2. A week from the solstice, l'heure blue is 9 pm. It's taken me six decades to make note of that fact, but now I have.
3. As mentioned, I did indeed trim the hedge. It's now lower than before but not much neater. I also lopped branches from the front yard linden tree-- dear god but the extendible limb lopper is an ill-balanced beast-- and a few from the cherry tree where the birds are joyfully feasting. Gorge yourself, little fowls: I have no desire to pick up the rotting cherries which I calculate will be falling in a week or two. The cold spring doesn't look to have discouraged the crop at all.
4. Aunt's 93rd birthday party today, attended by various rarely-seen cousins. As always am amazed at how sane and normal my family is in its extended version, especially when compared to the people I ahem see every day. Sane, normal, and interesting: perhaps it's just the family surroundings that makes them capable of conversing so easily, but that's a trait I miss in casual social encounters here, since I'm not gifted in that department myself. Whatever, it was like a visit to childhood Sundays, chatty parents chatting to chatty siblings and their spouses over mid-day dinner: cozy, nostalgic, very pleasant.
5. Oh, and dinner: brunch buffet, actually, at aunt's tony retirement home. Never, not even at the New Sanno Hotel, have I encountered such a Pig Heaven. The Sanno had bacon-- crisp fried American bacon, a rarity in Tokyo-- but also grits and cornflakes and things that appeal to American servicemen. Aunt's place had bacon and sausage links and poached eggs on ham slices to go with the croissants and bagels and roast potatoes and roast beef if you want it. (Also a kind of spaghetti tart that I didn't investigate.) A very good thing there was all that yard work to follow. But ohh, it was worth it.
6. Turned up passports from the 70s and 80s. Discover that my trip to France in '75, with friend, intent to stay a year, and my trip to France in '80, alone, intent to stay two weeks, both commenced on Sept. 19, a useful coincidence. And somehow my trip to England in summer '75, with friend, didn't get a stamp at all, which is very strange indeed.