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Ex-Tabula Rasa

I shall try to define myself in a sentence with a pithy comment at the end:
I'm just an English bloke who lives in Canada after marrying a Canadian lady he met while living in Japan. Yeah, that old cliché.

Shameless Self-Promotion:
My utterly hilarious blog is here
And another one is here

Wow! I'm on Twitter now!
Averaging three stars a tweet since the death of Favrd!

Still Want More?
Email me for fun and frolics*! My address goes along the lines of Japanese (dot) smoth (@) gmail (dot) com. *Actual ratio of fun to frolics may vary.
Sep 19 '14

My New Punk Band Name:

The Angry Pedestrians

Debut Album:

Sidewalk Rollerblader Clothesline


Throwing Bottles at Red Light- and Stop Sign-Ignoring Cyclists

If You’d Have Worn a Helmet You Wouldn’t be Bleeding Now

Kiss my Elbow, Tightpants

Your Choice was Cars or Me (You Chose Wrong)

The Ballad of the Skateboarder who Never Saw it Coming

Sep 16 '14

The Details I Remember

Our first kiss was in a corridor outside the bathrooms in a busy bar and karaoke complex. A few minutes earlier we had been sitting at a table with friends, eating bar food and drinking alcohol, when her leg touched mine and didn’t move.

"What are you doing?" I whispered.

"Isn’t it obvious?" she replied, smiling, "I’m attracted to you."

I don’t remember the exact circumstances behind our being together around the corner from our table, standing outside the bathrooms as people pushed past us to get in and out, but there we were. And we were there for a while, until we finally realised that a) we were an obstruction and b) our friends were wondering where we both were.

The last train to my city left before everyone else’s and when I got up to go she accompanied me to the door, where we kissed some more. We kissed just long enough that when I got to the train station, puffing and panting from having run like the wind, my train was slowly pulling away, the conductor solemnly shaking his head at me.

Back in the bar everyone - including her - offered me spare beds and futons, and I took her up on the offer. She was on the other side of the prefecture, an hour away from my town, but her offer seemed more genuine than the others, no matter how much more convenient they would have been.

When we arrived in her town, we danced up the winding hill road to her house, tipsy and excited. There was a shrine next her her place, up some steps. We decided to visit it, stumbling up in the pitch blackness, where even the moonlight was obstructed by trees. We reached the top and I stepped forward, straight into a sharp metal brazier. Giggling, we went back down to her place where we washed my wound and put a band aid on it.

She still jokes that she scarred me for life that night. It’s there on my shin, a two-inch indent that acts as a reminder of our first kiss, which we refer to as the BTI: Buddhist Temple Incident (even though it was a Shinto shrine, not a Buddhist temple).

The last thing I remember was lying in bed with the girl I had been attracted to since we first met, a couple of months before, not sure how this had happened, but blissfully happy. She rolled over in the darkness and whispered, “I adore you,” before falling asleep.

She doesn’t remember that part at all.

Sep 14 '14


Today: the wiggles.
Tomorrow: Russian Circles, instrumental post-metal melodic noise trio.

Sadly I could only take my daughter to one.

Sep 14 '14
This is the face of someone who’s very excited to see The Wiggles. 

STM: they did play Hot Potato. And Fruit Salad.

This is the face of someone who’s very excited to see The Wiggles.

STM: they did play Hot Potato. And Fruit Salad.

Sep 14 '14
Parenting. #thewiggles

Parenting. #thewiggles

Sep 13 '14
"Having taken actor David Niven’s advice to visit Venice, [Robert] Benchley wired back on arrival, “Streets full of water. Advise.”"
Lapham’s Quarterly, Winter 2014 issue
Sep 12 '14

The Tunnel

We’re going to have a picnic on the bed, she says, so she puts Tigger in the stroller and gives me Piglet and a small rabbit toy. We stop off at the “shop” (food cupboard) for “lunch” (five individual bags of  uncooked oatmeal, one for each of us).

On the bed, we sit in a circle, eating our oatmeal, then she says we need to go under the bedsheet. This is a game she plays with Mummy where the two of them hide, whispering ‘shh’ loudly until I come and look for them, loudly asking myself where Audrey and Mummy are, before they suddenly pull the sheets away to reveal themselves with a big “Here we are!”.

I pull the cover over our heads, holding it up so some light can get in. She looks around us, Me, her, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit, and says “oooOOOooh, it’s like the tunnel!”

I’m wondering what she means, and she points up. Look Daddy, a ray! He’s smiling! She points off to the side. Ooh, a shark! She points in the other direction. Look, a moray eel!

We are in the tunnel of the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium, where she visited several weeks ago. Here, sitting in the darkness under the bed sheet, she is reliving her favourite part of the trip. I almost see the wavy light reflecting on the sheet above me as she describes what swims beyond the glass.

She points at Yellow Tang. Over there, a Kikakapu. And look! A humuhumunukunukuapua’a! The rays swim above, the sharks to the side and now the moray eel is hiding “in his house”.

We stay under the covers for what feels like a long time, especially in the afternoon heat. She shuffles down the bed and puts her hand on a starfish, like in the touch tank in the aquarium. She asks me to touch the sea cucumber again, because she was too scared in Maui. Then Tigger and Piglet have to touch them too. We see the hammerhead shark tank, the turtle pool and the coral, all under the sheet of Mummy and Daddy’s bed.

Then we get out, put Tigger back in the stroller, and go and tell Mummy about our adventure.

Sep 12 '14





knock knock

Who’s there?


Aidunnap who?


Sep 12 '14



knock knock

Who’s there?


Sep 11 '14


Classic childhood books from yesteryear