first day of my life

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I have been listening to Leyona's Niji... especially ナツメロ. The lyrics are really nice and clear enough so I can almost sing along!

Monday, November 28, 2005


Blog readers:

I need a favour. Anyone know a (modern, cool-ish) French song that uses a lot of the imperfect tense (eg. je faisais, je jouais, je regardais...) I need to teach this to my A-level class and it's been suggested that I do this through song... I will listen to what I have, but I don't think Edith Piaf and Francoise Hardy would go down too well with these 15 year-olds...

Merci mille fois!!


After a bit of a low yesterday, I have decided to make a list of all the good things that happened today. Unfortunately most of them have to be school-related, because that is where I spend my days these days:

1. It snowed (this is good).
2. I survived another day at school.
2. My year 9 Japanese class did some wonderful PowerPoint presentations. I learnt all kinds of works related to sumo...
3. K-sensei told me my Y7 French lesson was "good" (perhaps quite rare to get a "good" from her).
4. My room is warm.
5. I have decided to learn Spanish from January.

Yes, I really do want to learn Spanish... It'll be fun learning another language from scratch.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

fed up day

I feel really fed up today. Why is it that I look forward to the weekends so much and then when it comes I feel rubbish? I think it's all to do with this room. It's impossible to feel at all relaxed in this flat - it's so impersonal and it doesn't feel like home at all. And after spending all day at this desk working I then have to relax here too, and that doesn't really work. This is bad! One day of being in this room and I think I'm going mad. Oh to have my own place with sofas and a nice kitchen and separate bedroom and TV and all homely things!

And what's more scary is that I have to decide soon what I'm doing with the rest of my life~~ do I apply for teaching jobs even though I'm not sure about it? If I don't, then next summer will be one of those hellish what's-the-point kind of summers and I'll have to figure out yet again what to do. If I DO apply for teaching jobs and get a job, at least I will feel purposeful... What should I do? Be a teacher? Or what? What else can I do? Teaching would give me security and a decent salary (perhaps) but stress and no free time. But at least I wouldn't get bored. I would be able to afford to go on holiday again. (I really want to go on holiday!) But I could be miserable. Or maybe I wouldn't be. Should I just try it and see what happens? Why am I so bad at making decisions?

God, this is a miserable entry. It's one of those days when I've had too much of my own company.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sheffield's Chinese supermarket and Everything Is Illuminated

Tonight we're going to see Everything Is Illuminated. First of all it was supposed to be Harry Potter, then decided that it would be much better to go to The Showroom and not the nasty Odeon, so Everything Is Illuminted it is. Not a huge fan of Elijah Wood, but the book is fab (so on second thoughts why am I going to see the film?). Harry Potter will just have to wait.

I went to the Chinese supermarket in town... It's been on my to-do list for about four weeks now, but I eventually got there today. Just had my Japanese curry for tea. (About time I ate at home - too many restaurants this week... including East One finally! Love that place. Discovered the Green Room too - I like it a lot.) Stopped by in Fopp too and bought things I shouldn't have. Been listening to Beauty Mark by R.W. One of the better ones on that album.

K and I have decided to find a pub quiz in Sheffield. Anybody who knows Sheffield have any suggestions? Been a long time since I went to a quiz.

And I slept a lot! This afternoon... how can I help it when it gets dark at around 2.30? I really hate winter! So much... There's not a single thing I like about winter.

So that's Saturday rounded up. Tomorrow is work, work, work.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I really feel I haven't read anything recently... The last book (actually, comic strip) I read was "Gemma Bovary" by Posy Simmons (who is in fact really cool, writing for The Guardian). I know I really want to read "On Beauty" but I'm so out of touch with the lastest books I don't know what I should be reading... "On Beauty" isn't out in paperback yet, so I'm waiting... 待っています。

Actually, I tell a lie. I read number six in the Lemony Snicket series, but I don't know if kids' books count...

Anyone read anything particulary good recently?

And what about the new Harry Potter? Worth seeing??

I've finished my work early tonight, so am thinking how best to spend this unexpected free time...

School was good today. Taught my kanji class (love those kids - they think I'm good at Japanese... Ha). Did lots of planning. Got told that my teaching style was like Helen's:-) Busy busy tomorrow though. Really, really busy... four classes all by myself! Eek.

That's all for now.

I have uploaded some (not very exciting) pitcures...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

My Sunday

In the pub...

Mum's rhubarb crumble... おいしい〜

Thanks, Wanyu~~ It arrived at last!

Good to be back home, but good to be back in Sheffield too...

