Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 18 August 2014

From Roye to Japan ...

... it's only a small step when you're blogging. Let me explain.

I have (yet) taken another week off from the office. It's only my second short vacation this year and I still have over 20 days of 'congé' left, 15 of which I need to take before the end of the year, if I don't want to lose them, which would be a shame.

Don't think I'm flying of to Japan tomorrow! But on Wednesday I'll certainly be learning more about this fascinating country. In the morning my cleaning lady is coming and I need to get out of the apartment. As my mother needs some items from a specialized shop in Leuven, I had decided to take the 9.30 bus into town, work myself through my mother's shopping list, do some window shopping myself, have an aperitif and a light lunch, before returning home around 3 p.m.

And then, last Thursday when working from home, I received a phone call from my colleague F. who has just returned from a two weeks trip to Japan with her brother and daughter. She was anxious to tell me all about it and show me the photos. We agreed that the office wasn't the best place for that - after all, we are supposed to work there, and not to chit-chat. As she's not working on Wednesday's, I invited her to come and join me in Leuven for a proper lunch at my favourite restaurant 'Kokoon'. I'm really looking forward to this and there may be some more Leuven photos in it for you!

The two photos in this post are scans from postcards my family received in May and August 1966 from a Japanese woman my father had met on his flight to Tokyo earlier that year. He was on a business trip and she had been visiting Europe. Apparently they got talking to each other when the woman had trouble with her seat-belt. My father, always the perfect gentleman, had helped her untangling it. During the flight, which took them over the North Pole, they exchanged addresses and for a year or so we regularly received postcards from Japan.

After a devastating earthquake in the region where the Japanese lady lived, the postcards stopped coming  .... My mother has kept the two featuring in this post. Mount Fuji has always been one of my favourite views in the world, although I have never seen it for real. I wonder if F. and her daughter have.


chm said...

If I were younger, I'd love to go to Japan. The sights and people there fascinate me. Maybe you can post some of your friend's pictures along with some of Leuven for contrast?

Enjoy your visit with your friend. And the restaurant too, of course!

Bob said...

we have 3 large silk screens from Japan. glad i bought them when i was stationed overseas since i would not be able to afford them in the US. Very talented people. Seems like they can turn anything into art. Enjoy your week off--a mini retirement!!!

Nadege said...

If you can Martine, you have to go to Japan. It is an amazing and fascinating country. I agree with Bob, they turn anything into art and the food is delicious, one of my favorite.
(I have been enjoying the photos and films of flowers in the main square of Brussels. What a gorgeous display!).

VirginiaC said...

Japan is one of the countries that I would love to visit....maybe one day.
I can't believe that you still have postcards from your father's friend in Japan after so many years....they're still beautiful.

ladybird said...

Chm, We had a nice day, shopping, sightseeing and eating. Next week, over lunch at the office, F. will show me some of her photos on her tablet. Can't wait!

Bob, My 'mini-retirement' was a success ... tastes like more :)

Nadege, Yes, the flower carpet in Brussels is an annual event and a real work of art. It's very popular with the tourists and the locals. I didn't know it made international TV?

Virginia, My mother is a real hamster when it comes to postcards. She keeps them in a box in the attic, away from the light. That and my new scanner probably explain why they still look so colourful.

GaynorB said...

Hi Martine,
My son says that the building is called Kinkakuji in Kyoto and is a pavilion temple.
Good that your mother kept these memories.

ladybird said...

Gaynor, Your son is right. That's what it says on the back of the postcard. Apparently it was built in the late 14th - early 15th century and is considered as a national treasure.
P.S. Hope you are enjoying your full nest! :)