Monday, September 26, 2011

Ok, this jet lag melarchy has got to stop!

Urgh, arrived back from Osaka at about midnight on Sunday, and with no sleep on the plane - due to watching 6 films. He he. Yes, 6 films - we'd been awake for about 25/26 hours. So, surely sleep should come naturally at that point? Er, no! At that point my brain is thinking, well it's 8am in Osaka, time to wake up. So I managed about 4 hours sleep on and off and gave up at 7.00ish yesterday morning and thankfully I'd booked an extra day off work. Though that was supposedly to "rest". Hmmmmmm.

By 9.30 I'd done two loads of washing, emptied my three bags, sorted out all my souvenirs and had even started putting my photos on the external hard drive. I was doing well. Being productive, getting things done and most of all keeping busy. But then I think the tiredness and lack of coordination kinda snook up on me and I whacked my head ridiculously hard on the corner of our shoe cupboard. Bear in mind the fact that we've lived there for over 2 and half years and I - nor anyone else for that matter - have never banged my head there. But I'm not talking a little bump, I'm talking massive. I almost didn't even feel it at first, it was more the noise, then a moments clarity and then my hand clamping to my head, and then.......and then........the pain.

Luckily A was working from home so I rushed in to him, half expecting to remove my hand and be greeted with the sight of blood, but luckily not. But I could tell by the pulsing and throbbing that it was a big one. His look of terror only confirmed it. He ran straight to the freezer (not that you have to run anywhere in our flat. Everything is within reaching distance...ha ha) grabbed some ice and used it in a tea towel as a cold compress.

It was sorta funny in a way, 'cause that's what happens at work with the kids. They bang their head, or fall or something and we run and get the ice pack. And like them, I was trying to be brave. It wasn't hurting so much, I didn't need to cry. Ha ha. And I didn't of course, but it bloody hurt! Well, I was quite ready to take the ice off after five minutes or so, but my Doctor (A) said I had to keep it on for 30-40 minutes. He'd looked it up on google or something. Ha ha. But I didn't want to keep it on that long. I turned into one of my kids. No, it's alright now Helen. I don't want the ice anymore. It's cold. I finished now.
But my Doctor wasn't so kind and I think I managed 30 minutes before I'd had enough. He reassessed and said the bump had gone down a bit and there was a tiny bit of blood from the impact of the corner, but that was all. He then mentioned the H word. Maybe I should take you to hospital. No. NO. NO!

My kids did this all the time. I would be fine and I am, just feeling a little idiotic. I mean, I'm still not sure how I managed to do it. I have seemed to have lost all sense of spatial awareness in my increasing age and I guess not sleeping properly in the last few days and stressing about going back to work wasn't helping either. But.......ah well. I'll just have to try not to head butt any of my kids today. Ha ha.

It was kind of refreshing being back in London yesterday, where no one talks to you, or even looks at you, or helps you when you're lost. The Japanese were very nice and kind and helpful, though they did stare a lot, at the outsiders. There really weren't many western tourists at all, in any of the places we went. Just a few Americans, Australians and the odd German and French couple. So, I got to experience first hand, being a minority and most of the time it was fine, but sometimes you felt a little weird, like no one understood you and that we were some specimens to be observed. But yeah, being back in the hustle and bustle of my big city was nice.

I had to go out to stock up on birthday presents and post presents and get wrapping paper for presents.....I love buying presents for other people. It's just so much more exciting than spending money on yourself. I guess that's kind of an old fashioned concept, but in some ways I am extremely old fashioned. I still love it though and I hope E who is 2 today, will love his presents, which, finger crossed will arrive today. Though having to rely on Royal Mail......hmmmmmmmmmmm.

I have to say, you know you're back in London when you're sweating your ass off on the tube and when you blow your nose and it's black. Ahhhhhh, remind me why I like it so much here????? Ha ha.

Anyhoo, I didn't really get much done apart from wrapping presents and writing postcards, that never actually got written in Japan. It took me most of the afternoon and then I went on to back up all my holiday photos on DVD. He he. It took four DVDs and that;s not including A's 2,500 photos. Excessive? Ah well, you gotta make the most of it when you can. I may never ever go to Japan again. Who knows.

