A Colonel Sanders statue wearing a life jacket stands in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Niigata, northern Japan. In conjunction with the start of "Golden Week" holidays, the Japan Coast Guard started a campaign to promote the use of life jackets at sea.
(photo and caption from MDN)
Golden Week is a period in late April and early May in which several Japanese national holidays are clustered together - Green Day, Constitution Day, and Children's Day. This year two of the holidays (plus the freebie in between) fall right after a weekend, so most people get five continuous days off. We're not always that lucky. In fact, GW rarely equals a full week of vacation.
Rie and I will be Golden Weeking with her parents in Iiyama, Nagano. This probably means farmwork, going to bed early, and never putting the dog on her leash. And, even though Niigata prefecture is just a stone's throw away, there'll be a nice big mountain between us and the Japan Sea. So our life jackets stay at home.
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It occurred to me that we spent our Green Day - appropriately - planting our annual garden, which promises to take over all but a couple square feet of back patio. For now, the patio is only occupied by the store-bought plants we transplanted - two basil, two oregano, two aojiso (green shiso), one spearmint, one chamomile, and one goya (or bitter gourd, or balsam pear). Then there are the seeds we planted - thyme, cilantro, goya, and rocket (or arugula) - that will eventually join the others. We've still got enough dried basil from last year's harvest to hold us, but sometimes there's just no substitute for fresh basil. Cilantro is where we might have problems... anyone have tips on raising this stuff?