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.

More great service

After our wonderful time at Yukichi izakaya Robert and I went to another Fujieda pub, this time Western-style, called The Alehouse.

Here we ordered a few bottles of Baird Beer, which is brewed in Numazu city. It was absolutely delicious. I had been to The Alehouse once before and I remembered that the landlord was very interested in whisky. There were many different kinds of drinks behind the bar but we couldn’t see any whisky. So we asked the landlord if he had any whisky. He did.

He opened a few cupboard doors high behind the bar and the cupboards were full of all kinds of whisky. He told us that in order to keep the whisky in good condition it is best to keep the bottles away from bright light. Have you ever seen a bar hide its drinks? What great service!

Unfortunately I rarely drink whisky, so I had another bottle of beer, Summer Mikan Ale, from Baird Beer again, just right for a warm summer evening.

Great service

With my friend, Robert-Gilles, who writes the Shizuoka Gourmet blog, I went to a Japanese pub/restaurant, called Yukichi, in Fujieda yesterday. Recently I had some poor service at Roggen Meyer bakery cafe in Shizuoka station Parche because the waitress had no interest in the bakery’s products. However two of my students, one in a tea shop, and one in a bakery, told me that they were interested in their shop’s products so I felt relieved.

So my friend and I asked about the sashimi on the menu. To our surprise the young waitress came to our table with a large dish full of different kinds of fish. Then she gave us an explanation of every fish (and there was raw chicken meat and chicken liver too!), and how it would be served, some as sashimi, some as tempura. She really knew about the products. She also told us where everything was from, mostly from Yaizu port, but the chicken was from Nagoya.

Later when she served the delicious food she also explained which fish should be eaten with soy sauce and horseradish, or with soy sauce and ginger, and the raw chicken should be eaten with a sesame sauce. In addition we chose some junmai sake from a local Fujieda brewery, and she gave us some interesting information about this too. She really knew her stuff.

We also had some tempura which was cooked so well that we didn’t need to dip it into a soup, just a little sea-salt was enough.

When I get such great service it makes the food taste even better!

Eether or Aither

Yesterday one of my students wrote a  comment about my pronunciation of ‘neither’. She said it sounded like ‘naither’ and she wondered if this was an example of British English. The pronunciation of either is very similar, with two possible styles, eether or aither.

I did a little research and it seems that most (but not all) Americans tend to say eether and neether, and most Brits, Canadians and Australians (but not all) tend to say aither and naither, and many people use both.

I use both, and I can’t explain why.  So use either, you can’t go wrong!


The name of June comes from the Roman goddess, Juno, who is the wife of Jupiter, the top god, and the mother of Mars, the god of war. Juno is the goddess of marriage, and June is thought to be the best month to get married.

June is also the month when the longest daytime occurs (this year it is June 21st), and this is known as the summer solstice. At this time the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. However, for southern countries it is the shortest day.

And don’t forget father’s day, which is celebrated in many countries on the 3rd Sunday in June, this year it is June 17th.