Wednesday, July 26, 2006

City Transplants & Domino Hearts

Where does all it all go?

I've been attempting to throw up another post recently, a World Cup digest, opinions on the latest war (in Lebanon), etc. However, I just don't seem to have enough spare time these days, at least to do the writing some justice.

The 'Peace Not War Japan' CD is due out on August 19th, and despite the two years put in on the project so far, it's still going to the wire right now. Perhaps next year I'll start getting more sleep!


In the meantime, a little information about the latest article published:

In the past few months, I've started doing a little writing for a Canada-based online magazine that focuses on Japan (I know, sounds random!), called The Foreigner - Japan. They published a short story of mine about iPods and Tokyo ('My Little White Box'), plus a review ('Lively Up Yourself') of an event I went to in the Japan Alps, called Reggae Snow Splash.

Following these, I was asked to attend a play at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, write up a bit of a review and interview the actors afterwards.

The resulting article, 'City Transplants & their Domino Hearts', has recently gone up too. Depicted above is Canadian Robert Tsonos, an actor and co-director of the performance, and below, Australian actor Bruce Michell. The photos were taken by Tomomi Akagi and the playwright was the great, great, great grand-nephew of Thomas Edison.

Dig in and see if you too can accept a new Tokyo heart!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Global Image Gallery: Tanzania albums & user information

I recently finished work on the photo albums for Tanzania and Africa, from my trip there last Christmas. They've just gone up at my 'Global Image Gallery', so this entry would seem like a good chance to introduce that.

There are 4 albums in total - 'Return to Africa', 'Saadani', 'Pangani & the Swahili Coast' and 'Dar Es Salaam & the Indian Ocean'. If you want to see the trip as it unfolded, then I'd look at the albums in that order. Otherwise, dip in at will and enjoy what you find.

These albums contain images of wide open country, wildlife in their natural environment, paradisical coastline, local peoples, scenes from urban and village life, 'on the road', some of the incredible vegetation that can be found in Africa and many rich colours, amongst other images. Beware - viewing these pictures may well trigger a deep longing to visit this beautiful country!

In the 'developed' world, we often only hear of Africa when it is presented as a basket case on the international stage - ridden with poverty, hunger, war and disease. For the majority of most of the people who live there, however, this is rarely the case.

With these pictures, I wanted to showcase some of the natural beauty that I experienced there along with a more positive perspective. Whilst I appreciate that some of my experiences may look like they have come as those of a 'rich tourist', they were still the same scenes of great beauty, peace and calm that many local people wake up to every day.

I hope that these albums can give a different flavour to some of the deep and raw majesty of Africa in general and Tanzania in particular.

Two of the places featured in the Tanzania galleries, The Tides Resort at Pangani and Saadani Safari Lodge both have their own websites too, that'll give more information about the sights, delights and facilities they offer. Click on the place name links to get there.

If you've not visited Sony Imagestation before, you'll probably need to create your own passes to view albums there. The below guest passes can be used to gain access - just remember to log out afterwards in order for others to use the same service:

Username: user54321

Password: pass54321

Other visited countries featured in my Global Image Gallery are China, Korea, Nepal, Spain, UAE and the UK, and the gallery also featuring an extensive collection of Japan albums.

The last madcap laugh

'Postings From An Edge' gets a second rock obituary.

Syd Barrett, one of the founders of Pink Floyd and long considered British rock's greatest recluse, has died at the age of 60, from complications related to diabetes.

His songs, both for the group that went on to become one of the world's biggest rock bands of the 1970's and his solo releases, were whimsical, surreal and quintessentially English - nestling comfortably in the canon of English surrealism that would also include Lewis Carroll, Spike Milligan, John Lennon, Edward Lear and Monty Python, amongst others.

His reputation, however, is more of one of acid rock's casualties. Struggling with his new-found fame back in 1967 and delving too far into that year's drogue-de-rigeur, LSD, his mental condition began to deteriorate. Behaviour at Pink Floyd's performances became increasingly erratic. After departing the group in 1968, he made some attempts at a solo career in the early 70's. These efforts ultimately floundered and he eventually retreated from public life. He left London and returned to Cambridgeshire to live with his mother, which is where he died.

Undoubtedly, many obituaries will be headlined with the title of the song that the group wrote in tribute to him on their 1975 hit album, 'Wish You Were Here' - 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. Perhaps an appropriate tribute here would be a quotation of those very lyrics:
Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend,
You martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper,
You prisoner, and shine!