Venice, 2011

With no indication of when I will actually be leaving for South Korea, I thought I’d keep you all entertained by recalling other travels I’ve had the fortune of experiencing. Today, Venice!

As many of you seemed to enjoy my post on Iceland I thought I’d do the same here and let the pictures do the talking. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is Venice!

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The End!

So here it is, as promised in ‘The waiting game’, at 10.30pm (I wrote this bit last).

I woke up this morning with not a shred of a clue what to write about, when suddenly it hit me! I say me, but what I mean is it hit the… Hang on a second, let’s start from the beginning!

Last Wednesday evening I settled in to bed nice and early for a long and event free sleep. Soon after closing my eye’s however, I began to hear scuffling and scratching near my window. (Some of you may have heard this before and know where this is going, but lets keep the suspense alive)

After 5 minutes of this I realised it wasn’t coming from outside. It was in my room whatever it was!

I jumped into action, switching on all my lights and frantically looking around near the window. The sound was near my feet so I scanned the skirting board between my chair, desk and bedside table.

A shadow shot under the latter, and I barely had enough time to turn my head. Whatever it was, it was trapped now!

I made my way over, getting low so I had a better view. I removed books and random boxes from beneath the table top until only a rolled up poster remained. He MUST be behind it (I’ve made the assumption it was a he)!

I grabbed at the poster and tore it away from its resting place. No sign of anything left where it had been. At this point my eyes slowly turned to see him staring out from inside the poster!

Jerry!!!

Yes that’s right, Jerry! So named because of his incredible likeness to the “lovable” rodent that terrorized poor Tom to what must have been an early grave. I have come to the conclusion that Tom was definitely the good guy in that timeless cartoon. Tormented by his owner for not catching the devious Jerry. A mouse that went up and beyond taking his share, for the sole purpose of causing Tom excruciating pain and suffering!

Of course this was no cartoon! However, seeing a live mouse flying at your face as he leaps into the air borders on a cartoon like experience. I was to slow to catch him, but managed to dodge his vicious attack, avoiding a face mauling!

Safe to say I spent the rest of the night not sleeping, but devising ingenious (ridiculous) plans and contraptions with which to catch the devil mouse.

None of these worked!

Yes that’s right. I was bested by a mouse!

Jerry had won the battle, but he would not win the war!

At this point I would like to recommend that any animal lovers cease reading, and redirect their attention to any other of my delightful posts. This one has some lovely pictures that you might enjoy!

 

Are they gone?…

Good!

So Jerry made another appearance this morning. This time over by the door. I was awoken fairly early by the scratching I have become accustomed to, but this time I was prepared!

My eyes were wide as soon as I heard the familiar sound, and with one swift movement, a shoe laid by my bed caused Jerry’s end!

You were a worthy opponent!

The waiting game

As I mentioned in my previous post Preparation,preparation, preparation! I now have all the complete documents (short of some passport photos) needed for my South Korean work visa. Yipee! So of course I emailed my recruiter with the good news, in the hope of receiving a speedy reply. In only a couple of days it came through.

It read:

Joe,
Thanks for the update.
I think you are good to go for a visa. I’m just waiting on a school director to express interest in wanting to interview you.
I will keep you updated with any interest in your profile.
Cheers
A great, upbeat reply don’t you think? Can’t be anything wrong with that surely…
Of course having been held back for so long, to the point that friends at work are trying to make plans with me as late as November, my over-analytical self is perhaps reading a bit much into one part. Which bit you ask? It’s ok, I’ve marked it out in red. Got it? Great, let’s move on.
Who likes waiting… Waiting is one of the most frustrating things a person can do. There are ways to fill the time of course. At a restaurant when waiting to be served you can have a chat with your date/friends/family/colleague (date the preferred option of course). When waiting for a train you can read a book or listen to some music. The problem with waiting isn’t the waiting itself. Oh no! It’s not knowing how long you’ll be waiting for!
For this reason I promise not to keep you waiting in the dark for my next post. It will be posted at 10.30pm BST on 20/06/2012
In the meantime, how do you stay entertained while waiting? (Leave a comment below)

The ‘other’ walk of shame!

