Just for the record

Listen, can you hear that? Listen carefully. Yep, you know what that’s the sound of. It’s me, vocalising the words “YESTERDAY I ATE 10 PEARS”. And I did, you know.

Long Distance

Tonight was the Japan soc Halloween Party. Fabulous, just fabulous. Everyone made such a big effort to dress up – there were some pretty scary characters there! I’ll post some photos which I think you may like a little later in the week. The status of my Mac has finally changed to “Undergoing Repair”, so […]

Time Management Part 2

One thing that today’s session highlighted for me was just how difficult I find it to say ‘No’. This results in my becoming involved in many different projects – spreading my resources thinly, leading to an overall net loss in effectiveness. I’ve been trying hard to say No more often. In meetings, where volunteers are […]

Time Management

So, I went to my Time Management session today – a two hour workshop run by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, delivered for free thanks to the university’s Life Skills program. I thought it pretty ironic when, on leaving the session, I looked at my watch and realised that I’d just missed my 3pm lecture! (A lecture given by […]


Recently what with all these data backups and so on, I’ve been thinking, “It’s a shame I never kept copies of my original website. All that time I put in to writing my first bits of code… That ghastly light blue colour scheme…” And then tonight, completely by chance, I stumbled across an archive of […]

Accepting me for me

It’s been a good weekend. Got lots done. I think it was a good thing that I didn’t have my Mac this weekend. The nervous tension brought on by the knowledge that next week I will get it back with a new screen, new keyboard, new optical drive, new Operating system, new iLife suite and […]

Under the sea

I think if it was just a case of having to put up with the very loud prostitute outside my window I wouldn’t feel that stressed. But combine that with having to use Windows XP and it’s enough to make one want to live in a submarine. For about 10 years. Without oxygen. p.s. Excellent […]


It was about 10am when I heard the crash. Jumping up from my bouncy ball I pulled the net curtain back, and peered out onto the main road. There were a lot of stationary cars, a motorbike on its side, and in their midst, a guy lying on his back. Seeing this, I dialled 999 […]

Hello Leopard

The countdown to the launch of Leopard on Apple’s front page currently reads 3 hours 16 minutes 36 seconds. At that time, Apple shops will open their doors after a few hours of secretive preparation, and allow people to get their first glimpse of Leopard. Unless of course those people happen to already have it […]

Bye bye Tiger

I had serious doubts last night as to whether I’d be able to attend all my classes today. I don’t like missing lectures, as we have relatively few, so any missed tend to have quite a big impact on one’s overall understanding of what’s going on. It was after 1am, and I still hadn’t finished […]

Life without a computer? Impossible.

So, following today’s Planning Your Dissertation meeting, I’ve decided to give up eating. There clearly isn’t time for it this year. Spent an hour on the phone to Hiroshima this morning (cost me all of 25 pence). It wasn’t the whole city mind you, ’cause I wouldn’t have understood what they were saying, just one […]

Stress and hair loss – an experiment

I thought I’d conduct an experiment today. The idea was to induce extreme stress for a short period of time, and see if my hair fell out. I concentrated hard, inducing stressful thoughts for about 30 minutes, and then waited. Sure enough, about 35 minutes later, a huge swathe of hair fell out. It was […]

The travels of my Mongolian Phrasebook

I received the following email a few moments ago. Made me smile! “Hi,Just thought I’d update you on the progress of your Mongolian phrasebook which is travelling the world without you. I had a great time in Mongolia whihc has to be one of the most empty and beautiful countries in the world – nearly […]

Anton in Tibet

Checking my RSS feeds, I found that Anton, the young chap I met in Moscow who shares my passion for adventurous travel and photography, has finally reached Tibet. He’s been taking some stunning shots, which I invite you to take a look at. I have a You Tube recommendation too, which brought a few tears […]


At those times when one does something well, and receives recognition for having done it well, it can be difficult to prevent one’s ego from going out and feasting on chocolate-covered organic pineapple (my favourite food). Doing so can cause one to believe that one’s legs have grown and that one is now at least […]

Andy Goldsworthy makes me happy

Today, I had a real treat – a visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which is currently host to a number of Andy Goldsworthy installations. It was absolutely magical. Standing before his huge wall of leaf stems I had shivers running down my spine. Surrounded by his cracked mud-walls, I was glowing, this was the real […]

