Why People Mistreat their Friends and Loved Ones

Have you ever felt so angry with a dear friend or family member that you`ve seriously thought about breaking off any kind of communication with them? Relationships are always at least slightly complicated and for a number of reasons. Recently, I have had a very big falling out with my younger brother, who lives in London, and it makes me sad to think that our freindship is in such a bad way. I want to try to understand how things have become so bad between us and I can identify at least 3 causes of tension between friends and loved ones. 

One reason is definitely jealousy. For example, maybe one brother thinks that the relationship between another brother and their mother or father is too close. Perhaps they feel guilty that, for various reasons, they haven`t spent enough time with their parents and are angry with their sibling because of the fact that they have. Jealousy can also come from other sources, for example a sibling who has more money, a bigger car, or a better job. Jealousy is a very powerful force, but it isn`t the only reason why a relationship can go sour.

Another is the fact that people change. Like it or not, even if two brothers or sisters have the same parents, background, schooling, and upbringing, more often than not, their values will differ. This can be due to different life experiences, coupled with already disparate personalities. This is very true for my brother and I. Our paths have diverged since we were about 22, just after university. I started to travel and see the world while my brother settled down, got married and started a family. He has had a very successful career in London and, although we look very similar, our personalities are so different.

Finally, I think that a persons husband, wife, or partner can have a very strong influence on the realtionship that person has with his or her family members. This can be positive or negative, or a mixture of both. When a person marries someone or starts living with them as husband and wife, it`s inevitable that things will change, for better or worse. This has been the case with my brother.

i feel very sad at the moment as I hate confrontation and I know my brother loves me. However, he`s upset me deeply and I`m not sure how to mend things. I hope to come to some solution to this problem soon.  


My Mother

     Today, my Mam arrives from Newcastle in England and I`m very excited! She`s coming to celebrate my birthday and also to see the autumn colours in Japan. She`s been to Japan quite a few times, but never during this, my favourite season. I`m planning on taking her to Kyoto and also Nara to enjoy the reds, yellows, and oranges of the season.

     My mother is now 80 but she`s still pretty fit and active. We`ve traveled together many times and all over the world, including South America, India, China, and South East Asia. When she was younger, she didn`t have the money or the opportunity to see the world, as she had 4 children to bring up and my dad didn`t earn a lot of money working as a mathematics teacher. However, we would always go somewhere during our school holidays, especially in Scotland, where we enjoyed exploring the fantastic, remote areas in the north west of that country.

     I moved to America to study when I was 22 and that was when my Mam started traveling long distances, to meet me and to explore my new surroundings. In the States, we took a big train trip around the west and centre of that huge country, visiting Chicago, the Grand Canyon, San Fransisco and other places.

     Since then, I`ve lived in China, Italy and now Japan and she has always come to visit me. In China, we made three trips, exploring many of the fascinating sights, including an unforgettable journey in Tibet. I lived in Italy for 6 years and my Mam visited me dozens of times. I think she would have liked to have moved there herself! 

     I have so many great stories about things that have happened to me and my mother during our trips together, I often think about writing a book.

     Now that she is getting older, I worry about her health and safety. I live so far away from her and sometimes I feel guilty that I`m not nearer to lend a helping hand. But for now, while she can still get on an aeroplane without too much stress, I`m hoping to stay in Japan and that Mam can come and stay with me when she wants.

     In my next blog entry, I plan to write about what we did together during her stay here, so watch this space!

Word Challenge; My First American Winter

My First American Winter


           I`ve lived in a number of different places around the world but the most frigid was Minneapolis in the U.S.A. I had always thought that England was a cold place but nothing prepared me for the Minnesotan winter! When I arrived in America, it was mid-September and the temperature was nice; 75 degrees or so. The air was dry and I really felt comfortable. However, as October became November, the temperature decreased, it became windy and the air got wet. It soon began to snow, so much snow that I could hardly get to school. Many of my friends found it unbearable but I loved it!!

Temperatures went right down to -20 degrees C, a fact that would have paralyzed my city in England. However, in Minnesota, life went on as normal. They anticipate the bad weather in Minnesota and so are well-prepared for it. Snow continued to dump on the city and state and I couldn`t believe it. It was like a winter wonderland, and I`ll never forget the scenes in the countryside around the city, everything frosted with snow and ice. All this severe weather upset my routine but I didn`t care that first winter, I was so happy to be living in such a beautiful, temporary landscape.

Atago-san, Kyoto, November, 2013


201311161443001Atago-san, Kyoto, November, 2013

Yesterday, I climbed to the top of Atago-san in northern Kyoto.
We started walking from Kiyotaki, near Arashiyama and hiked up and up for about two hours. The path was steep at first but beautiful all the way.
It was glorious to be out in the open air and to see the autumn colours everywhere.
We had a picnic near the top, with hot soup and French bread. It was a great day.
Atago-san is a very historic place and it is here that the fire god lives. In centuries gone by, Kyoto was plagued by fires, some of which devastated the city. The people would make the pilgrimage to the top of this mountain to pray to the god of fire for safety.
All the way up, we saw the remains of tea houses and other buildings that once served the thousands of pilgrims that would make the long, hard journey to the top.
The views at the top were spectacular and I would highly recommend this trip!

Ryogen-in, Kyoto


Ryogen-in, Kyoto

This is one of my favourite places in Kyoto, an exquisite sub-temple of Daitokuji. I love to just sit and let my mind wander as I stare at the Zen gardens here. Nearby, is Imamiya Shrine, and next to that are two fantastic tea houses, which don’t seem to have changed in centuries. A truly marvelous corner of a magical city!

Hello from the Kaisei Library

Hello Kaisei students.
How are you? I`m fine and am very happy that Yui and Mari have just arrived for the lesson. I was feeling a bit lonely here in the library all on my own!
I`m hoping that some of you will write some blog entries or comment on my blog or those of your classmates.
This weekend, I`m hoping to go hiking in Kyoto, if the weather isn`t too bad. How about you? What are your plans for the weekend?
I have lost my foreigner`s ID card, so I have to go to the Mikage police station to report it and then to the Kobe Immigration Office to get a new one. What a hassle!
Anyway, whatever you do, please take care and have fun,