Dear all faithful readers (yes, both of you)
This is just a short note to inform you that I am moving blogs. My new address is now:
So, exams are officially over, my bank balance has been officially exhausted and the summer is officially beginning. However, for those of you who don’t know (for the record, these people must be far and few between) I’m not spending the majority of this summer England-stylee, but rather in the Nihon manner. I’m off to Japan. On 4th August. That means very little time left in this country and then I bid it farewell. For an entire year. Today I resumed my gym regime (I may have mentioned that I’d done this, but only in a half-assed way – from here on in, it’s every day, baby!) and tomorrow I’m going to start learning Japanese. I’ve learnt a few introductory phrases, but tomorrow is the day I turn Japanese native (ha!).
I’m shitting myself. Yeah, I’ve done something similar in Germany, but 1) Germany is closer, 2) it’s an easyjet destination and so easily reached and 3) I spoke some semblance on the language and had had experience of the culture previously. Japan is, as yet, an unknown entity. I do know stuff about the country, but I have no way to prepare for just the culture shock of having to live my life so differently from how I’m used to. And the heat. Wow, the heat is just going to kill me, especially as I arrive in the midst of summer. Surely it’ll only get better from there, but still! And then I’ve received so many official documents from the Iwakuni Board of Education (by whom I’m employed) and I’m worried that they’re going to be really strict and that I’m going to have a shit time and not have time to explore Japan at all. I also want to go abroad from Japan to see a bit of Asia as I’ve never actually been on that continent (Israel doesn’t technically count). Then there’s the whole US Marine Base. Iwakuni is home to a lot of US Marines who, apparently, one is strongly advised to avoid when they’re drunk. The last thing I really want is to get knifed by some squaddie!
I’m not really worried about the whole friends issue, because I’m quite a sociable chap and I’m sure that I’ll establish a strong friends network once I’m there. I’m more worried about the Japanese. I’ve never really had much experience of ‘them’ as a ‘people’ and I’m really worried that on my first day I’ll make some huge social faux pas and be shunned from society because I didn’t take my shoes off and leave the toe end facing the door. Oh, and I’ve got to dress smart for school. OK, Germany was weird because I didn’t have any dress code at all, but smart! All I’m thinking is the heat. It’ll be OK once it gets a bit cooler, but the other day, for the Woscars, I was wearing a shirt and trousers and I was more than a little uncomfortable. People say that you should take what the other teachers at the schools wear as an indication as to how to dress – I’m just going to have a really uncomfortable first day, because, as they say, you can only make one first impression, and so I don’t want to turn up and have someone tell me that I’m dressed inappropriately.
I’m pretty sure most of my worries are run-of-the-mill, but they’re still worries nonetheless. Anyway – hope exams have gone/are going well!
I wrote a rant on here yesterday about people that call themselves pro-life. I decided not to publish it at all because I figured that it would be too much hassle.
So, I’ve finished my exams and am sat around most days listening to musical soundtracks. In fact, this isn’t as ‘recreational’ as it may sound, even though I am enjoying myself, it’s research for a show called Musical of Musicals: The Musical which is on as part of the Warwick Student Arts Festival this year. I’m in it! There’s a cast of four and the same story is told five times in the styles of Rodgers and Hammerstein (The Sound Of Music, Oklahoma!), Stephen Sondheim (Sweeny Todd, Into The Woods), Jerry Herman (Hello Dolly!, La Cage aux Folles), Andrew Llyod Webber (Evita, The Phantom of the Opera) and Kander and Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago). If you don’t musicals, it’s still actually really funny. If you do know musicals well, you’ll love it. And you get to see me try my very best to act…
I hope that everyone does well in their exams.
Well, Bat Boy is over. What has been 3 years in the making, 7 months in the production, the show has finished to raptuous applause and an audience reception I could never have dreamt of. With comments about the professionalism of the cast and crew greeting me after every performance, I can honestly say I’ve never been so astounded and flattered.
After the last showing on Saturday night, a lot of people stayed behind to put the Studio back in order and then we headed over to the Union for drinks. The crew gave out thank you mementos and awards and received cards and presents.
I woke up today and have been at a total loss. I have nothing to do. Nothing to plan. Nothing to organise. And no one is ringing me! OK, I have an exam tomorrow but I’ve been unable to even contemplate starting it.
