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Posted by セレネ


Ten oosten van Londen ligt het plaatsje Greenwich. Leuk om een dagje rond te wandelen! Naast de rivier lag bijvoorbeeld een groot schip, waar een restaurant in zat.

East of London, we visited the village of Greenwich. Nice to walk around here for a day! Next to the river was a large ship, inside which there was a restaurant.

Greenwich sightseeing

Foto’s van een park en een groot schip in Greenwich.
Photos taken in a park and around it, including a large ship, in Greenwich.

カテゴリー:イギリス Tagged: イギリス, グリニッジ, ロンドン, English, Nederlands, 写真, 建物, 旅行, 日本語

too much drama

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:55 am
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[personal profile] jenni_blog
Aaarrrghh...I am getting too old for this.

I'm so verklempt it's almost too hard to write this post.

As you know my daughter, her husband and their two little kids ages 7 and 4 moved in with us. We did it because she was having issues at their previous rented house and she didn't want the kids to attend the school in that area anymore. There was no problem with the school per se but it was too far away and a terrible neighbour of hers works there so she was worried that this person might behave in a negative way towards her children.

We wanted them to be able to save up the down payment for a house of their own and that's why we changed everything in our lives so we could accommodate them here.

I don't want this to be a long story and I know that there must always be a period of adjustment in which all parties must strive to make everything run smoothly, but Holy Hannah, did the last two or three weeks have to be so hard?

I am not getting any younger! There's only so much drama and stress I can take!

My daughter is never satisfied. This stems from her chronic depression I know, which she is managing fairly well now, but I remember when she was about eleven I noticed that she just didn't seem happy and tried to explain to her that nothing in life was ever going to be perfect and she would have to try to find the things that did make her feel somewhat good and try to always keep those things with her or around her and try to avoid the things that sent her into a downward spiral.

So the first day at the new school here went well for the 7-year-old boy, but was a disaster for the 4-year-old girl entering junior kindergarten. She threw a tantrum and bit the vice principal when they tried to restrain her. But she is not a biter! That was the first time she ever did that! We were shocked and horrified when we heard about it.

So long story short, my daughter fell out with the JK teacher, had words with her and demanded a transfer to another class. But when she found out all four JK classes were full at 30 kids each, she demanded a transfer to another school! But guess what? All three other schools in the area were also full!

The teacher had suggested to Olivia (my daughter) that there might be something wrong with Jessica - she dared to suggest that she might be "on the spectrum" - and that's a touchy subject with Olivia since Sean was diagnosed with mild autism ten years ago and was transferred into a Special Ed class. Sean seems so normal these days that we are beginning to wonder if there has been too much of a rush to judgement in naming certain kids to be "on the spectrum" over the past several years. It seems to have become somewhat of a trend now. Either that or perhaps certain kids can just grow out of their autism. Sean is going to be 15 soon and he is just like any other boy his age.

So Olivia kept Jessica home for the rest of the week and then asked me to take her to school beginning the week after that, while she took her son to his Grade 2 class.


Of course I caved, being me and wanting to keep the peace, so I took Jessica to her JK class, soothed her while she cried and said she didn't want to go (she wasn't the only one - there were two other little boys who were screaming their lungs out with resistance), apologized to the teacher for what my daughter had said to her, and everything actually worked out OK! One thing - I would never want to be a JK teacher - they are most certainly not paid enough for the work they do and the shit they have to put up with (sometimes literally) every working day.

Besides the teacher there are two ECE's and one teacher's assistant but it doesn't seem enough for a class of 30 little kids!

But this week so far, Jessica has been eager to go to school every day, has made friends and is enjoying everything about it there. We were speaking to the principal and he told us that this class and this teacher were the best ones in the school and very strong advocates for the kids themselves. Good to know.

One problem solved, but there are others. However, I don't want to write about them right now because I'm exhausted! It's hard to find time to do much of anything else and to top it off it's been unseasonably warm here and it's uncomfortable being sweaty ALL the time!

I want to write more, there are stories I still need to finish, etc., etc. but I find I have so much less "me" time than ever before. Am I being selfish? But I do want to do everything I can to help out my kids, without making them become too dependent on me at the same time.

the last days

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:27 am
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[personal profile] lusentoj
11 days left until we leave. went to stockholm, picked up the VISAs. the two embassy guys we met were suuper nice; seems like the mean/grumpy guys actually work in another part of the building. wife's sisters are visiting, i have to empty my phone and give it to them today or tomorrow.

in stockholm when we were walking there were two fat old ladies going in the opposite direction, the one with the bright pink hat stopped with a big smile and said "good day! good day, misses! and good day, mister! this is the mister, right?" and we said "yes" and she said good day again and then we said "thanks, good day" and she left. her friend was silent the whole time.

