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~Semi-Friends Only~
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Ironically I've not written much here since my first year in Japan. It's now my final month and I'm looking to get rid of a bunch of stuff I've amassed over the past few years. So if you've any interest in any random anime/stationery junk (many of which I've plurked in the past...!), have a look below.


Keyrings/Phone Charms: $2 each (¥300 from gacha machines)


Daichi, Suga, Noya, Hinata, Tsukki.

Attack on Titan:

So many Mikasas. Armed Mikasa (frowning, lineface), Saluting Levi, Armed Levi, Armed Eren, Armed (shush) Armin, Armed Bert. Flat Mikasa in the centre.

Note: Tiny "pinched" Mikasa (@12:00) is $1


 Makoto, Rei.

Yowamushi Pedal.

Plastic Tadokoro, Izumida (...I'm sure I have three of him, actually), Naruko.
Foam Makishima, Jinpachi (they're connectable~!)

Touran (Touken Ranbu) includes bookmarks!

Crest clip charms - Izuminokami Kanesada, Honebami Toushiro
Flat chibis - Kogitsunemaru, Yagen Toushiro

Pixellated Nakigitsune

Bookmarks - Kousetsu Samonji, Shokudaikiri Mitsutada $1

Disney Tsum Tsum Phone Charms: $3 each (¥500 from arcade machine) except where stated.

Olaf, Alice, Dale, Chip, Minnie.

Slightly damaged -> $1.50

Dumbo and Daisy. Some wear to the "Tsum Tsum" tag and discolouration to the strap, shown below:

Clearfiles a5 sized: $2 each (¥300 from gacha machine)

Touken Ranbu

Each comes with a Konnosuke protector/outer cover.

Kousetsu Samonji

Shokudaikiri Mitsutada

Yagen Toushiro

Yowamushi Pedal

Each comes with a bike silhouette protector/outer cover.

Shunsuke Imaizumi




Tadokoro's Bakery (I only have one, but here's a picture of the reverse, just in case you want to make THAT sandwich).

Magnets: $1 each (¥200 from gacha machines)
Attack on Titan
I'm pretty sure I have others in the UK :/ So if you want anyone else I probably have them. Just these four for now though...

Eren, Sacha, Armin, Levi. idk why this picture looks so green...

Free! Manjuus: $4 each. 



Haruka, Nagisa, Rin, Sousuke, Ai, Momo.
Please note that these are slightly bigger items and will incur a higher P and P charge.

Disney Halloween Special Tsums: $3 each (¥600 online, plus tax. Reductions for multiple purchases. I have four sets, please help take them off my hands... XD)

Micky, Minnie, Daisy, Donald.
Please note that these are slightly bigger items and will incur a higher P and P charge.

Disney Stackable Mini Tsum Set: $10. (¥2000 instore, plus tax)

(does not include the Tsum phone charms at the front.)

Has a full set of ten stackable, squishable, 1st generation tsums: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Chip, Dale, Pooh, Piglet, and I'm missing one but he's tucked out of sight where Piglet is. I want to say Pluto.)

Please note that these are slightly bigger items and will incur a higher P and P charge.

Not Animanga but still fricking cute "Nonbiri" plush animals: $2 each (¥500 in store)

Monkey, Panda, Koala. They have literally been hanging off my wall for the past five years and have seen nothing of the world.
Please note that these are slightly bigger items and will incur a higher P and P charge.

Dreamport/Sound Horizon Bandanna $3. idk how much it was from the website.


Mini Letter Sets: $2 each.

Tsums, Glasses, Moustaches.

Notebooks, $3 each (except the pink one, unpackaged - $2.50)

I have no idea why these won't rotate. The katagami books (Blue, Turquoise, or Pink, all ruled) are slightly smaller than A5, the "Live Bright" is about B6.
Please note that these are slightly heavier items and will incur a higher P and P charge.

Stickers, unused. $1 each.

Rhinestones (no idea where they came from...), Japanese Postal Themed, Hiragana, Ghosts (2 packs), Kokeshi "Ex Libris" book stickers.

Bird calendar stickers, Petit Poche European travel (2 packs), Petit Poche Vacation, Macarons and cakes.

Kagoneko Shiro (with flowers), Japanese washi seals, Kagoneko Shiro (...not-with flowers), blue stars.

3D hearts, Sakura, foam house.home stickers (2 packs), hats.

