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I think I quite like being stoned on prescriptions.  It makes the working week that bit much faster, even if I am very grumpy.

Well, I did have plans to go out today, but they fell through at the last minute (and after I'd made the effort to get out of bed early on a Sunday too), so I grabbed my Holga, jumped on my bicycle and went for a meander about the local warren of streets, narrowly avoiding death on one occasion.  I took a few photos - one of an egg factory with some huge cute chicks painted on the side of it, some other brightly painted housing blocks, the "river", and I should have got a snap of the whole 8 year old baseball team cycling along the river either going to or coming back from a game, but I was too intent on getting out of their way.

This afternoon three of the local kids came knocking on my door looking for their baseball, which is somewhere on one of the balconies up here (not mine).  They got a bit of a fright when I opened the door, but quickly rallied themselves to thank me in English for looking for the ball.  I wish I'd taken a photo of them too.

Having a new camera is good fun.  I've been thinking of all sorts of stuff I could be doing with it, and the fact that it's so easy to customize and mess around with presents limitless possiiblities.  I have, however, not yet taken photos of my feet (which is good).  I'm always painfully reminded of my younger self during a scene in "Lost in Translation" where Charlotte is talking about all the things she tried to do when she was unsuccessfully figuring out what to do with her life: writing, but her writing sucked; photography, but all she did was take photos of her feet.  Are we all just cliches?  Are we the same narrative repeating itself over and over again? 

My plan tonight is to make Laura's magic toaster oven aubergine parmegiana.

Where has the afternoon gone?
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I have a very clear memory of having a pot of Vick's Vapour Rub with me in Japan.  However, searching in the only places it could possibly be have turned up a goose egg.  I can even see the bloody pot sitting on my sink shelf in my old apartment.  Perhaps it was one of the sacrifices to the gods of house-moving.  Anyway, it turns out that Vicks is sold in pharmacies here, so we all know where I'm heading tomorrow, and it won't just be to the clinic to complain about my lack of voice.  By 10pm tonight I was barely able to open my mouth for the sad little sound that came out of it.  And all this when I finally have enough money to get a social life back on the go.  Well, I will be demanding strong drugs tomorrow in order to get me out of the house on Sunday!!

For no particular reason, here's a list of books I've read since December, the ones I remember anyway:

Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
E M Forster - Howard's End
Jonathan Carroll - Sleeping in Flame
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
Haruki Murakami - Dance, Dance, Dance
Susan Hill - Strange Meeting
Mark Gatiss - The Devil in Amber
David Crystal - By Hook or By Crook

I've decided that EM Forster is possibly one of the best writers ever.  Not my favourite, but really good.  I always remember Mrs Moore's compassion towards the wasp in "A Passage to India".  Every time I see a wasp I think of her, which is why, despite their inherent lack of purpose, I cannot hate them.  That and the comment from Gloucester in "King Lear" about a broken crown, of which I am always reminded when I first crack into a boiled egg.  Associations, associations.  David Crystal's books is a fascinating read, and will come in useful on Saturday, should I have functioning vocal chords.  Thanks v. much to Lou, who always select a good Xmas present.

Oh, and I had the perfect "from the hip" Holga shot this morning at the station.  Four people all neatly seated on the platform opposite, but just when I summoned the courage to take my camera from my bag, the bloody train pulled in and they all dispersed.  Curses.  Maybe tomorrow. Right.  Book and bedtime.
blacklilly: (Default)
The cold has progressed from sinus torture to a nice cough.  I suspect that huge toad/frog from "Pan's Labyrinth" has set up camp in my lungs.
On the good side, my hypocondriac students (for which read "all of them") keep giving me cough sweets and anti-fever pills.  I don't have a fever, but when woozy from lack of sleep take anything given to you.

I took my Holga to work yesterday, and discovered when I arrived that the batteries had fallen out.  In any other camera this wouldn't be such a problem, but in order to get them back in I had to sit in a dark room, untape the back, mess about with film, and apply sellotape to the offenders in order to keep them in place.  I suspect my first roll of filmn is going to be a complete disaster...or a triumph.  I'm erring on the side of disaster. 
blacklilly: (Default)
It's been so long since I was last sick that I've forgotten what it's like.  I think I may have a fever, but I've no way of telling as I don't have a thermometer.

I had weird dreams last night about how the English language was being attacked either by a monster or a virus.  I think I was talking, snoring and shouting in my sleep a lot last night too.  I was certainly thrashing around a lot, though a super heavy extra duvet kept me from falling out of the loft. 

I have a choice of books to read:  Number9dream - David Mitchell, By Hook or By Crook - David Crystal, or A Conspiracy of Paper by...someone.
Perhaps a stream of  consciousness tour through the English language will go down well with a fevered brain. 

Shall I go to work?  The thought of teaching my 1pm private student fills me all kinds of ennui.
blacklilly: (Default)
So... today I have to go to a clinic in Ina for a health check. This is linked up to my medical insurance, so I guess I have to do it. However, I wish to protest. I haven't been ill since I got to Japan (aside from the weird sickness the other week), not even a cold. In England I went to see my doctor alot for various different reasons, all of which have disappeared since I got here. The only thing which causes me mild annoyance is the reappearance of my "Benign Positional Vertigo" which means when I lie down I get dizzy.

So, I don't want to piss into a cup, or have my height and weight measured, or be checked for major diseases. It's put very straight terms on my English translation of what will be required, which I'm quite sure the English have various euphemisms for in a bid to alleviate their distress have having to talk about their bodies. There's not much discomfort about talking about your body in Japan. I get the impression it is seen as more of an machine than this icky thing you have to get along with and ignore most of the time. For example, one of my students came into class last week and told me he wasn't feeling well. "What's wrong?" I asked, seeing that he was quite pale. "I've got diarrhea," he said. I was briefly uncomfortable at being told in such direct terms what was wrong with him. In England we'd probably say "I've got an upset stomach" or some such. So I asked him if he shouldn't be at home, but he said he was okay and then asked if he could use the bathroom.

Anyway, I should do my washing up and go...
blacklilly: (Default)

I've posted some photos from my birthday party on Flickr. Hit the Flickr link to see them.

In other news, I was unexpectedly bedridden yesterday with some sort of stomach bug. I couldn't even keep water down so spent the day sucking ice cubes and watching the X Files and Firefly in a bid to distract my mind from my churning stomach and stinking headache. Round about 10pm I started to feel better so managed to read a bit of "Bleak House" - the chapter where Krook spontaneously combusts.

The night was broken into stages were I woke up gasping for water but had to restrain myself attaching my mouth to the faucet, so sucked on more ice cubes. This morning I've had two glasses of water and two cups of soba tea and am feeling no ill effects. I have a Japanese lesson this afternoon so I'm hoping to keep it together. I had also planned to take Joe for birthday Ben and Jerries before helping him get a bike.

I've been having bizarre food cravings the whole time I've been sick - mochi, salmon and cucumber sandwiches, veggie toad in the hole with caramelised onion gravy. But I'm going to eat dry toast instead. I had planned to make Malaysian quail egg sambal tonight, but will save it for later in the week.

I also have a trip to Osaka for a meeting on Wednesday. Three hours on the bus, one hour on the shinkansen and another hour of faffing about and getting lost.

More later.


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April 2011

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