Using a language after 30 years was always going to be interesting. Some basic things were always there, but before long there came a muddle of there being some things I probably should recall and couldn't, and then using vocab I had forgotten I knew. I had one experience where I was racking my brains to remember the word for reverse or opposite, and couldn't (hantai). Then the next day, I found myself formulating a sentence that included the word.
The image that has felt most fitting, is of rummaging around in an attic. There are somethings you know are there and eventually you find them. There are other items that you'd forgotten about but stumble across them. As time goes on you start to become more familiar with where things are are where to look to find them. It has been fun and rewarding blowing the dust of the attic which is my Japanese.
If you missed it, the last 5 blogs on colduthie.com are also about Japanese words, some new ones for me that go beyond everyday vocabulary.