It’s a good job I don’t get pissed off very easily. Because I have just spent Bl**DY 5 hours recording a BL**DY DVD that, having checked it just now, I discover to be so pixalated it may as well have come from the Land of the Pixies.

Usually my super-sexy drive can churn out a pristine disk in 15 minutes, but for some reason my computer is not too keen on the format used by the VCR to DVD recorder machine thing that I’m using to digitise various personal tapes. Thus, making a copy of my sister’s wedding vid is proving somewhat problematic.

Oh well. I shall wield a chainsaw tomorrow to relieve my angst.

One of the videos I’ve attempted to transfer to DVD was that of my first ever appearance on Japanese TV, back in 2000. It was the 6 O’clock news in Kyoto, and this camera crew was interviewing people in a shopping mall, asking them what they thought of the maple leaves in the local park.

I’d forgotten quite how stupid I can look on TV. I think in the whole 5 seconds I was on for I managed to embarrass myself (by saying “Kirei, kirei, shashin, shashin” – beautiful, beautiful, photo, photo, whilst mimicking someone taking photos) almost as much as I did in that ghastly BBC program Body Hits, of which I also caught a fleeting glance when transferring it to DVD the other day. I can’t believe I agreed to do the program. And I especially can’t believe I agreed to hand over my home videos, including that notorious shot in the toilet of a Boeing 747, 55,000 feet over Siberia. I guess I can just be grateful that it is very unlikely to ever be shown again, having reached the end of its shelf life (six broadcasts I believe, and once in Australia). Oh, it’s quite hideous.

Anyway, enough about that.

I’m feeling pretty nervous about next semester. Thing is, I did so appallingly badly in my exams that my image of myself at uni has been shattered. I mean, ever since I went back into education I’ve done really well. I even finished my ACCESS course a month before lectures ended, and got the best possible result. Last year at uni I got a First, firsts for my essays, firsts for my exams, firsts for my coursework.

And now, I find myself struggling to even get 40%! I’ve been looking at what’s expected of us next semester, and it scares me a lot. I read one of the four bits of the required reading for Contemporary Japanese Society, and it may as well have been written in Double Dutch.

I know ultimately it doesn’t matter. No-one is really bothered whether or not you got a First or a 2:1 or a 2:2 after you graduate, but, well, the thing is I had this idea that I’d come out the other end having done really well.

Hmm. I really will try very hard this semester to do well. I must be more assertive and not do so much for Japan Society. I know it’s important to have fun at uni as well, but the thing is that I find that if I do badly academically then that makes me feel pretty despondent about the whole uni thing. I feel like I’ve let my lecturers down.

My timetable looks ok. This is provisional …I hope there’s no changes, then I’ll have Friday’s off! in the library all day without interruption by lectures!

I tried to get a debit card from my bank tonight. I was told I’d have to wait another 5 years! That’s the first time I’ve been told explicitly that my bankruptcy will stay on my record for 7 years, and thus I won’t be able to get any kind of credit until 2011. Ooh er, that sounds a bit futuristic. Mind you, this doesn’t bother me in the slightest, as I’ll be in Japan most of the time, and can of course get credit over there should I need it. Not for the sake of having credit – just for the convenience of having a card. It’s a bit of a pain having to call mum everytime I need to buy a train ticket online.

I’m really looking forward to going back to Japan next this year. Not sure about living arrangements yet, but I really hope that *cough* and I can be under the same roof. And I’m so glad that my friend Tom is there, I do miss him. I guess Stu San will still be around, no doubt working like a maniac as usual.

I like living in Japan, as it still has the feeling of being ‘frontier territory’, in that the systems that are in place there are so not geared towards foreigners that every second of life is that little bit more of a challenge. Tokyo has a real hold on me. The backstreets of Kichijoji, the walk to John John’s from the station, often with a huge rucksack. The construction of the new bus station at Shinjuku South. The food, oh, the foood…

I suppose I should go to bed now.