Friday, November 18, 2005

De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté

Voici le film que j’ai vu ce soir… C’est pas vraiment un film pour faire rire, mais quand même aller au cinema voir un film français m’a bien plu. Mais je me demande toujours pourquoi les films français qui se passe ici en Angleterre sont toujours un peu inquiétants (je suis pas sûre que le mot inquiétant soit bon ici ou non). Ce que je veux dire c’est qu’il est rare de voir un film au cinema ici qui ne soit pas sérieux… La prochaine fois je me promets d’aller en voir un plus enjoué…

Thursday, November 17, 2005

end of week two (even though it's Thursday)

Boring entry, sorry...

End of week two of teaching practice one! Woohoo! Absolutley shattered... Too tired to even speak. Only managed four hours sleep last night, although one of my classes was cancelled today so that was very, very nice. Had one excellent class and one not so... And a bit of an A-level class that was a bit scary. Anyway, tonight is the annual PGCE ceilidh, so no work tonight and maybe tomorrow too if I can manage it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Speaking to my mentor today I learnt that the kanji for electricity 電 is made up of rain and rice field, which of course make lightning... Never really thought about it, but I guess it's true. What's the bit sticking out of the bottom then? She also said that the kanji for town 町 is rice field with a marker around it, which is apparently what they used to do in the old days... interesting stuff, but it doesn't help me to remember kanji (or be able to write it. Eek).

Helen Gilhooly, my mentor, was the first person to complete a PGCE in teaching Japanese in the UK. (What I mean is, it was Helen who phoned Nottingham Uni a long time ago and asked if they could set up a PGCE in Japanese...) Amazing. Thanks to her, we (me, T and R, and a few - very few - at Nottingham Uni) are now able to train to teach Japanese in this country...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Brushfire Fairytales/ congratulations to A&G

I know I shouldn't go to Fopp, but I couldn't help myself... So, I bought a totally random CD: Jack Johnson's Brushfire Fairytales. I couldn't decide between more Bright Eyes, more Rufus (looked for Martha but none...), more Elliot Smith... So got this one. I'm listening to it now. I think I like it...


Even if you don't understand
Well it's all understood
Especially when you don't understand
Then it's all just because
Even if we don't understand
Then let's all just believe

Anyway, more importantly: CONGRATULATIONS to A and G. And welcome baby Jessica!! Wishing you a wonderful life, health and happiness. (Will be sure to come and visit you soon!)

Friday, November 11, 2005


I read an article in today's G2. (Actually read it whilst sitting in the doctor's waiting room thinking what a shambles our health service is.) Food for thought? I think it gives us all something to think about. Take note people (esp. the last bit):

Supposing ...

... We had instant suicide buttons on our heads

Charlie Brooker
Friday November 11, 2005

How much does it take to break you? To break you to the point of wishing you were dead?

Quite a lot, for most people - a couple of bitter divorces, plus a total career collapse, followed by bankruptcy and a dash of existential woe. Whereas my threshold's far lower. Simple everyday chores do it for me. During the average washing-up experience I'll wail about not wanting to live any more at least six times. And I genuinely mean it.

That the slightest personal drawback leaves me huffing like a toddler denied sweets is a good indication of just how cosseted my existence has become. It's a life of luxury taken for granted.

Not that I live like a king - the same applies to everyone in the west. We spend our lives flopping on the sofa, moaning about the telly - but the sofa's upholstered with pauper skin and the TV runs on baby blood. Our double-glazed windows block out the sound of lashes and screams from the workhouse next door, while an electrified fence surrounding our garden frazzles any potential intruders to a sizzling carbon turd - which we feed to our dog. Our tiny, pedigree dog. Our dog in a sodding tiara.

To make matters worse, every now and then, we'll come across something in the paper that reminds us just how much injustice it's taken to put us where we are, and we'll get a bit angry and sad, and we'll roll our eyes and turn to our partners and tut and say, "Have you seen this? The world's so unfair," and then we'll get distracted by a car advert on the telly that's got that bloke who was in that thing in it. What was it again? Was it Holby City? Pass us a Malteser.

We're pigs.

Perhaps if we'd all been born with a suicide button on the back of our heads - a "death button" that would kill you instantly and painlessly on a single press - we'd all be a bit more grateful; more aware of our good fortune. Yes, a single press and tee hee hee - it's dead as a cardboard box you be!

Incidentally, it's a button with its own fingerprint detection system, so only the owner can use it - it's not like some prankster can hide behind a hedge and prod it with a long stick as you walk by, then laugh as your corpse lands face-first in doggy-doo. It's yours and yours alone.

Of course, few would make it past adolescence. What? I've got to go to school with this huge spot on my chin? Click. And that's only the first of a long line of push-button temptations. There's exam pressures - click - your first heartbreak - click - your mid-20s breakdown - click - your shitty job - click - turning 30 - click - your first grey hair - click. And so on. But it's all for the best. It thins out the populace and spreads the comfort around for everyone.

