Eight ‘classic’ and popular books that are unreadable…

Do you have any books that everyone else seemed to love and you absolutely hated, or that you found to be a bit mediocre? Do you disagree with my assessment on these books and want to give me a good talking to? Let me know below.

Comforting Thought: Polish is a secret language

“There are countries out there where people speak English. But not like us – we have our own languages hidden in our carry-on luggage, in our cosmetics bags, only ever using English when we travel, and then only in foreign countries, to foreign people. It’s hard to imagine, but English is the real language! OftentimesContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Polish is a secret language”

Travel: Arashiyama boat ride, Kyoto

This is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for me and the Polish Bear, we went on a boat tour in Arashiyama in Kyoto in 2019, it was unforgettable. I took a lot of footage from my Canon and used a gimbal to smooth out the rocking on the boat and put it together asContinue reading “Travel: Arashiyama boat ride, Kyoto”

Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile

A thalassophile is a lover of the sea or someone who is powerfully drawn to and by the ocean. This ancient word comes from the Ancient Greek θάλασσα (thálassa, “sea”), and φίλος (phílos, “dear, beloved”). I took this photo on Enoshima Island in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan back in early October 2018. As the sun set,Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile”

Travel: Kolejcowo is a cute and creepy version of Poland in miniature

When I was in Poland in 2019, I didn’t hesitate to visit the Kolejcowo in Świebodzki Station in Wrocław. This is the largest model railway in Poland, but also a rather amazing depiction of how life in Poland actually looks. Everything, right down to the petrol stations, graffiti, and the shops actually exists in realContinue reading “Travel: Kolejcowo is a cute and creepy version of Poland in miniature”

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

What is Chirimen? Chirimen is a beautiful and intricate weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan. Silk is folded to generate soft wrinkles in a technique called chirimen. According to a pamphlet I picked up from the Chirimen Craft Museum in Arashiyama, “the wrinkles are created by alternating two typesContinue reading “Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto”

Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto

Ryōan-ji (meaning the Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in Kyoto, Japan. The Ryōan-ji garden is considered one of the finest surviving examples of Japanese Zen temple garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles arranged in immaculate linear patterns, designed to facilitateContinue reading “Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto”

Book Review: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Genre: Fiction, essay, creative non-fiction, travel. Publisher: Text Publishing Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk won the Man Booker International Prize for this novel in 2018 along with a Nike Award, Poland’s highest literary honour. Tokarczuk is a thrilling and exhilarating writer who effortlessly criss-crosses genres and conventions, Flight is partContinue reading “Book Review: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk”

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 Edition

Every country has its shadow side, dark secrets, embarrassing problems and PR nightmares that governments attempt to sweep under the rug and hush-up. Here are New Zealand’s. I’m doing this so that people who have this idealised, naïve view of New Zealand as some sort of Utopia actually come here knowing what to really expect,Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 Edition”

Ancient word of the day: Apricity

Apricity was a term originally coined by English lexicographer Henry Cockeram to denote the “the warmeness of the Sunne in Winter”. This photo I took during a particularly chilling end of autumn day in Japan in Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto. Note how the sun falls in cascades of enveloping warmth onto the golden tinged leaves. ApricityContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Apricity”