Last day of the year: Looking forward to 2009 and beyond

We’re back at *Twinkle*s parents for New Years Eve, as is the tradition when in Japan. This year I won’t be drinking, following a disastrous incident last time when I, along with *Twinkle*s two sisters’ British partners devoured a whole crate of beer between us – most of it went down my throat. I feel […]

Hanpane Party

There’s been a lot of mentions of following your passion of late. On people’s blogs, on the inside cover of the magazine I bought today, on Twitter… red car syndrome perhaps. Another good day today. Exercised in the morning, taught for a couple of hours at lunchtime, then MC’d a kind of variety show in […]

Plans for 2009

George and I at work Just one more day of work at the office remains this year. Whilst I usually work alone on Saturdays, taking calls from those students of mine who are unable to call during the week, tomorrow the rest of the office crew will join me. They’ll be turning up in their […]

‘Christmas’ message

Just a brief note to those of our friends and family who have not received a card from us – you are not alone, as we have not sent any this year. We’re not really doing Christmas, as it’s just a normal work day here. It doesn’t mean we love you any less, and we […]

Thought on New Years resolutions

Ri-kun on the tatamiI finished reading Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” this evening. [Wikipedia] [official site]. The New York Times accurately described it as “much more of a political document. Portions of the volume read like outtakes from a stump speech, and the bulk of it is devoted to laying out Mr. Obama’s policy positions […]

Remembering home

Note the intense look in Pepe’s eyes as he is reminded of the waterfalls of the Antarctic by the water feature outside a local hotel.

The guitarist and the taxi

Whilst it’s not unusual to see buskers on the streets of Japan, it is a little unusual to see them playing in the middle of the road. This chap in Osaka seemed to really be enjoying shouting a few songs, including ‘With or Without You’ (U2), and several Beatles tracks.

Salaryman Ninja Squad

I arrived at Kudanshita a little early this morning, and was astonished to stumble across the legendary Salaryman Ninja Squad. Managed to sneak a shot of them holding their Chou-rei (morning meeting) without getting my head sliced off by one of the razor-sharp computer keyboards they all carry under their coats. Needless to say, Pepe […]

Kobe Luminarie

Last week whilst in Kobe on Christmas Party business, we had the chance to see Kobe’s incredible Luminarie. They say that this is the last year they’ll be doing it …although they say that every year! “Kobe Luminarie (神戸ルミナリエ, Kobe Luminarie?) is a light festival held in Kobe, Japan every December. It began in 1995 […]

The best night bus ever

If travelling anwhere in japan by night bus, I thoroughly reccomend Willer Travel. Check out the sexy head gear – it means you can fall asleep without your head falling off, and you can dribble in privacy. Lots of legroom too – even I was able to sleep! Willer travel ate bookable through Rakuten travel.

Purpose

My sister Jessie (left) and I, age: quite young Personally, I’m yet to feel the effects of the global economic slowdown. I’ve not been made redundant, my salary has not been cut, overtime is still allowed. But I can feel it’s just around the corner. Local redundancies are being announced on a daily basis, and […]

The last autumn leaves

A series of photos I took in Yoyogi park recently. Can’t quite get over how beautiful nature is.

Phase 1 complete

Tremendous feeling of satisfaction tonight as, at the end of a long day at the office (8 hours + 7.5 hours overtime) I finally completed phase one of my project to digitise / automate as much of the teaching jobs admin process as possible. For the past two months or so I’ve been working on […]

Cats and choppers

Today, following a 9.3km run with Tom at 7am, I headed out to see Bibi and his wife (and cat), who live up in the mountains of Western Saitama. One of the reasons for the visit was that I wanted to play with Bibi’s big chopper, which some mumblers may recall me talking about a […]

quick check-in

It’s been another of those non-stop weeks. Work has been dominant, with my learning more about what my role at the company really is, something which had been a little unclear. We also had our end of year party last night, at which I did the half-yearly drinking-way-too-much thing – I was still plastered this […]

A walk to work

The other day I decided to get off the subway one stop early and walk the last bit to the office. I took a few photos along the way as I circumnavigated the north-west corner of the grounds of the Imperial Palace. Clever map thing courtesy of the iPhone & Everytrail (click to open walk […]