- Our last customer leaves a bit early so we set out at ~11PM Saturday night.
- Coming up our road, a medium-sized animal jumps out and gets hit by the car. Tanuki? Arai-guma?
- About 2AM there’s a thunder and tornado warning on the radio. Lightning nearby but no tornadoes.
- On Sunday the unstable atmosphere continues, with rain till late afternoon. There’s been big tornado damage in Shizuoka prefecture.
- Do some weed-slashing and get a big leech on my thigh. Ugh. Luckily it hadn’t started sucking blood, but still quite a job to get it off. Those things are really tough, as if they were made of rubber.
- A bit too chilly to have dinner outside. A nice full moon though.
- Monday is beautiful with hot sun and a fresh breeze. (lots of UV)
- All through Golden Week we hear of mountain accidents on the radio, with numerous fatalities, mostly people over 60.
- I get the weed-cutter out – first time of the year, and I have to clean the air filter to get it to start. Still, after 25 years it’s not doing too badly.The new growth is soft and lush and my boots get well spattered with green debris.
- Bamboo shoots are coming up – I can make some pickle and curry.
- Min. temp. 4°C, max. 24°C
- Leave Nagoya late on a gorgeous day, spoilt somewhat for me by a stinking cold.
- Only “new” onions in the supermarkets now. Delicious in salads, but too watery for making sauces.
- Swallows’ numbers are decreasing apparently – modern buildings don’t have the shape they want for their nests – but there are a couple of families under the eaves of one of the shops we call at.
- A big gang of aging bikers pass the other way. Once they retire they won’t be restricted to Sundays for their outings.
- A perfect evening to eat outside, but with my cold I don’t want to inhale wood smoke so we pass. Ah well. It turns out to be quite chilly anyway, and the house is still nice and dry. When the Rainy Season hits it’ll be good and damp.
- Monday morning is paradisiacal (except for my cold) with a clear sky,fresh breeze, new green leaves everywhere, the buzz of an occasional insect and the call of the uguisu.
- Myoga shoots are coming up.
- In this dry weather the leeches seem to be keeping a low profile and I can do some weed-slashing without loss of blood.
- It’s nice weather for lizards – they’ve been around a while now already.
- We dig out a couple more bamboo shoots.
- Min. temp. 6°C, max. 21°C
- A hazy warm day. I got up late so we leave Nagoya after 1 PM. At time like this you notice how long it takes to get out of town, even heading northwards which is the shortest way to the countryside. Finally after a good hour, passing Inuyama we are suddenly surrounded by greenery. The fresh pale spring leaves are already getting their full colour.
- Even so, we get to the house in time to do a bit of digging before it gets dark. The chillies will start being planted in a couple of weeks.
- I don’t get up at 6 AM to see the annular eclipse of the sun.
- Monday is scorching hot, but the breeze is still fresh.
- The remaining bamboo shoots have all been eaten – wild boar?
- The ojisan from down the road has taken out his deer trap – no luck?
- Min. temp. 6°C, max. 23°C
- It’s hot!! Summer is on its way.
- We stop at the “road station” and buy baby turnips (these are delicious), a bag of red radishes, 2 big white radishes and some bamboo shoots. The leaves are wilting but after an hour in cold water they plump up incredibly – even more the next day.
- Rice planting is well under way in fields we pass.
- Open the front door, and inside the house is nice and cool – not damp or mouldy at all. This will change soon enough…
- There’s some thunder at the end of the day, but it clears and we have dinner under the stars. Thai squid salad, whole new potatoes deep-fried with soy dressing, crispy “age” tofu fried slowly in a little oil and eaten with grated ginger, and some of that bamboo shoot, stewed and topped with dried fish flakes. Accompanied by a cheap but enjoyable Chilean white wine. A feast. I feel lucky.
- Monday starts out nice – shorts and T-shirt weather – but at 1:00 we’re visited by big clouds and thunder. We hurry to put away the futons which have been airing outside, and T quickly finishes planting out the goya seedlings she’d brough from Nagoya. At 1:30 it starts raining, there’s lightning, then heavy rain. The temperature suddenly drops some 10°C and my T-shirt feels ridiculously inadequate. The rain changes to hail, which gets bigger, maybe fingertip size. At 1:32 there’s a tornado warning on the radio! At 1:45 the hail stops, leaving our valley full of cold mist. At 1:55 the sun comes out, but it’s still quite a bit colder than before. T’s freshly planted goya seedlings have had all their leaves ripped off. Apparently in the USA they get hail the size of baseballs in some places, but this was a first for us.
- Min. temp. 8°C, max. 25°C