AFTER MUCH FRUSTRATING DAYS SPENT watching the minimum progress spent on the renovations to our house, I decided to play a game: plant some vegies and see which is quicker: my daikon or the builder!!

I go and talk to my neighbour Stuart almost everyday and we compare notes on the work progress and life in Hanase in general and I must say his builders are amazing. They rock up on a Sunday morning and stay for 10 hours without so much as a peep and Stuart can now see the finishing touches being put to his lovely old house. On the other hand we had the outside dunnie demolished and the impratical country kitchen demolished ( all by Goro-san the plumber and his son) and our builder then realises, hey, we might need to organise a tiler or plasterer now to continue the process. Of course his reluctance to suggest someone or maybe he wanting to see how long we can survive living at Base Camp with a huge frickin hole in the side of the house is his game plan I don’t really know. He is about to get the red card from me, but all things Japanese lets live with the flow. Goro-san suggested his cousin, who is a plasterer, come to have a look-see and boy, we love him already! Tomorrow he starts.

Anyway, my daikon , so far, is winning.

After taking 3 days to cut and fire all the posts and fencing, then digging all the holes and laying the posts in concrete,  I finally managed to create a paddock with a fence! All the seeds have been sown ; baby spinach, kikuna, daikon, hakusai, negi, garlic, leeks and my prize rhubarb all the way from Oz.

During this time  our hapless builder did redeem himself quite a bit and ripped out all the sub-flooring in the irori room and replaced all the rotten beams which have supported the house for 120 years or so, and laid new timbers and insulation then our newly acquired old floorboards from another century. the room now looks the part!

At the end of the day we can still sit down and enjoy a cuppa!


And don’t fpr get those lovely balmy evenings in Hanase.

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