Ok, so after we left the youth hostel we caught two trains (one a bullet train aka shinkansen) to reach our sister school and homestays. Us teachers didn't get homestays, we got to stay at the school house instead. Each of us got a seperate room there, but I happened to get the middle lounge which had 3 doors leading into it. Ahhh the complete lack of privacy.
We did many activities.
Day 1 - arrive, get taken to a ferris wheel on top of a mall so that we can see the whole of the city. We thought it was a small town... we were wrong. Then we had dinner paid for us at a lovely restaurant. Mm-mm
Day 2 - Monday - school assembly introducing us. Students sing NZ national anthem poorly, Japanese students dazzle us with Karate Demo and great brass band playing excerpts from Carmen! Our kids feel like celebs due to the applause we got when we left the assembly hall. That afternoon we painted pottery. Dinner was at a lovely sushi restaurant with the Principal, DP and two other teachers. The waitresses wore kimono! After that, the principal left us and we went out for karaoke!
Day 3 - Tuesday - The school organised for us to rent bicycles and cycle over a 7.3 km bridge.. both ways. We blithely said that all of our students could ride a bike.... and now they can! I'm actually super happy with the one student who couldn't. SHe was a total trouper... however, hanging out with her for that extended period of time meant that I got a sunburn. Boos. I have a major t-shirt line on my right arm! We sorted out our own dinner by hitting the local mall about 15 min before closing. ALl the food was on special.
Day 4 - Wednesday - Dogo hotsprings!! Onsen! Sugoi!!! The students didn't go, they went to a shrine or something. We also got to see a super cuckoo clock! Oh, yeah, for you Studio Ghibli fans, Dogo hotsprings was the inspiration for the hot springs in Spirited Away. That evening we went to dinner at a teachers house. She came to NZ last year and went to one of our teachers houses so was returning the favour. It was very cool. She lives in the country and has a rice field and large vege plot. SHe also took us to her local shrine. Awesome. I ate soo much (and continue to do so)... I may have put on a few kg already!
Day 5 - Thursday - Matsuyama castle and visited a broadcasting station. THe kids were initially bored with the station, but then they got to go on sent and watch a lave newscast being broadcast. That evening we had the Sayoonara party and our girls did much better this time, singing the school song and performing a Samoan dance (3 of them are Samoan) and the chicken dance... with chicken puppets included! It was very cool. We got taken out for dinner after to a yakitori sort of restaurant. Much sake was imbibed. Twas very fun and made the tidying up we did after a bit easier.
Day 6 - Friday- today. Caught several trains to get to Hiroshima. Wow.
Then rushed to get train and ferry to Miyajima shrine. It's fabulous, built so that at high tide it is basically in the water. There were wild deer and raccoons wandering around! Made it back to the main land to get Okonomiyaki (local specialty) for dinner. Oishii!
Must hurry and go!
Point of fashion: comfortable travel
Current Obsession: Nihon!
Beau, I'm not updating anywhere else and may run out of internet time before completing an email. Love you!!
am curretnly at youth hostel in osaka. the key board here is drivign me a bit mad.
Well, I'm at Wellington Airport... waiting. Don't feel like starting the book yet. Don't feel like talking too much with the people I'm about to spend 11 hours in a tight place with. So, Blogging it is!
I stayed up too late last night. Dropped Beau off at work for a 10.30pm start and we had to say our farewells then. Had already finished packing at that stage. I didn't take an exercise band, 'cause I couldn't find Muggle's one. Oh well. I can't say I'm that unhappy about it ;)
Anyway, after dropping off Beau I went and visited with Miss Scarlett. Dagger and Alan were also there and it was good to catch up with those guys too. I got to see her underbust close up and it is *very* cute. I even tried it on. Scarlet is as full of plans and Ideas for new corsets as I am am. :)
Got home a bit after 12. Flopped around and then had a shower and washed my hair. I did consider staying up until getting picked up, but in the end, decided getting *some* sleep might be sensible.
Boring post, n'est pas?
I might save some net time in case I have a wait in Auckland. I think they use the same thing there.
Point of Fashpion: Sensible, not matching
Current Obsession: Sleep
Here is a shortened itinerary for my Japan Trip:
Leave NZ and arrive at Kansai Airport (Osaka!!) Sleep at a hostel.
Catch train to visit with sister school. We stay there until Friday! I will have much free time. Who knows what I will do? Definitely... public baths! Also, 100-yen shop. I have orders for papers and bento boxes. I might try to get some swimming in as I may do no other exercise and won't be bringing equipment for anything else either.
leave school, so to Hiroshima Atomic Bomb museum and peace park (orders to pick up any available pamphlets for the social studies department). Also, Miyajima shrine. Sleep in a youth hostel
Go to Himeji Castle and Kyoto! Sleep in a hostel.
