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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Life🌻 日常生活

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

2022 年 8 月 27日

There is something different about this. これは珍しです。Usually,when you get a letter from your gas/electricity utility company - in my case the Stadtwerk Langen, you expect some smooth marketing spin explaining why they are putting the prices up, but are still ever so competitive...bla bla bla...

Not this letter. It starts without any marketing spin at all. It's a no-frills sentence: " Dear Mr Ruddock, due to the war in the Ukraine there is a further rise in gas prices....." In Japanese it sounds rather less abrupt....."ウクライナでの戦争の影響でガス代の更なる値上げが予想されます." (Thank you Akariさん!)

Lucky those who have the option of a wood-burning stove or an alternative energy source this winter.


 

But for the moment it's a steady hot summer in Hessen. I enjoyed a meal in Frankfurt at the beginning of the week.....two Brits and two Ukrainians...at an Italian restaurant. I like Frankfurt 😊 フランクフルトが好きです!

I've spotted some odd things in my area recently. It seems that Deutsche Telekom has forgotten this public telephone.この電話は忘れられた. I picked up the receiver but it was dead. Pity really, I thought I might get a direct analogue line to Germany's biggest telephone provider. No such luck. I hope they continue to forget about it - I find it rather quaint. (こせつ 古拙 ?)

Further up the road a neighbour has let her pumpkin (or courgette?) creep through the garden fence on to the main high street. This is a charming touch......かぼちゃ? ズッキーニ?

As is this wisteria......藤

Then there is this mural a few streets away...... Any Ghibli film fan will instantly recognise Totoro, from the anime film My Neighbour Totoro. I'm tempted to knock on the door and introduce myself in 日本語 Japanese......😂

But one thing not regarded odd or eccentric is this.......here I am, saving our garden from the drought......is that the remains of a lawn I see? かんばつがあります.....

This house is a bit further away, in the Darmstadt woods. I imagine the estate agent's blurb: "...Idyllically situated woodland house with natural ventilation. Suitable for buyers with strong levitation skills and a background in DIY....." 実は,これは art です

(Photo: Sorensen)

It is in fact KUNST. At the weekend I was with hiking colleagues walking the Internationaler Waldkunstpfad - the International Forest Art Path.....nice and shady thank goodness. That's me in the hat. 私はいつも帽子をかぶっています🤠....

My local woods also reveal things unexpected. I nearly ran over this on my bicycle....

A sturdy wall of chopped wood is an ideal place to park a bike....私の大切な自転車....

Unexpected lakes at Mörfelden.....It is a nearby town, but is separated both physically and mentally from Langen by the Autobahn A5......新しい発見...モーフェルデンの湖.

with a long-disused drinks kiosk....古いカフェ...

and some natural delights.......

One of my friends is an early medieval manuscript expert. Another is a Yoga teacher. I thought I would forward this on to the latter and claim that I was in fact doing a dissertation in 14thc. yoga on the side. This picture was indeed (according to my friendly expert Anna) made in Amiens, France, in 1323.

Look on this and wonder, o mortal. (This is too difficult for me to translate into Japanese 😢.)


 

From now on, I have decided to end each post with one of the kanji characters which I learned on Rena Kato's calligraphy course last year👉 https://www.renakato.com/calligraphy/ . A short paragraph for those who are interested:


Japanese is one of the rare languages that uses multiple writing systems simultaneously, sometimes even in the same sentence (one reason why Google translate can't cope with it😂). It is written by combining Chinese characters, called Kanji, and two sets of syllabic alphabets called hiragana and katakana. Each Kanji represents a meaning, whilst each hiragana or Katakana represents a sound. Confused already? don't worry, it only gets worse.

Kanji characters were brought to Japan from China between the 4th and 5th c. AD. but here's the awkward bit: The Japanese kept using Kanji but developed their own pronunciations. This means that when Chinese tourists visit Japan today they may recognise some of the characters, but they don't know how to pronounce them. Wicked!

As for Calligraphy, this is an art form. It is the attempt to paint these characters, using forceful swift brush strokes, to create a beautiful poetic image. That's why it is called Shodo in Japanese "(書道, shodō - the way of writing).

I am a true beginner, and can only muster up the most simple style of Kanji. For this post I have chosen the character for rage or violence - あば. It of course fits to the theme introduced at the beginning of this post. 書道を書くのは初心者です.....


 

I send out this blog pretty randomly to whoever I think might be interested. Some of you have subscribed (if you are on your mobile then open the menu at the start), which means you get a deluxe notification via email. Thank you! However, if you don't want this, don't hesitate to tell me and I shall take you off the list. No problem.

この投稿を読んでいただきありがとうございます。 新しい投稿のお知らせを受け取りたい場合は、上部の購読フォームに記入してください。 ありがとう!Nigel.😊


THE END

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終わり


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