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  • Writer's pictureNigel

🚸 When I was a child 子供の頃

2023 年 12 月 13 日

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

— 1 Corinthians 13:11, The Bible. King James Version.

Put away childish things? As always, these texts are the subject of analysis by endless scholars and people who call themselves experts. How tedious. As far as I'm concerned, It's a joy when I meet someone who has still retained elements of childhood - laughing at simple things; words spoken without the mask of cynicism; a simple hug.

私に関する限り、子供時代の要素をまだ保持している人、つまり単純なことで笑う人に会うのは喜びです。 皮肉の仮面なしで語られた言葉。 シンプルな抱擁。

When I was a child Kodomo no toki 子供の頃, we lived in the country. Not the wilds of nowhere, but the manicured green fields of Sussex (before it was divided into East and West Sussex). I remember looking out of my bedroom window at the South Downs in the distance, listening to Tschaikovsky's Swan Lake on an old gramophone 🎶. One of those moments.

Not having many neighbours, I developed an interest in natural history, and for my 12th birthday was given a pair of binoculars to observe birds 🦅 My father is holding them in this picture.....

寝室の窓から遠くにサウスダウンズを眺めながら、古い蓄音機でチャイコフスキーの「白鳥の湖」を聴いていたことを覚えています。 その瞬間のひとつ。

近所の人があまりいなかったので、自然史に興味を持ち、12 歳の誕生日に鳥を観察するための双眼鏡をプレゼントされました。 この写真では父が抱いています……。

I have never lost this interest. So it is hardly surprising that on my visits to Japan I have always been fascinated by the calls of birds I do not know, and the odd sightings. So.........

..........I am sitting in the park at Osaka castle🏯 ; I am on the balcony of my house in Hoshikawa; I am walking through the woods in Saitama 🌳 And always these flocks of birds are screeching in the trees. You can never really see them. And every time I am in this country I wonder what they are.........……

私は大阪城の公園に座っています🏯。 私は星川の自宅のベランダにいます。 埼玉の森🌳を歩いています。 そしていつも鳥の群れが木々の中で金切り声を上げています。 実際に見ることは決してできません。 そして私がこの国に来るたびに、彼らは何なのだろうかと思うのです....

Photo: Lars Petersson

So when I met young scientist Tsutomu-san last month, and learnt that he was an expert on birds, well.....I sent him a recording from my iphone didn't I? And he comes straight back with the answer. That is a Brown-eared Bulbul. They breed in Hokkaido (yellow); Are resident (green) in Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and winter in China (blue). Not a bad life if you ask me....

それで、先月若い科学者の勉さんにお会いして、彼が鳥の専門家だと知ったとき、そうですね……iPhone から録音したものを彼に送りましたね。 そして彼はすぐに答えを返します。 それはヒヨドリです。 日本および近隣諸国に生息しています。北海道で繁殖します(黄色)。 韓国、日本、台湾に生息(緑)し、中国(青)で冬を過ごします。 私に言わせれば、悪くない人生です...

Now I know what this bird is! Riddle solved. Tsutomuさん、ありがとございます!Thank you.


Bakery, Langen, Germany:

I have just bought my favourite loaf of bread 🍞 and the lady is giving me back my change. "......Haben Sie noch ein Wünsch?....."

You hear the phrase often (Lit. Have you another wish?).

"warmer weather" I replied.

But she was already on to the next customer and could not appreciate my humour. You spend a while away from your homeground, return, and these little phrases hit you anew.

The day before I was just about to leave my doctor's surgery when he said

" kann ich noch was für sie tun? (Is there anything else I can do for you?).

My eye fell on the espresso machine behind his desk ☕.

"...well, I'm not expecting a cup of coffee...." I said rather mischievously.

To my astonishment he replied "no problem, sit back down...."

He turned around and switched on the machine.

"If I can, with the minimal cost of an espresso, make you happy, then that is worth it is it not? ....."

and we proceeded to have a cosy chat over an espresso. Well there is a real doctor.

Language happens:

What I wanted to say was : Iwate de, Yuumeina Hiraizumi toiu machi taizai shitaideshita / I wanted to spend time in the famous town of Hiraizumi. Ok, I spelt Iwate wrong, but Google translate has got the name Hiraizumi muddled up with exorcism. Glad I didn't say it like that in the tourist office.......

Did someone mention language?

