It’s a New Year – Regrets and Resolutions

I started 2016 with a bang – meeting new people at my friend’s annual New Year’s Eve party, getting a little too excited, drinking too much, losing my gloves and my phone, going to bed with the room spinning, waking up to the sound of my mum yelling, and then (literally) picking up the pieces. Probably not that different to the average Brit’s New Year, to be honest.

January’s almost over already! Blimey, time flies by faster and faster the older you get. There was no white Christmas this year, and this winter has been pretty mild (save for ‘Storm Frank’ and the UK floods), but it FINALLY snowed a little bit over the weekend. Not a huge amount, but enough to cover the ground and look like a festive, magical blanket hiding all the ugly bits.

I had my January exams over last week. They didn’t go terribly, but they didn’t go brilliantly either. I submitted an essay on ‘women and violence’ in Le Morte D’Arthur (by Sir Thomas Malory) for one of my English modules, which was pretty substandard, I’m sad to say. But my semester of Medieval Literature and Arthurian Legends is over now. They were highly interesting, but unfortunately not subjects of English that I was particularly gifted in. Hopefully that will change when I start the new semester with Literature of the Romantic Period and Japanese Film & Literature.

As soon as my last exam was over I got on the train and went to go visit a friend down south who I hadn’t seen since before my year abroad in Japan, and we had a great time catching up, exploring the city, eating junk food and watching the new Star Wars again, this time in 4DX at Cineworld. The movie was enjoyable (obviously), the 3D was okay (I’m not crazy about it) and SOME of the 4D effects were great.

The good effects included the motion seats that would move and vibrate along with the camera pan or spaceships flying, and some strobes that lit up whenever there was an explosion, along with some wind and a bit of water splashing when in rain. The vibrations from clashing light sabers were also a pretty nice effect. Other things, like these little whooshing bursts of wind that erupted from my headrest and spurted past my ear whenever the Stormtroopers fired their blasters, were not so great. It felt like there were actual bullets whizzing past my head by a hair’s breadth and it made me want to curl up under my seat and take cover.

And now here we are, with me finally having a bit of free time after a grueling semester. It was hard work, and I got sick and stressed out a lot more than I did in Japan, but I was much more productive and efficient in my studies and entering societies than I was when I first began university over two years ago. At the same time, I seem to have turned into a bit of a social recluse. Whenever I didn’t have to go to class, I would shut myself away in my room and not leave except to eat or go to the bathroom for days on end. And by the end of my hermit retreat, I would get anxious when the time approached to leave my cave and interact with other people. I also had on-off bouts of intense nihilism and depression. But for now, mentally, I feel quite healthy and at ease.

When I visited my friend this weekend, he mentioned he hadn’t seen any artwork or internet publications by me in a long while. He’s working now, with a 9-5 job in the city, but he says he still tries to keep up with his art at least once a week, and that’s inspired me to want to produce more stuff despite all the work I have to do as well. I thought about starting drawing again, and wondering where I could publish my drawings, then remembered I could still use this blog as a place to keep it all linked. I don’t really use Tumblr, deviantART, Flickr, or any of those. And I hate starting new accounts just to let them gather dust when I lose motivation. So here we are: new cover photo, new profile picture. Feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, too.

So, regrets of 2015:

  • I don’t think I completely made the most out of my time in Japan and there are still so many places I want to visit and friends I want to make.
  • I didn’t budget carefully enough and ended up owing my mum a lot of money which I’m still paying back. Luckily I still have that Skype tutoring job (which is going great, by the way).
  • I didn’t work as hard as I could have and this is still a problem I’m facing back in British university.
  • I didn’t make a big deal out of my 21st birthday back in September. That’s not a HUGE regret, and I was too exhausted at the time to have a huge party, but I think in 2016 for my 22nd I’d definitely like to try inviting all my friends around.
  • I can’t go to California this year after all. One day I hope I can.
  • The disaster that was New Year’s Eve. I’m not drinking at all this month and after that I vow to limit a night’s drinking to four drinks only.


