Sunday, 29 April 2012

Stuff I've done

As another winter passes, and spring brings her spontaneous showers and brilliant blue skies (sometimes all at once), I've been doing some stuff.

Here's a snapshot:

A truly wonderful London wedding, bringing two favourite people together

A Saturday afternoon at the Tate, strolling through a split cow, rooms of dots, and a butterfly house; all part of a weekend visit from the wonderful Rachel

A weekend trip to visit the Swansea-based rugby alumni which included: an Ospreys game, a fondle of the Six Nations trophy, a few pints of Guinness, cheese, and a day trip to a beautiful bay called Tenby.

Along the way we spotted this 'delicious-looking' novelty sweet rock in the shape of a breakfast. Tasty..

And I also carried out the annual ANZAC baking bonanza. All the whilst being astonished it has already been a whole year since my biggest sister came to stay.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Stop and smell the magnolias

Last year I spent a whole lot of time thinking. Way too much thinking.

What country/ city/ borough should I live in? What career/ masters topic/ company should I choose? The thinking was all-consuming.

So this year I decided to stop. No more planning, wondering, musing, or pondering. Instead, I'm doing a whole lot more living.

These days there's room in my head for appreciating what's happening around me, right this very minute (like magnolias). And it's great.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Quashing the communist cravings

Ever since I lived on the very edge of Japan's west coast, I've wanted to visit North Korea. If you've ever seen pictures of their mass games, parades, grand palaces, and smiling propaganda, you might understand the desire.

Everyone in my coastal village of Japan thought I was crazy of course. Especially because someone was allegedly kidnapped by North Korea from our very peninsula in 1977.

But despite this, ever since living so close to a place which doesn't allow its citizens access to the Internet, and only just legalised mobile phones in 2008, I've craved a visit.

I figured it would be a nice continuation to the communist obsession which saw me visit 'the big three' - Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and Lenin, along with their respective countries.

That was until the other day when I came across this.

After reading about Shin Dong-hyuk's experience of growing up in, and then escaping from, a North Korean prison camp, I realised I couldn't go there anymore. I couldn't spend any of my money in a country that did this.

And even though some would say that my pounds will trickle down, that they will touch some regular people as well as the government (which demands you're accompanied everywhere you go), I'm drawing my own 38th parallel, and won't be crossing this one unless things really change.