Becoming a Kiwi citizen back a bit now, I was able to work in the “Deep North” of Australia. Never forgetting New Zealand, I then spent a number of years in populous, bustling, glossy Tokyo; it was great to escape either to the Japanese backblocks or to other countries. I enjoyed visiting Hokkaido, Fukushima, the Izu Peninsula, Chichibu, Sado Island and The Inland Sea, tending to avoid the ubiquitous temples and shrines, but always taking in dramatic and colourful festivals. In Asia I went to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. In Tokyo it was mainly teaching but there was also selling various New Zealand wares such as honey and pure wool designer garments. There was a boom in pet ownership, especially dogs, so I got involved in selling specialised pet accessories. My hobby of Japanese art and prints was pursued with vim and vigour.
I like to write stories based on real characters, transmogrifying them into situations larger than life – Japan attracts a mix of interesting people from other countries, and I met some great Japanese people, too. I would love to live in Japan again but voluntary service and travel in other Asian countries may win out.