<   2011年 01月 ( 3 )   > この月の画像一覧

最新クロスステッチ The Latest Cross Stitch Project

これは、Masakoさんがヨーロッパ旅行に行った時、おみやげに買ってきてくれたクロスステッチ・キットを仕上げたものです。実はもらったのはおととしの夏、1年以上経ってやっと順番が回ってきました。紫の濃淡がなんとも言えません。仕上がったものの、思うようにフレームが見つからず、黒枠のフレームを自分で紫に塗ってみました。「Masakoさん、やっとできたよ〜」 他にももらったクロスステッチ・キットがたくさんあります。次に完成するのはどれで、一体いつになるでしょうね。

This cross stitch piece was made from a kit Masako-san brought me as a souvenir of her trip to Europe. It was back in the summer of 2009 when she gave it to me. More than a year later, I finally started working on it. I like the different shades of purple. When the stitching part was over, it was hard to find a matching frame so I painted a black frame purple all by myself. "Masako-san, I finally did it!!" I still have a lot of kits that have been given to me. I don't know which one will be finished next or when...

by danceofdragon | 2011-01-22 17:06

サンフランシスコの街並み Streetscape in San Francisco


San Francisco, a town of slopes and steps just like Nagasaki, is another favorite place of mine. We often make a day trip there. It makes me glad that I live only one-hour away from such a beautiful city. This time, we stayed overnight for the first time. The invitation to a wedding reception gave us a good opportunity. An old friend of Casey's from college was getting married.
素敵なカップルの豪華な場所でのレセプション、別世界に来たようで夢心地だったのですが、どういうわけか、ディナーの途中で舞姫がパニックに陥り、いきなり現実に引き戻されました。いつまでたっても泣き叫びっぱなし、泣く泣く引き上げることに。やっぱり舞姫がいるとこうなるのか、、、普段は心の隅に追いやっている負の感情がむくむくと頭をもたげてきて、その夜はさすがに落ち込みました(- -;)。

I felt as if we were in a dream, attending the reception of the nice couple at a gorgeous place. During dinner, however, for some reason, princess got into a panic and could not stop screaming and crying. We were immediately dragged back to reality from this fancy world and had to hurry out of the place. "After all this is what I get with princess around ......" The negative part of my emotion, usually locked up deep in my mind, started to raise its head. I could not pull myself together that night.

Next day, however, thanks to the nice weather, I began to look forward to our day in San Francisco. "How are we going to spend the day?" First, dragon and I walked up and down the zigzag slope of Lombard Street. The houses on both side of the slope actually have somebody living in them. Wondering what it is like to live in such a famous tourist spot, I panted my way up the slope.

The streetscape of San Francisco is no doubt one of its major characteristics. Narrow and tall, colorfully-painted houses with cute bay windows stand right next to each other. None of them is exactly the same and just looking at them is fun. Especially the Victorian houses along Alamo Square, called the "Painted Ladies," are pretty famous. I once visited there more than 20 years ago and had always wanted to go back. I finally made it this time. This is certainly a scene that makes me feel like cross stitching. It is interesting that these houses are also lived in by ordinary people.
ケーブルカーはサンフランシスコのもう一つの風物詩。これもずっと乗ってみたいと思っていました。ケーブルカーの心臓部である、ケーブルを動かす巨大な機械がある場所は博物館になっていて、その迫力たるや一見の価値ありです。博物館前から、やってきたケーブルカーにドラゴンと飛び乗ってみました。行き先も料金も知らないで、出たとこ勝負とはまさにこのこと。急な坂をぐんぐん上り、今度はぐんぐん下がっていきます。ケーブルカーの外側の手すりにつかまったドラゴン、なんだか神妙な顔をしています。しばらく乗って着いた終点は海のそば、向こうにアルカトラス島が見えます。絶景絶景。さてどうやって戻ろう。線路伝いに歩いて戻ることにしました。実はケーブルカーは運賃がちょっと高かった、、、(^ ^;)。


駐車するところを見つけるのに苦労したり、お腹ぺこぺこなのに手頃なレストランが見つからなかったり、しまいにはケーシーが車を駐車していたトラックにこすりつけたりと、都会ならではのストレスを味わう場面もありましたが(^ ^;)、1日をたっぷり過ごせてこれまた満足、たっぷり歩いた証拠に足は棒のようでした。何度行っても飽きないサンフランシスコ、次はどんな顔を見せてくれるかなぁ。

Cable cars are another feature of San Francisco that I had always wanted to ride. There was a cable car museum that had huge, huge machines and wheels that were pulling underground cables. This very heart of cable car operation looked so powerful that it was worth seeing. In front of the museum, dragon and I hopped on a cable car that had come, without knowing where it was heading for and how much the ride was. This was exactly "playing it by ear." Vigorously the cable car went up the steep slope before it started going downhill. Dragon, holding on to a bar, stood on the outside area of the car. He somehow looked very serious. After a while, we came to the last station just near the coast, with the spectacular view of Alcatraz Island. Now how do we go back? We decided to walk back along the tracks. Actually, the ride was a bit expensive....(^ ^;)

Soon after we started walking, I realized I had apparently underestimated how steep the slopes were. Slopes in Nagasaki were no comparison. More panting. There was no way of living in San Francisco with princess. Anyway, it was a fun walk, taking our time, enjoying the streetscape, different from just driving by. We finally got to a coffee shop where Casey and princess were waiting, took a rest and headed home.