"good day" is really archaic in swedish, no one says it anymore, my wife was super shocked to hear it. and i don't really know why the lady assumed we were married (i mean, we ARE, but literally every time i get on the bus the drivers assume i'm under 18 years old so??). afterwards my wife said "what's wrong with swedes? it's like that old lady had been locked up in her basement for 50 years and only came out for the first time today or something".

bought a suitcase for my wife (neon pink). she's finally started to get a little excited about going to japan, NOT because "it's japan" but because she's actually realizing that we're going to, if nothing else, at least be out of this house. her complaints about her parents / sisters have been increasing by the day, which i take as a sign that she's getting more and more impatient about us leaving.

some stuff with the parents does seem like it's getting worse, ex. her dad just SMELLS really really bad, every time he comes out of the bathroom it's like someone died in there AND the smell sticks to not only him but to YOU and the ROOM. my wife describes it as him being a "walking corpse". definitely wasn't this bad a year ago. also you can tell that his memory problems are reaching his face now; tonight when he talked to me, throughout the whole time he LOOKED completely lost and confused; even just a couple months ago he'd TALK confused but not LOOK confused.

i've also found out that some stuff in japan is cheaper than i originally thought, ex. someone just told me they bought 8 volumes of (brand-new-looking) used manga for 1,000 yen which is like... $1 USD per book i guess. i know it's super easy to spend all your money away in japan but wow, i'll really have to watch out!!

in "japanese-language" news, i've started watching dramas with japanese subtitles instead of just anime. everyone online says that dramas have "more realistic talking than anime" and uh..... no. not at all. not modern anime, anyway.
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Posted by セレネ


Op King’s Cross station hebben ze natuurlijk ook een winkel met Harry Potter-spullen… Voor de winkel staat een karretje in de muur waar je een foto kan laten maken, maar je mag zelf ook foto’s maken. Ze hebben ook vier kleuren sjaals, waarvan je mag kiezen welke je wil gebruiken voor de foto. In de winkel kun je de foto dan kopen.

Of course there’s also a Harry Potter shop at King’s Cross station. There’s a photo location in front of the store where you can have your photo taken with a scarf of your choice (they have all four House colours). They allow you to take your own photos as well 🙂 You can buy the photo inside the store.

Harry Potter store at King's Cross station.

Harry Potter store at King's Cross station.

カテゴリー:イギリス Tagged: イギリス, ハリー・ポッター, ロンドン, English, Nederlands, 写真, 旅行, 日本語


Sep. 17th, 2017 07:01 pm
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[personal profile] lusentoj
ALL my belongings fit into ONE (medium-sized) suitcase!! books, clothes, electronics, everything. my backpack will be for food/entertainment for the plane trip and sensitive stuff like my laptop and important papers, but i could actually fit those things into the suitcase too if i wanted. i'll just have to double-check that i won't be over the weight limit. i wasn't actually aiming for this when i was cleaning (among other things you can actually bring 2 checked bags), it just turned out that way.

it seems like switching from a student/"dependant" VISA to a work VISA is super easy, but getting a work VISA (or any VISA at all really) from scratch is really difficult; so as long as i can still go to all my classes schedule-wise it won't actually be a problem to switch to a work VISA partway through my exchange (which is what i was worried about — in some countries you have to completely leave the country, wait some months and come back). my japanese friend said now is the best time to get full-time jobs in japan since "everyone needs people", and if no normal place will hire me then to try at random American companies.

still have to:
• repair the old Mac i'm taking with me; set it up with programs etc
• remove files from all other comps/phones & put them on the old mac
• sell/send off some old books
• sew slippers and mittens for myself (i have some secondhand leather pants + sheep skin bits for this exact purpose), then toss all the rest of my fabric

i think that's about it for me. my wife still has a bunch to go through but we managed to get through 3 boxes of her stuff today, so we're getting there... she said she's actually been having nightmares about having too much stuff / people randomly giving her tons of extra stuff so yeah, let's clean!!!

updated the page about how my 3-year japanese degree is; i really need to fix up this site a little in general:

i've started re-reading the stories we read in class last semester; i can actually "understand" them now, like all the details, but back then i missed what feels like the majority of the plots except for the easiest story. part of it was how stressed i was during class time, but the other part was just my japanese level. no idea why we were giving such hard stuff to read, it should've been for people a semester or two after us! right now i'm probably two semesters ahead of the basic class expectations.

anime-wise, i'm focusing on jojo's bizarre adventures starting from yesterday because it really has a lot of words i don't know while still overall being easy to understand (as in, there are some series where due to the context, pacing, billions of characters etc even if you DO know the words you're still confused; jojo isn't really like that). read another completely random yaoi manga volume last night and i knew like 99% of everything in it, that's the second time that's happened now and it feels pretty great. if i get depressed about not being able to read novels or something i'll always be able to grab a manga.

Resources for artists

Sep. 16th, 2017 02:55 pm
mekare: by <user name=ebsolutely> (Inara)
[personal profile] mekare posting in [community profile] art
Hey fellow artists! The new fanart community [community profile] drawesome has been really active since its inception in July and there are two posts that might be interesting for you guys too (disclaimer, yes I made those posts).

Posing references

This is a list of books, online articles, stock image sites and tutorials we compiled. I'd love more links though.

