Dear Readers,

I trust this edition of our newsletter finds you less hot and wet under the collar than it finds me sitting down here typing out this offering to you. Actually, hot and wet under the collar is a slight exaggeration because I’m working in an air conditioned office, directly under one to be truthful, but as I felt like using the words “hot and wet together in the same sentence ” it seemed an appropriate opening sentence to lay down. “What on earth are you going on about?” “I don’t honestly know, it must be the weather!”

You won’t be receiving a newsletter from us for the next couple of weeks because we’re taking our holidays. I have no special plans, my kids are going camping for 4 days on some sort of school trip from 13th to 17th August leaving me and their mum all alone to enjoy some peace and quiet. After they return I might take off for a couple of days to Hakone and see if I can finally get out onto a lake and do some rowing, the last time I went to Hakone the weather and an erupting volcano stopped me from getting my oars wet – we shall see.

Oh, just a quick “daughter” based story from the other day that made me feel old and a little unwanted, well maybe unwanted is going a bit far, but shall we say it left me with a mildly bruised ego. I recently had my haircut, yes my once every 3/4 month visit to see the same guy, Kazuaki, that’s been cutting my hair for the last 20 years or so. He takes about 90 minutes, he shampoos, massages and shaves me and I feel great at the end of it, I feel completely rejuvenized, I look in the salon mirror and it returns a reflection of someone about 10 years younger which always gives my ego a bit of a boost. So with short haircut and feeling very much refreshed and of course much lighter and cooler up on the top floor I paid my bill, said my usual “Thanks a lot and see you in 3/4 months” to Kazuaki and off I went back home.

After returning back to my home and walking in through the door my wife’s comment was “Oh, looking good!” which naturally keeps the bit of ego that’s been built up from having a haircut firmly in position, it’s a reciprocal thing, if you’re married, you’ll know what I mean. Whereas my daughter on the other hand, said in Japanese, thinking I wouldn’t pick up on it because she knows my ability in Japanese leaves an awful lot to be desired, words to the effect of “He doesn’t look any different to me, he looks the same as he always does”. However, I was able to catch her words – my daughter always speaks her mind which I think is a good thing, a necessary thing, but it sort of hit me for six and the bit of an ego boost I was hoping to take into work with me the following morning went straight back to where it was pre haircut – Oh dear, let the start of the dreaded relationship between a daughter that’s quickly approaching 12 years old and a father of 52 that’s even more quickly approaching 53 begin.

That’s it from me until the back end of August, so enjoy your holidays and wherever you go or whatever you do go about your business in a safe way.