08 March 2010

Sets my heart a-reelin'

What a busy, busy weekend. Bob Dylan has almost nothing to do with the rest of this post, except that he is playing a piano.
When we left Japan, everybody and their mother promised to come visit us in the UK and I kept thinking, Yeah, sure, ain't going to happen. Well, to my surprise, it is starting to happen, and I couldn't be happier. This weekend, we had one of my former students (who was a part of class I taught at Yoko's university) come and stay with us. She was in England for some training and spent the night on Saturday night. We had a great time: got a little drunk and I got to listen to Yoko and her friends talk in real Japanese like real Japanese people. It reminded me a lot of Japan, in the Japaneseiest way possible.

Earlier on Saturday, our piano came, carried by two very rough looking guys with their asses hanging out of their trousers. They weren't very gentle with the piano, but it got here in one piece. The plan I had for putting the piano on skids didn't work, so I had to hurry off to B & Q to buy particleboard and cut it up. In the process, I scrapped some paint of the wall: a huge failure. And then in the process of being frustrated about that, I ended up getting angry with Yoko and cussing at her in Japanese, something I don't do often and I always end up regretting the moment I do it. Good husbands do not take their frustrations out on their wives, I'm told.

But I was able to eventually get it all sorted, and the piano sounds nice enough (being that it was free) and Yoko and the girls enjoy it. I'm working on an arrangement of Come thou fount every blessing in minor chords (marking it as ironic, and the blessings you're singing of even more ironic) that I will record and post up here eventually. It's very mournful and sounds great in the belly of an old piano.

On Sunday morning, having my student here gave me an excuse to skip the church service. We walked around with the sheep near the OU and had cappuccino at the most beautiful little pub behind the school. The sky was electric and blue again. We went back to the house around 1, just in time to enjoy the potluck lunch for a member of the church who is returning to Japan. I ate and ate and ate.

This morning, I got up and went to work, enjoying the ride on the train as much as usual. I finished my teaching, and now only have two days of classes and one day of tutorials before I'm done for the year. It's gone so fast. Between classes today, I walked up to the student union to buy coffee, with my notebook portfolio and a stack of essays to mark. I realised that I was getting close to my dream of being a professor on a campus like this, with my essays to mark, and my sweater vest and cowboy boots. Perfect, I thought. Absolutely perfect.

Now for a week of discourse analysis, literature review writing, and French studies.