December 3rd, 2005

(no subject)

Day 8: No actual decorating today as such. I disposed of some old furniture (via Freecycle), and also had an electrician out to fix my light (although "12-2" wound up being "by 5pm"). He confirmed that the old fitting was completely broken, so there was no way that I would have been able to reattach it myself. I did consider buying a replacement fitting (they probably only cost about 60p), but I wasn't confident about being able to fit it myself. It only took him a couple of minutes, but I'm sure that experience helps, and I didn't fancy doing it for the first time when I was up a ladder.

When I was a kid, my dad had a plug from an iron or something, where the power cable had been hacked off about six inches from the plug. I used to practice on that (taking it apart and putting it back together), particularly when I was going for a cub badge, and that wasn't too hard, but I'd need to refresh my memory before I tried it again (I'm not 100% sure about which colour is earth/live/ground). On a similar note, it would probably make sense for me to get a cheap light fitting and cable that I can practice with, in case this happens again in the future.

Out of idle curiousity, a poll:

Poll #625550 Wiring

Would you be confident wiring up a:

Power plug
Ceiling light fitting

Meanwhile, I've been doing Japanese practice before tomorrow's test, and I'm reasonably confident about it. One thing I've done is to write out Japanese names in Hiragana, to help me get more familiar with the symbols. Since I don't know that many names, I wound up resorting to manga characters for this! So, I apologise in advance if I sound really pretentious by saying these names in unusual ways, e.g. pronouncing "Utena" as "oo-ten-ah" rather than "you-tainer". Then again, anyone who spends a significant amount of time reading/watching Utena is likely to have a sufficiently fried brain that you probably won't notice the difference :)

Anyway, sleep time...

(no subject)

Today's Japanese class was a bit deserted - only four students turned up, out of the normal twelve. I'm guessing that the others weren't feeling confident about the test. Anyway, it was a bit harder than I'd expected, so I had to skip several questions, but afterwards the teacher said "Don't worry about it, you've all passed", so I think it was more of a revision aid than anything else.

One thought I did have is that I need to keep a sense of perspective about my current skill level. On the one hand, I think I'm getting pretty good at Hiragana - I recognise all the symbols, and I can draw most of them from memory. On the other hand, looking at it from the point of view of, say, a Japanese five year old, I'm doing the equivalent of reading like this:

"Let's see, that's kuh ... ah ... hang on, don't tell me, I know this one ... just a minute ... it's, um, tuh! Yes, that's it! So, kuh ah tuh ... cat! Yes, I rock!"

Anyway, we've got quite a long break until the second term starts (over a month), so that gives me time to get up to speed on all of this.

Now, back to painting...

(no subject)

Day 9: I've now done the first coat on the kitchen/hallway ceiling (almost white, so quite conservative by my standards) - this has helped to lessen the "living in a cave" feeling of having the same brown colour on walls and ceiling. I've also done the first coat on the WC walls (a rather garish shade of orange) - unfortunately the paint was quite watery, so it felt as if I was covering the walls in tomato soup. Luckily I've learnt from experience, and didn't taste the paint for comparison purposes.

Still to do:
Second coat on kitchen/hallway ceiling and WC walls.
Kitchen/hallway walls.
Skirting in bedroom/hallway/kitchen/WC.
Ceiling in bedroom (not too urgent, because it's already painted in white).

Also the bedroom curtains, but I'll be nice and wait until my neighbours are out before I resume drilling.

And while I'm thinking about it, I should belatedly give credit to elvum and terpsichore1980 for actually kicking me into action, and suggesting the whole "take a week off work" plan.