Besides, anyone voluntarily pressing their button is a fool, and the world's got too many of them. Stroke it, by all means. Flirt with danger. Run your finger round the rim and contemplate choice. But don't press it. Who cares how big that pile of dishes gets? You're alive, stupid. And you're lucky to be here. Now get on with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

something that made me smile

After my year 7 French class today, one kid said to another: "She's a cool French teacher".

That put a big smile of my face.

Funny how a few words can make a big difference.

(I hope this blog isn't going to turn into just course-talk.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

the piano sings

I am still alive. Just. I'm so tired... Getting up (super, super) early isn't agreeing with me. Maybe. Or getting home at midnight and getting five hours sleep before teaching the next day isn't so good for me either. I need sleep... Zzz And this is only the start.

So, for all that I am complaining about the lack of sleep last night, I tell you, every lost hour of sleep was 100% worth it. Because I saw Michael Nyman. (Michael Nyman!!) I guess I should be writing a meaningful entry here about how amazing, wonderful, inspiring his playing was. Well, it was all that, so I can't really say any more. Songs I knew (by heart). Some new. Some old. Some that sounded familiar, as if I'd heard them before, although perhaps I hadn't. I just thought I had. He played my favourites (If, The Heart Asks Pleasure First, Jack). I also heard ones that I now want to play myself (Why). I couldn't believe I was sitting there listening to the man who is responsible for the hours I have spent playing the piano. Truly wonderful. And running in the rain...

I almost forgot - I got his autograph! He also smiled and said hello to me:) I will add the pic of WY and me with the man himself as soon as K sends the photo (hurry up, K!).

Despite being dead this morning, I taught my first ever Japanese lesson. It seemed to go well, although the content wasn't particularly inspiring. We had to review the different ways of saying 'to wear' (good revision for me too). I have to practise using simple Japanese classroom language... The French lesson with the year 8 little you-know-whats was also kind of fun. They listened to me and did what I told them! Do I look like a teacher? Maybe I do! I have to say, teaching itself I really like. Preparation and lesson planning I DO NOT.

Time to sleep... I will drink the (proper - made from real chocolate) hot chocolate that my neighbour made me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

can I? will I?

I don't know if I can do this... I want to be the best, but at this I don't think I can. Think about one day at a time and maybe I'll be ok. It's so hard! So many things to consider and so little time. Is it what I expected? I guess so. Is it what I wanted? I don't know... (But I don't know what I do want.) Am I doing this for myself or to prove myself to others? Too many questions... Will the hard work be worth it in the end? Am I doing what I really want to do? Perhaps I just underestimate myself. It's tough, this teaching thing. Someone tell me it gets easier!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

fireworks at Hebden Bridge

We all know that pictures of fireworks are always disappointing (although A, yours are good!), but still we always have the urge to try just once again for that perfect shot. I'm afraid this one is a bit crappy, but I just wanted something to remember the evening by... Can't believe I went ALL THE WAY TO HEBDEN BRIDGE to walk around in mud and get drenched. However, despite all that, it was a lovely evening~ nice to see friends and eat chips (with scraps) and remember that wonderful week in 1997 spent writing poetry (with a week off college too - woo!) Still bummed we didn't get to meet Ted Hughes though. Nice to see HILLS too (I can't see any from my window... although I know there are loads around here somewhere).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Belle & Sebastian are touring

My favourite band have announced that they are to tour in January and February next year! Yay! Get your tickets whilst you can! Demi, where are you??? I don't think they're touring in Macau:(

I also just noticed the Leeds venue MN is sold out.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

look after yourself

This was my breakfast this morning: one tablet of amoxycillin, two paracetomol, two spoonfuls of cough mixture (oh yes, and a cup of tea and some porridge too).

I am now into day ten of flu-symptoms. Well, the flu symptoms have more or less gone now, but I am left with a fever and a violent cough. And general downness that is to be expected from ten days of feeling like, yes, you-know-what.

I used the NHS Direct service today for the first time. I was impressed. The nurse told me no more than the doctor would have, and it saved me from having to leave my bed. So, anyone getting sick, phone NHS! They're good. (Although the lady did refer to my illness as a 'cold'. I promptly corrected her!)

No matter how hard I try to be well again, it isn't working. We can change our minds, our outlook, our attitude, but our body is something that we don't have control over (to some extent). My body will take as long as it needs. It won't listen to me screaming at it that I have a very important day tomorrow (the day I've been anticipating for a long time)... No matter how much sleep, how much medicine we take, things will always take as long as they need to.

Having cancelled my hair appointment three times already, I am going today no matter what.

I shouldn't feel too sorry for myself - it could be something much, much worse. I just hate things like this getting in the way of life and the big day tomorrow.

Don't take your health for granted~~