first day of my life

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Sunday, October 30, 2005

living with other people

I'm writing this feeling pretty annoyed. Somebody has "borrowed" my favourite starry mug. Like someone "borrowed" my plate. (This is no ordinary plate, but Whittard's plate. A Whittard's mug too). It did turn up today however, unwashed. Two weeks after whoever it was decided to "borrow" it. I don't want you to think that I'm stingy about people borrowing my stuff. But I don't like people going into my cupboard taking things without asking and then returning them two weeks later without even washing them.

The other thing that is annoying me is the filthiness of the kitchen. The girls I live with are sweet, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I wonder about the state of their family homes. There are onion peelings on the floor, sticky substances, moudly mushrooms... I ALWAYS wipe the sufaces if I leave a mess or pick up stuff if I drop it on the floor. But do they? NO! So, the question is, should I mop the floor? Should I clean up the mess to make me feel better? I don't even want to go into the kitchen these days... I don't even feel like cooking much either because it stinks!! Am I being too sensitive? Is my family just super-clean? (I don't think so.) It's my right to feel like cooking but I can't feel like cooking in that horrible kitchen!!!!!!

And, one more thing. I left loads of Japanese chocolate for my flatmates to eat whilst I was away... They ate it all up (believe me there was a lot of it). And then, I open the fridge today, and there's an ENORMOUS bar of Galaxy sitting there! Did anyone tell me to eat some of that?? No. I don't think so! Grr.

Yes, I am in a bad mood. Eight days of being sick does not do much for feeling cheery.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ludovico Einaudi

I heard Einaudi's I Giorni ('The Days') on the radio yesterday. Of course, I like most piano pieces, but this one I knew I liked immediately. It's beautiful~~. I'd never heard of Einaudi before, so have been trying to find out some things about him and this particular piece of music. According to one review:

The inspiration for Ludovico Einaudi's I Giorni was a 12th-century folk song from Mali about a hippopotamus who was cherished by the residents of a nearby village but killed by a hunter. "The song," writes Einaudi in his succinct liner note, "is sung as a lament for the death of a king or a great person or for the loss of a loved one."

His music is inspired by both Satie and Nyman (apparently). It's music to wind down to and let wash over you. The kind of music that makes you want to learn the piano just to be able to play this piece...

But now I have no piano... Do I have to wait till Christmas to play it??

Thursday, October 27, 2005

what can I do (part two)?

I feel very, very silly. I bought Antony and the Johnsons' I Am A Bird Now because I heard 'What can I do?' and thought, wow, this guy has a pretty amazing voice... he sounds just like rufus... I have to buy it!! So, upon studying the CD cover today and thinking, hmm, this guy sounds quite different on the other songs, it turns out that it IS rufus singing!! No wonder I immediately liked it!! And now I'm listening to the rest of the album and am quite unsure about the whole thing. Maybe it'll grow on me... Lou Reed features on one of the songs, and I quite like him. I should give it a few more listens...

Although it's a beautiful day, I have just woken up from a deep, deep sleep (the cough medicine and tablets are pretty powerful). I'm supposed to do work, but I have no energy to do anything (well, I guess I could manage a bit of daytime TV. Yesterday I saw Carboot Treasure Hunt, Scrubs - yay for Zach Braff! - and hmhm, Chucklebrothers... Oooh and Neighbours).

I will take the liberty of changing this entry to a different colour since I'm using the PC at home that allows me to do such simple things like this...

PS Did anyone see the 20th anniversary of Neighbours last Tuesday?? Luckily AM taped it:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

broken flowers

I came away feeling slightly disappointed by this film. I'm not too sure that I like the ending. Bill Murray became more and more annoying as it went on (hasn't he played this type of character just a little too much? I mean, it seems to me that he's just playing the same character as he was in Lost in Translation; that kind of aloof, distanced, detached type. Not saying that he's not good at that, but it's all getting a bit old now). And I must add that I won't be getting the soundtrack for this film either. Reminded me a lot of The Full Monty whining music trying to represent the grimness of Sheffield (which is a HUGE lie, I hasten to add). However, there are good parts, some good dialogue and well. I guess I enjoyed it overall. Perhaps the whole thing was just a bit standoffish - I like to know the answers... Now I'm wondering all the time. Who IS the mother?? Maybe we're just not meant to know.

what to do when you can't sleep...

