Showing posts from October, 2011

Things that make me smile - part 3

That double arm upward swing thing people do when leaving a toilet cubicle, to help roll up their sleeves. It looks like they're celebrating.

Health?... Check!

So, I was having my annual health check yesterday. I'm not a big fan, to be honest. I understand their importance of course, and I want to be healthy, and I want to know if there's a problem, so that's not where my dislike lies. It's just the process that I don't get on with: the dressing up in the Star Trek leisure suit, all the waiting around, and the slow-moving conveyor belt ride from one station to the next, so that various things can be gathered, prodded, taken, checked and inspected. And boxes can be ticked.

My company comes over all parental and caring around this time of the year, with a; 'look what we've arranged for you. you can't be too careful, health is so important you know; to you, to your family, and of course to us.'
They don't tell you of course that actually they have to provide you with an annual health check under the terms of the health insurance package we all signed up for, not to mention the vested interest, from a utilit…

And down to the sea

After my efforts on the hills, what better way to warm down (and wind down), than with a stroll along the nearby beach, catching the last light of the day? Deserted (except for two young beachcombers searching for shells and driftwood and a bottle with a message in no doubt), it welcomed me with it's solitude.

The sun was getting low, but was still trying to hold back the oncoming cloud.
The darkness of the sand here seems to make the sea a safer prospect than the land.
I love the colour of the sea here, especially as the eye moves away from the light in the centre.
I like the different textures in this one and, although it's pretty much the same shot as the one above, it feels a lot more intense.

Up to the high woodlands

So, I managed to get out of the city and do a little of that autumn walking I was talking about the other day. Ever since I went north a couple of weeks ago, I've been itching to get out there. This time I went south, down to one of my favourite stomping grounds in the Boso Peninsula; the Tomiyama area. Of my trip, my walk up the Iyoga-take was the highlight. Always a pleasant and interesting walk, not least because of it's rocky peak. And it's always nice when it's quiet and you get the mountain to yourself.

I was worried all week that I might get rained off. The forecasts had been all doom and gloom since the day after I booked my days off (typically), but in the end it was the unseasonable heat and the sun that gave me problems. There was some rain to be sure, but the soaring mid-day temperatures and high humidity gave me both a summer-like sweat bath and even got a little sunburn. Even so, I managed to get a few nice shots on my walk. Here they are:

It's a scramb…

Deep Sorrow

Sit quiet grizzled bear
Smack your wet mouth High on my shoulder. Perch there if you must But I spy who you are. Cast your black thoughts Into claws pinching cold Though I cry for a halt. You tell of her eyes I know, remember again Forever. Smack your wet mouth Go on I dare: You growl cold, remind me again Of her pain, such hurt: my angel. Grizzled bear high You do me no favour, Perched as you wish. I know who you are.

Although the poem is called Deep Sorrow, it's more about some kind of guilt than it is about sorrow. It seems that the narrator is troubled by something he has done, or hasn't done. When I was writing it, I wanted it to be about someone who had lost a loved one to illness, and was being ripped apart by a sense of their own uselessness; the fact that they were powerless to save their lover. Their self-awareness of the situation is what gives them their 'deep sorrow.'

But sometimes when I read it now, I can see a much more sinister possibility; that the thing troubling the na…

Autumn colour, winter light

Drove north for the day to run some errands... it's definitely autumn; good walking weather.

Things that make me smile - part 2

Pocket count for today: 5 on my jeans, 2 on my shirt and 6 on my jacket. That's 13 pockets in all. That made me laugh while I was waiting for my train; 13 pockets and still managed to leave my phone at home.

Tone matrix

I just spent a good hour playing with this. The question is, how can something so simple, delight the senses... of someone so simple? Ah, I get it; it does because I am, and I do because it is. Scroll down and check out the 'tunes' one or two of the users have come up.

Star spotting

Rhino Neil - seen relaxing in Soho

Things that make me smile - part 1

Those little faces made of three dots on the end of coconuts, that kind of wink at you when you pass them with your shopping, as if to say; 'you've never bought a coconut, have you?' And you think to yourself; 'I wonder why?'. But you don't.


Papa, I think you need to take this parenthood thing a little more seriously!

Dramatic, irreversible, all-consuming change

The year I moved to Japan (permanently), was a big year for me; a landmark year. I emigrated of course, leaving behind the familiar; the comfortable; the safe, but I also bought my first place, hit the big four-o, and became a father for the first time. Any one of those things could be a life-changing occurrence, coming together as they did, was a life-revolution.

Of all the factors that changed my life that year, easily the most profound and far-reaching was the arrival of my daughter, Hana. I'd been warned many times, that having kids would change my life. Some of those warnings were very clear - describing a kind of ending; the death of the cultured couple London life we were leading at that time: terrifying. Other warnings were more ambiguous, and only succeeded  in adding confusion to my fear.

Well, the advisers and confidantes were right; becoming a father has changed my life forever... but totally in a good way. Nothing is the same as it was before, nor will it be the same ev…