I’m sure many of you are fully aware of the fabled “Walk of Shaaame!” Most of you have probably had to take one yourself, some of you have maybe even taken a few more (Greg). Personally I’ve had the odd one or two, but I won’t go into any detail on those, simply because my mum reads this blog (Hi Mum!) Oh no, I’m here to tell you about the ‘other’ walk of shame!

I finished work early this monday, of course that suited me just fine, so I skipped off home eager to get in a run before bed time. Arriving at my humble abode my calves were feeling a bit tight but I thought nothing of it and was sure they would loosen up a little into my warm up (for those of you thinking of baby cows, I suggest you take an anatomy class).

I set off at what felt like a lightning pace, fed up of taking my time to ease my way back into running, and I actually felt great! It was exhilarating to rush through the streets of Plymouth at something that at least resembled my former pace. If I had long hair I’m sure it would have been waving gloriously behind me. I reached the one mile mark and continued on until Plymouth Sound came into view. Starting the first climb is when it all went wrong, and at only 1.72 miles my legs got the better of me as I ground to a halt!

For any regular readers you’ll know I disregarded all my own advice… Silly me!

After trying again and making it another 0.1 of a mile I gave in. It wasn’t worth continuing at the risk of injury. But stopping halfway through a run has its consequences, the biggest of which, is the ‘other’ walk of shame.

I’ll paint a word picture for you all as I don’t run with a camera. Imagine a man, dressed in bright red Nike running shoes, 5 inch race shorts and a Newquay 10k finishers t-shirt. You’d expect to see him racing along with a smile on his face, just a man and the road ahead!

The truth… Well… This man (aka me), was in fact ambling along at no more than a snail’s pace for a mile and a half, through the centre of town, head hung in sheer disappointment.

If you ask me, that’s a much more shameful walk than the original!

Preparation, preparation, preparation!

Finally things are getting underway! I’ve been planning to move to South Korea for almost a year now, and planned to be out there more than two months ago. That clearly didn’t happen, as I was told recent surgery and long haul travel don’t mix. Who knew?! But last week I received my apostilled documents through the post. I have almost everything I need for my work visa, short of a few passport sized photo’s (7 to be exact, damned if I know why they need them all) and the job itself.

Of course the latter of these two final pieces may be another stone in my shoe. I have had one interview with a delightful man who spoke limited English at best. As excited as I was to be at this stage, I was disappointed to read comments on the school from previous teachers. The gist of these comments was “YOU WILL NOT GET PAID FOR MONTHS!” I say gist, but I believe that was actually one of the comments, so to ensure I’m not accused of plagiarism (Anonymous poster,2012).

Now I’m sure this is a one-off, and I’m not going to get down because of one lousy school. If anything this is a lesson learnt, always research your employer!

So it’s all moving forward from here. For those of you interested in teaching ESL in Korea, I will soon be posting a guide to everything you need to get started, just as soon as I’ve completed it all myself!

Run into the ground!

The St Dominick’s Dash is getting closer, only 2 weeks away now. Of course me being the competitive person that I am, I’ve gone and gotten myself injured.

Those of you that run, or do any other sport, have probably over-trained at some point. You know this has happened when you start feeling lethargic and achy. Of course it’s a great excuse to make the most of your bed, but who wants to spend all their time indoors. Right now I’m icing a calf strain that manifested itself running up the stairs (am I accident prone or what?!)

The problem I have is that I knew I was pushing myself too hard way before this injury occurred. I’ve only myself to blame! After 6 months of no training whatsoever; in which I fractured my collar-bone, had surgery, and even contracted Glandular fever (otherwise known as the “kissing disease”: silver lining!); I still decided to go all out on my training program and try to run at my past fitness.

Mistake!

So here I am! Faced with 2 weeks to get ready for a 5 mile race! Off running until further notice! Do I quit?

Never! Time to man up I guess…

 

I’m sure you’re all smarter than I am! But just in case:

  1. Always stretch before a run.
  2. Make sure you warm up before setting off, and warm down when you’ve finished.
  3. Give your body time to recover.
  4. And most of all, listen to your body! If you start hurting… Stop!