4th May – Tales of Allure

Found another one had been dishing out sensitive information behind my back. The best course of action is to remove them from my life too.

Your life’s mediocrity is like a song to my ears,
But one should never live life so full of fears.
Was that a rumour, a tale of allure?
It’s just envy, so perilous and pure.

You can assume I am edgy but call me what you wish,
Opportunities to change should never go a miss.
I just see through things, people like you.
A subjective philosophical point of a fucking view.

13th March – Turf War

A freezing morning that turned into a glorious sunny day. Sleep was non existent last night. Besides the thoughts that wander my mind keeping me awake perhaps the sunburn could have something to do with it. The over irradiated skin isn’t that bad at all but you can feel it when you move. Ahh yes, perhaps the workout yesterday is why. Sometimes after it’s difficult to sleep for a few days because of aching. It is white day tomorrow here in Japan and it’s known for guys who receive gifts from girls to return the gesture. It would be romantic if you were to propose with a ring. After a trip to Kita-Senju two days ago there were a few things spotted that definitely needed to picked up. It was difficult trying to find one thing in particular but memory served well and there was another store that had something in. I hope she likes the assortment of things in the goodie bag.

Not much of an entry today. Updated some social media crap. My quest to find a rugby ball is still ongoing… Multiple cats spotted in the general area. There seemed too have been a monster sized turf war a few nights ago. The violence could be heard over the headphones and threw the wall. Whatever was going down must have been big. Perhaps it was an issue with whisker length in a designated area of the street or maybe it was so extreme that paw cuteness was not at the highest level that it should be. Difficult to tell when you can’t see them. They are in the shadows. There could be one in here… Not sure if the hostilities will continue. The situation is being monitored.

6th March – Rough

I am feeling bad today. Great line to start the entry off! This entry is being typed up in the confines and cosiness of the bed covers along with an infinite supply of warm drinks. The importance of wearing warm clothes while it is cold outside cannot be stressed enough. Because of my clothing choice yesterday evening I am now in a full force battle with a cold. About half way to the station I returned to add another layer and a hoody to keep warm but it wasn’t enough. Ueno has been on my list of places to see for a while because of it’s night lights, city scape and overall photo taking opportunities. The only time seeing Ueno has been passing through briefly or that one time getting lost last year. My plan last night was to head there, take a load of photos, maybe grab some food or a drink then head back. I was fortunate to take some good photos but the cold started to set in pretty quickly and after getting some photos the only option was to head inside. A British style themed pub was the choice. Not because of it’s Britishness but because the Japanese version of British pubs is better than genuine British pubs. Some ‘suits’ got talking to me but it was difficult to really understand anything as they were rather drunk. Hmm, maybe rather drunk is an understatement. They were totally wrecked. After trying to understand and failing badly the evenings time had drawn to an end. I found myself on the train heading back and walking from the station in the cold, however… it had gotten much colder and the extra layers did nothing. Sleeping was difficult because my temperature had already risen and yesterdays work out was definitely over done. The chest is sore, the arms are sore… everything is sore. May have slept a full hour at best. Today is going to be spent resting, listening to ambient sounds and moving very little. Another warm tea sounds good.

I am one very sleepy kitty today.

IMG_20190305_202502~2.jpg

26th February – Dubby Grey Day

It’s a grey day today. There weather is neither hot or cold, neither wet or dry, neither raining or sunny. Just grey. Perfect for entry writing conditions with dub techno playing in the background. It has been difficult to write entries the last few weeks but purely because there is about a million other things to do and the majority of my time is being used for other things. Like working out in the park and job hunting. There has been little time for thinking on a deeper level.

The last ten days have been spent searching for work, updating the vitae of curriculums, dishing out myriads of applications and cover letters but of course given the limitations with the visa and academic background as well as rules against foreigners taking up other employment opportunities it is proving tricky at best. So far no replies. It does annoy me because it’s not just a case of walking into any job and getting everything sorted out straight away, it doesn’t work that way but I can understand why the government has rules for this. I’m keeping positive and doing everything possible to make sure everything is running smoothly but just in case time runs out there is a counter measure in place but it will take up a minimum of three maybe four years to resolve. At least that is guaranteed sponsorship. There could be another option on the table with studying but I am unsure what will happen. Honestly, after spending longer than the usual two weeks here rushing about like crazy doing as much as possible and actually relaxing a little, getting in some fierce work outs in the parks with great weather, eating very healthy, sleeping well for once and generally enjoying everything here there is something on my mind which I can’t seem to shake… I’d rather die than go back to the UK. This is where the entry must change its tone otherwise it will go into another one of those hundred thousand word essays of spewed up foul mouthed piss coloured distastefulness. Alright, time for a quick break and then onto the next much more positive part.