Storing art

This is a discussion I started today mainly because I don't feel I have a proper storage solution for my pastels yet.

I'd be delighted if some of you add your own resources or thoughts here in this post or over at [community profile] drawesome. We artists should help each other out!

A bit of kitten.

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:35 pm
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[personal profile] merikuru posting in [community profile] caturday

Altair enjoys blankets.


Sep. 15th, 2017 04:24 pm
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[personal profile] lusentoj
16 days until we leave for japan. VISA guys haven't called yet. bought a (cheap, teal) suitcase; we'll get a second (pink) one if/when we need it. you should always get obnoxiously-coloured luggage containers so you can easily pick them out / people can pick YOU out from the crowd; just a ribbon doesn't work.

been messing with the hand-held sewing machine some more. i've learned a few more things:
• if you sew too close to the edge of your fabric, it won't sew.
• cheap thread will break a ton
• it can use thicker thread; thread type doesn't matter as long as you can get it through the needle.
• turning IS possible; how accurate you can turn, i haven't tested yet
• it CAN sew leather but figuring out the tension for it is too much of a pain in the butt, also you might have to manually move it to the next stitch with your hand because the feet aren't THAT good and the leather doesn't want to self-move. that or it was the weird leather i tried (it had a lining fabric and stuff so i was technically sewing 4 layers).
• technically you should be adjusting the tension or something when you sew over seams (=4 or 6 layers of fabric instead of 2) but you can manually pull the fabric until you're over the seam instead and it'll turn out fine.

as for my sock project in general.... sewing a ton of diamonds together is NOT what i'm meant for, and i'm pretty sure i miscounted and only actually have enough "diamond fabric" for one sock. it's just a test, and i was planning on getting a real tabi sewing pattern when in japan anyway, so it's alright. i'm pretty sure patchwork is why people join sewing circles: you work on my project for a bit and i'll work on yours, PLEASE SEW THESE DIAMONDS FOR ME I'M GOING CRAZY.

finished watching Chobits with my wife, it was just as disappointing as i remembered it but she'd never seen the ending so that's why we watched it. have like 6 eps of From the New World left, which is really killing me because it's too difficult AND is more boring than i remembered. then i've got maybe 15 left of Death Note, and this one nonfiction book from the library i need to read. i probably can't finish another season of any high-level series before i go to japan (where i most likely won't be watching ANY anime unless i go to a friend's house or movie theatre).

i'm really frustrated with my japanese level again... i just feel like i "should" be able to understand more by now. i don't spend 12 hours a day studying or anything so it's to be expected, but sigh. most of my japanese comes from class + anime and manga, so something like a review blog or newspaper article still feels like another world even if i do glance at them on occasion...

hit upon a good idea

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:08 am
lusentoj: (布団)
[personal profile] lusentoj
i have some scrap fabric i want to mess with before i have to toss it and leave for japan. IN japan, i want to MAKE stuff like traditional socks (tabi), get secondhand kimono and fix/wear them etc. keep in mind i haven't sewn in like 10 years and was never all that good... anyway, all our fabric is pretty ugly and i had a thought. you know quilting? they make shapes with fabric? when you lack japanese fabric you can make fabric shapes in the traditional japanese style instead. google "sashiko" or "刺し子 柄" (sashiko pattern) and you'll get the idea.

the difficulty is finding the "quilt block" names that match the japanese patterns! i don't know anything about quilting (i've watched my grandma make one... once) so i'm jumping into this blind. the basic japanese patterns are:

1. mountains (= "chevron falls"?)

2. flowers 1 (= "pickle dish"?)

3. flowers 2

4. plus-signs 1 + 2 (= "plus signs")


5. pound-signs (= "igeta, hashtag"), diamonds (= "slanted diamonds"), fish scales/shells/scallops (= "clam shells")

6. these rectangles

7. arrow-tails

8. squares (= "nine patch")

9. hexagons (= "simple hexagons")

10. i haven't found it in sashiko yet but another common pattern is "clouds" and this quilter's block looks kinda like it:

so the plan is, find out the quilter's names for all of these, make some, then use that fabric to make socks.
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Posted by セレネ

そしたら、安いところのPitfield Streetである「Salzman Laundry」で洗濯した。

Als je langere tijd in Londen verblijft, moet je ook wel eens kleding wassen… Maar in het hotel was het te duur om veel kleding te wassen!
We hebben toen een goedkope wasserette gevonden op Pitfield Street, namelijk “Salzman Laundry”.

When you’re staying in London for a longer period, you have to wash your clothes sometimes… But the laundry service in the hotel was too expensive for many clothes!
We then found a cheaper place to wash everything: “Salzman Laundry” at Pitfield Street.

Salzman Laundry

カテゴリー:イギリス Tagged: イギリス, ロンドン, English, Nederlands, 写真, 旅行, 日本語

some free time and series

Sep. 13th, 2017 09:06 pm
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[personal profile] pilvi
 After a very busy summer, I'm enjoying a more relaxed Autumn: since most of the cross-study options were on the same day as my mandatory course, I could not fill all my days with studies. Well, ok, the last two semesters I actually managed to make a timetable with overlapping courses (again, if only I had a time-turner!) but this time they would overlap too badly.

