The following is a message from the internationally respected campaign group Avaaz. http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/t.php “Dear friends, Burma’s generals have brought their brutal iron hand down on peaceful monks and protesters — but in response, a massive global outcry is gathering pace. The roar of global public opinion is being heard in hundreds of protests outside Chinese […]

Random stuff the day before it all kicks off

One advantage of being plugged into a university network (along with thousands of other students) is that one often finds other users inadvertently sharing their music collection. Right now, in iTunes, just above my own music collection are those of two other people who have forgotten to turn ‘library sharing’ off on their computers. I’m […]

Change the channel

I would like to report back on the successful outcome of an experiment that I began 7 weeks ago, prompted by my departure from a broadband/TV equipped place of rest. The experiment has basically involved avoiding all news of the national / international variety. No glancing at newspapers in shops, no more daily emails from […]


I’d like to share a few links and stuff that has caught my attention lately. First off is How to Write Down Your Goals – [MrWangSaysSo]. I’ve integrated this into my daily routine: why not try it yourself and we’ll compare notes in a few weeks. Incidentally, I cam across that via the ever-excellent Lifehack.org. […]

You don’t know me but, (…I know everything about you)

Last night, whilst loitering in the Student Union foyer waiting for folks to turn up for our first Japan Soc social, I was approached by a a stranger who said, “You must be Joseph! How’s your knee now?” This reference to an injury I sustained in the spring in Japan through the Trailwalker Challenge came […]

This life thing

There is something very special about true friendship. I am fortunate to have found a few people in all four of my major homes – Sheffield, Tokyo, Bristol and Hereford – who show a lot of trust in me and care for me. Tonight, I met up with a precious couple here in Sheffield who […]

Student Life Revisited

Before I get into the emotional turmoil stuff, I’d like to tell you about a wonderful music service I have discovered (thanks to Leo), called Magnatune, (“We are not evil”). Magnatune have an astonishingly large collection of hour-long podcasts featuring DRM free (no copy protection) music, covering many different genres. To find a genre that […]

The final word

It’s now 4 days since I arrived at my final destination, Sheffield, bringing to an end my 9000 mile, 30-station trip halfway around the world in 28 days. I made it! Sitting here in bed under my Paddington Bear duvet, accompanied by a Penguin and an oversize teddy bear, how do I feel about this […]

Video: Hello London

After 9000 miles on 30 trains, I finally arrive in London. Join me as I burst into tears. Well, almost. Tags: The Daily Mumble | Trans-siberian

Video: Lake Baikal

Over 600km long, 7km deep, a 5th of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, millions of years old – it’s amazin! Join me as I cycle across the island in the middle. Tags: The Daily Mumble | Trans-siberian

Video: Tom and his crazy English

Before we wind up this trip halfway around the world in 28 days, I’d like to do a little video review of a few of the places I visited. Let’s begin with Tom and his CRAZY ENGLISH! Tags: The Daily Mumble | Trans-siberian

The final leg

So, this is it. Morning of the final day of my journey from Tokyo to Sheffield. In a few hours, Mr. C will be arrive from Bristol to take the helm of the family chariot and drive it three hours north to the university of Sheffield, from where I shall pick up a key to […]

One Week On

I find it somewhat ironic that it’s only now I reach the UK that internet access becomes an issue. Mongolian Yurts? Light-speed connections to the information superhighway. Isolated Chinese border-town hotels? SO online there’s a Google search toolbar in the bathroom to help locate lost contact lenses. Dodgy 8th-floor youth hostels in Moscow? Username and […]

A familiar sunrise

There’s no words for this Mumble. Except to say, it’s good to see this familiar sunrise again. Tags: Herefordshire | The Daily Mumble | Trans-siberian

Arriving in the UK

Date and Time: Thursday 13th September, 2007. 15:49 BST Location: Carriage C, Seat 35, First Great Western to Newport, 3 minutes West of London Crikey o’reiley! How on Earth can anyone afford to live in London?! 2 hours there has nearly bankrupt me! You know how much a single ticket on the underground costs? Let’s […]

A slight mistake in a previous post

Date and Time: Thursday 13th September, 2007. 11:56 CET Location: Carriage 4, Sear 24, Eurostar train from Brussels to London – about to depart Brussels Well boys and girls we made it! I tell you, it was so nice to reach British Passport Control in Brussels. “Hello, how are you?” I was asked by the […]

They speak my language!

