Saturday, 23 June 2012

Japanese food drop

So my time at Radio Sheffield finished a week early, but I still got two weeks of valuable work experience there. I was offered a load of hours over the coming week at Pizza Hut, and as I'm saving for Japan I couldn't turn down paid work to do free work experience. Also, the third week would have most likely been more of the same; I never seemed to progress beyond doing vox pops and editing montages. Anyway, here's a couple of examples of vox pops I did: 


In that second vox I managed to sneak the word 'bollocks' onto Radio Sheffield. Another funny moment came yesterday while out doing more vox pops when one guy told me he was sure he recognised me from jail. I assured him I'd never been to jail but thanked him for the compliment.

On Thursday one of my Japanese friends from Aomori came to Sheffield. She's in the UK for a friend's wedding and we took the opportunity to meet up. I showed her round Sheffield and took her to Nando's for true British dining, and in return she gave me a big bag of Japanese food:


It's been ages since I tasted sweet, sweet Calpis Water.  The evening was also a chance for me to talk Japanese again, and I had a really good, chilled-out time showing her round Sheffield. She even got to experience some typically wet and overcast British weather.  Looks like it's gonna be another summer of bizarre weather here.

England progressed to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 and they're up against Italy tomorrow. My shift finishes at 4 so I'll be back in time to watch it all. C'mon lads.

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Monday, 18 June 2012

One step closer

Yesterday I took a step closer to Japan by buying my plane ticket - I'll be flying out on the 8th of August with Cathay Pacific. I booked it through the STA Travel website and the price was just over 500 quid for a one-way ticket.  I've just checked what date I came back from Japan last year and that was the 8th of August as well, so purely coincidentally I'll have been in the UK for exactly one year. 

I'm free to go whenever I like, but realistically I have to finish off my placement at Radio Sheffield, do my masters project for uni and then save some money by working at Pizza Hut.  I figured out that I should have all that done by about August 8th.

So it's just under two months till I leave, and I remember being in a similar situation two years ago. I moved out of my student house and back to my parents' place and I had two months till I left for Japan, which seemed to drag on forever.  I hope these two months will pass quicker than that.

Last night I went to see blink-182 at the Motorpoint Arena. They were meant to tour the UK last year while I was still in Aomori, but, luckily for me, they cancelled that tour and rescheduled it for 2012, so me and a mate decided we had to go.  The Sheffield date didn't sell out but there was a lot of people there. Blink seem to be one of those bands that split up and got even more popular for it. They're one of the, if not the, biggest alternative bands around and they played a great set. It was great to see Travis Barker live as he's been an inspiration for me as a drummer. His beats are really catchy on their own, and he deserves to be one of the most well-known drummers playing today. I remember a few years ago I bought an issue of Modern Drummer and they had lessons on how to play some of his more famous rhythms - I learnt a lot from just studying those beats.  

Last night was the first time I've been to a seated gig. Obviously we stood up when Blink came on, but it was definitely a different vibe to being stood in a crowd in front of the stage. We were pretty far away from the stage as well, so that probably made a difference.

My placement at Radio Sheffield is going fine. Most days I'm editing the breakfast phone-in into a montage, then going out to do vox pops in the city centre. It's a bit repetitive but I've learnt a lot about the way a BBC radio station works.  Just about all the pieces I've worked on have gone out on air and I've been name-checked a few times so I'm keeping a copy of everything.

Euro 2012 has continued to be a really interesting tournament. The big surprise so far has been Holland going out at the group stage having lost all three games. England's final group game is tomorrow and I should be at home to watch it. For the France game I was at Radio Sheffield and for the Sweden game I was at work.

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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Radio Sheffield

So I handed in the essay and the proposal I was working on. Not my proudest moment, but they're both in. Now I just wait to get feedback on my proposal, and then I can start working on the radio piece.

But not for the next three weeks, because from tomorrow I'll be doing my placement at BBC Radio Sheffield. It should be a really useful experience. In fact, this is kinda why I ended up doing this masters. You see when I was finishing up on JET last year I emailed Radio Sheffield and asked if I could do some work experience with them, and they emailed back and said one of the only ways they accept people is through the Broadcast Journalism MA at Sheffield Uni. So I looked into that I decided it was what I wanted to do. One of my classmates did his placement with them over the Easter break and he said it was great. He even got a bit of paid work towards the end.

It's gonna be a busy three weeks because I'm working at Pizza Hut on the weekends as well. I've just got back after working yesterday and today. It was good to be back and filling my belly with grease.

The placement, and working at Pizza Hut, means I'm gonna miss a lot of matches from Euro 2012. I forgot how much I love international footy tournaments, and this year it seems like the English press haven't overhyped England's chances, so everyone can chill out and enjoy the tournament for what it is.  We've done a sweepstakes at work and I drew Italy. 32 quid coming my way if the Italian Stallions win. It seems quite open in general this year. Netherlands had a poor result yesterday and Spain only drew today. The best game so far seems to have been the opener though, between Greece and Poland, which everyone thought would be boring. I'm doing a fantasy football league with some guys off my course. I'm not doing bad so far.

This whole situation reminds me of two years ago. Around that time I was planning to go to Aomori, it was the summer and the World Cup was on. And then two years before that I was planning to go to Kobe and Euro 2008 was on, although I remember not paying much attention that year as England didn't qualify.

I phoned up the embassy on Friday to ask them some questions about getting my working holiday visa - everything's coming together nicely. And a friend says he's gonna come with me to Japan. It's gonna be fun.

Finally I went to a great party on Friday. It was thrown by one of the girls off our course and most of the class turned up and had a great time.  Here's me pulling my best Asian pose with another (Asian) party attendee:

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Friday, 1 June 2012

What I've been working on lately

Here are a couple of pieces I've been working on during the past week at uni. 

First, the TV package on hovercraft racing that I mentioned in a previous post:


Then a radio package on South Yorkshire's newly announced tram-train system. I put this together for a module called Power and Society:


I have just two more pieces of written work to do, then my final project, which should take up most of July.

My shoulder's gradually healing up. I had an appointment for a physiotherapy session today, but other than catching loads of buses I had no way of getting to the Northern General and back, so I gave it a miss and found some exercises to do by myself.

I'll be back at Pizza Hut next weekend, so this is my last weekend off. Speaking of Pizza Hut, they've brought out a new pizza to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It's called the Crown Crust and it looks like this:


It seems to follow the trend of using meat in the crust, just like the Crown Crust in the Middle East and the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust in the US.

Also, I got another review posted on Punknews. Been on a big MxPx trip lately, which led to me hunting down all of their obscure and rare tracks and making a bootleg compilation. Might upload it to the internet at some point.

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