Kids go to Kiyomizu temple... I may go to the Kyoto Costume Institute instead (http://www.kci.or.jp/menu-e.html). Shopping in the afternoon.
Kinkakuji Temple (golden pavilion) then travel to Tokyo. Sleep at a Youth Hostel.
Sightseeing, Imperial Palace, Ginza (?) and Asakusa.
More sightseeing, shinjuku, HARAJUKU, Shibuya, NHK Studio
Ueno (?) Leave Japan
Arrive back in Wellington at about 2pm. Would love to be picked up :)
I'm not sure when I will get back or how much net access I will have. Some, I hope.
Point of Fashion: Packing *is* Exercise!
Current Obsession: What is going to Happen?
I called my cousin's cell phone and talked to him, Muggle and Bambi. They've been asleep most of the time but all assure me that they are ok. They haven't left the house yet, but I imagine they'll be out shopping soonish. Muggle thinks it'll just be that the banks and government agencies will be closed. Everything else will still be open.
Everything seems pretty relaxed, I guess.
Point of Fashion: same as earlier today
Current Obsession: My own impending Trip
I'm worried about muggle and bambi.
My two younger sisters left for Thailand yesterday morning, arriving just in time for a coup! I how that they should be ok. The coup has been pretty peaceful so far and they are in good hands. Muggle has also sent out an email saying they got to our Aunt's safe and sound, Mum also talked to her on the phone last night.
However, I don't know if that all occurred before any of this coup stuff really happened or not. I know that when I called Mum this morning, she'd not heard anything about a coup.
Worry, worry, worry... teach.
Point of Fashion: badges
Current Obsession: Military coup
School is now blocking my most favourite lunch and non-contact sites, namely stonesoup, LJ and trademe! Boos.
In other school news, I handed in my resignation today. It doesn't take effect until Feb next year, but I know that I want to do this and it's basically a big favour for the school, since it means that they can get an add in the October Gazette. The fattest and most full of jobs of all the gazettes.
I find it "funny" that friends of mine have espressed surprise at the "suddeness" of my decision, especially since I've been thinking about it since March/April. I realise that it's because some of you may not have realised some of the pressures I've been under at school before I did the post on Bullying. The info in the Bullying post was old. I didn't feel like I wanted to post about it until I did.
I guess the main reason I find it "funny" is that I think of myself as being pretty transparent. This highlights that it isn't always the case.
Point of Fashion: been at the gym
Current Obsession: Wedding
On Thursday Mum organised for her and I to go to the temple to talk to the monks about my upcoming nuptials and how I wanted them to take place *in* the temple.
Buddhist monks do not perform weddings. That is true in Thailand as well as in NZ, so I was cool and fine with that. They will perform a blessing for us and are happy for a priest to come in and do the wedding.
I have been going to the temple since before it was built, probably since I was 5 or so and I love it. It is a calm place. I feel centred there. I am glad that Beau has agreed to us being married there. He needs to get his butt into gear now and check that his priest is cool about marrying us there. Otherwise we need to sort out a celebrant.
Point of Fashion: PJs
Current Obsession: Wedding!
Cool, so I did go to the gym this morning and I liked it a lot and I wish I could get motivated on regular weeks to go to the gym in the morning , but that would involve me getting into the Hutt at about 6.30 and also convincing Beau to do the same... so not going to happen.
However, this week I shall try to do so! I heard that if you write stuff down you are more likely to do it. so:
I shall go to the gym at least 2 more times this week!!!
Sure the exclamation marks make it even more likely?
Other good gym giffy stuff I forgot to say was that one of the moves the assessor wanted me to do was push-ups and I was all, I can do those, proper ones! So I did, and another woman in the gym went "Woah" when I got up to about 10. My assessor was very pleased with me and so taught me to do harder push-ups with the swiss ball. *sigh* I need to get some 3kg dumbells for at home.
Going to Japan is making me buy stuff that I wanted to wait to buy until I got properly in the 60s, mainly bras( and swimming togs). The last bra I bought was a 14B and that was a while ago, and even then I'd lost some of my weight. I bought 3 bras at the bendon factory shop and 2 were 12C and one was a 12B. I feel funny about being a C. I'm obviously not a proper C, but still. I don't know why, I just don't feel my breasts are that big! Anyhoo, I also need to by some new exercise bras, not cause the ones I have don't give me enough support, more that they aren't tight enough under my breasts and today when I was doing kickboxing it kept sliding up past my breast. Lame.
I wanna buy these togs, or maybe one of the other patterns, or even a bikini... but I'll settle for some cheaper ones from Farmers for now. Boos.
that is currently undergoing renovations!
I have been feeling good and virtuous recently 'cause I have been attending the gym. On Wed last week I had my first proper visit and was shown equipment etc. It is only a small gym and the staff are really friendly. I had a good time there and went round the "exertrak" about 1 and a half times.