And my resolutions for 2016:

  • Drink less, eat less, sleep more, exercise more
  • Do all my homework on time and keep up with assignments
  • Read for leisure, not just for my degree
  • Do an internship in Japan this summer (in the works!)
  • Visit family and friends more
  • Travel a bit around the country and get to know the UK a bit better
  • Be creative and use this website to enhance my artwork and writing skills
  • At the same time, try to work on my internet addiction
  • Plan ahead for people’s birthdays so that I can give them great presents
  • Learn a new skill – I’m studying Korean at the moment, but I think I’d like to learn to drive in my final year of university so that I can work towards getting an international license and then be able to drive in other countries.


Happy New Year!

NIN pp


Day 218: Repeating 40 days 火曜日・2015年4月21日

Got up, had two classes, went to ‘bouldering’ as an extracurricular activity after school.

It’s like rock-climbing, except without a harness, and on a shorter wall, about five metres tall. I went with Irene (Ukraine), Nat (Indonesia) and Cat (Poland).

Unfortunately while we were doing pre-climb stretching, I heard an ominous rip and realized my red Primark jeans had finally given up the ghost. They lasted about a year and a half, so I’m impressed. They ripped about halfway up the thigh, so they’re not COMPLETELY ruined – I just need to sew up the hems and I’ll have myself a pair of makeshift shorts. I needed some anyway. But I’ve been finding a lot of holes in my leggings recently, and the weather’s getting warmer, so maybe it’s time I paid a visit to UNIQLO and got some cheap clothes. I think I’ve slimmed enough so that I can probably fit into a stretchy pair of XL trackies.

Ah, speaking of slimming, I’ll refer to the title of this video. I was able to give up YouTube after resisting it for 40 days, so now I’m starting the cycle again, but with snacks and fatty foods. I’m not planning on eating unhealthily until Korea. If I’m offered a snack I won’t refuse (unless it’s REALLY bad), as it’s all part of exercising self-control. Like how I only occasionally use YouTube for music rather than mindlessly scrolling. The 40-day-thing only works though if I concentrate on one thing at once. There were like five things I wanted to give up but I wasn’t able to concentrate on all of them. One of them was mayonnaise. I did buy a new bottle recently but that’s so I can make a hair mask for damaged hair. I don’t really have much time to do it, so it may have to be Friday morning. But yeah, anyway. Since getting this job I’ve been wasting too much money on snacks and bento because I don’t have time to cook. But I’m going to be prepared. Tomorrow I’m gonna cook salmon and vegetables with either potato or rice (rice would probably be healthier as I like mashed potato too much), and it is going to be scrumptious.

Oh yeah, about the bouldering.

I didn’t do too badly. In fact, I was the first of the newbies to reach the top of the ‘easy’ wall. I went a bit overboard and climbed it with a huge rush of adrenaline, despite the rip in my jeans and the borrowed rock-climbing shoes that were far too tight (2 UK sizes too small). I was victorious. I couldn’t feel my arms afterwards, but it was an achievement.

Next to the easy wall were the harder walls, which have uneven rock faces and are tilted at a steep angle. There were a few Japanese students there and they were making it look so easy, climbing swiftly and without using their legs, just pulling their own body weight up as if they were trained monkeys. I don’t know if I could ever do that. Losing weight would probably help.

Day 211: I won! I won! 火曜日・2015年4月14日

…I won a bottle of orange water at FamilyMart. Pity it wasn’t the lottery. Oh well.

Meanwhile Orange strengthens its choke-hold on my poor abused throat as it reimburses my money… by converting it to Orange credit. I could tear someone’s head off right about now.

I had a society class this morning – wasn’t too bad, only it was in Japanese rather than English. I don’t mind, I just wasn’t expecting it. Oh well. I had my compulsory MDR lesson in which we’re preparing to give presentations. My group’s theme is uniform, used to compare against each others’ countries and against Japan, and so on.

I managed to spill hot tea on my leg three times today. Tea kept in my flask, so it was as hot as it would be when you’ve just poured a fresh cup.

