Sunday, 17 November 2013

My birthday obsession - Aug 13



It's my birthday on the 28th, yay me! (Above: Me doing makeup in my camera in oppose to a mirror - aren't I resourceful!!11)

Things have been a little strained since my grandma's stroke my mother, brothers and I are very close to her and have always been. Around Christmas last year my grandma's health was deteriorating so my mum (and little brothers) moved in with her. They were just about to slowly live between my grandma's and our home when the stroke happened so obviously that plan has been aborted and my mum will move in as my grandma's permanent carer.
Despite what has happened I am still very much looking forward to my birthday. Firstly as it will be the first time to spend it with my family in 2 years, and secondly because I have new boyfriend to share it with too! :-D

The new man in my life.


We met for the first time in April at one of our salsa classes. He was a friend of a friend in our social group who had suggested the other guys try salsa (a little confusing, I know) he went to my uni at the same time as me (but I didn't know him then) so I guess I could say I met him through a friend. 

When I first saw him I told said friend that I thought he was "delicious" and from there on tried to see how I could get him to notice me. It wasn't very difficult though lol. It wasn't long before we began exchanging lingering glances across the dance floor and flirting at any opportunity. We exchanged numbers and the rest flowed along quite happily.


We had our first date in may but we weren't really sure what we wanted (well at least I wasn't) I had just got back from Japan where I had had a few fluff relationships (although I had thought they were all pretty serious at the time) and so was looking to get myself settled before jumping into anything.

Well 2 months later and things were still going extremely well, and being as impatient as I am, I just had to know where things were going. So I asked him. And ever since we have been together in total bliss and merriment :-D 

To commemorate our first month as an official item, he took me out on a surprise date to dinner and to watch the Lion King which was absolutely amazing. Honestly cant say I've had a happier moment in the early stages of a relationship. Usually I'm still struggling to understand their quirks, but in this case, there doesn't seem to be any :D (no negative ones anyway ^o^

Now, romance aside, I'm still kinda of failing in the job department. It seems my uncle has taken pity on me, as he has offered me a job to work with him in his company. It is in construction so obviously not the market where I had hoped to be, but one things for sure, it's going to be a ton of fun, my uncle is the best kind of nutter.

Birthday hair!

Had my mum do a twist out for me. Aint it just the cutest thing!!






Life obsession - July 13


Social life

I've met some one :-)

After coming back to the UK a friend from university invited me out to dinner with a few of her friends (who also happened to go to our uni, and who I apparently knew, but I had no idea who they were) this I discovered was the second of what turned out to be a regular set of monthly dinner meetings and the birth of our "social club". As all members seemed to have demanding lives, whether it be home or work, we wanted to make a way for us to get a regular break from our daily stresses. So in addition to the monthly dinners, we decided to do something else too.

One thing we started was dance classes, salsa and bachatta (bachatta is awesome and sexy!). Originally there was about 4 of us going, on the second meeting another member from the group (and my uni)  turned up with their awesome sexy self, but we will talk about him at length another time ;-)
In addition to the salsa, a member of the group had a cineworld card that entitles them to watch as many movies as he can for around £18 per month. We all took this as an opportunity to spend more time socialising without having to break the bank (eating out in this group can prove to be quite costly after a while) so we all rushed off to the internet to get one.

It's a pretty amazing deal, we try to go to the cinema at least twice a week, sometimes watching two movies in one evening I've seen a ton of movies now that I would never have bothered watching such as despicable me 2 (man I love those minions!).
It's really important to break up the daily routine of home - work - home.




Family Life

The day before my brothers birthday was particularly difficult. It's funny, when something tragic happens in the family unit, it's amazing to see what kind of people you have in your family. My mother and I were just about to head out to get my brother one of his birthday presents when my grandma called. We were in the middle of discussing our covert plan to get his gifts without his knowledge when the phone went silent. We didn't think much of it at the time, however (luckily) due to my brothers sudden temper tantrum we scrapped our plan to get his gift and my mum headed straight to my grandma's house instead. Upon arrival my mum discovered that my grandma had had a stroke while on the call. Luckily not to long had passed and we were able to get her to the hospital. She is recovering well and is in high spirits but it is too early to tell what irreversible damage has been done.

