I am on a Finnair flight from Osaka to Helsinki where we catch a BA flight to Heathrow. All a bit roundabout if you ask me.
I shall be glad to get home. I have had enough of concrete underground bunkers where you are supposed to admire the roughness of one large rock against the smoothness of the concrete walls and the texture of the surrounding gravel. I am sorry to sound so old-lady-ish in my views but I have become suspicious and wonder if it is all a giant hoax. The one yesterday had a lot of long underground corridors. The concrete manufacturers and creators must have made a fortune.
We took the bullet train to Osaka and stayed the night in the Marriott. In a sky scraper. Lobby on the 19th floor. Rooms started on the 39th floor and ended on the 56th. The views over Osaka at night were stunning. And it has all the right things for a big city, Prada, Gucci, Armani! More important was what we saw from the airport bus this morning - an enormous port. With steel mills, oil refineries, containers by the million. I have always liked ports. To me, they make a city real.
Summary on the holiday? Not enough free time. I liked the screens and the painted doors and the temple gardens, in fact all the gardens but one statue of Buddha is much like another. The scale of the statue may be different but that is all.
Ruth and I ate better three years ago. We had only one Japanese meal which was the equal of what we ate last time and that was on Naoshima where the marriage of the containers and the contents was exquisite (only word to use). I tried to buy the chopstick support which was a pottery koi carp but the restaurant would have none of it.
So here we are on the way home and I am making lists of jobs I need to do. And timetables. One nice thing coming up is that I have a class with Lori Sauer next weekend. I do enjoy her classes. This time we are making a folded paper Miao holder for needles and threads. I have always liked these and am looking forward finding out how to make them. I must look up her website and see what courses she has on next year.
Added later at home. In all my arrangements, I did not foresee that Helsinki would be snowed up. Piles of snow cleared by snow ploughs, icy roads everywhere, very slippery and dangerous. And bitterly cold. The plane had to be sprayed with anti-freeze before we could take off. However we made it home where it has been raining hard but the centre heating was switched off and it is cold here too.
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