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What can I say it’s growing on me… listening to this again on repeat reminds me of Second Stage Turbine.



To celebrate my first summer blackout in my new apartment:

I wish I was a crab. Thanks for this Fiona:

Captain’s edit: I wrote this article for our work’s newspaper. The guidelines were 400 words on any topic of your choice with English basic enough for adult learners to be able to read it and get the gist. A japanese translation was issued alongside it. Without further ado, I bring you … my Mother!


Tough Love

As some of you may already know, my Mother, Grace, came to visit Japan during Golden Week and Mother’s day. “Fantastic!” I thought, or was it…?

 It was her first time in Japan and I was really worried for her. I remember my first few months in Japan. Getting around was no picnic!

 In my first few months in Japan, there wasn’t a day that I didn’t get completely lost. I remember throwing away my money on expensive taxi’s because I missed the last train home. Or worse, sometimes I got on the wrong train and I was stuck in the mountains!

 I remember cycling past convenience store after convenience store thinking, “Should I turn left or right here? What street is this?” Local cats and dogs gawped at me when I slowly cycled past them. “Why is he here again?” they thought.

 It took me months to get it right and I knew a little survival Japanese. However, my Mother had a two week stay and only knew how to say, “Domo arigatou Mister Roboto.” This was bad.

 However she proved me completely wrong.

 I didn’t really know that she was a travel veteran. In the past, she visited many foreign countries. She lived in Iran for two years and Dubai for eight. In these Middle Eastern countries sometimes people can’t go outside in the afternoon because it’s so hot there! Every day she killed mosquitoes and sometimes she found little transparent, green scorpions in the bath tub. “Wow!” I thought. My mother was a female Indiana Jones.

 When she came to Japan, she ignored her jet lag and carried her luggage with her. The first thing she did was clean my apartment before she started studying for a difficult podiatric course she wants to do. She’s almost fifty-five years old.

 Seeing my Mum do all these things opened my eyes. It made me stop and look around at some of the Mothers of our students here at Future English. Many have increasingly busy schedules and many chores to do but they always wait for our students finishing their classes. Seeing that warms my heart.

Mother’s day is over now but if you haven’t done something nice for your Mother yet, please take the time to think about something nice for her. How about a hand-made ‘Thank You’ card in English?

 And don’t forget! Father’s Day is coming soon – Dad’s can be just as tough!

Been looking for this footage for ages:

EDIT: Reunion? FUCK YES! First Glassjaw now this? WHY AM I HERE???

Sunday, 20th June, 16:49, I wake up to the phone call.

Last night was one of the good nights out. One of the ones that gives you hope that you’ll meet people who are decent and not in one of the foreigner cliques. One of the nights where you get drunk enough to not surpass you or your night. One of those nights that just clicked  together despite everything that might have wanted to destroy it: cultural differences, language barriers and the awkwardness of meeting people for the first time.

I ended up spending far too much and deciding to walk home until it got light only to stay up further into the morning. I guess I didn’t want it to end.

I knew today would bring more walking, not because I wanted to, but because I have to; today I’m shopping for miles. It’s hard work don’tcha know!

Yeah, I know I’m dramatising the drudgery but it does get to you after a while. By the time you get into a groove of enjoyment it’s broke up again. Life here’s a sea of re-acquaintances; we’re all just islands.  Between the tides of work  and chores we meet and re-meet an ebb and flow of people, some giving us hope between the day to day and others washing it away.

This week the tides have been high. I recently randomly caught up with my old translator lady from Interac  outside her house for the first time in 6 months of living near her, took phonecalls from old friends for a good natter (thanks Evie!) and swapped phone numbers with people who want further contact outside of just drinking and working together. And of course, I got that call.


“Konnichiwa, Jidensha (Nantoka Nantoka) desu.”

“Oh! Moshi, moshi. Ariga-”

“(Nantoka desu)”


“(Nantoka Nantoka desu)”

“Ah, hai.”


“Hai, wakarimashita. Itsu wa ii desu ka?

“Kyo wa roku-ji han made desu.”

“Hai, arigatou. Sa, chotto ato de. Shitsureishimasu.”


Time to go see how my steed fares… well, tomorrow. Now it’s time for some chores!

Cheers for this Jai!

And some Tom Thum

I’m thinking about coming home at December and staying there. It’ s way to soon to say but we’ll see how things pan out. That is all.

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