There's been positive changes since then, slowly but surely.
In the meantime, I have been busy myself.
To signify new beginnings and to usher in my favourite season, I decided to go for a hair cut. I found that 2 friends from church had decided to open a cafe-cum-hair salon in the apartment they used to share. The signboard outside states "Hiding Place".
It feels like going to a friend's home, but you get to be served tea time snacks and warm tea. And if you like, you get to have a haircut too and browse through the cute knick knacks on sale. There's a little box at the entrance, they depend on the goodwill and generosity of their friends and customers to pay them what they think the service is worth.
Actually, I was bit hesitant in cutting my hair as it wasn't even planned in the first place. So happened I had a free Saturday afternoon and I have been wanting to trim my hair for the longest time. An invitation came from Yumiko who was introducing another friend to the cafe and soon I found myself tagging along. Judging from the comments I've been getting, this seems to be a cute style!
Before it got too warm, I rounded up some friends to join me for a visit to the hot springs. We have been talking about since last autumn but I decided the last long weekend would be the only time to do it, and so we drove ourselves up to the Suzurandai countryside.
I also have been wanting to visit the cafe the church has started here, Little House but didn't quite know how. It's a quaint little wooden house just right beside the train tracks, in a oblong of space that would be too small to even build a proper house, but somehow with Japanese ingenuity they managed to even have a plot for the garden and a little shed to sell vegetables.
An afternoon of Japanese citrus yuzu tea and cheesecake, followed by lots of soaking in the hot waters of Suzuran No Yu, and enjoying the outdoor hot springs was just what I needed after past few months of business trips and work kraziness!
And of course my Valentine's Day treat - finally indulged in them before they start to expire! >.<