Beer fuel ski trip to Myoko, Nigata Prefecture only two decent photos.

“Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting.” 
― Haruki Murakami



Deep in a forest where it rains
cuckoos cry.
Beyond pale darkness
their echoes respond.

Elegant-looking tips of the trees
are hearing the silent fog that is coming down,
that fog turning into drops of water on twigs
and softly dripping down.

On the path that continues into the fog
I stop walking and listen
to voices of lonely cuckoos.

Droplets of water make a separating curtain,
and from an eternal end is heard
that monotonous repetition.

I look back at the lengthy time
of my short life,
estrangements of affection and
a period of many betrayals.

Beloved persons who have departed too,
scattered-away friends too,
all of them have gone inside this fog
and perhaps exist somewhere in the end of the fog.

Now already there is no way to search.
From end to end
the enveloping fog thickens and thickens.
All the loneliness for what cannot be regained
is swept along very quickly.

Here and there in the ocean of fog
like spirit and spirit that call to each other
cuckoos are crying,
cuckoos are crying.

- Mitsuharu Kaneko


Green Mountain

You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

Li Po

Weetin’ the heed o’ the bern


“We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes”    

Japanese Leather Card Holder

Got this Daytona Bros magazine a while back but never got round to making the Japanese leather card holder. Until a few months back i got my thimble out and with some Biwagaku music to set the mood i set to it. 

So after a few months wearing in and fading it now looks like this. As all good leather it only improves with time.

One Year Japan

It’s now been over a year since I moved to japan. I can’t say I’ve changed I’m still making the same old mistakes and as my friend recently reminded me, you are who you are and nothing is going to change that.  

“None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.”
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

 “Forward, forward let us range,Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.” ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, Locksley Hall

So then, what has changed is I’m slowly getting used to who I am and I’ve realised that instead of molding myself to the world around me, rather I mold the world to myself and moving to japan has been the epitome of this. 

“Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction.” JEAN DEBUFFET

This below was what I put on my VISA application and is no less relative than today and every day Iv spent here. These are the days of fruition.  

Personal Reasons for Applying for a Working Holiday Visa
My first real interest in Japan was sparked during the 1998 Nagano winter Olympics. I was just a teenager then but was instantly bewitched with the stunning scenery and the whole romanticism of Japan that then was another world to me. I had always been drawn to winter Olympics from my great passion for skiing and snowboarding. Watching the famous Norwegian Hermann Maier winning 2 gold’s and to have snowboarding’s first introduction to the Olympics, all against the spectacularly backdrop of Japan’s Yamanouchi, I was just hooked.
As I said the initial spark of interest was from the Olympics but over time and study it grew into a love affair for Japan. Since leaving University I have said to friends that I would take the opportunity to visit but until now the time wasn’t right. From completing the iron man triathlon I have come to know that it takes a leap of faith and commitment to realise your goals. So to be given the chance to immerse myself in the Japanese culture would be a dream come true.
For the first months in Tokyo I will base myself staying with a friend, a place where I will try to get my bearings with the Japanese culture and find part- time employment to fund exploring other parts of Japan. While in Tokyo I have a vast itinerary of shops to visit and sights to see.
Living in England the weather is renowned for being miserable, all the season merge into one and so I’m excited to experience the change and variation in seasons enjoying the summer heat and the spring with the cherry blossom coming out.
My aim is to see as much as I can and hopefully learn Japanese but ultimately I intend to go on a personal pilgrimage to Nagano and live the postcard image I’ve kept in my head for years. From recent triathlon training I have developed a passion for cycling, which I intend to incorporate in my travel around Japan. My plans are to take a three-week tour of the Japanese Alps from Takayama to Norikura to Matsumoto then ending at Nagano.
It just seems to me that the Japanese way of life and culture would suit my personality and with a lot of hard work and planning I could reap the rewards of a life changing trip. From the mountains to the temples and the cities I hope to see. I will take both mental and photographic images I can take back to England, with my wonderful memories of Japan.    

Thank you,

Benjamin Michael Spenceley


"There it is you see the spotted tailed back neck."

"I am ashamed of a human race that can continue to allow the sordid ambitions of politicized groups who genuinely feel that right is on their side, and can therefore instigate such atrocities in the name of their own sense of right and wrong." -   --  Ralph Steadman


Bring me your love

Charles Bokowski short story BRING ME YOUR LOVE illustrated by R. Crumb

This gem has recently been added to my ikea book shelf and I'm very happy it has too. 
Bukowski portraying Americas scuzzy underbelly and Crumb finely capturing its satire in ink as he does so naturally. 

"She brought her right hand up, looked at it, clenched it into a fist and punched herself squarely in the nose, hard."


 My recent efforts 


"My ambition is handicapped by laziness"
-Charles Bukowski 

sexual curves

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.
Ernest Hemingway