Monday, 1 August 2005


Not a lot to say, this week, which may come as a surprise to those of you know who know me. But might just go with the flow to see where it takes us. For those of you not living here in the mysterious east let me tell you that it is fucking hot right now. The summer, after the not-really-a typhoon of the other week has decided to let rip with a vengeance and with a desire to make up for lost time. I read somewhere that June in Japan this year was the hottest on record, I don't know if that was meant to be a true statement, but it did not feel like it to me. Or July for that matter, until last week. So now we are back into 35 degree heat and humidity to match. I realise that I proably write about this every year - and quite right too. Of course this wouldn't be too bad if one was sitting on a beach with a good book and something long, cool and alcoholic (and a wife as well), but when one has to go to work, it is not pleasant.

But having said that, yours truly only has four days of work left until a two week holiday! Yaay! Two weeks, wow! This will be the longest holiday I have had since the Guru and I spent a fortnight down under (with a week in the most lovely town of Noosa, where our very own Mr Pratt is at this moment becomming more domesticated as he prepares for family life - congratuations, sir, to you and the wife, good luck and all that (and, of course good luck in the tri-nations and in your attempts to retain the ashes, both of which I suspect are far more pressing concerns right now)). Anyway yes, two weeks off, plenty of time to bond with youngster, read books, get slowly drunk all day and generally do as little as possible, although it would seem that I already have an action plan, including health checks and visits to various government ministries, courteously supplied by the Guru.

But that should leave at least some time for me to get on the bike and go off exploring and getting sunburnt into the bargain. I keep meaning to at the moment, and to take some nice pics of the river and environs to share with you lovely lot, however no matter how bright and sunny the weekdays seem to be at the moment, each weekend clouds over (though with little diminuation in heat or humidity), making snapshot shooting a dull and grey affair, so why bother. Anyway as I will have more time, this will mean more opportunities to go father afield and get lost, which is, of course, the point of having a bike - might even try and ride to the mountains, but they do look a very long way off...

And talking of bicycles, as we were, what is it with Japanese and their inability to oil their bicycle chains? Every day I ride to the station and wince at least twice as some kid (or adult) goes past with a rusty old chain making that teeth-clenchingly horrible squeak. Sends shivers down my spine just sitting here thinking about it. I remember once going to a bike shop with the Guru so she couold get some air for her tyres and then thinking to myself 'ah, some WD40 oil type spray would be useful for a squeaky door hinge at home', so asked the Guru to buy a can. But bike shop guy basically refused, saying her bike didn't need oil. When mentioned that it wasn't for the bike, bike shop guy got very suspicious, as if I had asked for 115grams of processed weapons grade plutonium, a detonator and directions to the nearest cop shop. Suffice it to say I have refrained from using his velocipede emporia since.

One thing that will be taking up a large portion of time will, of course, be the new fantasy football season. Football, being as we know a winter game, kicks off in blighty on August 13th, which surely is about as far from winter as you can get. Seems odd, but who am I to judge. As you may or may not be aware, fantasy football is a pleasant way to while away the winter months and as such there is now quite a following for the Crate of Beer (CoB) Intercontiliga run by chap with far too much time on his hands, Stephen Denney. Anyone sad enough to want to join us is more than welcome, we use the online Daily Telegraph's Telegraph Total Football as the basis for our game (although they've revamped it this year), though be warned, as reigning League Champion and Champion's League winner, I can tell you it is not that easy, not easy at all.

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