I looked in my mailbox (have learned not to call it “pigeonhole” as for some reason the American students find this hilarious … grrr bloody Yanks, grrr our language in the first place, grrr) today to find an official-looking letter from Kansai Gaidai saying that my application to extend my stay into the spring semester has been accepted. So this is now a real year abroad. Aside from the short homecoming over Christmas, that is. My folks are going off to a skiing holiday in Andorra between Boxing Day and the New Year, so I get the house to myself for a large part of the three weeks I plan to spend there. I’m not especially bothered; skiing doesn’t really strike me as my thing, and I will be able to finish off the turkey on my own. After six months in Japan, eating a piece of meat bigger than one of my fingers fills me with a strange and uncontrollable fascination. It will be mine. All mine, I say.