Monday, March 24, 2008

A Taste of Sun Before the Gloom of Spring

For most of the year Kazamaura's pathetic weather keeps us interned, confined to indoor activities. In the Yukon people often joked that there were only three seasons there: July, August and winter. Well, the temperature may seldom dip below zero here in Shimokita, but I think that a similar approach should be used for describing Kazamaura's seasons: August, September, and Gloom. The only nice time to be here is the tail-end of July through to the first bit of October. There are a few exceptions . . .

. . . like most of Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday this year. It was still cold enough that we needed our jackets most of the time, but the sky was blue and the sun was bright and warm for the first time in months and months. Easter Monday brought back the cold and gloom that is more usual fare for a month that is neither August or September.

No One Needs to Teach a One-and-a-Half Year Old How to Do This--It Comes Naturally

The Koi (Cyprinus Carpio) in Our Local Park:
The Objects of Grace's Interest

I often used to wonder how well young children can connect simplistic drawings of animals and every day objects with the corresponding real-life entities. Over the past half-year or so Grace has demonstrated that she has no problem connecting real-life cats and dogs and birds with the pictures in her books. However, misunderstandings do occur. I was a little taken aback the other day when Grace insisted that the cyprinus carpio in the pond in our local park were "" (pronounced "joo"). Then I remembered this page in Grace's "Counting with Miffy" book. means ten. Since is the first word and sakana (meaning "fish") is the second word we say when reading this page to Grace, she must have thought that the little fishy pictures represented , even though I always point to the number 10 when I say "". I finally got her to pronounce "fish" (in English) a couple of times over the weekend, but whenever she actually sees a fish she still says "".

And if you have 49 seconds to blow . . .

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