Flake Stickers and Used - free - only charge is delivery.  Tell me if you want!

Semi-see-thru butterflies. 3D/Shaker Glitter Owls, Himedaruma Taruto (Matsuyama's local cake plus famous doll = a doll with a cake for a face, apparently...), Hedgehogs.

Washi "flake" stickers and... I haven't the foggiest what to call the other set. Union Jack/Rosettes??? Seems ironic since Great Britain is not so Great right now...

Closer look;

That's it - or I sure hope I don't uncover another stash later...

Please comment, PM, or plurk ([ profile] arantia ) if there is anything you would like, and we can arrange~! And please, please share far and wide if anyone on your timeline who might possibly be interest.

Most of these items are shippable as "standard sized" mail, with the exceptions (due to size or weight) being noted above. Anything not shippable as standard will be sent by small packets service.
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Okay, let’s talk Tokyo Day Two!

Here we go! )



Incidentally, this is never a good thing to put beside a lever you don’t want pulling. It only makes people want to pull it even more.
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It’s about time I updated on the last few weeks, especially my first New Year in Japan! Let’s talk New Year first, and I’ll try to work my way back.

Image heavy and hella long! )
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So I had my first real enkai yesterday. My ones with other ALTs don't count - this one was all-Japanese. I had no idea of the etiquette but it was still pretty awesome. It was also the first time I got to chat to a lot of my teachers, so that was nice.

I had no idea what time to arrive, so I arrived early as I've always been told to. Only the organisers were there (um, um, Yasu-sensei and... shaved-head-with-glasses-sensei who I still don't know. In fact, there are FAR too many sensei whose names I don't know.) so I got first pick on the seating lottery. Lucky number seven, which was not so lucky because I wound up on the top table. Right opporsite the principal and vice principal (who hold the titles Koucho-sensei and Kyoto-sensei), who speak very little English. But luckily for me, Yama-sensei got in on time and was seated two along from me. The seat between us was filled last (Mura-sensei was INCREDIBLY late...) so he was able to help me out a lot; and he's always very good at telling me what the etiquette is and why it's done. Usually to imply that I've done something wrong, but that helps me fix it ;)

The tables were already filled with food when we got there... I wish I'd taken a photo of the place, it was amazing. We had a plate of sashimi, a bowl of squid and some salad, and we each had a sukiyaki burner - Koucho-sensei explained it to me. I already knew it was meat and some vegetables cooked in a little soy and mirin, but I didn't know that you dip it in raw egg before you eat it. You can eat it without, but she recommended it with the egg. I took her advice and it was awesome XD

Mura-sensei got in just in time for the bingo game, and then we had a run-down of "news" which required various teachers to account for themselves, but mostly relentlessly mocked poor Yama-sensei (and Yasu-sensei who came in at number 10 with something about a stalker. I understood that he said he'd change his locks, so I'm guessing he's the one that got "stalked"). Highlights included The Unstoppable Judo Club which ranked number five (they won a local and a regional tournament, and also placed first in a tournament in Osaka) and (at number two) Operation: Find Yama-sensei a wife. We're sending him to Bali next year ;)

Afterwards, people started making rounds to pour people drinks and chat, but there were no bottles at our end of the table. So everyone came to us. After a brief chat on the meaning of my claddagh ring with Mura-sensei (and how pretty my nails were, which was pretty weird coming from a guy, but I always suspected he was in the closet anyway). I wound up talking with Kyoto-sensei and Koto-sensei (the vice-vice principle) and Shino-sensei who's the head of our PTA. They're all older men so the conversations got interesting.

Highlights )

