David Chart's Japan Diary

October 4th 2005

This week was, once again, dominated by work. That's not really surprising, of course. Writing went very well, at least until today. Today, I spent a lot of time working out what I was going to write, in detail, which didn't leave much time for actually writing. That doesn't help the daily word count I need to reach if I'm going to hit my deadlines. Still, things should go faster now I know what I'm doing.

My cunning plan for the future is to do the planning for the next project while actually writing the previous one. Writing two things at once is too much of a mental shift, but writing one and planning another seems to be OK. If the plan works out, I should be able to write much more continuously. Of course, the problem is getting the rhythm right to make sure that the planning happens enough in advance, along with all the other things I have to do. I'm getting there, and as we get more settled into the flat, there are fewer interruptions to the routine.

Talking of the flat, more stuff arrived last week. We now have a pendant light in the bedroom, and a sofa bed in the living room. Bizarrely, the light feels bigger than the sofa bed. The sofa harmonises well with everything else in the living room, and fits nicely into a shallow alcove in the wall. It doesn't feel like much space has been taken up by the new item. The pendant light, on the other hand, hangs a bit lower than is ideal, and rather dominates the scene when you look around the bedroom. It is a very nice-looking light, of course, but I suspect we will still want to find a way to hang it up a bit higher. We expect some more things to arrive this week. Moving is completely messing up my weekly budget, of course; there are all these things we need to buy right now, like poles for drying the washing on, a cover for the bath, and a draining rack for dishes. I rather hope that these will drop off in the next few weeks, so that I can start getting back on track.

I'm still recruiting new students, and that seems to be making reasonable progress. I've met with a couple of potential recruits, which isn't a bad rate considering that I've only been advertising for four weeks at this location. I still need more people, however, if I'm going to hit the target income I'm aiming at.

Changing the subject completely, Sunday was Ars Magica. The last session I was at was in June, and I only missed one (July, when I was far too busy to take a day off), so it took a little while to get back into things. We made storming progress through Calebais this time, getting about four levels deeper into the covenant. Given that, over the previous six sessions or so, we'd managed to get down two levels, this was really quite amazing.

I don't think my Japanese is really quite up to role-playing, however. Catching all the comments made across the table is still tricky, as is diving in to say what my character is up to. RPGs must be one of the few games where you need to be really good at a language before you can participate fully; card games and such don't normally require much speech, so you can get by with broken Japanese (or whatever). Still, it is good language practice, which I still need.

That's about it for this week, I think. Yesterday was mainly bits of things; I did some shopping, did some reading, went to the shrine where we're having the wedding to see what it's like at the appropriate season, failed to cook dinner because I didn't notice that part of the instructions was "leave for several hours", and that was about it. A nice day off, but nothing to write home about. Well, except that I just did, of course.

Last Saturday marked two years in Japan. I've been here quite a while now, and a lot of the things that seemed strange to start with are now completely normal. It's been a good two years; as they involved getting engaged, they could hardly be otherwise. I hope that the following years are as good.