It’s humid and sticky on my morning walk at the bay. Whilst the pavements remain damp from the night’s downpour, the grass to my right is already dry to touch. High’s of 17 are expected today and the warmth I feel from the sun’s rays on my right side is so welcome. It’s easy to forget what it’s like isn’t it? The winter can consume us, living in heavy coats or struggling to stay warm indoors.

An email exchange with a friend reminds me I’ve less than two months to go here and this morning it occurs to me that’s less than 60 days. “Will he be ok?” Is the question that pings back at me, no matter how many times I answer it.

“Are you OK son?” Is a question I should probably tame as I notice the frequency rising.

Good result for Wolves on the weekend, and I was pleased to see he picked out his gold and black shirt on Monday.

“Will I be ok?” I ask myself, and make another list of things to do before I leave, prepare for when I’m back, building the bridge.

The school year runs April to April here, like our financial year. So this time of year feels a bit like June and July in England, it’s all exams, and talk of next steps, college, jobs, graduation etc. Teenage kids on exam leave or perhaps just finished exams wander about in uniform in the middle of the day or gather in parks. Taiga has two more years of elementary school to go, but within his network of friends talk has already turned to the next destination.

Loads of kids go to “Ju-ku” full term – Gakush? juku ( ???) 4 or 5 times a week, up to 25 hours extra (private) tuition, or ‘cram school’ lining them up to take their shot at the entrance exams. Taiga attends a Kumon school class online but he’s too busy with his football academy to do “Ju ku” and I’m so grateful he’s outside, playing sports and laughing with his friends.

It feels like a lot of pressure to be putting on 9 year olds. Too much. At this tender age, they soak it all up of course, but does that make it ok? taiga’s friend Y asks him “what’s your specific goal?” And goes on to explain, you need to name your target in life” he’s 9 years old.

I’ve grown to appreciate that “elite” is over rated. I see people flock towards elite as a safety net, when it is often the most vulnerable place to exist. A precipice to dangle from, rather than live a fulfilled life.

Give me solid ground to walk on, daily practice I can trust, craft I can shake hands with and friends I can hug. the guy on the bench next to me has removed his shoes and has a take away coffee at his side. It’s only a Macdonald’s one, but I bet it tastes great with the sun beating down on us with its seemingly new found passion for life! Now that is the kind of self love I can get behinds. He knows where the magic is today and he’s having it.

I decide to take advantage of this weather and take the scenic route back to town today. I walk as far as one can with the sea on my right until I eventually meet the end of the line at the bus depot. As I approach a “limousine” pulls out of the depot’s entrance way, white gloss paint glistening in the sunshine. “Is that my bus to the airport?” I’m instantly filled with dread at the thought of boarding one of those…

Dan x