Archive for August, 2009


Spanners, 99s and the end of a strange old month

August 28, 2009

All I will ever be is a mediocre artist…but I could be a half decent writer.

That seems to be the general consensus on the matter. Isn’t it strange, the way you begin to plan your life out with such bravery and certitude only to come to the embarrassing realisation that you really don’t know your arse from your elbow and moreover, you probably never will. It’s especially embarrassing when you spend the vast majority of your time waxing lyrical about your hard earned self knowledge. You might even call it a decided spanner in the old works.

There I was, wistfully imagining myself with a paintbrush in hand, autumnal leave swirling –  high falooting notions of opaque tights, scarves and rosy cheeks only to have it pierced through on a humid evening in the tropics, 9800 miles from home. Funny how time and space bend so easily once you get past the certain routines of youth. 

In short, speaking to my friends has led me to the conclusion that I should just get on with doing my MA in creative writing and stop pissing about in the doldrums. Not sure which way I’ll go – if I study writing, well then I have to deal with the possibility of actually having to excel at something, I know I’m not going to be an artist in a commerical sense – not ever. I’m not good enough, but it would to be fun to flirt with it for a year. Not treading water per se…more like repeatedly riding the same water slide…but nonetheless a little too easy maybe. Writing, though, well that would involve actual effort and possible success which naturally scares the shit out of me.

So, 99s eh? No, no – not the English ice cream delicacy (pah!) but the number of days until my Amity tenure is officially over. I’m not saying I’m excited to be leaving. I’m not saying I’m sad though either. I’m just stating the numbers. The fact that we’re into double digits also heralds the end of the maddest month of my life. It’s been a long time since I’ve cried, prayed, hurled inanimate objects, uttered strings of obscenities or learnt so much about everything I am not with such militant enthusiasm. As bizarrely creative as these 31 days have been, I have to admit I would not live through them again if you paid me. Simply, being ditched is shit.  Too many sleepless nights spent staring out at the green Hiroshima nights, muttering to myself.

But on Monday, the year turns 9 months old and Autumn will be here and soon, very, very soon – I’ll be coming home.


Love loads,




August 24, 2009

I woke up this morning at 5 am and watched the sunrise.

Then, I rode to the park:

I spent the day in the park, reading my book, watching the dragonflies (which are as thick as my middle finger ) fight it out amongst themselves for the sunniest perches. One dragonfly was hatching from his chrysalis and was struggling and struggling to get out. He couldn’t find anything  solid to use as leverage. He just kept pulling the twigs and leaves and dusts up  and then arching his wet back trying to turn around and find another way out.

So. I put him on the tree root I was curled up against but it frightened him so much that he wouldn’t come out, so I left him there to get on with it in his own time.

Children ran through the grass with brand new nets, looking for bugs to catch and a load of high school boys piled under my tree and talked baseball tactics before heading out from under the branches to play a game.

I went home and watched Big Fish and drew and puzzled over last night’s dreams some more.

I illustrated a moment from the book I’m currently reading. If you can guess the book’s name you win a prize.


The script reads:  “Here and now boys.” I can’t decide if I like the yellow in the leaves or not.

Then, after I was finished I changed into shorts and my trainers and headed back up the mountain to watch the sunset, I left my apartment at 17: 25 and was at the big rock above the shrine by 18:04, I think I actually ran up the mountain… so much so that as I was going up, my ears kept popping with the altitude! I was nearly at the vomiting stage by the time I got up there. Seriously, seriously knackered so I sprawled out. The rock was still warm. I prepared myself for the sunset BUT…BUT I started itching. I’d forgotten my bug spray, like the fool I am, and had been eaten alive as I’d climbed through the forest. Bite upon bite upon bite and in the most uncomfortable of places. Sufficed to say my arse is seriously itchy.

You can make out the mountinous islands that litter the Inland Sea in the background, and check out the huge, huge clouds too – I love living so close to the ocean.

So nearly as quickly as I went up, I came down. Which was probably a good idea – it was already gloomy on the ascent but coming down I had to watch my footing in the dark and I slipped a few times on heaped bodies of dead cicadas.  So, my sunset looked like this:


I came back, made pasta with two cloves of garlic (ah! the joys of single life!). Now I’m curled up, writing this and listening to music, Joanna Newsom, Emiliana Torrini and Devandra. Pretty perfect day really, been a long time coming too.





August 23, 2009

The Sleep – E. Barrett Browning

OF all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist’s music deep,
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace, surpassing this–
‘He giveth His beloved, sleep’!


Afghans of the coat variety

August 22, 2009

I’ve been watching this film all week, on and off..

It’s made me miss my afghan coat A LOT and I cannot wait to be reunited with it, in all it’s stinky glory.


