Month: November 2012

Holstee Manifesto

A few months ago this came to me via Facebook. I guess that it was one of those viral things, but in my humble opinion ,a good virus to come across. With the end of the year around the corner,and the traditional “looking back to the year we are about to leave behind” coming soon, it also seems to me like a great opportunity to look forward. This has been a hard year to get by, but also a year in which I have managed to complete a lot of the things that I have worked on so hard to achieve. The hardship, I will try to replace with warm memories and the achievements, with new goals.

Snap! (Japanese photography)

Ebisu is an area in Tokyo where the HQ of the well known Yebisu beer is located. This is why , on arrival, the speakers of the Ebisu train station, welcome travellers with the theme of one of my old time favourite movies: The third Man. The song has been used , for many years, as the soundtrack to the brand’s advertisements and it is quite an experience for the unsuspected traveller to be suddenly transported to an almost comedic environment, typical in mute movies, where the crowd begins to walk to the rhythm of a tune.

Silly morning writing

I am noticing a serious tone on my posts and was wondering what I should be writing about today … looking around I have just decided that I am going to write about human behaviour. When I was a child the news on tv seemed to be too focused on war and political issues. Despite the fact that I was only young, in paper, I grew up very fast as events unfolded around me at an un comprehensible speed. There was a cold war out there, and soon enough I learnt hat it was not related to the weather but a certain red button which kept all awake at night.

Be the best that you can be

The best thing about the internet is that despite the fact that you may be here or there, nowadays you can count on your internet access to deliver any of your home comforts directly to your computer. In my case, those include Classic FM which , by the way, has a brilliant app that I forgot to mention on my “Apps I like” entries probably due to the fact that it is such a part of my life and I no longer notice it. Going off topic here, but there is a reason… Whilst listening to Classic Fm this afternoon, I learnt that today’s news in the UK seems to be that it is official that there is a reason why children in the UK don’t want to appear to be intellectuals or even shine. A study has shown that, in fact, many stop doing what ever it is that they are good at due to fear of being bullied! As a result, many waste their talent rather than making the most of it.

Gaur egungo mundua

Duela pare bat egun, gauza interesgarria jazo zitzaidan. Nere Instagramen bidez, nik bezelako, Japoniar batekin ezkonduta dagoen pertsonak euskeraz mezua bidali zitzaidan. Ni, euskeraz hitegiten dudala ta, Japoniarra ikasten ari naiz. Bera, japoniarra hitzegiten duela ta, euskera ikasten ari da. Interneten bidez, gure maila hobetzeko, bi hizkuntz hauetan, mintzazen erabaki dugu. Ai ze nolakoa den gaur egungo mundua. Photography by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate All images are property of the author/s as specified and all rights are reserved. If you wanted to share any of the information provided, send a link to the website but do not extract /copy the information without prior permission.

Another first day

Yesterday was the first outing of our family in its new configuration. We travelled to the outskirts of Tokyo where we enjoyed a lovely lunch and sightseeing of the autumn landscape. It was the breath of fresh air we all needed. Here some images I took accompanied with some Haiku by Matsuo Basho, because there are some who can say it better than I can, and he certainly is one of those.

Spain from afar

When you live abroad you feel like looking into a fish tank each time the news on Spain appear on television and people who don’t understand the reality that your family or so many others are facing each day. Your parents, and their post-dictatorship generation, who have worked so hard for such a long time, who made sure that you and your generation received the best possible education to make a better life for yourself, are now having to accept that their hard earned pension is no longer for them to live a slower paced life but to continue to sustain the failed economy. This new grandparents generation acts as childminders, cooks and in some cases hosts to many young families which would simply cease to exist without this arrangement being in place. In truth, not so many dare to have children and those who do, are making the decision to keep within the safety limit of… one! (I do wonder who will pay the taxes for their parents to survive in their future retirement) …


Today will be a day that i will always remember . It is not particularly bright, or sunny, in London though I am told that was in Tokyo. A fine autumn day to part, I guess. I have waited for months, even years for this day to arrive, watching first hand the effects that the terrible “C” imposes upon people’s lives. And if it is true that one in three of us are to go through it at some point, let us try to get ready. Not for the moment of that last breath but for a journey which will take as long as it takes. Every minute of life leading to the time when that final day arrives is precious and will always be cherished by those around us beyond that day. Despite the demands of our busy lives, let’s not forget to live. Ps. Just a line to thank the wonderful doctor who has taken this journey with us who has not only been there for our family but whose generosity makes give drive every weekend to …