An intelligent universe

I’ve been listening to Alan Watts‘ lectures this morning, thoroughly recommended. They’re pretty short, easy to digest …and make sense for me. Available as a podcast too. “You cannot get an intelligent organism such as a human being out of an unintelligent universe.” Hmm. I guess that means I must be intelligent…? Tags: alan watts […]

Striking a balance

It’s been quite interesting for me learning about the Tao in the light of the other reading I’ve been doing this year. Many of the books I read at the beginning of the year had messages such as “Step outside your comfort zone!” “Dream, and then chase that dream!” “Live everyday as if it were […]

Are you an Amazon shopper?

The loss of Google Adwords was a bit of a shock – I’d been using it to pay for bandwidth and server space, as well as raising money for Oxfam earlier this year. Still, the ending of that contract forced me to explore other avenues, one of which has been Amazon. I’ve not been too […]

Let’s sing and dance!

I blogged this not all that long ago, but the link was buried amongst others, and I don’t think I did it justice. Imagine if everyone lived in the spirit of this message! Wow, what an amazing place this world would be! CLICK ON ME!!! “The Big Hoax”. Being a final year student I’m now […]

Getting on board with Audiobooks

It struck me this afternoon that I have been doing rather a lot of advertising around here for Audible of late …and not getting paid for it! So let’s change that! Whilst the following may sound like a sleazy sales talk, I do mean every word of it: the positive impact that this company has […]

A huge THANKYOU!!!

You see, there I was just wondering how I was going to cope with the next couple of weeks, when, when I entered the kitchen to put the kettle on what did I find? A surprise package for me! And look what was in it! A huge THANKYOU to Mum #2 for your generosity. I […]

Busy Busy Busy

This past week I have constantly been thinking, “What can I let go of? Where can I make some extra time?” Yet now I find myself with a few new errands, all of which I find very hard to say no to as I want to do them. For a start, there’s the Japanese Embassy […]

Fire Drill

We had our annual fire alarm test this morning. I always think it’s an interesting excercise, as it demonstrates differing attitudes towards life. You know, like that of people who clearly don’t like their course, and so take ten minutes to evacuate their flats. Standing in the courtyard in the freezing cold, you’re exposed to […]

It Doesn’t Matter

It wasn’t that bad a day for me personally. It was a bit disquieting though towards the end. Took my Mac to Apple shop this morning, as it has’t been able to finish burning DVDs lately. Also, the screen got scratched during 9000 miles. And the keyboard surround has split when the lid makes contact. All will be […]

Today I learnt that I have a temporomandibular disorder – Hurray!!  Now I get to add yet another section to my healthy-living routine, this one involving me opening and closing my mouth like a relaxing frog. This afternoon I carried out my most ambitious experiment yet into ‘mind over matter’ – in the dentist’s chair. I was […]

Washing Day

Is it normal to be so economical with clothes usage that one only has to put a single wash on once every three weeks?

In the press (just twice this week)

Just two mentions in the press this week – a double-page spread in a Japanese magazine, and a single page in the internationally unrenowned student newspaper, Sheffield Steel. I can’t quite remember why I gave them that terrible photo of me kissing a Mongolian herdsman. However, I am delighted that Pepe the Peguin has made […]

Blog Action Day: The environment

Today, as you may or may not know, is Blog Action Day. The theme? The Environment. As you know, I could ramble on and on for hours about this …but you’ll be happy to know that I’ve decided not to do this. Partly because I have to go and pick up my organic vegee box […]

cliff edge

I spent a couple of hours in a team of 8 this morning, shovelling 6 tonnes of coconut fibre into sacks. I then helped with the carrying of what was quite possibly the largest round table in the whole world, across town. This was followed by a lovely thank you meal; thank you Panni and […]

Facing the truth

It’s been another of those “landmark days” today. The focal point was our comprehension class, in which we were given back the scraps of paper with last week’s translation attempts on. I did pretty appallingly. It was quite depressing, although it took some time to sink in. The next few hours were spent with a […]

