Bank holiday recap 2

‘Give me an hour or so. I’ll come with you.’ Hubbie mumbled under his duvet with his eyes half-opened. I just told him that Bella and I were leaving shortly to Broadway Market to say hi to Heza who had a weekly stall there. ‘No, you aren’t coming with us today. You are staying at home to get rid of the migraine.’ It may sounded rather heartless, but who would want a zombie to tag along with you? I wouldn’t. Besides, a nine months old puppy with boundless energy like Bella would naturally bark and run around all day long, and which would make his headache worse. So I justified myself going out with her, leaving Hubbie wrapped up in his duvet.

The market was pretty busy with locals and tourists. It was not very warm but not too windy, and people were sampling street foods and sipping drinks from papercups….

I found Heza at his usual spot, and we chatted for a while. After agreeing to meet up on Friday for a proper catch-up, Bella and I headed to Mare Street to board on a 55 bus. I was concerned about her behaviour during the previous day’s car journey and wanted to make sure she was still happy to travel by bus.

Well, my concern was unfound…

She was happy as punch on her favourite seat!

Look, those petals are beautiful, aren’t they?

She was so chilled out and a completely different girl from the previous day.

I sometimes hold her on my lap during our bus journeys too. Therefore, her distress of last Friday was not related to being held in arms. Why? What was the difference? I was truly puzzled.

We got off at Wardour Street and walked to GAIL’s Bakery, my favourite cafe. I ordered a ham & cheese croissant with mocha and sat at the table on the side street…

Ohhh, I haven’t had this combo for quite a while… Every now and then, there is a moment I just want to eat carb and processed meat with normal coffee even though I also enjoy Hubbie’s detox menu.

On our way home, Bella met a friendly whippet…

Bella was saying to him, ‘You made my day!’

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Hakozaki to Narita

One January morning, I headed to the Narita Airport via T-CAT (Tokyo City Air Terminal) Limousine Bus service. My cab sped through virtually nonexistent Tokyo traffic and delivered me to the bus terminal building which stood right next to the entrance of Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway (首都高速). As my suitcase was already at the airport – thanks to a highly efficient & trustworthy Japanese courier service by Yamato Logistics, I was with just a handbag and a fold-all to tug along and therefore it allowed me to trot through the lobby and dive into the lift which conveyed me to the departure lounge, pronto.

The bus left the terminal on time, carrying a mixture of Japanese and non-Japanese passengers.
Good bye, Tokyo until the next time…

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Tokyo Skytree in the distance.
A newish landmark of Tokyo which opened its door to the public just over two years ago. I shall visit their observation deck with my mum one day, I thought. Then, I wondered if she manage to rendezvous with her friend safely. She arranged to meet her old school chum so my departure might not sadden her too acutely. Otherwise, how could I bear to imagine her being alone in the hotel room I just left?

Humongous apartment blocks sporting endless rows of balconies in a whitish hue were dotted along Wangan Expressway (首都高湾岸線), silently gleaming in the morning sun…

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A scene of everyday life built on a reclaimed ground over Tokyo Bay, being consisted of a school building with a huge sports ground…

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Or a chimney of refuse incinerating plant…

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A car carrier trailer laden with bland new cars overtook our bus. In the distance, another chimney, painted in red & white, belonged to a refuse incinerator could be seen…

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Multi-storied junctions at Minami Funabashi (南船橋)…

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Momentarily, the expressway ran side by side with Keiyō Way (京葉道路)…

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Time to time, the view from the bus was blocked by the fence made of noise-reducing boards…

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After a little shy of one hour journey, the bus had reached to the perimeter of the airport…

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I had a lovely time in Japan. However, all good things had to come to an end…

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The bus stopped at Terminal 1 first and half of the passengers disembarked…

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Ever courteous staffs bowed low as our driver manoeuvred to pull out, heading towards Terminal 2, my destination…

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The dry and cold air, typical of sunny wintry morning, slapped my cheeks as I stepped out from the warm cab and it helped me to snap out of contemplative mood. Oh well, no time to curl up with sentiment. I’ve got to get on with the task. So I went, with my right hand rummaging through the contents of the wallet, looking for a receipt for my suitcase…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

A Double-Decker In Nagano

It’s been a week since I arrived at Nagano and seems that I’ve got used to Nagano’s climate. The temperature plunges down to -10 C° in the morning and my feet aches every time I go for walk in spite of the sheepskin insoles in my boots because of the ground being so icy. Still, I love the cleanliness of Nagano’s air which is crisp and still.

