Meeting interesting people

Imagine if you spent your whole life being followed round by a mini-me, that insisted on doing whatever you were doing, back to you. It would drive me nuts, and thus I really pity this guy. His brother, meanwhile, doesn’t have that issue. Interesting chap. We sat and had coffee for a while, and chatted […]

Horse in Shibuya

I’ve seen this horse a few times in Shibuya. It tends to frequent the mobile phone shops for some reason. I can’t think why though – have you ever seen a horse using a mobile phone? I mean, how would they hold them? I guess they could stand up on their hind legs and clutch […]

Revision vs. Procrastination

It’s interesting how Mac culture is really starting to become mainstream, something which I would say has only really started to happen in the last couple of months. Take You Tube’s new interface for example – the selection of videos offered at the end of any av story of a dog miming along to a […]

Book recommendation

I actually have a tonne of books I’d like to recommend – reading has truly set me free this year – but tonight I just want to pick one in particular, for the benefit of those studying Japanese. Boys and girls, Hoshi Shinichi (the kanji are ‘star’ ‘new’ ‘one’) is our hero. I’m surprised I’d […]

"What country are you from?"

When I answered, the old man behind the counter of the second-hand book store sprang into life, whipping out his gun and shooting me at point-blank range. I laughed, and told him that I loved James Bond too. I love him even more now that I know that he has succesfully taken Beckham out of […]

A Year in Japan Podcast – (mini) Episode 10.5 out now!

In the mini-episode 10.5 of the podcast that is for Japan-lovers what the iPhone is for MacAddicts, A Year in Japan, Joseph is inviting you to submit ideas and requests for the final episode of the current series of A Year in Japan, to be broadcast in a few weeks. Please send you ideas and […]

Fear of seperation

Subconcious fear of seperation growing. The tell-tale sign is the dream of living in the relative isolation of Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland. This morning's was the most vivid yet. This time though they had a Chinese zoo on the 4th floor of the Scheidegg hotel, which i don't recall from my two years there!


Er, thanks LH, i meant July 10th!

On Hold

Life is on hold until exams are dealt with, around 10th June.

Language Learners: What’s you benchmark?

When learning a language, I think it’s really important that now and then, you look back on your language ability of say, 1 or 2 years beforehand, and compare it to the present. This gives you the opportunity to say “OH MY GOD! I’M AMAZING!”, and give you a moral boost during those times when […]

Little Pink Hat: An afternoon in Shibuya

Shibuya, Central Tokyo. The Hachiko Crossing. A Saturday afternoon. Little Pink Hat instantly caught my eye, outshining all the fake tan and bleached mops. She was riding high. Way above the southbound crowd that was taken up with negotiating a path through the onslaught of fresh arrivals. What would it be like to be that […]

Exam in Progress

I don’t normally go in for republishing stuff I get by email, but I found these so funny I thought I’d make an exception… Tags: humour | The Daily Mumble

In the news

Anyone is Herefordshire: I hear I’m in the Hereford Times this week. Anyone got a copy I can have a look at? Oh, hang on, there’s that internet thing isn’t there… ah, yes, here we are. I see the chose the photo in which I look the most idiotic. link [edit] Thanks for the pic, […]

Night food

Last night, on my way home from the Oxfam meeting, I decided to see how the D40x would deal with low-light conditions. All of my DSCs up until now have made a lousy job of trying to capture anything outside after dark. It’s either been a case of blur, overexposure of the foreground due to […]

Life on the 17th floor

This evening’s entry opens with two photos: “Tweety Birds”, and “Bicycle girl” This evening *Twinkle* and I attended the grand house-warming party of my dear friend Stu and his lovely wife Mariko. Wow. What a place. What a location. 17 floors up on the banks of the Ara Kawa (it is the Ara Kawa isn’t […]

More Photos

I took a scenic route to uni today , via the park. It was there that I found some lovely lilies. and a little boy, holding onto his hat as he chased a runaway kite. Leaving the park, I passed by our local pachinko parlour (slot-machine arcade), and finally captured on digital film their happy […]

Nikon D40X SLR Camera

Today was an exciting day for me, as I realised one of my long-held dreams: to own a digital SLR. Whilst the dream may have superficially concerned ownership, it did / does of course go way beyond that. It’s the possibilities that owning a digital SLR open up. I really have missed having control over […]

Seeing double. Seeing double.

