Saturday, 2 October 2010

A whole lot of hugging

I’ve had a lot of opportunities to get up close and personal with an obese woman and trees. Outside of Yoyogi park near Haraku a bunch of people were offering free hugs outside of their free hug hippy bus. Taking the opportunities for all expereinces, I just went for the first person, it’s clearly a British mentality that beggers can’t be choosers. It was a free hug! The comment from my friends was, “why did you pick the fat one?” “I didn’t select, I’m sure she doesn’t discrimate either when she offers free hugs”. Some people can be far too fussy. But, I now know that trees are less selective than humans.

A few weeks ago I climbed Mount Takao, I expected it to be difficult. My day began with an exercise to get back in touch with nature. The leader of the event was a very tall American. So tall, I wondered how he coped here in Japan, he must spend most of his life crouched or sloped down. I’m remain curious about men who are leaders, especially those in physical occupations, they require a lot of trust, which could easily be abused. My day began blind folded in the forest surrounding Mount Takao guided by two Japanese woman. The purpose of the exercise? To understand and feel the tree, so when I’m no longer blind folded, I can find the tree. I had touch the tree very carefully for every lump and hole, for moss and leaves, perhaps the spirits in the tree enjoyed it. In turn, I lead two rather exhuberant Japanese women around the forest. What kind of kicks does a man get watching twenty blind-folded women in the forest?

I had hoped for something more challenging, challenges or rather seeking them out seems to be a sport of mine at the moment. I was very sorry that it only took sixty minutes. I was expecting something challenging so imagine my disappointment when I reached the top so quickly. It wasn’t a mission for the A team. It seems when something is not a challenge I don’t enjoy it as much. I went on a taster sailing course in April. I had the pleasure to meet my skipper, minus a parrot and eye patch, but he had a black toe and a typical sailors thirst for alcohol.

It was force six, nearly seven and I’d never been sailing before. The skipper said he was unsure if he should have taken me out as the only person without sailing experience. But he commented I was like Joan of Arc leading her army into battle. But I don’t think that Joan of Arc wore Ellen MacArthur Dungarees and a plastic mac. She probably had some cool chain metal armour too and thrilling weaponary skills to display. Even when the bough of the boat tipped up and smashed down onto the waves, I was without fear. The excitement only increased when it was my turn to steer the boat. On calmer days, my interest was subdued and I began to feel onset of sea sickness. I’m sure Joan of Arc wasn’t cut out for periods of peace and serenity. Likewise, I work better with an adventure on the horizon.

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