Illumination – A Photo

IMG_0994Light and illumination are usually necessary, but are not always things that we notice, but continuing with my exhortation to myself  earlier this week to look up, here is a shot of a food market in Kyoto in Japan.

I like all the different sizes and shapes of lights; most, I think, are more signage than illumination, but the overall effect is one of both light and crowded activity.

Much of the food on display was mysterious to me, and I am still waiting for enlightenment about many of them, but for the moment the photos will do.


Look Up!

IMG_0979_edited-1This January has started off a little slowly, but there’s always entertainment in looking through photo files.

This is one from a construction site in Kyoto in Japan.  I don’t know what the writing says, but from the direction of the man’s finger, and his cute little yellow nose, I suspect that we should be looking up.  He’s probably warning us of a hazard, but it’s not a bad idea irrespective of the conditions.


IMG_0936I was reminded this week of what a poor shopper I am.  I frequently feel over faced by the racks of merchandise that faces me when go into shops, and the idea of ‘retail therapy’ as a relaxation is a complete mystery to me.  I ventured out into the January sales as gingerly as ever and entirely failed to buy anything, even though I had a budget and a list.  Maybe it was having the list that was the problem; I’m a much better impulse purchaser, when things simply jump out at me and demand to be bought.

There’s much more pleasure in looking at things which I know are far too expensive to afford: there’s no pressure to buy or to make a choice, instead I can just admire them.  Sometimes seeing one beautiful thing is enough, other times, seeing a multiplicity of them is better, especially when they are carefully arranged.

I saw these fans in a workshop in Kyoto in Japan.  We’d had the opportunity to see how the fans were made, in a small business, by hand, by elderly women sitting around a table in concentrated work, folding and working the paper, and blowing between the layers to create the space into which the wooden batons could be inserted.  Lovely to look at, no need to buy, and the photo to remember it by.

Friendship – A Photo

I took this in Tokyo in November a few years ago.  I like the idea of a group of friends dressing up on a Saturday afternoon and going for a walk in the park.

Of course I don’t know that they’re friends.  It might be an office outing, or a group of people who have just met on a themed tour.  That afternoon we did see a number of small groups of women in kimonos participating in what looked like tea ceremonies in small wooden houses by the lakes.  Maybe this group had been, and were now off to catch the metro home, or for a spot of sushi or a bowl of noodles at the array of food outlets at the end of this path on the edge of the park.

I like the way they have ordered themselves into colour co-ordinated rows: blues at the front, pink behind; and that they all have sensibly large handbags, held by their sides.  Is there a protocol for how to carry a bag when in a kimono?

It would be fun to know where they’ve been, where they’re going and who they are; but it’s just as interesting to know none of these things and to imagine instead.

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