My days at Shonan are turning into a joke. For the next 8 weeks or so there are no lessons, which means that I have almost nothing to do.

Fair enough I’ve been asked to plan the curriculum for next years “Oral Communication” classes. But then I’ve already done a lot of that anyway. And it doesn’t take that much time. Secondly a lot of what I decide will be redundant, as I’ll have to adapt all my ideas for the incoming Head of English (yeah, still no luck getting Ono-sensei to appoint me).

So today I read. I’m pretty sure I can finish a book a week, so next week its finishing Kokoro for a second time, then the week after I’ll begin my fourth attempt (hopefully this time successful) at Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Also today I drank a total of 8 cups of coffee trying to fight off tiredness, in what has to be the first week in recent history that I’ve had to wake up before 8am every day. See it’s just as well I’m staying in Japan, I’m not cut out for the real world.

My day was completed by a long chat with an as-yet unnamed (well that’s not fair. He is named. I just don’t know his name) sensei in the downstairs “lounge”. We spent at least 20 mins earlier this week trying to remember Theo Walcatt’s name. Then we did. When I asked him who he supported, he told me “great players”. I said Birmingham City, and proceeding to tell him all about our joys (and sorrows too) – maybe I’ve found myself a convert. Anyway today our conversations were greatly improved by the presence of an electronic dictionary. I could use words such as “far-fetched” without being greeted by a blank stare. And I learnt a new word too! It’s ninki, and means popular. We talked about music, politics, food and football.

Anyway I feel that I’ve rambled enough. Except to say that any ideas on how to spend the next two months are more than welcome- all I’ve got is reading books. In fact any book suggestions are also welcome- after Dostoevsky I only have 2 unread Murakami, and I feel I need a break from him.

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