I did a reshuffle on my benches today to change things around a bit. Added a few more accents and changed a few trees around with those up the back in the training area.

Accents Potted up

I managed to get those Alpines I purchased the other day potted up into a few spare pots.

Here’s how they look now.

Directly Helping Tsunami Victims

I don’t normally do this but…

Smithy on Wee Trees Bonsai Forum has a mate in Japan who is directly helping those hit worst by the Tsunami in Japan. Dru Taylor is a Brit living in Japan who was so shocked by what happened he has been scrapping together money from anywhere he can and using it to fill trunks with food. He then drives it to the worst places to make sure the right people get it.

This is Dru.

This is what Dru had to say on his last email to Smithy.

Last Weeks Truck We had a big donation from another stranger who has now become a friend (thank you Jade) . I tried to get the normal 2 ton truck as I had enough money to fill it with vegetables but Toyota only had a 2 ton long so suddenly I had a truck with an extra 4 sq/mtrs to fill which believe me is a lot of extra vegetables. I decided I wanted to fill it rather than take it up a bit empty so also used some money from funds donated by lots of friends and friends of friends , thank you all again and again and again .I Went to our local fruit and vegetable market early Saturday morning, they give us cost price for everything and bought :

250 daikons

450 onions

360 Haksi ( chinese cabbages )

1000 bananas

200 gobo ( burdock )

450 leeks

180 pumpkins

750 aubergines

300 packets of enoki mushrooms

1330 packets of eringi mushrooms

546 cabbages

We then drove miles to a little fishing village on the Ogatsu peninsula called Funakoshi to see Mr Nakasato ( Koichi )and his family, Kyoko had spoken to him a few days earlier and cried after speaking to him so I knew we were going to make a drop there. The town before the Earthquake/Tsunami had a population of 350 with 130 fishing boats, now it has a population of 16 and 3 fishing boats , most people survived but have been spread around shelters across Japan , the 16 people that are left are determined to rebuild their community , this place has not been cleaned at all so still had houses upside down in the sea, cars on buildings , peoples possessions everywhere, which brought back memories of how bad many places we`ve seen were. We sat and drank tea and spoke for about an hour with Koichi and his friends and they took vegetables for themselves , no greed at all. It was already getting dark and we had another drop to do in Osu Shogakko ( primary school )a shelter for 90 people but they also distribute to another 360 people living in their houses in the area. Then we drove to Okumatsushima ( shima means island ) which it is said have one of the 5 most beautiful views in Japan ( ironically we actually camped in the car park of the now shelter 2 years ago with the kids when we travelled this coast line ) The roads have been washed away so it wasn’t possible to drive onto the island until the morning when the tide goes out , so we parked up in a convenience store car park, had a couple of beers and slept in the truck .(did I mention this was all in the middle of a typhoon LOL). In the morning with typhoon still in full swing we drove along temporary roads onto the island and saw everyone from the shelter waking up and washing , brushing teeth outside , going to toilet in the portable toilets , already they’ve been in this situation for 3 months now . We went for a walk in the rain and when we came back asked them what vegetables they would like , such lovely happiness and smiles from so many lovely people ( this is the best part of what we are doing , to put smiles on the faces of mums, dads ,kids, grannies grandads ) again such diplomacy from the people , no greed at all they took what they needed and then said,” please take to somewhere else” .Next we delivered to the Honbu ( distribution centre ) for the people living in the surrounding houses on Okumatsushima. We met a 55 year old man who has lost everything, he cried as he told us he didn’t eat for the first 3 days and slept in his car for 2 weeks , now he’s in a shelter but said only 2 times since March 11th they’ve had vegetables delivered and both times they were old. You should’ve seen his smile when he tasted our fresh crispy cabbages, priceless .When he saw the bananas he just wispered , i love bananas. We then delivered the last drop to Iwanuma volunteer centre to be distributed to 3 places in the local area

Were took another truck up there this Saturday ( i will mail soon with that story ) again because some fantastic people donated to what we are doing THANKYOU. . The main reason we do what we do is the thought of our kids going without food specially fruit and vegetables after going through what the people in the north have been through, such devestation.

We will keep doing what we are doing as long as we can with donations from anyone that also feels the need to feed and keep healthy so many beatiuful people with what we all take for granted , the government are just NOT giving fruit and veg so it is our job . If anyone can help please please contact me dru , we take NO money at all for ourselves ALL the money goes to where it should , Big thankyou.

Taylors of the rising sun

It’s totally up to you if you want to help Dru out. He’s not a registered charity, just a guy doing his absolute best to help these people out. My first worry was, is this legit??!! Smaithy has known him since childhood. By reading the email above and looking at Dru’s FlickR account I’m personally happy that it is and will be sending a tenner once I get my Paypal account sorted.

Others in the Bonsai Community have raised money for Japan, I preferred to give to the Japanese Red Cross. This however hits home to just how bad it still is out there and is a nice way to see ALL your money going directly to those who need it. What’s a tenner after all…

If you want to give here is the Paypal account to use.

Here’s a few photos from Dru’s FlickR account to look at while you think it over.

Simple things like bicycles to get about on

High School mentioned in email

Worth risking a tenner on, don’t you think?