It’s the weekend, and it’s hot. You know when you stand too close to the fire and after a few seconds you realist it’s unpleasantly hot and move away? That hot. The paint on the house has a blister the size of a dinner plate.
Because of this, and just in case we haven’t been contributing to global warming enough in the last few days, we head off into the hills in search of a local(ish) beauty spot on the river. This being Japan, a beauty spot isn’t complete without an activity park but mercifully this time it was limited to an adventure playaground and a grotty loo, and we were spared the gift shops and Japanese pop music from megaphones.
The car park is, naturally full. So is the access road, and some bright spark has parked in the emergency access lane.
After unloading enough from the car to supply an expedition through the Australian bush, we settle down to a mix of reading, paddling and teaching the boys how to skip stones and how to tell where the river is deep and fast from the surface of the water. We are explaining that the still looking part are the fastest when a swimmer demonstrates it for us, heading downstream, and about twenty minutes later we hear a siren and two fire engines and an ambulance turn up. As there’s a car in the emergency access there’s a bit of a traffic jam, especially when a third fire engine comes along, but fortunately the patient isn’t in serious trouble and the third reverses back up the hill and trundles off home.
A couple of hours later so do we. The car in the emergency access (whose owner can’t have been more than 500m away) is still there.
Evening comes, and the payoff for the heat of the day is an incredible sunset, only slightly marred by the accompaniment of the cat being sick on the stairs.

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