Let’s continue.

There is something about Tokyo which is difficult to explain. Besides the vast mega structures, super big everything, thousands of amazing places, all the neon lights, modified cars, super busy nightlife, beautiful scenery, the towers, the endless supply of things to do there is this feeling… the best way to describe it is putting your headphones in, blocking out all the outside sound and just walk with deep music playing. Walk to one of the stations, get on a train and just go somewhere, walk around when you arrive. It feels amazing. A nice cool morning is good for this or late at night after the trains stop running. It’s definitely something that has to be experienced. Find the right music for the mood and just do it.

Everything is flat so a two mile hike to the shops over mountainous terrain and back becomes an easy walkable ten miles! It’s great. Makes me imagine how far could a bike ride go. My average before coming here was fifty or so miles on a mountain bike and my record after pushing it was hundred miles. I couldn’t move for a week after that. Here I’m sure that distance could be magnified and there wouldn’t be any drag from the tyres. Oh man, this get’s me stoked just thinking about it. This is going to be a real challenge if staying is possible. I’m going to see how far is possible with a bike configured for flat surfaces. Slim tyres, latex clothes… Sounds like I’m becoming a road biker… oh my god. Is that how it happens? Reminds me of that episode of South Park where he needs some change. Has anyone got any change? Spare change? – I’ll modify a mountain bike to avoid the road biker… thing. They travel around in packs here so you’d need more than a car to… do completely nothing about it. *grits teeth* A fairly large tractor could ‘mop’ a pack of road bikers up in a single pass! No witnesses, no questions. I have seen a few fat bikes cruising around here and yes they do look very fun to ride. It would be good to go on a tour around Japan on tour on a bike staying at various locations along the way. Perhaps something for the future.

The work outs have been fierce and it’s making a difference. My preferred place before was a park next to Tokyo tower close to Hamamatsucho station but there is a place by the Sumida river just north of Arakawa which has much more room and is completely open to the sun so not only can you brutalize yourself with ground based exercises like push ups, sit ups and cardio stuff you can get a tan while you do it! There is also a few sports fields so kicking or throwing a ball around is possible too. I’m greatly looking forward to getting over there during the warmer months. It’s rather quiet with few people around so it may become something of a topless venture. It’s been many, many years since having a full tan instead of a t-shirt tan. I’m sure if you climbed over the fence you’d have a completely private sunbathing spot if your into that kind of thing. There was a guy fishing along the side of the river yesterday. He looked… very chilled! He was either enjoying the liquid drum and bass coming from my back pack or he didn’t hear anything at all. There are hundreds of parks here and if possible I will visit them all. There is another place on the way to the hospital that looks interesting but not had time to check it out yet. Google maps is usually good for being able to see some of the parks before arriving but it’s raised up from the road so it’s difficult to see in. It could be amazing!

IMG_20190218_201526.jpg

The night life here, I will say is the best in the world, period. There are countless places that could be recommended but there are some I have not had the privilege of frequenting yet but they are certainly a must no matter what. There is a roof bar that has the perfect view of Tokyo Tower in the Minato district and yeah, it’s got to done.  There is the Hyatt hotel which has a very swish bar and this is already planned for a celebratory thing. It would be good to check out the food as last time we only grabbed drinks, it smelled great. The jazz bands there are swanky too! Can’t go wrong with listening to live smooth jazz while overlooking the mega city. It has one of the best views I have ever seen.

IMG_20190217_185006_070.jpg

 A few days ago I visited an Okinawan restaurant which had great food and then a very nice bar shortly after. The hangover was totally brutal but it was definitely one of the best evenings of all time so far. With the limited time we have together it was great to be there enjoying the food and drink. You know, one of those evenings where you don’t want it to end ever. That kind of evening. Perfect. I’m looking very forward to heading to a place called Choseikan soon for the cherry blossoms. The camera is most definitely going to see allot of action at this place. It looks truly incredible! It would be good to get some really cool GoPro shots. I’ve been so caught up in the moment that taking photos has been forgotten about! More must be taken.

