Work has recently resumed after Japanese Golden week break. Arnie & Shinobu took time out as Arnie's weekend job takes precedence during holidays too - being a weddings Pastor.
We sent back to Shodoshima for the break to be with my wife's parents & have on occasion continued shopping on the internet. Most of the rlectrical goods ordered from the States have arrived. Everything from a 6 gallon Ariston water storage heater to make a temporary heated shower until we re-design the bathroom (Storage heater can be used for the guest barn later, or even the future garage's shower cubicle), to dimmer switches and floor mounted plug sockets.
We're still awaiting a few things which should arrive soon.
To this end, I've also made plans for electrical switch and socket locations. Every room will have dimmers and only the dining room and entrance foyer will have pendant lights. All will have multiple lighting options, so the mood can easily be changed, depending on time of day and activity. Spot lights will be used in the double lounge to bounce light off the stained Japanese Cedar ceilings tall above the thick wooden beams and there will be some wall sconces too.
We want to avoid visible wires, so for example where there will be a table lamp in a corner the wall socket will be quite high, so the plug is well hidden by the small table. All table lamps for each room will be controlled by a cental switch. Speaker terminals will be strategically positioned to avoid wires trailing around the perimeter of rooms - and there will be a centrally built console to house the component hifi system, CD's, phone / fax, etc.
It's taken one supplier about a month so far to not be able to supply the $5.00 repair kit for a petrol trimmer I bought on yahoo auctions (Japan). So as a result the garden continues to morph into a jungle. But I found a supplier who did have stock. With a $25 postal charge, it's cost $50 to fix a tool that cost 3,000 Yen on yahoo. Still, I'll be able to start trimming soon. Tried by hand, but the sheer amount of work to be done meant I'd be there for a week, chopping bushes!
Have also been buying furniture on Yahoo. The sheer volume of available stuff is huge and combined with having to weed out the over-optimistic stores or sellers who bid their own prices up it's resulted in a lot of wasted time - but we have managed to get a few classically styled pieces. The costs of Takyubin delivery have sometimes been bit shcking...
So far there have been no nasty surprises with the reforming work & costs have continued to remain affordable. We'll probably not be able to re-do the kitchen & bathroom before we move, but that's good in a way - we'll be able to really think about how to make these important rooms as usable and comfortable as possible.
I also need to work on my wife, as I have visions of sunken bathtub and big sliding glass doors looking out to the forest, but she's not sure yet. Best wait till she sees the first stages of transformation I think.
We're in no hurry to move in & would rather wait for the place to be comfortable and livable with minimused disturbance when we complete further improvements, than moving in too early and being forced to eat dust. The weather's beautiful in Shizuoka and I'm looking forward to some activity on the lakes. Perhaps we'll move at the end of summer.
My mum will be visitting us for 3-6 months - arriving next week. She's a keen gardener, so I wonder what she'll think when she sees the house.