Tuesday 1 November 2011

My News

Hello again,
Yesterday I gave a macro view of what's going on in Fukushima. Tonight I'll give the micro view: what's happening in my life. Interesting for my friends and family I hope, and perhaps mildly interesting trivia for anyone else who can be bothered to read this.

Well, having split the company in two in April, I currently  have two jobs. As (honorary) Chairman of the box company (which we sold to Rengo), I go every morning and late afternoon to the new factory. Here are some pictures of a ceremony held last week at the little Shinto shrine on the premises. A Shinto priest was invited over and we all prayed for Safety at work.
The Shrine decked out for the ceremony
The priest doing his stuff, much waving and shaking of white paper wand, paper confetti, and deep bows
And here's me. One bow, two claps, one bow. Perfect!
Then in the middle of the day it's back to our temporary office. Just the two of us, me and Toshiaki. From there we oversee the  demolition of the old factory (photo below), make plans, and run a copy shop business (12 staff).

My old office. How they got that digger up to the 2nd floor I don't know!
I had an accident the other day. Caught my hand in a chair and gouged a bit out of my right index finger. Needed to go to hospital. Very quick and efficient and it is mending well. Strange to be in the orthopaedic dept. of a hospital and surrounded by 'good' radiation in the form of X-rays, scans and radiotherapy. There's a good health insurance system here and I had to pay 30% of the cost: 4,000 yen for the treatment and 2,500 yen for some antibiotics and painkillers. (That doesn't seem expensive to me here but I just converted it into pounds sterling at the current rate of 125 yen/GPB and got a shock. I'm used to thinking 1,000 yen is 4 pounds but it's 8!)

Went to Tokyo on Saturday for a funeral. Had lunch there, just a bento box but delicious. Full of things I don't normally eat. I haven't eaten fish for a long time (might contain strontium) and mushrooms were a bad source of contaminaton in Chernobyl so I avoid those. It really brought home to me the fact that we are not leading normal lives. Just those ordinary things that you take for granted.

Waiting for the bus on the way back I got talking to a man who'd been demonstrating outside the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Big anti-nuclear demonstration over three days. He was complaining that the recent health questionnaire we've all been sent is too vague and was calling for more health checks and health passbooks for all. Saw on the news tonight that the Prime Minister has signed an agreement with the leader of Vietnam to build two nuclear plants there. Admittedly it was agreed before the earthquake but there are talks going on with other Asian countries too. Seems incredible to us here.

And finally, here's a quiz question for you. What do you think these are and how do they work? Repair work has started on our apartment at last. Scaffolding is being put up and these curious gadgets have appeared all over the outer walls. They look a bit like fairy lights but the 'bulbs' are of hard plastic. Presumably a device to fill the cracks in the walls but we'll have to wait and see.

This has been an odd blog. You've been very indulgent.
Much love to you all

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