How I spent my summer…

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September 17, 2014
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2014-09-17 17.19.58 (Medium)

With the exception of the odd weekend diversion and a four day break in Okinawa, I actually spent the bulk of the summer sat at this desk, trying to re-learn all the stuff I studied (and forgot) ten years ago. That was how I wanted to spend my summer and that is what I did. Summer did come to a bit of a crashing halt on September 1st however, when I suddenly fell sick – with mumps of all things. I have just spent the last two and a half weeks in a sorry kind of limbo where I couldn’t do much else but sleep. I am finally back to normal however, and will be heading back to work tomorrow exactly one week late.

Poor Mewby though, having nursed me kindly through the worst of it, has now taken up the mumps baton…

everything we think or perceive is fiction

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September 2, 2014
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Illustration of Borges’ “The Library of Babel”

“Today one could consider Borges the most important writer of the 20th Century,” says Suzanne Jill Levine, translator and general editor of the Penguin Classics five-volume Borges series. Why? “Because he created a new literary continent between North and South America, between Europe and America, between old worlds and modernity. In creating the most original writing of his time, Borges taught us that nothing is new, that creation is recreation, that we are all one contradictory mind, connected amongst each other and through time and space, that human beings are not only fiction makers but are fictions themselves, that everything we think or perceive is fiction, that every corner of knowledge is a fiction.”

From Is Borges the 20th Century’s most important writer? | BBC

One more for the scrapbook

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June 30, 2014
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DKW KVG
This month’s issue of Kyoto Visitor’s Guide features an interview with me about my ebook, Deep Kyoto: Walks.

…there is something very special about this city, a certain sense of peace and of promise in the air. It really is a pleasure to go for a walk here, for there is so much to see and discover! Not just the famous sites like the great view from the platform of Kiyomizu Temple, or the Zen rock garden of Ryoan-ji, but all those little out-ofthe-way places down the side-streets. Kyoto is packed with craft shops and cafes, galleries and gardens, bakeries, bars and tiny road-side shrines… And you are never far from nature either. The city is encircled on three sides by mountains, which provide wonderful hiking trails, or you can take a gentler stroll along one of the tree-lined rivers and canals that bring cool air deep into the center of the city. Going for a walk here really is a joy.

You can read the full interview online here: http://www.kyotoguide.com/ver2/thismonth/walking201407.html

And order Deep Kyoto: Walks here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KFM2J0C

One for the Scrapbook

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June 23, 2014
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Deep Kyoto: Walks appeared in the Japan Times at the weekend!
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Pat McCoy wrote,

“Deep Kyoto Walks” edited by Michael Lambe and Ted Taylor is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to get off Kyoto’s beaten tourist track. With personalized views of what to see and do in Kyoto — by people who have lived there for extended periods of time — it essentially offers a curated guide to one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Essays by a host of Kyoto residents (16 authors in all, including renowned travel writer Pico Iyer), cover various fields such as poetry, pottery, butoh dance, tea ceremony, art, travel writing and food writing…

To read the rest of Pat’s review click here: The Japan Times.
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To learn more about the book and read extracts click here: About the Book
To read more reviews click here: Reviews
To order the book click here: Deep Kyoto: Walks

Kamo River Stroll

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May 22, 2014
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On Wednesday, I took my own advice and went for a stroll along the Kamo River from Gojo Bridge to Demachiyanagi and back again. The heavy scent of jasmine, a lovely fresh breeze, the lush spring green and the sound of running water all combined to put me in a very mellow mood indeed. Here are some pictures I took with my i-phone along the way.

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My book “Deep Kyoto: Walks” is now on Amazon

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May 20, 2014
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So, I am now officially an editor, and an author too for that matter, as I wrote about 10,000 words in this one. Right up there with Pico Iyer. Yes, Pico Iyer. What do you mean you don’t know who he is? He’s one of the world’s most acclaimed travel writers and essayists! Quite a nice chap as well actually…  But I digress. My very first book is up on Amazon. Note my use of the word first. There will be more. Here it is! Please buy it! Review it! Tell your friends!

Oh and if you don’t have a Kindle reading device, never fear! Simply download one of these free Kindle reading apps for your computer, smartphone or tablet: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771

DeepKyoto-cover-0423-final

Deep Kyoto: Walks
Publisher: Deep Kyoto; 1st edition (May 18, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00KFM2J0C
URLS: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KFM2J0C
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KFM2J0C?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Price: $7.99 (811 yen or £4.89)

Editors: Michael Lambe & Ted Taylor

Authors: Jennifer Louise Teeter, Bridget Scott, Miki Matsumoto, Robert Yellin, Pico Iyer, Chris Rowthorn, John Dougill, John Ashburne, Stephen Henry Gill, Sanborn Brown, Joel Stewart, Izumi Texidor-Hirai, Perrin Lindelauf and Judith Clancy.

Includes:
18 walks
16 photographic illustrations
A specially commissioned woodblock print by Richard Steiner
12 detailed maps
Links to all locations on Google Maps
Cover Art by internationally acclaimed artist Sarah Brayer

On Utagawa Hiroshige’s Floating Bridge of Heaven

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May 14, 2014
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She seems amused
raising her long sleeves
to suppress her mirth
as he turns to her
a fierce aspect

Why is she laughing?
Is it these clothes
ill-fitting
bedraggling their limbs?

How long
have they been poised
there that his hair
and beard
should grow so long?

Too long
for his green sceptre’s
rendered useless

Already
in the swirling seas below
green islands
have formed

And there on a rock
a pied wag-tail
mocks them
with a song.

Three Haiku and a Tanka

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November 19, 2013
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cherry petals fall
even on Teramachi
carried by the storm

(Teramachi, Kyoto; April 2013)

all the temple bells
in this museum photo…
melted down for bombs

(written at Kyoto’s Peace Museum; June, 2013)

in the rain soaked wood
a green branch agitated -
crow snatching cherries

(June 2013, at Heian High School)

Swift though I sprinted
past that shock of red maple,
quicker yet the spell -
Tonight along black branches
skips my rapt soul’s silhouette

(by the Kamo river, November 2012)

The ancient pond of Kanshu-ji

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June 3, 2013
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the ancient pond
a frog sits in –
basso profundo

The ancient pond at Kanshuji dates from the Heian times

The ancient pond at Kanshuji dates from the Heian times

[Saturday June 1st, 2013]

jasmine star the hedgerows…

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June 3, 2013
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jasmine star the hedgerows…
and I jog through
their heavy scent

[by the Kamo River, Kyoto, May 2013]