So, as a result, yesterday and the day before were spent mostly marathon-watching series. So nice to have the opportunity! - even though not for long, since I will have more courses in October.

Game Of Thrones -7 was covered in just two days, two episodes on Sunday and the rest on Monday. Well... I guess i liked it, though no strong emotions. Maybe it's because this is no longer my main fandom, though I'm still very attached to the books and waiting for The Winds Of Winter. Or perhaps my lack of criticism is mainly due to the fact that this time I've got no book to compare the series to, and it is very relaxing for someone who wants the adaptation to be as close to the source as is only possible.

Sort of speaking of which, yesterday I was re-watching The Borgias -1, and, surprisingly, I'm starting to think that even though it is inaccurate, it's not like these are some kind of terrible inaccuracies that turn everything completely upside down. More like, it cuts down and simplifies... but I am still going to write a post about both of the Borgias-related series. (Three, actually - I've finally watched the 80's version, only this one should be in a separate post.)
But this tolerance might be the result of watching Reign, after which most of - what should I call them? - distortedly historical series and movies can seem... well, quite ok.

But now is Twin Peaks time... was supposed to have started over half an hour ago, actually, but Internet is very absorbing.


Sep. 13th, 2017 02:54 pm
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[personal profile] lusentoj
tried watching another documentary in japanese... it was much easier to understand than the one about atomic missiles & stuff in okinawa (also had more english), i got about 80%.

in the 70′s some japanese guys went to the USA to track down american soldiers/their families who had to do with hiroshima. i didn’t know this — america didn’t teach it to me in school — but the bomb also killed a lot of american soldiers (there was a POV camp there etc) whether directly or from radiation sickness afterwards. since no one was told about the radiation or real nature of the bomb, american doctors had no clue how to treat the patients, only the japanese ones really had any clue. also america withheld info even just about the fact that certain american soldiers had died for decades; so the guys' parents didn't even know there was proof that they were dead. info that these japanese guys were able to get easily. among other things, it makes you wonder what america was trying to cover up.

a few things really struck me about this.
1. in the 70's they had no translator, it was simply the TV station guy who went there to the USA with his own (decent) English to interview everyone; in the 90's they hired a Japanese lady translator when in Japan; "last year" when Obama came to Japan, his official Japanese translator was a huge, American, scary-looking "military white guy" with a buzzcut. i was like... what? Obama has something against hiring Japanese people?! it looked like something out of a cult.

2. japanese people act exactly like swedes. i know i keep saying this, but they even SAY THE EXACT SAME THINGS AS SWEDES. americans don't make a WWII documentary showing the side of and sympathizing with the "enemy", but japan does (and so does sweden)! japanese people who were literally born and raised in hiroshima and study the bombing as their main profession sit there going "no matter what your home country, the pain of losing your child is the same" etc. americans don't do this. not modern americans, anyway.

got my sewing machine!!!

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:22 pm
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[personal profile] lusentoj

it sewed through 6 layers of jeans, 4 layers of cotton T-shirt (with print on it), and I haven't tested anything heavier yet. it actually seemed like it worked a lot better on thicker fabric but that just might be me not knowing how to mess with the tension. it's really tiny and easy to hold and works well with just one hand (and i'm not a strong guy!!). it's pretty quiet, about as loud as a stapler. if the "bobbin thread" becomes a tangled nest it's EXTREMELY easy to get rid of, WAY easier than on a real machine. the "feeders" that hold the fabric stuck to the pressure foot and move it forward with each stitch work really well. it was also a lot easier to thread than a normal machine for me, probably since you can get your face and hands so much closer to this one.

so far all the problems are just "user error": if the tension is wrong it doesn't sew at all (the stitches don't move forward) or they bunch up. if you accidentally cut both threads underneath the pressure foot instead of just the furthest-back one, all your sewing will come loose. if you don't press down all the way it'll skip a stitch (it's possible this also happens sometimes when the tension is wrong). if you don't hold the fabric straight, your stitches won't be straight; if you don't hold it with an even pressure, your stitches won't all be the same length. i tried oiling the machine and it didn't seem to help anything. if you want to replace the needle you need a screwdriver.

due to how you hold the fabric (there must be a way to fix this —get a fabric-holder + fasten the machine to the tabletop?) the stitches LOOK like hand-sewing; but they're extremely strong. i pulled with all my might and they didn't rip or loosen. there's no real way of adjusting the stitch length (all you can do is pull at the fabric to manually draw it through faster or slower) and your stitches are going to be visible. i'm going to try and research/test tension and see if i can't figure out something about the visible stitches.

anyway, for everything where you don't care if the stitches are visible, or if you're going to use another method to hide the stitches later or something, it seems like it'd work great after you figure out what tension you need. for some garments (ex. kimono) it's actually better to have "hand-sewing" because the end garment is more flexible compared to one done with perfect machine sewing, or so i've heard.


