A record in 2000:  by Mie
January 1 (Sat), 2000 Clear
The year of 2000 is still young in this moment. We happily welcomed the year of 2000 without troubles that have long been worried about by many people around the world.
This time, a young lovely lady from Hong Kong stays in my home. Thanks to her, we have a pleasant New Year.
January 2 (Sun), 2000 cloudy
It has been rain after the midnight, but it cleared up in the morning. After lunch, we walked out to Oita riverbed for bird watching. We saw many waterfouls such as ducks and helons, drifing on the water or picking food in the shallow. We then turn around to the ruin of Bungo Kokubu Temple. An hour walking made us very comfortable.
January 3 (Mon), 2000 clear

We drove out for Beppu City for sightseeing. First, we visited Myouban spa and saw the gathering place of Yuno-hana, an essence of the hot spring. Then we climbed to Juumonji-baru, then turened to Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University under construction. We enjoyed spabathing twice today. In the night, one of our closest friends showed up to my house and enjoyed Dango-jiru, a special soup with dumplings in it.
January 4(Tue), 2000 clear

Pleasant days with Lillian passes so quick before I know, we will have to say good-bye tomorrow. We have had many delightful things. Today, we baked cookies for her souvenir. In the night, we exchanged a thank you message each other. I am sad I have to see her off tomorrow.
January 5(Wed), 2000

The day has come at last to say good-bye to Lillian. She paid the last visits to the people she has contacted during her 11 days home stay. She left Oita by a sleeper train Fuji. I feel so lonely but promised her to see again in Hong Kong.

In the night, the Miyases came and enjoyed a pleasant time with us.
January 6(Thu), 2000 cloudy
We returned a normal life as usual. I cleaned up the New Year dresses and futons.
In the afternoon, I totaled my accountbook that I usually do it in the end of a month. My personal computer helps me very much in a complicated accounting. I have to make a budget of this year.
January 7(Fri), 2000 cloudy

Today we take "the seven spring herbs gruel" according to a traditional custom of eating it on the seventh day of a new year. In a traditional card game called "Hyakunin-Isshu", or "One Hundred Tanka Poems by One Hundred Celebrated Poets", we can find a poem to pick fresh green grass from the snow-covered field. This might be wisdom from the old days, to give rest to a stomach fatigued by digesting so much rice cake and other food during the New Year holidays. It also supplies vegetables that tend to come to be scarce in the winter season.

The seven herbs of spring are: Japanese parsley, shepherd's purse, cottonwood, chickweed, lamium amplexicaule, turnip, and Japanese radish. Some of them were not so familiar in those days. Although I couldn't collect all of them, I chopped the herbs on the cooking board to prepare the breakfast gruel, singing a song which my mother taught me in my childhood. It goes something like "Before the birds from the Chinese continent arrive, let's chop the seven herbs...."
When I was young, I hadn't any idea on the millennium. I feel a strange sense by entering the year of 2000, a four-digit-round-number, however. As I was interested in Y2K problem, I started to make my personal record across the millennium. Thanks to the wisdom of the people all around the world, few serious problems have been reported until today and the New Year is going well. Now, I will turn over the last page of this record. Thank you very much for your reading for a long.

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