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Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005

LIFELINES

Watches, stains and health food


Keep watching

Jim in Kansai notes that it is several weeks now since we ran his request for suggestions on repairing his old Seiko watch, but still no response. "I knew it was a long shot, but I'd like to thank you anyway, for trying."

Two long shots Jim, especially since you live in Nara. There is a Seiko museum in Tokyo (Seiko Tokei Shiryokan) on (03) 3610 6248. They have a customer service center in English and Japanese on (toll-free) (0120) 612-911; it's open weekdays from 9.30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Also, I found an online forum for Seiko enthusiasts. If you search "Seiko watch museum" on the Net, it's the third listing down.

Healthy in Yokohama

Karen asks if there any English Organic Health stores in Yokohama where they sell wheat germ, nutritional shakes, cereals, etc. "These things are cheap but the shipments are cut-throat," she writes.

She would appreciate some info even if the stores are in Tokyo, because "at least the cost of transportation is far cheaper than the postal fees."

Karen's best bet is to check out the Web site www.naturalhealingcenter.com, which has a small section devoted to organic food stores, with addresses and contact numbers -- Natural Harvest in Meguro, for example.

There used to be a full listing, published by Global Village, but I am not sure if this is still in print. Will find out and let you know in the next column.

Child support

J. has a daughter, the father of whom is currently living in Japan, possibly with Permanent Resident status. "I am wondering how I can ensure he pays child support."

J., with so little information to go on, I think it best that you contact the Children's Rights Council of Japan. This works to assist children of parents who are separated by divorce, etc., and to assist parents who are being denied access to their kids.

Call (0081-3 if outside Japan) 03-5317 0357, or mail crcjapan@yahoo.com. Their home page is at www.crcjapan.com

Tea-stained tablecloth

GT of the Kabocha Pot English tearoom in Akiya, Miura-gun (open Sunday afternoons, call 046-858 1998) has a problem with a cotton tablecloth, stained -- naturally enough, perhaps -- with English tea! "I bought this in a charity shop in the U.K., so the stains are old. Any ideas how to get them out?"

Obviously it's best to treat any stains as quickly as possible. They may not be 100 percent removed the first time around, but repeated treatments will at least get them to lighten up. Rub glycerin on with your hands and agitate fabric by rubbing together. Soak in a bowl of boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon. (This works for coffee also.)

Removing old stains will be more difficult, but not impossible. If you're not worried about using commercial products, there are many so-called miracle removal products on the market. Stainarator is one made in the U.S.; try Costco for that. Also check out Tokyu Hands.

For a more traditional approach, log onto www.grammasattic.net/stains.htm, which begins by advising you check out the age of the tablecloth, let alone the stains. Because, "prior to 1935, fabrics may not have colorfast dyes."

A real old fashioned treatment? Boil in a solution of 4 tps. of cream of tartar to one pint of water. Rinse thoroughly.

Another helpful Web site is www.care2.com/channels/solutions/home/559 where Annie Berthold-Bond of Care2.com, producer of Green Living Channels, is full of advice.

Also www.ThriftyFun.com has a good feedback forum.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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