Material Things

December 2, 2017 at 10:49 (Uncategorized)

In the past few months I’ve bought three things that have improved my life more than I thought they would. A Chromebook, Nike Airs and a mineral oil gel toe protector. Of the three, the toe protector has change the way I walk the most. My right baby toe suffers in closed shoes and becomes very painful. But not anymore. The toe protectors offers a gel barrier between my baby toe and my other toes that dig into it when I wear closed shoes. The toe protector is quite possibly the best thing I have ever bought.

My torturous and stressful daily commute on Metrorail lead me to purchase the Nike Airs. Cute sandles are a hinderance (and can be painful) with delays, cancellations, overcrowding, constant platform changes and just hanging between stations for nearly 20 minutes at a time. If you got to contort yourself to get home, good shoes make the journey a little more comfortable.

My Chromebook has now been bumped down to third best purchase. It was top for a long time, and it’s the first material thing I’ve bought that I would miss if it broke. But on the weekend it actually moves back up to first best purchase.


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September 16, 2017 at 14:28 (Fiction, Uncategorized)

I’ve been rather depressed lately. Various reasons – work colleagues, transport issues, personal disappointments and body pain. Not to mention lack of sleep from two terribly cute kittens.

Yesterday was pretty low but then I was inspired by Always by Rap Monster and wrote this. Not my usual listening but it just struck a cord.

All falling apart, all falling away

I’m listening but you’re not changing
Your actions bring your pain
Don’t pass it on to me, it’s not mine
I have my own pain
The pain in my heart
The pain in my body
I’m trying to get stronger
My body is weak
My heart is tired

I can’t bear your world
I don’t want your world
Please understand my world
All falling apart, all falling away
My boundaries are far
Please don’t push me there
Coming back takes time
The journey is long, it’s hard
The pain in my heart
The pain in my body
I’m trying to get stronger
My body is weak
My heart is tired
I can’t bear your world
I don’t want your world
Please understand my world

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Can’t touch it

September 5, 2017 at 20:12 (Uncategorized)

I bought a cute cat bed in Japan. It came flat but it was still a bit of a struggle to get it into my bag along with all the other things I had bought. Minnow wouldn’t touch it, but I figured the new kittens would enjoy it when they arrived. Rose and Mary ignored it as well. Rose would sometimes put a paw in to pull on the elasticated ball inside but that was it.

Until this evening when my mother took the cushion out. Now Rose and Mary are fighting each other to play inside. When I first unpacked the bed, I thought it might have smelt from being wrapped up. Then I thought the crinkly plastic in the cushion was to blame so it was removed. No luck at all – the cats were just not interested. But I made a connect the moment my mother mentioned removing the cushion. Lava blankets.

I bought two blankets that if I put the girls on them, they bounce off as if the blankets are lava. The cushion is made of the same mircofibre as the lava blankets. I thought it would be warm and toasty but apparantly not. I obviously don’t know what cats like.

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Rose and Mary

August 13, 2017 at 16:35 (Uncategorized)

On 1 July I got two girl kittens – Rose and Mary. Rose is calico with a pink nose and Mary is tortoiseshell with a black nose. They are very cute and lovable, but also exhausting – especially at 05.00 in the morning. Every morning.


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Japan Days

June 16, 2017 at 16:36 (Uncategorized)

When I first arrived in Osaka I was so culture shocked and ill that I thought I was going to have the worst three weeks of my life.  By the fourth day, I was okay and ready to explore. Not knowing kanji was the biggest thing for me – I could read nothing. I couldn’t even recognise anything. I thought I would be fine because I’ve read about Japanese culture for years, I chat to H every Sunday (he’s Japanese) and I’ve watched many, many shows about Japan and Japanese culture as well as general TV show/movies. But being there was totally different. Social norms that I knew about weren’t habits for me so often I would find myself responding (or not responding) to phrases or customs causing awkward pauses. Luckily by nature I’m cautious and hesitant to engage so nothing terrible embarrassing or rude happened.

