running a café in the village was not a lucrative job.  She struggled to earn a living in the deserted village. Although it had thrived as a romantic highland resort in decades ago, the boom was over, and ruins of souvenir shops, restaurants and accommodations remained in a desolate condition. Therefore, it was difficult for her to regularly attract many customers.  Secondly, she found it was not easy to communicate with overly intrusive local people. In the countryside, many people are curious about newcomers. Finally, Kaho was amazed by the unimaginable cold in winter and high cost of indoor heating.

In this book, Kaho was supported by good village people and managed to maintain her business. Also, she could finally divorce from her husband. Then, in the last part of the story, her new love with a village man was hinted. I felt it was a little bit far-fetched.   If this was a nonfiction novel, the ending might be different.  She might have given up running the café and returned to Tokyo.  

Nowadays more and more Japanese young people and young families have moved to the countryside.  However, watching their YouTube or reading the blogs, some of them have already abandoned their new lives.  That means only dreaming of an ideal pastoral life is dangerous.  I highly recommend people to read this story before they make decisions.

            I like traveling around highlands.  However, they might be the best places to long for and visit occasionally just as a tourist.

  

 

田舎暮らし、憧れますが この本を読むと理想と現実はかけ離れているな、と感じます。

The End of Autumn

On October 21, I climbed Mt. Gozaisho with my husband. We have trekked this mountain countless times because it is one of the best mountains as training for climbing North Alps Mountains in summer. When we had climbed it the previous week, the weather was fine, and we could enjoy the cool air and sweet smell of leaves. However, this time, the cold gusts were blowing continuously, and the whole mountain was howling furiously. As I am especially sensitive to cold, my hand went numb. Without exchanging any words, we determined it was the last trek to Mt. Gozaisho of this year.

            In the mountains, winter comes much earlier than the towns.

 North Alps Mountains are already slightly covered with snow, and the mountain huts closed in the middle of October.

            Therefore, around this time of the year, I used to feel sadness, because it is quite a long time until we climb those beautiful mountains next year. From November to March, we just climb neighboring small mountains, Mt. Kinka and Mt. Hatobuki repeatedly.

             

            This year, I decided to spend this lonely season more positively.

Firstly, I purchased several novels on trekking and life in mountains and highlands. Then, I made some changes to my room. I got rid of unnecessary things, changed the color of lights from cool white to warm orange, and changed bed linen to one made of fluffy fleece.

Now I feel as if I am staying in a cozy mountain lodge. In this room, I read those novels and immerse myself in the world.  I feel it is just fun rather than consolation.  I finally found a good way of enjoying this season!

 

 

今年も私と主人の登山シーズンは終わりました。北アルプス八ヶ岳はすでに冠雪しています。御在所や伊吹山も登山道が凍結し、冷たい強風が吹きます。中高年のわたしたちは これからは近所の低山を繰り返し登ることになります。

この季節はいつも寂寥感に襲われるのですが、今年はちょっと違います。部屋を綺麗に片づけてから山小屋風に照明やベッドリネンを変えて、山や高原の生活を描いた小説を揃えました。気分は暖かい山小屋の中!このちょっと物寂しい季節を去年までとは違った気持ちで楽しみます!

 

             

The Glass Castle

This is a non-fiction story written by Jannette Walls, an American author and journalist. Without preliminary knowledge, many readers might not be able to believe it is a true story.

            Her father is smart. However, he just chased  his dream and couldn’t continue working as an employee even though their family was struggling with destitute poverty.  In addition to that, he suffered from severe alcoholism.  In order to buy liquor, he stole the money his children had saved and hid under the bed.

            Her mother was like a dreaming girl. She believed she had a talent as an artist and was devoted to painting without paying attention to the child.

            I was shocked when Janett scavenged the trash bin at school to find something to eat. I couldn’t believe why her parents didn’t care about the children when they were starved. 

  However, Janett never bore a grudge against them. Instead of that, she made an effort to survive under such terrible conditions with her siblings.

            After reading it, I thought about why Janett could surmount it and finally succeeded as a journalist and an author.

            Firstly, occasionally, she could feel a flicker of love in her parents. She was happy when her father was sober.  He was quite an attractive man and told her various interesting and exciting stories.  Even though her mother seemed to ignore parenting, occasionally she taught children important things in life, for example, not to have prejudice against black people.  In addition to that, they gave their children a fundamental education such as reading and mathematics at home, and she was smarter than other students at school. Through such favorable experiences, Janet could believe she was surely loved by parents.

            Secondly, she got along with her sister and brother. Whenever miserable problems happened, they tried to overcome them together and do something positive.  I believe such bonds between her siblings encouraged her so much, and it gave her courage to face difficulties.