IMG_20190216_194108_916.jpg

It looks like my day is about to a begin and I’ve got to cut this entry short. It has only began to scratch the surface. Everything feels very good, new and very exciting. The walk to the hospital is about ten kilometres and this cloud doesn’t seem to the going anywhere so looks like dub techno will be the play list. Easy.

Sweet.

IMG_20190214_172021.jpg

ホーム

24th-26th December – Merry Christmas!

Would like to wish all those on here a great Christmas and Happy New Year! Don’t care about your religion, colour, political views, height, favourite eye brow flavour, if Santa is gender neutral… whatever haha – Big thank you for the likes, support, followers, everything! Big thank you to my friends and family too. It’s been a great year!

Hope everyone is good! Santa is about tonight so remember the mince pies and brandy. Have a good one!

Merry Christmas!

There should be nothing relgious about Christmas. It should be a time for ALL people to enjoy giving something to their loved ones regardless of view points.

15th October – Quick One

Since September my schedule has been completely off the rails rammed. Every day something is going on, renovating, trading, friends, sorting things out, getting things moving forward, there are a million things to say here. Anyway, my day usually starts around about five in the morning and finishes about eleven at night, every day. It’s been like this for years… The weekend gone saw a period of eight hours of pure uninterrupted sleep! That’s a monumental achievement for this year! Even with all that is going on there is still not enough time in the day to get things I want done, done.

It would be great to focus on this online thing a little bit more but of course the limitations of time are proving a problem. There is now a backlog of entries to go through and I’ve not even made a start on entries from the past, let alone the photo sorting. A few days ago I was scrolling through my own Instagram and realised there must be one photo uploaded for every thousand that get snapped. That should put some sort of perspective on the amount that are stored on my drives. It could take years to go through everything. I do make sure to make time to reply to messages over social media and especially time for my friends. There is usually a time lag because many of my friends are spread out all over the world but I always try to reply as soon as possible. Facebook is my chosen platform simply because everyone uses it.

My schedule is rammed solid right up to the end of November but then it’s entirely free during December which is great simply because it’s the Christmas period and relaxing is the only thing I’ll be doing. The origins of ‘Christmas’ across all cultures actually date back further… much further than the majority know. Get on it, check it out. I have a feeling January and February are going to be insanely… ridiculously rammed as the end of the year draws in.

Just a quick one this evening.

 

26th-30th September – Tenby, UK

It seems to be that birthday time of the year again! Decided to switch my phone off and go off the grid, sometimes you have too. September’s in the UK are still relatively warm and sometimes if you’re lucky it could very well still be sunny in some parts! Tenby is one them and for the time spent there over the weekend it was blazing sunshine from morning till night. I am pretty sun burnt typing this up… Decided to take a little bit more of a relaxed approach to this trip and just take it easy.

Mentioned in a previous entry about Tenby that there was a cafe further up the road from Blueberries and the name eluded me, the cafe is called the Sea View cafe and once you enter and take a seat by the window. you can see why. It’s fantastic and you may even get visited by some of the flying wildlife that seem to take a very, very keen interest in what you are eating but don’t worry they have to get through the glass first. Suddenly an old film called ‘Birds’ comes to mind.

Something else worth a mention is that I have noticed a few reoccurring viewers on  here so can only say a big thank you for taking the time and checking stuff out!

Will update this entry soon:

  • South Beach Bar and Grill
  • Sea View Cafe
  • Plantagenet House Restaurant
  • Equinox Store
  • Hotels
  • Beach Boarding / Jet Ski

IMG_20180928_185116

IMG_20180928_214549_205

 

Budgeting

Keeping track of your money is perhaps the single most important first step in achieving your goals no matter how big or small. It’s fundamental (no pun intended) to creating a better life for yourself and those around you if you want it too. I believe budgeting should be an essential life skill that everyone should be forced to learn during school and by their parents. It’s a shame that this part of life is not taught by schools the majority of parents however it’s very easy to learn on your own. Budgeting is simply keeping a record of how much money you have as well as keeping track of income and out goings at any given time. It’s that easy. The most effective way is to create a spread sheet to organise everything. Yes it can be done with a notepad and pen but there will need to be allot of changes as time moves on and also the added bonus of using spread sheet software is that you can program calculations which work out totals, percentages, averages etc. If you are unfamiliar with such software then YouTube has countless video tutorials and there is free spread sheet software to download if you look around. Google has something pretty cool to work with. Don’t pay monthly for office software.