I was hoping for an early-ish night and actually A and I fell asleep on the couch about 9-ishArgh! It took me at least an hour to sleep, then I was awake at 2.30, then 3.15, then 4.45 as A had to be up to go to Paris and then at 5.15, I gave up, finished reading my book and felt ready for a blog.

Really, I'm just glad I wasn't concussed and I actually woke up today. Shame I didn't actually sleep though. Ha ha. Ah well, this just gives me more time to be productive.......or time to watch a film before work.....ha ha. I wonder which will win. Although, if you think about it....finishing a blog and posting it before 6.40am is already pretty productive.

As always, thanks for reading. Without an audience, this is just me wittering to myself, which granted I am pretty darn good at, but thanks all the same.

Have excellent Tuesdays and if work's as bad as I predict it will be, you never know I might be blogging again tonight.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

17 bows per second and a few bites to boot. Hello from Hiroshima.

Petite, delicate, insanely stylish, thin, ridiculously cute........ Nope, I'm not describing myself, but all Japanese girls/ladies/women. It's becoming slightly annoying. After a week of trying to imagine I was any of these things, I've given up and decided that instead I'll just become slightly more gnarled and bitter. It's way more fun.

So, to fashion and all things clothes. Hmmmmm. You know the stereotypes and can I just say that most of them are spot on. Many of the girls go around in the pleated short skirts, with over the knee socks and bunches. It is like living in a creepy guy fetish, but 24/7. Although I would just like to state for the record that I am insanely jealous. They look amazing and if I could pull it off, believe me, I would be trying.

Okay, the next issue is heels. Oh my God, it's 32 degrees outside, you're taking trains and cable cars into the mountains; you're climbing up to sulphur springs and what are you wearing on your perfect little feet???? Yeah, you guessed it, delicate little heels, or beautiful wedges. Meanwhile, I'm wearing my etnies and cut off jeans, or my sandals, or my beat up vans. I mean, they're out shopping, trawling the streets for hours upon hours and it's all killer heels. I mean, shouldn't heels only be worn at weddings or at night time? No? Is that not the rule?

I think what really gets my goat is how comfortable they look. A and I are melting in shorts and they're looking fab in skinny jeans, or leggings with a cute dress. They don't break a sweat, they just keep their trusty flannel with them at all times, or carry a parasol or a fan. Yes, all the above stereotypes are also true. But it's awesome. I'd've been well upset it if wasn't true. And believe me, I could well get on board with the fan and parasol. I think I could get away with it in Camden. Anything goes.....ha ha.

Okay, the next slight annoyance is the one size thing. I went in this really cool shop and was trying on a few things, but they only had one of each thing out, only one size as though one size would fit all Japanese girls. Needless to say the tops were too tight. Anyone surprised? They obviously don't cater for anyone taller than 5ft 5 or a size 8. Eek. Oh well, it's not like I really needed them. I've had way more fun spending money on other people. I love buying people holiday presents. I know no one really does it anymore, but it just makes me so happy and distracts me from not being an elf like waif......ha ha.

Okay, now to bikes. Hmmmm, they annoy me enough in London when they decide they're not stopping at the zebra crossing or a red light. But in Japan, it's amazing. They are actually allowed to cycle on the pavements. Of course they're meant to keep to one side, but they don't. So you're dodging people and bikes and its crazy. Even at crossings they're supposed to keep to their little cycle lane thing, but they don't.

And so to diet. Deep fried stuff, with rice and noodles and more deep fried stuff, like for instance deep fried rice balls, or fried rice on sticks. MMMMMM. Just try and calculate the calorie intake. It's immense and they're all so trim. Genetics. It's a right bitch sometimes. But the best thing is the puddings. Deep fried strawberries.....I'm not kidding. But the best ever, was the dippin' dots, which is hailed as the ice cream of the future. It's essentially uber frozen balls of flavoured ice, but they stay as balls. WEIRD!!!!! And it was, but also strangely yummy. Perhaps it will be the ice cream of the future. Or we could just keep it as it is. Ice cream rocks.

