Oohh I have been a naughty boy! The discovery of 600 pounds yesterday coincided with a) exam results and b) an email from Sony detailing some factory-reconditioned HDD Walkmans, you know, those damn sexy purple ones with the hidden screen, at half price. I gave them a ring and discovered that they’re not actually factory-refurbished – they’re brand new, but are being sold under a ‘refurbished’ banner to skirt around some contractual obstacle that prevents them from putting them ‘on sale’.

They haven’t done as well as expected due to competition from the iPod, and due to the crappy PC software that they come with (which Sony themselves admits is rather rubbish). Thankfully, there is alternative software available …and as long as I am able to listen to the soothing sounds of Professor G. (who provides copies of his lectures in MP3 format for revision purposes) whilst walking to uni, I’m happy.

You can have a play with one of the sexy purple 20GB beasts here

At 100 pounds, they are half the rrp, 30 quid cheaper than anywhere else online and even cheaper than if I bought one at my favourite electronics store in the whole wide world, Yodobashi Kamera, with my Gold Point Card!

I’ve wanted one for ages. Since my crappy cheapo MP3 player packed up late last year (returned to manufacturer who simply posted it back saying that there was nothing wrong with it), I haven’t been able to listen to my Kanji collection, recorded by yours truly with the assitance of a certain *Cough*. The listening-to-vocab tecnique really has worked in the past, ever since I first started doing it whilst cutting the grass around the tennis courts at the infamous Milky House, Hokkaido. It helped me endure endless hours of slipping down impossibly-steep and slushy grassy banks… (incidentally, do you like their website? Designed by yours truly, with the exception of those additions bottom right. Check out those groovy rollover images!

OH MY GOD!! They’ve got a live webcam!!! I just saw my old boss! Crikey makes me want to phone him up and say hello!

(if you can’t see anything, I guess they’ve all gone to bed!)

Mind you, I found another of my old haunts under live-webcam scrutiny earlier this week – the hotel in Switzerland. I lived in the little shack you can just make out in the centre – to the right of the big hotel where I worked. Of course if it’s night time I guess you won’t be able to see much except for a railway-station light or something. Have another look in the morning, the scenery really is quite spectacular.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, exam results! So, yes, what had I forcast for myself? Erm, based on preliminary results of my two non-language modules, and on the feeling of utter sickness I had when I turned over the language module exam paper in January, I predicted that I would get around 60% overall, for all the work I had done between September and December 2005.

I really was convinced that I had completely flunked my language module. Ok, so my coursework was of a consistently high standard, but I failed my kanji test (I think I managed to get 2 out of 30 for that) and the exam was, as mentioned above, a nightmare. Thus, I was thinking maybe 53% for that (why fifty three I don’t knowm but there you go), thus dragging my overall score down to the low 60’s.

Imagine my surprise then when this morning I discover that I had actually done quite well on my language module, and thus my overall mark was …69.7%!


Whilst delighted that I had got far more than I had dared to hope for, I couldn’t believe that if I had just got 0.3% more (we’re talking maybe two more correct kanji in that test or, in the written exam, the identification of the name of that blasted Japanese girl who went to America in the second ice age and then returned to Japan to start a school), if I’d just got a weeny weeny bit more my results would have slipped into the ‘First” category as opposed to that of II:1 (not to say that II:1 is not a perfectly decent result). Still, you get my point.

My anguish was soon relieved however, when I was informed that anything over .5% gets rounded up, and thus, my final result is effectively 70%!

I’m well chuffed. Can’t quite believe I managed it considering *Cough* and I were on honeymoon too, and all that that involves…


I’d debated whether or not to post these results online, being aware that some of my course mates have been known to drop by and comment on things like contraceptives. It’s never very appealing to read some big-headed twat’s “Owed to Myself” sonnet, but then I thought, buggar that, these results mean a lot to me, they are conformation for me that it’s worth it. I’m not talking about percentages here, but what those perecntages represent – the fact that my Japanese is improving, along with my knowledge of the mad mad theme park world that is Nihon. The fact that I’m really enjoying working towards achieving my goals is also something that I should be very grateful for.

Anyway, so I thought I deserved a reward. I mean, my weekly budget is 60 quid, but on average I only spend 40, thus, in five weeks I save enough to cover the cost of today’s purchase – which I clearly deserve anyway – so I needn’t feel guilty, right?