Good old Marseille 2015

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Une balade en l’après-midi


Inside the Notre Dame de la Garde

Lovely day again, and there’s only 10 days left… so, dragged myself out in the afternoon to have a proper walk in town in daylight.

On foot to the Marseille Saint Charle station; bought a train ticket to Montpellier for the weekend. Then headed to the L’eglise Saint Nicolas de Myre, which is one of the oldest practising Eastern orthodox church in France… (if my reading French is correct, that is), and the first place I ever dropped in since I arrived in Marseille. After a few minutes’ conversation with the caretaker (or could he be a priest?), walked all the way up the hill to the Notre Dame de la Garde. With a magnificent command of panoramic city view, the cathedral has an exuberant interior so colourful and glamorous. The guardian of this port town, the basilica is glazed in marine motifs.

Time to go home, and need to do some shopping: a stationery shop for a notebook, up the hill on the way home to the boulangerie where I have established myself as a regular customer, artisan fromagerie and next-door grocer for some vegetables. Casino is the last stop for miscs, then headed home. Four hours and come home as a happy man.

Every time I go out, I murmur – practising French words and repeating what I pick up from people around me. I get upset when I fail to understand. I keep telling myself to smile more.

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Avignon Fev 2015

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Half-way through the project – France


Already a half-way through my project ‘France Again,’ in an attempt to learn the French language my way.
I did make some preliminary plans, but almost none of them has materialised. Having said that, unplanned events unfolded and, so far, I can say it’s going well.

There are discussions about the English education in Japan being not quite up to the mark in the sense that, for all the children and students who ‘accomplished’ it, still not many come out with practical skills and the sense of the language that would make them at ease when they go crossing the oceans. From my own experience, too, language acquisition in this sense would be a mirage unless there is a (more or less) clear sense of purpose. Education policies in Japan have been everywhere, recent attempts including the introduction of English classes at schools to be conducted entirely in English… (the government is hard at it in view of the coming international honour of hosting the 2020 Games), but it’s doubtful that the result would be very different from the past ‘cramming’ or (I just looked it up on the Internet and found this absurd phrase) ‘the education with breathing space system’…

That being said, my project this time, I realise, didn’t really have a concrete sense of purpose either – just wanted to learn French in life.

Fortunately, though, I have been blessed with fabulous encounters, and it gives me the reason for wanting to understand what would otherwise be a chain of meaningless sounds, as well as wanting to convey what’s in my mind in the language my company understands. A great incentive is in my volition to communicate.

Remembering how it was when I was still learning English, I know there’s still a long way to go in French…

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A night walk in Marseille

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Joy of progress

Back in Shimonoseki, again, since last time was only a month ago.


For a long time, I have been only excited at the thought of creating my own nest on this land, and this time finally there’s a tangible sign of progress.


It’s only a small, what I call the shed, but will be a giant step towards my future castle.


Prepared a plot on the further side of the land from one on which I plan to build a more substantial mini-barn.


then, finally bought the materials! This is, to me, like proving my worth to myself.


With a help of my father, we worked out the level, so the next step is to lay these bricks in corners. Will this be tomorrow, or next month?


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