While enjoying the bright winter sunshine, I sauntered towards downtown and noticed a familiar figure in red…

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A double-decker!

The bus was refitted as a cafe, offering lunch and afternoon snack…

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An open rear deck which was one of the main feature of the original double-decker was fitted with double-leaf doors in order to cope with the winter of Nagano…

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The menu they offer was mainly western style, consisting of pasta, soup, salad, gratin, cake, pancake, etc…

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They also offer hotdogs for a takeaway at the vintage van parked next door…

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I couldn’t help feeling a pang of homesick to my beloved London when I saw this iconic red giant.
I miss you, London (and Hubbie & Mr.B, of course)…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Random Images & Random Thoughts…

It’s the sixth day of me not feeling good.
It turned out that I might have picked up some flu virus when I deposited Hubbie’s shirts at our local dry-cleaner last Tuesday. What a thing to pick up, huh?

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Anyway, this nasty germ wrecks havoc on my daily beauty routine – and given that it is imperative to stick to the routine in order to fend off an onslaught of aging, I still can’t face splashing my face with water and feel like a car wreck, rusting away on the mean street of a dingy backwater. It may sound too melodramatic but when one feels like it’s head full of gunk and has the look to match, and on top of it, it’s grey and raining outside, how can anyone feel anything other than dismal?
Oh, please someone slap me with a hot water bottle so I can snap out of this unhealthy navel-gazing…

Now then, shall I have another rummage through my iPhoto library for stray images?

Hmmm… This one I took at the Saturday vintage market off Brick Lane. The stall was specialised in vintage transport signs…

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Don’t you think it will make a wonderfully original gift for someone special if the road sign or bus blind given has a personal meaning to it? Let’s say they used to live there or they commuted vis a certain bus route or have some romantic connection to the destination, etc. I wouldn’t mind buying a couple of London Transport bus blinds for myself. The route 9, 10 or 159 would do nicely. Anything to evoke sweet memories of our good old original Routemaster, I would love to keep. Before boring & unyielding one-man buses took over London bus route, their iconic red double-decker was manned by a guard with a ticketing machine and the rear of the bus was completely open. The lower deck was semi-exposed to the element, therefore, it was a bit cold & blustery in foul weather. However, the convenience of being able to hop on & off whenever and wherever one wanted was an absolute godsend in some  serioulsly clogged up old place like Central London.

Oh, these are classic! Mr.B, working as a model…

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One day, Hubbie & I jokingly decided to register Mr.B with a model agency. We thought it may subsidise his upkeep. And it did!

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Being amiable and unflappable, Mr.B made a very good model for press ad or TV. And his stoic professionalism in chihuahua way earned him regular clients and a steady flow of assignments until the recession hit UK in 2008.
*ALAS*

This cute Pie & Mash sign, I came across on Lever Street EC1…

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Pie & mash is the one cuisine I have yet to sample. Since this type of eatery is in decline, I must try it before they disappear too.

I don’t know why I took this picture…

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It must have been taken at Eat, Topshop Oxford Circus when I was waiting for my friend before our girl’s night out?
I was probably a bit bored and fooling around with my iPhone camera. A perfect toy for killing time.

This street art by Wreckage International was located at the north end of Whitecross Street…

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I don’t know why but the art reminds me a Coca-Cola bottle.
Maybe to do with her curvy body or its red & white colour scheme?

This limo, hopelessly stuck at Hoxton Square, was quite a sight. He couldn’t manoeuvre left or right, foward or backward…

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The driver was red-faced and panicking while the rest of us, looking at him bemused. I was in a hurry and didn’t hang around. I hope he managed to wriggle out of the mess without scratching anything.

Oh my thoughts are so inconsistent and incoherent. Please blame the gunk invading my brain…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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