Healthy (hair) life

So I revisited my beloved site www.britishcurlies.co.uk to see what offered they had on. A few years ago I picked up some items which were on sale or special offer, and reviewed them see this part for the reviews. I managed to pick up a trial set of the kinky curly range (knot today, custard, etc) the full set of Miss Jessie's natural hair range (about 12 bits in total) and various discounted jellies and Creams.
I've been thinking about getting sister locs so I am not sure if I'll be able to review all these products, either way I'll do a separate post about them. British curlies are very prompt with heir deliveries but I have those wotsits type packaging, they get eeeeevery where and drive me crazy, they aren't even edible. :-(

Missing Japan Life.

As I'm still having withdraw symptoms, I just had to take my lil bro and his buddy to Hyper Japan at Earls Court. Luckily he's almost as nerdy as me. Look at how happy he looks! I'm totally the best sister ever!




 

UK - teaching obsession - June 13

What to do~

So it seems reading and losing my self into a world of fantasy and gaming isn't quite cutting it for me.
Recently I've been volunteering in my local secondary school, in their EAL department.
My plan for returning to the UK was to train to become a qualified teacher (primary school) work here for a few years then possibly return to Japan and score an awesome private school position.

Well, in the words of Mike Tyson "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face" I got knocked da f**k out by numeracy.
All was going well, I had interviews lined up with universities then lo' and behold, I didn't even make it that far. Naturally I passed the literacy with out breaking a sweat (go me!) however, even after hiring a private tutor, buying numerous books, and genuinely just trying my best, I failed the exam 3 darn times.
Thanks to this little snag, I must wait two years before I can apply again to take the skills tests. Which means I must wait 2 years before I can apply to take a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education)
.
I have plans to take a TEFL or CELTA course so let's see how that goes aye.

Thinking of going self employed

As a result of these events, I am still very much out of work, and once school ends Ill have nothing to occupy myself with. So I have been thinking of tutoring adults one to one in coffee shops.
When I first arrived I put an add out, offering private tutor lessons but I retracted it pretty quickly as I don't have and "actual" teaching qualifications. However in the short time it was up, I was able to get one student for telephone English lessons. Lets see how that goes.

On a positive note...

...I bought a bicycle, Yay me!
It's a lovely little machine that I got thanks to the cycle to work scheme that Halford do.
I went to the one near to wear the staples used to be in Croydon and was given soooooooooo much help and advice on what to get and so on.
My mother also bought a folding bike, the Dahon Vienna or something but a lovely, dinky, sturdy machine.
I however went for a sleek and sexy Hybrid bike. Light weight and yummy. I've been riding it too and from work but not really to anywhere else unfortunately.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Reading Obsession

I loooove to read.


Why am I randomly talking about books???

I'm back in the UK and I'm BORED. I want to become a teacher so im trying to at least BE in the right field so I'm volunteering in a secondary school as an EAL teacher, but that's only a few hours a day. In my down time I'm exercising, reading and studying Japanese.

Anyhoo...

There's nothing like having a hearty novel/manga in your hand, our your trusty e-reader, however recently my kindle died. ;_;




As tragic as this is, it became even more so when my mum went to Sainsbury's and saw the nook on sale for £29.99. She called me up and asked me if I wanted one, of course I said "nah, my kindle is all I need", however the next day my kindle looked like a baby had elbow dropped it, and those £29.99 nooks were sold out nationwide. My mum has since offered me her kindle, but I know shes only after a shiny new nook lol.

My reading habits

I'm a bit of a weird one, as a child I read books back to back, and wrote short stories (and made cheque books - I was a strange child) .As I got older my influences to read grew from mere passion to recommendations and what every my friends were reading. (However I haven't touched a harry potter book :S )

Now most people insist on reading from the first page, not even looking at the blurb, just both feet in, beginning to end. Others insist on reading the last page first, then going back to the front and reading as normal. I on the other hand, I read a random chapter from bang in the middle. If that chapter doesn't give me what I need, I don't bother reading the book. (I have a very long reading list...)

What is it that I need from that random chapter?

Well its pretty straight forward, I want to see how the characters are getting along, whether I can follow what's going on from that chapter alone, I can pick up the authors writing style and if they can hook me in from any random part of their story, yadda yadda.

Only one book (series of books) didn't fit into my plan and that was "Game of Thrones" however enough of my friends were into it that I gave it a chance and just got on with it. I haven't touched the series in a few years as I'm currently fighting off my inner hipster...(I was reading those long before the TV series :P)

What is my favorite book?

Well its a series actually, "The Dresden Files". Its a weird one, about wizards and fae and stuff. There are 10 books in the series not including the short stories that are scattered throughout. Freaking awesome set.

Hmm I wonder how this randomness will apply to anime...

