Christmas things

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Gold chocolate coins.

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Stone fruit.

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The same photo everyone else is taking.

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Christmas party elevator selflies.

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Well caged decorations.

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Babies in hats.

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Babies in hats, with crackers.

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Nigella Lawson's sticky gingerbread.

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Rum Balls.

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Moments of contemplation. Merry Xmas.

I am Newing - (Osaka part 3)

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Yes you are, surprised and/or shouting lady.

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We came across her on the way to the Osaka Zoo in Tennoji Park.

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I wore my Gorman leopard print coat and was unintentionally zoo-themed.

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It was cold out so when J bought this can of hot chocolate from a vending machine the Baby nicked it to have as a hand warmer.

The zoo itself made me sad as some of the animals were in too small enclosures.

What didn't make me sad was watching tiny school children marching all over the place in the cutest uniforms on the planet. I didn't take any photos because I didn't want to be the weird tourist lady taking snaps of kiddies. Let's just say none of the uniform designers were afraid of a tassel or a bow tie, or even a pom pom.

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But the best fun? Letting Baby loose in the deserted and dilapidated games pavilion.

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In the head of Ampanman.

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He may have actually peed his pants laughing when we played whack-a-mole.

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This is on the Dotonbori bridge later that evening. I love that flapper, manga girl.

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I popped into the Sanrio store to find a birthday present for our niece and found this terrifying Hello Kitty zombie lady. I was backing away slowly as I took this.

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This is the first time we've visited Japan pre-christmas and I'm loving all the festive notes (NB- slutty santa girl outfits are very popular).

I think this Christmas Tree plunged into a tank of tropical fish is my favourite recognition of the season so far though. That baby mohawk is pretty tops too.

Textiles and Roadworks (Osaka part 2)

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Here's our Japanese postcard view. Layers upon vertical layers woven together like knotted extension cords. Lights, pachinko and bike racks.

The Baby likes to sit on the window sill and rest his forehead on the glass. He looks down and points at things.

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Today's outfit. The Bassike relaxed cotton pants and I are such BFFs. With long boots, they work a treat in cooler temperatures. I can hardly bear to wash them.

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Speaking of which, here's the gorgeous, space odyssey washer/dryer in our room. It's superior to our old LG clunker at home in every way. I'm not looking forward to trading back.

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We went to the monthly flea market at Shitennoji Temple today. Sneakily, I always try to schedule our visits here around the 21st of the month so I can come.

Japanese textiles are my obsession and these piles of second hand kimonos are everywhere. They are so little valued here. Most are around AU $10 and many cheaper than that.

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I love them so much. Some of them must only have been worn once and are as pristine as new paper. I think I love the stained ones and rumpled ones even more though.

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I take them home and hoard them. They make very elegant dressing gowns.

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I bought this giddy geisha for a $1 too. She's rumpled herself. I love her.

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If the Baby were a little older I would have bought him this sushi-train set from Toys R Us.

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This children's program is good. It stars a cactus and a chair.

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Here's the view from the window again. It's 6am and a team of construction workers are just finishing resurfacing the road between McDonalds and the pachinko parlour. During the night I heard what I thought was the sound of garbage trucks, but it turns out was it was these guys working away. By 6.30 they had repainted the pedestrian crossing, cleaned up all their mess and were gone like thieves in the night.

Coming back to Osaka

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This is me. Deeply happy. Whiskey, hotel pyjamas and slippers at around 1am last night after we finally made it to our hotel.

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The baby was a dream, in a vision, in a ball of awesome on the flight. Just look at him having a nap in the bassinet.

In quiet moments on the plane I read Caitlin Moran's collection of articles 'Moranthology'. She writes in several places about her love of returning to the same places when she travels.

"Over and over, repeat and return. Like a casting stitch done over and over in the same spot - but at slightly different angles. When I go back to these places I can see my ghosts from every previous visit."

"A casting on stitch done in the same place, over and over again, gets stronger. I don't travel to broaden the mind. I return - something completely different."


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Our hotel has a brilliant walk in wardrobe in the bedroom with a full length mirror and loads of storage. It's bliss. Good for outfit snaps too. The capsule wardrobe is serving me well so far.

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On our first day we just pottered about the place and did some shopping.

I always find men's clothes are so much more interesting here. (These are men's undies in g.u.) They embrace colour and pattern in a way that high street western men's clothes don't seem to be able to do without obnoxious logos and stupid, meaningless numbers.

This wall of boxer briefs was one of three aisles. They were all around $5 Australian dollars.

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Meanwhile, I went to the drug store. These places are black holes of awesome. Once I enter I am lost and I don't think I've ever managed to leave empty handed. They take cosmetic products very seriously here (except deodorant - they don't do that at all)

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These tights contain "A unique blend of ginger and capsicum (red pepper extract) to warm up your leg's temperature on average by 1.7 degrees celcius."

They also claim to "Mositurise the skin with soothing chamomile extract."

I'll let you know how they go.

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I also picked up some Handy Baby Honey Butter. The packet says "Honey essence keeps your lips moisture and makes lips plump like touching the baby."

I couldn't say no to that.

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I think Sexy Zone might be the Japanese answer to One Direction. They fulfil the key criteria of looking 12 years old.

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I spent a terrible amount on this bunch of grapes while foraging for food for the baby. Aren't they perfect though? They look plastic and are huge.