Posts Tagged 'Japan'

Earthquake : we’re fine

I’m watching at my tv screen in disbelief as the extent of the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami unfold.

A little bit before 3:00 this afternoon a major earthquake hit Japan. At a magnitude of 8.9, it is the strongest earthquake ever recorded here. Although it was felt the strongest in the northern part of the main island, we felt it in Kyoto too, more than 700km away.

The first impression is that it lasted so long. I first thought I was dizzy, but it turned out the ground was just still shaking. What a strange feeling. I’m used to the normal 15-20 seconds quakes, but this one, more than a minute long, literally left me a little bit off balance.

I grabbed my computer and called my mum in France because I knew she would hear about it as soon as she wakes up. While we were talking, e-mails started to accumulate in my box. Friends and family wanting to know if we were ok. I answered them as soon as I ended the call with my mum. So thankful to have people in my life who care enough to be worried. I sent my share of worried e-mails too, while watching on tv the first waves of tsunami sweep the shores . So thankful we don’t live near the sea or a river.

So tonight, images of devastation filling my eyes and weighting on my heart, I feel incredibly thankful for my friends and family who are safe and sound, for the ones who care for me. And my heart and thoughts go to all the people who won’t be able to go home tonight, for those whose home just vanished in the waters or collapsed after the quake, for those who worry about their loved ones, for those who are scared.

Would you please join me and send a few thoughts their way ?



Cucumbers or the summer has come – 30.05.2009


This time of the year has come again. The time when the only thing I really feel like having on the dinner table is cucumbers. Fresh, watery, green cucumbers. How I love thee ! Add yogurt to these and you have my perfect summer meal.  If I’m in a very generous mood, I might be willing to extend the privilege of the table to small tomatoes and a few olives.

While I like my oven very much most of the year, I think we’ve officially entered the season when this little guy is not relevant any more to my cooking patterns. Sorry oven, it’s not you, it’s me really. Me, and summer in Japan…and summer in Kyoto (which gives another dimension to the words hot and humid). But oven, we’ll share some good times again, I promise. Just wait until Fall for some major (oven) cooking spree.

If you have any summery recipes in your pockets, could you please (really please ?) enrich my repertory ?

Mirrors at the Backyard café – 25.05.2009


I’m away for the week to the place where I used to live before moving to Kyoto. I’m there for a workshop, a seminar, meeting with my (last year’s and this year’s) students, listening to them presenting their research, meeting some friends too. It’s going to be a busy week, but a rich week. A few days with a lot to take in, a lot to enjoy, a lot to discover, a lot to think about. I’m happy and anxious, both at the same time and in the same amount. Some of these students have come so far, some of them from such difficult places. I can only be humbled and inspired.

Whatever this week is made of, I wish you a beautiful one !

Japanese garden at the end of the day – 23.05.2009


After a beautiful kimono exhibition in Osaka, we literally stumbled on this Japanese garden nearby the museum. We walked around for a while, enjoying the quiet of the end of the day. Nice. Very nice.

I really like days like today : new things blended with usual things, each in enough proportion so that the day is interesting without being overwhelming.

Nice !

Have a great weekend everyone !

While shopping – 20.05.2009


It’s been a week of meeting with people.A very rich week too. Experiencing new things, learning,taking part in interesting conversations. It does feel good to interact and communicate. I tend to forget that. I tend to get a little too comfortable in my own little shell. This week is definitely a good reminder that good things also come from the outside. Good stuff.

On a bicycle, passing by – 18.05.2009


Was taking a completely different picture on the other side of the street. Just had time to change direction to catch this little lady, pedaling at quite a hasty pace !

I rarely take pictures of people. I don’t know why. But I kinda liked this photo, so I picked it up as today’s shot. There’s something about this precise moment, and the movement. I love the shadow on the ground (too bad the very last part was cut !)

This Everyday in May project (in my case, a photo a day) is really turning into a learning experience. I’m taking a lot in from the whole process.When I just started, I was wondering of the fact of making the commitment to take and upload a photo a day would influence/change the way I take pictures and what I choose to take.  It hasn’t been very long but I do feel a change. First, the second I’m outside, I tend to be on the look out for things to shoot. It is quite fun, frustrating, interesting, a bit tiring, and the source of many small discoveries – all at the same time ! Second, after just a few days, I got very conscious of my usual patterns and have been trying to get out of some of them. This part is tough because it puts me out of my comfort zone, but it probably is the one I get the most out of (for this exact same reason). It somehow feels as if I were holding a camera for the first time. Which is very exciting, and a bit frustrating also, because I’m not completely satisfied with most of my photos. I am quite happy though, it definitely is an interesting process !


Raindrops on leaves – 16.05.2009


Saturday (updating the picture one day late) was a perfect rainy day.

We wondered in Toriimoto, a beautiful walk on the gentle slopes of a hill. 

Old houses and old streets, the quiet atmosphere of a rainy day (the gorgeous deep colors too), good company. What more can I ask for ?!

Nothing. It was perfect !

(I uploaded other pictures here ! Those raindrops !)

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