Sunday, February 26, 2006

A lady of leisure

Hi everybody, it's been a while since we've posted anything so there is plenty to catch up on.
At the beginning of February I left Martin on his own for a few days and went to Kyushu, the southern most part of Japan, with some other ladies of leisure from Hiroshima. Kyushu looks really different from Hiroshima, it's sunny, with lots of palm trees and pineapples everywhere. We stayed at a lovely Ryokan hotel and I decided to make the most of it and booked myself in for a massage at the spa. However, I soon relised that this was not going to be the relaxing massage I hoped for but more a form of torture. I had to get naked and lie on top of a table (face up!!) while some woman scrubbed every inch of my body with a loofah. As if that wasn't enough, she then proceeded to rub me viscously with salt - I was beginning to think I would be raw flesh by the end of this ordeal. To add to the embarrassment a few of my friends arrived just in time to see the woman throw a bucket of hot water over my scorched body. I think it is safe to say, "never assume anything in a foreign country".
Even toilets are not the same here, see picture below (click on the image to see a larger version).

I think the flushing sound and powerful deodorizer buttons are genius and let's not forget the wonderful heated seat facility which is very nice on a cold and frosty morning.

Last weekend Martin and I went on a little jaunt to nearby Takehara City. We spent the morning browsing a few local craft shops, sampling Sake at the numerous Sake breweries and stopped off for lunch at a cute little restaurant. We decided to opt for the local specialty which is soba noodle served on top of a steaming hot roof tile. I know it sounds weird but it is actually a really tasty bite to eat.

We also spotted the smallest clothesline in the world, I know the Japanese are small but this really takes the biscuit.

There are plenty more travel expeditions on the horizon for the McCloskeys, as we are going to see U2 in Tokyo - I am just so excited! Every rock concert that I have ever been to I couldn't see a thing but in the land of the small people I will get to see everything. Unfortunately, this will not be the case for those standing behind Martin. Before the concert we are going to spend a couple of days enjoying the cherry blossom season in Kyoto and then head off to see the bright lights and all the crazy fashion in Tokyo.
Best of all we are going home for a month on the 11th of April for Sheena and Rob's wedding and Steve and Louisa's wedding. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone, going shopping for clothes that fit, eating proper sausages, reading the Daily Telegraph and seeing lots and lots of green grass.
I must go now but a big congratulations to Callum Carten, who got an A in his eleven plus. Well done Caks!
Not much else to report, I'm still taking it easy and Martin's still working hard.
See you all in six weeks - not that I'm counting or anything.

Japanese hanging basket!