I had more clients than usual today as I finished school at 2:30. The kids that drove me up the wall before was more accommodating today. I don’t think he hates me as much as I thought he did. Maybe because since getting to know him better and finding out he struggles a lot with English and he hates it, I tried a new tactic with him and it seems to be working. I speak to him in Japanese from time to time, and teach him new words by explaining them in Japanese. But he still replies in English even when I do, so he still gets practice. But we finished the textbook, so his mother (I assume) asked me to ask him yes/no questions. But he can say more than that, which is good. I taught him a couple of English tongue twisters. I think coming up with fun games for children is best.

What else did I do today? Not much.

Day 207: Life is falling into a pattern 2015年4月10日

Well, life was always some kind of pattern. Sometimes the pattern changes. But I just couldn’t think of another way to name this blog post. I didn’t mean it in an especially self-reflecting or philosophical way. I haven’t got time for such things anyway. I have work in twenty minutes.

Today I went to three classes. I had a kanji class this morning: “Learning Kanji Through Reading Texts”. This one was focused on medicine. It was very helpful. I wish again that I’d taken some of these classes in the first semester. But better late than never, I suppose. The second class was a cultural lecture on the history of Japanese characters, like Linguistics, taught in Japanese. But unfortunately, I got the same vibe as I did with Shita-sensei in Religion class last semester. There is no way I’m making that mistake again. So I think I’ll be dropping it. So that, along with fourth period on Wednesday, brings 18 credits down to 16. Which is still plenty, as I got 16 credits last semester, and the minimum is 30. So that’ll come to a total of 32 if I pass all my classes this semester, and I’m confident I will, as I finally seem to be getting the hang of time management and self-motivation. But now I’ve dropped a couple, I’m wondering if I should try to cram in a couple of extra classes just so I can really improve my Japanese. Unfortunately nothing else has really caught my eye. I’ll keep looking. If I don’t find any, then it’s no big deal. I should already get all the credits I need, and if I focus on less classes I’m likely to get better grades.

My third and final class was Politics II with the wonderful Carlos-sensei, who was energetic as ever. It was just an introductory class but we covered a lot of ground, and read through some texts on the economy and so on.

I’ve been thinking more about my thoughts on a Year Abroad in Germany. I think it would be hard to make relevant to my studies (maybe I could make it International Relations or whatever, but it’s still kind of vague). So I was thinking maybe an internship in Germany, or wherever (as the Erasmus program does seem to cover them), or perhaps I should come back to Osaka and do research here, as my Masters’. Part of my life becoming a pattern is that I’m always changing my mind. But I’m still not at a high enough level to take any of the ‘Advanced Conversation’ classes, which are for people at N1 level, and I was thinking if I wanted to get really advanced-level fluent, that Osaka would be the place to do it. And I could do the research classes. I didn’t take it this semester as I couldn’t think of a topic I wanted to research, and I think it’s for the best as I still can’t express myself clearly. But if I came in two year’s time, I think I’d be ready. I’d have done my university dissertation by then. So yeah. Just some thoughts.

Gotta go now, got work, then I’ll go to bed as soon as I’ve finished. Smell ya later.

Day 206: So I designed a garden today 木曜日・2015年4月9日

I played a BuzzFeed game of “Who is your British Husband” and I got Richard Armitage, who was actually the one I had in mind. My standards are probably too high. Well, if Buzzfeed predicted it, it must be true.

I had four lessons today. The first lesson was a composition/essay class, which was a bit boring as the teacher spoke a bit too fast and I didn’t always understand the task, but I feel I learned some valuable things about the differences between written and spoken Japanese, and essay writing in general. It’s the perfect opportunity to keep my writing skills up to scratch.

Then I had lunch, and I ordered the kanji book I need for Wednesday’s class, but they said it won’t be in for another week. Even though I thought the teacher had said there were 31 copies in the store and there were only a handful of new people in the class. Oh well.

Then I had a Listening class, then a Speaking class, and finally one of my research modules which is called “Japanese Architecture and Garden Design”, or something like that. Our teacher is from Venezuela. Weirdly, only 3 people turned up to the class, and the teacher was expecting closer to 25 so he was a bit put out. But it was interesting. We’ll have field trips to Japanese gardens at some point and we have to make a 5-minute presentation about a certain type of garden next week. Any kind of garden, like English, Moorish, Chinese, Botanical, Mexian, etc.

