Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

The Teahouse

I wrote in an earlier post that I have been playing around with Google Gadgets. One place you can use these gadgets is on personalised iGoogle pages. I shall not delve into the privacy and security pros and cons of iGoogle and personalisation now, because I'm feeling strangely inspired by iGoogle's Teahouse theme. This Japanese inspired theme features the daily routine of a fox character outside his teahouse and orchard by a pond.

The Teahouse theme's gentle simplicity is seductively relaxing. I have always loved cartoons like that, especially lantern lit night scenes which hint at life after sundown. Places where the night air is pleasant and mosquitos never annoy you. I would love to be that fox staring into the night sky with his telescope, though mine is red and the skies are obscured by the city lights. It is winter now, not the endless summer of the teahouse. Time for snuggling under the doona, for hot fires and warm drinks.

Roland Harvey is another who's cartoon world I wished to experience. I treasured his Australiana Christmas card scenes, regretted posting the cards away. I miss them now that they are no longer sold.

Memories are stirred by the teahouse. I recall our two week trip to Japan last year. Walking through the lantern lit Kenroku-en gardens in Kanazawa during the cherry blossom festival. Sipping green tea on a tatami mat and gazing across a gorgeous garden and pond in the Samurai district of that same city. Hot baths at the end of the day at the ryokan, then laying down on the unrolled futon, surprisingly comfortable, breathing in the scent of the straw floor.

I would like to capture some of those Japanese memories in miniature with model railways. At first I wanted to recreate the journey around Takayama through hills and by mountain rivers. I have enough tracks to create one layout like that. But I am tempted to create another tiny layout inspired by the bonsai dioramas and maybe a bit by the iGoogle teahouse as well.