Okay, one last gripe because I really am having an amazing time, but things are always gonna annoy you, when you're somewhere new or somewhere different. And this is both! But it's the theme tunes and jingles. They're for everything and anything and they're everywhere and it's beginning to do my nut in. Each train line has a different jingle to play when the doors open, when it leaves, when it departs, bearing in mind there's about 75,000 different train lines. Each tube line in Tokyo has a different jingle. Some traffic signals have jingles. Some lifts have them........You get my drift........There is never silence. Never contemplation of any kind. Just pointless noise. And it's not like they even go anywhere. It's normally 3 or 4 note motifs, on glocks on synths.....and always annoyingly optimistic. In Matsumoto where we were earlier today, they actually had music playing in the streets the whole time. All soothing and calm and....urgh. It made me more stressed listening to that than it would've done with the hum drum of the and people and life. 

Okay enough ranting now. The Japanese are so lovely. If they see you lost or even just checking your map, they are out there like a shot asking to help you. And even if they don't speak particularly good English, they are happy to sign things and eventually between the three of us we get somewhere. Besides their English is always gonna be better than our Japanese. Though A did learn some before we went. He's so good. I'm ever the ignorant Brit. Dammit!

argy bargy, free for all, shoving out of the way like in London. It's civilised and people actually respect each other. it's kinda beautiful and laughable at the same time. Just because I know that would never happen in my country.

The service is incredible. In restaurants, shops, hotels. It is fantastic. I've never known people to say thank you more than me, but they do. And they bow out of respect and kindness and it really is lovely to see, though sometimes it seems like no one wants to be the one to stop the bowing and it goes on for a long while.

The vending machines are everywhere and there is no vandalism or crime or anything. It's weird and also nice. You feel so safe. And you can get a drink wherever and whenever you feel like it. In the smallest village, at all train and tube stations and even on platforms and down each and every street or alleyway. We were very lucky as the weather has been so hot. I literally would've melted all over the pavement. He he.
I promise it'll be over soon guys. My word this is a long one. Well, the Shinkansen trains are amazing and all futuristic looking and ridiculously fast and pretty much always on time. Virgin eat your heart out. The rail network is astonishing. How on Earth they get all those different train lines and schedules to work, I'll never know, but well done. Without your uber fast trains there's no way we'd be able to investigate and explore as much of Japan as we are doing.

Finally, at the tender age of 28, I finally made it to Disneyland. Wow! What could possibly be more giddy than a load of kids at Disneyland????? A load of Japanese teens and twenty somethings. It was hilarious. A and I were literally the only westerners and we stuck out like the proverbial sore thumbs, but what was insane was the extent to which Disney is worshipped. Even all the guys had the mickey mouse ears and the wizard hats and stuff. i couldn't decide if it was to pull girls or just because they were mega fans. Anyhoo, we had an awesome time and managed a few rides and some excellent people watching. Plus we got to go in the castle and took a load of photos. We were super giddy, but it was also the same day we'd been to the Studio Ghibli museum, so giddiness was in abundance.

Well, thank you for reading this lengthy rant/adoration of the wonderful country of Japan and it's people. We still have a week left and many more interesting places to see. And in just over half and hour I'll be in Hiroshima and then I can actually post this on the web.

Until the next one.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

yo yo yo from Tokyo!

Blog to follow very shortly guys.

Currently on holiday and having a blast but don't worry I've still plenty to rant about. I think it will be a couple more days as I need our long Shinkansen journey's to find the time to get it all out.

Watch this space.....It's gonna be good.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Unecessary willy sighting and the straight line fly.

A Monday blog. That hasn't happened in a while. But after last night's late night events it seemed wrong to wait any longer.

I had gotten the train back from visiting my folks and arrived back at Euston at about 11 ish. So it was getting a tad late and the wonderful motion of the train had already lulled me off to sleep once or twice en route. I competed with the crowds to the tube, annoyed that I had to wait 7 minutes for a High Barnet train and then once on the train, I saw a straight line fly.

What the hell is one of them, I hear you cry.

Well, it's a fly that flies only in a straight line. It was incredible (yes I was very tired and maybe there was still a little wine in the system). The fly flew straight through the middle of the empty carriage I was in, as though it had a goal, a clear purpose. And I found myself thinking, wow. I've never seen a fly not be distracted by something or someone. Maybe this one was intelligent and it couldn't be distracted by menial things like lights, take away wrappers and the need to annoy people. Maybe it had an elsewhere to be.

