Bullet train, take away the pain: Japan diary pt 1

Day One: Marunouchi, Tokyo After spending an enjoyable few hours in the non-place of Ataturk international airport, I headed on to the second, longer leg of my trip: an eleven hour flight to Tokyo’s Narita airport. The trip was uneventful: I got some sleep, some Japanese art students tried to teach me some useful words ofContinue reading “Bullet train, take away the pain: Japan diary pt 1”

Tatami Galaxy and Kyoto

There are many Kyotos. Like most cities, it unfolds infinitely in the manner of the beholder’s choosing. Some see a concrete mess, and are disappointed that the once-beautiful place ‘benevolently’ untouched by atomic bombs was instead ravaged by post-war construction. Others find beauty in the many shrines and beautiful old streets that still provide quietContinue reading “Tatami Galaxy and Kyoto”

Cycling from London to Nottingham: a personal guide

Head up through the memories of Stoke Newington and past the Jewish community in Stamford Hill. Hang an accidental right at the top of Tottenham, and make your way through Edmonton and other anonymous suburbs. It’s only when you try to leave that you realise that London stretches on close to forever.  Keep cycling, butContinue reading “Cycling from London to Nottingham: a personal guide”

Bladerunner, Laputa and anonymity 

Feeling awkward about going to the cinema on your own is ludicrous. It’s the ideal solo activity, particularly if you have esoteric movie tastes / no friends. But it’s still taken me years – decades – to feel comfortable with it. I remember going to see some (quite dull) Chinese romantic epic when at university.Continue reading “Bladerunner, Laputa and anonymity “

North Korean Polaroids and Brutalist Bloomsbury

Last night I went to some drinks to celebrate the display of some blurry Polaroids taken in North Korea. The event attracted the kind of people who write about the mysterious totalitarian state, and also the kind of people who like free wine. I had a lovely time chatting to my colleagues in a non-workContinue reading “North Korean Polaroids and Brutalist Bloomsbury”

Clapham, 1997 and the ostentation of owning more than one ukulele 

To wankers’ paradise, Clapham, last night, to discuss Japan, the election and The Bofmeister General (our mutual friend Andreas) with Paul. I’ve known Paul since the days he was complaining about the radio edit of Oasis’ seminal 1997 comeback single D’you know what I mean (?) in our sixth form common room. An exquisitely wellContinue reading “Clapham, 1997 and the ostentation of owning more than one ukulele “