Level 4

Says it all really

So, the virus has returned dramatically. Each day we are getting more cases than the whole months of March and April when the virus first arrived. Okinawa is now the worst affected, per capita, prefecture in Japan.

Yesterday, Governor Tamaki inevitably announced that Okinawa would go into the highest level of epidemic reaction, Level 4. This means stay at home.

Well, that is pretty much what I have been doing since the resurgence about two weeks ago. This entry is necessarily rather dull as it covers sitting around on a very hot and humid island not doing much.

Hot and humid! I think it must be age but I cannot remember being so incapacitated by the heat in previous years. As always I have lots of little jobs to do on the boat but even an hour outside leaves me drenched in sweat and dizzy. I worry about heat stroke.

I do manage to buy some proper rope and bend on a new jib sheet. I did the same thing about 2 weeks ago but the rope was useless and kept slipping through the cleats at critical moments.

Amazon Japan.

Taking her out in the heat of the day seems too much effort but we have been on some good sunset sails by which time it is only 28 degrees or so.

Before the rain

One night we got into a fantastic downpour. It snuck up behind as we were oohing and aahing about sunset. Within seconds we were completely drenched. Rain like everything else on Okinawa at this time of year is hot. The crew loved it.

What else?

Ah yes, after 10 years of accepting that cream was not sold in Japan, I was again proven wrong. Well, I knew that you could get cartons of thin stuff that could whipped up for decoration but not thick cream for sauces. What is a Summer picnic without strawberries and cream?

Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton

I have written about my water dispenser. I drink so much cold water in this heat. I go to the local water depot to stock up. This was my first visit and I expected a gloomy warehouse but found a dazzling shopfront with uniformed staff who of course load my car for me.

Interesting backhand v sign.

Oh yes, nearly forgot, I have a new hobby. Great rafts of hard skin have built up on my delicate feet. In a pharmacy type shop I find a great device, a battery driven hard skin grinder.

Get one.

My evening are spent grinding away at my feet.

Have you dozed off yet?

The big news is that I have got my flute back. My friend Takaesu san has replaced all the pads on the keys and has done a fine job.

He is a great bloke.Not wearing a mask, very unusual.
New Okinawan pad on F key made in 1824 in London

The flute plays beautifully except I have yet to persuade her to consistently produce the hard bottom D note that is so important in Irish music. It is rhythmically sprinkled in nearly all tunes especially reels. The drive and lift of good flute playing is to a large extent produced by the D.

I think this is G #.

So, I have been playing a lot and little by little the hard D is returning. Is this because the flute understands what I want or because I am minutely adapting my embouchure and blow? An early 19th century wooden flute is a stern mistress.


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6 Responses to Level 4

  1. Rachel says:

    Well done nonetheless! [“…don’t worry; …be happy now!”]

  2. Alan says:

    Here’s hoping that the Okinawans can keep the Covid-19 numbers down by being well-behaved. We’ve just had a brief taste of Okinawan heat & humidity and it’s not been fun – 35C by day and 29C at night has been a bit trying! Now we’re quarantining travellers from France for two weeks. Mind you, nobody actually checks whether those ordered to quarantine are actually staying at home so it’s just a paper tiger.
    Puzzled by the whole water-cooler thing. Have you not got a water supply and a fridge in the new place? Or are you renting the place out as office space where I believe water-coolers are de rigueur?
    Keep healthy and happy!

    • Crazy heat in England. At least we all have AC. Can’t imagine existing without it here. I think the quality of the water is a big deal. I will have to ask Arisa. I was very suspicious when she proposed getting one but now I love it. The Okinawans are a very disciplined bunch everyone wears masks and distances. The problem has been aggravated by the Government offering fantastic travel rebates to try to keep the tourist industry going. This means lots of mainland folks coming to Okinawa spreading the virus. Nuts. Hope you are doing well in Stony Stratford

  3. calderi says:

    1824 – gosh, big birthday coming up soonish. Quite something to ponder on all that’s happened since. I don’t believe they had air conditioning or business class flights even.

  4. Rachel Claus says:

    Lovely description of romancing the flute: thank you!

  5. Alan says:

    In Stony Stratford all is well – great majority here are punctilious in wearing of masks and social distancing. Even in the pubs people keep well apart, not always the case in other parts of MK. Maybe I should check out your old haunts from the sewage mines days!
    Speaking of the demon – there was an interesting article in The Guardian yesterday involving awamori and rojo-ne. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/19/road-sleeping-epidemic-hits-okinawa-as-warm-weather-meets-heavy-drinking .
    Awamori sounds just the thing for a nightcap, just don’t go for a walk.

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