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Cherry Aid

Nascent Cherry Blossom

Nascent Cherry Blossom

Each year, about this time the cherry trees blossom. Cherry blossom means Japan, of course. In Japan they are in two minds about it. The arrival of the cherry blossom heralds the arrival of the hay fever season. While the cherry blossom is the most obvious culprit, it isn’t the main source of the pollen. Most comes from the Japanese Cedar and Japanese Cypress trees that were planted in their thousands as part of the reconstruction and rebuilding programme after the war. The pollen from these two trees  is maximised once the tree reaches the ripe old age of thirty. Most of the trees are now thirty to forty years old and well into the swing of it.

At this time of year a range of ‘anti-hay fever’ products appear – after all, on a nice day who wouldn’t want to picnic in the park amongst the cherry blossom. This year, the most popular seems to be a sort of bee keeper helmet, with a small battery powered fan in the top that draws in air through a filter. I presume that the air in Japan, realises that it isn’t supposed to come in through the gauze covering your face, and makes its way round to the fan independently – perhaps there are signs showing the correct path.

Our cherry trees, down by the beck, are doing their best. Every time we pass that way we stop and have a chat. Obviously, we’re concerned that all these negative vibes may put them off.

We’ve taken to passing on those ‘inspired quotes’ that litter the Internet every time we’re round that way.  Today we tried ‘It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty – as long as you have a glass with something in it’. I’m not sure if it hit the spot, though.

It Must Be Spring

The First Cherry Blossom

The First Cherry Blossom

At last! Cherry blossom, it must be spring. It’s a good thing we have stuff like cherry blossom to remind us that this is the time of the year to have a good spring clean. The weather certainly doesn’t give us any clues. I’m not sure if it is deliberately trying to keep us guessing and thinks ‘a little bit of this’ then ‘a little bit of that’ is part of the game, or if things have become thoroughly disorganised up there. Perhaps it’s the economic situation. The only guy who actually knew what was going on was laid off in a downsizing drive. They then told the cleaners that it was now part of their terms of employment, and to make sure that all the weather was used up in strict rotation, then to dust the shelves regularly. The computerised ordering system would detect an empty shelf and reorder new weather components on a ‘Just In Time‘ basis.

As you might expect, the cleaners went through the whole place issuing out the dirty old faded bits of sunshine and dog-eared grey clouds. Then they cleaned all the shelves from top to bottom. The ordering system promptly refilled the nice clean shelves with new and shiny weather. This meant that the shelves no longer needed cleaning. To maintain the statistics necessary for their annual assessment, the rack nearest the Tea Room, which has dirty brown clouds and sheets of rain on it and so is the hardest to keep clean, regularly has its contents rotated.

Luckily, they don’t work during tea break and so we do occasionally, have a small patch of sunshine, which is left to cover up a multitude of sins while they all pop out for a smoke.

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