Okay, school’s out until at least a week into January and it looks like it’s not going to stop snowing today so I’ve little else to do but embed myself under my warm blanket on the sofa and enter into the Christmas spirit which this year happens to be Bailey’s as the local supermarket had no egg liqueur. I shall rise occasionally to top up my glass and offer Kazuko gratuitous baking advice which I am certain will be well received. Here’s a picture of Kazuko walking to the shops earlier today:

Today's snow is: slushy.

It was good to see Christmas manifest itself at the supermarket with all the female staff wearing Christmas hats and looking no more or less cheerful than usual but this may be the standard approach to these things as the salaryman I saw last night with his suit and briefcase had a facial expression no different to the one he would have had even if he wasn’t wearing a santa hat with flashing lights.

No doubt they all looked less than thrilled with the realisation that despite being bombarded with Christmas guff for the past two months, they are not even rewarded with a public holiday on Christmas Day. Or perhaps they are as nonplussed as I am by the stores’ various Christmas slogans such as Very Christmas – you fools! There are no degrees of Christmas – or Just Christmas – so much better than an unjust Christmas. I liked this slogan all the more because it was next to an ad for a shop called Titty.

But while I luxuriate on the sofa, there is planning to be done. My time in Japan is nearly at an end for the moment. Kaz and I had planned to stay here for two years, which would see us through to May next year but my university classes finish in January and signing up for another year would be too long for me. Instead of moping about indoors here waiting for the snow to melt, I am deserting Kazuko and heading back to sunny Perth on January 18th. However, I’m not quite finished with Japan just yet.

I’ll be returning in early May and Kazuko hope to spend three weeks or so cycling around Hokkaido. She’ll be on her road bike and I’ll be riding my touring bike with all the bags and things. Our basic plan is to take off from Sapporo and do a big anti-clockwise lap of the island to the north of Sapporo. We’re hoping to stay in cheap accommodation called rider houses most nights and occasionally splash out on onsen. We’ve no idea how far we’ll travel each day so we’ll let that take care of itself. We hope to get all the way around in the time we’ve got but, if not, we can always jump on a train back to Sapporo when we run out of time. If you think you would like to join us on the ride, do please let me know. I think it would be a fun adventure to do with a few people and we can easily cater for different speeds by factoring in extra roads to take for the faster riders. So – anyone fancy coming for a ride? If so, let me know and we should be able to work out all the other logistics.

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