Latest catch-up post!

A view of the harbour from outside our Golden Week restaurant

Once again, I’m behind and, once again, I’m playing catch-up with my blog. Continue reading


Lyssays (a name change for spring)

Mr. K. investigates some moss

Spring is slowly arriving. I actually saw a couple of cherry blossoms finally starting to flower at the park yesterday and there are days, at least, where the weather warms up. We’re getting there.

If spring is creeping in, maybe it’s time to start creeping back into blogging too. I’ve made a couple of changes here, the most notable being the name of my blog and username. I’ve gone from “Wisps and Whatnot” to “Lyssays”. It’s basically a play on words. I’ve used Lyssa, in various ways, as one of my online names for years and I will continue to do so as my user name here! The rest comes from my long-held dream of writing intelligible enough posts that they might be called essays, plus the fact that “Lyssays” looks a bit like Lyssa Says. See, I’m very pleased with my wittiness on this one.

It’s been a very long winter. We kept getting sick, often all at once. I’ll definitely be getting my flu shot next winter just to try and avoid that nightmare again. When I wasn’t getting sick, I was swamped with work. That’s a situation that’s bound to arise again, but I’ll try to work getting more blog posts up anyway? I get all these ideas in my head for them, after all. It’s just the finding of time and space to spit them out! Wish me luck with that!

First post of 2017

Hello, and happy new year!

It’s been a long time without blogging. Things were tapering off a bit by October and in November, I attempted NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite succeed at it, but it was an interesting experience… and it was quite a time thief. I also managed to get sick in November, and even more sick in December, the first half of which involved work being extremely busy.
The second half of December, though, and going into the new year, I’ve found myself on vacation and, to be honest, just relaxing. It hasn’t been totally stress-free, but it has been nice to wind down. I’ve nagged myself to catch up on blogging a few times and tonight, here I am, doing just that.

Getting to the end of 2016 felt like limping over the finish line of a very long, brutal race. I don’t know if 2017 will be better, but I think most of us would very much like it to be. Maybe that will give us something to work with?

As always, I’ve missed this and, as always, I’m hoping to be better at staying on top of things in the future.

Dreams of a past self


Last night, I dreamed about an old…friend? No, that doesn’t quite cover it – an ex “it’s complicated” might be better. The Internet was involved, as were unrequited feelings, hurt, confessions of love, a lot of intensity, some very nice writing, and a couple of online games.

I have, admittedly, been thinking about his old blog recently. He was – presumably still is – an extremely good writer, and his posts were both compelling and entertaining, tackling miscellaneous topics. It was the sort of blog I still wish this one was.

Somehow, though, I had managed to think about his blog without thinking all that much about the author, hence the surprise value of seeing him in a dream. I mean, I’ve encountered men with the same name as him without thinking of him. It once seemed impossible that I would ever be without that jarring mental association.

I don’t regret the direction my life took instead – not currently, anyway. Touch wood. I don’t know, 2016 is proving so rough already and there are still six months left, anything could go down yet. But I did get wondering about him, the what ifs of it all, and what he’s doing now.

One thing I do regret is no longer being the person I was when I knew him, or at least the person he believed I was. I was so keen on anthropology and research back then. I doubt he remembers telling me that I should turn my thesis into a book, but I do, and I wish I had taken his advice.

I’ll probably end up Googling him shortly just to satisfy my curiousity and not find much, because that’s how it tends to go with him. The other thing to take away from that random mental occurrence might be the reminder of who I used to be, and who I wanted to become. Who I still want to become.

Minor changes


For the last month or two, I know I’ve been grossly neglecting this blog, and I’ve been pretty much posting less than I’d like to for close to six months now anyway. I don’t think anyone really sits around with bated breath waiting for my next post, but I am sorry nonetheless.

Knowing I’ve been neglecting this blog and trying to think about what to do to change that has led me to make a couple of changes.

The first, and perhaps more noticeable change, is that not just the chocolates posts but anything about Japanese cakes, cafes and sweets will go over on my Chocolates of Japan blog. This content has always sat a bit at odds with the other things I post about and it just seems easier for both me and my readers to group these things together instead. I’ll be working on broadening my other blog over the next week to cater for that; if any readers are only interested in Japanese food-ish things, I’m happy to redirect you over there instead.

The second change is a bit more subtle but still important to me. While the main reason behind my dearth of posts is just that I’m very busy, another issue is that I feel this pressure to not just write posts, but write especially meaningful, high-quality ones. The pressure comes completely from me, but knowing that hasn’t really stopped me from imposing it on myself anyhow. I end up with ideas for things I wouldn’t mind posting about, but I don’t feel as though they would be worth reading. Instead, I keep this idea of the ideal post in my head but, rather than somehow getting it out, I either end up too daunted and/or overwhelmed to post at all, or I just throw up a few photos and hope for the best.

So, after pondering things for a couple of weeks, I’ve come up with something of a new plan. Instead of trying to create the long, important essays I imagine for this blog, I’m going to stick with posting the things I just feel like writing about instead.

The topics won’t be hugely different to what I was trying to write about anyhow – I imagine things about Japan and the oddness of living here, being a mother, a woman, family and all the complications that brings, work, Australia and being an expat, life generally, oh my god I hope books, probably the cats, and yeah, photos.

It might be a bit more informal, though, and a little more personal. Chattier? Something like that. The effort will be there, anyway!