Sunday, May 04, 2008


After a long time with things not really working I've had a cyber clean out in the hopes that the breath of fresh air will help me out. The new link is, hopefully I'll see you folks there!

Friday, April 25, 2008


The last few days have had me retaining water like crazy for no reason at all. As in my legs have felt really 'tight' and my ankles have been swollen. I have no idea why, but will up the water in an attempt to compensate.

I need to exercise. I know I do. I rode the bike to school once, but then we had a load of rain so I didn't want to bike in it, and if I'm going to be honest it was a lot harder than 7 minutes on a bike should have been. Having to stop because I'm struggling for breath just adds to the embarrassment of being on the bike in the first place. I'm going to have to start exercising so that my body gets use to movement again, then maybe it will be easier.

I'm really feeling the weight I gained. I can see it in my face, and I've had to let out the skirts I took in. My clothes (especially my bottoms) don't fit and I can't get replacements here because there are no plus size clothes and it's really making me feel self conscious.

I managed to circumvent the binge I felt coming late last night, I've been eating a lot at night again (both in frequency and quantity) and it has to stop. I know I'll feel better once I start, but as always it's the first step that's getting me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reason I'm stupid #297426392

I bought a bike - rawr! But I have been too embarrassed to get on it in case my students see me - doh!

Seriously, I'm so dumb.

The thing is, everyone uses bikes here. Outside the stations there are veritable forests of them. It would make my life easier if I had one, and being surrounded by them seduced me, kind of like when I got my iPod, only I actually like my iPod. I've had it for nearly a week and the closest I've got to it is when I sat on it earlier today. I was going to give it a try but there was a guy standing in his kitchen window right there and I didn't want him to see me make my pathetic little concrete circles.

Bikes and I have a sad history; I learnt to ride one against my will when I was ten. By 'against my will' I mean that my mother decided I was going to learn whether I whined about it or not, and locked me out of the house with my uncle until he had taught me how. No, seriously. It wasn't a particularly auspicious start and I've kept away from them since.

Now that I've got one I just need somewhere to practice a little bit until I'm comfortable (err...well, stable anyway) again. Until I know I'm not going to fall straight into one of the open drainage systems at the side of the road. I live quite close to school though and lots of students bike past where my house is.

I'm ridiculously embarrassed about this.

Also, must stop eating.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Step by step

Things have not been good at apato Cakehole. First I was sick and then I was struck down with a major case of can't-be-arsed-itis.

Piece by piece things are coming back together. My apartment got into a Terrible State, from which I am still trying to rescue it. I'm working on the theory of cleaning one room a day, and hoping that by the time the whole place is finished the first room won't be messy again. So far I have the living room and the kitchen under control, bathroom and bedroom to go. Last weekend I decided to have a proper clear out of my kitchen shelves and get rid of all the old cutlery/glasses my predecessor left me and rearrange it to look nicer. There is a severe lack of surface space in my, and indeed in all, Japanese kitchens, so the things I don't use had to be done away with.

Have I mentioned the hatred I feel for the Japanese trash sorting system? If not I have been sadly neglecting my duties. They have 12 different categories for sorting out your rubbish, and then four different types of collection days. I have several issues with this ridiculously complicated system (seriously, Britain only introduced compulsory recycling a few years ago, and it took me long enough to get to grips with what was going where then) my biggest one being that I have trouble figuring out which items to put in which type of rubbish, and when to leave it out. I have a list, but there are so many things that aren't on it. Cutlery, for example, has no section. Knives do, but all other kitchen utensils apparently don't exist. Also, I know that regular (burnable) trash goes out Mondays and Thursdays, but the other three types have completely different dates. Some of them seem to come the first Tuesday of the month, but then the first Tuesday this month was April 1st, so they didn't (maybe they will next Tuesday?), and I thought 'recyclable resources' came on Fridays but my cardboard boxes were still there on Friday afternoon, even though they (should of?) been picked up Friday morning.

I asked one of the teachers in the staffroom. "I don't live in the city so I have different days. It is a little bit of a serious problem for you". Truer words were never spoken.

I have now come up with a very good system. I put any rubbish I have in bags, and put everything out on the regular Monday/Thursday pick up day. I ensure that any items with my name or address are thoroughly destroyed before throwing them away. The bin men then take the bags because they have no way of knowing who left it at the pick up point and therefore cannot track me down to give it back for resorting, and they cannot leave the bags there because the weather is getting warmer and it will attract bugs.

The system works.

With every room I clear I feel a little piece of sanity coming back. I'm trying really hard to cut down on sugar/snacking right now, I tend to go nuts in the evening. Even if I'm eating all night I want it to be real food. Once I've got the sugar out my system I'll look into cutting down the evening eating altogether.

Once my house is clean I'm going to start exercising again, especially now I have a DVD player hooked up to my TV instead of just my laptop.

This might be why I've been dragging my feet on finishing the cleaning.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

In which the authors body rebels

Welcome to Sick Town, Sickmusshire, Sickonia. Population: Me.

I'm over the main hump of it now I think, but I'm still having serious issues with what I guess must be my sinuses (bad pressure around my nose/eyes area) and feeling really weak. The weakness could be a result of my body deciding 'she 'aint doin' the food thing with me no more'. I've been drinking as much water as I can to try and avoid dehydration, but I can't remember a time when I've felt less like eating.

The good news in all of this (because let's face it, when you feel this crappy you should go for the silver lining where you can) is that my weight has gone down, if only temporarily. Given that the pre-sickness, pms-bloated me was hitting highs in the region of 110-111kgs I can only feel relieved that my body has decided to take matters into her own hands.

I'm not looking forward to going to work tomorrow at all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Weekend pictures

Things have been extremely busy for the last few days. Last Friday I took a day off work and had a jaunt down to Nagoya, and Saturday I met up with my friend and we went to see the ume (plum) blossoms that have just started to bloom. After that we went to see her brother and his family (with the cutest little two and three year old!), and on Sunday it was off to Toba to see the aquarium there.

Blossom season is a very famous time in Japan, with good reason! I'm going to Kyoto in a couple of weeks so hopefully the sakura (cherry) blossoms will be out by then, but I have a feeling we may be a few days too early. Having said how ugly Japanese cities can be, I thought it only fair to mention that some parts can be absolutely breath taking during certain times of the year.

Yuuki Shrine:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Happiness is also...

...Having your new multi-region DVD player arrive and setting it up with no problem, meaning you can now watch all your DVDs on your TV instead of hunched over your desk.

Logging your food for the first time in nearly a month and a half.

Happiness is not:

Realising that since you abandoned you blog (and quite possibly your sanity), you have gained a stone.

The other English teacher (she's Canadian, and comes to my school on a Tuesday) is a runner. I don't do running in public, but I mentioned that it's would be nice to have a park or something near my house now that the weather is getting nicer, just so that I could go and walk around when I felt like it.

It's been like that just recently. You know, when winter is receding and you just want to be outside a little. However, for those of you not in the know, the majority of Japanese cities are ugly. There are a few notable exceptions, but mostly. My city especially so.

This girl lives in a nearby town though, and it's beautiful. She said that if I wanted to I could grab a ride to the place she runs and have a walkabout while she's doing her thing. She mentioned there was a 1.5 km route I could go around. That's about a mile and sounds really doable; assuming the weather doesn't go plummeting into a downward spiral I may take her up on it.

If the temperature gets anything like it was last summer when I arrived, pretty soon it will be too hot to enjoy things like that, and I'll be spending most my time trying to avoid the great outdoors.