recentlies

Hey friends, it’s been such a long while! I can spend a bit of time online tonight as I won’t need to get up until later tomorrow, so I popped on to wordpress because I have been thinking about updating my blog for a while now. Then, I discovered the beginnings of this old post, from 9th February. It’s now the end of March! So please enjoy the beginnings of my old post and then after that, the start of my new post.

Early February 2015

Life has fallen again into its usual patterns here. I do the work thing in the first, main part of the week. On Saturday night after finishing work I usually crumble to cravings and go get an Indian takeaway. We used to have Indian takeaways every weekend back at home. In the second, smaller part of the week, I try to catch up with chores, study some Japanese, and attempt to negotiate a sort of social life, as much of a social life as possible for a shy, introverted type person like me.

The routine part is good, I suppose, although lately I’ve also been a little stressed about my job. This is mainly because I want to be the best I can be, and I want to deliver worthwhile and exciting lessons to my students so that they’ll enjoy themselves and want to come along. I want to give them something positive.

There are a few events and bits and pieces coming up at work and that’s exciting, because it keeps me busy and gives me new experiences, although I usually end up feeling nervous too.

Late March 2015

Brief weather update: we may have had the last snow of winter last week. We’ll see – my student said it could even snow in April. I have my fingers crossed because I don’t want to continue with using 5 blankets, onesie, jumper, tracksuit bottoms and a hot water bottle at night. Please hurry up, Spring! I’m looking forward to sakura.

Well, we’ve moved on quite a while from my last post. The events that I wrote were approaching… I can’t really remember what they even were. But, I suppose that means they must have been ok.

As for updates on things like my social life… I think that’s improved somewhat lately. I have gotten to know some friends a bit better and it is nice to feel a part of a group. Unfortunately though, a lot of people are leaving this Spring. Moving back to home countries, or getting jobs in different parts of Japan… I hope they have lots of fun and I wish them all the best. It was lovely to meet them and I hope I can meet them again. Still, more people are moving on soon! I will miss these people!

With the Indian takeaways… I have been trying to convince myself to stop having them for the sake of my health, but I continue. Although I hope I can call myself a little less indulgent than before. Recently I have been enjoying cooking and making weird salads. I have discovered how amazing avocado is and try to find a way to add it into any dish I make, but I am usually too impatient for it to ripen and end up eating weird, hard avocado slices.

I feel like my Japanese study is going well lately. Vocabulary and kanji are good and I have been able to maintain these reasonably well despite spending less time studying them (I want to catch up, though!). Grammar is a stumbling block. I know a lot of people think that immersion and memorisation of sentences is the best way to learn things… despite this, I still enjoy working through a text book and studying grammar. I still get the immersion bit from living within Japan. I do plan to start memorising sentences in the future though (a la AJATT.com), but not now. And that’s okay, because I’m not in any rush to reach N2 level.

Lastly, with art, I have been keeping up a sort of routine in that I usually try to get several hours solid drawing time in every Monday, my 2nd day off. It’s been pretty good. I have tons of ideas, however, yet when I come to execute them I feel confused and not sure how to proceed. The technical bits are ok, but just coming up with a meaningful composition is hard for me. Maybe I’m scared/intimidated, maybe I just don’t have it in me to do that kind of illustrative work – this is something I definitely fear. I should probably start with thumbnails first instead. Try different ways of starting out. Do you think that for some people it is just impossible to do something? Or is it possible to learn something that comes unnatural to oneself? Is this even unnatural to me or am I just lazy? Ok, less questions. I will just keep going and somehow try my best.

This weekend, I have an extra day off so perhaps I will either go explore a new town or I will use this time to super recharge myself, clean everything, catch up on studies and draw loads.

Recent Links

Portfolio: Yay, I finally updated my portfolio a little bit. My friend sent me a photo of the packaging I designed for him, so I uploaded it to my portfolio along with some recent sketches, and updated my description. If you have any tips about my portfolio (or actually, anything in particular) please let me know.

