Sorry for my long silence.
I have been away for quite a while and not given any online explanation yet. Sometimes a lot of stuff happens and at the same time very little happens so you do not know any longer where to start when you can speak again. I will start at the moment where I stopped being present.
At the end of September I was ordered strict bed rest. Not being allowed to sit and use a computer very little happened. The good thing was that I had just bought a tablet. The bad thing was that I was drowsy and lacked the energy to do something besides tabbing on a "like" button once a while.
Little was happening and at the same time a lot. A small baby was moving in my belly and after a couple of weeks of bed rest at home I was admitted to a clinic. After some more weeks I moved from the clinic to a big hospital.
Not knowing when or if the child would be born I was surrounded by the sound of baby's all the time.
Even though I had to lie down all the time being pregnant had its fun parts to me. Maybe it was because of hormones, the side effects of some of the medication, or because I was glad the whole thing was not over yet, anyway I enjoyed it.
At the start of December my daughter was born. She has grown a lot since and kicks and yawns all day round. She does need to stay in the hospital for a bit longer but she will be fine.
Writing about how I have been spending too much time in hospitals makes it all sound rather serious. The main thing is I have a daughter, and I am really happy with her.
Last week it was Tanabata or star festival. In the evening while the last shop keepers were closing down I passed this street. It was filled with wishes written on colorful paper and bamboo twigs. On this picture you can see wishes for longelivity, health, becoming a professional soccer player and the ability to write wishes down in a more beautiful handwriting.
When buying souvenirs at a temporary shopping center I saw this frog. The owner of the frog had bought it to welcome guests and to protect his store. After the tsunami he found back the frog under a layer of rubble in one piece. It gave him inspiration to stay in his hometown and start up his store again.
I hope many people will start to visit this beautifull part of Japan again.
It is almost one year ago that the North East of Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. This week I visited the area for the first time with a group from Hatena.
We stayed at a beautiful resort along the coast located on a high rock that was not directly hit by the disaster. The director of the hotel told us about how a large group of people from the neighboring town took refuge here together with guests that could not go home for days because of damage to the roads. We had a camp to develop new services at this hotel to have a chance to meet with local people and users of Hatena in the area.
Enormous amounts of rubble have been cleared away, and temporary housing has been build, but a lot remains to be done. As you can see in this picture taken yesterday by id:kiyohero.
Problems where the local people talked about are that communities have been scattered over numerous emergency housing sites; Children have to travel over great distances to get to their new schools and that some towns despite the emergence of temporary shopping centers need to do without a supermarket.
One of the things I like about Flipnote is how it is used all over the world. You can learn a lot about other countries from Flipnotes. You can find Flipnotes on all kinds of traditions, local food and customs.
I enjoyed my holliday a lot, I went to this tiny country in old sweet Europe. But it also feels good to be back in Kyoto. With a nice pack of snow this morning it really feels like we have a fresh start of the year. Being back at the Hatena office I am watching many, many Flipnotes again. I especially enjoyed seeing many animated Christmas and New Year cards today.
Such as this Japanese New Year Card by Tooru.F
I am afraid it is a bit too late to start animating a card now. But I still want to wish you all, especially those of you posting cool cards on Flipnote Hatena, a Happy New Year!