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Archive for November, 2006

Surfing the Crowds Kyoto Style Nov 27

Wow, I’ve been so lucking with the last few trips to Kyoto. All thanks to two really great friends. My one here in Tokyo (Di) and through her a new great friend in Kyoto (Faith). Faith lives in Kyoto and had been telling us the places to go and see without the crowds.

The first time we did it was a month ago on a long weekend when the place is just crowded with people for the long weekend. Thanks to Faith’s great advise we missed them all and saw some of the most incredible sights. Due to the massive accomodation bookings Di also came across a brillant little guest house in North Kyoto so far away from the crowds you are in the suberbs, but also so well connected to the transport system its dead easy. Each time we just tube under the crowds and leave them to total gridlock!

This trip which is the biggest weekend for viewing Akki (sp) the autumn foliage we again missed the masses and still got to see brillant stuff. Each time we stayed ahead of the crowds and moved to the next place, or more realistic we were just in places where the people weren’t.

Even on the way home, we found a santuary at the top of Kyoto Statation, go up two escalators and then no-one, just stare down at the crowds.

Everyone keeps asking me, ‘why do you keep going to Kyoto’. Well its just the most incredible place, there is such a peace there (when you get out of the tourist masses) , you find the most stunning gardens and temples. They also have the a calm about them. I’ll write more. Wanna see, go look at the picture via the website link and gallery.

Kyoto Dreaming Nov 26


Do not know why but I have fast and vivid dreams when I am here

The Kyoto Habit Nov 23

Surprise surprise I am back on a train again heading off to Kyoto. It is becoming such a habit that the guys in the office don’t ask where I am going, they already know the destination. This time its to view the autumn foliage. It is a little late this year so the timing should be perfect. pics to follow.

WARNING: Gaijin dancing in Lift Nov 16


This morning started off fairly much along predictable lines. Hit the alarm once to snooze for 5 minutes (I miss my UK clock that had a 9 minute snooze, 9 minutes is just about right, 5 is just rude!!!), then hit the alarm off and fell back asleep.

Finally cranked eyes open at about 7:50am, NOT GOOD, not only do I now have 10:30 to Midnight conference calls, someone is scheduling 9am ones as well. Luckly lunch is an eat affair to its only make breakfast, shave, shower, toss on clothes and we’re done. No worries, all executed, minor memo to get stronger flavoured cocoa as my Mocha smoothie was very much missing the cha.

Out the door, walkman on (this is Japan who goes anywhere with out music,!) In lift flicked on Sony, middle of an ATB Track, perfect beat, just have to move! Arrrhh lift is opening on the 9th floor. Very distraught japanese girl thinking "oh my god I have to get in the lift with him, not only can he not dance he lives in my bulding ‘dilema‘, does one run away on the pretext of forgetting something, but how do I tell the gaijin that I forgot to put on my lippy so he won’t think I’m being rude. Which I am, but I don’t want to seen that way." "Nothing to be done will have to get into the lift with him, so just smile, walkin turn around and stare into space and hope his failing limbs don’t hit me."

Poor girl, I hope she saw the humour of it all, I certainly didn’t expect the lift to open on the way down. The delightful thing is that there will likely be a sign in Kanji saying no dancing in the lifts, which will competely miss me!! hmmm just realised I wonder if someone else has been doing something a little more risque than dancing in the lifts as they had installed a monitor on the ground floor that shows the video feed from both lifts. Guess someone must have called a lift and had to door open on somebodies in flagrante delicto.

An analysis of Self Destruction Nov 12

The beginning of November has not been that pleasant for me over the last few years, oddly in contradition to October when I seem to change countries. Six years ago November started off just like all the other months with nothing obvious coming up. I was living in Ireland at the time so I think Guy Fawkes featured somewhere, the weather was getting brisk and cold, but working late into the night at a cosy bar made that bearable.

Then my world started to collaspe.

Step 0.5 was getting a message to phone my brother. As my brother and I didn’t really chat all that much this could not be good. It wasn’t Mum had a lump in her breast and was off for a biopsy. Not good, but not earth shattering.

Step 1 – Nov 11 Sunday, closing the bar two guys in balaclava rush out of the toilets with pistol and shotgun, aimed and you can guy who and the manager. Being tied up pleading not to be shot is one of the more defining events in a life and not one I would wish on anyone. Wondering if, then hoping you would be shot first so you don’t have to hear the sound of the bullet still makes me go cold. Obviously I survived to write this story, but its taken alot of time to put some of the pieces back together.

Step 2 – Nov 13 – Tuesday, after 48 hours of puking and shitting and sweating everything out of my body, and when not visiting the bathroom paralysised under a montain of blanets by shock I emerged to view the world again, then got called by my father with biospy results. My mother had breast cancer. I remember very clearly two things from that day. a) walking into the bar and being asked if I was okay, my reply was not I’m not, I feel like I’m coming apart at the ends. b) walking into the main town looking at the sky and thinking well, you may as well hit me with the rest, cos I’m really down in the gutter and nothing else is going to hurt. Step 3 was the betrayel of a friend of 16 years who threw that all away to score a couple of cheap points in a deadly game that eventually lead to me packing everything into a box and leaving Ireland to protect my life, rather than remain and testify.

No – november is not a good month for me.

That place were you are alone. Nov 06

Just when you think its all ticking along nicely something has to tip over the ink well and spill it all over the neat pages of your life. I spent most of Tuesday at the doctors clinic, and hey the good news is that my cholestoral is well normal finally! But theres a bit of a problem brewing else. There is no definitive diagnosis yet but the one that is scaring the shit out of me cannot yet be ruled out.

Some really great friends have been there for me the last week and still are being supportive and I couldn’t ask for more. It amazing how modern technology connects us all, and in many ways you never are alone, time zones aside.
The Big Picture Nov 06

Been playing around with a new picture gallery toy on the internet.

The Big Picture Gallery

I’ve posted a cut down and edited version on the Kyoto in Autumn pictures.

Did I miss Japan? Nov 06

Would you believe that when you boil it all down I actually missed my new adopted home. And after all the heartache of adjusting that was a shock.

True Friendship Nov 05


"True Friendship"
(With none of that Sissy Crap!!!!)

You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card – just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad — I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you that way.
2. When you are blue — I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile — I will know you finally got laid.
4. When you are scared — I will rag on you about it every chance I get.
5. When you are worried — I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit ! whining.
6. When you are confused — I will use little words.
7. When you are sick — Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don’t want catch whatever you have.
8 . When you fall — I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.
9. This is my oath….. ! I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask."because you are my friend".

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.

Send this to "all 10" of your friends, then get depressed because you can only think of four!!! (don’t send it back to me….I don’t want to hear it!!!)

And remember….when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over

(2007 September – If only I realised at the time how this was going to be so true!  15 days later I was diagnosed with cancer and really found out about friends.)

Profound Nov 02

Single occupant
Bathroom is locked. Why knock? Door
Didn’t lock itself.

For this and more little gems check out

Office Haiku

It’s certainly made life at the office a little more amusing.

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