Decluttering college notes … the final frontier!!

What to do with notes 

and essays you piled up but

have not reviewed much?


The last real stage of my decluttering is almost over.    If I ever decide to move I’ll have a very quick packing session … woo hoo!!  I was going through my college notes (I studied languages and my course included other modules as well) aiming to get rid of as much as possible as they take up way too much space and for what?  So,  I’ve been busy over the last few days, work or study aside, in another huge cull.  I successfully whittled my four years of Japanese down to one small box file though I have some extra notes from study I have since done myself or with a private tutor.  4 years into one small box is good work I think.  If only I could get my notes on the other two languages down to that amount.    I really should chuck it all out but some of it is really interesting to read on its own merits not just because I once had to for college, stuff on the cultural side of things relating to each language or country concerned.  Yes I can find it on the internet but all the same if I can cull it down to that size box for everything I think I’ll refer to it more if I do want to find out or read something.  Who wants to be looking at a computer or phone screen any more than necessary anyway?    It’s bad for you!!

Just as I was thinking when culling my photos ‘what was I thinking taking that!’ I came across a lot of essays I wrote when I was much younger and found myself laughing despite myself at what I wrote.   The stuff I wrote.  Honestly.   I got decent marks for a lot of them though and so I hesitate to throw them away. Certain tests where I achieved really good results also remain in there.   I was never the highest achieving student so I like to remind myself of my high points, even if, like the photos, they’re in the past.  I also have kept a few essays where I got not so good feedback, but not as much of course ; )

I think Marie Kondo and other ‘experts’ might tell me to go further and bin all of it, apart from those results that made me happy.    I’ll think about it.

Anyone else have decluttering woes or even joys to share?


To have and to hoard until cull do us part…

A trip into the

travels of your past can free

your mind and cupboards

I have a bit more space now thanks to my decluttering drive over the last few days but I’m not finished yet (groan).

This weekend, I moved on to my photos.  Mostly my travel photos as I have more of them than any other category of photos.   In more recent years, all my photos – travel or otherwise – have gone straight from my digital camera or phone to my computer (all my Japan pictures for example but pictures from other places too) but I still had tons of photos -about 7 full albums – with copies elsewhere –  from about 7 or 8 years of pre-digital camera travel.    So I’ve had some work cutting the number of those down.    Most of them are bloody copies or places that look similar to other places, in the same country, or of things that are really of no relevance to me and weren’t at that time either (e.g. not being Buddhist why did I take sooo many photos of different temples, inside and out?  Many look the same).  I haven’t always marked the back of them or the photo album comment spaces with the name of the place.  I’ve got most of them culled and may do a bit more culling of the ‘finalists’ as I call the ones that escaped the main cull tomorrow (just to get it over with).

It has been a bit of a trip and a relaxing one at that looking at my old travel photos after so long so why fuss over minor details such as where exactly somewhere is as long as you know which country you were in (don’t laugh, countries in South East Asia for example have similar cultures and architecture, eg. temples, and so on, as do various places in Mediterranean Europe).   That’s why people shots are better than location shots as you might have a story of why you took that picture of yourself or your travel buddies at that particular spot and who you met in what place also helps you remember better.   I’m still amazed at how many shots I took of the same thing! Developing pictures could cost quite a bit. Not that most people have to worry about that any more but when I was taking these pictures I wish I had had someone looking over my shoulder saying ‘ok one maybe two’s enough of this, move on!’ or ‘Are you really going to be happy you took that picture? Think of the cost and the clutter!’.   I’m also regretting the invention of photo albums, not that anyone made me buy them. Photo albums are somewhat over-rated I think or for things like this at least.  Weddings? Sure if just a small one as most family members will send you digital copies anyway of their photos of your wedding.  Family shots? Of course, posed or not.  Probably small too as like the wedding situation, you can be sent pictures others have taken for you.  Otherwise, for an individual it takes time and effort and if you want to reorganise an album it’s a lot of hassle.  I have every single ‘finalist’ marked on the back now with place and year (or maybe a comment of some type) and might just put the whole load into plastic ring binder sheets and put them in a box somewhere.