We also designed our own gardens and explained them in front of the class. I got a bit carried away and created more of a huge park rather than a garden. I have been greatly influenced by Japanese gardens (particularly Bampaku Kinen Kouen as I’ve been there a lot recently) so it was very geometric, with straight paths and a line of trees on either side and a bridge crossing over a sculpted pool/river (I like it when there’s water in parks), perhaps with turtles and koi in it, and I included a maze with a tower at the centre akin to the Tower of the Sun in Bampaku.

I wanted it to be a mix of geometric and seasonal so it would be nice if the line of trees turned orange/red in Autumn and then pink with flowers in spring, like cherry blossoms, though I’m not sure what kind of tree yet. A maple tree maybe? Though this park is turning out too Japanese. It would be nice to have a bit of wild, natural English in there too. Lots of rose bushes and long grass and big oak trees, perhaps. My garden (or park, really, I should learn the difference) was too artificial, really. But I feel that with a lot of Japanese gardens. It feels too strategic and not natural, with their clipped trees and sakura planted in rows along the side of the road, but then aren’t all gardens strategic in some way? Some just look more natural than others.

Hmm, I wonder if I should have ever considered architecture. It would have been a menace as a degree, at 70 hours a week I think, but it was fun designing my own ideal park/garden. Architecture is after all a mixture of both maths and art, two things I love. I know someone from my form group who’s studying Architecture at Cambridge. Actually we went to the same sixth form college as well and I got to see his Extended Project presentation on the importance of light in one’s home, and his designs of an environmentally-friendly, space-efficient, natural-light-exposing house. It was very interesting.

I’m not so great at geometry though. I couldn’t even draw a proper maze today. Definitely couldn’t have been the architect in Inception.

Rachel and I are discussing going to the onsen again on Monday, and karaoke on Friday next week. I definitely need some time to relax as I’ve been working really hard.

Day 205: Bak 2 skul :0 水曜日・2015年4月8日

Today was the first day of the spring semester for me. I was a lot more organized with my schedule this time than I was last term, and I chose a lot of language-based lessons without forgoing any cultural lessons I particularly wanted to do.

I got my results from the autumn semester back, and I passed everything. The lowest grade I got was one B in the Civilizations class, and that was the one I’d thought I was going to fail, but it was fine. I got mainly As, and two S-grades (which here in Japan means an A* or an A+, that kind of grade. Basically, over 90%). The two S-grades were for Linguistics and Politics. Both of which I’m taking again this semester, only slightly different. Linguistics is now “Language and Society” and Politics is now Politics II with different objectives.

This year I’m going to try really hard to get more S-grades. It’s possible if I put my mind to it.

First lesson was Language and Society. Basically just an introduction to the class as we don’t start the intensive stuff until week 3, when everyone’s settled into their timetables. It’s a continutation from the Linguistics lesson from last semester, though there are many new faces.

Second class was a bit disappointing. Now that I’ve learned I passed all my classes from last semester it’s not necessary for me to take as many classes as I thought this semester. I have to get at least 30 credits in a year and I earned 16 credits in the Autumn semester. I chose 18 credits’ worth from this semester’s guidebook, so that way if a lesson’s disappointing or not helpful I can drop a couple of classes if I want without worrying about my credit score. Anyway, the second class was Intermediate Conversation (as I don’t think I’m anywhere near ready for Advanced Conversation), but I feel it’s a class I should have taken last semester as now I think I’m too advanced for it, and the teacher seemed to think so too. But I’m not advanced enough to be with N1 Japanese speakers, I think. And I actually did learn a few vocabulary from the class. I’ll see how the rest of my classes fare before I think about dropping it. Also, the teacher is super cute; she looks like Haruhi Fujioka,

The third class (after dashing to the supermarket) was Kanji. Everyone has to learn 40 kanji characters a week and there’s a test each week, also two big tests which count towards the final grade. There’s a textbook I need to buy for that and it also contains kanji from last semester’s kanji class so I can catch up. So I should effectively learn about 1000 kanji. Sweet.

