Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sorry for the delay in posting my Tokyo photos but I seem to have such a lot of work on at the moment I am not getting much chance to post or even read my regular blogs, so apologies to all of you who think perhaps I have deserted you.

I am back in the U.S. again next week so things are not going to get much better very quickly.

So anyway back to Tokyo. Here are some photos taken there: -

First some skyscrapers. Can you believe this is an earthquake zone! We actually had a tremor on our first day – earth tremor that is, don’t be so smutty!

A Japanese Dinner. I can only describe it as a beef Fondue, but in boiling water instead of oil.

Another night we dined on Kobe Beef at a Teppenyaki restaurant which was a load of fun.

Street Scenes. They were so colourful and immaculately clean. I literally only saw one single piece of litter the whole time I was there!

Piéce de Résistance. Well we just HAD to do it – Karaoke!! But we were well oiled before we did. Come to think of it, during as well.

Other recent news.

Californian Fires. I am so glad, in fact relieved, that they are now all but doused. Not only for all of those poor people who either lost their lives, were either made homeless or were severely threatened by the fires, but my eldest son is a firefighter in San Diego and was in the heart of it all. Although I know he has been well trained I couldn’t help but worry about him all week. He worked several 32 hour shifts on the fire line and although his crew lost some houses they managed to save others and had no loss of life on their patch.

My Baby IS BACK! I collected my beautifully repaired bike yesterday and besides the fact that there is nearly 10,000 miles on the clock it looks like new. Most of the fairing panels were replaced as well as the footpegs, gear change lever etc and it looks as though it has just come out of the showroom again. Maybe the moron who crashed into it did me a favour?

My 30 minute journey home from the garage took me at least an hour and a half – it was so good to be riding a real bike again J

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What a weird but wonderful week in Japan so far

I hope this pots OK as Blogger has given me all of the template in Japanese!!!!!


mainly due to the journey times and the time zone differences plus of course the drastically different culture.

The week began with a 12 hour flight with its necessary additional travelling time to and from the airport and the inevitable waiting times and an 8 hour time difference resulting in a total journey of 22 hours!!

Having left Heathrow at lunchtime, no sooner were we in the air then we were offered lunch shortly after which the lights were dimmed and everyone went to sleep as we flew into darkness. The problem was that no-one actually wanted to go to sleep as it was still only the equivalent of late afternoon.

You would have thought that with that behind me I would have slept well but even after 3 days I am still not sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time!


Due to the amazing people, culture and totally different environment.

Japanese people in Tokyo are the most polite people I have ever come across in my travels.

Added to that the sense of community is amazing with the total absence of litter and graffiti.

My colleagues and I have enjoyed some terrific meals and meetings with our hosts and have been overwhelmed with the amazing service culture. We have even been assured that it is not customary to tip for service, even to the point that offering a tip would cause embarrassment.

We have two more days here before repeating the arduous return journey although travelling West will probably be less of a problem to our body clocks.

Further posts and photos will be forthcoming when I get home to upload them to my home PC as I cannot do so to my company laptop

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bored, Tired and feeling just a little emotional

I am posting this from the airport lounge in Boston MA after a pretty hectic week at work in my new role and suffering from a degree of brain overload! - hence the tired bit. The bored bit is due to the usual incredible waste of time waiting for planes.
However the emotional bit is due to a fantastic coincidence.
On arrival earlier this week, on impulse, I phoned my eldest son who lives in San Diego telling him that I had just landed in Boston (where he used to live) and wished it was San Diego instead. He then told me that he and his wife were due to be flying into Boston overnight on Thursday to visit her parents. Sadly I was due to be checking in for my departure 10 minutes before their arrival.
I hastily re-arranged my flight, unfortunately not being able to get a seat on the Saturday morning flight but managing to get on the Friday night red-eye.
I have therefore spent a fantastic day with them both despite the lousy rain, but I am now feeling so very, very sad hoping that it will not be another 4 years before I see them again.

AND ... just to think I don't know why I phoned him on arrival, I could have so easily have phoned him at the weekend which is when we normally speak and told him that I had just been in Boston and not known that he had been there also!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Replacement Bike

Thank you all for your kind comments on the accident to my baby.
I managed to persuade the insurance company to get me a temporary replacement whilst it is in the garage. It arrived on Saturday and is quite a different beast.
They have loaned me a 2007 model Honda Hornet. Now the 200cc doesn't make an awful late of difference as it is obviously a lot lighter than my VFR, but boy does the absence of a fairing and a windscreen make a difference. The first thing I noticed was that when I thought I was doing 65 ish, I was actually only doing about 50mph. I guess it is the wind rush and the high revving that persuades the brain that it is faster. The second thing I noticed is that at 85mph I have to hold on with a vice like grip as the wind is trying to push me off the back of the seat :-). Thirdly, it is so much lighter and more manoeuvrable so I am hoping it will improve my cornering skills as I am still a little tentative at leaning the VFR too far.

I can't wait to get my baby back but in the meantime this Hornet is going to be a little bit of fun

Thursday, October 4, 2007

My baby is sick!!

Some idiot car driver reversed into my poor defenceless motor cycle while it was quietly parked in the company car park yesterday. It fell over damaging the fairing, the steering, the clutch lever, the nearside mirror (that's the one on the left over here for my U.S. readers) and has possible radiator damage. I was not able to ride it home last night so had to arrange recovery to the dealer and then take the train home. It was a good thing I had a change of clothes in the office or I would have looked a right twat on the train in leathers and a crash helmet!

At least the car driver had the decency to own up and has given me his insurance details so I will hopefully soon have a repaired bike.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Funny Old Life aint it?

So having been really miffed at having to come back to work after one of the best holidays ever, I was not looking forward to getting back into the particular rut that I had crawled out of for the 2 week break. I hadn't realised just how frustrated I was and was always trying to put a brave face on it simply to convince myself rather than others that everything was dandy.

Well, only half a day back in, I got a phone call from someone in the U.S. who is several levels above me on the project that I have been working on for the past 2 years basically sounding me out to take on a project role that would have me leading a global team and reporting directly to her. She told me that whilst I was away there had been a pretty high level powwow about a new organisation for the project delivery phase and that no less than 3 people had put my name forward as the obvious candidate for this particular role. I of course played it cool and told her that I would need to think about it over the weekend. I was being chased again yesterday for an answer (keen or what?).

So to cut a story that is getting longer by the minute, short, I have accepted. I am really looking forward to a new challenge, some autonomy of operation and the opportunity to do what I know I can do best.
However it doesn't end there. Firstly I have to travel to the U.S. next week to get things underway and then today I was asked if I would go to a project workshop for a week at the end of the month IN TOKYO!!
Now to visit Japan has been an ambition of mine simply forever and now the company is going to pay me to go there. Look forward to some more pics guys and some culinary tales!