IMG_20180917_204020~2.jpg

Combining budgeting and a calendar you can work out finances over a period of time which is fantastic for planning long term, saving and making sure you don’t end up short if shit goes sour. It took me a long time to really grasp this idea of keeping track of money because no one I know or grew up with knew about this sort of thing and the saying is you are only as rich as the five people closest to you is as true as it gets. You must take control and even if it’s just you with no idea, just do it anyway. Making mistakes is part of the learning process and many times I’ve screwed up budgeting for a week or month and gone without all sorts of things. During my trial period of keeping a record I made countless mistakes that resulted in no food for a few days, or no electricity, or internet. My number one rule for this is that the budget must be adhered too without question like some sort of insane oppressed religion. If a mistake is made and there is not enough for an expense then tough shit James, you go without. The fridge is empty… the lights are off… lunch is missed. What I am saying here is that going without that extra purchase this week is going to rack up in the long term and you will save money but don’t be crazy like me and go without food.

Planning is key to a successful future regardless of occupation or salary. Budgeting will allow you to create a better future… period. Whether it be putting some money aside for a meal in a restaurant next week, saving for a house or any other sort of goal in however many years — this will help considerably.

So the first thing you want to do is write down your most stable income first. This could be job earnings, dividends, illegal ice cream flavour sales, anything that brings in the ‘scrilla’ as they say. Once you have done this, create another list of all of your expenses. For example, utilities bills, maintenance, rent, mortgage, ice cream fund, internet, food, fuel costs, everything that takes money from your income amount. What you want to do now is try to reduce those costs as much as physically possible and yes some extremely difficult decisions will have to be made but make sure survival cost is covered. Survival is all the basic stuff you NEED and not want. Once you have done this you can now look at what can be done with the remaining funds. Now this can really hammer down the situation some might find themselves in and speaking from experience, yeah it can hurt and feel like you’re trapped. – Especially when there is so much to blame. My parents before they split did not have a clue, the area I grew up in was a stinking shit hole with no opportunities, the majority of the people were the same all stuck with this fucked up mind set. Blame the government, blame the Tories, blame politics. I remember vividly not having food, never having the clothes I wanted and don’t even get me started on family events. But… this is not a rant as these are just a few examples of the things you could or would want to blame. Yes a few outside factors could play a big part like parents or being born into a shitty situation. This does happen but once you are at the age to see this, you can then make the future better. It becomes your fuel. This is where you need to be unrelentingly brutal with yourself.

Are you a product of your environment or is your environment a product of you?

If money is tight then income needs to be improved, if money is tight but income is average then costs are too high. It’s that easy. There are many ways to improve your income and reduce costs but it does take a shift in how you think. Make a flask of coffee before going to work instead of purchasing them during the day. Make lunch for work instead of buying it at a convenience store. Ditch the gambling habits, scratch cards, lottery tickets and binary options. (nice little dig there) They are all bullshit and when you learn about the psychological stuff behind what drives people to do these things it’ll blow your mind. Learn about these things, learn about your situation through books, reading online but only from multiple sources as some are biased and just incorrect. Learn about saving, investing, talk to your boss about how you can help the company further or you could directly ask for a raise, actually… talk to your boss! Fear of someone in or of authority is a pretty bad way to live your life. Authority is a resource. Ask management how they do what they do. I once heard from a rather awesome dude living in South Africa that your dentist is not the ruler of all things, your dentist is there to serve you. See how it flips around? – Ask to transfer to a different department because it’s outside your comfort zone. An employer should see that you want to make progress and not just wanting more money. Filling your pockets comes from filling your mind. You could go to college or university if you want to earn a higher salary.

You can never ever lose by investing in yourself. Whether it be time, money, education or sitting down for a few minutes at the end of the day to quickly go over how much you have coming in and going out.

And I have one very important concept to share… if you are receiving a pay check weekly or monthly and when you have your budget totally rock solid then have your savings or investment funds directly and automatically taken from your pay into a locked account. You can use this to clear debt if you have anything outstanding or even better use this to invest in various assets.

I’ve included a simplified version of my personal budget sheet along with some notes which you can download here. Numbers are fictional. – Budget Entry Example

Have a good evening!