Fourth class didn’t happen at all. I was in the right classroom but the teacher didn’t turn up and I was the only one in the classroom. I checked the board and the classroom hadn’t been changed. Well, it was only a composition class, and there’s one tomorrow morning, so I think I’ll drop this class.

I then made spaghetti bolognaise for dinner before commencing Skype tutoring. There’s one kid I have to teach a lot, almost every day, and he absolutely hates learning English. I think he probably hates me too, by default. He only takes the class because his mum is forcing him to sit down and take it. To be fair, he’s only six years old, wants to run about and enjoy himself, and is on the most basic level of English (learning words like ‘big’, ‘small’, ‘chicken’, ‘dog’, etc). Since he discovered the “end call” button on Skype, from today he kept (subtly) ending the calls then calling me back again straight away. It wasn’t the connection. He would have this little smug smile on his face every time we would reconnect. Thank fuck the lesson’s only 25 minutes long. It feels like a lifetime with him, though.

But if I hated a class I’d hate it even more if the teacher took it out on me and made me feel stupid, so out of compassion I took pity on him and encouraged him as much as I could whilst instructing him in Japanese (he’s not really at the level for instructions in English anyway) and he responded much more enthusiastically than he did last lesson, when he’d actually roll his eyes at me when he answered. Wow, I’m so glad I was never that rude to a teacher. At least, not to my memory. Not only was I a goody-two-shoes (most of the time), I was a complete teacher’s pet.

I have so much sympathy for people with jobs that require interacting with ‘customers’ now. I mean, I was a door-to-door salesperson for two weeks before I quit last summer, but I could at least understand why customers would be so unfriendly. It wasn’t really a job worthy of respect from my standpoint. Not only did I feel like a conman, but I was invading customers’ private lives by knocking on their doors. But whether you’re a teacher, or a retailer, or a salesperson, or whatever. You could really enjoy your job generally, or at least feel content with it as you’re earning money, but then one lousy customer comes along and ruins your whole day.

Four lessons tomorrow, then an evening full of Skyping.

Day 199: Spring Term Placement Test 木曜日・2015年4月2日

Today was apparently the last sunny day for a while, and I was stuck inside redoing the placement test. Luckily I managed to complete the test in two hours rather than three this time, as the internet seemed to be working a lot faster.

It gave me my immediate results at the end, and I see that my kanji is now among the highest possible marks in the advanced level for students in the M-Program, which pleases me. I’ve definitely absorbed a lot of kanji just from looking at the names of places in the station, looking at Japanese advertisements everywhere, and so on. I think I’m quite good at remembering kanji.

On the other hand, my grammar is, as I thought, completely terrible. I was still on a mid-intermediate level but grammar is definitely something I need to work on this semester. Time to hit the books. I didn’t have much of a clue of what to do in Japanese tutor sessions so it was mainly just free talk for two and half hours, and while I learned some good words and phrases, it never had much direction.

Now that I’m tutoring all kinds of different people, I see that some of them use textbooks, so maybe I can start bringing textbooks to my tutor sessions. Could do an hour of grammar, an hour of studying a news article, and half an hour of free conversation. And prepare blogposts and/or essays each week for them to check. I think that’s a much more productive idea. Why couldn’t I have thought of all this stuff closer to the beginning of the year? I feel like I’ve lost 26 weeks of practice now. Still, better late than never. Teaching English to people has really put my own learning into perspective.

I’m also going to be preparing for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in July as it’s cheaper to take the test here than in England. But I can only take one test at a time. I was presumed N4 level by my teachers in my first year of university, and I think I’m easily N3 now, maybe even N2 if I pushed myself hard enough, but I think you can only take one level test at a time so I’m going to go for N3 while I’m here and then N2 in December when I return to England. I’ve signed up to the JLPT site but I’ve not applied yet. I have until the end of the month. I just want to do the practice tests online and see what kind of level I’m at before I apply. Maybe I’m closer to N2 than I think. Though I doubt it.