I feel empty. We did a great show. And now it’s over in a matter of days. When one thinks back to last Sunday which was when we did our first run through with costumes and some props, I have no clue as to how everyone pulled it out of the bag. All I can say is that I am truly grateful to everyone who was involved in the show and who put a lot of hard work and effort into it. It really showed and I’d like to think that Bat Boy will live longer than just the 5 performances that we did.
Consequently, I’ve been bursting into spontaneous floods of tears throughout the day in a pathetic display of emotion for the lapsed event. Re-reading the card I got from the cast and just thinking about how amazing the experience of directing a (fucking succesful) show leads me to cry. If it could be guaranteed that I would feel this content with every consequent show I were to do, I’d seriously consider going into it as a profession.
I’ve just written that I’m happy. I am. But I’m also more depressed than I’ve been in a long time, and let me tell you, it’s a weird feeling – a cross between relief, happiness, sadness and dread because of the exam tomorrow.
To any members of cast and crew that are reading this: thank you.
I am a newbie to the area of the Fens, but inspired by Naomi’s passion for her home county, I feel that I should be doing the same for my new county. Often overlooked as a flat wasteland, Cambridgeshire may be lacking in rolling hills and deep, carved valleys, but in its simplicity is an ignored charm. Nestled in amongst all of this is Oxburgh Hall. On Easter Monday I toured this country estate, in awe of the beauty of the place.
Owned since the 15th Century by the same family, the house boasts extensive grounds, an orchard, a chapel and a moat. it also has the only ‘priest hole’ on view to the public. When Catholicism was banned in Britain, aristocratic families would have services at home. However, there were frequent raids by the law enforcers of the time and therefore getaway holes were provided in which the priest could hide until danger has passed.
The landscape is very flat around this area of the country as it used to be completely submerged in water. The drainage engines that helped reveal the fertile land are on display in their own museum, located opposite my house. My house is the oldest house in the village of Prickwillow. Formerly located on the bridge crossing the River Lark, the occupiers of the house collected the tolls paid by those wanting to get to the other side of the river. My house is called the Toll House and even though the bridge is long since gone, replaced by a newer construction, the house stands still, despite being almost 200 years old.
The city of Ely, the second smallest city in Britain, lies 5 miles from Prickwillow. Home to Ely Cathedral, an imposing gothic-esque style structure, Ely attracts thousands of tourists each year and is thriving in the summer months. With lots of green areas and a modest shopping centre, when busy Ely is a bustling environment in which to be.
The landscape has a way of making you feel your insignificance. The lack of hills allows for stunning skyscapes, impressive cloud formations and amazing night skies. To look out across for miles is humbling and allows for personal reflection and has the ability to put things in perspective. Whenever things are getting too much, to gaze out at such beautiful desolation clears away insignificant problems.
To leave you all with what I face everyday, the following image is the view from my house, overlooking the river.
1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
“to Central German which uses a ch element, e.g. Mädchen. Thus,”
2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can…what do u find?
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
God knows – something at Christmas time
4. Without looking, guess what time it is:
5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
some kind of ruckus in the kitchen
7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
I just walked home from playing badminton
8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
9. What are you wearing?
black tshirt and blue shorts – not very attractive but they’re ‘sports clothing’...ish
10. Did you dream last night?
I think so, but I can’t remember about what
11. When did you last laugh?
Playing badminton because we were both unbelievably bad
12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
black and white pictures of New York and pictures of my family and myself
13. Seen anything weird lately?
a Year 11 German class working in total silence
14. What do you think of this quiz?
it’s alright – passes the time
15. What is the last film you saw?
Cruel Intentions 3 – don’t judge me
16.If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
I’d pay off my loan, learn to drive and go on holiday
17. Tell me something about you that I don’t know:
I cheated on my A Level German exam
18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics what would it be?
I’d make it nice weather most of the year round rather than this crazy fucked up shit we’re having at the minute
19. Do you like to dance?
Only when drunk
20. George Bush:
The President of the United States
21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
I’ve not really thought about it
22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him
I’ve not really thought about it
23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
24. What do you want to say to God when you reach the pearly gates?
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Look at those bags under my eyes!
2. When is the next time you will have sex?
When I get back to Uni in April
3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”
4. Favorite planet?
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your mobile?
