Archive for January, 2009

Email home 21/4/02

Monday, January 26th, 2009

This is from my diary from when we first relocated to Japan – pre-blog. Other entries can be found here.

We have been in the house for nearly a week now and are coping quite well with 2 cups, 2 plates, 2 forks etc – it will be nice when the ship arrives! We have most of the leased furniture in now (though some bits are new so won’t be ready for a few more weeks) so we at least have something to sit on and something to sleep on, and the satellite TV is up and running though showing very little of interest (to me anyway). There’s a bilingual function on most channels, but when Cameron was out on Friday night I settled down to watch Gladiator only to find that it was dubbed into Japanese! I’ve spent most of the week at “Tokyu Hands” – a fantastic shop that sells abnsolutely everything you could possibly want – buying shower curtains, an alarm clock, adaptors, hangers, etc etc, all the essentials! I still have a long list though.

I went to the western supermarket on Tuesday to stock the kitchen, having been assured that they would deliver – only to find that they don’t in fact deliver here except at the weekends. So a day after moving in I had to direct a taxi driver home (Tokyo taxi drivers can only find major landmarks and districts as the address system is so random – houses are numbered in the order they were built rather than their order in the street!) Poor chap thought I was some sort of loon who didn’t know where she lived, and I coulnd’t remember how to explain that I’d only lived there a day and, in fact, I did know where it was as long as you started in the right place and not where we currently were! Fortunately, we eventually drove past a park that I recognised and I managed to remember the words for left and right to direct him.

We went out for dinner last night with another couple of Shell people, to a restaurant on the side of a canal. The food was fantastic fusion style (I had shrimp cakes with a miso sauce) and we will definitely be going back again. Today it has rained and rained and rained (our first wet day) but we decided that if we are going to live in Japan we can’t let the rain stop us doing stuff, so we went fora walk in the park. We weren’t the only people there, but it wasn’t far off it! We visited the shrine and there was some sort of festival thing going on by the gate with mad dancing people and a dressed-up dancing horse. No idea what that was all about. There was a wedding going on inside the shrine (as there has been every time I’ve visited) and lots of ladies in kimonos. Yesterday we did a quick raid on Akihabara, the electrical district. We will have to go back sometime to wander about, as it is fascinating, but we just needed a printer so it was straight in and straight out again. Except that while I was looking at printers Cameron was sidetracked by the digital cameras so we have a new toy (more fun than a printer) and I have attached as a trial a picture of our little garden in the rain, taken around an hour ago.

So, still upbeat! I had a bad day on Friday – I was knackered after a late night (we went out with a Shell visitor from England and ended up at karaoke followed by an 80s club), I managed to break the fax machine (still not working and I don’t know what’s wrong with it. Well, I do but I have no idea how to fix it) then had traumas getting the satellite TV working. Cameron didn’t get home until after 10 by which point I had had enough! Poor Angela (our Japanese teacher from the UK) very kindly called as she is in Japan at the moment (unfortunately too far away to visit this time) and found me being all miserable, and then all homesick because she’d rung and been kind! I will have to call her back and explain that other than that one day it’s been fine so far – and there are bound to be bad days.

I tried to send some postcards home the other day – any idea if they got through? I put them in the hole marked “postcards and letters” and only later found out that because they are going overseas they should have gone in the “others” hole.

Thursday 25th April 2002

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

This is from my diary from when we first relocated to Japan – pre-blog. Other entries can be found here.

Well, we just had a Japanese lesson. I can’t say I feel hugely satisfied – she showed no interest in what we already knew and was determined to teach us introductions. Good revision I suppose, but not satisfying.

Have had a pretty quiet week so far. I’ve done quite a lot of work and have managed to get the ADSL connection working  (though it is currently connected to every phone in the house!) Yagashita-san came to look at the fax machine and has completely knackered it but she does at least now agree that it is broken, so she is going to replace it. When, I don’t know.

We went out with Stephane last night – I met them in Odaiba and we wandered until we found a very jolly Japanese restaurant (with, importantly, an English menu). And the night before I spent so long fiddling with the fax machine and computer that I forgot to cook, so we went to a french restaurant near the station – steak and chips, lovely lovely cheese, creme brulee. I went to yoga on Tuesday so it’s ok to have all that fat. Gail and I went for sushi afterwards, where I left my yoga mat so I had to go back for it yesterday. I managed, though first she handed me a map??


Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I have zero energy and less enthusiasm. I’m not miserable, nor do I have any weirdy seasonal bluesy thing: I just want to curl up on the sofa with a book, and maybe have a nap. I do not want to shop for food (though I have done so), put it away (though I will, soon), cook, clean or do any of my usual jobs. I don’t much want to do the school run; I certainly don’t want to exercise. I can’t be bothered visiting my allotment and the spring bulbs are still in bags on top of the microwave. The house is gradually getting more and more of a tip (and we’ve a babysitter on Saturday so I must get off my bum before then) and we have no clean socks. I cannot face going out with the old boys tonight: even less so since plan A – walking to the pub with Peter and Mrs Peter – has been put off in favour of plan B – waiting for C to get home from Germany then going down later on my own. People reckon I must go, it will do me good. I expect they are right


Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

startI am feeling very hibernatey (yes it is a word thank you very much) which is the perfect opportunity to start knitting a doll for Maggie’s birthday (or next Christmas if I don’t get along as quickly as I hope). It is nearly 20 years since I knitted anything – I am so old – but so far* it has been ok, despite requiring me to learn from a book a new method of casting on. I hope it will turn out like this one.

Apparently it was -11 degrees in Chester last night, and it certainly felt icy this morning, so I feel no guilt about staying in. I can hardly insist Tamsin digs in the sandpit. I have lentils boiling, flapjack baking, T asleep on the sofa. Also nothing for tea and dust you could write your name in, but I never claimed to be perfect.

*4 rows and counting.

Happy new year and all

Monday, January 5th, 2009

It’s been a while hasn’t it. Very pleasant festive season here: sorry to see M and C go back today and T is not at all sure what to do with herself. No resolutions, because I don’t really go in for them, but lots of plans and a very long list of Things To Do. Including sorting out that allotment (or giving it up altogether) and a new photoproject at blip. Which is somewhat hampered by having broken my lens: I have to take everything from the other side of the house via my very zoomy zoom. Tripod required.

I have a most exciting night out planned for Wednesday: the old boys from the allotment’s Christmas night out (to the local) , plus both Cameron and I have birthdays this month. Busy busy and I hope to be back here a bit more, too.