Tumblr: Since I mentioned that I’ve been keeping up with my art pretty well I thought it makes sense to remind you, my dear friends, this is my tumblr, where you can find all of my sketches.

James Victore’s Youtube: So I found out about this guy last year before I moved to Japan, watched his Skillshare videos, and watched loads of his Youtube videos too. He has even more now! So tonight I’m listening to even more! He’s funny, and very motivational for artists! Please listen and enjoy.

Thanks as always for reading. I hope you had fun. I am sorry there are no pictures in my Japan based blogs because I am tired and want to listen to videos now! If you want a picture-based experience of my life, I recommend just following my tumblr.

Elysia

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Settle

Dear friends,

I’ve been in Morioka for about a month now and since I managed to get hooked up to wifi at my apartment finally, I thought it would be a good time to write an update post. I can’t say this is going to be a very picture heavy post at all so I won’t be offended if you don’t stay to read this. But to those who want words and are happy trawling through my long ramblings, thank you for sticking with me! If you are looking for more pictures, less talking, I have posted some sketches I’ve done since arriving in Japan on my regular art tumblr. Also, if you turn your eyes to the left of the site there is my instagram feed. I haven’t posted many personal/Japan photos, just art.

So, this is three or so weeks on from my last post. I have been at work for four weeks and am mostly working independently now, which can be frightening, but I’m getting to grips with it a lot more now. I have a few difficult classes, and teach from age 2 to 90. My work is fairly varied and as I said before, the hours can be a bit weird as it’s a private language school.

I’ve been walking around the city a lot and finding my bearings over the last few weeks. I know where most of the useful places are now. For example, there’s a super shopping centre about an hour and a half’s walk from my house (or a 20 minute journey if I walk to the station and catch a bus). Inside there are lots of nice shops I’ve never heard of, plus Muji, Uniqlo, Baskin’ Robins ice cream and a Mexican themed shop with loads of lovely clothes and accessories. My friend and I also found some good cafes nearby plus a wonderful Italian restaurant.

mexican and/or central american inspired shop front. clothing store within a shopping mall

Mexican/Central American themed shop – sorry if I got the specifics wrong, I don’t know enough about the culture. But I would like to learn more and learn to speak Spanish ><

I still need to find out how to go to the doctors’ surgery if ill and how to get my teeth cleaned by the dentist as I didn’t have time to have a checkup etc. before flying off. I need to find the international centre too, because I’m in serious need of Japanese lessons. My Japanese is very patchy which is a pain, so I have borrowed a text book (Genki 2) from a colleague, but also want to get some lessons to speed up my learning.

I had a few problems with things not quite working in my apartment but I am slowly smoothing those out now. Hmm. I’m not sure what else to update on regarding everyday life…

Oh, lastly, there are several fabric shops around here which makes me feel very happy. The biggest one has a small section dedicated to needle felting, and I have wanted to give it a go for a very long time since my amazing friend inspired me. I managed to budget enough to be able to afford a small starter set this weekend, so I’ve been playing around. This is my first attempt. I found it pretty difficult and I get frustrated easily with craft – probably because I’m so messy but I really admire and want to make cute, clean work – however it was fun and I enjoyed watching the TV series Broad Church while making it. My next needle felt item will be a donut!

needle felt soft sculpture tiny loaf of bread. beige and cream

My attempted needle felted bread loaf.

Anyway, today is my day off (I get Sunday and Monday off) and I am finishing off this blog post and then have some letters to write. After that I just want to slack about now that I have internet, cook my dinner, etc. I started a drawing in my sketchbook which I’d like to finish. I’ll probably take a photo of it very soon for tumblr and instagram. It’s been difficult finding time/motivation to draw much, but I have managed to do a bit every day or two. I don’t have many materials here but I plan to get hold of some more pens and colours after I get paid.

I’m not sure what to say next, so until the next post, goodbye! Thanks so much for reading. If you have any questions about expat stuff or whatever please let me know in the comments.

E