Sep. 12th, 2017 06:03 am
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[personal profile] lusentoj
i keep wondering if i should switch to japanese with the international department staff at my exchange school, NOT because my japanese is that great but because their english also isn't all that great. it's good, really good for a japanese person, but they're making a lot of comprehension mistakes even though i'm doing my best to write simply.

for example, now i said i found a friend who will give me beds for the year, so i want to know the schedule for our first day in japan so i can tell my friend when i'll be at the apartment and can drop off the beds. and she replied that "the apartments are already furnished with beds, what you need to buy is futon, blankets, pillows, pillowcases..." and didn't say a word about the schedule. so now i had to reply explaining that my friend is going to give me futons, blankets and pillows at least. from this i also learned that when a japanese person says "bed" they actually mean "bedframe", but y'know, i don't even want a bedframe. i want to be like a "real japanese person", sleep on the floor on my futon and roll it up every morning to save space...

tried watching this documentary (about the USA keeping nuclear bombs/missiles in okinawa without telling the local people etc):

it was too difficult, especially without japanese subs. i understood the gist of it thanks to pictures, a lot of english and some sentences that were written out on the page, but it was basically "nuclear" "hydrogen bomb" "missile" "keep this info a secret to all outside parties" and the rest i didn't get when it came to all the actual military stuff. i can barely recognize the word "prezident". i really have to watch some political/military anime...

19 days left until japan. i have like 250 screencapped example sentences i still have to put up on the learning_japanese comm before i can hand my phone over to my wife's sisters... sold one broken computer, still need to put up my textbooks (Tobira + some manga) from last semester up for sale since my ex-classmate doesn't want them (which also means she doesn't intend on continuing her japanese studies anytime soon i guess). i don't actually have contact with ANY ex-classmates who seriously plan on continuing their japanese studies, the one guy who claims he is failed the final exam the first time around and isn't studying in summer either so it's clear he's going to fail the next semester too. for some reason i always make friends with the drop-outs in every language class i end up taking, i guess it's because i like teaching people and those are the people to teach....


Sep. 11th, 2017 11:24 am
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[personal profile] lusentoj
so there's this esperanto-teaching japanese yuri dating sim game that came out like last month... and people are already writing fanfic for it. in both japanese and esperanto. they're even using only esperanto that appears in the game! i'm gonna buy it after i get to japan. but anyway, through that i found out that SS is short for "ShouSetsu 小説" (story, fanfic).

lately i can't concentrate so well on cleaning, i keep thinking every two seconds that we're basically already in japan (only 20 days left!) and i'm really happy/excited. every day i'm reminding myself that once we get to japan, like as soon as we get on / off that plane, it's JAPANESE ONLY, no english, no swedish (esperanto's okay though) so i have 20 days left to squeeze out as much english/swedish as i can, right? so i guess that's why i'm talking a lot while i can. it's already clear that the school is going to talk to us in english a lot, at least in the beginning (very unlike what i heard of my stepmom's exchange to japan in the 80-90's where no one at the school knew english apparently).

when i first came to sweden i didn't know any swedish, knew nothing about sweden etc, so i was really quiet and frustrated for a long time just because i couldn't say / understand anything. even now i get frustrated sometimes since i can't say it as coherently/properly/fast as a native swede can. it's not so frustrated that it makes me actually want to improve my swedish, but the thought is still there. like for example, when the embassy called me, when i was speaking i suddenly forgot the word "proof" ("proof that we have money") so i had to pause and then say "proof" in english in the middle of my swedish, which felt really frustrating afterwards not because the guy said anything but because IF I OR HE HADN'T KNOWN ENGLISH THAT WOULDN'T'VE WORKED. aka that was "lazy" of me. in japan they don't know english.

anyway, i responded to the guy who offered to loan me beds asking what exactly "beds" entails so i don't buy stuff i don't need, and it seems the exchange school mailed the other exchange students with a copy of what i had written to them about my eyes, so "everyone knows". which feels really weird as this has never happened before in my life (i've told the teacher, sure, but i've never told the WHOLE CLASS or SCHOOL!"). it's good but it's weird.
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Posted by セレネ


King’s Cross station in Londen is erg groot en mooi. De restaurantjes die op de bovenverdieping van het station zitten, vielen ook niet tegen 🙂
Natuurlijk is dit station ook bekend uit Harry Potter… Maar voor perron 9¾ hebben ze in de films het stuk tussen perron 4 en 5 gebruikt, omdat de echte perrons 9 en 10 in een ander gebouw van het station zitten.

King’s Cross station in Londen is a very big station and also a pretty one. The restaurants at the upper floor didn’t disappoing either 🙂
Of course this station was also used in the Harry Potter movies… But they used the part between platforms 4 and 5 as the entrance to platform 9¾, as the real platform 9 and 10 are located in one of the station’s other buildings.

King's Cross Station, Harry Potter movie location.

Perron 4 en 5 van King’s Cross station.
Platforms 4 and 5 at King’s Cross station.

King's Cross and St. Pancras station.

