I have a plan 〜 プランがありますよ

I am often asked a certain question at this time of year.  It goes “how are you spending all of your free time?”  My neighbors ask me “are you off today, too?”  Even former students ask what I do with myself everyday.  The question assumes that university-related people have absolutely nothing to do between the end of one semester and the beginning of the next.  Rather than lecture you on the reality of life in academia, let me just state that I do go in to work at this time of year.  When necessary.  It should also be admitted that my passion for work does decline at this time of year.  Without choir rehearsals, class prep, meetings, etc, it is easier to get out for a day of cycling or whatever.  I’ve been splitting it up between working a few days and then playing hard for a day or two.  AND planning some “big fun.”

My first “big fun” will be a weekend at a hot spring resort.  One night will be spent with colleagues, and the next with “the wife.”  That in itself is fun, of course.  But I started looking at a map and wondering why anyone in their right mind would take a train or drive when it’s only 100 and a few kilometers to the hotel?  I decided to save money, see a castle on the way, and use up all of my calories for the week in a single day.  Here is the route:

最近、「春休みはどう過ごしていますか」とよく聞かれます。出かけるとき、近所の方に「今日もお休み?」と聞かれることもあります。確かに、学生にとって、2〜3月は春休みです。しかし、教員は普通より自由かもしれませんが、仕事がないわけではありません。会議、リハーサル等の定期的仕事は減りました。この春、私は自転車で遠回りで出勤するか、1日休んでサイクリングすることは多いです。

今週末、熱海の温泉ホテルで二泊三日の旅を計画しています。1日目は同僚と一緒、二日目は「ザ・ワイフ」と一緒です。この旅行を計画した時、自宅と熱海の間の距離を検討した結果、乗り物が不要だとわかりました。約108キロですので、やはり自転車で行くことにしました。ルートは以下の通り。土曜日午前5時に出発しますので、応援をお願いします。

As you can see, it is 108 km, and ends up with some very hilly riding.  Wish me luck – I leave Saturday at 5 am.  Report will follow.

My next “big fun” is even bigger.  I’ll report on that later, but here’s a hint – it involves cycling four days to choir camp in advance of the choir’s arrival.  What fun!

Now, before you label me a looney, let me show you some of the things I’ve discovered from the saddle lately.  Without my rides, much that I find interesting in life would have passed me right by.  As the president of the USA likes to twit on twitter, wouldn’t that have been “sad?”

翌週また大きな楽しみが待っていますが、詳細は後日です。さあ、皆さん、長距離サイクリングをしたくなりましたか?私の場合、もちろん疲れます。もちろん体が痛くなります。しかし、サイクリングのおかげで、たくさんの興味深い発見がこの30数年の間にありました。サイクリング(又は散歩)のない生活は想像出来ません。以下の写真のようなスポットは全部偶然こんな機会から見つけました。皆さんのサイクリング写真をお待ちしています!

Yokohama river dream houses

Temple plum tree

Under-bridge graffiti

under-bridge graffiti

How are you spending your spring?  I hope this encourages you to either dust off your bike, or even to don your walking shoes and see your surroundings through different eyes.

Finally, a report on the jaunt to Atami will follow in a few days.  Assuming I make it.

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