I always wanted to be Penny Lane when I was younger (who doesn’t?! Oh to be whistful and beautiful and be blessed with the inate ability to always say the right thing (plus lovely breasts) (argh! spiralling levels of self reflexivity and parenthesis!)), but now I think I’m probably more of a Lester Bangs with Russel pretentions :) 

And on that note,

night night





chotto kowai…

August 20, 2009


This is me, as seen through the eyes and pen of one ten year old student. Look how bloomin’ big it is! I literally turned around for one second (constantly eliciting language of course…) and when I looked back this monstrosity was already half done! I decided to let her just run with it and use up my entire supply of purple in the process because I am a nice teacher.

I’m loving the hugs and kisses from my students at the moment.They all seem to be super genki and happy.  Yesterday I had one class and I usually give them all high fives if they do well but I kept snatching my hands away at the last minute and they totally ganged up on me and tripped me over and tickled me mercilessly. I heart them.





Poverty Rations, 108 days and er…India…

August 19, 2009

Well I’m back from my wee Tokyo/Kyoto/Nara trip safe and sound, with all major neurological and cognitive functions in tact, in tune and on time.


It felt all flavours of wrong to let Alice and Caroline go home without me. All flavours of wrong and that’s all I have to say about that.


Photo credit must go to the delectable Ms Barclay as always.


Photo credit for this one goes to a terribley brave chap who offered to take our picture bless him.

The trip was amazing, I do love Tokyo quite a bit. The clubs were banging, the people were friendly (and fluent. which always helps) and the view out over the city was as achingly beautiful and heartbreaking as it always is. But – I think this might have been my last time to see it.  Which I don’t even want to consider but there we go.

Another wonderful thing happened when I stepped out of the temple shadows in Kio Mizu Dera.  There is a story in the bible ( I know, I know – but keep reading) about Elizabeth, she was the cousin of Mary and was pregnant at the time Mary was pregnant with Jesus. So, anyway (bear with me!) when Elizabeth saw Mary the bible describes how the “child lept in her womb” because the baby could see something amazing. And I know it sounds like a big pile of wank but that passage filled my mind. Something in me leapt up. Woke up. From my stomach up into my chest, behind my heart. It was so, so beautiful and maybe its because it will be my last time. Maybe it’s because I had two of the most wonderful people in the world with me, whatever – it was a good feeling.

One unfortunate thng is that the combination of a HUGE phone bill (oh international calls and alcohol…how you rule my life), Shinkansen fares and general debauchery mean that I am currently living off about 1000 Yen for a week and a half. Which is about five pounds…eeek. So I’m chowing down on a lot of boiled eggs and toast and rationing my frozen fruits for smoothie making to keep my nutrient levels up! I rather like living like this though…feels a lot more rewarding than  flabbily and lazily spending my monies on shit like TINY USELESS SHELVING UNITS. gah. I cannot think why but one day when I was bored and sad I went out and brought the most pointless little shelving unit. It’s about 40cm by 40cm and its shelves are only big enough for tea lights. What a knob eh? Can’t even light the candles because THE ENTIRE THING IS MADE OF WOOD. *sigh* When will I learn. Just not used to this having money lark.

In other news, it’s one hundred and eight days until hometime. Until Christmas. Until chicken casserole. Until I get to hug my Mum and my Dad and brothers and sisters. And before then, I have to take a vacation somewhere to use up my vacation days AND I have silver week next month. Think the plan is to go to Pussan, I went to Korea in June and I didn’t really like it but this time it will be the city and it will still be warm and its so close we can just take the boat from Tokuyama and be there instantly!Not sure where I will vacation though, in October. Everything was fixed on going to see my darling friend in Korea but now that’s all off I can chose anywhere (within reason Asia….or…er…Actually, east asia aka very close to Japan lol).

Also, I’ve been planning (as always) my next few moves and I’ve pretty much settled on getting qualified as a yoga teacher in India in February, yeh that’s right..before I go to art school in September. I know, I know… Think I’ve found the school, the teachers and it all looks to be coming together but I will keep you posted.


One Day…Just one little day!

August 7, 2009

I am going to Tokyo in one day!!!

I blummin love Tokyo…It’s just as freaking cool as everyone thinks it is. I’m glad I live in Hiroshima, I think it’d be pretty easy to lose your soul in Tokyo…In fact it took a hefty chucnk of mine last Obon (Oh the craziness…)

Not only am I going to Tokyo, but I am going to see Caroline Sophie Mary Pilkington and Alice LeStrange Herring. I am going to bawl when I see them and they probably will cry too because we do love each other ever such a lot!

The past couple of weekends … I’ve been heading off to the beach and vegetating. It’s cheap. It’s relaxing and it reminds me why I am here. No chance of popping off to the beach every weekend if  I was living in Blighty *shudders at the thought*.



I like to go with this girl…because even though this photo suggests otherwise…she’s shown me the pleasure and joy of being single and having an absolute blast.  And she let’s me play around with her camera and shown me how it works.


This chap has his moments too…


Whitney took these ones … cracking shots.


I do love it when small children arrange themselves in such photogenic ways!


I don’t tan but I do get reeeeeeeeeeeally super freckley!!!


Life is lovely, really warm, but fine.

It’s going to be fine.

I can feel it in my waters!


 I also appear to have become a red-head in the sun!

Love as always