Binnen- en buitenkant van King’s Cross station en de buitenkant van St. Pancras station.
The inside and outside of King’s Cross station, and the outside of St. Pancras station.

カテゴリー:イギリス Tagged: イギリス, ロンドン, English, Nederlands, 写真, 建物, 旅行, 日本語


Sep. 10th, 2017 07:23 pm
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[personal profile] lusentoj
out of nowhere some japanese person liked one of my OLD twitter posts about nålbinding (i hadn't even written in japanese on it), so i checked out her blog and they'd just started learning like, this week. had some posts about how they keep going back and forth between different kinds of instructions trying to figure it out, which is/was exactly my situation. so i found a recent, clear video and started translating the instructions for her (+ any other japanese person who's interested); i figure any mistakes in writing i make will be cleared up by the screenshots anyway. then i checked out her instagram... she's some old japanese grandma(-aged person) whose ENTIRE DAY is apparently spent doing textile work (crochet and weaving mostly), and she's visited Turkey a bunch of times apparently! it really doesn't seem like she's the person you can be "friends" with online though, kinda sad.

anyway, this is really the first time i've felt confident enough to write a "real" tutorial in japanese about anything. and it makes me want to pick up nålbindning again...

a member of the sendai esperanto club had checked out my twitter and blog (i gave the club the links) and saw i was trying to buy bedding, they said they have two beds they don't use that they'll just LET ME BORROW and that they can drop off at my apartment whenever! that means FREE BEDS! (= saving at least $100 USD). now i've asked what "beds" exactly entails (if it's literally just mattresses or if i also get blankets/pillows) so i know what else to buy when i'm out shopping. he said "everyone at the club is eagerly awaiting your guys' arrival!" ;_;; i also got info on where a bunch of secondhand shops are, so we can go buy stuff (= clothes, plates etc) right away when we get there.

i had hesitated a bit on giving everyone my twitter link because who knows what off-putting stuff i've posted or will post there, but in the end it was a good idea eh!

before this month is over i need to finish watching Shinsekai Yori, Death Note, Chobits and possibly one other series: i'm going to assume i can't watch anime in japan due to not having internet at home among other reasons (the irony!). it'll be sad since i won't have a TV at home either so i can't just watch normal japanese TV... i wonder if they have super cheap movie-viewing places or something i can go to...
moonplanet: Nymph, Odysseus and Trojan horse from my story at http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/38646.html (opzoeknaarodysseus)
[personal profile] moonplanet
(Ik heb geen/zo min mogelijk spoilers in mijn recensie geschreven)

Titel: Liefde & gelato (op Librarything, op Hebban.nl, op Goodreads)
Oorspronkelijke titel: Love & Gelato
Auteur: Jenna Evans Welch
Vertaler: Irene Paridaans
Taal: Nederlands, oorspronkelijk Engels
Serie: nee
Soort uitgave: paperback
Aantal pagina's: 318
Uitgever: Harper Collins
Jaar van publicatie: origineel Engels en Nederlands 2016, mijn editie 2016 (1e editie)
ISBN-nummer: 9789402714302
Trefwoorden: ouders, vrienden, Italië, liefde en natuurlijk ijs!
Waarom ging ik het lezen: Ik had de Young Adult tassenontwerpwedstrijd van de Van Piere boekhandel gewonnen en als prijs kreeg ik een tas vol boeken, waar dit boek ook in zat. Het leek me sowieso al een interessant boek, dus dat kwam mooi uit :)
Aanrader: Eigenlijk had ik van teveel mensen gehoord dat dit zo'n fantastisch boek was, dat ik een beetje teleurgesteld was... Het is wel een leuk boek, maar niet superspeciaal en fantastisch. Dus verwacht niet teveel, dan word je ook niet teleurgesteld! Het is wel leuk om te lezen zonder dat je er veel over na hoeft te denken.

Korte samenvatting:
De Amerikaanse Lina moet van haar moeder een zomer in Italië doorbrengen bij een man die ze nooit gekend heeft en haar vader schijnt te zijn. Daar aangekomen krijgt ze het dagboek van haar moeder in handen, waarin beschreven staat hoe haar moeder in Italië haar vader heeft leren kennen en wat er allemaal gebeurde, waardoor ze uiteindelijk in haar eentje naar Amerika is vertrokken en Lina haar vader niet eerder heeft leren kennen. Lina krijgt hulp bij het ontrafelen van het mysterie van de buurjongen.

Naar Italië ga je voor liefde en gelato, maar soms vind je meer dan dat...

Lina brengt de zomer door in Toscane, maar aanvankelijk is ze niet erg in de stemming voor de Italiaanse zon en het prachtige landschap. Eigenlijk is ze er alleen maar omdat het haar moeders laatste wens was dat ze naar Italië zou gaan om haar vader te leren kennen.

Maar dan krijgt ze een dagboek in handen, waarin haar moeder schrijft over haar tijd in Italië én haar geheime liefde. Vanaf de eerste pagina is Lina gefascineerd en wil ze de geheimen van het dagboek ontrafelen. Daarvoor heeft ze wel wat Italiaanse hulp nodig. Enter buurjongen Lorenzo...

