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July 29, 2007

And an update on the apartment...

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SO, of course I had to get some photos of the place...it is really starting to take shape now. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera on Thursday so no shots then. And on Friday, they started work on the bathroom, including putting some noxious chemicals in there. That made it hard to breath in the place, but it also gave Laura and I a cheap buzz before we went upstairs to watch the fireworks.

This is shot of the kitchen and the bedroom entrance. Notice the walls are up now, and the kitchen cabinets are almost finished. On the right is a picture of my bath...it is still in the box.

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I am going down again on Tuesday, so I will take more pictures and post them. Hopefully, without the glue sniffing high I had Friday! I am so excited...it should be done in just a few weeks!!

And one more picture...I saw this as I was walking in Kamakura. It gave me some ideas on how to decorate the flat when it is done.

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Posted by Kirk at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

Zushi Fireworks

Like I mentioned below, on Friuday I went to Zushi to watch the fireworks from the roof of the building my apartment is in. It was absolutely awesome! It was fantastic!

I tried to get pictures, but they did not really come out so well...this one looks good enough for the blog, however, and gives you a good idea of what we could see.

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I met up with Laura, the Ishiwatas )from the real estate agency and construction company) and Toshi for the show and required after firework drinks. Here are some others...I will save the drinking photos for another time.

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Posted by Kirk at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

Summer is here (Enoshima and Kamakura)

Well, I was lazy on Friday and skipped school. Instead, I went to the beach. Surprised? Actually, the plan was to watch Zushi fireworks from my the roof of my new apartment block, but I went early...about seven hours early.

So, I got off the train in Ofuna on a whim and ended up taking the Shonan Monorail to Enoshima. That is such a cool train. I imagine it looks pretty ugly from the ground, but you do not really see the skyline-destroying metal track from inside the train. It is VERY quick...13 minutes. Enoshima never seemed so close.

Anyway, it was crowded as you can see from the picture below.

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I spent an hour or so there before moving on to Kamakura. I took the train part of the way...actually, I love the Enoden Line, but more for the sightseeing then the trasport...I got off at Inamuragaseki and walked the rest of the way. The bars on these two beachs are absolutely incredible...I can't believe they are only there two months out of the year. Here is a convenience store...as you can see it is not a stand at all!

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There is also West Park Cafe and China Quick Resort, as well as the MTV Cafe. Quite fancy...

Posted by Kirk at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2007

More apartment work

I have been down to Zushi twice since my last entry, so I will post a few more pictures of the apartment below. It is slowly taking shape, but we are not at a stage where dramatic changes (walls being plastered, kitchen/bath being installed) are happening, so it may not seem like much of a change.

Hopefully, it will be done sometime in early August. I really would like to stay down there instead of rushing for a train back to Tokyo everytime I get settled on one of the beaches.

Anyway, here are some pictures:

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The one on the top left is where light switches have been put in. On the top right is a shot from the doorway through the apaprtment...bottom left shows the kitchen counter and doorway to the bedroom...finally, the bottom right is the front door - eventually there will be a counter between that space and the door at window height. When guests are sleeping there, they will be able to pull down blinds to offer some privacy.

I was down there last Friday and the weather was not really great, but at least it was relatively cool and not raining. Today, it is exceptionally humid and I think the real summer has finally arrived. Another reason to get the apartment sorted out. I need to go shopping for basic furniture soon, but I really hate doing that. Ugh.

Posted by Kirk at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2007

The walls are coming back up

Well, a lot of the wiring seems to be done and the frames for the walls have come up. In addition, the frame for the kitchen is complete and the counter will be built soon.

This is the first time I got a true feeling for what the finished place will be like. Of course, there was a lot of discussion on the floor plan before things got started, but imagining how it would actually turn out is not always easy for me. Fortunately, it looks great.

Here are some pictures....no before and after this time. I need to be better at positioning my shots similarly to what I did before. I will do that from now on.

This is the kitchen taking shape. It will have a sink and oven/range against the far wall. In front of that, there is room against the perpindicular wall (where the big sheets of wood are leaning) for a refrigerator and pantry. The counter is on the near side and at the end they are building in a kitchen table.

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This is a view from the back of the apartment...that is the kitchen on the right. Straight ahead is what will be the main bedroom and the living room will be to the left.

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And here are a few pictures looking through the apartment. It should remain very light inside, because the back room will not be walled-in. I hope that turns out to be a good idea.

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I will go back down again this week (of course!), so I will post more pics once I have done that. I am also toying with the idea of putting a lot more detail about the process on this blog, but I may just write it up separately some other time. I have taken a lot of notes so far.

Posted by Kirk at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

Back to Japan (and Hayama)

So, I am back home. The flight was miserable, but never mind that. I have not done very much since I got back. It is also weird, because I have not really met up with anyone either. The same thing used to happen when I was working, but I always assumed it was because I was away for six weeks, not six days.

Anyway, I went down to the beach to check on the apartment (more on that next entry) and to see if I could squeeze come beach time in if the weather was good. And it was.

So, here are some pictures, including the obligatory one of the Blue Moon, first of the year!

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As you can see it was very crowded, even though the beach itself was absolutely empty. I found out later that it is because most of the guests were there for a wedding party. Despite that, I got a table in front so that I could sit back, drink a beer and enjoy the ocean. And like always, I intended to have just one, but stayed for four.

Here are some other shots, starting with my first view of the beach coming in, a view from my seat, a tanabata tree and also some hula lessons on the beach. It was fun.

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I still left at a reasonable hour and was home by 10pm. Not sure why, since I had nothing to do. Maybe I should have stayed longer. I am really looking forward to my apartment being done, so I can skip the two-hour train ride home!

Posted by Kirk at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2007

More pubs

I met Maurice last night in South Chelsea. Of course, we went to a few pubs. We actually met just off King's Road at the Cooper Arms on Flood Street. It's a nice pub, although it was kind of empty. They have a nice garden in back, which is useful now that there is a smoking ban.

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Anyway, after a drink there we went to "really" South Chelsea, also known as Battersea. We stopped at the Prince Albert for a pint and after that we ended up at the Duke of Cambridge. Here are some more pub pictures.

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Posted by Kirk at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day

So, apparently today is Canada Day! I am in London, but there are lots of Canadians here and the one place they all go on a day like today is the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden.

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This shows the line to get in at 1pm...what you cannot see is the eight-ten police officers standing around to make sure there is no trouble. There were signs up a few days ago that said the Canada Day Block Party would not happen and that open container rules would be enforced. I also did not show how long the line is, which went down the block and around the corner. Anyway, I happened to be walking by so I took a picture.

This is also the first day of the smoking ban in England...which means no more cigarettes in bars and restaurants. I went with Stuart last night to enjoy the last evening of smoking in a pub...we ended up at some really crap place near Baker Street Tube stop. It was kind of anti-climatic!

Posted by Kirk at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)