Total Success Institute

Great day today. Got that video submitted to the competition – I’ve had that lingering on my to do list for several months now. Then, it was wedding planning. Phone calls made, meetings arranged, all very exciting! Following that it was congrats to my *Twinkle*, who in the month of March saw sales in excess […]

Real World Awards

I finally submitted my video entry for the Real World Awards today. This annual competition sees students recognised for their extra-curricular activities: I’ve chosen to focus upon those things I’ve done that fall into the “Socially Responsible” category. It was very difficult to edit this video down to 3 minutes – the original was over […]

Multicolour tadpoles

Yesterday, mum decided to take her easel outside and draw some inspiration from our pond life. Currently, it’s playing host to thousands of tadpoles, who are happily developing the most extraordinary gills and reabsorbing their own tails. Yesterday afternoon however, the tadpoles were in for a rude shock, as mother tripped over a paving stone and fell in the […]

Father’s efforts finally pay off, netting £1.6 million

Hurrah for my father! In 1990 my dad took up a headship at Staunton-on-Wye Primary school. The school was in long-term decline – there were only 28 pupils, and the local education authority was about to close it down.  When Peter came riding along on his trusty steed (old green Volvo) he declared that the […]

Sunday morning stuff

Woke up feeling a bit sad today – is it due to the ‘loss’ of one hour as we enter British Summer Time? I think not, as it’s no loss at all. Decided to tackle the sadness and so went for a jog up to the top of Cole’s Tump from where one can see […]

Euthanasia: The debate begins

In a couple of weeks we’ll be asked to create a drama for our Japanese speaking class. The theme is Euthanasia. I’ve not given euthanasia much thought before now. But over the past couple of weeks I’ve come across a few programs on Radio 4  that have touched on the subject, including this morning’s Saturday […]

Norwegian Wood reaches a close

I had a really enjoyable morning today. So enjoyable in fact, that I never really moved on. I’m still there, in this morning, and in Japan. Anyone who’d seen me wouldn’t have thought I was in Japan. They would have thought I was on my knees in the garden, weeding, covered in mud, getting absolutely […]

Second major photo shoot: Simon

I got a call early this morning from my agent asking that I ready my camera for another photo shoot for a major client. This was really exciting, and a major step up from my first assignment in February which saw me focus upon dead fish. The photos are to appear in next month’s Cosmopolitan […]

Tagging and my Photo workflow

This year I’ve started keywording my photos. Until now, I’ve simply renamed them upon import, but you can’t describe all that much with a filename alone.  This month I finally broke through the 20,000 photo barrier – that’s 20,000 photos that actually mean something to me and are not blurred / underexposed / of nothing […]

After 14 years they rose again

Anne Tame the artist, at work I’m back on the Welsh garden Project site today. It’s good being here and doing some physical work. My hands smell of cow skin, and I have a delicious feeling of knackeredness. Thought I’d take advantage of the lack of rain and get the chainsaw out; spent an hour […]

Bank Holiday stuff

Every time I come back to my parent’s house I make a point of a) eating mum’s home-made chocolate cake, and b) sorting through the stuff under my old bed to see what of my belongings can be given away. As time passes so it becomes easier to dispose of stuff, and it’s now reached […]

Orcop Skies

Garway Hill, as seen an hour ago Meanwhile, they’re selling the fields around our house for development…

Norwegian Wood, Religious Weddings and the Canvas of Life

Latest addition to my mum’s art portfolio Fascinating, thrilling day today. It is so great to see family after such a long time. I caught the tram at 6.30am, train down to Hereford, bus to Wormelow, car to Orcop. Thoroughly enjoyable journey. Not only did I get to indulge in one of all-time favourite hobbies […]

Humankind vs. Nature

I dare humankind to create something as incredible as this: ah, ok, so this is pretty close.

Phone call with a personal coach

Well, that was very interesting.  I just had a 30-minute conversation with a life coach based in Thailand, worth $100, or $1000 depending on which literature you check. I paid $1 via Paypal. He’s published a couple of books, he runs workshops in various countries (including Japan), and has that vital appalling childhood story to […]

Remains of the Steering Wheel

The past week has seen my daily exercise routine somewhat curtailed by temporary responsibility for my friend’s car (which as no doubt you are tired of hearing, requires a lot of attention). But this morning, the car park refreshingly free of flat tyres, yellow tickets or vehicles supporting such accessories, I was able to get […]

The ups and downs

I’ve been playing with my zoom lens. 1 second exposure, zoom out whilst the shutter is open. This was yesterday… Strange feeling of finality today. It could be due to my having taken part in my last ever SEAS open day, an event I always enjoy a great deal. As with every time, it was […]

