Sunday, July 11, 2004

Leaving Tomorrow

Yes, it's about that time of year. Tomorrow I go back to blighty for two weeks of warm ale and soapy potatoes, which, just at the thought of it, gives me a dreamy feeling in my stomach. I went out drinking last night, and I got really drunk. It was Jamie's birthday and we met up at this fancy Italian chain restaurant in Hirosaki for some food before heading out to nearby Shirokiya. My head feels really worn out this morning, which must have something to do with the cheap sake I was drinking all night. Of course, I went out on to the mountain again yesterday as usual for my weekly climb. I had my camera with me this time, and I managed to get to the top. If you remember at all, last week I had an umming and arring session with some old boy as to whether the snow-pack was safe to walk on or not. Yesterday the snow had melted back far enough to expose it's underbelly, allowing me to analyse it thoroughly first. I used my crampons, for about thirty steps, then I realised that they were not aiding me at all so I took them off. By the way, this is me on the way back down.

Damn fine figure of a man. Anyway, it was quite nice at the top, and the clouds were just low enough to reveal the odd patch of blue sky. When the sky was open you could see some really cool cirrus clouds floating around, thousands of feet above. Like this:

And on the way back down I took some photos of this little flower that only grows on Mt. Iwaki. Honestly, according to locals this particular species is found nowhere else in the world apart from my local mountain. Pretty cool I think.

So, today I've got to pack up my things, get everything sorted, and ready myself for leaving the country. I still haven't got a hotel booked in Tokyo for tomorrow night so I'm a bit concerned about that. I don't know if the titanium in my arm is going to be a problem going through security. This is Japan after all, and security is a bit of a joke so I'm not too worried about it. I've got my Shinkansen tickets booked for the trip down tomorrow. I have four books to nail over the next three weeks, and one reference book on Japanese grammar. If, for some miraculous reason, I manage to get through those four books in under three weeks, I shall have to confiscate one from my old man's stash like I did last year. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway. I read nearly all of it sat upstairs in a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Shinjuku. It is now one of my favourites; a classic in my mind. Gagging for British turf, I'll update when I'm back home.