Went to see Ligeti's Le Grande Macabre this week at the Frankfurt Opera. Managed to get this photo in before the NO PHOTOS sign was switched on. Only three violins were needed on the orchestra. But the car horn department. Oh my. A crazy, colourful, zany, at times ridiculous, production. Sung in English!

今週はフランクフルト歌劇場でリゲティの「ル・グランデ・マカブル」を観てきました。 写真禁止の標識が点灯する前に、なんとかこの写真を収めることができました。 オーケストラに必要なヴァイオリンは3本だけでした。 しかし、車のクラクション部門。 ああ、なんと。 クレイジーで、カラフルで、おどけていて、時にはばかばかしい作品です。

No, it it not always snowing in Germany. But when it does, why not take a selfie and send it to your Tokyo-ites who are swanning around in 18°c? Tell them of the gloom and cold of this European country so they feel sorry for you.........

いいえ、ドイツではいつも雪が降るわけではありません。 でもそんなときは、セルフィーを撮って、気温 18 度の中でうろうろしている東京の人たちに送ってみてはいかがでしょうか? このヨーロッパの国の薄暗くて寒いことを彼らに伝えて、彼らがあなたを同情するように....

No. They do not feel sorry for you. Hard luck mate.

いいえ、彼らはあなたに同情しません。 頑張ってね。

Grinning I may be, for soon it all melted, and the chief-putter-up-of-signs appeared below my window...."...Let's put up a No Entry 🚫 sign here, right?..."


Whose idea was it to go to an Ethiopian restaurant?

Well in our book group we have all known each other for about 20 years, so anything goes. I had some sort of beef dish, and had to eat it with my hands. It was ok, but a bit chewy.


そうですね、私たちの読書グループでは約 20 年来の知り合いなので、何でもありです。 ある種の牛肉料理を持っていて、それを手で食べなければなりませんでした。 それは大丈夫でしたが、少し歯ごたえがありました。

We were discussing a book which I had suggested. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan. A harrowing novel taking place principally in a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Railway, and in Tasmania. The author's father was in such a camp. Why were the Japanese soldiers so cruel? I had asked friends in Japan about this. There is one thing I don't like about my society, said one. It's the crowd mentality. You see it on social media when a celebrity is being criticised for some behaviour. Nuanced criticism is left behind in a rush to join the homogenous wave of condemnation. Nobody likes sticking out with a different opinion.

So scroll back to the 1940s, and you get loads of youngsters enrolled in the Imperial Japanese Army, all on a wave of fervent nationalism. And coupled with that, being brutally treated themselves during their training. So no surprise they passed on their brutality to their prisoners. And inheriting the Samurai code of conduct from a century before meant disdaining soldiers who surrendered. And that meant the Allied troops in Singapore in 1942.

私たちは私が勧めた本について話し合っていました。 リチャード・フラナガン著『奥北への細道』。 主にビルマ鉄道の日本軍捕虜収容所とタスマニアで起こった悲惨な小説。 著者の父親もそのような収容所にいました。 なぜ日本兵はあれほど残忍だったのでしょうか? このことについて日本の友人に尋ねてみました。

Let's get back to the present

It has never hit me so clearly as this year, returning from Japan. December in Germany 🥶. How we need a festival of light and music, of good food and good company. No wonder Christmas is when it is. It comes without question every year. Are we a Scrooge and ignore it? Are we a party-goer and revel in it? Are we a musician who barely sees his wife at home because he has so many rehearsals to go to? Are you Japanese and have booked your flight to see your family at New Year? Take it as you will. There is no avoiding it.

So may I now present to you Darmstadt Railway station, - Darkness above, light below........

日本から帰国した今年ほど、それが私にはっきりと伝わったことはありません。 ドイツの12月 🥶 私たちには、光と音楽、🥳 美味しい食事と良い仲間のフェスティバルが必要です。 クリスマスが来るのも不思議ではありません。 それは問答無用で毎年やってくる。 私たちはスクルージであり、それを無視しますか? 私たちはパーティーに参加して楽しんでいるでしょうか? 私たちは、リハーサルに行くことが多すぎて、家で妻に会うこともほとんどない音楽家なのでしょうか? あなたは日本人で、新年に家族に会うために飛行機を予約しましたか? 思いのままに受け取ってください。 それを避けることはできません。

それでは、ダルムシュタット駅をご紹介したいと思います🚃 .上は闇、下は光....

😊 Thank you for reading "..When I was a child.."


😊  Feel free to share the blog with friends.


   😊  And and I enjoy hearing from you...!






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