Archive for Blog Series

Japan: One Year On

Wow. It was a year ago today. A whole year has passed. The trip’s memory is still fresh in my mind. It changed me forever and more than I’d ever think it could. It set me on track to begin an amazing journey. If you’re interested in what I did for those three weeks a year ago, be sure to check out my diary.

Knowledge: The 1980 Bologna Bombing

The best criminal drama you haven’t seen since Mesrine? Romanzo Criminale, an Italian series set in the 70s. It’s fricking (yes, I used fricking) phenomenal. I’d go as far as saying it’s the best crime series since The Sopranos (arguably the most impressive, consistently great TV series ever). Romanzo is particularly adept at capturing the style, sound and violence of a criminal underworld. The acting’s superb, the narrative on the money and the setting delicious.

Something else it does extremely well is position the story within the context of the period. I for one, despite being half Italian, am not hugely familiar with Italy’s past pre 2000. For example, I’d not heard of the 1980 Bologna Bombing and the 70s political turmoil before watching Romanzo. 85 were killed in the worst event in Italy’s history since World War II. I always just thought the country was beautiful women, pasta and sleeping between 1PM and 4PM.

It seems you learn something new every day, which leads me onto this:

One person (C.Y.) responded positively. That small number is enough. If I can share knowledge with someone, then that’s fine – I’ve bettered an individual’s life. So, stay tuned for whatever I deem important enough to share.

Also Game of Thrones has been renewed for a third season only two episodes into the second which is fantastic news.

Remembering The Japanese Tsunami

OK, so you’re probably bored of me writing about the big J. I meant to publish this last Sunday; the one year anniversary of the Japanese Tsunami. It seems incredible it’s already been a year and my trip feels like it was ages ago. I don’t really have much to add – the hospitality I was shown a mere six weeks after the event will remain with me for the rest of my life.

No-one deserves to experience a destructive event like that, especially not the kind and proud Japanese people. This is simply a post to outline my respect and sympathy to all the families ripped apart on 11th March 2011.

Pray For Japan indeed.


Reasons To Hate The Tube #8: Rain

It’s been eight months since I last shared a reason to hate the Tube. In that time, the mechanical behemoth has continued to plod along; left stations with doors open, closed large portions of the network and struggled to cope with mosquito swarms. At least it wasn’t looted.

Anyway, Rain. We don’t get a lot in England and us Brits certainly don’t talk about the weather a lot. Summer 2011 has been a scorcher – a spectacular display of su…

Oh, who are we kidding? It’s been pants and in particular, the extremely damp kind. Why is rain particularly bad for the Tube? Surely being in an enclosed carriage, metres beneath the earth makes the whole issue of rain defunct, right?

Wrong. People stop walking. Tourists in particular are renowned for their ant-like behaviour – back to the safety of the hill! It only takes a single drop to overload the Tube with soggy armpits. It’s hot in the tunnels, and having dripping businessmen rub up against you is hardly the most enjoyable of situations.

Pour Show

Not only that, everyone runs around with gigantic umbrellas – the branded, golf kind that shout “I went to an Insurance trade show and all I got was this lousy umbrella”. They’re massive – you could do a pole-vault with them, they’re so big. They’re particularly adept at poking people’s legs and eyes still coated in the acid rain that London inevitably produces.

So in a moving greenhouse that’s the Circle Line, rain above ground is the last thing you want in August. Everyone’s jetted off to whatever poolside retreat suits them – it should be a clear run. The commute should take 40 minutes as opposed to over an hour. Everyone has a seat. August is nice on the Tube, even with the 63 degree heat and the swarms of families standing in doorways and on the right.

Except it’s not. It keeps raining and people keep catching the Tube from Leicester Square to Covert Garden. Climate change – what a washout theory.


The Japan Travel Diary Is Complete

So having processed over 4,000 photos and tidied up the entities, The Japan Travel Diary 2011 is finished. Don’t know what it is? Check it out here – it’s pretty self explanatory. It was created to chronicle the way I changed over the solo-trip, and as a helpful resource for anyone who may choose to visit the wonderful country themselves.

It’s packed with helpful sightseeing suggestions, things to eat, places to stay – all the while supported by the photography I took.

All I can say is enjoy, and roll on Nepal 2012. Oh, I never mentioned that – Nepal –  2012 – Me.


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