...but my favourite moment of the evening was when I mentioned to Mura-sensei that my ring was cheap. He pounded himself on the chest and proclaimed, "Heart!"
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Long time no write, but I need to get this off my chest. It’s the first time since arriving here that I’ve actually felt close to a real, genuine meltdown and I need to get this out somehow. It’s only ten past nine, I already feel like I’ve fucked up, and I’m too busy today to cry. That is, I’m NOT coming back to the staff room looking like I’ve obviously cried :|
So I was asked to help out with the school exams this week. Absolutely delighted to do that, over the moon. I’ve sat enough of those things to know what they’re like and I’m quite interested in inflicting that particular hell on others for a change. This morning first period was the second years’ English exam.  I say ‘was’. That’s what I was told by my JTE (who is absent today),  and the other second-year English teacher was like, “You’ll help me out, right? See you on Thursday.”
So far so good, right?
The morning rolls around, I leave the house extra early to arrive at school in time for a hash-out with Nori-sensei… nothing. No sensei. I run all over the school searching for him, and nothing. Nobody WANTS to understand me when I ask the very obvious question of where he is. There’s no such thing as a straight answer here. “Do you know where Nori-sensei is?” “I don’t know. Probably.”.
The beginning of the exam comes and goes and I’m sitting at my desk fucking FREAKING OUT because the staff information board is just a wall of kanji that I can’t understand. I’m searching my desk  for some kind of indication, some kind of clue, even and exam paper and there’s NOTHING.  And I’m angry and frustrated. A quick visual check of Nori-sensei’s desk and I see a stack of papers rubber-banded together so the contents aren’t visible.  I can make out the kanji for the second grade, and THIRD exam period. So it’s entirely possible that Nori-sensei is invigilating for another exam and the English test has been moved. But no one will freaking tell me that. (“Has the English exam been rescheduled?” “Mmm. Probably. Or probably it’s already started”)
I go on another search of the school and there’s still nothing. I’m already highly-strung because I promised sensei I’d help and I’m clearly not. Another sensei has left her exam for the third year on my desk to look over (It’s fine, but she did so at 8:38 and the exam started at 8:40) And the kanji everywhere is still freaking me out. And like a moron I just HIDE. Like I did during my first month at junior school, when I got sick and my class and teachers just left me in the classroom because they were going on a school trip. Like I did when I fell and fucked up my foot during my A-levels. And god damn it, I just want to duck under the desk and cry right now. It’s like I’m expected to just KNOW what’s going on. It’s not even as though it’s written on the board today and they expect that I can read it. It’s like I’m supposed to understand through osmosis what I’m supposed to do and where I’m supposed to be; what’s cancelled and what’s on. You have no idea how many erasures and crossings-out I have in my diary with new stuff written in. I’m supposed to be at Tachibana tomorrow, but I’ve been asked to help out HERE in the morning and I don’t know if they know and I don’t have a phone number so I can’t ASK!
I know that this is mostly just culture shock speaking and believe me, it’s about fucking time I got a hit of it. But did it have to be today?! Did it have to be now when I actually have to function and do a job for the next seven hours?
…also, there’s so much stuff crossed out in my diary that I forgot we don’t have kyuushoku today. Luckily I think we can sneak out and get something but it’s so bloody stressful :/
So now I’m gonna wait for Nori-sensei to come back and yell at me. Or wonder how/why I DIDN’T know that the exam was moved to third period; it could really be either.
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Today, I come to bring you a dish that is simple and delicious. Even when cooked wrong, which I probably have done. It can be used as a side dish, or as a dessert, if you adjust the quantitites of soy and sugar slightly for each. I was eating mine with reduced salt soy so it was still quite sweet and somewhat rich even then :\

This dish also made me a 'believer' in Tofu. I now know there is at least one way I can cook it that I like, if all other recipes fail and I'm still left with a fridge full of the stuff. So without further ado, ladies and gentleman (Ticho), I bring you...

Caramel Tofu )

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So. I got into the JET programme :D

And my life at the moment has been reduced to a mountain of paperwork, and complex financial calculations. My savings target is 250,00¥ which is just shy of £2,000 (at the current exchange rate. To be exact, it's £1,848.56).

If I take for granted that I'll be paid my usual £907 in August, that's just under half of the amount accounted for, so I need to raise the other ~£942 out of my wages. If I do this at a rate of £300 a month, and also add to this my (projected) reimbursed rail fares and phone top-ups from work, plus the £100 I've saved this month, I'll come out with more than the amount I need (once converted, just under 320,000¥), which means I have a bit of leeway for fun stuff like my rail fares to pre-departure orientation (which I must remember to use my railcard for this time around), but not so good for splurging/treating myself over the coming months; unless I don't want to buy nice lunches :(

Financial rant over :D
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So I indulged in a bit of body-modification:

Cut for piercing )

...the procedure wasn't too bad, and it's surprisingly painless. And I'm very happy with it. Mostly because of the lack of pain!
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Just a quick message to let you know that I'm still alive XD Though it's kind of been a while since I updated.

