Curious mix of emotions this week. My second oldest daughter, Alison, sets off for Japan on Sunday morning. She's studying Japanese at Edinburgh University and it's compulsory for her to spend third year abroad, so she's going to university in Tokyo for ten months.
She's always been lured by Japanese culture and it's been her ambition to travel there since she was in Primary School. Or even earlier. In my mind's eye, I can still see her sitting in front of the TV as a three or four year old, watching the Japanese animé Dragonball Z. She's been hooked ever since.
So - safe journey, Alison. Bon voyage and when you think about all the loved ones you've left behind, remember the metaphor from that John Donne poem I sent you - 'Our two soules therefore, which are one, Though I must goe, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate.' (A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning)
Or, hey - why not think of Leonard Cohen's words? 'You know my love goes with you, as your love stays with me. It's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea.' (Hey, that's no way to say goodbye).
Looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing all the photos!