Tag Archives: love



Japanese people love their trees and I love watching them enjoy their trees.  This time of year, my favourite back home, is called the change of leaves, when the colours turn from green to red and yellow and orange.  People have their favourite spots, either out of the city or in Yoyogi Park, and they drive there at weekends to drink in the colours and to mark another season’s passing.

Red and yellow and orange as descriptions don’t even begin to do the spectacle justice.  The oranges are burnished coppers, the yellows are really a thousand shades of ochre, while the reds glow like the embers of the fire that once fuelled summer’s heat.

An old couple come into the park near to where I am reading, she wears a face mask, he is in a powered wheelchair.  He rolls himself into position in front of the lake and she prepares to take his picture, as I wonder if he is sick, if perhaps he thinks it will be his last chance to enjoy this season.  I am sitting behind where she is standing and as I glance up – thinking should I offer to take one of them together or would that spoil it – I see him look at her with such love in his eyes and a beautiful smile for her picture that my heart stretches in a way that would break it into a million pieces, were it not for the agility exercises it has been performing over the last few weeks, since we walked in this park at the end of a late summer’s day.

Picture of Yoyogi Park by Julia

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Filed under Japan

Sugar and spice

Once again, Grace Dent has written the kind of column that should have all intelligent people running around the room cheering and air-punching. I had only made it as far as this paragraph:

Sotomayor spent 2010 transforming judicial thought on the “right to remain silent”, while Gaga was probably dancing about a stadium – nips out and wearing backless chaps made of tampons – hooting: “Woo! Leetle monsterz. Female empowerment!” This sort of irony is par for the course in list-land

before I was madly in love with every comma and pledging to call my first born daughter Grace in her honour.  Then she got me with this:

Oh pipe down, you female transorbital neuroendoscopy specialists at the back, Coleen has a children’s book deal and will almost certainly help choose the colour of the cover

and I realised that I must start petitioning someone for statues of Ms Dent to be placed as warning beacons where teenage girls congregate, such as outside Top Shop changing rooms and near bus stations when the local boys’ schools are chucking out.  I feel like I have been banging on about this since those far-off days when Posh took back Beckham after the Rebecca Loos ‘episode’, but what the hell are we teaching girls by our examples, that it really doesn’t matter how much your other half disrespects you by chasing other women so long as he keeps buying you nice things to compensate?

And should it follow that Hillary Clinton is less powerful now that her name is on the desk in her own right, than she was in the days when she had unlimited access over the pillows to the guy in the top job?  I would love to see someone suggest that to her face, as I think I would probably enjoy watching her tear that person a new one – therefore aren’t I lucky that just this exact scenario already went down:

Good on her, too.  We have reached a pretty poor pass when women are prepared to forego a place at the table in lieu of a position or three between the sheets.  Nor should any good men be made to feel unsettled by such rhetoric as lads, it is just as much in your interest to declare yourself a feminist if you have a mother, sister, daughter or wife whose horizons are being narrowed by this bullshit.

The problems of the world cannot be resolved simply by one side winning the battle of the sexes.  They require a balance between the hunter-gatherer stuff you do so well and the empathy and intuition that we bring to the table.  Any society which leaves the serious business to the men, while the women stand pouting on the sidelines is soon going to fall apart at the seams, because, as a great philosopher once wrote, it may be a man’s, man’s, man’s, world but it sure as hell wouldn’t be nothing without a woman.  Isn’t that the truth.

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Filed under Minitrue

Worry not, all things are well

I am probably too late getting to The National, as I would bet they already pick up quite an amount of praise in the right quarters, but given that I don’t really listen to any radio stations or music shows these days, I am often to be found a pleasing couple of months behind the hype machines.  When I was a kid it would have filled me with horror not to have an opinion on the latest band on the day of their album release, or at the very least, one day before you had one, but I suppose letting go of all that ‘now, now, now’ crap is one of the true joys of getting older.

This song I first found via an Andrew Weatherall mix which I wrote about a while ago and so is probably unavailable now (or try searching the internet, you may be able to hunt it down).  I have not stopped playing it since that day, and this beautiful song is one of the many reasons why it remains so essential, never failing to up my joie de vivre.

The next time I fall for someone, I want this to be on the soundtrack.  The search for love essentially does boil down to looking for someone to hide behind the sofa with, in winter, having slept in your clothes.  Right?  What else is there?


Filed under Miniluv