Wedding invitations

Just a quick note to apologise for not sending out the wedding invites yet. I know it’s now only 7 weeks away and this is very disorganised of me. They will be going out over the next few days. xxx

The challenges of a long distance relationship

A misunderstanding this week between *Twinkle* and myself has led me to realise that, after 5 months apart, we’ve started to lose touch with one another’s realities. Whilst we do communicate regularly via email (just over 2,500 messages since we saw one another in January), these cannot give us a true picture of the daily […]

Above the architecture section

Today, like yesterday, and no doubt tomorrow too, was a good day. I feel some important memories were made. It was also a very happy day, as last night my brother’s partner’s daughter gave birth to a very cute little boy – really great news – congratulations to all involved! Congratulations also to dear Michael […]


Seems like the Internet doesn’t like wet weather. It;s been gradually dying as the mist has set in tonight. It happens in Wales too. After a heavy rain shower, one has to disconnect the router from the mains and put it in the tumble drier for a while. Skype has been fun. I’d call someone […]

Speaking from the heart

Following a day spent washing socks and working on my final piece of coursework, this evening I was picked up by friends on their way to another friend’s birthday BBQ. It was great to see the James the birthday boy, even if our stay was somewhat brief. I was also delighted to bump into Lynne, […]

Sophie Mei in the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent

Shout out to all those TV owners resident in the UK: On Monday night at 9pm on ITV1, Sophie Mei, daughter of a good friend of mine here in Sheffield, will be one of 8 performers in the first live semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent. She’s made it through to the final 40 – out […]

We Did It! Graduation Ceremony (No.1)

Our teachers will not be able to come to our graduation ceremony at the end of July as they will be in Japan. Not wanting to miss out on such an important occasion, they decided that in our last ever lesson with them, they put on a special Japanese graduation ceremony for us. This act […]

SeeChange Residential Event: Day 2

It’s been a long day today. I was going to get up early, but when the alarm went off at 6am I thought “stuff it”, took the battery out and went back to sleep. The program started at 9am, with a plenary analysing the current situation. It was such a long time ago I can’t […]

Team management profile – my report

A couple of weeks prior to coming on this ‘Change event’ I, and all other participants, were sent a (60 question) questionnaire to fill in order that a “Team Management Profile” could be drawn up. A TMP is essentially a 25 page report on you, showing your preferred roles within a team, detailing your strengths […]

SeeChange Residential Event: Day 1

It’s been a fascinating day today. Following that early morning jog, I slowly got my stuff together and headed over to the Computing Centre, where I was to met a couple of university ‘colleagues’ for the 50-minute drive down here, the Derbyshire Hotel, from where I’m now staying for a couple of nights (all expenses […]

Monday 5am

Signs of Spring Yesterday at 4am myself, and 34 others who live in my block at Broad Lane Court, were rudely awoken by the ringing of bells. Doorbells. It was a little alarming, as our doorbells are quite loud; we can hear the neighbours’ bells almost as clearly as our own. All of them were […]

Going for it

About to press the magic lever (Starring Susie, and featuring my arm) Here we are then: the moment when I reached out and pushed the magic leaver that saw the my dissertation bound. Job done! Looking back on these past few days of hardcore writing I’m inspired. I got so much done – now how […]

Dissertation Done and Dusted

Yay! I am Happy. Very happy (and very tired!). It’s been a 14 hour day in the library, but we got there. I’m pretty pleased with it as I’ve been able to keep my 3000 word history – well, at least for the version that I’ll have bound for myself. The department will get the […]

Dissertation: The benefits of procrastination

I was in the library just after 9am this morning; it’s now 1.45am, and I got home 15 minutes ago. A 16.5 hour day, not bad. It was punctuated by an hour spent with my classmates, first year and second students on our course, in a meeting about the Year Abroad. That was fun. It […]

Transformations in nature

A bland picture taken in the park on my way to Beanies. But there’s a point to it. Isn’t nature incredible? The way it does things with colour… And how quickly it changes. I just can’t stop looking at the trees everytime I leave the house. That churchyard has gone from infancy to maturity in […]


Yipppeeeee! I just won a university photo competition, my prize being a £200 digital camera! I’ve missed having a small point-and-shoot as I gave mine to mum and dad at New Year so they could play with digital photos with their new Macbook. Unfortunately though, the one I gave them was a Japanese language model. […]

Japan: Exchanging a Tourist Visa for a Spouse Visa

Remember that time I was going to the immigration office in Tokyo on a weekly basis to try and get my visa status sorted? It lasted quite a while, and featured lots of vagueness. This morning I phoned the immigration bureau in Tokyo. They have an English homepage which advertises their helpline – operators can […]

The shouting lady

I spent much of today in the library, hammering my dissertation into shape. We’re getting there. All but the conclusion written. This week, the weather has been just beautiful. Real warm sunny days, no need for jumpers or jackets. This brings me such enormous pleasure. It’s been a very long winter, and I was getting […]

The importance of Kite Flying

With the sun rising so early, and mornings so peaceful, I’ve been trying to get back into the early-to-bed-early-to-rise routine. It takes a few days. I have my phone set to wake me every morning at 6am: I get out of bed, turn it off, and then take a moment to judge how tired I […]

Summer Fitness Campaign launches

Inspired by my friend Tom who at the weekend finished an impressive 11th in a charity Runathon around the Imperial Palace (the grounds of, not the emperor’s corridors that it), I’ve restarted my morning exercise routine which had been sacrificed to ‘bad weather’ ‘tiredness’ ‘not enough time’. The sun is warm and happy at 6.30am, […]

Beware the Jubjub bird

Seven pretty strong earthquakes 100 miles from Tokyo today. I tend to worry when that happens. makes me wonder if *twinkle* is OK, as her parents’ house is pretty old. If she’s OK, it’s likely my other friends are too (and she’s fine, texted me news updates as they struck!) (although of course if it […]

Spring, Surveillance and coaching course call one

It’s been a great day today. First off, it was the beginning of Warm Spring. You could feel it brewing over the weekend with the muggy rain. It’s been an astonishing 72 hours, with a complete transformation of the trees in the churchyard opposite my house – just like that! Like a switch being flicked! […]

Björk postpones gig so I can write my dissertation

Photo: A few moments ago I got an email from Björk, saying that she’s decided to postpone tonight’s gig at Sheffield City Hall. That’s a right shame, I was just starting to get really excited what with it only being 3 hours away. I popped down to the venue to make sure it wasn’t […]

IBL Staff-Student Symposium

Full day of work today, from 8.30am to 4.30pm. I say ‘work’, but it was more like hanging out with friends. CILASS friends. Today was the 2nd CILASS Inquiry Based Learning Staff-Student Symposium. Some people may remember me talking about giving a presentation via Skype from Tokyo at last year’s event – well, this time […]

Japanese stage debut

I’ve never been one for over-dramatisation… (an extract from a mini-drama staged in our Japanese speaking class today. Sorry about the poor camerawork. That’s the problem when one is on the wrong side of the camera – unless one has a psychic link with the camera and tripod it’s difficult to get it to zoom […]