At night or In the night?

A student asked me a very good question: what is the difference between ‘at night’ and ‘in the night’?

It’s a good question because I never thought about this before. The best answer I can give is nothing. There is no real difference.

However ‘at night’ sounds a lot more elegant, and ‘in the night’ sounds rather clumsy.

I always like to use ‘at night’, and the only time I would use ‘in the night’ is if I am writing something like poetry or the lyrics of a song, when the three syllables of ‘in the night’ seem better than the two syllables of ‘at night’.

But I rarely write poetry, so my best advice is to always use ‘at night’.


I changed my mind

In a comment to my post on Fruit, one of my students asked what my favourite fruit is. Without hesitation I answered peach, especially from Momozono-cho, which I think has the best peaches in the world.

But I changed my mind when I ate a mango this evening. It is called an apple mango, and it is sweet (but not too sweet), and firm, and so juicy, and it was perfect, maybe the best fruit I have ever tasted.

There is always something better, isn’t there?



I like fruit.

Today I realised that there is a lot of fresh fruit in my house at the moment. Can you guess how many different kinds?

Here is the list in alphabetical order:






golden kiwifruit








water melon

That is 14 different kinds of fruit. What do you think about this?

Service update

If you read about my experience in Roggen Meyer bakery cafe, you will know that I was disappointed that the waitress did not care about the bakery’s products.

Since then I have come across many examples of my students who are clearly concerned about their shop’s products. And I also received excellent service in two places in Fujieda, an izakaya called Yukichi, and a bar called The Alehouse.

In addition I discovered that one of my students now works at Roggen Meyer, so I asked if she could give me some information about Meyers pie. You can read her very interesting answer here:

‘Hello,Pat. I am a student who started to work at Roggen meyer three weeks ago.
I said I will tell you about Meyer’s pie last your class. I asked my seniors why the pastry is called Meyer’s pie. It is maybe a speciality of Roggen Meyer because most of products of this shop are specialities. I think that name means Roggen Meyer’s special PIE because we have only two pie products, apple pie and Meyer’s pie.’

It also clear that this student takes an interest in the products.

So now I have come across so many examples of good service I must think that the poor service in Roggen Meyer is a rare case, and that most young people try to give good service in their restaurants, shops and bars.