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Girigiri obsession

girigiri means "just in time" or in "the last moment". And i have been saying this a lot lately .
I don't know what wrong with me. My life right now feels like the last 30 minutes of the tabehoudai/nomihoudai course.

As though I am trying to cram as many things as is humanly possible into these last few months!
Actually this was the month that I went snowboarding. I don't think I have ever been so scared and excited at the same time. 

I fell flat on my face and broke my glasses though. My friend was a great teacher apart from the "Just stand up" advice he gave me when I asked "How do I stand up"
Despite it being my first time, and only snowboarding for about 4 hours, I think I did pretty well :)


The next week I went to Okinawa for 4 days. Actually I had wanted to go to Hokkaido for the Yuki Matsuri (Snow festival) but two weeks prior the same friend and I had gone to Nikko with it's fresh snow, so they complained that hokkaido would be too cold. So we decided on Okinawa. It rained every. damn, day. Despite its awful cold, cloudy, rainy weather I had a really great time! I was able to see many national heritage sites, my friends had been to Okinawa many times before so I felt as though I had expert tour guides with me. I was so excited one morning when it was sunny. Only to run out side to the beach and have the sky cloud over and the rain start up again.

This week I started to sell my stuff. www.cragislist.jp and yahoo auctions are being very, very, very, good to me! Maybe a little too good. I fear I may have put things up for sell to early. There is a good chance that I wont have a fridge, TV or IH for a month hahahaa. Guess Ill be eating out!

January 2013 - omg 3 months


I often explain to my Japanese friends that New years is like Christmas in the west and vice versa. 
JP New years and EN Christmas is a family affair
EN New years and JP Christmas is kissing your beau and going to parties.

At least that is my interpretation. 

Last year I spent Christmas and New years in the UK, so this year (even though I originally wanted to go to Thailand  I decided to spend the holiday season in a Japanese style (apart from the lack of boyfriend or parties over Christmas - I guess bounenkai's dont count right?) On the 30th I had an awesome time, despite getting lost for 3 hours on the trains, visiting one of my teachers. She knows where all the hot recycle shops are and we had a whaaaaale of a time. Of all of my colleagues I will miss her the most.
I decided to spend new years with my good friend Aya with her friends and family. I headed to Kamisu on 31st as we had planned to do hatumoude. We went to her cousins home where they made me toshikoshi souba, and we watched the year end music variety show thing. Actually they didn't watch it much but we enjoyed talking about the idols and they enjoyed explaining many things to me. It was a tough time for me because even though Aya has very good English her two cousin  cousins husband and 3 children didn't speak English. Nevertheless, we had a fun and memorable time.

I had expected that we would head to the shrine (for hatumoude) at midnight, however we didnt. In London I know I would either be at the desired location already, or rushing to wherever we want to do the countdown and momentous new years kiss. However we leisurely drank beer, laughed, joked and ate, then we took our time to go to Kashima Jingu. We collected Aya's friend along the way, she was lovely and could also speak English as well as Aya.

We had a lot of fun that night. I stayed at Ayas home then returned on new years day. I was pooped.
But it wasn't over. Another friend had invited me to their home on the 1st a sushi making party. I headed there and well, I made sushi, drank, laughed, and God knows what else. I had a great time though. 

Two days later I went to Yomiuri Land. It's a theme park in kanagawa that has a beautiful light show. It was sooooooo cold. I think I only went on one ride that day lol.
I also went snow boarding and to Nikko this month. Geeze I've been a busy bee. However Im going to write about those in a separate post.




December 2012 - Seasonal Obsession


Now I am one of those people who love Christmas. (and other holidays)
Especially if I have someone to spend it with. 

Well, I didn't T.T
So this year Christmas was celebrated in spirit only. 
Did I make Christmas themed lessons for my kids? Why yes of course! 1st years to 4th years made cards sang songs and played games. 5th and 6th  - Hi Friends lol. Sorry gang. However the last 30 mins of class was a game of their choice (Which means they only had 15 mins of English work)
I also sang Christmas songs all day everyday. I love Christmas songs. I NEVER tire of them, and I worked in retail - still love em!

However once the holidays rolled around I vegged. I had wanted to go to Thailand, but my passport had to be renewed and had only just returned, This meant that any thing I booked would be waaay too expensive. Christmas eve was a friend's birthday so we went to see a ballet performance. I thought it was just for his birthday but it somehow turned into a date. Awkward.

