Seasons greetings to you all. It has been almost five months since my last post and I have been training very hard. Five months is a long time though and I found Christmas coming around again very quickly. I have moved on, as has my training, so much so that Ninjutsu is now a taboo word in the Ninja Banker house. I love it, but beautiful wife and Daughters One and Two are sick of it to the extent that Ninjutsu is banned for Christmas. It went something like this...
Sarah: So what do you actually want for Christmas?
Me: a wooden naginata, I found a good supplier, look [shows her a web page]
(a wooden naginata. For more info please see my earlier blog here)
Sarah: I am not spending £100 on a pointy stick, choose something else.
Me: Okay, a Kyogetsu Shoge then, look [another web page]
Sarah: no. Its a bit of string with a toy knife on the end.
Me: and a rubber ring.
Sarah: don't be silly.
Me: okay, so how about a Jig saw and a portable work bench then? That would be useful for all kinds of stuff around the house.
Sarah looks suspiciously at me for a moment, she is doing the eyebrow thing so I know I've been rumbled.
Sarah: you're going to make more ninja stuff with it aren't you?
Me: No, of course not...maybe.
Sarah sighs and walks away.
So that didn't go well, The kids were no better.
Daughter number one just held her hand up shielding me from her view.
Daughter Number One: I'm not allowed to even talk to you about ninja stuff.
She is smirking.
Daughter Number One: yep.
Then Daughter Number Two chirps up: Ninja is banned for Christmas, Mummy said.
So that's it. Ninjutsu is banned for Christmas.
I went to my last training session before Christmas last night and it was therefore with a heavy heart. Not only because of the Christmas ban, but also because Daughter Number Two has been coming home lately with a cloud of doom hanging over her. She thinks, like a lot of other ten year olds that the world will end today "because the Mayans said".
I threw myself into training with my usual vigour and good humour though, and was soon enjoying myself, perhaps more so than normal. Bo staffs and swords flying, Yaris prodding, and fists pounding. I seemed to just do it, everything just seemed to fall into place and the time just ticked on.
When I got home I was full of smiles, and because of that everyone seemed to smile back. the Ninja Household was at peace. It did not seem to matter that my life has been banned for Christmas, nobody spoke about it, and we all went to bed happy.
This morning the air seemed heavier.
Clouds of doom had gathered again overnight around little Daughter Number Two, and she appeared ragged hair and frown in our bedroom doorway, a little goth in the making. I did not need to ask what was the matter as she stuck to Sarah and I like glue all morning, giving an extra long squeeze when it was time for school. I watched her walking down the school path, heavy footed and almost dragging her bag behind her, in front of her children skipped and ran, all of them conscious of the approaching apocalypse, but oblivious to it at the same time.
I know that she will be watching the clock all morning, watching 11am approach tick by tock. I wish I could be there to see her relief when the hands sweep past 11:11, but I will be there to see her big smile when she comes home from school.
Maybe there is a lesson here. If the world ends today at 11:11am would I have made it a better place, even in a small way? I don't know. But from 11:12am onwards I am dam sure I will try. Perhaps that is what the Mayans were thinking, maybe that is the new age.
Shikin Haramitau Daikomyo, and Merry Christmas to you all.