For almost all of last year I was very caught up in my study. At PAN I have taken Wade's suggestion and expanded upon it, and decided to call it quantum procrastination, because quantum gives an air of gravity to everything (except amongst 'real' scientists), and because procrastination tends to get me results eventually - so even though the act of procrastinating, and the act of doing something should be complete opposites (and are in fact) having one foot in both camps helps me come to a whole. I learnt this wonderful new word today from a man who is more commonly known for his derring-do on the Simpsons than in the research arena. Who woulda thunk it. I wanted to apply it to the above paragraph, but procrastination and action are not really mirror images, so no chance to twist the metaphor this time around.
Anyway, during this study time the inside of my house saw far too much of me. This self-imposed exile extended through spring, summer, autumn and most of winter, with just a few little sojourns here and there. Well, it's all over for a time, and there is no school to prep for at the moment, and finally, after god knows how many weeks, I have a levity to match the gravity alluded to above. Also, it has pretty much stopped snowing in this part of town. So much so that today and yesterday I took a bike ride.
This is what the weather was like.
Doesn't look promising, huh? However, the air was biting and invigorating, and the sky hadn't started spitting rain and snow pellets before I left home, though one look out my window could have told me it was likely.
The city is warmer than the mountains I was heading towards. It stands to reason. So most of the path that was used by most of the city was cleared nicely and could fit four abreast, or so. Well...maybe two.
However, after about 4 or 5 kilometres, it narrowed to this:
By the time I got here
it had started to rain, and it looked as if there was going to be a bit of slush along that path. So I picked up my bike and turned around (the path was not wide enough to wheel it around).
Still, so much fun I had - and here's a view of some of the things I passed along the way there:
I think this is rice in the yard. There were bags of this banked up around the house, too. The rice would have been harvested in summer, or the end of summer, autumn - really, I don't know, but that sounds about right. This is just a wild guess, and I am not sure precisely what would be happening. The area is famous for its sake, so it could have something to do with that, or maybe it is a regular procedure, or maybe it isn't rice at all.
Blue tin and wooden storage sheds/ factories/ timber yards
cemeteries, or haka, in Japanese. They are more memorials as Japanese are usually cremated.
These operate as kind of greenhouses, nurseries in warmer weather. The last one is almost transparent because there was a lot of rain on the camera phone (and on me).
I didn't wear my down jacket today, and neither did I need it. I did have a jacket, however, just not the down one. I had my gloves off for part of the journey. True, my face was stinging with the rain and pellets on the way home, but the downpour stopped after about ten minutes. Enough time, of course, for my jeans (sans long johns - yaay) to get soaked through, and for my toes to somewhat lose feeling once I returned home. But making the effort to do something always makes me feel good, and being able to actually transform that effort into a tangible experience feels even better.
When I told the ladies at the swimming club that I had been bike riding, they asked "What about the snow?" But even with that, there was excitement and joy, relief, anticipation, in their voices as they declared that March had arrived and the weather was warmer, despite this rain, despite this wind, despite these snow pellets (not hail, not snow). And I think this year I will finally have the energy to implement my wishes. Finally I will be able to get to know this area better.