There were some stressful moments unique to urban areas; having a hard time finding a parking space, getting hungry but not being able to find a good restaurant. Lastly, Casey added a scratch to our van against a parked truck(^ ^;). Still we enjoyed our day in San Francisco and my exhausted legs were good evidence of the long walk. I already look forward to visiting again, wondering what kind of day the city will have in store for us the next time. I never get tired of visiting San Francisco.

by danceofdragon | 2011-01-16 03:08

長崎観光その3 Nagasaki Sightseeing Part 3


I am still in the middle of writing my journal about our sightseeing in Nagasaki. I can’t let 2010 go without finishing it.
いよいよ最終日、曇り空の下、眼鏡橋に向かうべく路面電車に。ところが途中で降りそこねて着いたのが諏訪神社。間違えて行った先でも観るところがあるのが長崎のいいところ。それにしても気の遠くなるような長い階段です。いやいやどこを見ても坂と階段の長崎、車いすの人はどうしているんだろうと、舞姫との生活を思い起こしました。ばびぃも杖をつきながら最後まで登りきりました。ドラゴンはおみくじに興味を持って、いくつも買ってましたが、よく見ると、一緒についてくるマスコットが目当てのようでした(^ ^;)。

It was our last day in Nagasaki. Under the gray skies, we hopped on a street car for Spectacles Bridge. However, we missed our station to get off and ended up at Suwa Jinja, one of the major shrines in Nagasaki. Even a mistake took us to something to see in this town. Anyhow, looking at the long, long way up to the shrine by steps almost made me faint. Babi, using her cane, worked her way up to the top. Throughout the town, every direction I turned, there were slopes and steps, which reminded me of my life with princess. I wondered how people in wheelchairs were living there. Dragon, fascinated with paper fortune, bought them one after another. Actually it was small mascots that came with fortunes he wanted to get.(^ ^;)

Then we strolled along Nakashima River where Spectacles Bridge is. I didn't know there were almost 20 bridges along the river. All the stone bridges we saw were very unique, favorably comparing with Spectacles Bridge. Spectacles Bridge, one of the oldest stone bridges in Japan, reminded me of the 1982 flood that partially destroyed the bridge. I was in high school and was staying with a host family at the time. Trying to get to any higher place, we evacuated and walked against the muddy stream that had risen up to my chest. I still clearly remember how strong the current was. So strong that I could have been easily swept away if my leg had slipped a little. Nearly 300 people lost their lives then. This is another harsh history of Nagasaki. However, Spectacle Bridge as we saw now stood calmly and massively, giving no hint of such a past.

Our next destination was Glover Garden, where residences of foreign traders in the late 19th century and other historical buildings were kept on a hillside. Although we had some sprinkles here and there, the view of Nagasaki Harbor was spectacular. I always wished to live in a place like this. At Glover Garden, we had a very mysterious encounter. There were several volunteer docents and one of them came up to us and offered to give us a guided tour. While talking with the man, we found out that he knew an old friend of my father's. Hard to believe such a coincidence exits.
さてさてお腹もぺこぺこ、長崎名物ちゃんぽんを食べて幸せな気分になり、ふと稲佐山の方向を見てみたら、なんと頂上が見える! 1000万ドルの夜景で有名な稲佐山、長崎に到着して以来、頂上にはいつも霧がかかっていて、展望台に上るのは無理かなとあきらめていたのですが、今からならまだ間に合う! 大急ぎでタクシーに飛び乗って、ロープウェイ乗り場まで駆けつけました。東に長崎の街、西に海が見渡せる絶景です。天気がいいと五島列島も見えるのですが、さすがに霞んでいました。でも最後に青空を見られて気持ちもすっきり、大満足です。


Now we were so hungry. After filling our empty tummies with Champon noodles, Nagasaki's famous cuisine, I gave a glance at the top of Inasayama Mountain, very famous for its "Ten Million-dollar Night View." I could not believe my eyes now that we could see the mountaintop. Since we arrived in Nagasaki, the top of the mountain had always been covered with fog. I almost gave up going up there this time. "If we go now, we still can make it to the plane!!" Next moment we jumped in a taxi and headed for the ropeway station. Stunning views of Nagasaki Town in the east and the ocean in the west awaited us there. Although it wasn't clear enough to give us an overlook at Goto Islands, the last minute blue sky was pretty much satisfying and refreshing.

Early evening, we took off from Nagasaki Airport where I frequently flew in and out when I was in college. This visit to Goto Islands and Nagasaki turned out to be a very memorable one; visiting places with lots of memories with my mother and son. I feel so good now that I've finally finished writing about it. Oops, new year has already come. I don't know how often I will be able to update this blog but I hope for your occasional visits every once in a while!! (^o^)/

by danceofdragon | 2011-01-04 15:39