Plans: Moving and Blogging

I had what amounted to a big infodump of miscellaneous stuff today. Topics included, but weren’t limited to: our moving plans to Canada and then to England, my blogging plans, answers to an old question about tea plantations, and stuff that’s been happening around here lately: Jarrod and his pet lizards, the rain, and the noise.

But the first two items on that list took on a life of their own so I’ll be posting the rest as individual daily entries as I write them. It’ll help keep the entries focused, as well as allowing me to break them down into more manageable pieces. Plus it’ll keep the archives a bit cleaner.

This post started as a reply to a question from Amanda, brought on by yesterday’s story about the postal system. But my reply got so long that it seemed too big for me to doom it to existence as a mere comment. Instead, it gets centre stage. Today’s topics are Moving Plans and The Future of this Blog. It sounds a lot heavier than it is.

Moving Plans

Leaving Japan We’re leaving Japan on Thursday July 21, 2005. If anyone wants to know our flight number and time, email me or use the contact form. We fly from Fukuoka to Kansai Airport, then change planes for the Kansai-Vancouver leg. After that it’s a domestic flight within Canada.

In Canada We’ll be Canada for approximately two months. We’ll be staying with Lia’s parents and contrary to societal norms I actually do get along with my mother-in-law. We’ve lived with them before, and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m sure Lia will be happy that I’ll have other people to talkandtalkandtalk at. During our pit stop in Canada we may or may not make it out to Calgary, Edmonton, and/or Toronto. Stay tuned, as plans will be in the works once we’ve gotten home. We don’t have any other concrete plans, but there is a pretty good chance that I’ll be making some artwork—perhaps a chapbook—and cooking lots. Though sushi-making doesn’t really involve cooking per se. Lia will be getting back into her yoga practice, as well as doing some preparatory reading for her Master’s program. Jarrod will be watching a lot of TV, playing a lot of LEGO—including going to a week-long summer LEGO robot camp at the U of S—and generally getting re-acculturated. We will all be enjoying a long string of 7-day weekends.

To England We haven’t finalized the move to England—which rolls of the tongue much more easily than “Britain” or the offical title, “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”—but here’s what we know so far. We are in the process of finalizing the paperwork—read that as everything is sent, just waiting to hear back—on a lease of a cottage. We’ll move in on October 1st, but Lia’s program starts the week before that. So she’s going to head to England in mid-to-late September by herself. Jarrod and I will follow at the beginning of October. Due to visa issues, Lia has enrolled as a full time student, which will mean the program will take one year, instead of her original plan of a more leisurely two years as a part-time student. What visa issues? Basically, applying as a full-time student is a much shorter, much easier, and much-more-guaranteed-to-be-approved process than applying for part-time studies. Regardless of credentials or financial position. We decided to listen to the wisdom of Lao Tzu and be like water, taking the path of least resistance. Still, after 2 years of Japanese bureaucracy, the people at the British embassy’s immigration department seemed, despite their extreme diligence, like comparative slackers.

Beyond England The magic eight-ball says “ask again, later.”

The Future of this Blog
The short answer: I’m planning to continue posting on a regular basis. I will probably continue posting about Japan for quite some time. I will probably post about our pit stop in Canada, and then eventually start posting about our experiences in England.

The long answer will take a lot more words than that. I originally started this blog as a way to keep in touch with some people that I always meant to write letters to but never did. Not even emails. Not even after repeated “Ed, did you get my email? Are you alive?” queries. From different people. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but not a big one. I still want to keep in touch, and this blog seems to be the best way of doing it. When I started blogging over a year ago, it was an intermittent thing, followed by an 8-10 month break. When I started again in earnest in April this year, I realized that the only way to keep at it was to become obsessive and make sure that I posted every day. So far it’s worked. I don’t want to skip a day lest I fall into the trap of thinking it’s ok to skip more than one day. When I know I’m going to be away, I pre-write enough posts for the period, and tell my blog software to post them automatically on the designated day. So yes, daily posting will continue.

In doing the daily posting, I realized that the blog is a great way for me to crystallize my thoughts about what’s going on in my life, and my experiences in Japan. It helps me cope a bit with the lows, and celebrate the highs. I don’t think that function—or need—will disappear just because I’m no longer in Japan. But in general I try to digest stuff a bit before writing about it. Which is why I’ve ended up with a lot of post-event analysis rather than knee-jerk reaction type posts. I like it this way. As such, I’ll be ruminating about Japan for quite some time to come, and will want to write about it. Plus I have taken over 20,000 photos since coming here. A lot of them aren’t worth posting, but there are a lot of photo essays just waiting to be written. I won’t be able to go out and take supplemental photos, but that won’t stop me from writing about the pictures I do have.

Which brings me to postings about Canada and England. The answer is, “of course I’ll be writing about them.” I’ve also started giving this address out to my students, and I’m sure they’ll want eyewitness accounts of life outside of Kitakyushu, from someone they actually know.

So for those of you who’ve become addicted to your daily Ed, don’t despair. The end is not near. I’ll just be changing the site tagline to “currently broadcasting from [wherever I am at the time].” Hmmmm. “Your Daily Ed.” I like the sound of that. Too bad there are already two “The Daily Ed” blogs.