I tutored several kids today. One girl read me Dr. Seuss books (Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat), I presented an epic Harry Potter quiz consisting of 42 questions (6 questions per book) to the 8-year-old Potterhead (he got 40/42, amazing), and a new client was a 12-year-old boy who speaks really quickly and excitedly as he’s clearly very intelligent and has been learning English since he was born so he speaks it very naturally. We mainly talked about video games. He plays mainly Nintendo 3DS though, and I don’t have one. I play on my brother’s Xbox mostly. I heard my brother was going to buy an Xbox One with his own money though I don’t know if that plan has yet come to fruition.

I also tutored another little boy who is 7 years old, but he always gets frustrated about halfway through the lesson and loses interest. I don’t know if it’s because I rub him up the wrong way or if he just gets confused by the textbook tasks or if maybe he doesn’t want to study English. I can’t tell. I’ve had two lessons with him so far. To be fair, the textbook lessons are often not so clear. Even I have trouble identifying what they’re supposed to say/do.

Tomorrow is Day 200! Oh how time flies.

Day 196: Met my teacher from my UK university 月曜日・2015年3月30日

I woke up with a headache this morning. I think perhaps working for 11 hours (well, 6, but spread over an 11 hour period) is too much. I can’t understand how Japanese people can do so much overtime on a regular basis when I can’t even manage one day. I only had three Skype bookings today though, so it balances out. I feel I have to work hard on Sundays as I relax most of the week, maybe doing only a couple of bookings a day as weekdays aren’t so convenient when it comes to free time, but then everyone is free on Sunday so then I can accommodate them. If it gets to be too much I’ll cool it a bit.

My teacher from my UK university is here in Japan so Jay and I went to meet up with him at the monorail station and go to a nearby cafe for a chat. It was mainly informal, though we spoke in Japanese 95% of the time. It was nice seeing a familiar face. We spoke to him for about an hour and a half, which I would think is a short time to catch up with someone, but then again he has to catch up with students dotted all over the country, so it’s busy work.

I then went to go have Indian one final time with Singh before he leaves for Tsukuba in a few days. It was a smaller group this time, with just June and Andrea, two Polish girls. It was fun, though. They’re all very sweet people. June, Andrea and I now have a new inside joke: thunder and lightening. That’s all I’m going to say.

Aaaaand I’m tired. That’s enough.

Day 148: Realizing a dream and becoming my stereotype: A Brit Talking About Tea 火曜日・2015年2月10日

Today I did a presentation about tea in my last Tea Ceremony class, and I can’t lie, I loved every second of it. I don’t think I looked up once from my notes so my “presenting” wasn’t the best, but my pronunciation was on-point, I’d chosen good pictures, and as a tea-lover of British nationality it was a dream come true to talk about my own country’s tea culture. I don’t speak for all Brits, of course not. Some people prefer coffee. Those people are traitors. No, I’m just kidding. But I did have a lot of fun. Maybe too much fun. I put in a picture of Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent, in his dressing gown, holding a cup of tea. Prince Charles was in it. Sherlock was in it. All of them with a cup of tea in their hands. It was glorious.

Speaking of Martin Freeman, I’m about to watch the last episode of Fargo. He has been marvelous in it. The show itself is addictive, thrilling, and all round pretty brilliant. I did have to stop it a few times though, to either put my face in my hands or scream silently into a pillow. It was quite haunting, though. I’m probably gonna have it in my head for a while. But I also wanna try Better Call Saul.

Speaking of, Bob Odenkirk is also in Fargo. I think I’ve only ever seen Bob Odenkirk act in small-town scenarios. Bill Oswalt in that town in Minnesota for Fargo, the older brother in Nebraska, Saul Goodman in Albuquerque for Breaking Bad. Okay, not a small town, not at all, but the setting where his office is looks eerily similar to the police station in Minnesota for Fargo. Both in spaces where there’s miles of nothing surrounding them on every side. Just opposite sides of the country. Kind of creepy how similar the places look, only one place is in the desert and the other on a sheet of ice.

The idea makes me feel a little more afraid of going to America. It only just occurred to me, whilst I was watching Fargo, how big the USA really is. I live in the UK; I’ve only ever travelled to a few European countries and Japan. All of which have a pretty small surface area. But America… it’s mind-mindbogglingly big. It has three – no, four – time zones. I’ve never been in a country with more than one time zone before. The country varies so wildly, all across. You have small towns slap-bang in the middle of nowhere, you have deserts, ice lakes, mountains, big cities. Big wide-open spaces with no hint of civilization for miles.

