First the great news; last night the Blues won 3-0 to move to top of the league!! Back of the net!! Promotion in our sights…

Next the terrible news; after being 1st for a significant proportion of the season, Vissel had slipped to 2nd with one game to play. Yesterday they lost 2-1 whilst Reysol won comfortably, meaning they finish 3rd, and go into a two leg play-off against Fukuoka, to be played over the next week. If we lose then its J2 for another season.

In between was the Japanese Language Proficiency Test today. It’s hard to tell how it went, though it was fairly similar to the practice papers, most of which I’ve passed. Despite having serious pains and aches, I woke up at 7am and made it across the Inland Sea for the test. I’d say I’m 70% confident I passed, but will have to wait till February to find out. On the way back I had Mr.Donut and coffee mmmm! Made me feel better. And on the train me Carrie and Phil attracted the attention of a group of old dearies, one of whom rounded on me and proceeded to, as we were crossing the bridge, explain the names for various islands that she’d made up. I got off at Kojima, and was greeted by a chorus of “sayonara”s and “bye bye”s for the old deary brigade in our carriage.

The test was “policed” by three Japanese girls, who had a yellow and red card system with which to punish offenders. Speaking was a yellow card offence, as was harassing locals, whereas copying was a straight red. Whether or not a second yellow would have been shown before the red (as is correct) in the case of a two yellows sending off is unclear, as the girls didnt punish anyone (despite some muppets opening the paper before the exam started). They wouldn’t have made good refs. Even when demonstrating the use of the cards, they didn’t brandish them but rather held them like someone holds a teabag they’ve just taken out of a cup of tea. There was no card for dissent either (though I doubt anyone would have shouted “Ref, You’re Having A F*cking Laugh” at any of the ladies). Anyway, they were very lovely, so I can’t complain.

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