So okay, not a rant really, but a new discovery. I'd already uncovered the fact that there were clearly vampires in London and they use the Underground to travel on in daylight hours, but also that they are often accompanied by yellow ladybirds. So now, I have uncovered a new species of fly. I wonder if they are confined to the tube network or if they inhabit other forms of public transport?

Or maybe, I'm crazy???

Eek, now to move on to the other rather disturbing discovery of last night. That men have no qualms about where they whip their willies out. I was walking home, literally was two minutes away, headphones in, pulling my case along with me, lost in the land of loud rock music (Fair to Midland actually....ha ha. Can't stop listening to them. It's addictive.). I was just about to cross the road from Holmes Road where it filters into our Street, when I sensed someone stood on the corner. But by the corner, I mean, I could literally see his arm before I passed around the wall. But I was definitely not expecting him to be peeing against the wall, willy just out for all to see, which of course meant me, as I was the only unlucky one to have passed at that moment.

I'm not sure I managed to hide my look of disgust, before he died of shame and covered himself up. I'm not sure who was more embarrassed, me or him. I just really didn't need to see that. I mean, when you've been with the same person for a very long time, you only see one and that's fine and familiar and not in anyway offensive, but when you're a huge British prude like myself you kinda think ewwww. I mean I see countless willies every day, it's part of the job, but they're all tiny and inoffensive. Ewwww. Ha ha. Well, if the walk hadn't woken me up, that definitely did. Ha ha.

In future boys, could you at least find an alleyway. I'm mean, with your ass facing the road and your body barely covered by the wall, you weren't exactly going for stealth peeing and stealth would be good, because even non prude Brits that like a good willy watch, they ain't gonna wanna watch you pee. Ewwww. Unless that's their particular fetish.


Anyhoo, just one last rant, which is basically, why are Montessorians so superior. It's a stupid piece of paper that is mostly useless as it doesn't actually teach you anything to do with day to day care of children, such as toileting, feeding, sleeping and other care routines. It basically teaches you to think you're way better than everyone else. And they all think they're like rocket scientists or something. I mean it ain't difficult to figure out how to use the equipment. It's all common sense though granted not everyone possesses much.
But of course, along with the new manager, it's suddenly become a problem that I'm not Montessori trained. In that case, I'd love to see how they'd cope without me. I'm amazing at my job, but I'm also extremely cynical. The children in that nursery progress the way they do because I work there. Not because of the Montessori equipment, but because I'm well good and the kids love me and the parents love me. And............

Argh. Apologies, I realise I completely lost all sense of modesty. I think the unnecessary willy sighting must have unhinged me slightly. Ha! Oh well, enough ranting. Let's hope I don't get sacked. Or maybe let's hope I do. HA!!!

OOOO, finished Hunger Games trilogy. De-pressing! I bloody loved it, though not a lot went my way in the final book, which I didn't like. Ha ha. Just started a new book called The Radleys. Check it out, it's awesome. Vampires in suburbia and what's even better is it's British suburbia. Ha ha.

I'm off-ski.
Ciao for now.


P.s, The original Montessori rant was much more explicit. I censored myself. Shocking what the world has come to.

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 abreast.

Urgh! I know, it's Thursday and I haven't blogged yet. I know, it's bad, but I've had hell week for many reasons. But I guess that now gives me some stimulus for a well earned rant.

Okay, so the Bank Holiday weekend was great. My highlight being drinking cocktails with L and D for like 8 hours in the comfort of my own home and watching Beauty and the Beast whilst drunk, with the window open, spilling our beautiful harmonies all over Kentish Town. Ha. It was awesome! Though I'm not sure every one else in our block thought so. What I loved, was that L and D could also recite every line of dialogue and lyric of song, like myself and A. So I no longer felt like the only lunatic. Ha ha. good times.

