Yesterday, torrential rain, thunderstorms so loud I covered my ears whenever I saw lighting (the thunder hurt!). Today, the clearest blue sky, so bright outside it hurts to look at at anything out of the shade, and the fan can't seem to keep up with the heat.

And two days of tough kendo.

Sunday dojo is always worse, because it's 3 hours starting at 10am... the worst possible time. It's hot hot hot. My hakama was a mess, fully soaked. I could actually squeeze the sweat out of my new summer gi (which is a lot better than my 'winter-gi').

At the end some sensei set up a mock shodan examination for me. Although I was dead tired they said I would pass easily. And a while ago grumpy-sensei's son said I would only fail shodan if I didn't turn up.

Kotomi is going to ask some of the sensei if they could plead with the Japan kendo federation to let me take shodan without having ikkyu, because I'll be leaving soon, and grading and training is a lot more scarce in new Zealand (for me anyway).

I hope they let me :(

Also. There's a guy at the Sunday dojo who I didn't like at first. He sometimes would try to teach me stuff, and I would resent that (we are even in skill). But even after I gave pretty strong hints that he should stop, he continued. I have now realised that he does this completely from his heart, so to speak. He is never cynical, or negative, always smiling and talking to me, being really nice. I sometimes disagree with what he is telling me, but now I know he is only trying to help, in a real way, not just "I am better than you, listen to me".

It reminds me of a saying I heard somewhere: "You should accept criticism and teaching from wherever it comes, because when people stop criticising you, or stop teaching you, it means they have given up on you".

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