One year

It’s exactly one year since I started this blog, and it has been great fun.

A new semester is about to begin for my students. I hope we can enjoy our classes together. But there will be times when you feel that things are not going so well. Please don’t worry, there is sure to be something good around the next corner!


When travelling short distances by airplane the effect of jet-lag can be ignored. But when travelling about 7 or 8 hours or more jet-lag can’t be avoided.

In north to south, or south to north, journeys, like from the UK to South Africa, or from Australia to Japan, there is little or no change in the time-zone, so there is no real jet-lag, just tiredness.

But when I travel between Japan and the UK the flight can take 11 or 12 hours and the time difference is 9 hours. This really affects my natural body-clock and leads to jet-lag.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that travelling from east to west (Japan to UK) causes more jet-lag than when travelling from west to east (UK to Japan). Has anyone had any similar, or different, experience?

Football / Cricket / Rugby

The main three sports played in England are football, cricket and rugby (and none of them are in the Olympics!).

On Saturday there was the very rare situation when England played all three sports in competitive games on the same day.  And in addition England won all three games; I can never remember this happening before.

In football England beat Israel 3-o in the European Championships. In cricket England beat India to win the series. And in rugby England beat the USA 28-10 in the World Cup.

Fish and chips / Chinese take-away

Many of you know that fish and chips is a traditional British meal. At one time there were fish and chip shops all around town.

Fish and chips are cooked in cooking oil which is at a very high temperature. But it is very quickly cooked so there is not too much fat in good fish and chips, a bit like tempura.

About five years ago my local fish and chip shop started selling Chinese food. It was nice to have suce a wide selection. Then it started selling even more different kinds of Chinese food, and less variety of fish. Then it changed its name to a Chinese name. Now it serves Chinese food only.


This was the seventh month of the year until January and February were added in 153 BC. The Latin word for seventh is ‘septem’.

In about 40 AD the Roman emperor Caligula tried to change the name to Germanicus, his father’s name, but without success. I think September sounds better.

The flower for September is the morning glory, and the birthstone is a sapphire.