A note about this morning’s post: yes, I know it appears twice! When publishing there was an error with the database, thus I published again, only to find tonight that it’s appeared twice! I then deleted the first entry, but despite the fact that it’s gone from my list of posts in Blogger, it’s still […]

Live painting, sponsorship and region restrictions

Thank you Tom for inviting me out last night to the club whose name I forget. This arty nights the name of which I also forget, are fantastic. Last night, in addition to live drawing by Chantel, a very talented artist whose hand and pencil movements are projected onto three walls of the club courtesy […]

Growth. A terrifying thing.

Wow, this are tumultuous times. This process of coming to realise what power I have over the direction in which my life is leading is positively terrifying. I find myself in a constant state of butterfly-stomach. My mind won’t cease from turning over a myriad of ideas, many of which require my stepping out of […]

I love her

It’s very late, and I’m very tired, but I just want to write a little about my cutey who is currently in the US. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that you only miss something when it’s not there – there is some truth in both. Without wishing to dismiss the […]

A day of knowledge absorbtion and reflection

It’s been another good day today. Summer is really on its way now; this afternoon was the first time this year that I’ve got off the train and felt like I was being ‘hit’ by the heat. Yesterday’s bread turned out to be quite a success, although it was only when I reached the end […]

Epilepsy and Vitamins

I’ve had a busy day today, involving penguins, experiments with making bread in a large saucepan (*Twinkle* knows how to do it, but being mid-way over the Atlantic she can’t really help me out), and study. And buying Bjork’s new album. Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to tell you. What I’m here to tell […]

Flea Market for Oxfam Japan: this Saturday

Just a reminder that we’re holding our second in a series of “One Day Oxfam Shops” this Saturday, 12pm ~ 5pm, at Heaven’s Door in Shimo Kitazawa, 10 mins from Shinjuku / Shibuya. As well as being a great place to pick up some super-dooper bargains, if you’re leaving Japan soon and have anything in […]

A Rude Awakening

This morning I wake up of my own accord – a nice change from *Twinkle*’s mobile doing the deed. My relaxed state of mind was to come to a abrupt halt when I checked the time on my iPod – 12.30pm! We’d overslept! Today of all days! Alarmed, I immediately woke *Twinkle* up, “It’s 12.30pm, […]

Calls for a Chocolate Revolution!

Fair Trade still has a long, long way to go in Japan. It’s one of those areas, like supporting charities or human rights, that puts Japan to shame. It may have coin lockers and conveyor-belt car parks that are a decade ahead of anything we see in the West, but when it comes to issues […]

Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s time to party in Kobe

[this post contains a load of photos that aren’t necessarily related to the paragraphs that they are placed between. Such naughty photos!] Hoopla hoola hoo! Kobe mosaic Yes indeedy what an amazing thing this life thing is. Had a couple of excellent lessons tonight with three of my favourite students. I’ll miss them when I […]

Climate Change: They’re listening!

A message from Avaaz: This week, the G8+5 summit could reach an agreement to take bold action on climate change. Governments are watching our petition–help it reach 333,333 signatures by clicking here:Take Action Now! Our campaign against global warming is on fire! World leaders meet at the G8+5 summit this week–and they’re listening to us. […]

Steady George

In 1997 I spent 3 months working as a ‘counselor’ at Camp Jened, a holiday camp for adults with mental and physical disabilities buried deep in the American outback about 3 hours north of New York City. One of my best friends that summer was ‘Steady George’, who tended to refer to me a ‘great […]

In the press (again)

Thanks to Nigel and the person who kindly sent him the photo. The Trailwalkers in the Sheffield press! Read the online version here Tags: Oxfam | trailwalkers | The Daily Mumble

‘The Secret’

I’d like to write an entry to counteract the negative theme of my previous entry. This will involve trying to ignore the smell of what is either dried squid, or bad breath. It’s hard to tell, I’ve been on this night bus for 7 hours now and the majority of my senses have shut down […]

Are Western lives worth more than African lives?

The past few days gave seen me learning more about the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan, which is located to the bottom left of Egypt. Oxfam, the charity organisation that we have donated over £2000 pounds to, is working hard to bring clean water to over half a million displaced people. I read […]