Monday, October 29, 2007

... again

...another week done at the firm and it's the same old ding dong. The work is not too bad of late, so I am going to enjoy the most of that quiet time (getting out by 7pm being a quiet time). That means applying for jobs wholesale and seeing what bites. A nibble or two and an out-and-out PFO to date so all not too gloomy. Fingers, and whatever else you can manage, crossed please...
(this is a Lanceolated Warbler: ) Lanceolated Warbler
I got hammered drunk on Friday night with PJ, his bro and his bro's missus who are over visiting. It was a great laugh and just what the doctor ordered. Obviously Saturday was written off which was probably a good thing as I had things to do in the apartment like and I had no choice but to do it on Saturday. Why getting hammered drunk was good? My dreams are haunting me. I woke up screaming the other night with fright and I was addled all day. It happened again last night. The funny thing is is that they are not nightmares. Just a fragment of my past which is haunting me again. I thought I put all that shite away but the fecking bastard of a thing is saying boo in the my dreams. I'll have to kill it with a bottle of whiskey I think, ahahaa (joke Mother, that's a joke)!!
Anyway, I finished a great book by Mikhail Bulgakov called "Heart of a Dog" which was absolutely hilarious!! I had previously read "The White Guard" and "The Master and Margarita" and thought it was giving this one a go and it certainly was worth it. I finished it in a couple of hours waiting for my plane in Schiphol airport. Another book I read on that long journey home was "JPod" by Douglas Coupland...brilliant. Total piss take and it even features himself in the book. Well worth reading. Now I am reading the "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon. So far so good. I have also read his books "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", "Summerland" and "Wonder Boys". He's worth a read but the best has been Kavalier and Clay.
(This is a Narcissus Flycatcher:) Narcissus Flycatcher
Recently I downloaded In Rainbows the new album from Radiohead which is available to download from their website and you, the listener and fan, can decide how much you wish to pay for the album. I have loved it from the first note of the first song burst through my headphones....FRICKIN' AWESOME!!!! "Reckoner" (my favourite so far), "Jigsaw falling into place" (fcukin brilliant), "Faust Arp", "Weird Fishes/Apreggi", "Nude", and "15 Step" all jump straight out as classics. Definitely worth getting. Even if some of you are doubting whether it would be worth's up to YOU the listener to decide how much you pay :)

(This is a Dunnock or Hedge Accentor:) DunnockLiverpool are as inconsistent now as they have been for the last 20 years. I want the League title. I don't care for Europe. I don't care for the FA Cup and the Worthless Cup...I just want the league title. Bring it home Stevie G (and i don't mean the legendary Cork DJ and fan of the music Stevie G)...

Carmo's Diet: This week I have mostly been eating walnuts, almonds, pistachios, blueberries and cranberries

Carmo's Birds: Quiet really, Japanese Grey Thrush, Garganey, Arctic Warbler, Narcissus and Brown Flycatcher the best

Carmo's Birds for Byrdy: the new iMac with's just about the sexiest thing out there right now

Monday, October 22, 2007

... part deux

and so, I return home to Osaka from my home in Ireland. I had a great 12 days at home, chilling out in Cape Clear and West Cork, spending some quality time on this occasion with my family and not drinking too much actually. I really needed a break from Japan, from work, from everything...and I did just that. Although my schedule during the holiday was packed, I did find some time to myself, and to do things I wanted to do...that is, birding in some of my favourite places in Ireland and actually seeing my parents for more than one night during my holiday!!!! For those reasons, amongst other commitments made before I came home, I didn't see everyone I wanted to see, so for those of you who read this and didn't see sincerest apologies.
The Fastnet Rock and Lighthouse
I spent a couple of nights on Cape Clear with AV and CC, chilling out in the evening and just strolling leisurely around the island during the day in cloudless skies and balmy temperatures (as balmy as they can get in October in Ireland). Cape Clear is just like a priceless jewel in this weather and waking up to clean air, no noise, no crowds, no pollution at 7am was so refreshing. I relaxed for the first time in 2 years during my time on Cape Clear. It was AV's first time there and could understand why I love the place. It was just what the doctor ordered and made it incredibly difficult to get back on the plane to Japan.
Looking out across to Schull
Driving around in Dad's car was great and the sense of freedom that I lack in Japan was flooding through me again. It was marvellous. A perfect example was a 4.30am start one morning with CC and JW to get to Lissagriffin in West Cork for a dawn...a twitch!! We couldn't remember the last time the three of us went on a twitch together and it was great fun (we also saw the birds so it made it the day). Meeting up with HH at B'cotton was good as I hadn't seen him since I moved to Japan. Being knee deep in mud wasn't the most pleasant of surroundings to catch up, it was good nonetheless.
The Stag Party
The family time was better on this trip, catching up with Dad's side of the family this time at my cousin RC's wedding. I was groomsman (hence the reason I went home) and it was a great day. The only hitch being the visiting Americans being late for the dinner but in true Irish fashion, we turned their tardiness into a laugh and a joke so the great fun was had by all. My inability to drink was obvious on that day as the hangover the next morning killed me and all I wanted to do was sleep. It was also the first time that a photo of CC, JH, RC, and I was taken but Dad still hasn't given me that (DAD!!!!). It was great to have the four of us together. I guess being friends for the bones of 30 years makes it hard not to have fun together. Although JH was missing for the stag, we had a great day and night. Sailing around Cork Harbor for the afternoon was great or "awesome" as I kept telling Skipper TO'R. The funny thing was that there was no wind so we motored for 90% of the time. Still though, motoring around Cork Harbor on a yacht was damn nice....
This would be me...
So much happening when I was home that it would take too long to write about. The birding was great. Catching up with the lads from Uni undergrad days and the lads I used to work with in the Biochemistry department was fantastic. Dinner with DW was just like the old days from when we lived together. Going for pints with GB. It was no wonder I found it hard to come back to Japan....

However, in saying that, I'm back a week and it feels like I've never been away. Birding, photography and work taking precedence, but not necessarily in that order. 2 new JP ticks and a lifer for me in the last week is pretty incredible. The Lanceolated Warbler feeding no more than 6 feet away in the OPEN was mindblowing (photos on Flikr by the end of the week)...backed up by Pectoral Sand and Little Stint finally added some rare waders to our season list. Much to our dismay, we discovered that a Spoon-billed Sandpiper was seen at a place in Mie prefecture 2 days afer we were there...c'est la vie.

And now, it's back to the mayhem of work, work, and fitting it all in at the weekends...

Carmo's Diet: This week, I have mostly been eating ommlettes

Carmo's Birds: BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT (Ireland); *Pectoral Sandpiper; *Little Stint; LANCEOLATED WARBLER; (JP:333; IRE:274)

Carmo's Birds for Byrdy: Megan Fox