Happy New Year, son. My thoughts were with you at 15:00 GMT yesterday when the year turned in Japan. Every good wish for 2018. I mailed you a New Year card, below along with receipt, a couple of days’ ago so it should be with you soon. New Year is not as big in the UK as Japan and the store did not have a New Year card as such; the best I could find was a card of a cat peering at a fish in a fish tank.
Also below is a photo of the family lunch in Hythe on 10 September last year to mark your Grandad’s 89th birthday, about which I posted last summer. Also below is a photo taken just after Christmas on 27 December just gone showing Dad/Grandad, my brother and sister and I. It is very rare that we meet up alone together and I cannot remember when we last did so but it must have been when I was a very young adult – I don’t think that there has been a photo like this of just the four of us since I was a teenager. We were only able to catch a few hours together but it was very pleasant.
I saw the news a couple of days back that Japan proposes to change the age of majority from 20 to 18 from 2022 so that will cover you as you will turn 18 in 2026, which doesn’t feel all that far off now. I hope that this reform will help in a small way to embolden you to contact your family in the UK that much sooner. You are welcome to do so of course at any time as you are hugely missed here. You will be standing on your own two feet before you know it and will be able to make decisions for yourself. In the meantime, however, I wish you every happiness and success in year 2018.
Happy Christmas, son. Today marks your 7th Christmas in Japan. Here’s wishing you a very happy day. I mailed some items (see photographs below) to you on 6 December, the Post Office’s last posting day for Japan. According to the tracking, the package arrived, a bit on the early side of Christmas, on 12 December. I will post another message for you around New Year time. God bless you.
Happy 9th birthday, son. Another year has gone by. I hope that your day is filled with joy. It is almost impossible to believe that you, a two year old and the threshold of becoming a 3 year old when you were taken from the UK, are now halfway to adulthood. Time passes very quickly and the older you get the greater appreciation of this you will get.
When I was about your age one of my uncles bought me a digital watch. This was back in the late 80s and I even remember, although it did not occur to me to do so at the time, that it was a Japanese brand. Anyway I hope you like the watch I chose for you; I tried to choose the best one I could find.
In the package, I also enclosed a camera device which you can do lots of things with. I am sure that you can make much better use of it that I would – there are so many things I cannot do on my phone and PC. Your great Grandma gave me a camera (her own) around the same time as I got the watch so again I thought that this would be a good time to get you something similar.
I hope the package makes it to you today, if it has not already done so – the tracking (see below) seems to suggest that it has been stuck in Kawasaki since Saturday although based on past experience the tracking service is not properly updated in Japan.
Have a good day. I will post a message again to you soon.
Update: 4 December 2017: The package was delivered at about 5pm local time on your birthday itself, 28 November 2017 (see immediately below):
In London it has just turned midnight on 20 November 2017.
We last saw each other at an airport 6 years ago today. I, of course, don’t expect you to remember – how could I as you were still a toddler. The date, however, shall remain with me, as your loving father, forever.
A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents.
Article 10, sub section 2.
States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
Article 11, sub section 1.
These are but two provisions that can be said to relate to us but, as our experience has shown these 6 years, the reality that meets these words is very different.
Earlier this year also saw the passing, on 12 May 2017, of exactly 2,000 days from when I last saw you.
As I did last year, I will leave work early later today to visit the spot at the airport where I last saw you at the time when I last saw you. Also today, as it’s your 9th birthday in 8 days’ time, I will go to the Post Office to send you your birthday package. I will post here again on your birthday, as I always do, and also later today with a more general update about the blog.
I hope and pray that in a year’s time this will all have changed. For now, though, please remember that there is not a moment when I am not thinking about you, my beloved and now not so little boy. May God bless, protect and watch over you this day and all days.
This is just a short message to wish you a happy Halloween. To mark the occasion I mailed you a package, see below, on 24 October. Most of it was not Halloween-related as the supermarket was not very well-stocked in terms of Halloween merchandise. Hope it arrived in time. It is your 9th birthday in just under a month – I have already got you something special and will choose more later to be sent out to you next month. Hope you are keeping well.