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Keep your hair on!! April 11, 2007

Posted by urbanblue in Day-to-Day.
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Oh… too late. Man on train I thought the wicked side of you might enjoy! hehehe…

Carry on…

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Full of festive Albert Square spirit December 27, 2006

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What with my fast new internet connection and all, I was very excited to watch a bit of Christmas Eastenders. And true to form, Christmas in Albert Square this year consisted of misery and death. RIP Pauline Fowler!

char_paulinefowler.jpg

MERRY CHRISTMAS! December 23, 2006

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Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Christmas Monkey

Technophobe December 17, 2006

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 Home necessities

I’ve been using a kind of mobile wireless internet connection for the past couple of years, and yesterday, finally, I had ADSL installed via an optic fibre. Things (and by that I mean episodes of EastEnders and Coronoation Street) that used to take 15 hours to download now take less than ten minutes. My desk is now full of little flashing green lights and gizmos. Bloody complicated to set up, but hey it’s done now. I also got a home phone included (an IP phone anyway), and all this is almost HALF what I was paying for the stupid mobile thing. I seriously have no idea about this kind of stuff, so a big thank you to the NTT (Japan’s equivilent of BT) man who came round yesterday to drill holes in my wall and set it all up.

Now where are the fish fingers? November 25, 2006

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Ribena. Yum.

Look what I came across in the supermarket today! These moments are very few and far between. I’m not actually a huge fan of Ribena, but when you see a brand you recognise it compels you to buy it. Even the Americans amongst you wouldn’t understand this because there are American brands everywhere anyway. Whenever you see an “International Supermarket” in this country, what they really mean is a “US Supermarket”. To find a British brand is just sweet. Even if it ridiculously extortionate. This teeny 800ml bottle cost 840 yen (just over four quid – ouch).

So, should any international importers or exporters out there happen to stumble across this blog, this is what I’d like to see next winging its way to these far eastern shores please:

  • Branston Pickle
  • Piccalilli
  • Findus Crispy Pancakes (the chicken and mushroom ones particularly)
  • Mr Kipling Country Slices
  • Ginsters pasties
  • Bisto instant gravy granules (preferably without Fred Elliot’s ashes in them – an in-joke for the Brits there 😉 )
  • Birds Eye Fish Fingers
  • HP Sauce

And possibly a variety pack of Monster Munch.

Remember remember.. November 5, 2006

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Fireworks

..The fifth of November. Ah, Guy Fawkes night. I do enjoy the fireworks festivals here in Japan (they’re in July and August). But there’s something very special about a bitterly cold British late-autumn night, baked potatoes, bonfires, sparklers and all the “oohs” and “aahs”. Well actually I hated sparklers because of that TV spot years ago when the little girl picked one up and screamed. But otherwise it is brilliant.

I can remember doing the whole “Penny for the Guy” thing when I was a kid. I think me and my friend Dominic made some monstrosity out of newspapers and his old clothes and went round door to door asking for cash. Do kids still do that? Probably not I imagine. It was kind of dodgy doing it even back then, if not only for the fact that you also had to avoid the kids from Loxford High School lobbing rockets and crackers all over the place. Still, it was fun.

But safety first remember. Keep all your fireworks indoors, supervise your pets when they are holding sparklers and never return to a child once it’s lit. Or something like that. Enjoy your night! 🙂

New phone October 22, 2006

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Moshi Moshi?
So I got myself a new keitai (mobile phone) today. It comes to something when the phone you bought only two years ago is already a dinosaur, and they don’t even produce it anymore. This new phone is all very fancy-pants. My choice of ring tones are for some reason very organic, such as the sound of water over bamboo or rain on the rocks. It even has a “Relax” function, which is basically like a sound machine to help you get to sleep by listening to crickets chirping or waves. Very Zen. It’s also a “Suica” phone. Those of you who are in Japan will know what I mean. For those of you in the UK, Suica is the Japanese version of Oyster. For those of you who still have no idea what I’m banging on about, it basically means I can store money on my phone and use it to get on trains by tapping it against a sensor on the ticket gates. Apparently I can also use it as a credit card, and store discount vouchers on it by hovering it near advertisements in papers. I don’t fully understand that bit, and perhaps it’s best I don’t to be honest. There is a digital camera function, video camera fuction, barcode reader,  calendar, fingerprint sensor and voice memo function.