My mum and dad
6. What is your favorite ring on your phone?
it’s called Ringlord and sounds like a phone, rather than trying to ‘pimp’ my handset with some ‘hip’ tune
7. What shirt are you wearing?
it says Problem Child
8. Do you “label” yourself?
with Post-its? No
9. Name the brand of shoes you’re currently wearing?
I’m not – I’m in socks
10. Bright or Dark Room?
My room? Bright
11. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Reading in bed
12. What did your last text message you received on your mobile say?
“I’m just getting into bed. Wish you were here to snuggle up to”
13. Where is your mailbox?
14. What’s a word that you say a lot?
15.Who told you he/she loved you last?
I have no idea
16. Last furry thing you touched?
17. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
I haven’t. Not even alcohol. How boring am I?
18. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
19. Who was the last person you had a chance meeting with?
Helen outside Costcutters
20. Favorite age you have been so far?
21 – I love being every age but don’t yearn to repeat years
21. Your worst enemy?
I don’t have one
22. What is your current desktop picture?
Abercrombie and Fitch design (not models!)
23. What was the last thing you said to someone?
“See you tomorrow morning”
24. If you had to choose between a million dollars, or being able to fly, which would you do?
25. Do you like someone?
26. The last song you listened to?
Goodbye Until Tomorrow – The Last Five Years
27. If the last person you spoke to was getting shot at, would you jump in front of the bullet?
28. If you could punch one person in the face who’s in your life right now, who would it be?
No-one – I’m reasonably contented
29. If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?
Eating, spending money perhaps
30. What are you going to do now the quiz is over?
Sit around some more, wasting time
OK, so I’ve taken a month’s break from blogging, but I’m sure I wasn’t overly missed by anyone other than Naomi, possibly my sole blog-reader. But I’m bored and at school so I thought I’d catch y’all up on what’s been going on.
For this week (and next) Lisa and I have been teaching assistants at Coundon Court School in Coventry. We’ve been observing lessons, teaching German lessons and generally making a nusiance of ourselves. I was dreading it because it was two whole weeks of actual working (Uni work has fallen by the wayside which will have to be rectified when I get back home and have 10,000 words to write), but we’ve both agreed that we’ve had a lot more fun than we were expecting. However, we do have a week to go, so that may change! Pretty much all the staff here are lovely and welcoming and the kids…well, they’re OK – I suppose they’re just normal kids. They could be a lot worse!
Other than that not much has been happening. Bat Boy has retired for the Easter break, only to come back stronger than you could have ever imagined, what with 10-12 hour rehearsals planned for most weeks leading up to the performances next term. When I’m going to get a chance to revise is a question I’m unwilling to contemplate at the moment!
Hope everyone else is OK and enjoying the break, despite the sheer wall of work I have no doubt that they’ve been confronted with. Happy Easter!
It’s just past midnight on the last Tuesday/Wednesday of February and I’m listening to Les Misérables. Could it get much better than this?
Well, apparently if you Google something along the lines of ‘Warwick’ and ‘Bat Boy’, the first thing that comes up on the serach results is this blog. How cool is that? That said, I am the poor bastard directing it, so it stands to reason that it should happen, but I was still impressed.
On the subject, Bat Boy is going really well. We’ve not had too many rehearsals just yet and the scripts are being somewhat problematic, but that aside, I’m having a hell of a lot of fun. And I’m so pleased with the cast – I don’t feel like I’ve made do with anyone and everyone fits their parts and as far as I know (from observation and feedback from them) they’re all really excited to be part of it. Which is always good.
When, on Sunday afternoon I stood in the Ensemble Room in the Music Centre, I saw Hold Me Bat Boy choreographed, I got very excited! This has been so long in the making – I first mentioned that I would want to direct it last August and so we’re going into month 7 of the Bat Boy creation project.
Just as an aside, I’ve learnt that if you say “Ich freue mich wie ein Schneekönig” it means “I’m as pleased as punch” – how cool is that?!
I’ve not really got anything else to write, other than I hope everyone it good; just thought I’d catch you all up on my new baby (Bat Boy, that is – I’ve not impregnanted some “big-breasted co-ed” as my favourite blogger told me I should have). Of course I will let you all know when it is on, but by that time there will be a Facebook event and you’ll all have been invited anyway, but you get my drift.
