Thursday, 19 July 2018

Settling in and back to Japan...

The past few months I have been settling in to life here at Loughborough University. So far I love it: it is a great institution full of positive, smart people. And, bonus, I am able to head out to the cricket pitches at lunchtime to catch some overs (just one of the great things about working at the best sports university in the world!). Projects continue apace: we had our second Wrestling Resurgence show which was an amazing night. You can see all the images and film here. One of my amazing collaborators has just secured £17000 from the Arts Council for the Wrestling Resurgence project: it is incredible to think how far we have come in such a short space of time.

We headed off to Japan again in June. We were in Tokyo and Kyoto last year so this year we were a little more ambitious and travelled right up into the north, visiting an amazing onsen (natural hot bath). We explored lots of new places: Kanazawa, Matsumoto, travelling over the Alps, Sendai and the surrounding coast, Kamakura and many more. We started the trip in Osaka where we experienced our first significant earthquake. It measured 6.1 and was the strongest quake Osaka has experienced for 60 years. It was very odd to be shaking about on the 13th floor of our hotel! Here is a picture of the amazing place we stayed in Northern Japan: Nyuto Onsen. With the atmospheric mist, it felt like a scene from a Studio Ghibli film!

Since our return, our house has been full of visitors from Scotland. It has been lovely to see everyone! We have lived in our new house for nearly 6 months now. I still have some little jobs to do (anyone want to come and do some painting?) but we feel very comfortable here. And I am training myself to be a better gardener: our potato haul was particularly impressive and our sun flowers are shining out despite the lack of rain in the East Midlands. We are rather desperate for a downpour!

And now we have the rest of summer stretching out in front of us, a summer of little trips (to Norfolk, Edinburgh, Germany, Portugal) and work. I am writing new articles and researching for a new book; it is pleasantly unusual to be focusing almost entirely on new projects. It feels right to be starting at Loughborough with new things ahead.

And a final 'hello' to my dad who always reads this blog and has been a wee bit under the weather recently :-)

Wishing everyone a restful, productive summer!