...write a blog entry (obviously). I'm ill (sob). Last time I felt this ill was in India (although at least there was tv in our room then). So far, this night, I have knitted, read, eaten rhubarb yoghurt, had a glass of milk, listened to the whole of the new Sigur Ros album (now listening to DCFC), and dreamt constantly about my assignment (it's driving me crazy - every time I nod off I have a dream about the assignment I've just finished. How sad it that? Why do we have bizarre dreams when we're not well? If I dream about that damn assignment again I will seriously go mad...) Erm, well, nothing much interesting to say. Tomorrow (today) will most definitely be another day cooped up listening to Radio Four...

Maybe I can try and sleep again now.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I finally got hold of a copy of Illinois by Sufjan Stevens... recommended to me by at least three people. I am now listening to 'Chicago' - think it will become one of my favourites pretty quickly. Actually, I think I listened to this before at WY's house... I remember then liking it then, but never got round to listening to it again till now. (Don't you just love discovering new music?) I also have Takk to listen to (I will be able to judge for myself whether or not it is whale music) and also DCFC's Transatlanticism (thank you Richard). Plus Sptiz, which T gave me, and another CD that WY made. So much new music to listen to...

I spent the day in Manchester being a tourist with Annemarie. Spent at least four hours in the Science and Industry Museum. Very impressive indeed. Even more impressive that it was free (all the museums in Manch are free). Shame about not being able to go to Urbis. Next time then. I was particularly annoyed by the fact that I had to stand all the way to Manch on the train and miss out on seeing the beautiful English countryside on the way... (even more annoyed by the nasty drunk men on the way back.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Over the weekend I finished reading 'The Namesake' by Jhumpa Lahiri; a book I have been meaning to read for a very long time. I picked up a copy in the Tenement Museum when I was in New York~~ It tells the story of an Indian family struggling to adapt to life in the US... the story focuses on Gogol though, who manages to forge his own path in life despite the expectations of his parents. A never-ending struggle to keep old traditions alive as well as keep up with a changing society. After India, I meant to try to read more and understand Indian culture and tradition. I guess this book helped with that in some sense, although I think 'A Suitable Boy' will remain my favourite as far as India-themed novels are concerned. I really need to read more Vikram Seth...

I had my third and final induction day today at Aldercar... It was a good day; full of promise. I was asked, when observing a class, "Are you a real teacher?". My response, which I didn't think of at the time, should have been: "Are you a real boy?" Instead I told him, yes, of course I was a real teacher and lucky him to have the pleasure of me to teach him two weeks from today... erm...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wallace and Gromit

During my short trip back to York, I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the new Wallace and Gromit film. There's not a lot I can say really... except that it's definitely not a film to miss. Was great to be surrounded my grandpas, grandmas, little kids, students... I don't think there's anyone who can say that they don't like W&G. Just so sad about the fire destroying everything. But really, as Nick Park said himself, if you think about the chaos and devasation in Pakistan right now, it really isn't that bad a tragedy...

I'm excited about seeing a French film tomorrow (with flatmate K. Yay!) I realised tonight what lovely flatmates I have. Thanks guys:)

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Meaning of Tingo...

My tutor today was telling me about a book that's just been published on foreign words that have no translation in English (he was asking me what bakku-shan means):The Meaning of Tingo. I think 'uitwaaien' must be my favourite...

By the way, 'bakku-shan' is a woman who looks beautiful from the back, but not from the front ( mean). The 'shan' part of it comes from the German "schön'. Omoshiroi ne~

Thursday, October 13, 2005

SID2 at Aldercar

Getting up at 6am is going to take some getting used to. Getting up when it's still dark is no fun either. But somehow it feels good to be awake and ready for the day at 7am... even though now my eyes keep trying to shut. But I'm not letting them.

Our second induction day went well. I really like this school. None of that middle-class snobbery. Just ordinary, down-to-earth kids who actually have some respect for their teachers (well, most of them). I followed Sam around for the first two periods. ('A morning in the life of a year 8 pupil'.) I was really impressed by him~~ although in the bottom set for most subjects, he was polite, kind, hard-working... Volunteered to play the part of Mr Ali in English. I asked him if he liked languages, and more specifically, Japanese. He said he liked it, although he had to give it up to spend more time on his English. When I see him around though I will be sure to say a few words in Japanese to him. Funny though how when I was walking around the school that I heard so many 'konnichiwa's. It guess it's rare to walk around a school and hear the kids shouting 'bonjour' to each other. Japanese is just way cooler. I reckon.