It is no secret that I despise the seventh (or first, depending on your way of looking) day of the week. Sunday and I have this unsaid hatred that lies deep in the very bellies of our souls. The day annoys me. Maybe it harks back to a time when I had to go to church on this day and listen to how I was guilty of heinous sins and unless I repented like the sinning little bitch that I was, I would burn for all eternity in the firey pits of Hell. It may also be down to the fact that when I think of Sundays, I think of all the crap television that I had to sit through on Sunday afternoons (possibly the worst time on Sundays), or at least flick through to check out what other tripe was being broadcast. Songs of Praise, Antiques Roadshow, Channel 4 Racing. I am, however, pretty certain that most of my detestation of this, the horror of all horrors is the fact that nothing is open. And if it deigns it necessary to open, it shuts at 4pm. That means that you have to plan in advance the fact that later, you’re going to want chocolate or ice cream or cheese on toast or just something that isn’t goddamn, motherfucking Snack-a-Jacks-because-someone-decided-they-were-going-to-try-and-be-healthy-and-then-stopped-when-they-got-ill-and-just-couldn’t-be-arsed-to-start-it-up-again. It gets to about 7pm and one’s mind turns to dinner and what you’re going to have. However, the laugh is on you because you forgot to plan ridiculously in advance and now you’re left with the options of eating that minging bit of chicken you’ve left in the back of the freezer for ages in the hope that it’ll piss someone off and they can throw it out so you don’t have to, or your left arm. Needless to say, you can only partake of the latter once and so you’ve got to bide your time well, because you never know when you may be stuck in the desert, or the jungle, or chained to an Iranian’s radiator and you need the sustenance that your limb would provide.
So after eating my steamed meal, followed by Snack-a-Jack popcorn (don’t even get me started) and a Ryvita bar (resembling vaguely cherry flavoured slabs of nutty cardboard) I’m sat here in a state of despair. Judi did give me the idea of trekking to the library and using the vending machines there, but part of me just can’t be arsed. But then the other side of me (you know, the side that used to weigh as much as a medium-sized hippo and consumed roughly the same amount os Uganda per month) is telling me to get off my fat arse and go and get some chocolate. Or sweets. Or just something that will sate my clawing, yearning desire to eat something so bad for me that just looking at it may send me into wild, uncontrollable convulsions. I would, after all, be burning off calories on the journey to and from the machines. But I can’t. Not really. Can I?
On other issues, I think everyone should be watching Heroes. I’m really starting to get into it – it’s a little bit like Lost and X-Men combined, although any questions it poses, it seems to answer (I’m hoping that this trend continues of course).
I went out to Nightingales last night in Brum. Although a good night was had by all, it still was nowhere near as auspiscious as a) I had hoped it would be or b)other nights out have been before. Never, really, have I had a good night at “the Gale”. Not in the class of Bows or DV8, dives as they very well may be. There’s just something about Gales that doesn’t sit right with me. Oh, and the drinks are really expensive. And there’s a piano-playing tranny, but I’m pretty certain that goes in the club’s favour.
Week 7 starts tomorrow and it’s starting to get a bit scary. I did very little in Reading Week and rehearsals for Bat Boy start on Tuesday. I need to get a degree as well as preparing a show for a week before my exams. Quiote stressful, I can tell you, but I refuse to let myself get bogged under – other people have done it, why shouldn’t I? I’m just hoping that the show will end up kicking ass, because otherwise, failing my degree for it may have been a futile waste. At least if it’s good, I can get some sort of pleasure knowing that I wasted 4 years of my life for something that people enjoyed – ever the submissive martyr, that’s me!
Right – I’m going to sign off and battle with my inner demons against the powers that want chocolate. Hope everyone is staying well!
Now, I know what you’re thinking and I can assure you that it’s not going to happen – you’re not going to have to read the bitter moanings of the eternal singleton.
Last night, Richy and I decided to celebrate our own Anti-Valentine’s Day Day – we bought Ben and Jerry’s and alcohol, and sat down in front of Mean Girls and Legally Blonde and bitched a little bit. Then we made popcorn. All in all, quite a productive evening.
In the midst of all this jollyness, I couldn’t help but wonder about the sales of ice cream such as Haagen Dazs or B&J’s on 14th February. There are millions of single guys and gals out there who mope about on that day – the people who make that stuff must be rolling in it after the sales of just one day per year!