Digital cameras but even more so smartphones are definitely a gift to the world in terms of photo taking in this regard wouldn’t you say?    On the other hand they can be used for evil as well.   People taking pictures of strangers and posting them on the web, fat-shaming them or skinny-shaming them or shaming them based on other aspects of their looks.   Teenagers bullying each other on social media posting certain photos using certain apps. I’m glad I’m not a teenager in this day and age but adults with nothing better to do with their lives can be just as cruel.















Applause for Scotland

Sorry to the Scots

you so deserved to win in

another great match!

Another example of the unpredictable nature of the rugby world cup making it such a joy to watch.   Wow!!   So many great games in this tournament so far.  I hope the world cup final the weekend after next is just as exciting as the two I watched today!!   スコットランド, who along with 南アフリカ,  qualified from Japan’s pool, lost in the dying seconds of their game against the ワルビーズ(オーストラリア), a game anyone watching would feel they should have won.  They were two points ahead up to that point and were about to win.  Ok their carelessness* led to a penalty being awarded against them but even so…  I’m so sorry for them and I wonder if they will ever get a chance like this again.     Most people felt オーストラリア would not just beat them but do so by a large margin – I myself suspected they would win but was hoping it would not be a mauling and was rooting for the Scots and cheering their every try and point. But no, they defied expectations, against a perhaps complacent Australian team.   アルゼンチン beat us, アイルランド , fair and square earlier today (so much for our extra day of rest and our injured players were really missed after all, no disrespect to the players on the field) so アルゼンチン will be facing オーストラリア.  If the boys in navy-blue can scare the Wallabies and only lose by 1 point, then the Pumas definitely can go further and beat them  (how fast are they at running? Wow!) and I will be supporting them.   If it were スコットランド against アルゼンチン I would be happy with whoever won that semifinal as it would have been great to have either a northern hemisphere team or a let’s say ‘new’ southern hemisphere team in the final, and preferably winning it (アルゼンチン are generally more entertaining to watch but スコットランド are obviously good enough and are our Celtic cousins) than one of the usual trio of the Springboks, Wallabies and All-Blacks.  NZ ran riot last night over their opponents フランス in one of those matches where you desperately hoped the clock would magically speed up to put the losers out of their misery.  They were clearly not on the same planet, but  I felt so sorry for certain players, including Michalak, Dusutoir, Parra, Swarvoski le ‘blonde’, Mas and, concerning last night, Picamoles as well.  It is the last world cup for most of these guys, definitely Michalak who was also forced off with a hamstring injury very early on.    Not as sorry as I felt for Scotland who at least played some rugby and almost won but sorry because, as I said before, they are decent when they get themselves together and are usually my alternative top team.

Speaking of sports journalists again, I was kind of amused to see the Springboks captain, and maybe the coach too, reminded post-match (when they won their quarterfinal against another decent team, Wales) of their first-game loss against Japan.   They’ll never be allowed to live that down but they were skilful in their answers, preferring to keep to the here and now.   I’ve nothing against them as such but if any of the above-mentioned trio are going to win, they would not be my first choice.

There are two people generally who have been doing these post-match interviews at the stadium throughout the tournament.   Their questions tend to be very to-the-point but also tend to have little digs built into them, like the above question to South Africa (I applaud that though as it reminds the Springboks and other such teams that they are not infallible).  Another question to another team’s player was ‘you’ll probably have nightmares about this for the rest of your life’.   Hmmm.     Others were blindingly obvious statements put as questions.

Japan can also feel proud that they came third in a pool which was topped by the Springboks, who they managed to beat to send such shockwaves around the rugby world, and the only team they lost to who almost caused a bit of a shock of their own, almost beating the Wallabies, the most all-round well performing team before today in this world cup.

Banzai Japan and Scotland!!

* Update: Scotland did not really ‘give away’ a penalty it seems.  Sorry about that. It was very hard to see but the referee just didn’t bother checking the TMO which a lot of referees have been using a lot of the time over the course of this world cup, and thus may have ‘given away’ a penalty, to Oz, himself. This is under investigation now but I don’t think they can do much about it. I didn’t notice this but apparently the referee  also practically ran off the pitch at the end (for ran, read fled) without shaking hands with any of the players.  Hmmm.  Now we know why!!  I hope there are no more robberies from here to the end of the tournament.