Monday, February 26, 2007

Work Isn't Working

Really bad day at work. I'm expected to do a loads of stuff, but my boss is never in the office and even when he is, he's incapable of making clear decisions and sticking to them. I probably should have quit but money is tight at the moment. When I got home from work I sent an email to my boss saying I would be taking the rest of the week off due to stress. Not sure how he's going to react...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Nuclear Family

Got up early to go to London for a CND demo against the replacement of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system. I spent quite a while debating which book to take with me. Eventually I chose "Spy story" by Len Deighton.

The coach journey seemed to go quickly, the demo was crap but the book was great. Another grain of sand in the hourglass of life. Another day closer to the end.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cube Farm

As it was Bal's first visit to sunny Norwich, I thought I would invite the usual suspects over for lunch. Keiko arrived first to help prepare pizza bases and toppings, Bal made an Italian salad. At 1 pm Edward Pacman, Takako and Koji arrived and the festivities began. Takako made her trademark curry pizza, which has now become a firm favourite of mine.

After lunch we watched Office Space, projected onto the wall of my living room. Everyone seemed to find it very amusing, although there were a few jokes that were a bit beyond Keiko, Takako and Koji. We finished things off with tea and cake. Perfect.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I'm Proud To Be Hungry For Germany's Great Future

A sensible start to the day consisting of swimming with Keiko followed by teaching English to Keiko and Takako. Hopefully this will become a Friday morning routine.

Headed to the supermarket as I'm having a party tomorrow. There's nothing "super" about a "supermarket" so it's a rather unsuitable name. Bought ingredients for pizzas.

Received an email confirming that I'll have somewhere to live in Tokyo so I can finally move back to Japan in September. Somehow I need to ship most of my belongings there and dispose of the rest.

Note: The title of this blog post comes from "Hansi: The Girl Who Loved The Swastika" published by Spire Christian Comics, 1978.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bureaucracy Now!

Went to County Hall with my boss to have a meeting with some of the IT staff about the training requirements of their staff. County Hall is responsible for the 600 local government sites across the county, which involves a lot of IT. The meeting was interesting and enjoyable, unlike many aspects of my job. We spent about 2 hours discussing the IT infrastructure of the county and the roles of the tech support staff. It was incredible to hear first-hand how disorganised and bureaucratic the local government is.

In the afternoon I met Sachiko and her friend Sora in the library for an English lesson. Although their English levels were different, the lesson went well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Hamburglar

Arrived at work to find the computer school had been broken in to. Three laptops had been taken, no damage was done except to the fire exit which had been the point of entry. For some reason my laptop hadn't been taken! This came as a great relief as it's full of random stuff that, while replaceable, would be a hassle to find again. Should be getting replacement laptops in the next couple of weeks.

Went to college in the evening. I did my best to fuck up the class; it's the only way they'll learn:)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday Hunch, Sunday Lunch

It was great to have a lie-in this morning. Met Keiko at 9 am for a swim. Hopefully this will become a habit. Once the weather improves I'll probably try to swim every morning before work.

Keiko and I met our friends Takako and Koji at 12:30. We walked to a pub where we were joined by Sachiko, a young woman from Osaka. We had a traditional English pub lunch which was a first for my friends. The food was of good quality, and we were sitting upstairs, away from most other customers so the environment was quiet and smoke-free. The dessert I chose, hot chocolate fudge cake, was utterly breathtaking.

In the evening I helped Keiko plan a presentation for university comparing The Grand Tour with the Edo-era Tokaido pilgrimages. Every time I help Keiko with her study it becomes even clearer to me that the teaching staff at her university are criminally stupid. They know nothing of their subject, and they don't give a fuck.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

EASF In Ipswich

Failed to go swimming this morning. Train problems today meant I had to take a bus for part of the journey. Finally arrived in Ipswich and found my way to the venue for East Anglia Social Forum.

We had bread and humus for lunch. I've been eating fruit to the exclusion of almost everything else recently, so the bread and humus tasted amazing. There was a workshop on using "Non-violent communication" during meetings. It wasn't very well received, which pleased me greatly. After that we talked for an hour or so about the future of EASF. Due to the fact that there were only ten of us there, we were able to have a worthwhile discussion.

I had the same crappy journey home that I had had on the way to Ipswich. I spent my time on the train and bus reading about different methods to subvert the Windows XP firewall, making the journey slightly easier to endure.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sink Or Swim

Got to the pool at 8 am this morning. The atmosphere was very different to that of last night. Everyone was very friendly. Teacher/plumber/plasterer. After swimming I met Keiko and Takako for an English lesson.

Borders still don't have the new issue of 2600 magazine. I'm starting to get impatient. The ironic thing is that 2600 isn't very good. Like life.

In the evening I met Richard and Anwar for tea at a vegetarian cafe. Richard left suddenly, so Anwar and I went elsewhere. I had a cup of something the cafe described as "Chai", it wasn't even close, but was quite pleasant nonetheless.

Didn't stay out very late. Wonder if I'll make it to the swimming pool tomorrow...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Taking The Plunge

Studied Windows Active Directory in the library. Really must take the Microcrap exam in the next few weeks. Had a Japanese lesson after from my friend Takako. I'm trying to persuade Takako to become a Japanese teacher as she seems to have a natural aptitude for it. We took tea afterwards and spent a long time discussing various issues currently affecting Japan.

This evening I finally joined a swimming pool. It's very cheap, only 21 UKP a month, and it's 10 minutes walk from where I work so I should be able to go regularly. The pool was quite crowded, but I'm told it's quieter in the mornings. There was a very small sauna and a small steam room as well. I went to the supermarket on the way home to buy loads of fruit and vegetables for my new, healthier lifestyle. How long will it last? How long will I last? Only time will tell, and the wasp factory.