This is also to say I'm kind of giving up on this journal. Seven years is a pretty decent run, and this thing's seen me through a ton of stuff. Like high school. And my fanbrat phase. Fear not, though, I'll be moving across to a new journal. It will probably be updated as frequently as this one (that is to say rarely!) but if you'd like to add me, please feel free to slide over to [ profile] arantia  and say hi :)
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Omg okay, so. Uncle Paul and his friend have a job gutting out pubs for these two guys who basically install managers and set the place up to run.

Mum has registered interest in one of these pubs, She'd like to manage it (for about five years, after which she'll hand over to Matt), because her job is pretty much a dead end. We won't know if this will work out, but if it does, we'll basically have a pub with a house in the country, as well as this place.

But this is not what makes me happy.

What makes me happy is that we're going to populate this pub. Right now, we're looking at two cats and a dog, which we're going to raise from babies. Matthew has already started naming them (The puppy will be an Alsatian called Chewbacca - Chewie when he's good, Baka when he's bad XD - and two toms - a ginger one called O'Malley, and another one called Alan Rickman. These are his suggestions, not mine, but I'm totally gonna lobby for naming one :|)

I really want this to work out, if for nothing else, then to have animals back in my life again.
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With a recipe for three-ingredient brownies I found on Youtube :D

One 200g jar of Nutella.
One large egg.
5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

...that's all. You can throw in extras (the online recipe said hazelnuts, but I don't have them and couldn't be bothered with them) and I guess things like chocolate chips would be fine, but these are just the bare essentials.

Important apparatus: [ie that which I would have found handy when I was cooking]
- a flexible spatula to get out aaaaallll the Nutella from the jar.
- a deep pan. Mine was less than an inch deep, but about the size of a moleskine notebook, just a bit longer (I'd say maybe 12 inches by 6...?). Go for something smaller and deeper without straying into cake-tin territory. The batter comes out VERY thick and it's kind of hard to spread around :|

- Scoop out the nutella into a bowl. Add the egg. Whisk together until smooth and runny.
- Add the flour. Whisk together until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Dump entire mixture into a pan (lining it with baking parchment helps). Place in the centre of a preheated oven (180C, 350F) and check after about twelve minutes. Leave no longer than fifteen.
- A skewer or toothpick inserted into the centre should come out - and I quote - "covered in gooey promise."
- Leave to cool in the pan before turning/pulling/prising out and cutting into squares :D shallow-pan brownies turned out delicious, but just lacking that extra bit of squidgy, fudgey goodness. Very good from just three ingredients, though :D
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It's been a hectic few days. Amongst other things this week, I've been accused my one of my employees of not doing my job properly. "I do more in this shop than you do", quote-unquote. Yet on any given day she's ready to give me a thousand and one reasons why she CAN'T do something and just sits on a stool that she brought in, blocking the till.

I'm not gonna get into it, because I'm pretty sure I could go on for pages. But she should try working some of the days I do before she complains, because if nine hours is such a stretch for her, she should try almost twelve. Plus travel time. And only ten minutes break.

Yesterday was just... non-stop. I tend to get up at about six thirty to be able to get into work on time, and because I was in Sheffield today I assumed I'd be working a 9-6. The 9-6 became a 9-8 (and I'd done 10-8 the previous night ._.) because Gemma was off sick and I spent most of my getting-ready time running around trying to find cover. I couldn't get anyone to cover the majority of the shift, so I had to run in once we were done to relieve Becky and... yeah. I finished at eight, and then there was the almost two-hour travel time to get back :(

We ran interviews yesterday and there were a couple of girls who seemed a good fit for the company. Unfortunately Veronica's train got in late, which meant we were running a bit behind schedule (although we made up time with one girl who barely answered any questions and thought communication consisted of saying hello and goodbye to the people she was cleaning for... she was lovely, but needless to say she didn't impress :( ) and our lunch break literally consisted of running across to Starbucks, getting a sandwich, and then not eating it because the next interviewee showed up XD

Veronica had a good chat on our way down to the station, though. It seems like the company's taken a bit of a wobble - York has been forced to close and Newcastle is pretty much on its way out - but despite this? I have a secure job. Even if I go to Japan. Basically if these two shops do go under, they want to put me where the work is and will help me get on my feet which is... really really good. And I was offered a company car but the major problem with that is that I can't drive. So now I kind of feel like I should learn, but... I want to get JET out of the way first before I make any plans and long-term commitments in this country ._.

