Maki riding

Hi there! We have closed AES for a couple of weeks, as all the schools here have closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

While I had time I thought I would post a video from last week. The place where we go riding has a small riding area for young children, and a bigger area for older children and adults. Maki has been allowed to start having lessons in the bigger area, and last week was her second lesson there. I think she is doing quite well. Here is a short video:

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Wall Repair

Hi there! We have made a lot of progress with the wall that got damaged in the typhoon last year.

The tree that came down in the typhoon ripped apart the concrete wall.

The first thing I had to do was remove any loose debris, then get rid of the giant section of root ball that had appeared when the tree blew over.

A pickaxe, spade, saw, and wheelbarrow did the trick!
It only took a few hours to clear the roots away.

The next job was to get the tree out. We had to get a 50 tonne crane in, and they lifted the tree in 2 tonne sections over the top of Anytime English School.

The crane has to boom out over the roof of AES.
The tree was cut into smaller pieces.
Then lifted over our premises.
You wouldn’t want this falling on you!

The next step was to start rebuilding the wall.

First of all the damaged section had to be removed.
Reinforced steel bars were inserted into the wall.
Then a cage was built to add strength to the new section.

It was really interesting to see how they attach the new section to the old section of wall. They insert reinforced steel bars into the wall with anchors that open out once they are deep into the wall. Then the weld on additional steel bars, and build a cage.

Concrete was pumped in from the top.

Then concrete was pumped in from the top. They had to open a hole at the bottom and use a vibrating tool to make the concrete go all the way down.

The cover will stay on for a couple of weeks.

In a couple of weeks the builders will come back and take off the plywood and scaffolding. I will post a picture of the new wall here soon!

All the best,


Here it is!! The finished wall!!

The builders did a fantastic job!
View from the road

We are closed at the moment, as the government asked the schools and after school educators to take a break to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
While I was off work, I finally got round to replacing the guttering on the back of our premises.

It was bit windy when I put it up, but am pleased with how it ended up
Even put a manhole in!

Anyway, that’s all for now!


Bracing for typhoon Hagibis

Hi there!

We have another typhoon heading towards Japan this weekend. So, we have been trying to prepare for it as well as we can.

Yesterday, TEPCO came and cut lots of branches off the tree that fell down behind AES in the last typhoon. It is much safer now. They will remove the rest of the tree at a later date.

They put a support underneath it, so it shouldn’t be able to fall down in the typhoon.

I boarded up some of the windows at AES this morning.

There is so much debris that is going to fly around this time. A lot of houses have sheets on the roofs as they are still waiting for them to be repaired from the last typhoon. People are worried that these sheets will all blow off and wrap around the powers lines, which will cause another power cut.

Anyway, fingers crossed it’s not too bad!!



Hi there!

A massive typhoon hit Chiba last night. All our neighbors said it was the strongest one they have ever experienced. We were very lucky as our house only suffered a little damage.

When I went to check our English school, I was in for a surprise though.

Its only a few minutes from our house, but there was definitely more damage there.

Then, I got to our premises and couldn’t believe that the massive tree right behind the classroom has fallen down!

The tree is only being held up by the electric cables.

I couldn’t get through to City Hall as all the lines are down. So, I drive down there and they sent some people out to look at it. They are going to cut the whole thing down. Just hope my neighbor will pay for his wall to be fixed!!

Hana and Maki seem pleased to be off school, but not happy to be without Wi-Fi!

Hope we get the power back on soon. I was helping some elderly neighbors this afternoon and the heat index was 41 degrees. Way too hot for them…….


Trip to Shizuoka

Hi there!

We just came back from a trip to Shizuoka. We weren’t sure if we would be able to go, as there was a typhoon making landfall at the same time. However, it was further south than where we were going so even though we did get a bit of rain, it was fine.


We left home at 5 am, and missed all the traffic! We got to Atami at 7 am and had some breakfast at a place that looked out onto the beach.

Then we decided to go for a drive around and see what Atami had to offer. Then we stumbled on Nagahama Beach! It is perfect for families, as there are almost no waves, and they had diving platforms!

Then we drove through the mountains to our campsite.

BBQing in the rain!

It was nice and cool at the campsite, but we still needed the air conditioner. We all slept well, and all said we want to stay at this campsite again.

Then the next morning we drove across Shizuoka to Awashima Island. We took a boat there from the mainland. The highlight for Hana and Maki was seeing the penguins being fed Japanese style!

Here is a video Hana posted on Youtube:

Nagashi Sakana!

They were first in line when it was time to feed the penguins again!

We had a great time in Shizuoka, and hope to go back again there soon!


One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!

A couple of days ago, I saw some workers replacing the cabling on the road by our English school. I asked them if I could have the old cable reels, and they gave me two.

So, yesterday afternoon I got to work on one of them. I cut a bit off the bottom and sanded it down. Then I put some legs on it to make it a bit higher. I had a bit of white paint and some varnish in the shed.

I thought it would make a good desk for the waiting room at AES!

So, I took the desk that was at AES and put it in Hana’s room.

Then, I took the desk that was in Hana’s room and put it in Maki’s room.

Maki is so excited to have her own desk – she wants to eat her tea there tonight!!

Goodbye Koo

Our beloved dog Koo passed away a few days ago. He was over 15 years old, and passed away very peacefully.

Hana and Maki wanted to have a funeral for him.

They made a tomb stone to mark where he is buried. Then they wrote messages to him, thanking him for being such a good friend to them.

Then they placed some flowers on his grave, and said their goodbyes.

We will miss you Koo……


I found an old video of Koo here: