The Japanese can be an odd bunch sometimes: like putting a National Holiday in the middle of the week. It just strikes me as odd. It was well received, of course, and I spent the day vegging out with Julie and watching videos, then playing tennis (badly) at night. Just wish it had been a Friday rather than a Thursday.
On Friday, my friend Mat came to stay over. He brought a film called 'Kikojo no Natsu', which means 'Kikojo's Summer'. I think that was the name used... I forget the exact name of the character. Anyway, it stars Beat Takeshi, one of the most famous Japanese actors, and a young boy (who was just beautiful really), and they go in search of this boy's mum. The story is about the unlikely friendship that grows between them, and about some of the characters they meet on their journey. It's quite a melancholic wee film, but nice too.
On Saturday, Mat and I loaded up his car with futons and food, and made our way to the Iya Valley for the annual camping JET camping trip. This was the first time I had been, as in previous years I had been busy with dancing. The drive up to the valley was amazing: we caught the leaves at a perfect time. Unfortunately, I discovered that I had brought my camera without its battery, which was still languishing in the charger at home. So I didn't snap any of the foliage. Nutter than I am.
The trip was good; it's always nice to see people away from Akita Machi, the drinking area of Tokushima. Of course, there was drinking going on, but there seems to be more of a social edge to it when it's done outside. Spoke to a lot of people, snuggled with a few others, and ate some really good BBQ tortilla/quesidilla type things. And drank, maybe just a little more than was necessary.
On Sunday, me, Mat, Joe and Jordan headed to Joe's place nearby, and spent a few hours chatting, playing this odd game called 'Settlers of Catan' (which borders dangerously on the the 'geek' side of things, but however...), and then having a crazy, four-way thumb war which ended abruptly when Jordan's elbow invaded my eye socket. Ouch. Small shiner today, but nothing too noticeable.
Had a wonderful early night last night, after watching 'Heat' (great film), eating Japanese deli food from the local supermarket (wanted to cook curry, but decided that I simply couldn't be bothered), and actually talking to Stu on the phone. He phoned me, and it was really good to hear his voice.