Een prachtig verhaal waarin twee liefdesgeschiedenissen op een geraffineerde wijze met elkaar worden verweven.

Eerste alinea van hoofdstuk 1:
In de verte doemde het licht van het huis op, als een vuurtoren in een zee van grafstenen. Maar dit kon zijn huis toch zeker niet zijn? Dit was vast een of andere Italiaanse gewoonte. Altijd met nieuwelingen over een begraafplaats rijden. Op die manier maken ze kennis met de lokale cultuur. Ja, zoiets moest het wel wezen.
Ik verstrengelde mijn vingers op mijn schoot en toen het huis dichterbij kwam draaide mijn maag zich om. Het leek wel of je Jaws tevoorschijn zag komen uit de diepte van de oceaan. Maar dit was geen film. Dit was echt. En we hoefden nog maar één afslag. Geen paniek. Dit kan het niet zijn. Mama zou je heus niet naar een begraafplaats sturen. Ze zou je gewaarschuwd hebben. Ze zou -
Hij zette zijn richtingaanwijzer aan en alle lucht ontsnapte uit mijn longen. Ze heeft het gewoon niet verteld.
'Alles goed?'
Howard - ik geloof dat ik hem mijn vader moet noemen - keek naar me met een bezorgde uitdrukking op zijn gezicht. Waarschijnlijk omdat ik daarnet een piepgeluid maakte.
'Is dat jouw...?' Ik kon geen woorden vinden, dus ik moest wijzen.
'Eh... ja.' Hij aarzelde even en wees toen naar buiten. 'Lina, wist je dit niet? Dit allemaal?'

Over de eerste alinea:
Er is ook nog een proloog, maar omdat de lezer daarin direct wordt aangesproken, is dat geen goed voorbeeld voor de schrijfstijl.

Het is geen verhaal waar je erg bij na hoeft te denken, maar dat maakt het wel een "zomers" boek. De reden dat Lina naar Italië gaat is niet erg vrolijk: de dood van haar moeder zorgt er wel voor dat Lina niet altijd evenveel kan genieten van alle leuke dingen in Italië. Toch zorgt haar moeder er ook voor, via haar dagboek, dat Lina juist wel allerlei mooie plekjes en momenten vindt in Florence.

Lina leest het dagboek in stukjes, waardoor ze steeds meer ontdekt over waarom haar moeder het zo leuk vond in Florence. Lina vindt Italië aan het begin helemaal niet leuk, maar dat komt ook doordat het niet haar eigen keus was om hierheen te gaan. Elke keer als haar moeder een nieuwe plaats beschrijft in het dagboek, wil Lina deze ook zien. Samen met Howard (aan wie ze niet wil vertellen dat ze het dagboek van haar moeder aan het lezen is) of de buurjongen Lorenzo (Ren), aan wie ze het dagboek wel heeft laten zien, bezoekt zij dezelfde plaatsen als haar moeder.

De dagboekstukjes tussendoor maken het verhaal wel spannender, omdat je niet alles in één keer te weten komt, maar in het echt zou ik wel verwachten dat Lina het dagboek in één keer uitgelezen zou hebben. Andere mensen die het dagboek lazen, hadden het binnen twee uur uit...

De twee thema's uit de titel komen duidelijk naar voren: Lina eet meerdere keren ijs in Italië en vindt dat heel erg lekker, maar de liefde speelt de grootste rol. Via het dagboek van haar moeder leert Lina haar vader en de andere vrienden van haar moeder kennen. Ondertussen maakt ze via haar buurjongen Ren ook kennis met de andere mensen die naar de internationale school gaan (al is het nu zomervakantie). En natuurlijk zit daar een knappe jongen tussen... Maar omdat Ren Lina het meeste helpt bij de zoektocht, brengt ze de meeste tijd samen met Ren door...

Zowel de liefdesverhalen van Lina's moeder als van Lina zelf komen geloofwaardig over. De andere personages, zoals Ren en de mensen in zijn vriendengroep, maar ook Howard, vond ik bijna interessanter om over te lezen dan Lina zelf, ook al maak je iedereen alleen maar mee vanuit Lina's oogpunt.

Lina vertelt haar verhaal in de ik-vorm, dus je leest ook haar gedachten.
Tussendoor leest Lina in het dagboek van haar moeder, dus dan vertelt zij haar verhaal in de ik-vorm. De dagboekteksten hebben een ander lettertype, dus de twee verhaallijnen zijn gemakkelijk uit elkaar te houden.

- Blz 33:
'Spreekt uw misschien Engels?' =
'Spreekt u misschien Engels?'
- Blz 35:
'Laten we deze kant opgaan. =
'Laten we deze kant opgaan.'
- Blz 182 heeft "stoeprand" afgebroken als "stoe-prand" en blz 313 heeft "stoeprandje" afgebroken als "stoe-prandje".

Leuk boekje voor tussendoor, maar helaas niet zo fantastisch als je er met te hoge verwachtingen aan begint!