14th September

Still alive! Sounds kind of dark for a beginning doesn’t it? – Anyway just a super quick one. I have a few entries in the works and spare time this week has been extremely rare so getting these done is going to take time. It’s so nice to just dedicate some time to relaxing and taking it easy, sitting back and just doing just that, nothing else. However these occasions are so rare now… A combination of ‘work’, reading and learning as much as possible about a myriad of different things takes the majority of my time and last night it was one of these rare occasions. I do feel kind of guilty for relaxing and taking it easy, that’s not a good thing, is it? It has been a long time since sitting down and just playing video games. It was great!

My good friends managed to accomplish a super long term goal yesterday and are no doubt going to be a little hung over this morning! So I would like to congratulate them on purchasing their new house. It took a year and half of extreme hardcore saving, working like a fricking lunatic and some seriously insane work travel times to get it done but they did it. This is pure proof that anything can be done if you set your mind to it! You need an objective, you need a strategy and you need tactics. No half assed jobs. They executed the plan perfectly and have improved their lives in so many ways. This is fantastic! I can’t wait to see their place in a few weeks’ time! Think I’ll pick up a house warming gift, perhaps a toaster or an identical kettle! Haha

Crap, time runs out again. 06:20, time to shift my ass.

Tenby, UK

Tenby is one of my favourite beach towns in the world. There isn’t anything super spectacular about this place other than it’s amazing in the summer and holds enormous sentimental value. It doesn’t compare to the stunning exotic places that could be found in Okinawa, Hawaii, Thailand and such but on a nice British warm summer day, who cares. For the best part of my childhood heading to Tenby for a week at the end of August was something to look forward to every year and all year. It beats any holiday, any day out, anything. Me, my best friend and his family would make our yearly pilgrimage to this small town on the coast of the south western part of Wales, part of the UK to indulge in sun, sand, sea and good old fashioned camping. It’s a good two hour’s drive from where we lived so as kids that ride was hell. It either two hours of looking out the window on the motorway counting how many yellow cars there were or doing our very best to wind each other up to the point of literal in-car fights. Good times! We normally stay at a campsite a mile or so just outside of Tenby, a place known as Trevayne. It’s basically a farm with a massive open space for tents, caravans with a few lodges on. It has all the stuff you need for a very comfortable stay. Best to just have a quick search on the net, it’s easy to find. There are also other campsites too that are equally as good, we have stayed at all of them over the years.

Tenby Photo

Anyway, you’ve set up camp and got the stove going with come coffee or a campers favourite… instant noodles. You can never go wrong, just add water. After you’ve made your way into the town, looked around and have managed to not spend all of your money in a shop called Equinox the sun starts to go down and you’re left sitting under the sky back at the campsite either taking it easy or cracking open a cold one. Trevayne campsite is situated close to a cliff so the view of the sky at night time from the top of the cliff is worth the travel alone. Oh yes! When the sun starts to set and the horizon changes colour, so does the sea, again that is worth traveling there for alone. So when the sky is clear after a roasting hot day you can see more than just a few stars, you can see into the galaxy. I would highly recommend a telescope but you can see star clusters and the galaxy cloud with just the eye. Combine this with the view across the bay of Tenby and you have a great back drop for some serious grill time on the barbeque. In fact you can see everyone else on the campsite doing the same thing. Tape some glowsticks to a frisbie! 😉

This beach town (being British) naturally has fish and chips everywhere you go, it had arcades, ice cream parlours, tons of souvenir  stores, art galleries, book shops, camp stores, dedicated beach shops for all your inflatables, spades, buckets, wet suits, surf and life style shops jammed full of goodies, craft beer stores, wood carving store, a very unique rock music shop, you’ll know it when you see it and my personal favourite. Equinox. All items in this store hold zero use and are purely for keeping somewhere in your own place. The amount of ornaments, beach related things, incense, oils, weird stuff around my place from this store is frightening. I have browsed this store for well over an hour and many times my best friend says I need to sign something to say I’ll actually leave the shop! Check it out.  I would highly recommend checking out Blueberries cafe just up the road on the right from the church and if you head a few shops up to the sea wall you can find another café on the right, can’t remember the name but it’s there. It has a view across the north side of Tenby. Having breakfast with that view, yeah that’s something good.

 

 

IMG_20170925_134447