But perhaps I’m only creeped out right now because I’m watching a drama about a serial killer in a small town. Makes sense why I’d feel creeped out by places in the middle of nowhere.

Key and Peele make a cameo, by the way. That was one of the moments I had to scream silently into a pillow, not out of embarrassment or frustration, but out of joy.

I saw Rika briefly today so that she could interview me for an Osaka University promotional video. I thought it went pretty well, we picked a nice spot with a view of Osaka in the distance, and I was on top comedic form (a lie) but the wind was too loud and disrupted the audio, so she’s asking me to hang out with her again to refilm it, inside this time. For the best, I suppose. She’s shorter than me so the angle at which she filmed it not only looks straight up my nostrils but also accentuates the double-chin effect. She can film me sitting down next time so that I have that perfect Instagram angle, har har. (I don’t even have Instagram, what am I talking about.)

I’ve stayed up slightly later so that I could watch Fargo until the end. Off to Kobe tomorrow for a quick daytrip.

Night night.

Day 139: Plans for next year? 日曜日・2015年2月1日

It’s February already. Where did January go?

Nothing happened again today, so be prepared for a few hundred words of nonsense.

I woke up at 4pm (intelligent) and Skyped my sister about living arrangements for next September. It seems we’re going to be living together when I get back, just us two. We attend the same university, which naturally makes things a lot more convenient for everyone, especially our parents when they come visit. She’s the academic year below me and is currently in her first year so she’s in university halls, and has to do all the viewing because obviously I can’t do it. When we do decide on a place to stay she’ll have to send me some contracts to sign, but that’s about all I can do. Oh, and pay some of the deposit I guess. Meh.

But it’ll be convenient, and dare I say it, fun? I imagine I’m lucky in that I have the option to live with my sister, as we obviously know each other quite well, having lived together for sixteen years, and I don’t have to worry about “upsetting the flat feel” by yelling at her for not doing the dishes. I imagine we’d probably be okay though. It’s a lot easier to keep track of who did what chore when if there’s only two of us. Also, it’ll be good to know I have someone to talk to when I do go back to university, as I had no-one there who I felt like I could talk to. In the vicinity, anyway. Had to rely on my sixth-form and high school friends for company.

I’m also lucky I have someone to room with at all, as it’ll be cheaper and safer than living alone, which was my original plan.

I learned some more Italian on Duolingo. I’ve actually been learning consistently every day for a couple of weeks or so (Duolingo sends me email alerts so that I don’t forget to practise daily), so it’s become a more productive hobby. It’s just simple stuff but it’s really fun, and I even looked at GCSE past papers and found I could understand quite a lot of it, so I think me doing a couple of language GCSEs could become a reality. Not sure how to arrange it, but I could give it a go. Italian and Spanish, definitely, and if other language GCSE options still exist (I think I could even do Mandarin Chinese) then I’ll do them. Unless our government decides to abolish them. Fuckers. But anyway, language-learning is a good productive hobby, I think.

Related to my Game of Thrones rant yesterday, I stumbled upon something to help lighten the mood, which was this great Maroon 5 Game of Thrones parody I watched ages ago and came up in my YouTube “Watch Again” recommendations. Made me feel a hint better about the show. However I disagree of course when they say it’s “Lord of the Rings but with titties galore”. Titties galore, oh yeah. But Lord of the Rings? Hmm.

Luckily my head wasn’t bitten off (or chopped off… har har) at my less-than-popular opinion. A nice Game of Thrones fan commented that while they (of course) disagreed with my reasons, that they respected my opinion. My not-so-thought-out opinion, though. I expect a debate to come soon. Haha.

Alongside writing reports and revising for a test, I am still rewatching Sherlock. I probably could have spent that time rewatching Lord of the Rings as I am going through a huge Tolkien phase (that I don’t ever want to climb out of), but I wanted to see Martin Freeman again. The man makes me cry with laughter.

Well anyway. Back to work. Not sure anything of real significance will appear on this blog for a while due to exam/report stress.