Well, that wraps up 2016! Now let's get into 2017 and get on with all those things we have been promising to do.
Here in Japan we have already had a good night's sleep after the countdown to midnight on the 31st of December 2016.
One interesting event which took place over the year-shift:
On the evening of the 31st (a Saturday) I realised that I needed to take some close-ups of my keyboard for the video tutorial I am finsihing off just now. My usual keyboards are full of dirt and dust and this can be seen very clearly in close-ups. So I looked for a cheap keyboard on the internet and ordered it at about 20.30 p.m.
This morning, the 1st of January, 2017 (a Sunday), at about 9 a.m.the keyboard was delivered to our door.
Not only a delivery of an order in about 12 hours, but also overnight between Saturday December 31st and Sunday January 1st!
There are still a lot of things that are normal and taken for granted in Japan that have long since disappeared from the rest of the civilised world!
Once a year, on the first day of the year, I drink the only alcohol for the year. I do it as part of the Japanese New Year tradition of drinking O-toso.
O-toso is a spiced medicinal sake that is traditionally drunk at this time of the year. The belief is that it will flush away any of the previous year's sicknesses and help you enjoy a long, healthy life in the future.
It is served on those red lacquered cups with the o-toso poured from the red lacquered "teapot".
I drink about a thimbleful, and that satisfies my need for alcohol for the coming year.
Well, that's it! 2017 is here at last and I have promised you all so much this year.
I am going to take it relatively easy today and then, from tomorrow the 2nd., I will do my best to start delivering on my many promises.
Also, I hope that more of you will become more active on the pages here and post comments, ask questions, suggest Tutorial topics and so on.
Douglas and Megumi
The set of boxes above contain o-sechi, Japanese traditional New Year's food. In the past most households prepared the feast at home, but nowadays it is becoming more and more usual to buy ready prepared boxes of o-sechi. Only a few smaller items on the menu are prepared at home.
Once opened and laid out on the table the feast is ready for a) Your eyes and then b) Your mouths.
It takes a few sittings during the day, and even the next day, before we will finish it all!