December 21st, 2020


Things Can Only Get Bitter

In January my friend Haruka won the lottery for a 2-year working/holiday visa to the UK, at maybe the sixth attempt (they hold it every six months). She was delighted, but then of course Coronavirus hit, which made her delay somewhat. The visa clock started ticking in October, and last week she finally came over, in the hope of finding work here. She's staying in my house until she gets herself sorted out.

What a time to come, though! Ports closed, mutant viruses stalking the land, unemployment rocketing, Christmas cancelled, Brexit looming, nothing good on telly, a government whose corruption is rivalled only by its incompetence. Also, it's raining. I hope she has a lovely time, and I'll do what I can to smooth her path, but we may have to rely on the natural optimism of youth a lot.

Meanwhile, she brought - as an omiyage - a packet of official, government-issue masks, as sent to every household in Japan back in the spring.


I don't intend to use them. Rather, they're going into my Corona museum, which is right next to my Reiwa museum from last year - my favourite item from which features a capsule toy with Suga, the current Prime Minister, announcing the name of the brand new era: