Wednesday, 30 December 2009

happy birthday my lovely mouse.
i hope the coming year reveals itself to be the best yet and that all your hopes and wishes come true.
i'm sorry i'm not there with you everyday, especially today of all days.
if i was, i'd bring you hot coffee and avocado/ bacon sandwiches in bed. i'd put on the latest cave singers album, which i'm loving and i'm sure you are too. then i'd bake you a cake which we'd eat later on, with tea/cava and all our friends round the kitchen table at gilesmead.
have a wonderful day.
love you/miss you oxoxoxox.
wow! im imagining my apartment full of these. they are perfect for japanese living. low level furniture is what its all about here. tatami mats, coffee tables, floor cushions and heated rugs. i havent seen many poufs but i reckon the'd go wild for these.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

hot fish custard...

looks like this.

good things..

and the new year has not yet begun! yesterday i did some work for an agency that places junior high teachers and they asked me if i wanted a job in april.
i have been saying since i arrived in japan that in an ideal world, i'd work for a high school or elementary school, so that i could get school holidays off and keep all my private students in the evenings (which earn me lots of extra YYY)
these positions are around but apparently not easy for newbies to walk into.

...now it looks like my wish has come true.

thank you once again japan.

arigato gozaimasu!
this christmas card is the biz.. from the genius, husband and wife team at labor of love.
they live my dream. im awe struck.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

a retro merry christmas to you!

heidi, ben and i had a lovely day. we made it as christmassy as we could with the somewhat limited resources available in japan.
we opened our stockings and listened to the snowman on youtube. then we looked up recipes and set about cooking our designated dishes ( using one gas ring and a borrowed microwave!)
later on we bagged up 15 portions of stuffing, pigs in blankets, sweet potato mash and a sack load of secret santa pressies and hauled them over to our friend luc's place. between us we managed to make something that resembled a chrismas dinner, albeit a little on the cold side, and eaten off our knees, i was proud of us none the less.
then we distributed secret santa gifts and played with our new toys until most of them broke! then commenced a mammoth game of team trivial pursuit and charades (because in my world christmas would not be christmas without the team games)
we had a hoot, although the absence of 1 or 2 things meant it wasnt the chrismassiest christmas of all time.
...such as ovens for instance. they an important factor,without them the christmas meal is quite a chore believe me.
real christmas trees, another. for the smell if nothing else. i have truly missed the smell of pine this festive season.
a day off for everyone. i enjoy that eerie silence on christmas day when everything grinds to a halt, dont you?
morning choral concerts on the radio , accompanied by the sound of popping corks, glasses chinking, christmas pudding bubbling on the hob.
also....a dining table we all fit around. christmas crackers and jokes and paper crowns!
the real biggie of course... my family and friends. no amount of stuffing or pigs in blankets could make a true christmas with out them. they were in my thoughts all day long.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

self gifting....

sometimes it would be rude not to...i found it while i was unsucessfully looking for christmas bargains. it was only Y350... thats £2.50 to you...like i said. had to be done.

new home...



finally, just in time for christmas i have moved into my new flat over the road from heidi. i can't deny i felt a pang of regret to be leaving her sofa. its been a brilliant couple of months, we've had a lot of fun and i've been so grateful for her companionship. living out of a suitcase however stopped being fun about 7 weeks ago and heidi's brother is now visiting from oz so its time to move on and make space for him.
ive been in my element for the past couple of days unpacking, arranging furniture, putting up pictures, doing runs to the 100y shop. i do love nesting.
something i do not love is the kerocene heater which is the only source of heat in the flat. not only does it stink it requires constant topping up (a very messy business) and forward planning...you have to actually think about stocking up on keroscene otherwise you run out at 10pm and freeze you toes off all night. plus it cuts out every 5 minutes, makes annoying beeping noises and spews out black stinking fumes. no, i can tell you now, this heater and i are not going to be friends.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

NoooooooOOOOOooo

my external hard drive with all my music and photos on it has just commited suicide for no reason what so ever! what can i do about this? can it be ressurected?? its a disaster! why would it do that... just give up on life without warning? i'm gutted...completely.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009





yasuko my friend, employer ( and all round motherer) treated me to a sushi lunch yesterday. it was so unbelievably kind of her, she's already done so much for me. hooking me up with new students, making sure i have a decent home cooked meal at least once a week. lending me brollies when its rainging and scarfs when its cold. anyway it was deee-lish. the best sushi i've had...like ever, ever.

Monday, 14 December 2009

wayne levin





i have an adorable new student called joey. he's 13, he's a skater and this is his blog...im featured...he says im pretty which i reckon is better than giving the teacher an apple.
other nice student related things that happened this week. one lady gave me an electric blanket, another baked me a cake and im being taken for sushi for lunch tomorrow. japanese people are so nice!

p.s i have been asked if i'd like to exhibit some of my photos in a bar in tokyo!
erm... yes with-a-capital y please!
i do not start my full time job until mid january. at the moment i teach for approx 10 hours a week which earns me £200 cash.
i'm not ashamed to say i have settled into my part time, wintery, hibernation routine. when its cold out side my inclination is to spend all day and night inside, under a blanket with comfort food and laptop.
i wake up , make coffee, banana pancakes or toast. check e mails, face book and blogs. listen to 6 music or radio 4. if its a sunny day i go for a wander take photos and run errands. i plan lessons and then watch a film. i realise this sounds very indulgent but it will only last for another few weeks so im enjoying it while i can.

in the absence of tv, i have watched so many films in the past few weeks that new releases simply cant keep up with me. i've been forced to return to old eighties favorites, paul newman classics and even trashy chick flicks that i was too embarrassed to go and see at the cinema.
a few recent note-worthy viewings are; veronika decides to die with sarah michelle geller playing a suicidal career woman surprisingly well. teenage dirtbag ( dont be put off by the name) its a heartbreaking tale of social snobbery and love unrealised, with an explosive performance from scott michael foster as the tormented and strangely appealing teenage love (dis) interest. ang lee's taking woodstock, which i found hilarious, as would any devoted festival goer. it made me wish a had a time machine so i could join in the fun of the summer of 69...it also made me miss summer madly. fish tank, gritty realism at its shocking best.

if anyone has any suggestions for must-see films let me know... i have a ferocious apatite that needs feeding!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

i really like this painting. it gives me a good feeling. if this painting were a mood, it would be a got a promotion, new boyfriend, holiday booked, new shoes, day off, sun shining, windows open, coffee brewing, bacon grilling , music playing kind of a mood...if you know what i mean.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


its been a weekend defined by a christmassy feeling. wine drinking and drunk skype calls to loved ones brought on by a christmassy feeling. at least with the 9 hour time difference you know youre not waking anyone up when you opt for a 4 am drunken dial :-) it was so nice to talk to everyone! i must have said i love you and i miss you a ga-zillion times.

other newsworthy events. i heard my first live music in about 8 weeks. i have been missing it so.
our friend remmy is one half of the sneaky russians, they did an acoustic set at my favorite local bar here in fujisawa, free culture. it was brill. i got very overexcited drank a great deal of red wine and sang and danced into monday morning....ahhhh the luxury of not having early starts.
we have also solved the problem of christmas dinner and how to cook it without an oven. our friend has hired out free culture and is putting on a christmas feast with all the trimmings so there is no need for us to cook at all!
i dont usually get swept along with the xmas fever but now that were in a place that doesnt celebrate it i feel the need to make more of a fuss... sound the horn for christmas. i found my self listening to bing crosby, drinking mulled wine and making decorations on saturday, whats that all about eh??



the cinematic orchestra feat patrick watson

Sunday, 6 December 2009

i love adam and joe.

this week one of my students, a lovely a 70 year old woman, told me a touching story about her life-long best friend.
once when she was very young they were out picking wild berries. she ate so many they turned her mouth black. the older boys from her village cruelly told her she had a matter of minutes to live and that her spirit would be taken far away, she would never see her family again and would spend eternity alone. naturally she was inconsolable, until her friend took her hand and told her not to worry, she would eat berries too and that way their souls would be together forever.

lottie my lovely, today its your birthday. i'm sorry i cant be there. i will think about you all day. i am with you in spirit. love yooooooou.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 3 December 2009

xmas in my dreams list

lamp and cushion from smallable





some romance from here



one of these prints




this bando corsage




this philippe cramer ring



vintage tins

feeling colourful...

shiny squirrel

via swissmiss



(amazing technicolour cake by whisk kid)
it seems recently i've been gathering rainbow colours.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

vent vent veeeeeent.

i have noticed that there is a particularly unpleasant variety of western man residing in japan. they are here for one reason and only reason only. the women.
japanese women not only seem to have a white cane and dark glasses when it comes to these guys, they accept their open promiscuity, lack of respect, general bad behaviour and worship them like gods!
its not so much that i care about the undeserved attention and status these idiots get. its just what they choose to do with it. they get away with murder...just because they can.
sadly the word has spread globally, so uncharming men flock here in their droves knowing they'll get laid, which for many of them must be a first.

this article in the japan times made me laugh. in talks about the cartoon character charisma man; a charmless, uncharismatic dweeb who comes to japan and undergoes a supernatural transformation into the handsome, witty, charisma man. his arch nemesis is the gaijin girl who sees through the newly acquired superpowers to the loser he truely is.
haha.
p.s if any of my nice gaijin friends are reading this...im not talking about you oviously.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

oh la la


remember my frustration at the absolute lack of authentic old booths left in england? well the same is true of japan. there are photo booths absolutely everywhere, but they're the rubbish digital, low res, cartoon clip art variety...so imagine my excitement at finding la photocabine!
it may be cheating but neither london nor japan can provide me with the real mccoy, so cheating it will have to be. say cheeeeeeeeeeese!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

not one but three wedding dresses!








the location was a wedding hotel which wasn't so such a hotel as a huge rent-by-the-hour chapel and function room. there were lots of weddings happening simultaneously. this got a little confusing at times when they all spilled out into the lobby at once. the ceremony was conducted mainly in english, by a bogus catholic priest ( /bald hawian surfer) who spoke about the majesty of marriage and the beginning of new eras. i detected an awkwardness to the whole thing which reached a climax at the wedding kiss, when the goom gave the bride a hesitant peck on the cheek as though she were a whiskery great aunt!

cultural differences can be so confusing. was i witnessing that famous japanese reserve?
i've been told that japanese people don't do public affection... or was this simply a couple who weren't that into what they were doing?

...at this point someone whispered to me that kiyo and yoko have in fact been married for 5 years already, and this was all a show for the benefit of demanding relatives!




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