“Are you mad?” Why I left my job and moved to the Japanese countryside

Click below for an article I wrote for GLOBIS Insights about why we chose to leave Tokyo for a life in rural Kansai. 




Quality Time with the Kids ー 子供と充実した時間

One of the perks of being your own boss is being able to spend more time with the kids. 

When I was in Tokyo, I didn’t get home until after 7:00, which after eating dinner left very little time to do anything else with the kids. 

Now, I’m at home when the kids get back and can do lots more things with them. I’ve started teaching my daughter phonics again – after an 18-month hiatus. And recently, I also discovered this great app called Epic, which has thousands of picture books in English. My older two love it when I read stories to them on my iPad. 




Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161024

Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161024
Any ideas what these very fragrant little orange flowers are? Write your guesses in the comments.

さあ、この香ばしいお花は英語でなんと言うのだろう? 回答をコメント欄に入れてみてください。

How did I get here? ー どうやってここまで?

This abandoned boat was at the top of a hill about 5 kilometres from the sea. Wonder how it got there…


Kobe Marathon next month! ー 来月、神戸マラソン

Yesterday, I finally got my postcard for Kobe Marathon. I’m in B block, which is the first wave. This is great news as it means I won’t have to wait so long at the start before crossing the line and actually beginning the race. 

After a very hot summer, and lots of missed training, my target is a very conservative 3:40:00 (about 13.5 minutes slower than my personal best). As long as I don’t give up running and start walking, I should manage it. 




Pics from today’s run ー 今日のランで撮った写真

Today was another great day for a run, but  as I had a lot of work earlier in the week and because my daughter has been sick, it was the first run in a whole week. 

I bit off a bit more than I could chew with a 24km run. By 18km, I was struggling and so walked the rest. 

Here are some pics from today. 



Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161021

Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161021

Any ideas what this graceful bird is? Write your guesses in the comments.

さあ、この美しい鳥は英語でなんと言うのだろう? 回答をコメント欄に入れてみてください。

Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161020

Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161020

Any ideas what this beautiful little creature is? Write your guesses in the comments.
さあ、この美しい昆虫は英語でなんと言うのだろう? 回答をコメント欄に入れてみてください。

The Hungry Giant – ご馳走様でした!

With the kids away at school and the wife at work, I usually get quite a lot of work done in my very quiet home office. 

We live in a city of 60,000, but with online shopping, online work, Gyomu Super and a great community, we have everything we need in our little piece of heaven! Our house backs onto a couple of rice fields and we are blessed each morning with mountain views.

Like most mornings, I was engrossed in one of the projects that I am working on, when suddenly I heard a low rumble. 

At first I thought it might be a storm coming over the mountains, but it was too bright and no rain was forecast. Then for a split second I thought it might be an earthquake. But it wasn’t that kind of rumble. 

Then I looked out of the window and saw it. There was a behemoth right behind the house, eating up the golden ears of rice and like a picky but efficient eater, spitting the straw back out onto the field. And then, in less than fifteen minutes, a field that had taken my 88-year-old neighbor months to grow was harvested and ready for winter.

I’m very sure the rice will be going to a good home, or many good homes. But a part of me feels a little sad. 




Quick photo quiz – 英語で写真クイズ 20161018

Any ideas what this plant is? Please write your guesses in the comments.

この植物は英語でなんと言うだろう? 回答をコメント欄に入れてみてください。