The Experiment …and the future

This one’s been brewing. I hope you’re ready for a long one. Subjects separated by horizontal rules. I’m loving this music sharing stuff. Tonight I have an additional FIVE music libraries to choose from, thanks to the university computer network to which lots of people’s computers are connected. Currently we are listening to Dvorak’s New […]

Two Years

Happy Anniversary to Us! Tags: *Twinkle* | The Daily Mumble

Woopy wee woodaloo

I’m so bloomin excited about life I can barely sleep. I just feel so damn good! I want to get up now before I’ve gone to sleep (but not go down mill or live int shoebox int middle a road). What on Earth is going on?!! p.s. this is not one of my two weekly […]

Joseph causes a storm at the BBC

“BBC Weather Pictures of the Week” – remember the one I took of the rainstorm over Japan’s Inland Sea? Fourth along from the left. “Joseph caught this cumulonimbus cloud and rainbow while sailing to China from Osaka.” Tags: photo | weather | bbc | The Daily Mumble


If I carry on like this I am not going to get the grade I want, so, inspired by JimJamJenny, tonight I am making the decision to impose some harsh rules on how I spend my time – phase one begins now, and finishes next Sunday, when the situation will be reviewed. The plan involves […]

On me bike / photography

I went for my weekly trip to the Peak District this morning. I still can’t quite believe how close it is – it took me just twenty minutes on my bicycle to get back home from the reservoirs today. Having bought a map of the Peak District 4 years back (and then never used it) […]

A new partner

It’s bye-bye Google, and hello Amazon as TGW’s preferred partner. It seems Google weren’t too impressed by the extreme interest that Mumble readers had in their ads, and decided to withdraw their services. Something to do with overly regular clicks. Glad I learnt the lesson now and not 10 years down the line when I […]


I just sold a Japanese grammar dictionary on Amazon for £37 – prices are always high at this time of year. I was a little shocked when I read the email from Amazon though – the buyer was one of my coursemates! That put me in a bit of a dilemma. I’ve made the decision […]

Appreciative Inquiry

Had a fascinating intro to Appreciative Inquiry today. I’d not heard of it before this morning’s meeting, but it sounds super duper to me, right up my street. Let’s have a summary of it shall we. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of being and seeing. It is both a worldview and a process for […]

Task Explosion

Ah, this must be the one I was looking for… “15 tips for surviving a task explosion” I see they accidentally missed the one that said “Blog about it before actually taking any action”… [EDIT] Got my results from the second semester of uni in Japan today. 1 x 90% – 100%2 x 80% – […]

One of Those Meetings

This post may jump around a bit. Forgive me – I am absolutely buzzing! The further along this path I tread, the more convinced I am that it is the right way for me. Things keep happening, it’s just amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever really been pessimistic by nature, and I have, on the […]

Going, Going, (not quite gone)

…And we’ll start the bidding at 20 pounds. 20 pounds anyone? Do I see a bid there sir? I’ve just put my entire minidisc collection on eBay. 2 Minidisc players/recorders, another player, over 150 discs, cables, batteries and all. Click here to pick up an absolute bargain and pay for my food next week. 🙂 […]

Thoughts on returning home from the party

1) It kinda sucks having one’s partner the other side of the world. You look around you at the the other 150 people from Japan Society (3/4 of all members, not bad turnout at all), and you see people getting ‘friendly’, and you think, “I wish she was here”. The more old routines I go […]

Every Second Counts

It’s all happening. Very rushed entry ahead: This morning I saw my doctor. She’s lovely, and was so helpful re. my epilepsy and having enough medication to get through a Year in Japan when I saw her in 2004/05. She was pretty surprised though when I walked in with a few thousand tablets. Her reaction, […]

Would you buy a chipmunk for 99 pence?

I can now add Newspaper Photographer and Writer to my list of responsibilities this year, thanks to that portfolio I created yesterday. I’m just wondering though – is it voluntary? Oh, and somehow I have ended up being responsible for the Japan soc email account again… That’s three out of three years! Student Finance have […]

Back to school

A genuinely great day today. I must admit, I was a bit nervous going in to that first class this morning. It’s been what, 16 months since I was last had to do any work for SEAS, where effort really matters. There was also this fear that everyone else would be streets ahead of me, […]