28 Jun 2007

history of tea

Lately, when I was having a little chat with my English colleague in the office kitchen, she said,

“Japan must have much longer history of tea than England?

I wasn’t sure. But, this is absolutely true.

For Japanese people, tea, especially ‘afternoon tea’, is one of the most important aspects of England and is believed to be a very traditional culture. I had such kind of feeling, too. However, when I looked at Wikipedia about the history of tea, I was so surprised! It was mentioned, that tea has been brought to England in 17th or 18th century, which is not very long ago! On the other hand, Japan is believed to have its tea history since 8th century. I did know that tea is not grown in this country but…

I had already realised that tea is not very common among the English people. More people seem to drink coffee. Furthermore, I haven’t seen an English person having a black tea! They don't seem to enjoy a subtle taste of tea like Japanese people do.

‘Afternoon tea’ must be a wonderful culture, but now it seems it is not worth comparing it with Japanese tea ceremony. Japanese tea is not only a culture but it also influenced the style of architecture very much. It must have had a great influence to the mentality of Japanese people, particularly through tea ceremony.

In the first year of my stay in London, there used to be a lot of amazing rediscovery about Japan, but recently it didn't happen so frequently. So I’m now very happy about the new discovery about tea. This is something we Japanese people can or should be proud of!

27 Jun 2007

the verve reunion!!

It’s incredible!!! The Verve is reunited!

I’ve just happened to find this news and I still can’t believe it. The Verve is one of the most important bands for me. Particularly, Richard Ashcroft, the front man and vocalist, is the charismatic person – more ‘practicaly’ than my dear Freddie.

They had split up in 1999, and as far as I’m concerned they finally didn’t manage to come to Japan and play. But I could luckily see their concert once – I flew to England and chased them to Leeds in 1998. It was a bit reckless plan. I left Tokyo on a Saturday and in Sunday morning I took a train from London to Leeds to go to V Festival. I didn’t book any accommodation and I didn’t even have a ticket! However, everything went so well! Ultimately, I was so very lucky.

Even at that time, the guitarist Nick had already left the band, and to be honest the concert was not very convincing. But, now they have already announced the tour dates in November, so I will finally be able to see the very original Verve!! I am so lucky again, I have never ever imagined this would ever happen!

I’ve been feeling that recently I’ve written too much about music, which is not the main theme of this blog, but I really couldn’t help writing this.

*photo taken at Richard Ashcroft concert in June 2006 at Old Trafford Cricket Ground Manchester

26 Jun 2007

muse@supermassive wembley (continued)

It was absolutely phenomenal. It wasn’t just a concert but a space age entertainment. Muse is the only band at present that can electrify such huge audience in the new Wembley Stadium.

There’s nothing to say more, really. I was so high just naturally, jumping all the time, like never before. I was feeling so good.

My dear Freddie must be convinced by the band too, who played at Freddie’s memorial place.

18 Jun 2007

muse@supermassive wembley


MUSE Live @ Wembley Stadium
Date: 17 Jun 2007

More pics and text to follow shortly!

10 Jun 2007

design team meeting

My current project is now in the final stage of design. Last week we had a design team meeting with all other consultants – structural and mechanical & electrical engineers, a landscape architect and a quantity surveyor. It was the first time to attend this kind of meeting.

I wasn’t feeling nervous and I could talk quite a lot. I could realise I’m getting used to everything and working quite like I was doing in the office in Japan. There are more times that I get frustrated and get pissed off, but this time it was a very nice feeling.

I’m also getting used to telephone a bit. These days I have quite a lot of opportunities that I have to call somebody. But recently I’ve found myself not getting very nervous like I was before.

I’ve realised that either for attending a meeting or conversation over the phone, if I am relaxed things will be all right somehow. I really hope this will make me more confident, because confidence is literally the most important thing for me now!

5 Jun 2007

manic street preachers live at forum

Finally, I’ve experienced the ‘REAL’ Manics!!!

Date: 29th May 2007
Venue: Forum (Kentish Town)
Support: The Enemy

I’ve seen them three times in Tokyo, but this was surely the best performance I’ve ever seen! I could somehow predict how they will play this time after listening to their new album ‘Send Away the Tigers’, but it was actually more than I expected. They played in their original style – more aggressively, more like punk!

If I had been to the concert in Tokyo in 1994, it could have been the best one. I did have a ticked. However, it had been cancelled… It was literally the time when the iconic guitarist Richey had suddenly disappeared. I needed to wait until 1999 for the next chance. I was so happy about finally seeing Manics but I remember I wasn’t totally convinced as their style had already changed.

I also remember that last time I saw them in early 2005 I was a bit disappointed as I realised they were too old to play like they used to do. That made me so sad. They were trying to do something different with some taste of electronic sound and stuffs like that. At that time I have remembered that I had already had the same kind of feeling in the previous concert in 2003 as well. So I thought it would not be a good idea to go to their gig again.

However, when I found the news of this live schedule I didn’t remember that memory and had no hesitation in getting the tickets. As a result, it was alright. I didn’t have to be worried at all. Now after 13 years, finally I have seen the ‘real’ Manics!!

It was the most aggressive indoor concert I’ve ever been to. We had showers of beer and there were crowd surfing people almost all the time. Also, the male rate was the highest ever!

They are supposed to play in Summer Sonic this summer in Japan, so you Japanese folks don’t miss it!

I was actually having a very busy month with four concerts! Most of the times I go to concerts on my own but this time I was glad to go with my Greek ex-flatmate Katerina!