The Family of East Asian Studies and the Opinion of Others

About a week ago, my case study “Making Students Matter: The Family of East Asian Studies” was published on a new section of the University web site. Case Studies Project overview The Case Studies project aims to create a library of examples of good practice in teaching, highlighting success stories in order that academic staff […]

Coping

As fresh as a Greek daisy. One of the first ever flower-shots I took, back in 1996 I’m glad I don’t usually have a car. Two parking tickets, a blow-out, and now today a section of the front bumper missing after someone reversed into me in the car park. I really am glad that on […]

My affinity with rubber

As enormous relief as the first five weeks of my final semester come to an end, and we begin three weeks of Easter Holiday. The break will give me a chance to catch up on the many tasks that have been put to one side, victims of the constant onslaught of daily homework. Things like […]

Results Day

Just remembered, it’s results day! So, overall I got 67%. Add that to my previous results and I’m on 68%, so I think it’s fairly safe to say that I’m heading for a high 2:1, as in order to get a first (70%) I’d have to be get something in the mid-70s this semester, and […]

Rivers of money …and parking tickets

This past year I have adopted a policy of not holding on to money. The idea is not just to spend willy-nilly. As you know, I’ve done that in the past, with spectacular results. Rather, the idea (simply put) is to not take ownership of money in the first place. Instead of thinking that I […]

Organic vegetables, Nelson Mandela, and your own thought processes

Ha. It’s another of those nights. Those nights when I go to bed, but feel so excited about everything and nothing that I have to get up again. Part of it’s the music, I know. I’m listening to Everything But the Girl – Walking Wounded. One of the few CDs I ever owned. Bought it […]

Another reason to study Japanese at the School of East Asian Studies

No, Sheffield University’s School of East Asian Studies isn’t paying my bandwidth bill, nor are my examiners reading the Daily Mumble (that wig and false nose suit you pretty well actually). However, the department has played a huge part in giving me the best possible uni experience ever – an experience which will shortly be […]

Remote control of camera (and parents)

Beautiful day today. I was up at 6am, and together with my flat-mate Ali headed out to Ponderosa Park. I’ll be off to the IC soon to start writing this dissertation introduction (the one that has been turned upside down by yesterday’s discovery of some new legislature governing NGOs in Japan due to come into […]

Yet another way to easily save someone’s life today

A couple of days ago I blogged about signing up to become an organ donor, something I did last week. My conscience had been pricked by the results of research I’d carried out in preparation for a presentation in our Japanese language class. We’d been given three topics to choose from: organ donation, blood donation, […]

Time for a new book

This morning, whilst attempting to do more than 15 press-ups next in the park, I finally finished listening to the 13-hour audiobook version of Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. It’s been a great listen, and I can understand why it has been received so well since its publication in 1989. Naturally, […]

Make the world a better place

One of the few blogs that I follow that does actually belong to a real live person whom I actually know, is My So-Called Japanese Life, written by Shari, a friend whom I worked with when living in Tokyo in 2002. Shari recently wrote a post with suggestions for ways in which one could work […]

Saving lives …and broadcasting to the world

Jade Stoner, 1999 – 2006 Woah, what a day! Quite a bumpy ride. This afternoon, I had a presentation in Japanese on organ donation. That went well. We told the story of Jade, a 7-year-old-girl who was tragically killed in 2006 when hit by a car whilst riding her bicycle. However, Jade did not die […]

Japanese Language Proficiency Test: Decision made

I have a friend in Bristol with a Japanese wife and a child, who keeps a blog on which he posts updates about his progress in learning Japanese. This week, just like thousands of others around the world, he received the results of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, held every December. This time he didn’t […]

Today is whatever I want it to mean

The church opposite my house The smallest of things make me happy. Like the way our Japanese literature teacher walks into the room with such energy, so happy to teach us (even if she can’t see us: “My usual glasses are broken so I’m having to use these ones that go dark in the sun […]

Buying a coffee plantation

I think March 2008 will go down in history as the month which saw the lowest number of Mumbles Ever (well, in 6 years anyway, last month having marked the sixth anniversary of this epic wonder). There was me thinking that I thought I had a lot on. Then I met my dissertation supervisor, and […]

Twittering away

Been a good week. Progress with a number of projects (CILASS, publishing company, dissertation) thanks to the fact that I finally gave up resisting actually making a start. It’s a wonder I haven’t learnt yet that the bad feelings associated with not doing something can be completely alleviated by doing it. Oh yeah, real rocket […]