Saturday, August 31, 2002
Um. Slight shift-about (I did say I'd get around to it eventually) so anything before today that mentions 'left' or 'right', you have to do the opposite. OK? I can't tell left from right anyway so there's every chance I actually got it the wrong way round before. Which would now be the right way round. Easy.

Friday, August 30, 2002
Sorry Kate, I'm back now! Had some friends here for the day and they dragged me (kicking and screaming, of course) away from my computer and out into the fresh air. A day off work! how lovely. We were tourists: we went to Shinjuku (train tickets, coffee, book), then an old Japanese garden, from where the water-bus leaves for a 45-minute trip up the sumida river. We got off at Asakusa, where it all went a bit pear-shaped because my guidebook is old and slightly out of date (I've only had it 18 months but things change fast here!) so we had a small detour of several miles' walk (it was 31 degrees today. Warm.) before finding the temple, which is what we'd gone there to look at. Still, we got to see some very interesting 'real Tokyo' backstreets and two cute kittens, so it was worth the getting lost bit. Then we went to the imperial palace except it was shut so we just looked at the outside and fed sunflower seeds to the koi carp and turtles in the moat, and lay on the grass wondering if our feet were still attached. Tonight's plan was to go to Roppongi for drinking and dancing and perhaps a spot of karaoke...but we got a pizza and a video instead. We went and looked at neon tokyo last night anyway, in Shibuya. Have to get up early in the morning to get them away to the airport so I'm off to bed now. Nighty night.

Thursday, August 29, 2002
A new link to some new pictures on the left there (or here). But don't get too excited, it only contains three pictures at the moment!

Wednesday, August 28, 2002
I was expecting garden-maintenance men to turn up this morning. I even set my alarm so I'd be up when they arrived and they wouldn't think I was lazy western scum (even though I am). I wasn't expecting them to arrive at 7.15 while I was still hitting the snooze button. And now they are out there cutting back trees with nail scissors. It's going to take them a while.

A dilemma
I've been invited to a 50th birthday do on Saturday (am I old enough to go to non-family 50th birthdays? I still feel I should be going to 21sts. Though it has been a while since I've actually been to a 21st). Anyway, I have a bit of a dilemma. I must buy something for the birthday girl but I don't really know her (I've basically been invited by a mutual friend who felt sorry for me with C away. I accepted because it felt rude not to, though really I wouldn't have minded a night in with a video and some wine and whatnot. Perhaps I am ready to go to 50ths!). I know two things about her: she doesn't drink and she's leaving Japan to go and live in Indonesia on Sunday (perhaps I should call it a leaving do instead of a 50th, that might make me feel better about it!) - so wine and flowers are out. Has anyone got any good ideas?

Tuesday, August 27, 2002
How do they know?
How do the cockroaches know that Cameron has gone away so that if they come out I will have to deal with them?
They come out of the sink, or from under the sink, and they run around the kitchen surfaces waving their disgusting roachy feelers. And they're fast. Eurgh. One crawled out of the plughole when I was making my tea. After i'd finished going ohgodohgodohgod and flapping my arms and stuff I sprayed it - luckily it crawled back into the sink to die so I could just wash it away. I think I was very brave (I was tempted to just go away and shut the kitchen door, and have pizza for tea...but then what if it was still there is the morning? Waiting for me? With all its roachy friends?!)

Comments will apparently be back up by the middle of the week. In the meantime, you can email me (there's a link at the bottom of the page or here - remove NOSPAM). In answer to the emails I've received this weekend: the kabuki was about as scarey as an episode of Scoobydoo and no I haven't yet worn chopsticks in my hair! I am preserving my own national identity (bovver boots and a skinhead? Or a nice cup of tea and scones) and our house is an enclave of englishness. Oh no that's no good (Cameron would prefer a sanctum of scottishness)...a bastion of britishness! Apart from the guest slippers by the front door and the paper screens, anyway. I have taken some pictures of the house on Joyce's request - only they are in the camera, and Cameron has taken it to Bangkok, so you'll have to wait a bit.

Sunday, August 25, 2002
The kabuki was wonderful! It was a scarey ghost story as is traditional for August (apparently being frightened is cooling!) and one chap played three parts; I have absolutely no idea how he managed to change so quickly. At one point he ran up the walkway thing through the audience, bumped into another actor, and by the time they had circled each other they had managed to swap clothes! Incredible. And there was a real waterfall on stage - the scene change for that one took a while so one of the actors came out for a chat with the audience so we weren't just sitting and waiting. When the famous actors stop and pose (which they do quite often, accompanied by banging wooden blocks and an odd rolling-eye head wobble), the audience shouts their name - a bit like the rocky horror show! In dressed as women, singing, lots of makeup...perhaps it was the rocky horror show? (oh. no stockings.)

Well that's no good at all is it. As soon as I ask people to leave me comments the comments thingy breaks. Hopefully it will fix itself soon, then business as normal chaps.