Most of my VD (and here, I’m meaning the day, as opposed to the disease) was spent in London. I had an interview at the Japanese Embassy to ascertain whether or not I was a liability to send to Japan to teach English for a year (or 3). My train was majorly delayed, but my age-old adage came into play – getting annoyed isn’t going to make the train arrive any quicker. When I got on the train, I was beset by thickly-accented chavs who were supposed to alight at Milton Keynes but instead, dicked about a bit and consequently missed their stop. At first, I branded them as the general loud youth-scum one finds anywhere in Coventry. However, some of them actually resembled human beings and they were generally quite nice and quite funny. It made my journey go a little bit quicker, observing how they interacted with each other. If it wouldn’t’ve been such a waste of three years, I should have done Sociology (however, as anyone who knows me will know, that wouldn’t happen, as I flunked it at AS Level and got an E! Oh, that, and I hated every minute of it).
When I arrived in the Big Smoke, I quickly made my way over to Covent Garden, where I ordered a table for one at my most frequented Wagamamas. From there, I headed on over to Green Park (saw the Ritz, where I’ll be heading in a few weeks for afternoon tea!) and sat reading The Bell Jar in the Starbucks there whilst waiting for my interview time to roll around. I then strolled on over to the Japanese Embassy, went through all of their security procedure things and checked my phone in at reception. God, Japanese people are friendly.
As I sat waiting for someone to come and fetch me, I had a look at the stuff they had there and took a shine to a couple of maps they had lying around. They’re now sat next to me, but I’m pretty certain I was allowed to take them – sort of free literature that these places leave for you to pick up. A nice girl called Tilly (apparently she’d never met a person called Mitch before) came and found me and took me upstairs. There, I took an English grammar test that wasn’t too hard (I got confused on some of the spelling questions because they gave you three options and they all looked so similar, I had to take some time out to think about how I would spell it on my own – luckily my speeling is good) and watched a video. Well, when I say “watched a video” I mean, I chatted to Tilly about what she did in Japan. Then I had to sit on a little chair until my interviewers were ready for me. An American girl who looked remarkably like my friend Esther came out and told me that she used to be on the JET programme and would be taking my interview. Then she introduced me to this Japanese dude who seemed a little reluctant to be there. Generally, it went OK – the questions were pretty standard and I think I conveyed how excited I am by the possibility that I may be spending a year in the Orient. Then, the Japanese guy dealt his deathly blow – after professing to love the country so much, he asked me who the Prime Minister was. Now, I could tell you how many inhabitants there were in Tokyo, or even in Japan itself. I could also tell you the annual GDP and the fact that Japan has the second largest economy in the world. But I had no clue who fucking runs the country. After telling him that I simply didn’t know (there was no way on Earth I could’ve guessed), he gave me a second chance to prove myself on the all-things-Japanese front: name 3 famous Japanese people. Now forgive me for being dense, but other than Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid, I was stumped. Luckily, I managed to pull two out of a hat, but a third just eluded me. No doubt, if I Wiki it later on, there will be heaps of people I knew, but when I was in there, I coouldn’t for the life of me think. However, other than those two questions, I reckon I answered all the others quite well. At one point I was asked if I minded being sent to rural areas. Now, I was always taught that you should always prove yourself to being amenable, so I said yes. Why did I say yes? If I get sent to some mountain-side shanty town, I’m not going to be impressed. I did stress that I grew up in a big city and find it easier to adapt and settle into new surroundings if they’re bustling, but I’m starting to dread saying that I’m up for rural. Although, if I’d said that no I wasn’t, that may have been the dealbreaker itself.
Afterwards I met up with Krystle, who I haven’t seen since the end of my second year. We caught up over a KFC and then I headed back to Coventry where I met up with Richy.
Reading Week is drawing to a close. Already. This term is flying by and I have done nothing. I started researching my essay the other day in the library but ended up playing Feeding Frenzy (you’re a fish and you have to eat fish smaller than you and avoid fish bigger than you, until you grow big enough to eat them as well – great fun!). Seeing as Bat Boy rehearsals start THIS SUNDAY I should really be making a concerted effort. In fact, I’m going to force myself back there today to do some studying. Force myself. First of all I need a shower, but then I’m going to head over.
On Saturday I think we’re heading into Birmingham for a gay night out for Robbie’s birthday – hopefully, we’ll be going for a meal beforehand at a restaurant called Malaysian Delight (sounds like a whorehouse, no?).
Well, this has been quite a long one, but I figured that it was the best way to let people know how the interview went without having to relive it constantly. This will also test how many people read this thing – hopefully more people than normal do because my blog is now streamed onto my facebook profile, but I still think people ignore it. Bastards!
Anyhoo – I hope everyone is OK and that Reading Weeks are going well for everyone that gets one.
P.S. – I wrote “speeling” earlier on – for those of you who missed it, it was irony.