And then I got a phone call from Ron just before I turned in last night. One of the weekend girls was burgled. Amongst other things, they took her store keys. As I've said in other places... the drama just never ends \o/

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We all know I'm behind on the 30-day meme. I've every intention of finishing up, but right now I'm too busy and I barely have time to breathe.

On the plus side though, I'm in Sheffield for the next few days and we're going to get started putting things out and getting displays all taken care of. I say 'we' but it might just be me... I don't actually know whether Ron and Veronica are going to be in and at the moment there don't look to be any other employees... s-so I might have to do interviews over the next couple of weeks too; both for Sheffield AND for Derby because in the first place, we're getting another part timer, and in the second, one of our OTHER part timers is leaving :( So we're looking to employ at least two people in as many weeks.

There's still no news as to when the Sheffield store will open. Our tentative date was October 9th, but our stock was seized by Customs and... we don't have a sign yet. And basically now our opening hinges on us actually having a shop sign. We might not need many employees to begin with; I can probably man the place on my own... but it would be good to have a till!!!

So yeah, I'm drowning a little bit, but it's a good kind of drowning. I'd much rather stay busy at the moment.

I'm also clawing back some semblance of a social life! I've not been to one of Chloe's gigs in ages at there are two over the next couple of weeks that I've added to my calendar :) I just... need some kind of costume for one of them XD
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First... I know I'm well and truly behind on the 30 days meme. I know posting a bunch of responses in one day isn't exactly the point, but I'll try to get up to date this week.

Second... Mum's ill >.> This time last year she got this cough/cold that never really cleared up and now it seems to be back just as bad. When it first set in, she wouldn't go and see the doctor. Now she's taking the week off but says she won't see the doctor until Tuesday. Why? Because Dr Davis isn't on until Tuesday. And he has all her records, apparently. Aside from that - and after I'd pointed out that it's all computerised now; that's why we have NHS numbers and why they can just pull up your full medical history in a hospital - she couldn't give me a good enough reason why she WOULDN'T go and see Anne (his daughter) so I think I managed to convince her to go...

That said, Nana, Pops and Eugene were over today. They went out for dinner and there are at least three empty wine bottles lying around the living room/kitchen. So she might not even remember that conversation ._.

Thirdly. I'm off work for the next two days. I'm tired, I'm run down and I just... would really like to take some time off myself.
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Day 10 – A photo of your favourite place to eat.

...I held off on this because we'd planned a group trip to Yo!Sushi and I wanted to get photos. Unfortunately Ticho got sick and our party was immediately cut in half :( So I'm afraid I've no photo of Yo!Sushi, even though it's my favourite place for food. To be honest, the layout puts me in the mind of a school canteen; but the sushi is amazing <3

What I do have, though, is photos from the day. Ruth and I decided to meet up anyway (although nothing we could do could make up for the absence of Ticho and Chloe and Trev)... that said, we did have a spectacularly girly day, wherein we had lunch at Wagamama (where they forgot to charge us for dessert... oops.) shopped for hair dye, some  accessories (:D Mini hat!), and... I joined the Pandora bandwagon XD

Yes, those awesome suede gloves have cranberry coloured cuffs. To match my nails! And I didn't buy the mini hat, but I did get a Blair Waldorf style hair bow :3

Have a couple of throwaway pictures: Very to-the-point metal sign, and Ruth's 'if you ever get "tempted", remember this face' face.

Regarding Wagamama? I wouldn't have the Kare Lomen again. Too spicy. And messy. I'm serious. The noodles pinged back into the bowl and I got soup in my eye, and from painful experience I know that chilli doesn't BELONG in one's eyes :| So I ended up scrabbling around for a tissue for several minutes. The chilli heat also rendered me incoherent. Not good when trying to catch up. So... good, but never again! Yaki Udon all the way next time.

Regarding Pandora? I kind of got one because I was jealous of all the other girls' bracelets at work XD So I got one. Just a leather one with one charm. And I used it as a networking opportunity: Pandora are our next door neighbours, so when my assistant asked me about my earrings I was all like, "Funny you should ask...!" :3

So tomorrow... I'm getting my hair cut and dyed \o/ Resisting the urge to go very short, though I find the colour too severe for my regular cut when it's freshly dyed :| After that I'm meeting Adam in town for another late lunch... at Nando's this time. Mmm, vegetarian burger :D A-and then my time off it over and I'm back at work. I should probably buy my season ticket while I'm in town, come to think of it :(

(More Questions!)


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