Then Sunday was our first immersion into the Notting Hill Carnival. Thanks V for having us over. I needed the chicken legs. Great hang over preventing food! But I have to say, I was kinda disappointed with the whole carnival parade. It was barely organised chaos, from where I stood. The floats were few and far between and most of them just consisted of hugely overweight men with mahoosive speaker systems, looking particularly creepy or grumpy or drunk. it was very bizarre. And then I was expecting spectacular costumes and bright colours and a lot of live music, but again most if it was booming bass lines and dance beats and ripped t-shirts, revealing a whole host of flesh. thighs, chests, bums. Oh yeah, you get to see a lot. And you also got to see a lot of humping. The vast majority of them needed to get a room and get off the street. Young impressionable minds were wondering around. Ha ha. Am such a prude. I love how British I am sometimes! HA! Now if that was happening in a club or something, I'd be joining in probably, ha, but out on the street, in the daylight, at 2 in the afternoon. Just seems kinda......weird!

And another bug bear of mine, was that the general public could just walk around willy nilly, and thus ended up walking beside floats, behind them and in between them, so it became a procession of drunken, or partially drunken people walking in the street. If I wanted to see that, I'd go to Camden on a Friday night and it would probably have been more entertaining.

Oh, I feel I have been quite unforgiving towards Notting Hill, but I mean, that's not a Carnival to me. Does anyone remember the old Standish carnivals???? They were awesome! Although I'm still gutted because my brother got to be on a float with the Brigade when he was seven and they were pirates, and I wasn't old enough. So I wore my awesome pirate t-shirt and little yellow (pleated?) skirt and bandana, and walked alongside with my mum. And of course, the year that I joined Brigade was the year they stopped doing a float and soon after that it stopped completely. The injustice of it all. Maybe I have carnival hatred because of that? Who knows. But maybe I should stop ranting about that now........V might never invite me back again. Eek.

Then Monday I stayed in all day trying to organise and sort through book stuff. I wanted to get a submission out but man I have a lot of stuff. I was completely surrounded by a defensive moat of papers, files, print outs and pens. And I worked through a few things and reverted back to book one, because I need to get it out there again. I also need three months by myself with no distractions, no people, nothing. Just my head and my thoughts and space and time. But I can also dream and dreaming is what I do best.........

So, I was thinking I'd have a submission by Wednesday, completely forgetting that two of my children were leaving this week and I was about 8 months behind on paperwork. Needless to say, Tuesday night I was up till 2am, back up again at 6.30 to finish off. And Wednesday I was up till 12.30am and was up again at 7 to finish off, as well as using my dinner hour to complete a report. Argh!!!!!! So I have done piss all writing this week, unless you count developmental reports on my children and leaving cards. Bastards. Not my children, just timing and the World in general. Yes this week I'm officially pissed off at the World and pretty much everything and everyone in it. Argh! I think I may need to scream into a pillow at this point.

Anyhoo, my manager leaves today, which is another slap in my well slapped face. I really love my manager and I don't want her to go, but I've been in denial for six weeks since she gave her notice in and now I'm gonna have to accept it. Boo Hoo! Goodbye C. We love you! I bloody hate change! When will people realise that? When?

Oooooo, and another thing that's really got on my tits recently, is when people are walking towards you on the pavement and say there's three or four of them walking abreast, and none of them move, so you're either forced out in the road, or you have to plaster yourself against a wall and then they look at you all weird if you brush against them, or knock into them. I mean, was anyone taught manners after 1994? You fuckers! All you have to do is walk in single file, or at least drop down to two abreast. I think this rule should be in the bloody British citizenship test, cause it's a bloody good one. And because I'm nice and I have manners and consideration and respect for others, then I'm always the one in the road. Why should I be the one in the road. Argh! Again I want to scream into a pillow, but I must refrain as I need to get going and ready for work.

Now, on a more positive note, I am on the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy and Wow! That's all that needs to be said. Though it tends to depress me a little as I realise that my writing will never be that good, but ah well. It is amazing and if you haven't read, please read. It is boy friendly too!!! I promise!
Also, I am heading up north to see my parents and my wonderful friends and I can't wait. I think a bit of northern air and northern love will rejuvenate me and bring me back to slightly less annoyed Helen. Plus there'll be alcohol and it's cheap up north so that means........Vodka!!!!!!!!!! Whoop! Let's just hope my train actually turns up on time, otherwise I may be screaming into my book, in public and once and for all they might cart me off to the crazy house. Although, if they left me alone with my laptop and my book notes, then........that might not be such a bad thing. Ha.

Okay, loads to do and still in Pj's. I'd better skoot off.
Have freaky Friday's and fabulous weekends and I'll be back to rant as soon as I can.