            Finally, she could believe her possibilities and future. Instead of complaining about the parents, she always thought about what she could do under the circumstances. By accumulating such efforts, she finally left home and started a new life in New York.

This book taught me the importance of not to abandoning hope and make progress towards the right direction.

 

紅葉の赤岳へ

数年ぶりに八ヶ岳の赤岳に登った。過去の赤岳はいつも稜線に出ると曇っていたり、物凄く強風で寒かったりしたものだが、今回は晴れて富士山をはじめ、雲海の向こうに360度の眺望を見ることが出来ラッキーだった。

 

私は八ヶ岳の紅葉はそれほど期待していなかったので、赤オレンジ黄色の秋景色を沢山みられて嬉しかった。紅葉の甘い香りにも癒された。

 

山頂は私の大好きなNHKドラマ「山女日記」の撮影中だった。NHKスタッフの方は登山者に「ご迷惑をおかけしてすみません」と声をかけてくださり、とても礼儀正しい人たちで感心した。カメラマンの方が「写真をとりましょうか?」と声をかけて下さり、ご厚意に甘えてしまった。主役の工藤夕貴さんに、「ドラマ、これまでの作品は全部見ました。今回も楽しみにしています!」とお声がけをしたら「これもいい作品になると思います」とおっしゃった。美しく素敵な方だ!

登って下山するまで8時間22分の行動時間だった。標準コースタイムより1時間12分遅かったが 早く出発し(3時58分)、12時20分には登山口に戻れたのだから 安全登山と言えるだろう。

健幸堂のホームページ

http://www.kenko7.com/

 

 

 

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コースタイムから1時間遅れ、やっと着いた行者小屋にて

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地蔵の頭より、富士山が大きく見えた

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黄色く色づく横岳をバックに

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赤岳山頂。NHKのカメラマン様が「撮りましょうか?」と声をかけて下さりご厚意に甘える。

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赤岳山頂でロケ準備中のNHKドラマ班

 

The Significance of Paying

Many clients ask me why I am so energetic although my treatments require considerable stamina.  I tell them I treat myself with acupuncture every day and go to an acupuncture therapist once a week.  Then almost everybody says, “It is curious.  You can ask your husband to treat you.  Both of you are therapists, aren’t you?   You can save the time and money.”

But I don’t want to ask my husband to do this, as I think he needs free time to relax.  Instead of treating me, it is better for him to rest and recover his energy. 

However, there are a more important reason I go to a therapy office run by my acquaintance.  I can learn a lot from his therapy.  Both he and I have learned acupuncture and massage technique under  Mr.Kobayashi in Osaka for 23 years.  That means both he and I use similar acupuncture technique.  While taking his therapy, I can remember the lessons and feel their effectiveness.  Paying him for his therapy maintains professionalism.  He will give me his top service, while I can be especially attentive and aware-serious about acquiring hints and techniques from him.

My grandfather always told me, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”  I believe that saying is especially important when you learn something.  I have spent considerable money in learning acupuncture and massage therapy.  The fee for lectures and transportation to Osaka every month is quite expensive.  But that makes me very serious, and I have refined skill every time.   That is a precious treasure I have accumulated over 23 years which nobody can steal.  Therefore, I never regret investing in learning.  I will continue going to acupuncture therapy and taking lessons in Osaka.

Not to mention, in order to continue leaning and paying the fee, I should be very careful not to squander money in something meaningless.  And I am always grateful to my husband’s broad mindedness which has made it possible for me to continue go there for such a long time.

 

 

Increasing Favorite Things

After breakfast, I always have a cup of coffee with a piece of something sweet.  I had believed I like coffee much better than black tea, because the aroma stimulates me, and the bitterness makes the sweet tastier.  However, I had an interesting experience the other day.  An acquaintance gave me a tin of black tea.  The container was very pretty, and I wondered how it would taste.  The next morning, I decided to have the tea instead of coffee.  As soon as I poured boiling water over the tea leaves, the sweet aroma promptly made me feel good.  And the flavor was elegant.  I haven’t thought tea is such a nice drink.  It has changed my notion on black tea.  Then I thought about why I was so moved by it. 

Firstly, the quality of it was superior to ones I had tasted before.  In the first place, not being particularly interested in it, I had not made any effort to find my favorite tea leaves.

Secondly, my palate might have been more refined over the years.  It might be the very time I could really appreciate the subtle flavor.

  That experience gave me a good lesson.  Whenever I have a chance, I should abandon prejudice against food and try it anyway.  I may be able to find new favorite ones and it will certainly make my life more enjoyable.  It can be applied not only to food but other things such as art, movies, books, and music.  I might have matured my sensitivity and developed a greater appreciation of beauty.  This idea makes me excited.

I am grateful to the acquaintance for giving me a chance to think about it.