Khaos

Archive for December, 2009

Food Shopping

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Grocery shopping on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo is every bit as bad as grocery shopping on Christmas Eve in Belfast.  Normally I would avoid doing this but we only got back yesterday.  In Belfast, when I wanted to go food shopping before a major holiday, I would go to somewhere like Tesco in the middle of the night.  But here in Tokyo we don’t have 24 hour mega grocery stores. Normally I don’t miss them but being able to go to one shop would have made things easier today.

The first shop I went to was so crowded it was hard to get inside.  I persevered as it’s the only local shop where I can buy cheddar cheese.  The second shop I went to wasn’t much better. I wanted to see the display of crab and fish but I couldn’t face fighting my way through the crowds to do this.  I quickly decided that we weren’t going to have any traditional Japanese New Year food and instead bought the ingredients for making chicken soup, Irish stew, and chili.  The only Japanese thing I bought was a black Ebisu stout in the hope that I can use this instead of Guinness in my stew.

I’m also not going to eat soba to welcome the New Year.  Instead I’m thinking about chocolate and champagne, though neither of those things is likely to help me have a long life.

Happy New Year!

Home Again

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Thankfully the trip back to Japan was uneventful.  I haven’t rang anyone to let them know that I’ve got back but then my voice hasn’t come back yet.  I lost it a few days before Christmas and by now I am thoroughly fed up with croaking and whispering.  The thought of travelling whilst ill fills me with dread but I didn’t have a problem on the long return flight.  The only problem I seemed to have was staying awake as apparently I was asleep before the plane had taken off.

And since we’ve no place to go…

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I arrived in Holland to be greeted by snow.  Christmassy wonderland fluffy beautiful snow.  It’s a pity that the same amazing snow turned into the nightmare before Christmas when I actually had to go somewhere.  Planes, buses, and trains don’t seem to like snow at all.  But I have made it to my Christmas destination and, even better, my husband managed to join me.

Dad Building a Snowman

Dad Building a Snowman

OSDC Australia: Gifts for Speakers

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

I have never been given a gift for speaking at a technical conference before but at OSDC Australia all the speakers were given a bottle of wine.  It was lovely to be thanked.  The name of the wine also amused me but no-one involved in choosing the gift would have known about my childhood nickname.

White Wine

White Wine

OSDC Australia: Keynote

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Last Wednesday was the first time I ever gave a keynote at a conference.  I have been the first speaker at a conference before, but those talks were called something else so I’m not going to count them.   As always I was really nervous before I spoke.  It doesn’t matter if my talk is a keynote or not, if the audience contains 20 people or 2,000, I always feel this way.

The talk I gave, Understanding Volunteers,  was a variant on one I had given at YAPC::EU and YAPC::NA earlier this year.  The new version is longer.  I added additional material on the need to belong and made sure I had examples of a variety of different Open Source communities.  I was able to keep in most of my Perl community examples and I imagine I would be forgiven if there was a bit of a Perl community focus.  I am, after all, the Vice-President of The Perl Foundation.