Date and Time: Thursday 13th September, 2007. 00:02 CET Location: Berth 32, train from Moscow to Cologne, German border control So this is it, just left Poland, now back in comfortable EU territory. By that I mean we’re now in a country where I can speak the language, at least to a certain extent, with […]

Hello Poland

Date and Time: Wednesday 12th September, 2007. 14:26 CET Location: Berth 32, train from Moscow to Cologne, somewhere in Eastern Poland I suppose it’s only appropriate that after a year of heavy use (almost every day) and much brutal treatment, my trusty laptop starts to show signs of wear and tear. In a way, I […]

The most luxurious train in the whole world

Date and Time: Tuesday 12th September, 2007. 06:55 Location: Bed 32, Train 11 from Moscow to Cologne. Currently in outskirts of Moscow, 20 minutes into 32 hour journey Diese zug ist nicht ‘gut’. Diese zug ist SEHR gut! or something like that. I tell you, this train is something else. This is train travel how […]

A day in Moscow

The following 3 posts come courtesy of a wireless link at Cologne station, Germany Date and Time: Tuesday 11th September, 2007. 6.10pm Location: Sweet Moscow Hostel, Moscow Checking in to the Sweet Moscow Hostel I was almost surprised that there was no-one there that I knew. Ok so there was the girl with the siblings […]

What? You mean my train for Germany left an hour ago?!

Date and Time: Monday 11th September, 2007. 3pm Location: Sweet Moscow Hostel, Moscow Before I tell you about my time in Moscow, I must breathe out. I am just recovering from the most hectic 2 hours of this trip so far. It could have been the most stressful too, beginning as it did with a […]

Hello Moscow

Date and Time: Monday 10th September, 2007. 22:45 Location: Sweet Moscow Hostel, Moscow It was only when our train was within about 90 minutes of Moscow station that our little section of carriage 9 got talking. Up until that point, the atmosphere had been somewhat strained by Marilyn and her daughter. Mother had had a […]

A walk amongst the stones

Date and Time: Sunday 9th September, 2007. 4:38am Moscow Time Location: Internet cafe next to the Kremlin, Moscow £10 for an umbrella?! £4.50 for two hours of internet?! This place is killing me. I didn’t actually have enough roubles to pay for my umbrella – the only one in the street, so I used all […]

Photo albums back online

It was brought to my attention that I had (inadvertently) locked my online albums to non-registered users, and not allowed new users to register! Just to say that I have today realised my mistake and unlocked them. Apologies for any trouble caused. All 9 albums from this trip now available here

A note to Mumblers

If you’re enjoying these mumbles from the road, please consider clicking on the adverts bottom right of the Mumble. These Russian net cafes cost an absolute fortune! If you’re not enjoying these mumbles from the road, please consider clicking on the adverts bottom right of the Mumble. These Russian net cafes cost an absolute fortune!

60-hour train ride – Part 2

[apologies for lack of photos. I took very few during this stretch of the journey.] Date and Time:Saturday 8th September 2007 14:52 Moscow time Location: Seat 18, Train 55 to Moscow, Siberia The Beatles’ Yesterday wafts down the carriage from one of the sections that has the radio turned up loud – Yesterday? I can’t […]

60-hour train ride – Part 1

Date and Time: Friday 7th September, 2007. 08:38am Moscow Time Location: Seat 18, Train 55 to Moscow, Siberia I’m not entirely sure where I am at the moment. Somewhere is Siberia. The train left Krasnoyarsk for Moscow 14 hours ago now. In that 14 hours, it’s stopped three times. Waking this morning after a surprisingly […]

Thoughts on The Russians

Date and Time: Tuesday 5th September August, 2007. 19:40 (Moscow +4) Location: Room 513, Hotel Gostiny Dvor, Krasnoyarsk, Russia (4098km East of Moscow) It’s been a recovery day today. A series of late nights, and then yesterday’s 19-hour train journey had left me exhausted, thus, when I arrived in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk at […]

The train to Krasnoyarsk

Date and Time: Tuesday 4th September 2007, 12.41pm Location:Seat 25, Carriage 1, train 205 to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia My lack of funds means that the use of the comfy couchettes has come to an end. From here it’s Platzkart all the way to Moscow, 80 hours / 5,185km to the West. The Platzkart class is not […]

Lake Baikal – part two

Date and Time: Tuesday 4th September August, 2007. 08:20am Location: Kitchen of Baikaler Hostel, Irkutsk, Siberia I had big plans for my only full day on the island of Olkhon, an island that is actually a mile-high mountain, with only its peak poking from above the mirrored lake surface. I had it all mapped out: […]

Lake Baikal – part one

Date and Time: Tuesday 4th September August, 2007. 12:26am Location: Kitchen of Baikaler Hostel, Irkutsk, Siberia I’ve had a wonderful few days. I’ve met some wonderful people, seen some wonderful sights, eaten some wonderful food that was both dairy and meat free. I’m back in the hostel in the regional capital of Irkutsk (capital to […]

And you thought your partner’s driving was bad – You should visit Siberia!

Date and Time: Saturday 1st September 2007, 10.30am Location: In a minibus that has been pulled over by the police, central Irkutsk, Siberia My trip to the vast lake Baikal has got off to an interesting start. My driver, Vladimir, is a nice chap. He doesn’t speak English, but he does speak a little German, […]

Buying tickets in Russia

Date and Time: Friday 31st August, 2007. 10.22am local time according to my Mac, although being on a train I’m more on Moscow time, thus it’s 5.22am. Location: On a sleeper train, between the shores of Lake Baikal and the city of Irkutsk, Siberia I tell you what, these time zones really do mess with […]