Tokyo bean harvest

We're delighted to announce the completion of the Tokyo Bean Harvest 2008, which resulted in a mammouth crop of, er, beans. Our sincere thanks to Y&M for investing the time and effort in getting them through the first few precious months of their life up until the point that we took over the Himonya Homestead. […]

Name that Root Veg

Ok then, here’s a little research project for you: what are these? They are labelled “Kogashira” in Japanese, and I have no idea what they are. Answers on a postcard, or in the comments section. 🙂 – EDIT – Thank you for the feedback, both to Bibi and to mum no.2 and her extended network. […]

‘Free’ broadband in Japan

One thing I’ve really enjoyed since arriving back in Japan is being able to watch online videos without having to make numerous cups of tea in order to pass the time they take to buffer. The throttled connections we had at university were probably amongst the slowest in the UK, slower even than my parents’ […]

Photos from the local area, Saucepan Scenario and our Big Issue Friend

Woke up early feeling a little sad today. I wasn’t sure why, but I was sure I didn’t want to feel sad for the rest of the day, so I quietly snuck out as *Twinkle* slept, and wandered the surrounding streets, camera in hand. Here’s a few of the shots, interspersed with tales from today. […]

The law of Brolly Attraction

THIS MORNING as I was soaked to the suit by a leaking penguin umbrella I said to the universe (and to twinkle) I NEED A BIG WATERPROOF UMBRELLA. THIS EVENING someone came to my house, and having eaten White Rice said to me, IS IT OK IF I GIVE YOU MY BIG WATERPROOF UMBRELLA? Tomorrow […]

Pace picking up

I’m starting to get pretty busy now, with increasing numbers of private students contacting me through www.findateacher.net and www.nativesensei.com. In addition to that, the Shibuya school is throwing a lot more work my way – I have another full day of 1-on-1 tomorrow (thanks to Shari I’ll be better prepared this time!) Today I was […]

The hazards of being gadget boy

It's not easy being such a big fan of technology. Take this morning for example: I got so absorbed in fiddling around on the Internet on my phone that I completely forgot that I only needed to go two stops. When I realised I'd gone too far I got off, crossed the platform and absent-mindedly […]

It’s all good

I’m a big believer in Synchronicity, experiencing its benefits on a daily basis. It’s taken me a while to reach this point, where it’s no longer just something to smile or say ‘wow’ at, but actually a tool to be used when deciding which path to take. I’ve been using it quite a bit this […]

Do you recognise this man?

I can’t be the only one who is being stalked by this man – I’ve seen him several times since I got back, and I remember him from 2006/ 2007 too. Does anyone know anything about him? Is he a local celebrity like Hello Kitty Scooter Gran in Niseko? (Apologies for poor photo – iPhone […]

The Streets where we live

Here’s the stables I was twittering about yesterday, just along the road from our house. Am amazed by Google’s coverage of Tokyo. View Larger Map

Joseph’s got a job

The days of unemployment are soon to come to an end. This morning I was the grateful recipient of a job offer from a man who, six years ago said, “If we were truly scraping the bottom of the barrel, we would probably hire [Joseph] again, but we would all have to be delusional to […]

Using an iPhone in Japan – where it falls down

If you’re not interested in the iPhone, don’t bother read this – just click here instead. I got my iPhone 3G about four hours after arriving in Japan. Being gadget boy, I’d wanted it since launch day, but it would have been a bit daft to get it on a two year contract in the […]

Himonya Matsuri

Seems that the mini-procession yesterday was just a warm-up for today’s festival. The chap with his back to us is hitting two sticks together to keep the team in time I like the contrast in this one Check out the little kiddies hitting the big drum More photos on Flickr

Married Life: Day 9

When in the past I’ve asked newly-wed friends if marriage changes things, most of them have said ‘sort of but not really’ or ‘no’, having been living together before the marriage for an extended period of time. It’s my experience that it changes everything. But then, our marriage occurred in rather unusual circumstances, and so […]

The procession – from behind

A few photos taken today on the streets around our house *Twinkle*s off to Kansai for a few days. It’s going to seem quiet around here…

The first 7 days

I had grand plans to document my arrival back in Japan both on this blog, and on a podcast. It’s not going to happen though – at least not yet. I’ve found it a lot more difficult to settle in than I’d anticipated. One main stress factor has been money – or lack of money. […]

Japan from above

A few more photos from the flight: First sighting of the Japanese coast (near Niigata) A lot of people tend to associate Japan with skyscrapers. However, about 80% of the land-mass is mountainous (that’s mini-mountainous on the whole). Here’s a couple of shots of what I consider to be ‘typical Japan’. And finally, Japan from […]

England from above

Thought I’d post a few photos from the journey: First up is mum and dad through the train window at Hereford, Pepé at Heathrow Airport, and my last look at England. Scandinavian islands – not a bad shot considering it was taken from 33,000 feet

My first few days in Japan – a quick update

So much to write about, so little time. It’s all good. Last week I sent off an email to a training company that a friend of mine works for (it was actually wanting to work for them that promoted me to take the CELTA course). Today I had an interview, and I believe I’ll be […]

Hello from Tokyo

hello hello, brief update from amongst the piles of *stuff*. It’s so good to be back with *Twinkle*. Things are better than ever. Interesting how marriage has changed the relationship (in a good way). We moved into our new apartment. It’s small, and suffers from damp, although that should improve once the heat passes. Good […]

Live from 33,000 feet above Siberia

A photo I took a while back, showing somewhere in Scandinavia from 33,000ft Seat 40K. It’s been a good flight so far. The LHR Termonal 5 experience lived up to expectations – all very convenient, and no stress whatsoever. The only tiem I felt uncomfortable was when waiting for the gate to ppen, As expected, […]

Goodbye to England, and Hello to my sister

Here we are then, all set. My big bag is now down to 23kg, my two carry on bags about 500kg each. I’ve checked in online – seat 40k, just behind the right-hand wing, by the window. It’s been a really ‘full’ day. It’s featured a lot of packing and repacking, backing up data, eating, […]

Opening of Steiner Academy Hereford

(the narration starts about half way through the video. More videos here) Just a quick note to say how happy I am that. following years of negotiations with the government, on Monday, the Hereford Waldorf School became the Steiner Academy Hereford – the first Steiner school in the UK to be funded by the government. […]

Dear Diary

I have kept a regular journal for over 20 years now. I started writing on Thursday the 28th of July 1998, when I was age ten. In Feb 2002 I began to write the Daily Mumble, whilst continuing my series of what was by then 50+ diaries detailing almost every day of my life for […]

Coming soon to a club near you: My driver’s license

This is really weird. I just found out that my driver’s license is being used as an example of acceptable proof of ID on a poster at a club at Arlie Beech, Australia, and I’m assuming other clubs too. My friend who went there recently has just sent me a photo of it – shows […]