I went again on Thursday and did once round the track and then did a stretch and tone class. It was go-od. They aren't going to have anymore however, they're planning on changing it to an aerobics class... which could still be good.
I booked a tutorial last week and got all info-d up on abs and arms today. When I first had my assessment, they asked what it was I wanted to get out of going to the gym and I said I wanted to get to 65kg and define my arms for with my wedding dress.
So, the woman assessing me organised the tute, however, I was all... but I think my abs are ok! and she kinda dismissed me. I was vindicated today when she went through various exercises for me, she was all "You have good control" and "You're in good shape, definitely better than average" and "I wouldn't normally teach people this move, but since you're already good" and finally "You already have a nice flat stomach!". Thus it was agreed that I am doing fine in that area and need simply maintain it. She also said that my arms look pretty good. Yes!
Now all I gotta do is stay motivated! Going to Japan is going to break up the good beginning of this.. I may have to buy an elastic-y thing to take with me to Japan so that I can keep working on my bi-ceps etc.
Sadly, my weight has been up for the past 2 weeks. I blame the new exercise (often go up a bit as I begin to get some muscles) and T and the Patch's wedding with all the related eating! Now it is all about trying to get food and exercise back on track!
My skin has been playing up something chronic recently, I blame the show and the resulting lack of sleep etc. I put on a mud mask on Sunday and hopped in the bath for a good soap. My skin certainly appreciated it, it came out all soft and glowing. I'm going to try to do one this weekend too. Yay for face masks.
Tomorrow I aim to get up, eat breakfast and go to the kickbox class at 7.15am! I don't have seniors this week as we are having mocks, so I don't need to be at school early to organise (have to go in early anyway 'cause Beau starts work at 7.15). So good! I have also made a salad for me to eat after the class, 'cause I'll be ravenous. Forward planning!
Point of Fashion: I've been gymming today
Current Obsession: the body beautiful
Or the kittens will anyway.
This weekend Beau and I went away for the *last* show of the Mikado. It's now *OVER*!
Feelings on this are mixed. I am pleased to get my life back. However, it was a convenient excuse to avoid thinking too hard about the wedding. Yikes.
Beau and I need to get off out butts this week as we want to get some preliminary invites sorted. These will be basic dates and location beasts as we want to give people lots of time to sort out leave or flights or whatever. People will need to RSVP to get more info... sneaky!
We are planning on getting married at a busy time of year so it's only polite that we signal the dates as early as possible. Also, Muggle and Bambi are going to Thailand next week and can take invites with them. Yays.
I have more stuff to talk about I'm sure, but I stayed up too late last night reading a piece of fluff novel that muggle had around the house. Ask me questions!
Point of Fashion: It's still cold in the shade
Current Obsession: Should I go out for lunch, don't wanna stay inside!
One bonus thing about the wedding, has been having Trithemius and Nixie to stay!
They are ex-Otago, like me, but currently living in Canberra. They are the first people to sleep on our fold-out couch in what was Sass's room.
Trith was in the same hostel with me, T and Bean, so we've been buddies since 1998. He and Nixie also flatted with Beau, once I left Otago. They are probably one of our best *couple* friends since both Beau and I are friends with both of them.
I was gonna write more stuff about how cool they are and how it's been quite neat for me to see Beau all happy (and staying up too late) talking to them both... but I need to go get me a muffin! They are great friends and very cool guests... especially considering that they did not even hint a complaint over our "broken" hot water cylinder!
Also, they brought us flavoured Baileys( Creme Caramel *and* mint chocolate)!
Point of Fashion: cords
Current Obsession: Free time!
The Wedding, like all weddings I've attended, was beautiful. Like Jenni and Lee's it was especially wonderful 'cause I have known and loved both the bride and the groom for a loooong time.
In this case I have know the groom longer than the bride and I was the reason for them getting to know each other in the first place. It was a bit weird for me when the photographer asked us during the wedding prep, how long we'd all known the bride, I had known her the shortest amount of time at 8 years, but I've known the groom longer than the bride, so not doing tooo badly ;)
Something completely fabulous about the weekend was that I got to hang out with *my highschool boys*. I am super fortunate in that I frequently get to spend time with the "girls" I have known since WGC days and this weekend I got to see the boys I socialized with. It was so fun and just... comfortable.
Now the weekend is over and school is on. Booooos! I have 3 tests I need to mark... I just want to go back to bed!
Point of Fashion: teacheriffic
Current Obsession: my wedding
and love is in the air. Today is the wedding of two people very special to me, T and the Patch. I am currently lounging at T's familial home as the hair dressers and make-up people get to work.
There are about 4 magnolia trees in the garden around the house and they are all in bloom.
It is a wonderful day.
Point of Fashion: PJs
Current Obsession: Weddings