Friday, 23 March 2012

The Crowd Fund

As many of you may know, I was unable to obtain match funding for my Japanese trip from Wales, so set up a page on a crowd-funding website to obtain this. The Sasakawa Foundation in Japan kindly gave me 100,000 yen (about 800 pounds) but this would have been barely enough to cover travel, both to/from and within the country.

So, I set up a page on Sponsume... And I am very pleased to announce that I hit my 800 pound target!

Thank you VERY much to: Anthony Fairweather (x 3!); Sam & Sarah Collins; Sara Constable; Lily Ayre; Sarah Snell-Pym: R H Morgan; Clare Ferguson-Walker; Clare Potter; Jeremy Dixon; Tim Brenan; Laura Howe; Nicholas Whitehead; Gregg & Angela Platt; Tony Lewis-Jones and the Various Artists; Daffni Percival; Jaci Dunsford; Elin ap Hywel; Lucy Caldwell; Karin Mear; Attila the Stockbroker; Hazel Saville; Howard 'Wood' Ingham; Lynn Roberts; Leona Carpenter; Rhys Jones; Luke Wright; Cheryl Beer; Sophie Thomas; Huw Ellis; Maura Hazelden; Deirdre Brannigan; Fiona Winter; A F Harold, Matthew Hollands.

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!!! Many thanks indeed!!!!!

Mab xxx

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Japan Old & New

Japan, as one might expect, is a place of contrasts. The drinks vending machine situated within the ancient, incense-infused temple; the pachinko (pinball) parlour screaming neon not far from beautiful, old-style wooden houses. Kyoto has more temples and shrines than bus stops, but it has a hell of a lot of bus stops, the usual glut of western-style advertising boards, noisy aural product promotion, and so on.

However, there are places of peace and, unlike, Osaka, the "little Tokyo" just a short train ride away, there has been an attempt here to minimise the pandering to consumer needs, and to retain something of the older ways. This is where you can still see geisha and maiko (trainee geisha) walking down the streets; where there are still wooden temples/houses un-touched by the bombs of the second world war, which laid waste to so many castles and temples across the country. You can purchase plastic souvenirs, but this is where people from all across Japan come to witness tradition; to remember their history; to enjoy ancient beauty; and to pray.

Plum blossoms are blooming!
Kyoto is one of my favourite places in the world, and already the plum blossoms are adding to the beauty of the city, which is more like a village in its genteel ways. I feel very lucky to be here. Of course I enjoy the faster pace at times, but its this glimpse of ancient Japan that works as a wonderful balm to my oft-overworked, poet-performer soul. I highly recommend a visit here! Until anon - Mab xxx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

In Japan!

So, I finally made it to Japan! A flight cancellation, followed by a delay, missed connection, re-routing via Korea, and lost baggage could not stop me!!! (Though, I did get my baggage back, eventually.)

So far, I have seen several temples (impossible not to, really, in Kyoto, where there are more temples/shrines than there are bus stops) and eaten various delicious native foods, e.g. omurice, a lovely mound of rice wrapped in an omelette-y jackey. It looks like an Eskimo wearing a yellow parka. But, it tastes delicious! I also went to this great sake bar with a photographer friend and got introduced to several types of the famous rice wine. Tasty, as well as dangerous! The sweetness belies its potent alcoholic content. Must be more careful in future....! ;-)

Now I am looking forward to performing on Sunday. Speak soon!!! x

Saturday, 10 March 2012


As some of you may know, I am off to Japan very shortly. Well, in the morning, actually. I have a gig there!!!

Please take a minute to watch the video I made about my performance and plans by clicking the picture below:

I have 6 amazing artists working with me on this project, they are:

Lucy Freegard
Jo Whitby

Anyway, if you'd like to follow my blog, I will be keeping a diary of my Japanese adventures here. Got to get some beauty sleep now. Plane leaves in about 10 hours. Speak soon! And, sayonara!!!