One for the Scrapbook

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

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.
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

May 22, 2014

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

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:


Deep Kyoto: Walks
Publisher: Deep Kyoto; 1st edition (May 18, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
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.

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

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
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

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

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

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…

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]

A Word from Mr. Einstein

May 23, 2013
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albert on his bike

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

Albert Einstein writing to Norman Salit on 4th March 1950

Source: Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World

First Christmas in Solihull – December 2012

January 16, 2013
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…all night he dreamed of his own house and wandered in his sleep into all his different rooms looking for something that he could not find nor remember what it looked like.
-J.R.R. Tolkien “The Hobbit”

My mother having sold the old family home in November, and relocated to Solihull, our annual family gathering was at my sister’s house this Christmas.


My sister’s house in Solihull

How lovely it was to see my family again, after another year apart.

Bernadette & Mommy

Bernadette & my mother pretending to drink Guinness

Nice too, to stuff my face on my sister’s fine cooking.


Risotto with spinach & sea bass


Can’t quit remember what this was, but it looks nice doesn’t it? Maybe a potato & spinach gratin…

Xmas dinner

Christina’s world famous nut roast with all the trimmings!

Some more family photos…

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Christmas Dinner

Boxing day

28th December with the Readers



True story…

July 23, 2012
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Gion festival -
a painted lady dances
and rests on my nose


See also: Snapshots from Gion Matsuri