Friday, August 23, 2002
I am very excited - we're going to the kabuki, which is one type of traditional Japanese theatre, tomorrow. Go and look at the link, it's got cute cartoon kabuki actors and some twangy kabuki music (sounds like the clangers). Apparently you can rent headphones that explain, in English, what's going on (and the Japanese people have them - but in Japanese not English - because the language used is so antiquated that they find it incomprehensible too. So for once we won't be the only people who don't know what's going on!). According to the website, the play we are going to see has real water to impart a cool air. Which is nice to know.

Thursday, August 22, 2002
oooh oooooooooooohh!! I'm so excited! I now appear on Google. Go and try it. Go on. Go to google and search blog tokyo works. so does lisa turquoise. how cool is that?
Now if some of you would leave a comment instead of emailing me that would be fantastic. No, I don't mean that. What I mean is, if some of you would leave a comment and then email me as well ('cos i like getting the email too) that would be fab. But all those little comments(0) things are making me sad.

Japanese lesson last night. I can now say 'I am slow AND stupid'; at least I would be able to if I knew the words for slow and stupid. The grammar was the point. Tricky though - I wonder if I will ever manage a proper conversation? [Current level of conversation: "Is this an apple?", "This is a big apple", "Where did you buy the apple?", "The apple is small AND delicious." Doesn't get you far in polite society.]
Apples (ringo) are easy to remember because they were in the beatles. Trouble is, I don't like them, and if I go round talking about them all the time people will think I do and try to feed me them. Or sell me them. Perhaps I should learn the word for chocolate.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Arg. I am in a really hissy mood now. Rubbish. Garbage. Whatever. Right, putting your rubbish out here is quite complicated, you have to put the right sort of rubbish out on the right day of the week, in the right sort of bag. We are very careful, looking up on the piece of paper to see what rubbish we are meant to be putting out, buying special bin bags, and everything, and Cameron puts it out in the morning when he leaves for work. And some people do get it wrong - they put it out the night before (Bad), in a supermarket carrier bag (Bad) and/or on the wrong day (V Bad because the bin men ignore it so it's out all day and the crows* get into it and it smells). But not us. So why has Somebody taken it upon themselves to pin a metre-high sign up next to the Rubbish Area explaining that 'you are breaking garbage regulations' and going on to explain what these regulations are? In inch-high letters? In inch-high English letters? So that will be us then? Because, if they thought it was anyone else, the sign would be in Japanese. Arg (as I said).
Unless they've been monitoring the Rubbish Area and have spotted some sneaky westerners (who spend the rest of their time hiding from me) putting their rubbish out the night before and in the wrong bags etc etc. In which case I take it all back. But it Wasn't Us. OK?!
*Have I mentioned the crows here? They are nearly as big as me, with big pointy scarey vicious beaks and an Attitude. I wouldn't mess with one.

We (I) watched the wedding planner last night. For two reasons:
1. It was on, and
2. It was in English.
I think it is one of the worst films I've ever seen (though not nearly as bad as road trip.) And the romantic lead looked like Keith Harris. I kept looking around for Orville.

Grr. It's not like we can just switch over and watch the other side (well, we can, but it's in Japanese. Or BBC World. I supose there is always Off.). I suppose we could just give up and watch videos (or DVDs now, yay!) all the time instead. Though much as I love Moulin Rouge, it's going to get a bit tedious every night. And, on a related note, I don't suppose any of you routinely tape university challenge do you? And if you do, you wouldn't like to collect them all on one tape when the new series starts and send it out here? Sigh. Thought not. BBC World would do well showing that instead of yet another thing about Michael Palin (and film crew) intrepidly and single-handedly (and film crew) travelling the world.

Back to the chap in the wedding planner. Turns out he was in dazed and confused too, and that was a good film. So maybe he just chose badly this time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002
I must be very tasty. I went out to hoe our garden, for it was full of weeds. Now our garden is not very big so this activity took approximately 90 seconds. Maybe 2 minutes. Max. And in that time I acquired NINE new mosquito bites! Eurgh! So I've just sat out on the patio (because we're having the first bout of sit-outable weather in months) surrounded by bug repellent coils and candles and torches and lanterns. And not a new bite to be seen! Hooray!

And here's a page about our trip to the Fuji rock festival a couple of weeks ago. Don't I look lovely in my sun hat?!
Oh dear. Now i've put the FRF on my list of links over there (<-), the one after it looks like Reading, the place. ('redding'.) Not Reading, the activity. ('reeding'.) Which is how you are supposed to read ('reed') it, OK?

I've just updated the wedding-picture page with some of Katy's lovely photos - have a look here.

