First of all, thanks to everyone who turned out to help me record my podcast and also to those who joined us for dinner afterwards. It was all very short notice but luckily I travel prepared, even when I am fleeing disaster areas. While Romanticists seem to live in the 18th century and never leave home without their fountain pens I, as an oral historian, am never without my audio gear, generally enough to sound engineer a Rolling Stones concert at short notice. Thanks everyone.
Sunday morning I awoke with a very sore throat which I blamed on Christopher Robin`s smelly bags of mothballed books. Apparently bookworms are eating some of his antiquarian editions. They particularly like the tasty leather-bound volumes but avoid those that Christopher Robin purchased off a chain smoker (possibly Coleridge). So he thinks mothballs might have the same effect and treats his books by putting them in bags with mothball tablets. The stink is appalling.
However it wasn`t the mothballs. I had actually caught a cold. Nevertheless today, Monday, I travelled back to Tokyo. The regional blackouts were cancelled but rail companies are running disrupted services, lights are off in stations and the trains which do run are not particularly crowded, especially when you consider today is a national holiday. My apartment suffered almost no damage from the second quake (last Tuesday). I went straight down to my local supermarket to buy bottled water because, since some radiation was detected in the tap water, I think I will use bottled water for the foreseeable future. However there is no water, no tofu, no meat or fish, no rice or Pot Noodles or sliced bread. And VERY LITTLE CHOCOLATE! I will try again tomorrow morning. In the mean time I will drink beer.
Finally, thanks SO MUCH to Christopher Robin for putting me up and putting up with me for a whole week. Thanks to CR, I am the only person in Japan to have fled the disaster and promptly improved my standard of living. I don`t know if he reads my blog because he`s not good with new-fangled 20th century gadgets like computers but if you are reading this, CR, I owe you a fancy dinner at the restaurant of your choice next time I am in town. And a new fountain pen.