That tumble-drier should be relabelled. It has three settings to choose from. These are: 1) Fragiles 2) Colours and Whites 3) Permenant Press They shouldbe labelled 1) Occasionally blow cold air in and not dry your clothes at all 2) Occasionally blow a bit of warmish air in, and dry one sock, leaving the rest […]

Washing Day

..again. Must be the third time this year I’ve had to wash my socks. It’s costing me a fortune. Yesterday morning I went to the reception of this student block to pick up a parcel that had arrived the previous day. On seeing me, the staff began to whisper amongest themselves… “that’s him isn’t it?” […]


What a day. It’s been great. Another day to feel so happy to be alive and well. Boy though am I bushwacked. I guess it all began at about 8am when my alarm clock (the theme tune to that classic 1980s Thames TV program Rainbow) woke me up in order that I could phone the […]

no anchor

woahhh I’m all over the place. Combination of events have thrown me way out into the stratosphere. Good job I had my laptop in my rucksack at the time, and a very long Lan cable attached, cos there’s not much out here for entertainment except dodging a few dud satellites. So what’s up? 1) Essays. […]

Back to School

And only too soon the holidays were over. I sort of got done what I set out to achieve. 2 out of 3 essays-type things written. The last one isn’t due for a couple of weeks, so there’s still plenty of time to panic. And in 7 weeks, it will all be over. I’m almost […]

Will Christophers receives Centenary Achievement Award

Every year, the President of the University Union presents 5 students with “Centenary Awards”. My very good friend Will Christophers (who is responsible for introducing *cough* and I to one another) has been an absolute star these past two years, doing more than anyone else I know for the benefit of other students. Thus, I […]

Keitai code

On the cutting edge this Daily Mumble is you know. Look, I can now even provide you with the 2D barcode that is widely used throughout Japan, and will no doubt reach our western shores in about 10 years. Do me a favour if you’re in Japan – scan this code with your mobile phone […]

You are being watched

Recently I mentioned the fact that on my way home from Uni I am tracked by almost 3 billion CCTV cameras positioned at strategic locations along my route. Well, yesterday I just flipped. I could no longer take the intrusion into my privacy. It’s bad enough having fingers that insist on telling the world everything […]

My head is full of letters

Well, if you will go and sit inside a postbox for 3 hours with your mouth open joseph… Ok, so not quite. It’s this Year Abroad Project proposal. My head is full of English letters making up words in the English alphabet, 2600 of them so far, and somehow I’ve managed to spend a whole […]

no hug

I just learnt that there’s no noun for ‘hug’ in Japanese. Ah! Another thing to add to the cynic’s list. Spent three hours photocopying in the library today. 400 pages of text. A lot of money, a lot of trees. 4 week’s worth of classes. All covered. I figured, if I did it all now, […]

Year Abroad Project

So, Minamata’s dealt with. I move on. Next year, in order to ensure that we don’t spend all our time in a cozy izakaya (pub) drinking sake, we have to complete a ‘Year Abroad Project’, which is basically a research excercise, designed to get us out and about with a questionnaire investigating Japanese attitudes towards […]


It’s been a long process this writing an essay about Minamata Disease business. It started about two weeks ago when I opened Ishimure Michiko’s classic ‘Kugai Joudo: Waga Minamata-byou (translated by Livia Monnet as ‘Paradise in a Sea of Sorrow: Our Minamata Disease). Having made my way through that heart-wrenching novel I turned to Timothy […]

Will Yaki in the Japan Times

How ironic – one of my photos makes it into an international daily newspaper, and gets attributed to someone else!!! I shall have to have words… That aside, congrats to Will and the team for getting the publicity. He’s gonna go a looooooong way.

Back in the shoebox

Speaking of haircuts, first thing I did today upon returning to the rabbit hutch was bring about the following radical transformation: Yes, managed to ditch the stupid face as well. (just be quiet, you) Arrr jimlad ’tis good to be back up here, not that it wasn’t lovely down there, but up here I was […]

Lego-men haircuts

I was just looking at this map, which shows the geographical location of all Lego men who have had a haircut in the last 10 hours, and I was astonished by the amount of ice on planet Earth. I mean, just alook at that vaste swathe of unflavoured slush-puppy in the south (Arctic or Antarctic? […]

Tree Trunk at Twilight

all that matter, sap-filled sinew, so ‘there’, and then all that space, so big and empty.  

Sexuality: Norah Vincent, a Self Made Man, and me

I can’t get to sleep tonight. Worrying a bit about my *cough* who is currently in Italy, alone, and whose mobile hasn’t acknowledged receiving my texts today. Anyway, in a bid to send myself to sleep, I thought I’d check out what new downloads my iPod aquired tonight. Watched one video podcast starring some lecherous […]

Another good day at the office

Arr jimlad shiver me timbers and call me a pickled gherkin. Yes, well, indeed. Today has been most satisfying, as I finished transforming this into this Ok, so it may just look like a patch of earth to you, but no, the truth is it is far more than that. For this is my deep […]

Big Cats and Wild Rhino on the streets of Liverpool

Crikey I can’t believe I forgot to warn you when I was talking about our trip to Liverpool last weekend! If you go there, do be careful. Probably best to take a 4×4 jeep and a rifle, just in case, as there’s Big Cats and Wild Rhino on the streets!

Podcast Fever

When packing my bags for Wales, I rather cleverly forgot to include my external hard-drive, which happens to house all my music. Now, this could have been a major problem, were it not for …podcasts. What a bloody brilliant idea they are, and what with backup like available I have no doubt we’re going […]


Hello hello. Another good days work then. Managed to finally clear that patch of land of stumps, roots, plastic and 15-year-old flowerpots. Tomorrow I shall rev up my rotavator and get stuck in (hopefully not literally). Today’s Random Photo: ‘Across the River Han’ (Seoul, 2003) And what a big river it is. It seems that […]


Joseph the Gardner sat contentedly on the little stone wall that bordered the deep beds he was creating. As he sat there with his cup of tea, his face being warmed by the spring sunshine, he thought how lucky he was to be here, in the beautiful Welsh countryside, surrounded by twitterin’ birdies and a […]

Trees in Wales struck by deadly Dulux Oak Disease

Whilst on my way here from the station last night, I saw something that brought a furrowed brow to my face and a dark cloud to my heart. In the gloom I could just about make out some trees in a nearby field that looked distinctly off-colour – this brought to mind an urgent environmental […]


Until yesterday, I’d only been to Liverpool once. I was about 16 at the time. Attempting to be a wild child. Dreaming of being a cowboy, galloping after some freight train onto which I would jump from my steed. Not quite sure why, but it seemed terribly romantic at the time. Too many Sunday afternoons […]

The BIGGEST birthday cake in the whole wide world ever

Last week saw Yuki and Kana celebrating their birthdays. Always one to be thinking of others, Ranmaru decided to organise a wee party, in preperation for which, and along with three helpers, he made the Biggest Birthday cake in the Whole World Ever Ever. It was THIS BIG! The cutting of the 4-layer sponge monstrousity, […]

Oh God

Good heavens! What a sensitive bunch you are! I shall have to remove this post before the Bishop comes knocking at my door!