Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well, the Easter bunny forgot to stop by Japan and we certainly didn't get the ANZAC day holiday here, but finally, it's our turn for holidays! It's Golden Week!

Golden week is a string of public holidays, that if you're lucky enough, mean a full week off. Wayne has a lovely nine day weekend, while I have a three day weekend, a two day work week and then a four day weekend. Can't really complain.

So now it's Sunday night and I'm having fun playing. Playing on the computer that is. One thing that I've set up is a free e-card greeting service. I'm feeling like my images are being neglected and not seeing the light of day, so now hopefully, people will use them and they can have a new life. If you go to the "Send a Free Greeting Card" box on the side it will take you to the site. They are still just images that you can send with a message at them moment, but maybe in the future I'll build on them.

Another thing I've set up is a map to see where visitors are coming from. Don't be shy, click on the litte "View my Guestmap" and say hello!

The rest of Golden Week (part one and two for me) is looking busy. We have a bbq party to go to tomorrow. I think a couple of newbie gaijin are going to be there and their friends wanted them to meet us.

Then on Thursday (my part two) I'm getting rid of Wayne for the day. He's heading off to Kyoto with a friend to watch a Kendo competition, an eighth-dan Iaido grading and to visit a temple that has something to do with horse-mounted archery. Wayne's really looking forward to it as it's a day that involves three different ways of hurting or killing people. I worry about him some days...... Wayne's friend was terribly concerned about taking him away from me for a day and invited me to join them in Kyoto. He had a good laugh when I asked him to "please" take him away so I can get some things done in the apartment. You see the weather is heating up and it's time to change over from winter to summer. Our lovely kotatsu will go away until the next season, fans will replace our heaters and summer clothes the winter ones. In a small apartment, everything can't be out at once and it is quite a job to pull everything out and put it away again. It's easier to do all this without Wayne getting in the way, though he will have a bit of lifting work to do before and after his trip.

The rest of the time off will be taken up with seeing friends, doing some work and going to the gym. Before I know it, I'll be back at school again!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Career Woman's Disease

I had a rather stressful and scary week. Something I can write about now that everything has been cleared and is all ok. It ended with my first trip to a "Ladies Clinic" in Japan. Don't worry, I'm not going to get too personal in this post.

To put a not so long, but rather stressful story short - what was causing pain and a lump in my breast was in fact a slightly raised rib bone. It may have always been like that and I'd never noticed it, or it may have lifted slightly from the sternum due to overdoing it in they gym. Whatever the situation, where they had been no pain before, suddenly there was and where one breast had a "lump" the other didn't. Scary stuff.

I tried to keep quiet about it. I prefer the "ignore it and it will go away" mentality, but the stress was making me sick and once I told Wayne he insisted that I had it checked immediately.

I wasn't sure where to have such a check done in Japan, so I consulted a book that I have borrowed from a friend; Being A Broad in Japan: Everything a Western woman needs to survive and thrive. Sorry Mel, you will get it back soon, I'm just finding it a really interesting read. The index quickly told me where to go to have things checked out and what to expect. Yes.... what to expect.....

The book warned me that
" Japan, it is not uncommon for a childless woman in her late twenties or
older who is suffering from gynaecological problems to be told that she has "The
Career Woman's Disease" and that she should get pregnant as soon as

Luckily I wasn't hassled by the lovely, friendly doctor about my "childlessness", but interestingly enough, on top of the usual very personal questions a doctor of that type needs to ask, I was questioned, not only about my marital status but the nurses wanted to know for exactly how long I'd been married. I can't see exactly how that was affecting my breast.

Some older Japanese still have a antiquated view on the woman's role in society. Earlier this year, the Japanese health minister, Hakuo Yanagisawa, on the topic of Japan's low birth rate was quoted as saying;
"Because the number of baby making machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask
for is for them to do their best per head."

So maybe all I need to do now is ask my husband to turn on his "baby making machine" (pardon the pun) and all will be fine with my breast again.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Day

I've been in Japan for just over a year now, this time around. That time has just flown by. I wouldn't say that it took me long to settle in, but it did seem to take me a year to fine-tune my life here to get it running how I want it. When things don't run how I like them or if I'm upset or tired, I comfort eat. This now finds me at the heaviest I've ever been in my life and running on the lowest energy, while trying to to the most amount of stuff. I remember a friend years ago saying to me, "Melanie, you need to be three people to do everything you are doing."

My reply, "If I was three people, there would need to be nine of me to do everything because I would find three times more things to do."

Anyway, I digress.

I feel like I've had my year of excuses and indulgences and what a great year it was, but now it's time to get back into shape, get fit and healthy and full of energy again.

I'm fortunate enough to be married to health professional. For those of you who don't know Wayne, he's a sports massage therapist (in Australia his clients included Olympic divers), acupuncturist and personal trainer as well as a very enthusiastic martial artist. In the early days of our relationship I received far more massages than I do, the occasional acupuncture treatment and a less than frequent fitness session. I think I may now be more likened to the broken car the mechanic has in his garage at home.....

That's all about to change.

In the past when Wayne has tried to train me it has ended up in arguments. He goes into "instructor" mode, but I don't switch into "instructee" mode, but rather stay in the girlfriend/wife role. I hate him telling me what to do and have more than a few times yelled at him and stormed off.

Wanting to get fit and healthy again though, we are determined to try again, but with a slightly different tack. He's going to write me programs and I'm going to go off on my own to do them. He has been writing a fitness blog for a little while now, so I've asked to be his guinea pig. Today is the day we begin.

In the next few days, he will be measuring, weighing and photographing me so that we can watch the progress, but I'm not quite ready to put those up on the Internet as yet. If you want to watch my progress or see the program and philosophy behind it, check it out here.

In the meantime - wish me luck!