say hello to my new writing partner

Yesterday I was in Osaka: takoyaki capital of the world but unfortunately, this post isn’t about octopus balls (as much as I wish it were) it’s actually about writer’s block? Wa? Confused? Me too! Often. Especially when it comes to writing. It truly is, a love/hate relationship. Sometimes I eat to distract myself (horrible horrible habit) or else I sit there beating myself up from the inside out doubting my worth as a writer then as a person. I think, “who am I kidding” and “this sounds horrible, the reader will see right through me, it sounds too forced” always, it sounds too forced. Too metaphorical, too this too that. Professional writers advise us wannabe writers to “get away from [our] desks. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise” etc when faced with writer’s block. That all sounds well and good but ain’t no body got time for that! It’s the 21st century folks. As much as we’re told to slow down, to smell the roses, it’s almost freakin’ impossible! There’s just so much to do!

Back to Osaka, I went shopping at Lucua next to Osaka station and after I’d bought all my omiyage (souvenirs) for my colleagues and family back home, I treated myself to a Caomaru. Designed by Makiko Yoshida, Caomaru is a fancy stress ball which comes in many facial expressions and vegetables. Yes, vegetables: eggplant, tomato and green capsicum. I bought the original grey Caomaru with a sleepy expression. So without further adieu, please allow me to introduce to you my new writing partner, Kobayashi-san (may or may not be named after a certain pot-bellied sensei at one of my schools – whom I actually LOVE so no offence taken Mr. K).


kurashiki diary

Although Christchurch and Kurashiki are some 5800 miles apart, riding down the Kurashiki river feels almost identical to punting on the Avon. In fact, some may say the two are related (wink wink). According to my Japanese friends, Kurashiki, Christchurch’s sister city is most famous for its incredible art (glass in particular), delicious food and great shopping (jeans in particular). In other words: its Christchurch. Except with a snack shop entirely dedicated to soy snacks (peach, shrimp, matcha, white grape, grape grape and so on), an extensive chopstick store and a denim district equipped with a denim cafe selling everything blue – and when I say everything I mean everything:  denim sweet bread,  denim burger and denim soft serve. Ewww!image[8]
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