I’m back – well, I didn’t go anywhere, but I’m back posting here. Golden Week was nice and relaxing, the temperature has picked up a bit even though it is raining now. There were several things I did last week that I had put off for quite a while, and it is wonderful to start with a clean slate, or at least, with a clean apartment again.

Finally, after all these months I have managed to unpack my books! It took me that long because there is no good spot to place bookshelves in my apartment. I did not want any tall ones in my bedroom, nor in that part of my living room I intend to use for guests – if there is a heavy earthquake, you don’t want to be buried under books. And the one livingroom wall where bookshelves would fit gets the full sunlight in winter, which is not good either. So I decided to have only very low bookshelves underneath a window, but it was hard to find the right size, and I ended up doing a significant amount of DIY there…

Anyway, I have now unpacked, catalogued, and stowed away my books – all 366 of them. Surprisingly, even though what is left is only one third of my library, there were only two books I missed (and will certainly buy again); and I do somewhat regret getting rid of my complete collection of discworld novels, mostly because the current covers are not that nice anymore. Other than that I did not feel too bad about what I kept, which is good.

Also, I have looked at furniture and lamps for the livingroom as well. As I said, I want the part with the tatami to be in Japanese style, but unfortunately, the really nice lamps I like are very expensive and the cheap ones are either ugly or plastic… I am still contemplating about some lamps that took my fancy. We will see – and I promise to post pictures once the living room is finished.

Besides that I enjoyed the nice days of last week by sitting on my balcony. Although the scaffolding is still there, the black sheets were removed from the south side of the building, so I have a (mostly) unobstructed view again. Now, people are busy on the north side, but it seems that they are slightly less enthusiastic about it there.

I also went to a special event last Sunday: The Kyoto State Guest House had open days. Everybody could go and have a look how state guests are housed and entertained in Japan – and I can tell you, it’s not shabby at all! I will write about this in depth in the weekend.