(01/12/04 - 31/12/04)


See December's photos



Tom comes to shodo
For the first time since I started Japanese calligraphy in March, Tom had a lesson cancelled on a Thursday night, and could come to our lesson!  Sensei certainly seemed to like him!

Showa Preschool's Winter Festival
Tom works for a small private eikaiwa school, and does several school visits a week.  One of the places he visits on a weekly basis is Showa preschool.  Today was their winter festival - a show comprising lots of little performers doing little performances!  The kids were so adorable, and did a fantastic job!  The highlight of the show (for us, anyway) was the 10 minute play in English, which Tom has been coaching them for for nearly two months.

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Enkai with work
This was probably one of the best works parties I've been to!  Nuff said!
Loadsa turkey, veggies and desserts.  What more could you ask for?!
Messiah Concert
Just the thing to get us into the Christmas spirit (as if Festivus wasn't enough!).  Matt T and Emily did a fab job!  Well done guys!
16/12/04 -17/12/04   
Fukusho Winter Seminar
Pretty much like last year, but I didn't get a chance to take any photos - sorry!   
Caroling at an old folk's home in Ota
A group of us got together to bring some Christmas cheer to an old people's home in Ota.  Not sure if we succeeded (we were pretty terrible), but it was a lot of fun...and we got paid in mikan.  Score!  
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End of Term
Was told to stay at my desk while the rest of the school went to the closing ceremony...not that I minded - at least one person was nice and warm and comfy   :)

only two terms left until I leave   :D
First snow of this winter in Fukui


Mum arrives in Japan
The train prices have gone up (boooo) - meaning that a ticket to Kansai airport was around 50 EACH WAY!  (if you take the fast trains).  Well...we said "sod that" and I decided to travel down to meet mum via local trains only.  It took over 8 hours to get there...I got lost numerous times, missed a few trains, froze my arse off and generally got very annoyed with the whole rail system (although to be fair, it is generally very good).  But I did it for around 25!!!  (hurray!).  Ironically, it had only taken Mum 11 hours to get to the same place from England!  (although at much greater cost...)
Christmas in Fukui, Take 2
We had a lazy day, opening presents and getting drunk.  Tom, Mum and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Yours Hotel's Frech restaurant, Bon Heur...complete with a free bottle of Champagne! 

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26/12/04 - 01/01/05     
Although we arrived the day of the dreadful tsunami, we didn't hear about it until the following day and luckily our plans didn't take us anywhere near the affected areas.  We would like to send our heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by the disaster.
We had a really good time in Thailand, however, and Tom and I are already making plans to return during our year's travels.  Highlights included:
- riding elephants
- visiting a floating market
- gems
- tuktuks
- street vendors
- markets
- food
- alcohol
- being upgraded to a suite in Chiang Mai  :D
- wats and chedis
- monks
- the happy locals!  What a difference from Japan!  Despite the events further south, to be greeted at every corner by happy, smiling people  :)    It made me realise just how generally bloody miserable (or, rather "closed") the Japanese are.
see the photos
New Year
As many of you know, we booked onto a little dinner cruise for New Year's Eve.  If any of you are planning on booking any kind of cruise on the LOY NAVA then DON'T BOTHER!  We strongly recommend you choose a different boat.  To find out why, click here.  



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