I’m writing this on my handheld to upload later. The on-screen keyboard is a little tedious but tolerable. It’s fascinating to see the effect of the cold weather on the LCD screen—it slows right down and becomes really pale.

Today I’m at one of the (even) less enlightened schools, where they appear to tolerate my presence under sufferance, and then only because the local authority requires it of them. They have scheduled a bare minimum of classes (three half-days), and exiled me into a vacant meeting room on my own. Still, it’s not so bad. After all, at least I don’t have to answer the same questions for the umpteenth time! As it happens, I forgot this morning—it’s easy to do with my schedule—and walked into the staff room as I do everywhere else. Oh, the looks on their faces! A mixture of horror and panic as they chivvied me back to my ghetto. It’s a funny place, Japan.

The Japanese schools (and companies too, for that matter) like to play music over the PA in the morning. Today’s selection is cheesy 80s j-rock followed by that do-re-mi song from The Sound Of Music. Nice. Ahem.

Despite being cold enough to freeze the proverbials off a brass monkey, it’s a beautiful day. One of those bright, clear-skied days that seem common in winter. I can even see a solitary fluffy white cloud drifting along. I’m making a big assumption, of course: it might equally be a gob of pollution, a noxious emission from a nearby factory. You can never be sure.