Hi Geoff

I’d love to have some photographs! I didn’t even know that we had posed for class, or team photos. At seventy, my memory really is playing tricks! Any photographs that you could find the time to send me, I would really appreciate. I can remember the grotto, just off Stanley Street, but I can’t remember photos near it. Amazing.

How do I send you an email address? Can I just post it here, safely enough?

How I ended up in Japan is a simple story, really. I worked for a printing company in Clayton as a photographer, and a Japanese woman came to work there part-time. She was studying and working at Monash Uni at the time, we started going out, and eventually married. We stayed iin Melbourne for quite a number of years before I eventually got to visit her home country, and that was because we were working on a language teaching project that required original photographs of things Japanese. By that time she was working full time at La Trobe Uni, and I had started my own freelance photography business. We spent a month in Japan, travelling a lot, and taking lots of photos. I loved it. That was in 1995. I got the chance to come back in 1997/98 for a year, as my wife had won a Japan Foundation grant to do research in Osaka for a year. I came with her, as the grant paid a small amount for my living expenses. That was really the clincher. I gave up most of my photography clients, as I had been doing it for a long time, was getting older, and so the work was getting too demanding physically.

When we got back to Australia in 1998 my wife started looking for work in Japan, and eventually got a full-time lecturer position at a University in Kyushu, teaching Japanese to foreign students studying there – mainly Korean, Chinese and some American and European students. Meanwhile, I had undertaken part-time study at La Trobe to get an English Teaching qualifications. We moved here in 2001, after selling our house in Eltham at that time, and all of our posessions that we couldn’t transport, like cars, furniture, etc. The initial move was going to be for five years, to see if we really liked it. We both thought at that time we would go back to Australia. But we loved it so much here, that we stayed, and will now end our days here. We have bought a house in Kyushu, and now both only work part-time, as we are past retirement age. I only take photographs for myself now, and have had a couple of exhibitions here, and a couple back in Australia, of Japanese photographs.

Life here is very easy, and we enjoy it a lot. We come back for visits every couple of years, to see my brother and sister, and friends. But this is home now.

Please tell me how to get my email address to you. AS you can see, being interested in photography, I would love to see some pictures!

Ray