By the end though, I was really enjoying myself and will definitely go again.

Futon – I have a semi-fit 36 year old Western body. The futon nearly killed me. When I first ducked into the room, I thought I’d been given two duvets. Next time I’m paying extra for a bed. Not getting a full night’s rest for three weeks meant I was often tired in the afternoon and exhausted when I returned home.

Noise – everything has a tune or a jingle or a chime. On many occasions I would end my exploration and go back to the guesthouse for quiet. Shopping Streets were the loudest with pachinko parlors and anime areas being the worst. Everything is also bright and happy and cute – my melancholy self couldn’t handle it. This is the third reason I couldn’t live in Japan.

Japanese – I had some kind of thought to practice my Japanese while I was there, and learn a little more, but I didn’t. And not because the people around me spoke mainly Kansai. I just never felt like it. It seemed like hard work while on holiday. Also the Japanese are similar to the Finnish – they don’t really talk to strangers on the street.

Japanese Food – As expected, Japanese food isn’t to my tastes. It’s difficult when you don’t like umami, seafood, fish, seaweed, ginger, wasabi nor green tea. I ended up eating mostly Western styled food from Lawson (convenient store). It’s not a diet to live on and gets pricey after a while, but it’s fine for holidaying. This is the first reason I couldn’t live in Japan.

Yen – Not being able to use my card for purchases was somewhat annoying. Only being able to get cash from a 7 Eleven was annoying. Planning trips involved planning drawing money which included exchange rate fees and daily limits. Keep note of how much cash was in my wallet was strange – mainly coz I don’t carry cash in my wallet.

JR – The railway system in Japan is complex. However, the stations, platforms and trains are all clearly marked in Japanese and English, and colour coded. There are also constant announcements in Japanese and English. The trains have screens showing the route and the next station. The bigger stations include Korean and Chinese. It’s not as difficult as you first think. You just gotta stop and actually read the signs and follow the arrows. Strangely, the subway has an American accent for announcements and the JR lines a British one. After reading about the horror of rail travel in Japan, I’ve come to the conclusion that some peeps just don’t pay attention. Or write articles very badly. But I love JR and the suica card.

Tall with green eyes – I got stared at a lot. It got uncomfortable very quickly. I stayed in a poorer area with lots of old people and I towered over them. I was taller than the younger generation but not a lot, and they tended to be more accustomed to Westerners. This is the second reason I couldn’t live in Japan.

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March 18, 2017 at 13:15 (Uncategorized)

I’ve always placed more importance on contentment than on happiness. I feel that happiness is something you remember rather than being. Contentment, I feel, is something you can strive for in your daily life – private and professional.

As I find myself more and more content with my life and life choices, I no longer feel the urge to blog. I used to feel a great urge to vent and rage on my blog, but now I just mosey through my days and potter with my hobbies. And in two weeks I’m flying to Osaka, Japan.

A few things came together at around the same time that spurred me on to Japan. The first one was accidentally booking the accommodation.  After the initial ‘what have I done!’, I got to thinking – what had I done? I booked a holiday like millions of other people. Took a personal loan and bought my air ticket like millions of other people. The idea that these sorts of things were only for other people fell away – I’m not entirely sure where the idea come from but I think never having a permanent position played a role for me. Even though now my salary is less, it’s regular. It has given me a security I never realised I wanted. I think mainly because I’d never had it before and, initially, did enjoy the freedom of casual work.

As I sit here and type, I can honestly say that I’m really quite content with my life. It’s a lovely feeling.

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January 29, 2017 at 10:10 (Uncategorized)

I am now a slow sewer.

It’s strangely frustrating for me. I really enjoyed whipping things up quickly, but since the accident and between the limited use and strain, I sew so slowly now. Like I type slower now.

