National Identity – Reflecting on the Census

Yesterday, 21 March 2021, the Census was held in England and Wales. My main feeling after completing it was ‘Is that it?’. It really doesn’t seem to ask that many questions (less than you get at the end of many marketing surveys and such like) and didn’t really dig down into much detail in some…

A New Meadow – Visiting Shrewsbury Town

At the weekend, for my birthday, I went to Shropshire with my family. As I have noted in other posts (see, for example, Favourite Poems – “A Shropshire Lad” by A.E.Housman, A Visit to Attingham Park, and Book Review: “The Lucky Ones” by Mark Edwards), I was born in Shrewsbury and grew up in Shropshire….

“Europa” by Holly Johnson – Frankie’s Third Album?

Continuing with my recent music review posts, this time I am covering “Europa” by Holly Johnson. As I mentioned in my post about influential albums… Europa – Holly Johnson. Great return to form from Holly Johnson. Extra bonus of having a signed copy. The concert in 2014 was amazing too. Some brilliant songs and lyrics….

Wabi Sabi

10 October is Mental Health Awareness day, an issue which is as important today during the COVID19 pandemic as it has ever been. I am very happy to support this campaign. As I did for the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2019, I will be supporting MIND when I run in 2022 (race postponed many times!)….

Book Review: “Yellow & Black Fever” by James McKnight

As a Hanshin Tigers fan, as I have discussed elsewhere, when it came to my most recent birthday and relations were asking what they could get me, I added James McKnight’s books about supporting the Hanshin Tigers to the list. I knew that these would be a very different experience to The Sportsworld of the…

Favourite Poems – “A Shropshire Lad” by A.E.Housman

Following my posts about Kubla Khan, Because of You, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, and The Lake, this is the last post about some of my favourite poems. And it is a bit of a cheat because A Shropshire Lad by A.E.Housman is a collection of 63 poems rather than a single…

Book Review: “Sweet Dreams” by Dylan Jones

I came across mention of this book in a Facebook group for Frankie Goes To Hollywood fans. Thinking it could be useful for writing my book, Frankie Fans Say, about Frankie and their fans, as well as interesting in itself, I got hold of a copy. The first thing that struck me was the size….

Yasuhiro Nakasone

Yasuhiro Nakasone (中曾根康弘) has already been mentioned in a couple of posts, but today, on what would have been his 102nd birthday, I thought I would pull together some additional thoughts. Back in 1993, while on the JET Programme, when I decided to become an academic and start on a PhD, I had no idea…

Brief Encounters in Research

Over the past couple of days I have been reflecting upon the way I do some of my research. The starting point for this was a webinar delivered by Prof Joy Hendry, called ‘An Affair With A Village’. Details about the event can be found on the RAI website, and there is also a YouTube…

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics: A Chance to get it Right

On 24 March 2020 it was announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed. It’s a decision that has been a long time coming amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. With the event being postponed to be held no later than 2021, there’s a chance to have them held at a much more sensible…

Details about my Research

My research revolves around a number of issues. The one thing that connects them all, to date, is Japan. The second aspect that features in much of my research is memorialisation, symbolism, and identity. This was a part of my research on the education reforms embarked on by Prime Minister Nakasone. After that, it has…