Oh, and you can make phonecalls with it.

Horribly unfair, but still…. October 12, 2006

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A major part of my new job is wading through hundreds of CVs. Now, I admit that a majority of these are from Japanese nationals who have to try their absolute best to write in English, but it has to be said that some of the comments do brighten up my day. The following are genuine comments from real CVs, the things that people say in order for a prospective employer to take note and say, “Yes! That’s what I’m looking for!” I’ll leave you to make your own judgements.

  • “I was nearly a contestant for the ‘Miss University of Tokyo’ competition” (but then she remembered she had a bit of washing to do)
  • “I want a job where I can propose to people every day” (well don’t let me stop you, go nuts!)
  • “Sometimes I have a special smile” (?!)
  • “My poster for picking up trash in the office won a gold medal” (I wonder what got the silver..)
  • “My heart is very heartful” (OK… and your experience in IT?..)
  • “I have three years experience at a coal centre” (think spelling for that one..)
  • “My goal is to be an International Fright Attendant” (..that one too)
  • “My hobbies are sleeping and saving the world” (ah, a perfect candidate for that narcoleptic superhero job..)

I’m gonna hire them ALL! 😛

A dodgy start! October 8, 2006

Posted by urbanblue in Day-to-Day.
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I finished my first week at my new job on Friday…. by being sent home early with a fever. Hmm. As Friday progressed my temperature kept going up and up and I started shivering, and eventually my new boss decided I’d be better off in bed and he sent me home. Not the best start I’d say, but there it is. He was really OK about it, and thankfully it’s a long weekend due to there being a National Holiday on Monday so I have three full days to recover. I got home at 6pm on Friday, went straight to bed, and slept for the next 18 hours. Sadly, as a result, I wasn’t able to go to Bu’s live concert yesterday or Jen’s birthday Scavenger Hunt today, both of which I was really looking forward to. 😦
But the rest has done me the world of good, and today I’m feeling much better, albeit not 100% just yet. I have managed to get in several hours of DVD viewing. I have watched (for the hundreth time in many cases):

  • The Birds (plus the documentary – jeez, Tippi Hedren had a lot to put up with!)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Citizen Kane
  • Little Britain (the sketch with Matt Lucas as the Rev. Jesse King had me laughing out loud and consequently coughing for a full three minutes)
  • Catherine Tate
  • Strangers on a Train

And tomorrow will be a mammoth Lord of the Rings extravaganza. That will certainly pass the time.

Tasty treats for the last day of freedom October 1, 2006

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Convenience Store treats

Today is my last day before I re-enter the workforce as a fully-fledged salaryman. I have just come back from collecting my suits at the dry-cleaners, who, thank god, were open on a Sunday (I stupidly put all my suits in to be cleaned – that would have made for a very interesting first day at work had they been closed..). And so, on the way back up picked up a few bits from my local convenience store to have for lunch.

Now there’s something inherently British in me that means lunch is a sandwich, a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar. Throw in my dad’s tea and you’ve got a winner, but it’s a bit much to ask him to fly the six thousand miles just to make that so I have to suffice with my own. I could do the Japanese thing and have cold noodles and dried seaweed, but because they’re bloody horrible I tend not to. What I do have to endure though is the Japanese versions of the above items. Today we have a packet of “Ara Potato” crisps (which are – ingeniously – jacket potato flavour), a bottle of green tea (which my dad did not make) and a Snickers (nothing wrong with that really except it will always be a Marathon to me). We also have the convenience store sandwich. In this case a ham sandwich with the crusts cut off. Inside is a little sliver of ham drowned in sweet sickly mayonnaise. Bleah.
Now I could have always made my own sandwich. My fridge is full of Branston pickle from various friends who’ve lugged it over in their suitcases, and some nice shoulder ham from the deli. But seeing as today is my last day of freedom and all, that just seemed like a little too much effort.