On the 28/29th? I went to Kamisu. Had to file some papers in order to get my new visa. While I was there I contacted Machiko san. Her mother was visiting so we all went to lunch in a swanky french restaurant. T'was gorgeous. Machiko-san is a JW so she doesn't celebrate Christmas at all, but she treated me to "Christmas dinner" that day. (Its a long bus ride,ignore my bed head.) Lovely, A lovely time.


Did I decorate my apartment?

Pffft.

Did I make something nostalgic and yummy for christmas dinner.

Pffft. However Pizza-La had a rather festive pizza. I ordered that.

Did I Skype my family?
Yes! For like 12 minutes. My brothers were bouncing all over the sofas, my aunt and Gran were talking about Japanese toilets, and my mum about all the bits in between while trying to figure out what I wanted for Christmas. (I never answer, I never know what I want - plus me old mum has good taste!)

Did you skype your friends?
2 of them, yes. Th e others I had been back and forth with over whats app etc. I like me some ME time.

Did I eat KFC over the festive season like the Japanese folk do?
Pffft. Plus KFC out here sucks ass.

Was I sad and lonely?
Hell naw. I like to spend time alone sometimes. Would I have preferred to have spent that time with someone special? Yes. But as it was, I was happy with it. I never take that quiet time for granted. Every weekend I am doing something to going somewhere, so sitting and doing nothing for a week was nice.
It was literally Christmas day, Boxing day and the day after that which I spent alone.

November 2012 - Natural Obsession


I probably didn't write about this, but in February or March this year I returned to the creamy-crack. (Relaxer/Straight perm)

Actually I was really glad I did. I was pleased with the ease of styling my hair. I had found a great salon in Roppongi (www.hayatosalons.com) an amazing stylist/weaveologist (China) and life was good. Summer was coming and I was feeling fresh and free. 

Anyway long story short, I want to go back to natural again. My last relaxer was in august 2012 and I have just had a weave put in. This weave is that BOMB! however, the hair is crap. Creeps up my neck like a mofo. 

To get my weave done I had to perm my leave out - again this doesn't bother me, I have been lucky to find a great stylist so it isnt as though I hate relaxers like I used to.
So now my hair is tucked away. I think it is pretty good timing and the winters here in Japan are so dry and cold! Im especially happy as my weaveologist taught me a new way to wash my hair while it is in the weave, so I can wash it as frequently as I desire. Woohoo. 

Healthy happy hair yay! I bought a ton of goodies from iHerb.com (jojoba oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, tea-tree oil etc) so Im really excited to use them to their potential in my new growth. EXCITING!
Also last month I went to a strange yet entertaining transgender performance in Roppongi. I love musicals and theatrical performances so even though it was weird, the theme was interesting (How Christianity was abolished in Japan) and the costumes are awesome, they didn't actually speak. I think it was only music... and A LOT of dancing. Magical!
Man I need to remember what it was called. Grrr.

October 2012 - obsessing over my future


So it will seem like only a few weeks ago I was bragging on about how amazing distance learning is. I guess to the average reader it would seem like I was doing the right thing. However, I guess if you read deeper into it, you would probably realise that for me, distance learning probably wasnt the best idea.
Any way, in the end I dropped the MA in Human Resources this month, as I had some kind of epiphany.

I want to be a teacher

Not an ALT, but a Teacher. Therefore I will return to the UK and take a PGCE course, hopefully in Primary education with English as an additional language.
I would rather be and English specialised school teacher (Not EAL) but with my experience it only made sense to apply for the EAL route. I have heard it isnt too difficult to change (with the EAL) somewhere down the line.

There are only 2 universities in the UK (Surprisingly) which offer the EAL specialism in Primary education. I have applied to two universities. My first choice is Newman university College in Birmingham. It is a newly appointed university with a large pass rate and job success for PGCE graduates. My second choice is University of East London (UEL). I have chosen UEL as they are a large University which get a very high allocation of trainee teachers and because, well, I had not choice..

Why did I suddenly decide to change from HR to Teaching?

Well in my opinion, it isn't exactly much of a change. Someone asked me this the other day, and I know they will probably ask me if I ever gat an interview.
Quite simply I wanted a career where I worked with people - HR right? I also wanted a job that focused on the development of my self and other - Still HR right, a career that has a positive impact on those around me and whom I work with - Still HR but melding a little. I love that "Eureka" moment someone gets when I explain something to them.  I like the fact that in a small my way my job will have an impact on the future of our world, who knows what will grow to be or achieve - this is pretty much teaching now. I dont want a typical 9 - 5 job. As a teacher no 2 days are the same. I think it's exciting and something worth waking up 
for in the morning.

Oh, and I love kids lol.