Ik ga het niet nog een keer lezen.

- Deze recensie op Goodreads.
- Deze recensie op Hebban.nl.


Sep. 10th, 2017 01:07 am
lusentoj: (布団)
[personal profile] lusentoj
just watched 10 hunter x hunter eps in 2 days, since animelon updated with some more. in the beginning of july i was looking up like half the sentence for every single sentence, but now i'm only looking up a handful of words per ep (sometimes there's a whole string of sentences where i'm missing lots of words, other times i get all of it).

by my estimates, this show is JLPT N1 level (=hardest level). my original goal was to make it from N3 to N1 from june to september (=4 months); in the end i couldn't/can't make it to N1 but i did get to N2 at least. i have a whole year of living in japan to get to N1 so it's fine, but i hope i can make it there before the end of the first semester.

lately i've been doing stuff like watching/reading product reviews and reading "what to buy/do as a tourist" blog posts in japanese even without a dictionary. i'll edit this post and link a couple examples later once i'm on my own comp. i've slowly been automatically upping the amount of hours i practice japanese; as it gets easier to write/understand, i just naturally spend more time doing it without even thinking about it. now i'm doing 4 hours a day or more on most days (a random mix of typing, reading, watching and listening).

now that i've finally finished that cat book it's time to complete the highschooler's book about "the marketplace" (=basic economics) that i started some months ago and never got back to... it explains things REALLY simply, as if you're a kindergartener and not a highschooler, and that seems typical of japanese (swedish is the same way) so i'm pretty glad. using textbooks for native speakers is a good way to improve your language skills in general (it's how i improve my faroese at least), but for me it's a bit more meaningful than that: i always wanted to go on a high school exchange to japan and couldn't, on top of that i got a very different education (=Very Shitty) compared to the average person/european and always feel super stupid, so reading highschool textbooks is kind of like making up for that time. i never took chemistry, physics or calculus for example; required subjects in most countries. i never learned about or don't remember anything about most historical figures and places etc.... so if i eventually read about all that as language practice it's a pretty good deal.


Sep. 9th, 2017 04:42 pm
lusentoj: (Default)
[personal profile] lusentoj
cleaned up more stuff, made small gift packages (= tea + patterned napkins) to hand out to special people i meet in japan, now i've started cleaning out my phone of all the "japanese reference sentences" i was taking screenshots of (i have like 300 screenshots and need to grab the sentences and put them on the learning_japanese comm)

It's just free wrapping paper you can get at the grocery store (they change the patterns every so often and there just happened to be a nice-looking one this time).

finished reading my first NON-MANGA book in japanese; it's meant for 4-5 year olds and is about a talking cat who's insulted by everyone for being fat and lazy. runs away from home, makes a cat restaurant that sells food made out of clouds (= daydreams), the restaurant flops because daydreams don't make you full, then he goes back to his owner in the end but at least he loses weight. when i first checked it out months ago it had a bunch of words i didn't know, but by the time (= this week) i finally got around to reading it there were almost no words i didn't know.

Now the bulk of the stuff I have to prepare for the exchange is just all my computer stuff. Sell old broken laptops, fix up the one I'll hopefully take with me, remove all the files from my smartphone and factory-reset it then give it to my wife's sisters, remove all the files from everyone else's computers that I have scattered around and delete my user accounts and move everything to that newly fixed-up laptop...

My wife has a ton of stuff she doesn't want to throw away. By a "ton" I mean it all fits in our room but to me almost all of it is junk: Kid's toys (just toss), old drawings (scan and toss), bits of fabric (just toss), videogame cases (toss the cases, keep the games) etc. She keeps going "but I HAVE tossed a lot of stuff!" and I think you need to stop looking at the amount that you've tossed and start looking at what you have left and where you're going with it. If we move to Japan at the end of our stay, I don't want to take a plane flight back to Sweden PURELY in order to come here and toss boxes of my wife's stuff and then go back to Japan. Or, I don't want to pay like a thousand dollars to mail all of her stuff to us and then have our tiny cramped one-room apartment be full of.... crap like old Barbies. Have maybe 5 toys max: ALL TOYS. Not 5 toys out of each possible category of toys. Crafting stuff (scissors, thread, whatever)? You can rebuy that when you actually need it. I'm trying to get it so all of my belongings are actually able to go with me to Japan: Not leaving ANYTHING here in Sweden. So it's frustrating. Especially frustrating because we already know her parents are going to fill our room with junk while we're gone, they'll probably move around anything we have left and make it so lost we can't find it even if we do come back to get it, and it already happened exactly like that when my wife moved to Iceland so I don't get why she's still thinking she can just leave stuff here with her parents.

When I left the USA I brought 1 backpack, 1 suitcase, possibly 1 cardboard box (hard to remember) and I left 1 cardboard box at my dad's place (which is still there since I've never had the money to visit those guys). The goal is to have even less than that when I go to Japan, because at the time I didn't know stuff like how easy it would be finding household goods (towels etc) in the new country and I had no scanner so I couldn't toss my physical books. But my wife really isn't on board with it.
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