Monday, August 19, 2002
This is my new blogchalk:
Japan, Tokyo, Ohyamacho, English, Lisa, Female, 26-30. :)

It's raining it's pouring the old man is snoring*
Another typhoon, only this one's all rain and no wind - suspect somebody else is getting all the wind. I wish it was possible to take a picture because the amount of water falling out of the sky is indescribable (there's a lot of it. Falling hard and fast).
And we've nothing in the house for tea so I will have to go out into it eventually. Unless we have cornflakes.
*no he's not, he's at work. ha ha ha

I went to the gym again yesterday and was happily mooching round the weights (I'm a very dynamic gym-goer) when a very polite man explained very politely that I had to leave. A bit bemused, I went to get changed - only to become even more puzzled because the changing room was like bedlam, full to the brim with girls tottering about in kimonos and battling to get to the mirrors to put their makeup on. Oh, and a few in little black dresses posing for photos. In the changing rooms. Of the gym. And the dance studios had been kitted out with large ceremonial-looking drums, and the steps (you know, steps for step classes) were arranged in a horseshoe shape to act as little low tables. It turned out they were having a summer party. Wish I'd bought a ticket just to stay and watch (only you know about fishes and being out of water...)

Saturday, August 17, 2002
OOh, and then we went and bought a DVD player. So the rewards for our labour were great.

Let's get physical, physical
We went to the gym today ('ting' - glint off halo) and I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran...then after 5 minutes I thought I was going to die so I stopped running and went to use the weights. I could hardly move the bum-firming machine because it was so heavy, but I couldn't possibly adjust the weights because on before me was a teeny weeny Japanese girl who looked like she would break if you breathed on her hard. I think this fitness malarky is going to be Hard Work.

Little ditty 'bout Chris and Su-za-anne
Wedding pics online at last: here, or follow the link to the left. They have been heavily pruned so if anyone is *really* interested I have a stack more! Oh, and if anyone knows the name of Rachel's partner, that would be nice!

Friday, August 16, 2002
Boo. Looks like we might not be climbing Fuji after all, what with Cameron 'maybe' being sent to Bangkok and 'maybe' not being back in time. I don't think the work-life balance concept has reached Japan yet, this will be the second business trip in 2 months that has seen him away over the weekend. Not so bad for him 'cos he'll get to see Bangkok...not good for me all on my own in Tokyo. Feel strangely disappointed, 'strangely' because I wasn't actually really looking forward to it. The gym has been shut this week so I haven't done any exercise and I think it's something you need to be fit to do. sigh...there's always next year I suppose.

I bumped into someone I know! The first time that's happened in Tokyo. That makes you feel you belong, unplanned meetings with friends in the street. Hoorah!
[Cameron does it all the time. He seems to have the knack.]

Thursday, August 15, 2002
Oh, what a hard life it is being an expat wife. Computer playing up so I couldn't do any work. So I met Gail for coffee...then lunch...then afternoon drinks, did a spot of shopping and came home. In the meantime, my house was cleaned for me!
It will be martinis on the verandah* before you know it.
*except we don't have one

Wednesday, August 14, 2002
There was a piece on BBC World news last night about the Tokyo heatwave. Which made me feel a bit better as it seems I am suffering from freak weather, not just being a big girl's blouse. Cute kids playing in fountains (now there's an idea. If only the nearest fountain wasn't so far, and it wasn't so hot outside!) and, bizarrely, a panda licking a giant ice cube full of bamboo sticks. Presumably that was in the zoo...

OK, here are a couple to be getting along with. Thanks Sarah, who sent them to Chris, who sent them to me. I have nearly 100 (!) of my own so will have to do a bit of pruning before putting them online...what I don't have is the now-traditional pic of the girls (with or without other halves) so if any of you have one I'd really appreciate it (Kate?).

Tuesday, August 13, 2002
I really really must learn some vocabulary. It is getting silly, only knowing 6 or 7 verbs (let's see: to go, to come, to talk, to meet, to send out, to eat, to drink, to have, to do, to be, to read....that's it off the top of my head). How do you do it though? Do I just read them over and over until they print on my brain? keep finding reasons not to start...

Monday, August 12, 2002
Well, we're back. Knackered, dazed and confused. Wedding was fab and it was lovely to see everyone - I now have about a million photos to sort so watch this space.
Cameron tells me we have to go to the gym every day now in order to get fit for climbing Fuji in a couple of weeks. It might just be the death of me. Though probably a good idea as, in just 2 weeks at home, I managed to gain 1/2 a stone! How is that possible? Actually I think it is far more likely that someone sneaked into the house while I was away and altered my scales (and took all my clothes in!).
It was nice to be back. Love the cool weather, sweeties, seeing friends, family and pets, shopping for non-outsize clothes, chips, the pittenweem arts festival, and talking nonsense with old friends. Hate the filthy trains, too-busy-to-notice-you shop assistants and overpriced service stations. Missed sashimi, green tea and unlimited web access...didn't miss the humidity and working!

Thursday, August 01, 2002
Phew! Back in blighty and, 2 days of shopping later, fully re-wardrobed. Odd how, after just 4 months away, things here seem a bit foreign. I was ignored by a shop assistant for a whole minute yesterday!