Creativity, Piercings and Malaise.

January 10, 2010

 I chose to begin this very new decade by going backwards. Back to Edinburgh and back into the company of some old friends. A little ironic, I thought to myself, as my coach crawled through snow-bound traffic jams up towards Newcastle and then on to Edinburgh. After 2 years away, here I am heading backwards. Sat in the same coach seat (probably) going to the same cities to see the same people and perform the same, now almost ritualistic, act of piercing my nose.


This was my third time, I felt time looping backwards – playing back the colours, feelings and sense of the past in tandem with the fresh quality of this visit. Time played tricks on me, but contrast – bright, knife-like contrast was cutting through each reminiscence. Our lives are themed, motifs play out and certain things tie up our lives in loops; music, people, a certain smell or  even the piercing of one’s nose bind our lives into chapters and tie neat but connected ribbons around the pages. But although a sense of the past is retained, we can never occupy or inhabit the physical space again.

Friendship shifts, cities move on and above all else the very faculties we use to experience situation are fundamentally changed.


That became quite apparent to me, when she, the piercing lady, pushed a bright needle through my left nostril. The pain was even different, blunt-er, less acute. Timely I thought because life has a tendency to blunt a little with age. I worry sometimes that I’ve lived the most exciting part of my life already. I know I’ve certainly broken with my time of unbridled revelry and ass-hat hedonism, I left that behind when I moved to Japan but what if the highs and lows and the intrigue of romance and friendship have been extinguished too?

Hm, I sound like a wounded returnee of course. A girl who spending too much time abroad, is now stuck back in her childhood bedroom writing up blog posts. Unravelling but not travelling.

Yesterday I wrote a blogpost for yearof52adventures, wrote out 9 beautiful quotes (beautifully) because my New Year’s Resolution is to write out one per day, took photos and went to the gym.  I’m being really productive. I’m also reading the Unbearable Lightness of Being which I have totally and completely fallen in love with (deeply and forever I think). 

Love, Mizi xoxoxoxo


New Years Resolutions!!!!!

December 31, 2009

Of course, its that time of year again – New Year Resolution Time and like many others I am going to keep to my mantra of try, fail, try again, fail better. Only this year is actually going to be fantastic and wonderful and utterly revolutionary comapred to the past 23 :) I can feel it in my waters. Funnily enough tonight (the 30th) I can’t sleep. My mind is full up of many, many, many things and I’m having a dark night of the soul. A night where each side of the pillow is loaded with memories and anxiety. But its the last one. I had a really really really really really really rough year this year. But Now … its a whole new decade.

1) Enrol and complete writing course at the London School of Journalism. Actually, fuck completing it – thats a shite goal! Completely blow everyon I come in contact with away.

2) Move to M***** or B******** (still top secret because moving to one or two of these cities is going to change the world :)

3) Read 26 book (1/week)

4) Get excited and make things! All the time!

5) Get at least one photograph published because they really are very good.

6) Take a photography Course

7) Make a whole bunch of awesome new friends.

8) Learn Spanish so in 2011 I can

9) Couchsurf my way across South America!

10) Fall in love.

Love Mizi xoxoxoxo


December 29, 2009

Final Japan Trip Part 2 – Tokyo and Studio Ghibli

December 29, 2009

Leaving Nikko, I took the private train line back to Tokyo

It was Seven in the morning and the sunshine on the empty seats was gorgeous. I had the entire carriage to myself, so having no Ipod (it died) and a world of space, I walked up and down the aisles and played around switching the movable seats from back to front. Maybe thats why the bloke who got on in Momoyama got straight off :) I miss having that effect on people – It was useful.

I got off in Asakusa and because I only had the private subway line map I took it all the way out to Mitaka, I followed the signs, took a CATBUS (squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee) to the museum. I took a pee break in a starbucks and  had a coffee.

Up on the walls were these stupid, gash holiday posters. “I wish I was already home.” “I wish Kids didn’t remember what I said.” That kind of shitriddendrivel. Regardless of how trite they are I still cried when I read the one saying “I wish I was already home”. I did. Now I am home. Get back to me in regards to how I feel about that –  I’m a bit busy staving off the implosive-head-mess of reentry. Give me a  month, eh?

And there it was, the museum – the one I’d been dying to see for about 3 years or actually since I watched Spiritied Away in University or actually – maybe when I Watched Laputa Castle in the Sky when I was three. Regardless – I could not believe I was finally here. I went through the tiny little reception area, exchanged my Lawson recipet for a tiny piece of film cell – what serves as a ticket at Studio Ghibli (AWESOME!).

The whole museum is designed to look like a giant old Victorian house. The various rooms house the exhibits, but exhibits isnt really the right word. You have to really explore the museum – really get lost in it. From the central hall a series of ever tinier door frames lead you off to one part of the house.