Sometimes I feel that I’m caught in a cycle of acceptance. No more archery, no more rapier, no more braiding hair, no more piano, no more scooter – and then a myriad of things that are difficult to explain. The near constant tightness and pulling, the awareness and often ache that’s not just the finger or thumb, but the hand and into my elbow and shoulder. The unreliability of use and the weakness.

Ah… I’m in such a gloomy mood.

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Life Overhaul

October 2, 2016 at 17:13 (Uncategorized)

I’m in the process of overhauling my sewing area – sorting out, discarding scraps and boxing trims and the like.

With the downscale of my life in general, I’ve decided to sew like I want to. I like to buy a piece of material and make it into something. I don’t hoard material and debate what I’m going to make out of it – it’s not how I work. So anything that I can’t make something out of right now, is moving on.

A while ago I bought 2m of shweshwe with a vague idea of making a light jacket.  But when I went back to the jacket pattern, I realised I wouldn’t actually wear it so I folded the material and put it on the shelf. And it sat there forgotten until I pulled everything off the shelf.

So this afternoon I put together a simple skirt shaped with box pleats.

There are three pleats on the sides and a zip up the back.

One of the best things about getting rid of things that just hang around is the feeling of lightness – the annoyance of the thing is gone. I got rid of a couple of big items this year that I couldn’t use anymore due to my injured hand, my scooter as an example, and I haven’t missed them since. In some cases, I’ve felt relief as they were taken away.

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New beginnings

May 4, 2016 at 09:33 (Uncategorized)

But in an old way – possibly.

I have a new job! But it’s actually my old job O.o
My original job at the school from back in 2011 – receptionist.
Toward the end of last year I made the decision to leave teaching. I do enjoy teaching, however, I find that dealing with my damaged, and often painful hand, and teaching drains my energy and leaves me stressed and depressed.
So for my mental well-being I decided to go back to administration. Luckily a position opened up at the school – I am so very pleased. I wanted to stay in education and preferably at the school so all round it’s good.
I’m feeling very relieved, but also a little stressed as it’s FanCon this weekend and I have many yukata to sew, and my own cosplay to finish.
So back to the machine I go.

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Drop the shop

March 13, 2016 at 20:20 (Uncategorized)

So I’ve shut down the shop side of my new endeavour. A couple of reason including things like terrible exchange rates and no interest in unusual haberdashery. I’m continuing with the costume commissions as I actually enjoy doing them. I just gotta use up 600 lace zips.

IMG_5252 Guess I’ll make myself millions of cute dress with lace zips.

I’m a little sad that my second attempt at a shop failed and that I couldn’t get it to work with markets either, but conventions are pretty good so I’ll stick to those. I need weirdos to buy my weirdo stuff 🙂

Apart from much sewing, I’ve been working like a demon on my house. DIY like nothing before – not only paint and drill, but cement and paving.

First up the biggest project – fix a bedroom wall. Dramatic, but technically true.


Leaky gutters cause huge unseen problems. For example, door frame rotted away and mud instead of clay bricks. The smell of earth was really strong when I broke out the concrete in the little courtyard and under the door frame – or rather, the fibres that made up the ‘door frame’. I left it for the summer months to completely dry out.


Once it was completely dry I cemented it all together again. With really old houses, there’s a lot of ‘this doesn’t match’ or ‘why can’t you been even/level’.


Damp seal, paint and pave. A bunch of plants and I’m done. I actually bought a fern today, but haven’t planted it yet. A job for tomorrow.

The next one wasn’t started by me. I just finished up a side section that had originally been left, but turned out to be no good.

Ramp for the scooters


Not only was nothing going to grow in the red sand, the rocks sticking out meant the gate couldn’t fully open to allow the scooters easy access. There was also a near constantly stream of red dust in the house as well.


Neaten and cemented. I also secured the ramp. The angle is steep and the sand was washing away every time the garden was watered. It has since been painted but I don’t have a picture. I’m rather fond of my little steps 🙂

I don’t like DIY, but I can’t seem to find someone to do without quibbling or charging the earth. It’s good to be capable 🙂

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