Friday tomorrow (thank god). Although I can't get into the Friday mood until late - I have to participate in the teaching of Arabic in the afternoon. (Don't ask.) (Although you can ask me the numbers 1~5 coz I know them.)

"Try and fail, but don't fail to try."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Whilst driving in the car today, I heard 'nagareboshi' (shooting star) by Spitz. The first song I've heard by Spitz, but I quite liked it. No idea what the lyrics mean, but I'm going to put them here anyway~~

目を上げた時にはもう 太陽は沈んでいた
造りかけの大きな街は 七色のケムリの中
解らない君の言葉 包み紙から取り出している

流れ星 流れ星 すぐに消えちゃう君が好きで
流れ星 流れ星 本当の神様が

ひからびかけていた僕の 明日が見えた気がした
誰かを憎んでたことも 何かに怯えたことも
全部かすんじゃうくらいの 静かな夜に浮かんでいたい

流れ星 流れ星 すぐに消えちゃう君が好きで
流れ星 流れ星 本当の神様が

流れ星 流れ星

流れ星 流れ星 本当の神様が

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Much Ado About Nothing

Another enjoyable evening spent at The Crucible...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

qui parle français?

En écoutant Françoise Hardy, J’ai decide d’écrire ce message en français: dans quelques semaines je vais enseigner la langue (!), et c’est pour cette raison que je dois l’utiliser le plus possible… pour l’améliorer (le français que j’ai (re)appris le mois de juin semble avoir disparu…) Bien qu’il y ait des Français qui font le même cours que moi (et je crois qu’ils sont vraiment courageux de vouloir enseigner dans un établissement britannique – si j’étais française je n'aurais jamais quitté la France…), j’ai peur de leur parler en français de crainte de faire des erreurs. Pourtant, il faut pas avoir peur. Donc, demain, c’est mon tour de leur parler.

Aujourd’hui je me sentais à l’aise avec l’idée d’être professeur (j’ai commencé même à m’envisager dans la salle de classe….) Pourtant, ça c’était aujourd’hui… Quant à demain, je n’en sais rien… Comment c’est bien d’être en compagnie, chaque jour, de gens qui s’intéressent autant que moi aux langues. Dommage que je ne les aie rencontrées beaucoup plus avant la semaine dernière.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

diary 4 Oct 2005: small world

I found out today that I will be doing my first placement in Nottingham. Quite glad, as it's the shorter of the two placements, and only four days a week. I will be placed there with T (I won't write his name as I'm not quite sure how he would feel about being famous on my blog)... I knew T before I met him (this is kind of complicated). On the first day, the second person I spoke to was T... When he told me his full name, I almost couldn't believe my ears... Turns out that he lived in Tottori, and we had the same Japanese teacher in Japan... I knew all about him, because Okamura-sensei used to talk about him a lot, about how he got married and was living in Sheffield (he left Japan the year I got there). So, I had even seen his wedding photos (through my Japanese teacher). Small world... and now we are doing our teaching practice together. (Okamura would be so proud of us - both of us teaching languages and even Japanese...) Small world indeed. Funny how things turn out.

I had a Japanese lesson today from Saori (perfect - she's doing a module in how to teach a language for her masters, so basically is happy just to teach me without me teaching her any English!). Got two invites out for the weekend (one includes eating lamb - sorry, Wanyu) and maybe dancing... who knows... and hopefully some culture... That's all for today. Need to get away from this desk...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What can I do?

The song I have been listening to non-stop this weekend is 'What can I do' by Antony and the Johnsons:

What can I do
When the bird's got to die
What can I do
When she's too weak to fly
What can I do
When she's calling my name
She's crying
Mama, Help me to live
What can I do

Anyone else think he sounds exactly like rufus?


Yesterday was my first Saturday in Sheffield after three years of being away... And I discovered Beanies! Annemarie had told me about this place, and despite the fact that I actually lived two minutes' walk from it in my second year at uni, I never discovered it before... It's a lovely little place, packed with organic, natural and vegetarian food... homemade bread, all kinds of spices, locally-grown vegetables, tofu, falafel, figs (yes, they had figs!) and just lots of generally cool stuff... And I got myself an extremely trendy tote bag (really, it IS cool) that I can use everytime I go now...