A huge glass elevator takes you up to the upper floors, the highest is reached by a cast metal staircase which spirals across the mural ceiling. My favorite part was looking at the “studio” – literally designing tables littered with the debris of creativity. Huge glass jars full of pencil stubs. Overflowing Ashtrays,  photos,  sketchbooks you are never told it’s ok to flip through – you just have to do it. Take the initiative of a child a hoke through. There were bookshelves, in English, in German – picture books. In between the books I  found an old photograph of a little girl who looked spookily like this little witch. On the back was written “My Aunt, Kiki, aged 6 years.” MAGIC! How genius is this place!? Opening a dressing-up-box, I found an old Noh mask which looked just like No Face from spirited away. It was, of course, buried under clothes, toys and other children’s things.

Lastly, making my way up on to the roof, I finally met someone I’d wanted to meet since I was three:

The Robot from Laputa Castle in the Sky. He was nice :)

I can’t believe I did it. I can’t believe I went to Japan, I did everything I wanted to do and I made it all happen. Sometimes it was a bit hairy, a bit overly drunken, a bit lonely and I was at times exhausted, over confident and foolish. A lot of the time though, I was blessed with friends, great co workers and wonderful students and an oppertunity which really was fantastic.

As 2009 draws to a close I can’t help but feel satisfied with my time there and give myself a reluctant nudge of congratulations. Before , thats is, I get back to increasingly important business of banging my head against a wall and yelling:


Love Mizi

P.S – Look I got my hands on my book, finally!



Something Interesting About Trees …

December 26, 2009

I have a Tree Obsession, just like Herman Hesse who wrote : 

“Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful …  They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

True Story – Well, anyway – the thing is that I also happen to love drawing trees. And writing things about trees. So, my latest project is going to be tree themed – stay tuned :)

Love Mizi Moo xoxoxoxoxo

P.S Have you learned to listen to the trees?


The Final Japan Trip (Part 1)

December 23, 2009

The last trip.

Alone (as ever), up high and in awe of everything I saw.

It was autumn and absolutely beautiful – gorgeous. It took my breath away every morning to wake up to the huge blue mountains.

Every morning, I woke up before dawn and walked down the hill towards the centre of Nikko Town. It was really, really, really cold and the town is so small there was nowhere to eat breakfast, so I brought cheap canned coffee from the Convenience Store and finding some loose morning sunbeams tried to keep warm among the parked cars next to the shop.

The bus up this mountain nearly killed me. I really hate being driven in situations that make me uncomfortable. Huge Mountains and ICE are included in this category so I was absolutely petrified as the huge buses’ wheels began to slip and spin as we came into sheer bends. But hey, I’m still alive. I need to not worry so much :)

The temple complex itself, was back in Nikko Town. Heading North towards the waterfall, the road forks and two tiny flights of stairs mark the entrance. I didn’t have a guidebook, so following my nose (in the dark – ha!) I took the left staircase and began the slow ascent into the temples.

The temples are beautiful – yes, its true. But far more impressive (for me anyway) were the huge trees. I just bloody love trees. Give me a tree, some moss – a slight chill in the air and I am a happy girl. Solace. Thats what I like about trees and huge forests and giant mountains. Theyre older things and they know about life and in them I find a lot of understanding I suppose. Respite from the temporary world of cities and airports and never-ending travel.

People keep asking me “How was it?” now that I am back. Well, it was strange – really, really fun and wonderful but strange. I learnt a lot of lessons I suppose. Lessons that surprised me. For example, realizing that life is quite full and enjoyable when there are trees and mountains and oceans. When there is quiet and silence. You see I always thought to be happy, one needed to be in love, to have friends, to go out and get drunk and dancing all night, have people like you.

But actually, for me, life because more and more magical in Japan the more time I spent in silence, using my eyes and my ears, my heart opened out and I fell in love with the whole world. Even though I was alone, I was really happy. I needed to learn how to do that.

I like this guy’s calcified beard :)

Love, a snowed-in Mizi Moo



Home; plans and a creeping sense of dread…

December 16, 2009

I’m lying in my childhood bed, wrapped in a heavy, warm duvet – my tummy is very full from dinner and I’m exhausted after spending an hour in the gym and from doing battle with the freezing weather outside.

Jet lag? Well I thought I was ok until I nearly fell asleep over dessert at about 9pm…

My last full day in Japan was spent on Miajima, the island where I famously got lost and nearly died last summer and also the place where I began waking up from the numbness I felt when I first came to Japan.

I love it.

Ayako took me there for our last date together.

I got my fortune read (finally) at the shrine, scooped up sand from the shoreline and wrapped it up in a cake wrapper – now its spread out and drying in a small rice ball plate on my book case.

So far its all going ok, im signing up for classes, going on the dole, all the usual stuff. Sometimes I get a little panic-y … today a man in the bank would not stop yelling so I had to close my eyes and put my fingers in my ears because it was making my stomach loosen and fall towards the floor. But in general I feel great … I’ve never been so social in my life – complete strangers ask me about my time in Japan if I mention it and it’s really pleasant to tell them how amazing it was.

Because it was. And is still.

When I get a bit anxious I have a list of happy things that I can use to elevate my mood and number one on my list is remembering this little girl:

I remember her talking away to me in Japanese, showing me her room, her toys – getting exasperated that I couldn’t read Japanese when she began reading it. wholly good memories of her wrapping her arms and legs around me and falling asleep on my shoulder.

Love Loads,

Mizi xoxoxoxoxo